How Long Should I Quarantine A New Fish?

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For pond owners, there’s not much of anything that’s more exciting than bringing a new fish home and adding it to your pond or water garden.

In all the excitement, one thing that some folks do that’s really a bit of a risk it to just put their new friend right in the pond with all the other fish.  Sometimes you can get away with it, but other times, this will mess up everyone else in the pond that’s been doing pretty well all along.

What do I mean?  Well, it’s not a pleasant subject but I’m talking about fish diseases.

These can range from simple parasites all the way up to HPV which is a herpes virus that affects Koi fish.

And let’s say you put the newcomer into the pond and it happens to be infected with something.  Depending on the ailment you can expect many of them to spread and particularly affect any of the weaker or more stressed fish in the pond.

But there is a way around this issue that can safeguard all of your other fish and it’s called quarantine.

As the name implies, quarantine simply means that you’ll separate any new fish from the rest of your stock and keep them isolated for a time so you can monitor them and make sure they are healthy and disease free before you put them in your pond.

It’s a prudent, intelligent, and relatively simple step to maintaining healthy and happy fish in your pond.

I think this is a very good rundown of the quarantine process from KoiCrisis.com and I’ll summarize a few key points that they mention below.

  • You should try and set up a quarantine tank that’s at least 100 gallons in capacity.
  • Quarantine new fish for at least 21 days and longer if possible.
  • Keep the water temperature above 70 degrees F.  With a short time of even higher temps.
  • Feed medicated food for the first 14 days.
  • Maintain an adequate level of salt in the tank.  0.3% to 0.6% is safe.
  • Treat with medications as needed for flukes and other parasites or infections.
  • Be sure to maintain good water quality through adequate filtration and aeration.

Trust me or anyone else who’s every cut a corner on this one.  Those people who do sometimes end up regretting it in the long run.  So be safe with your fish.  They’ll appreciate it and you’ll enjoy your time around the pond even more.  I guarantee it!

Photo credit: Koi-Rescue.com

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