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If you have purchased fish from us, it is not necessary to treat the fish for parasites. We have taken care of those steps for you.

Keep a watchful eye on the new incoming fish.

Keep your fish from being contaminated by the new incoming fish.  All fish purchased from more than one dealer should be quarantined in separate tanks away from each other.

Treating a smaller tank that is used for quarantine is cheaper than treating

Will depend on the number of fish being quarantined.

Stock tanks anywhere from 100 gallons up to 500 gallons available from farm stores. Size will depend on the number of fish.

Small fish or just a couple of fish can be quarantined in a 55 gallon Rubber Made garbage can.

Fresh dechlorinated water, well water or better yet water from your pond. Small filter and pump


Small air pump

Water proof thermometer

Net to cover tank

Salt, non iodized and contains no YPS. Water softener salt is OK if it says 99.9% pure.

Scale to weigh salt

Fluke tabs (not necessary if the fish are purchased from me.  They are treated for flukes before they leave here)

Ammonia binder like Amquel or Prime

Test kits: ammonia, nitrite, pH and salt  Buy Test Kits

Net large enough to hold the fish the size you purchased

If you know you are going to be purchasing fish ahead of time, set up the quarantine tank before hand and have the pump, filter and air stone running.

Check the pH of the water in the tank. Add regular Arm and Hammer baking soda to bring the pH up to about 7 to 7.5.  Many have higher pH readings and that is OK.  Your fish will adjust to your pH

The temperature in the quarantine tank should be around 78*. If it is not, add an aquarium heater.

When you get the new fish home float them in the bag of water. If your dealer cares about his customers he will have filled the bag with oxygen at the time the fish were put in the bag for you. You will want to float the fish in the bag (Do NOT open the bag at this time) of water for 20 to 30 minutes. IF the fish has been in the bag for a long period of time or shows signs of stress AND if the water in the tank is only a couple of degrees difference, it might be best to skip floating the bag and just put the fish right into the tank.

The water in the shipping bag will have a low pH.  The low pH actually protects the fish because the lower the pH the less toxic the ammonia is.  We do add a generous amount of ammonia binder to the shipping bags. 

When the floating time is over, remove the fish from the bag and add to the pond/tank.  Do not add the shipping water.  Use your hand or a net to remove the fish from the bag.

That water can possibly contain a lot of  bad bacteria and perhaps fish feces. Just like you would not drink from a glass that another had drank from, you do not want to put ANYONE else's water in your pond or quarantine tank. 

 About 12 hours after you have had the fish in the new tank start add salt. You will need a total of 1 pound  of salt for every 100 gallons of tank water. 

 I suggest that you test the water with the salt test kit after the first batch has had time to dissolve and circulate through the water. It should read about 0.10%. If it does not you may have to adjust the salt level. But keep in mind that salt is very forgiving and you have a lot of room to play. 

About 24 hours after you have added the fish, test the ammonia and nitrite. REMEMBER while in quarantine no amount of ammonia or nitrite is acceptable. Read this mean NONE. If ammonia is detected, add Amquel or Prime. While these products will not remove the ammonia they will bind them up so that they are not harmful to fish.

Think of ammonia in a tank like you would a baby that sits for a long period of time in a wet diaper. Ammonia in the tank will burn the fish's gills and skin, just like a baby in a wet diaper. High levels of ammonia will kill fish very quickly.

If you bought the fish at a Koi show chances are that it has not eaten in a few days to a week. Fish are fasted that are sold at shows so that they do not contaminate the water. This is not the case if the fish are purchased at a dealer's location. Keep in mind the smaller the quarantine tank and the number of gallons of water in relationship to the number and size of the fish is going to make a difference in the water quality.

You can feed the fish a very small amount of food after they have been in the quarantine tank about 6 to 8 hours. Keep the feeding very small and remember it is better to feed 2 smaller portions 2 times a day than one larger portion once a day. New fish may not eat for a couple of days until they adjust to their new home. They may also "hide". This is very common. Usually after a couple of days they will adjust and come out of hiding. You may want to float a piece of Styrofoam on top of the water to give the fish a place to hide for this reason alone. Keep in mind many a small fish have jumped and landed on the Styrofoam and died. Use small pieces so that if it does land on the Styrofoam it can flop and get back in the water.

If you have purchased fish from me, I have included some of the food they are used to eating. This should last you a few days. I have found my fish do better if they stay on the food they are used for a couple of days. The food I feed is called Sho Koi.

A few days to a week to a couple of weeks after adding the fish you may detect Nitrite. Nitrite poisoning interferes with the ability of the fish to uptake oxygen. It causes the blood to run brown. Fish can and will die from nitrite poisoning. The salt in the tank will kept the fish from up taking the nitrite and from suffering from nitrite poisoning.

Some believe in water changes if you have ammonia or nitrite in the water. While you may want to do small 10% or so water change once a week I do not recommend larger water changes. First of all it slows down the nitrogen process and you will find that even with an 80% water change the ammonia or nitrite level will be right back to where it was before you finish adding new water. Not only that, large water changes are stressful to the fish and the last thing you want is a stressed fish in quarantine.

There are many thoughts on this topic. I would say the very minimum would be 3 weeks. I quarantine for at least 30 days and monitor the fish daily . Many say 6 to 8 weeks. A proper quarantine will include observing the fish, checking for parasites.  If you do not have a microscope, you may want to follow the protocol found on the link Koi Parasite Treatment

Not measuring ammonia and nitrite level. Any ammonia or nitrite level other than 0 (ZERO) is NOT acceptable
Tank is not big enough
Not netting the tank. A fish that has been moved is very likely to jump, not only from the quarantine tank but from the pond once it has been put in the pond. In time the fish will adjust to its new home. In the mean time keep a net over the tank
Not carefully observing the fish. The quarantine is a time to watch and see if the fish will develop any problems. You can not just put the fish in a container of water and wait out the required time. This is the time to treat the fish for parasites and keep the water premium. Premium water means NO ammonia or nitrite.

SVC and Koi Herpes Virus are real. Many have lost entire ponds of fish this spring because they did not quarantine their new incoming fish. Granted, if your fish has SVC or KHV you may loose them but why take a chance on loosing fish you have had for years?

There is no cure for the 2 Viruses. Any fish that contacts the virus and survives will be safe BUT it will be a carrier, meaning it can pass the virus on to other fish and not show any effects of the virus itself. Because the virus is heat triggered you must raise the temperature in the quarantine tank to at least 78 degrees. The virus will be dormant in cooler water and will strike once the water temperature goes up.

Once again any fish that survives SVC or KHV will be a carrier and could contaminate other fish. That fish should be destroyed and a bleach solution should be run through the entire tank/pond, filter and any other thing that has come in contact with said fish including nets and tubs. There is NO cure for SVC or KHV. PLEASE be assured we have put our fish through a cold water treatment then a warm water treatment at least 2 times and then a second cold water treatment to assure that our fish do not have either KHV or SVC

Read more about KHV
-Behavioral signs--
Fish congregate in areas of low flow or lie on bottom or in abnormal
Uncoordinated swimming
Rate of respiration, response to stimuli, and swimming are progressively

--External signs--
Darkening of the skin
Fluid accumulation in the abdomen (dropsy)
Exophthalmos (pop-eye)
Hemorrhages-skin, gills, eye
Pale gills
Protrusion/reddening of the vent
Feces- long, white/yellow, mucoid
--External signs--
Darkening of the skin
Fluid accumulation in the abdomen (dropsy)
Exophthalmos (pop-eye)
Hemorrhages-skin, gills, eye
Pale gills
Protrusion/reddening of the vent
Feces- long, white/yellow, mucoid

But KHV also has this symptoms:
Skin and gills exhibit decreased mucous production and hemorrhages in fins
and body Read more about  KHV

Know your dealer. Ask specific questions. Don't settle for "my fish are clean or they don't have parasites". Sure, some things can go undetected at a reliable dealer but if they have treated the fish, they will say so. And a reliable dealer will be on top of what is going on in his tank or pond at all times. Questions to ask the dealer: Have the fish been treated for parasites? What kind of parasites? What was the course of treatment? Finally ask the dealer if they have a microscope. Chances are that if they have a microscope they know how to use it. IF they do not have a microscope DO NOT buy fish from them. If they care about their fish and their customer they will invest in a microscope and know how to use it. What seems like a good deal on a fish may be a dead fish in a short period of time. There are

There are NO real bargains in life, especially when it comes to fish. Some unscrupulous dealers will pass off sick fish to cut their loss. 

All fish sold are fully quarantined and treated for parasites and bacterial infections as needed. In addition each fish sold has been put through a period of cool water treatment for SVC and a warm water treatment for KHV and then a cool water treatment and then back to warm. Please do not add any treatments to my fish without checking with me first.

I do not recommend adding any treatment to the Q-Tank unless you notify me first and I will will guide you on what to do. I scope a few fish from every tank here on a weekly basis. And if I find a problem the whole tank gets treated and fish are on a self imposed quarantine until the problem is cleared.. All fish shipped are thoroughly checked by me the day of shipping.

If your fish is being shipped, I will tell you the temperature and pH of the fish tank that the fish were in at the time of shipping so that you may duplicate those conditions in your Q-Tank. Fish will adjust better if you can match those conditions. I feed Sho Koi fish food and I recommend that you feed the fish the same food they are used to eating.

At the end of your quarantine I strongly urge you to add an expendable fish from your pond to the Q-tank for a couple of weeks to make sure that everything is OK. Or you can also quarantine a fish from your pond at the same time as the new fish.

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