Why quarantine new fish?

To protect itself and the other fish. To provide an opportunity to reduce the fishes stress and verify that it isn't going to infect other fish by providing during this isolation some safe treatments for the control of diseases.

Transporting a new fish is stressful to them. This stress enables harboring bacteria an opportunity to infect the fish. By placing the new fish into an isolated environment, it permits a time of reprieve and adjustment. If you were to place the new fish into an environment which already contains other fish, it does not have ample time to rest. If it is harboring an infectious disease, then it is possible that the other fish will become infected. This not to say that you must quarantine a new fish. It is possible and often works fine to add a new fish to a pond containing other fish. Should you decide to operate this way, be sure you have on hand needed treatments to treat the entire pond. Treating the entire pond does costs more. It is far cheaper to treat a QT tank containing 100 gallons then a pond containing thousands of gallons.

How to quarantine new fish

Once the fish is transported home, float the bag with fish in the quarantine tank (QT) for 20 - 30 minutes. This enables the water inside the bag to adjust to the temperature of the water in the QT.

The QT should have NO Salt level in the water prior to adding the new fish IF you are going to treat them with ProForm-C.

Open the bag and either net the fish or hold the fish using two hands and release into the QT. Be sure not to allow the bag water to enter into the QT. This is also important when ever releasing a fish into the main pond. Other pond water may contain harmful bacteria's or diseases.

Netting should be placed over the tank. Fish don't feel comfortable in new environments and think that they can jump out to return. Most attempt to jump out in the first few days or first week. As weeks go by, this chance is greatly reduced, yet can still happen. Local hardware stores have soft black netting for covering fruit trees. This netting works fine and can be weighted down by hanging fish weights that have a paperclip through the fishing weights loop.

Float something large and flat on the water surface. This will provide a feeling of security. Several Frisbees or a clean trash can lid?

Do not feed the new fish for the first two or three days. The fish needs to adjust and will not die from starvation. Try not to visit the tank to much in these first few days.

On 2nd day treat the water with ProForm-C per instructions for the 3 days. Do water changes per the ProForm-C instructions.

After 24 hours from last treating with ProForm-C, add salt to bring the salt level in the water to 0.1%. (Read more about Salt) 1lb. of salt per 100 gal. of water = 0.1% level in water.

Next day, increase the salt level to 0.2%.

Day 3 of salting, increase the salt level to 0.3%. This salt level eliminates 7 of the 9 possible bad parasites very quickly. And it will not harm your filtering system. (Click for the Salt Test Kit)


To kill off the dreaded KHV that is plaguing many Koi fish requires heating the water. Superheating the water to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and sustaining that heat for a minimum of four days. Seven days is considered even better. Be sure to increase oxygen content in the water since warmer water holds less oxygen. Add an air pump & stone.

QT Duration

Keep the fish in the QT for an additional 21 days. This provides ample time for the salt to kill off Ich and other external protozoan. When used as directed, ProForm-C is the safest and most effective treatment for the control of diseases. When you salted the water, you also increased the fishes slime coat which helps them build a protective coating. Salt eliminated 7 of the 9 possible parasites.

- Treat with ProForm-C for three days.
- Perform water changes.
- Treat with Salt by increasing 0.1% everyday for three days to reach 0.3%
- Consider superheating to eliminate KHV - Heat water to 86 DF for seven days.
- Keep fish in QT for min. 21 days.

Quarantine tanks

Most any container will work for a QT. Utilizing a small 100 gallon tank makes it easy to figure chemicals when treating a fish.

100 gallon feed tanks are available at tack and feed shops.

Add $30 worth of silk plants and a few rocks make the indoor quarantine tank a little more pleasant in the home. Also makes for a conversation item when visitors come over.

Use a kids pool in a bind!

Consider the advantages of having your QT indoors.

Easier observation while getting to know the new fish when they arrive.
New fish get use to you and others
Teach them to feed from your hand
Easier to maintain water temp. & quality
From the comfort of home, sit next to tank and enjoy them.

Setting up a quarantine tank

Setting up a QT is different for emergency treatment of an ill fish vs. a tank that you are going to use to perform quarantining of a new fish. For QT of a new fish, refer to the article above

Setting up an emergency QT.

Adding Water: Test the temperature of the water that the fish is going to be removed from and fill the QT with water that is close to the same temp. Close means about 3 degrees of less. Be sure to add de-chlorinator while filling. (If no de-chlorinator is on hand, then be sure to add the new water using force to create lots of bubbles. This helps dissipate the chlorine.)

Pumps: No pump or filter is required unless the fish is planning on being in this tank for 4 hours or more. In which case, add an air pump at minimum. Moving water should be kept to a minimum since the fish is stressed and swimming in a current will only weaken it more.

Water Quality: This tank should be a place of rest and other chemicals should match. Such as, PH, Alkalinity. No Ammonia, nitrites or Nitrates will exist since this is new water. Use Baking Soda to raise Alkalinity and PH. One table spoon mixed with the QT water.

Salt: Salt reduces stress would benefit any sick fish. Add 1 lb. of Salt to a small bucket of water, mix and then add dissolved salty water to perimeter of the QT. (If fish is dieing, consider adding this same amount of salt again after waiting 30 minutes) Salt should be raised 0.1% every 12 hours till a level of 0.3% has been reached. (Read more about Salt)

Setting up a small "100" gallon tank makes it easy to figure chemicals when treating a fish.

Shipping a Koi fish?

To ship a Koi fish using an airlines is much faster then using delivery services, yet it requires someone to retrieve the package once it arrives at the destination airport. It you use a delivery service, be sure to prepare the package as close to the deadline to the drop off time as possible. And be sure it is not going to be over a weekend... Ship early in the week.

100 % Oxygen:
Some pet shops may have it available. Consider calling your local vet or scuba shop.

Water Level:
By keeping the water level low, the oxygen will mix better.

Bag Buddies are a new product by Jungle Laboratories. Add a Bag Buddy pill which contains a sedative, some electrolytes, and promote a slime coat which makes transport easier on fish. They also reduce ammonia buildup and add oxygen to the water... Click Here


Use a sturdy shipping box.

Use sturdy bags. Be sure to double bag.

Double up the rubber bands on each bag.

The frozen water container will help keep water cool and the oxygen level up. Sit the bottle in the corner of the box. Use either a 16oz. - same day trip or 32oz. - long trips.

Be sure to keep the frozen container out of the fish bag!

The foam packing peanuts will help reduce bag movement and help keep the water cooler.


Using a microscopes to examine bacteria requires having a scope with certain power ranges and some idea of what you are looking for. Scraping the fish for a sample and diagnosing requires learning more. We recommend visiting Dr. Johnson's web site: www.KoiVet.com. Yes there are specialist for Koi fish and Dr. Johnson is well known in this area of expertise.

Picking a microscope can be simple as long as it has the following power ranges.

75x 150x 300x

It is a bonus if it has a light and even more of a bonus if it has more then one eye piece to view.

Why quarantine new plants and how to rid them of bad bacteria.

Bringing home a new plant? Have you considered that you might be bringing to your pond some harmful bacteria? Getting rid of the bacteria should be done prior to adding the plant to your Koi Pond. (Most likely needed if coming from other "Koi" pond.) Most bacteria are attached to the Koi themselves, yet it is potentially possible to bring some bacteria with the plant.

Use Potassium Permanganate. Potassium permanganate oxidizes organic molecules in water. In this process, organisms and bacteria are killed.

Mixture: Add 2 tsp. of Potassium Permanganate to 3 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket. Stir well using something like a stick. (Don't splash!) Place the bare root plant in the bucket. Let sit for 2 hours. Then remove and add plant to pond.

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