Friday, March 30, 2007

I was wondering if Koi pond fish can go in an aquarium? -Lynn

A small Koi will fit in an aquarium, for a while. A small Koi can turn into a large Koi pretty fast, so if your going to find someplace for it to go. Here are some options:
  • You can buy a very large aquarium (i.e. 1500+ gallons)
  • You can build a pond in your backyard, if you don't have a backyard, go to the next option.
  • You can contact a local Koi or water gardening club, it'll probably have a member that would be willing to take your Koi and give it a new home.
  • You can give your Koi back to the pet store, they may even trade you for a new one.
Remember to have adequate filtration for the tank to make sure that your Koi has a clean environment.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Need help with my pond. I am in California, could you help with the maintenance? -Martha

Hi Martha,
I live about 1,500 miles away from California, so I can't help you with maintenance. Try contacting a local Koi club, you might be able to hire a member or someone at the club might be able to point you in the direction of a reputable company that can be of assistance. Maybe even contact Aquatic Coatings, the people there are really knowledgeable about Koi and filter systems.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How to treat Argulus

Argulus (fish louse) infestations in a pond are treated with Dimlin. When Dimlin is added to a pond, it prevents any adolescent Argulus from forming their exoskeleton, causing them to die off when they are adults. Consult Koi Health and Disease for more information and dosing rates for Dimlin.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Koi and Aluminum

I am in the process of building a larger pond for my koi. Is it safe to incorporate a cast aluminum urn into the design? My plan is to pump water from the biological filter up through the bottom of the urn where it will then splash over the sides of the urn and back into the pond. -Eric

You should be fine with using an aluminum urn if you have pH neutral or alkaline water. If your water is acidic, the aluminum urn will harm your fish. When aluminum is in acidic water, it seems to cause respiratory problems for fish. Here's an article from PumMed on Aluminum Toxicity to fish:

Aluminium is acutely toxic to fish in acid waters. The gill is the principal target organ and death is due to a combination of ionoregulatory, osmoregulatory and respiratory dysfunction. The toxic mechanism has hitherto received little direct consideration and is unknown. In this paper the mechanism of acute aluminium toxicity is approached from a chemical perspective. Symptomatic evidence of toxicity is taken from the literature and combined with our own research to elucidate a biochemically sound model to describe a possible mechanism of acute aluminium toxicity in fish. The proposed model delineates the chemical conditions immediately adjacent to the gill surface and emphasizes their importance in aluminium's toxic mode of action. The mechanism is shown to be bipartite. Aluminium binding to functional groups both apically located at the gill surface and intracellularly located within lamellar epithelial cells disrupts the barrier properties of the gill epithelium. The concomitant iono- and osmoregulatory dysfunction results in accelerated cell necrosis, sloughing and death of the fish. The mechanism of epithelial cell death is proposed as a general mechanism of aluminium-induced accelerated cell death.

Koi Care in the Middle East

I live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, I know nothing about Koi, I have
just purchased 5 small Koi (10 cm) they are in an outdoor pond thats
14 meters in diameter and 1/2 meter deep. I got some pond plant that they
hide in and eat. My questions are: 1. The winter here has mid 20 deg
c. day time and say 15 deg c. night time which I am sure is okay for
the fish, however, the summer can be extreme with high 40 deg c. Will I
have to put the fish indoors during the summer or if I buy large
lily pads do you think that the shade will be good enough? Secondly,
there is a decorative fountain in the pond that runs 24/7, will this
annoy the fish? I think its good for oxygenation as well as looking
nice. Thirdly, how much food should I give? Can one over feed?
whenever I put a teaspoon of food in they eat it in no time. I have
just read about fruit so I will try some of that. Finally, they seem
to be huddled together at the bottom of the pond allot, are they just
settling in? Are Koi normally shy?
Thanks Gary.

The winter in the United Arab Emirates seems to be pretty mild compared to the northern United States and Canada. Your Koi will do just fine in those temperatures. Your water should be warm enough to keep on feeding your Koi throughout the winter. The summer seems pretty hot. Make sure that you provide plenty of shade for your Koi and that the water temperature doesn't go over 33 degrees C. You can either bring you Koi indoors if the temperature gets too high or you can buy a chilling unit for your pond to keep the temperature down.

You are correct about the decorative fountain, it will aerate the water and it will not annoy the Koi. You can probably feed your Koi more food. Try giving them enough food to keep them eating for a couple minutes, a couple times a day.

When a Koi is introduced into a new environment, it will be nervous. Koi usually calm down within two weeks, eventually you may be able to train them to hand feed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What is the right water temp for bio filter to start after winter season?

Your bio filter actually never shuts down, it just gets very efficient. This is due to the fact that cold water holds more oxygen, which is required to turn Ammonia into Nitrite and Nitrite into Nitrate.

There will be a significant less amount of Nitrifying bacteria in the filter itself, because Koi's metabolism slows down to a crawl in cold water. As the water in your pond gets warmer in the spring, the number Nitrifying bacteria that live in your filter will increase.

If you shut your filter system off in the fall, the bacteria would have all completely died off by now. It will take 4 - 6 weeks for Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter to grow back.

Make sure to test your water frequently to check that your filter is working properly and there isn't an increase of Ammonia levels. Don't forget to do a large water change in the spring too. The oxidization of Ammonia and Nitrite by Nitrifying bacteria liberates Hydrogen Ions, which will lower you pH. Over time this will diminish the carbonates in the water, which could lead to a pH crash.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My pond froze over during the winter, are my Koi still alive under the ice? -Mark

There is a possibility that your Koi may still be alive. It depends of three variables:
  1. The size of your Koi in the pond.
  2. How many Koi you have in the pond.
  3. The size of the pond itself.
If you have only a few small Koi in a large pond that is several feet deep, then they should be fine. If you have a small pond with several large Koi, then the odds are against you and there's a good chance that they could have run out of oxygen.

The best thing to do right now is to get fresh oxygen in the water. To do this, pour hot water onto the ice so that it will melt a hole through it. Never chip at the ice, it's a great way to harm your Koi, their lateral line is used to sense vibrations. Then either put an air stone or a horse trough heater into the water to keep the ice open.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What size tank should two Koi be in?? -Kayla

Two small Koi (4"-6") can easily live in a 55 gallon aquarium. Make sure that you have adequate filtration and aeration. Your Koi will eventually outgrow their tank. Then you will either have to get a bigger tank or donate your Koi to a local pet store, Koi club, or water gardening club, ect.

You can also build a pond for the Koi to live in during the summer and then use the tank to over-winter them.

Koi & Plecostomas

I have a 2 1/2 inch long Koi and a Plecostomus in a 10 gallon aquarium. Is there any issue with the algae wafers that I feed the Plecostomus and the Koi? What should I be feeding the Koi? He's eating gold fish flakes right now.

There should be no issue with the algae wafers that you are feeding your Plecostomus, they are not harmful to Koi. You should probably switch from goldfish flakes to a small pellet Koi Food. Goldfish food is meant for goldfish, so it may be missing some important nutrients that are good for Koi. Make sure that you do not overload your filter by feeding your fish too much.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Koi Ulcer

I have a 14 year old ghost carp with a swelling on his side near his rear fin also now his scales seem swollen and redness under the scales can anyone help me how to treat him???? -Liz

Your Koi probably has an ulcer. Ulcers are caused by the bacterias Aeromonas and Pseudomonas. There are two ways to treat an ulcer, injections with antibiotics or a Tricide-Neo dip if you don't like needles. Consult a local veterinarian that specializes in Koi health on the best course of action.

Just moved into a new home with Koi Carp pond with 22 fish, why would the water start to smell? -Tracey

That smell is probably ammonia buildup in your pond due to inadequate filtration.

A short term solution is to do a big water change and to cut down on feeding your Koi. Make sure to dechlorinate the new water before you add it to the pond.

You will need to get a good filter for your pond, long term exposure to low levels of ammonia in the water will poison your Koi. Here's an article with more on filtration.