Medications and Treatments - a very complex and confusing subject and there is much controversy over which, or what, is the best medication to use for a particular purpose - whether it be for the water or for the fish and other life contained within the pond, but in this section, we will try to guide you as best we are able ... we are the first to admit that we do not by any means say we know everything that there is to know on this subject. We should be learning all the time and if we are not, then none of us would know anything - methods and treatments are changing all the time and trying to keep abreast with what is happening around us is sometimes an almost impossible task.
We can only give reference to the medications that we ourselves use... we are not prepared to discuss any medication that we have not used and just heard about.
Let’s talk about medications for the actual Koi themselves before we attempt to go on to medications for the actual water that they must live in, but we do have more information on this subject within poolandpond.co.uk
Ironically chemicals added to a pond intended to bring about a cure for health problems are very invasive to fish in the first place, as chemicals increase stress levels in fish. Generally, most common pond treatments reduce dissolved oxygen in water. Some chemicals can radically reduce the level of protective mucous coating on fish. Organic die back can increase altering pH values etc. when Koi are stressed through changes in water quality an increase in Ammonia output can result. All chemicals do have a detrimental effect to the beneficial strains of bacteria we need in the pond and filter. The level of damage done to the enclosed eco system is hard to quantify precisely for any given chemical. Anti-bacterial treatments are exactly that, for example they lower bacteria levels but there is no discrimination, all bacteria good and bad will be affected. After any chemical is added to the pond, water quality, needs to recover from this kind of disturbance as in most cases pollutant levels can increase.
After any pond wide treatment, it is important to plan additional water quality monitoring and it is best started at this point. Re-boosting the filter and pond with nitrifying bacteria is very beneficial. Stopping feeding while medicating will at least reduce some of the pollutants that the "strained" filter system has to deal with. Let the results from your water testing be your guide to resuming normal feeding levels.
It is critical when adding any medication that the volume of your pond to be treated is known... DO NOT GUESS ... if you don't know then find out, as adding too much chemical can be fatal conversely, too little can be ineffective. Accurate measuring of dosage rates again is just as important. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the pack or bottle. A good rule of thumb though is to pre-mix the measured quantity into a large bucket of pond water and add a quarter of the mix to the pond initially and then, perhaps after 15 or 20 minutes, you can add some more - this allows the fish to become use to the medication gradually rather than causing them too much stress with a single dose. Always ensure that you have a good air supply going into your pond as adding chemicals can severally reduce the oxygen levels in the water, try to bear in mind also that the oxygen levels at night time is always lower and therefore unless it is an emergency do not add chemicals during the evening.
Choosing the correct chemical is probably the hardest part of treating any pond! So if you do see the odd fish 'flicking' or 'flashing' in the early morning or during the early part of the evening – it does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong as it could be the lower oxygen levels that are causing the fish to behave in this manner, but of course, monitor the situation and don't go rushing to the medical chest grabbing this chemical and that chemical to dose your pond ... you may cause far more harm than doing any good!
Always test your water before adding any chemicals - and if you suspect parasites then those parasites must be identified, and some of course are not apparent to the naked eye, but by using a good quality microscope can be perhaps more easily identified. Microscopes are a very important part of any Medical Chest and should certainly be placed on the shopping list as a priority if you don't already have one.
Initial Equipment you will need to use...
First of all, you are going to need a suitable bowl in which to place the Koi/fish where you can examine the problem more closely and decide what is the best form of action to take and there are many on the market ranging from large to small, of course as you would expect there are many various shapes and sizes available from most good Koi outlets.
Pick the bowls that you think are going to be the most useful to you, it’s no good just going out and buying the biggest, or smallest, you can. The large bowls are good for 'Big Koi' or if viewing a few smaller Koi/fish, but the small ones are just for those that will lay comfortably in the bowl.
When you have chosen the right bowls for your own requirements then of course they can be used for many fish related purposes - but one of the most important ones is for inspection and possibly anaesthetising the Koi that you wish to treat.
Until you feel totally comfortable about handling your Koi then we suggest that at all times, and make sure it’s a rule, use a 'Transfer Net or Koi Sock, as they have been called by some (also do have a large wet towel at the ready) - we have a good selection of these Transfer Nets - Tubes - Socks etc within this web site, if you don’t already have one then please for goodness sake put one on your shopping list, it may save untold damage to a prized Koi if you were to drop it - and that even in the most experienced hands is always going to be a possibility… don't take that chance!
In this section we will initially deal with 'Bowls' - 'Floating Baskets' - Floating Retainer Nets' - 'Treatment Mats' - 'Weighing Scales' and 'Salt Testers' and then we will move onto other related matters later such as the actual medications and treatments.