Introduce Koi To Your Pond
Important to strictly follow the steps when releasing koi to your pond:
- Float the whole bag of packed koi(s) on your pond for about 10 to 15 minutes. This is to allow water temperature the bag and that of the pond to adjust and come as close as possible.
- Next untie and open the bag (our bag is tied in a manner where the rubber band would dislodge with one pull).
- Introduce your pond water into the bag (amount about 25% of the volume of water in bag) and allow 0.5 to 1 minute for koi to adjust to your pond water in the bag.
- Then lift the koi gently with your hand and guide them into your pond.
- Discard bag and water (it would have koi wastes by the time you get home).
Behaviour of Koi when first introduced to your pond
When new to the environment, koi would ‘get a feel’ and make adjustments to the surrounding and would usually stay together at one location at the bottom of the pond for a few hours. Thereafter, they should be swimming actively in the pond with fins open.
During the initial few days it is important to monitor them more closely.
Koi behavior that are indicators of impending problem include:
- Lethargic – all grouping together at one location; bottom of pond and not active
- Fins clamped
- Not eating
- Gliding against pond base or wall and rubbing it’s body against them
- Frequent jumping out of water surface
- Not swimming properly
- Bloated stomach
- Infections on body – red patches
- Scales raised and protruding from body
Do cover your koi pond the next 2 to 3 days as a precaution to prevent koi from jumping out of the pond. Feed them only after 3 days to allow them time to adjust in their new environment,
The Wonder of Salt
Salt is widely used in the health care and maintenance of Koi such as treating parasites. Water with minute concentration of salt upsets the osmotic balance of some parasites and dehydrates them, and in the process ‘cleans’ your koi from these parasites.
We recommend that you keep water salinity of your pond between 0.1% to 0.2% (1kg to 2kg salt per 1000 litre water), but not overly high salinity which is harmful for your koi.
While we have strict regime of salt bath when we receive new koi and may also add S1 medication to the koi you purchase from us which allows for clearing of parasites, it is still important for you to carry this salt bath procedure (in a separate quarantine tank if possible) before you introduce your newly purchased koi to the pond with your existing collection. However do take note that as much precautions we may take, it is not possible to be 100% sure that there are no parasites residing on any koi.
The most important tests for your pond are pH, Ammonia & Nitrite
Staff checking water API water test kits Digital Salt and pH testers
As you might know, the value of pH 7.0 represents neutrality. Below pH 7.0 is acidic and above 7.0 is alkaline. To keep your koi happy, keep the pH value of your pond slightly alkaline (pH 7.0 to 7.8).
Ammonia & Nitrite
Koi release urine and excrement as other living organisms do. In their natural habitat (e.g. rivers and lakes), these ''waste products'' are quickly washed away or broken down. In a constructed pond, this task is left to the bacteria in the filter chamber.
The break-down of waste follows the nitrogen cycle, the intermediate stages of ammonia and nitrite are toxic to koi even in small quantities.
Ammonia/ammonium level depends largely on pH value. The higher the pH value the more toxic ammonia is produced from ammonium. Ammonia is capable of ionization (breaking down) below pH 7.4 and at this level is less toxic to your koi. Above pH 8.0, ammonia is NOT ionized, and is more toxic.
- At pH 7 the total amount consists as non-toxic ammonium. At pH 8.2 about 10% is toxic ammonia, at pH 9 this percentage climbs to 50%. By maintaining a neutral PH level in your pond the danger of ammonia is removed.
- Koi suffering with high ammonia accumulations will isolate themselves, stay at the bottom of the pond, clamp their fins, and secrete excess slime. They are also much more susceptible to parasitic and bacterial infection.
- Good bacteria in the filter chamber is required to reduce/regulate high pH levels, you may consider adding oyster shells to the filter chamber to grow good bacteria.
Nitrite levels of under 0.2 ppm are acceptable to your koi. Levels above indicate an abnormal/lack of break-down of nitrite. Koi will die if nitrite levels are higher than 0.5ppm.
- To reduce nitrite levels, you can consider stop feeding your koi so that they produce lesser waste/nitrite. Subsequently, you can change the pond water, by replacing 10% of the water each time to reduce the nitrite concentration.
It is essential to closely watch the koi daily in new ponds. If you notice them displaying abnormal behaviour, it is advisable to have 20% of the water changed.
Nitrate is a vital source of nutrition for plants, but aquarium plants are by nature not accustomed to large quantities of it. With high levels of nitrate in the pond, the danger of attracting unwanted algae rises especially so for the dreaded beard algae which feeds on nitrate.
Nitrate in water is not harmful to koi, unlike Ammonia and Nitrite. They are usually absorbed by the algae in the pond walls and can be displaced with regular water drip of fresh water supply.