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Koi ponds are great features to add to any garden. Hearing water flowing from your koi pond soothes the mind and soul, improves the aesthetics of your garden, and raises the value of your property. Koi ponds can provide countless benefits, but you can only experience these and properly care for your koi when you have the best koi holding tanks.
In a nutshell, koi holding tanks are used to keep new fish outside of the pond for a certain period, improving the overall health of your tank, and preventing stress among your existing koi. This article will provide everything you should know about koi holding tanks — what these are, their benefits and drawbacks, and how you can set up your own koi holding tanks in your garden.
What Are Koi Holding Tanks?
Also known as quarantine or isolation tanks, koi holding tanks are used to determine if your new koi have any illness, infection, or parasite that could potentially affect other koi in your pond. Common health problems, such as parasitic mites and fin rot, could be hiding out, which is why it’s best to place new koi in quarantine tanks before placing them in your pond.
Koi holding tanks allow you to assess the health of your new koi and help you determine if they’re ready to join other koi that have been thriving in your pond.
What Are the Benefits of Using Koi Quarantine Tanks?
Aside from being able to assess the health of your new koi, putting them in isolation tanks first can also prevent excessive stress as they’ll have the chance to calm down before being placed in a new environment. Koi and other types of fish can also experience stress and trauma if they’re quickly moved from a supplier or pet store and then into your new pond.
When left unresolved, stress and trauma can adversely affect the overall health of your koi. For starters, stress and trauma can cause dehydration, damage their scales and skin, and decrease the effectiveness of their inflammatory response. These can make your koi sickly and can even result in death.
Koi holding tanks can also benefit your existing fish because they can keep them healthy. When you quarantine any new koi before placing them with your existing koi, you can have peace of mind knowing that your existing koi aren’t exposed to diseases and other health issues brought by any new koi.
What Happens if You Don’t Quarantine?
While some koi are perfectly fine and healthy when placed into a new pond, others can harbor parasites and bacteria that can quickly spread through the population. The latter situation can still be remedied, but keep in mind that it will be timely and expensive, and you’ll have to wait for a couple of months before the habitat of your koi goes back to normal.
However, there are also cases wherein all the koi in your pond are killed because of bacteria or parasites brought by a new group of koi. This can result in a mass pandemic or mass death. When this happens, you’ll have to recycle your pond and start from scratch once again.
How Can You Set Up Koi Holding Tanks?
Koi isolation tanks are necessary if you want to keep your existing fish healthy and expand the population of the koi in your garden. The sooner you use koi holding tanks, the sooner you can welcome new koi in your pond. Setting up koi holding tanks is easy as you’ll only need a few items, namely:
- Cycled biological filters (used to provide the best water quality to your new koi)
- Net or cover
- Plenty of room
Once you have these items prepared, you can follow these steps to successfully set up koi holding tanks:
Give Koi Room to Swim
Allow the new koi to swim comfortably in a large area so they can relax and settle in their new environment. Providing this kind of environment to the new koi can also encourage their immune systems to function properly again.
Ideally, you need to prepare a 50-gallon quarantine tank if you’ll have two or three smaller fish. If you’re going to add bigger koi or more than a few at a time, opt to use a bigger tank.
Don’t forget to keep the holding tanks netted. It’s common for new koi to feel disoriented and frightened, causing them to jump out of the tank. Moreover, it’s also important to provide some “cover” for the koi in the holding tank, so they’ll have somewhere to hide. This cover will also make the koi feel protected and prevent them from jumping out of the tank.
Prioritize Water Quality
Strive to provide the best water quality for your new koi. You can achieve this goal by putting them in water with a large biological filter and good circulation.
It takes about four weeks for a biological filter to function properly, so prepare the tank ahead of time. This also prevents “new tank syndrome” in your koi, making it easier for them to adjust to their new environment.
Adding salt to the water of your koi holding tanks can also help as salt reduces stress, kills common parasites, and helps fight nitrite toxicity. Make sure to use non-iodized salt and add three teaspoons for every gallon of water.
Maintain Water Temperature
The water temperature of your koi holding tanks should be kept around 72 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your local climate and the season when you’re going to quarantine your koi, you might need to use a heater to achieve this water temperature.
Invest in Koi Holding Tanks
Koi holding tanks are essential because these can improve your garden in many different ways, which is why you should start setting up and using one right away.
Consider this article as your guide to learn more and set up your very own koi holding tanks, so you can properly introduce new koi to your pond and ensure that all of them stay healthy long-term.