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Koi Pond Maintenance for Healthy Fish

Posted by Ellen Kloubec on

Maintaining your koi pond is made easy for you with specific products for an outdoor koi pond. Using Prazi, pond clay, pond salt and beneficial bacteria can give your prized beauties great health and a longer life span for the most enjoyment possible.

Praziquantel

Praziquantel, or Prazi as it is often called, is a great addition to your koi pond. It keeps the number one parasite of koi ponds under control so your fish don't get sick from a disease that can actually kill them if it is left untreated. Prazi removes the deadly bacteria from your pond that causes koi flukes without any harm to your fish whatsoever.

When to Use Prazi

The best times to use Prazi, is when you have a new koi pond, every spring when you open your pond and two to three months before you close your pond for winter. In addition to this schedule, if you notice your fish are flashing by rubbing on the sides, bottom or rocks in your pond, that is a sign that they have pond fish flukes.

What do Flukes Look Like?

Freshwater flukes are one of two kinds-Dactylogyrus the gill fluke and Gyrodactylus the skin fluke. They have a long, cylindrical body and attach to your koi with a pair of large anchor hooks and eat the fish's epidermis, leaving a trail of damage to the skin and gills as they move around on a fish. The worst part is that the skin and gills are broken open and then bacteria can enter and make your fish very sick or it can even cause death.

How to Use Prazi?

Prazi is an easy product to use. You start with approximately a 10 percent water change and remove the carbon from your pond filter, but don't shut it off. Turn off the U.V. light for one to two days before the treatment, but don't turn off the water pump leading to the U.V. light. Then turn off your protein skimmer.

Use one gram of Prazi for each 100 gallons. Add Prazi to one quart of your pond water and stir vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes, then pour it in a 5-gallon bucket of pond water and mix it well.

Pour the mixture around the edge of your pond or directly into the skimmer for the best distribution.

Two treatments work best to kill any existing flukes and the young as they hatch from eggs. Perform the two treatments 3 days apart.

Pond Clay

Pond clay removes dangerous toxins from your pond while also adding valuable minerals to have pristine, clean and clear water. It aids in the health of all your koi and helps with scale development so they can live a long and healthy life. It takes just a mere 1 ounce to treat 1,000 gallons of pond water.

How to Use Pond Clay

Apply pond clay around the perimeter of your pond at the edges. It will mix through your entire system when applied in this manner. Start applying when you open your pond in early spring and continue throughout the growing season. For best results, treat your pond 1 to 2 times per week. This product is so safe that you can double the dosage in the case of poor filtration in your pond or an overstock of fish in it.

Pond Salt

Pond salt is a remarkable product for the health and development of your koi in a pond. It replaces electrolytes, helps improve proper gill function and even helps the thicken the stress coat on your koi. The stress coat is the natural slime coat on your fish that protects it from damage. Pond salt heals and replenishes the fish mucus membranes and boosts their immune system to prevent any illnesses in the future.

How to Use Pond Salt

You apply 4 ounces of pond salt per each 100 gallons of water in your pond. Put the product in an area where your koi naturally gather, such as a feeding zone or near a pump to disperse it equally throughout your pond. You can apply pond salt once a week or as needed.

Beneficial Bacteria

Just as humans may consume beneficial bacteria for good digestive properties, it is important for your koi health as well. Friendly Bacteria includes probiotics to fight ammonia, fish waste and sludge in your pond that can make the water dirty. It can give you clear and healthy water throughout the year.

How to Use Beneficial Bacteria

You apply 1 ounce of beneficial bacteria per each 1,000 gallons of water in your pond near the pump for the best distribution through the filter. If you have a new pond or are opening your pond in the spring, apply beneficial bacteria each day for two weeks. Then apply it weekly to be a part of your routine maintenance schedule.

Other Considerations to Keep Your Koi Pond Clean and Clear

You should never over crowd your koi pond with fish. Adding new varieties is exciting, but it can lead to disruption of the ecological balance and make your pond dirtier with excess waste from too many fish in too small of an environment.

Don't overfeed your fish. When you overfeed your fish, the excess food will eventually fall to the bottom of the pond, even if you feed them the floating types of food. When uneaten food is on the bottom of your pond, it tends to decay and decompose, producing toxic substances in the process, which can make your koi sick.

Make sure your mechanical filter is working properly to filter your pond water and remove any insects from the pond. You should have aeration of some sort in your koi pond. You can choose from a waterfall or fountain with a pump filtration system and a bottom drain to remove extra substances on the pond floor.

Using all of these four products correctly and on a routine basis can ensure that you have the clearest and most pristine water for your beautiful koi as well as contributing to their health and longevity.