Quarantining Tosai is a tricky thing !
With the size of many jumbo Tosai available nowadays, its so easy to overlook the fact that these Koi are just babies. In many cases they are only 6 to 8 months old. Tosai require lots of TLC.
Following on from the blog we have previously written showing the process Utopia Koi follows during the first 36 hrs of our quarantine protocol we decided to follow on with a second blog showing what’s been carried out quarantining tosai from 36 hours to ten days. At Utopia Koi we are great advocates of transparency and showing our existing customers and prospective customers that Utopia Koi follows a very rigorous quarantine procedure in purpose built quarantine areas that are bio secure.
So …… Life after 36 hours
Well the first 36 hours after bringing Koi in to the UK from Japan is always an interesting time. Getting them into the ponds, out of the bags and making sure they are as comfortable as possible is always a test of Koi husbandry but after that initial stage what processes are followed and why allot of customers ask? For those that haven’t seen and read the first blog its probably worth skipping back and watching that first so here’s the link to make it easier :https://utopia-koi.co.uk/blog/quarantining-new-koi/
Day 1.5 onwards
At this point the water has salt added at 0.5% and the temperature has been increased from 18 degrees and is on the way up to 24 degrees. We have added Elbagin and its time to watch and observe for a couple of days. 24 degrees we believe is the ideal water temperature and allows the immune system in the Koi to recover from the ordeal of travel and return to its peak as quickly as possible. The first line of defence with any Koi begins with its mucus layer and then the scales and skin. These layers act as a shield to stop any pathogens or bacteria entering the body of the fish and its blood stream. It’s important to attend to any physical injuries the Koi has to these layers as quickly as possible prior to infection. Heat coupled with the salt and elbagin massively helps to heal any superficial damage the fish has after shipping.
Next on the list is water Quality
Koi dealers are no different to hobbyists and all the usual issues of water quality arise as they would in your pond when stocking densities are increased quickly. Water quality is vital. Constant monitoring of water parameters is necessary with stability in the water parameters being key.
Now that’s a list of difficult things to keep constant when in many cases 200 new tosai have just been added to a pond for quarantine. We believe when quarantining tosai lots of fresh water is key which makes the process very labour intensive. Change the water and the temperature drops along with the percentage of salt in the water. Sounds fun doesn’t it …… Lots and lots of small adjustments are used to control the water parameters and keep them within tolerance rather than large water changes. It’s a labour of love and we often feel like we live in the fish house at this time of the year but like most we are truly Koi Kichi.
Good water quality involves keeping your filters in tip top condition
At Utopia Koi we have always strived to offer superb water quality for the Koi we have in our care. Although we understand that everybody is on some kind of budget (including us) as always our aim is to implement the best filtration system possible to ensure we give every fish the best possible chance to becoming all it can be. This particular pond has been set up with a combination drum filter and two bakki showers containing around 90kg of ceramic media. A variable speed pump and two aerated bottom drains and an oversized heater allowing the greatest flexibility possible when trying to give the Koi the best environment we can and of course lots and lots of live beneficial bacteria to boost the biological filtration.
Water Maintenance is Key
Observation and water testing, water changes and more water testing. It all turns in to a blur but that really is the key to successful quarantining in our opinion at this stage. Koi need R&R after the audeal of travel and need to be left alone as much as possible in the best water you can offer them to recover. Tosai are always starving when the reach the UK from Japan. They have undergone a period without food to minimise water contamination during shipping and need sustenances to help them regain their strength. When a hobbyist is trying to lower ammonia or deal with water parameter imperfections the first thing you are told is to stop feeding and do a water change. The last thing you’re told to do is feed the Koi…. Feed the Koi? Really…. Do what ?? But that’s exactly what we have to do to get the tosai back into tip top condition. Very counter intuitive.
Interesting facts Since the Koi have arrive in the UK and been in our care
- 5.5L of EA pure Gel has been used
- 2Kg of Food has been fed
- 100Kg of salt has been used
- 120g of Elbagin has been used
- We have tested the water 40 times
So You may ask what else have we done with the fish in 10 days
Apart from letting the fish enjoy their R&R we have of course carefully taken sample fish and done the obligatory scrapes. We are delighted to say that the fish have been scraped and are clean as a whistle which is fantastic news. At Utopia Koi we like to make absolutely certain so although the scrapes have all been clean we thought it made sense to treat for flukes just incase there were any eggs that had not developed. To that end the fish have been treated with Kusuri S twice over the last 10 days 6 days apart.
What Happens Next
We are absolutely delighted with the selection of tosai we have been able to secure this year. They are superb. Over the next couple of weeks we will continue to monitor the Koi and as we work through our quarantine regime we’ll keep you updated with more blogs and vlogs.