Any new fish to be added to the pond should
be observed for at least two full weeks. Always assume a new
fish is diseased with bacteria or parasites. Be especially
careful if adding "feeder goldfish" to the pond. Since these
fish are bred to be part of the food chain, less care may have been
taken to ensure their good health. If the new fish are the
only fish in the pond, the entire pond may be treated. Try to
avoid treating the main pond as it contains crucial nitrifying
bacteria, which may be destroyed by medications. It is always
more manageable to treat fish in a smaller, more observable body of
water such as a glass aquarium.
A glass aquarium may be set up as a hospital tank. It
should be equipped with an aeration device, usually an air pump with
an air-stone attached. A re-circulating filter may be used,
but make sure that it only contains filter floss or foam... not
activated charcoal. Activated charcoal will remove many
medications that you may need to treat your fish.
To determine the fish holding capacity of the hospital tank,
compute the square surface area of the tank in inches. Divide
this figure by 30 to determine the number of body inches the tank
can accommodate. Since overcrowding is also stressful, it is
important not to add this factor to an already stressed and sick
Using Med's In The Hospital Tank
New fish should be treated
with a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic medication as a
preventative. Antibiotics should never be used unless a
specific disease is noticed. Some preventative medications
include: Acriflavine Neutral, Copper Sulfate, Forma-Green, Malachite
Green, Methylene Blue, Praziquantel and De-Los.
One or two tablespoons of salt per 5 gallons will aid in
relieving stress as well as in treating for some parasites.
The water temperature in a hospital tank should be maintained at
a stable level close to that of the pond. However, if a salt
only treatment is being used to destroy possible parasites, you may
want to use an aquarium heater and heat the tank up to 86°F.
The temperature must not be raised more than 1 degree per hour to
avoid stressing or damaging the fish. This high temperature
will kill most parasites, and also kill S.V.C and K.H.V. viruses.
Make sure that you allow the water to cool down slowly, back to the
temperature of the outdoor pond before you transfer fish into it.
Also make sure to sterilize all equipment
and nets with a watered down bleach solution, that were used to
transfer the fish into and out of the hospital tank. Cross
contamination can be a significant problem.
Temporary Fish Quarters
In treating a large fish or a
number of fish, the use of an aquarium may not be practical.
Temporary quarters for fish may be built of wooden planks supported
by concrete blocks to accommodate a water depth of 9 to 12 inches
will facilitate volume computation for medication dosages. A
double sheet of polyethylene is draped and secured in the frame.
Shade should be provided in warm, sunny weather. A net or a
screen over the top will prevent fish from jumping out and predators
from getting in. A small pool pump or aquarium air pump helps
to maintain an oxygen supply.
Using Antibiotic Treatments
First of all, you never, ever
want to use an antibiotic treatment for a preventative. You
can create problems, and actually make the fish antibiotic resistant
by doing this. Also, never use an antibiotic for less than 10
days. If you do, you may create a resistant strain of bacteria
to develop. Antibiotics should never be used as "dips" either.
These drugs must be used as a long-term bath for 10 days to be
effective. Antibiotics may have to be used longer than this,
especially if you are treating an outdoor pond that contains cooler
water. It is always better to remove the fish to a heated
hospital tank or pool for treatment. This will speed up
Adding Salt To Your Pond
Salt is pretty amazing in it's
ability to control algae, detoxify Nitrites, kill parasites and it's
antiseptic qualities. Salt is a great item to use for your
water quality, but first... you need to know how much to add.
We feel that a 0.1% continual salt bath is a good level to run at
all the time. To achieve this level, add 1¼
ounces of salt per 10 gallons of pond water.
The maximum level of salt that you can run
without major damage to the fish is 0.3%. This high salt level
is used for treating fish wounds and parasites. To achieve
this level, add 3.8 oz. of salt per 10 gallons. This salt
level is better suited for a bath, or in a hospital tank. Never ever
take your main pond up this high as a long term bath in a high salt
concentration is very bad for your fish, not to mention your
biological bacteria. You will ruin your pond and slowly poison
your fish with all of this salt. Trust us, around 50% of the
calls we are getting are salt-related problems.