Bringing up Koi should not be a full-time worrisome job. It should be fun. So, stop reading articles that advise you to scrape and use microscope to treat a single raised scale. Those articles are written for people whose major investment are Koi. For such people, raised scale is equivalent of Nasdaq dropping by 30%. And their koi are always stressed because they catch their Koi every weekend, bag them to take them to shows. Therefore, the Koi fall sick more often. Funny, there are also articles on how to bag your Koi without stressing them. I wonder if there is any koi that loves to sit in a plastic bag!!

 shirosunsmKoi care involves maintenance of water quality, providing right quantities of nutritious food and treatment with medications that are least damaging at the right time.

You must make sure that
Your koi are in absolute best condition before you put them in the pond. Even if you have slightest doubt that the Koi may be carrying some parasites, do not put it. It is much easier to get rid of parasites in a quarantine tank than in the pond.

Maintain water quality: If you have gunite/shotcrete pond, you can use pool robots to clean the pond. If you net the pond, you can reduce debris by 90%. Net also makes your Koi stress-free.

Do not add new fish without quarantining for 3 weeks: I do not know any Koi dealer who religiously quarantines his/her fish ! Fish are on sale the day they arrive from the wholesaler. Sometimes, the fish may have spent 48 hours in plastic bags to fly from Indonesia or Japan but dealers will still sell them as soon as they drop them in the display tank from plastic bags. It is up to you to make sure they are clean. Before introducing the new Koi to your pond, you must also make sure the Koi in your pond are free of parasites.

Overwinter the Koi at 68*F or higher: If they spend 7 months in a pond terrified of predators suffering in cold water with parasites and bacteria while starving, how can they be robust and big? Their body functions are optimized for the temperate regions where there is no snow. Their immune system stops working at 55*F. How are they supposed to defend themselves? It is equivalent to leaving one's child naked outdoors in winter saying “our ancestors neither wore  clothes nor had homes but still survived winter in the caves”. Remember few ancestors lived beyond age 40 and died from common cold. Do we leave our dogs outdoors in winter even though dogs are fully capable of withstanding the cold? Why treat Koi different from dogs and cats if they are also pets?

Play with your Koi daily so you can see if they have problems. Check under their chins, inside mouth, under their fins, belly and tail. Like humans, Koi use energy for growth and maintenance. The energy used to combat stress is not available for growth. So, make sure they are stress-free.

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