Responsible Use of Chemicals in Your Pond
Linda Montgomery, KHA
is extremely important to understand before adding any chemicals to your pond that your fish’s health depends on the
relationship between the fish’s environment, stressors and pathogens. Adding medications to your pond will increase
the stress on your fish, so you certainly don’t want to add chemicals unless absolutely necessary.
can be complicated is determining when it is necessary. The first step in deciding this is to observe your fish regularly
and watch their behavior, remember you can never watch your fish too closely. Are they eating and swimming properly? Are any
fish hanging by themselves? Have you noticed them flashing or jumping? Is there any pink or red veining to the fins or skin?
Are they hanging by the waterfall or near the surface of the pond? Any of these behavioral problems could be a sign of a problem
either with the fish’s environment (water quality) or possibly a parasite infestation (pathogen). So at the first sign
of a behavioral problem the first step is to do your water checks. If your water parameters are within range, then there is
a good chance that your koi could have a parasite or bacterial problem. However, remember that especially in springtime, before
your biological filters are fully operational, your pond can have large fluctuations in pH. Koi do not handle large fluctuations
in pH well, it causes them stress and they may flash and be generally unhappy (off their food, hanging, veining in skin, etc.).
So even though the water parameters are within range you still cannot rule out a water quality issue until you check your
pH in the early morning and in the evening to see if you are dealing with a large change in pH. Once you rule out a large
change in pH then the next step is to do a scraping and look at it under the microscope. When you are able to identify what
parasite you are dealing with, you will then be able to decide what medication and treatment protocol is necessary. If you
do not have a microscope please call one of the KHAs (Koi Health Advisors) in your club to help you.
are a few things to remember in order to be responsible when using any medications/chemicals in your pond:
· Think about the environment….where
is this chemical going once you drain it from your pond. Hydrogen Peroxide is the least caustic to the environment of the
chemicals that we use commonly in our ponds.
· Know the exact gallonage
of your pond.
· Always use at the
rates specified for the chemical.
· Never leave your
home or koi when medicating your pond.
· Both your filters
and UV lights have the ability to reduce the strength. Generally recommended to run most chemicals through filters for 30
minutes to one hour (dependant on chemical) and then bypass for remainder of treatment.
· Add aeration when
· Always use protection
when handling chemicals. Most chemicals are safe when handled correctly (surgical gloves, dust mask, eye protection).
· Store in cool dark
place. Generally between 40 – 75 degrees.
· Chemicals can break
down and either lose strength or become toxic over time. If unsure about the reliability of the chemical it is best to dispose
of chemical rather than take a chance with it.
· Educate yourself
about the chemical you are considering using in your pond. Some chemicals react differently in hard or soft water, or in acidic
or alkaline water. Know the chemical you are using and consider water parameters when dosing.