A microscope is a vital piece of equipment that every koi keeper should own.
They look complicated to use, you’ve not got a clue what you’ll be looking for and the idea of scraping a koi to take a mucus sample is utterly terrifying. We’ve all been there. But the reality is – you should really put in the effort to learn how to use one.
It would be wonderful, the ability to correctly diagnose a parasite without the need of a microscope, however this is a superpower we are yet to posses. Treating a parasitic infestation by using guess work can cause far more harm than good. It’s shocking to me how often people will blindly treat, how some establishments recommend throwing in chemicals every time you buy a koi and at the first instance you see a koi ‘flash.’
Although koi treatments come in nicely packaged bottles and bags with bright colours, please don‘t underestimate the severity of having to put such harsh chemicals in your water. It’s very easy to become blasé about it all but the fact is, such exposure is not good for our koi. Full-stop. Therefore when we do add chemicals to our ponds it must be done with precision and care. Ignoring this can have devastating effects.
The process of learning how to scrape koi and use a microscope does seem daunting, I fully appreciate that, when I started I was terrified of making a mistake. However, with a little reading, a little patience and some help from a fellow hobbyist or your dealer, you’d be surprised at just how easy it is.
Obviously there are people out there that can‘t or don’t want to do this for whatever reason and that‘s OK! No one judges you, but please call a local koi health professional or your local koi dealer to take care of problems when they arise.
NEVER TREAT BLIND!
The investment of a microscope is pennies considering the cost of koi nowadays. Coastal Koi have a model for under £155 - so skip a koi purchase and buy a scope, learn to use one because you never know, it could save you much money and heartache further down the line.
Coastal Koi link: https://www.coastal-koi.com/shopping.php?class_id=188