Vigilance is Key
As the temperatures start to rise, it can be a tricky time in the koi hobbyists calendar but keeping vigilant means we can avoid potentially turbulent waters.
We’ve all done it, the sun begins to shine on these early summer months, we spend time in the garden and we start to feed our koi a little more than we should, especially with Covid19 boredom. In most cases it’s ’too much, too soon.’
Remember the biological filtration on ponds that aren’t heated to warmer temperatures will not yet be firing on all cylinders - in other words, you’re asking for trouble. Although the sun may be shining, water temperatures can still be relatively low and you can certainly expect temperature swings during the colder evenings. Getting carried away and feeding too much during a day of sunshine and boredom will not do your water quality any favours and we all know that spikes in water parameters can cause some serious issues.
Maintaining great water parameters is always important but during this period, it is very important. The immune system of our koi is still quite delicate coming out of the colder months and they are particularly susceptible to parasites and bacteria, the odd outbreak being common for many hobbyists. Dealing with parasites will be made all the more difficult by poor water quality - all from feeding too much!
Consider too that at lower temperatures our koi simply can’t digest a great deal of the nutrients they will readily consume, so in many ways it’s money wasted too!
Slowly increase feed amounts as the temps rise and remain stable, monitor your parameters closely and keep on top of your filter maintenance. Do this and you will have done all you can to smooth the process.
Despite taking every precaution many hobbyists ponds still suffer with parasites this time of the year. Of course this can be unnerving and incredibly troublesome but it’s best to pull up our socks and sort it.
As ever the only way to deal with parasitic outbreaks is to correctly identify the parasite using a microscope, then use the appropriate course of treatment to eradicate them. Throwing in random treatments and crossing ones fingers is quite frankly foolish, we’ve all heard the horror stories, so don’t give yourself such a tale to tell.
However, we must also appreciate that some hobbyists don’t have the confidence, equipment or the know-how to identify and treat infestations in such a way. But that’s fine! This is where you must seek professional help. Call your local koi dealer, maybe they offer a call out health service or locate a koi health professional. If this fails, reach out to your koi community or koi club and find an experienced hobbyist who is willing and adept at such practices. The wonderful thing about the koi hobby is that there are many knowledgeable people out there willing to help. You are not alone!
Be vigilant and take the necessary action!