Koi, Goldfish & Pond Health In Twenty Steps
Koi, Goldfish & Pond Health In 20 Steps
Ulcer Treatments
Parasite Treatments & Cures
Koi Water Quality
Koi Quarantine & Health

Quarantine Koi 
Using a preformed pond on the floor in available space. Excellent!

Keywords: Koi, Goldfish & Pond Health Quarantine Isolation Hospital Facilities Quarantine Koi Treatments Medicines Koi Illness Remedies Koi Disease Preventatives

Quarantine is the best method to reduce disease introductions. Let me outline a quarantine facility and protocol as if the fish we were discussing were quite valuable.

First, a large facility is required, 100-150 gallons is good.

It should have a fully cycled filter sponge or other type of effective nitrification system, fully operational.

A quarantine with bad water is infinitely worse than no quarantine at all.

Temperature should be 72 to 78 degrees in quarantine. People heat their fish to 86 degrees to kill Ich and it ends up accelerating bacterial overgrowth and decreasing oxygen capacity of the system.

pH should be supported with Buff it Up neutral buffer dosed according to label instructions.

You should dose the quarantine with 0.3% salt (Noniodized salt at 3 teaspoons per gallon).

The quarantine should be completely covered or you can float some foam on the surface (See image above). Koi like to jump out, and that can be costly.

You should check Ammonia and pH in quarantine each day. Ammonia should be ZERO. pH will normally crash in quarantine unless buffered.

Feed an antibiotic food during the stay in quarantine.

The facility can be safely treated with Dimilin while in quarantine, even with the salt, etc. This will stop the introduction of Lerneiid and Branchiurian parasites.

Once your new fish are in the quarantine, if it's possible, the first thing to be done is to find someone with a microscope to help you determine if there are parasites living on the surface of the fish. Even if you don't recognize what the "bugs"are, it helps to know from the outset that there is something eating at the fish. You can describe what you saw to someone like me, later. Notice things like: How fast the "bug" moved, how big it seemed to be, how it moved, whether it had a nucleus or two in it, what shape the nucleus was, and whether it was armed with hooks, flagella, or what. What is the general shape of the thing? All this helps.

Finally, the quarantine should be of a 14-21 day duration, so long as water quality can be supported with changes, etc. as needed.

The importance of cover is often under-estimated. If fish have cover, like a floating Styrofoam panel, you'll find that jumping is almost eliminated. I highly recommend a Styrofoam panel be floated in quarantine and hospital facilities because without this environmental provision, fish stress levels can be compounded.

What is it?

  • Isolation to observe fish for disease before exposure of equalized population
  • Importance of equilibrium to established populations
  • Isolation of new fish for treatments
  • Spares existing fish and environment from disease and resultant treatment

Set up of Quarantine

  • Round tanks preferable to narrow tanks or tubs.
  • Cover for quarantine
  • Filter requirements
  • Ideal temperature but cautions
  • Importance of partners
  • Algae
  • Lighting & Location
  • Depth

Reasons for Quarantine

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Anchor worms / Argulus
  • Internal parasites
  • Oodinium
  • Ichthyophthirius

  • All of the above will survive salt dips or any other incoming technique

Reasons NOT to Quarantine

  • Q-Tank filter is not cycled
  • Q-Tank is small or crowded
  • Main pond is already under treatment
  • All fish in question are of limited value

  • “Because the store said the fish were already quarantined.” >>NOT<<

Carrier (parasite/bacteria) states, temperature activated viruses, lies, salt resistant parasites.

Duration of Quarantine and Why?

  • Some say six months to a year
  • Parasites would define a two week quarantine if over seventy DF
  • If wintertime, leave in Q-Tank ‘til late Spring.
  • If you treat and “do it right” it can be just a week. (Viruses?)

Treatments During Quarantine and Why?

•  Water Testing
•  Diflubenzuron-
•  Praziquantel Aqua Prazi
•  Use TERMINATE as directed.

ATTENTION: TERMINATE can not be used with any other treatment including salt.

•  Reduce salt level BELOW 0.1% before using TERMINATE
•  Medicated food

The Concepts

+ Medicated food, in lieu of injections, controls the development of bacterial infections which might be brought on by transportation stress.

+ Praziquantel is completely safe to use with salt and control Flukes, which are extremely common.

+ Diflubenzuron eliminates all crustacean parasites including Argulus and Lernea.

+ Water testing is important because in quarantine, water quality sometimes sags. This compounds the fishes' stress and is worse than no quarantine at all! Also, fish will NOT get over their various ailments in poor water quality

+TERMINATE , excellent for salt resistant parasites like costia.

+ Increase aeration for this regimen while TERMINATE is being deployed.

+ ATTENTION: TERMINATE can not be used with any other treatment including salt. 

Needed or Recommended Items

+ Water tests
+ IDI Express
+ MediKoi medicated food.
+ Salt (Salt level test kit or salt meter)
+ Dechlor for after water change.
+ TERMINATE +Aqua Prazi


UV or no UV?

Microscope can define the above treatments.

Non-caustic anti-trematode therapies would include praziquantel.

“A “shotgun therapy,” dosing your fish with a series of medications in the hope that one of them will work, is sometimes successful, and if ever used at all should be reserved for inexpensive fish of little sentimental value or perhaps in quarantine on otherwise healthy fish in the interest of prophylaxis.

Baytril has one of its greatest uses in the post shipment stress of larger fish. Many of us know that large fish generally survive shipment better than smaller fish, however the smaller fish are usually more rapidly adaptable once they land here in the States. In other words, if the little ones live to get here, they usually do fine once they get eating. On the other hand, many large fish will come into the country and simply retire to the bottom of the quarantine, moving only when prodded. You might notice their fins begin to develop red streaks. This fish, like many large Goldfish after shipment, is probably developing a bacterial septicemia. Many factors can contribute to this including a concurrent parasitism, and poor water quality in the shipping container. Check your water quality to make sure about it, and then consider Baytril as an effective therapy for this type of fish. Or a bath or dip in Ulcer Aid Rx

Feeding in Quarantine

  • >>>Freeze Dried Krill<<<
  • Medicated food
  • Tetra Tropical Fish Flakes (Very small fish)

Feeding in quarantine is very important, and as mentioned, getting the fish to eat is as important as what they eat. It is recommended that highly palatable foods such as Tetra® Tropical Fish Flake food would be used, as well as bloodworms and crushed freeze dried Krill. Others suggest feeding a medicated food in quarantine and there is no fundamental problem with this, from a fish health standpoint. One such food, called “Medi Koi” combines three different antibiotics in the same meal, and is well accepted by goldfish and Koi.

A fish with a full stomach is more “unlikely” to break with disease. The food should be simple and tantalizing

What to do if Fish “Break” in Quarantine

  1. Establish water quality
  2. Ammonia, Nitrite, NITRATE and pH
  3. Ensure salinity
  4. Encourage algae
  5. Perform or request microscopic biopsy
  6. Begin injections or other treatment as described.


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