| Below are just a tiny sample of the questions we are regularly asked. However if you have any other question, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Q1: We have noticed recently that my fish appear to be rubbing their sides on the bottom of the pond. Is this something to worry about?
: The activity you have noticed is called flashing, because the fish flashes its paler underside. This action can be an indication of a problem, because it can indicate that the fish have an irritation caused by parasites. The key to deciding whether parasites are causing an itch or not is the frequency with which they flash. If the fish flash once or twice in half an hour and then stops, it simply has an itch they need to scratch, if it's more frequent and continuous then they probably have parasites. If this is the case then the whole pond needs treating quickly to eradicate the problem.
Links: Fish Treatments
Q3: We am have introduced some fish to my pond and would like to test the water to make sure it is ok, what should We test for?
: There is a saying in fish keeping that people do not keep fish they keep water and the principle behind this is very true. If the pond water quality is good then this will help keep the fish in the peak of condition which help them fight of infections and illness. To keep the water quality good you need to test it. The 5 tests we would recommend are Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, and temperature, to these could be added oxygen during the hot summer months.
- Ammonia is the fish's liquid waste and is highly toxic to the fish. Ammonia should be broken down by "friendly" bacteria to Nitrite.
- Nitrite is also toxic to fish, but not as bad, other "friendly" bacteria should break it down to Nitrate.
- Nitrate is a plant food and should be absorbed by the plants in the pond.
- pH is the Acid or Alkalinity of the pond and should be between 7 and 8, a reading higher or lower than this will lead to some sort of problem in the pond.
Temperature is also important so that you know whether you fish should be active and interested in food or not, and because it has a bearing on the toxicity of Ammonia. It is not only worth testing for these readings, but it is also important to know what the results mean. We would suggest that the first test kit(s) you purchase give you clear information on what the results mean, and what to do about bad readings.
Links: Pond Water Test Kits
Q3: I have noticed large white spots appearing on my Koi but it does not look like Fungus, what can I do to get rid of the spots?
A: If the spots look like drops of wax on your fish then it is probably Carp Pox. Carp Pox is a virus, which is related to the cold sore virus that we humans experience. Apart from being unsightly it will do no harm unless it appears to close to the mouth gills or eyes and affects sight, breathing, or eating. It will lie dormant in the fish during the warmer summer months, but as the temperatures begin to drop the spots will begin to appear and will remain with the fish until the following year. Currently there is no cure for Carp Pox, however, we have come across many cases where after a few years the fish appears to have fought off the virus and it disappears from the fish. Like all viruses it is contagious and the other fish may become infected, although, it never seems to affect the whole of a pond's fish population at any one time. We believe that some manufactures are working on a cure, which may be available soon.
Q4: My fish seem to want feeding during the winter months should I feed them?
: Pond fishes metabolism relies on temperature to enable them to digest food fully. If the temperature drops and the fish metabolism slows, as does their digestive system and any food left in their system will remain there and could start to literally rot inside them. As such, feeding fish during the winter months can be a very trickle business. If you choose to feed your fish you must be confident that the water temperature will remain suitably warm enough for several days after they have fed and you should feed Koi and Goldfish Wheatgerm Foods
, which are a specifically designed food to met the fish requirements at this time of year. If you are in any doubt it is better not to feed.
Links: Koi and Goldfish Wheatgerm Foods