Buying fish for your pond adds a new and exciting element to the experience of owning a water feature. Actually, some pond owners decide to install an ecosystem pond to start a fish-keeping hobby. You can decide between some colorful koi or go another route with other pond fish like shubunkins or sarassas. Before purchasing new fish, there are things you need to be aware of so you can ask the right questions to make certain you’re buying healthy fish.
1. Sanitation – Is the store neat and clean? If not, odds are the staff isn’t taking good care of the fish either.
2. Deceased Fish – This kind of goes without saying, but if you see a floater in any retailer’s tank, RUN! This indicates their habitats are poorly maintained and possibly diseased.
3. Quarantine – Ask your retailer if they quarantine their fish and for how long. It’s standard practice to quarantine fish for at least 14 to 21 days for precautionary salt treatments. This ensures the fish aren’t carrying diseases or parasites.
4. Water Testing and Changes – Inquire about the frequency of water changes and testing. Water monitors indicate when the water should be changed by testing the ammonia and pH levels, as well as nitrites and nitrates.
5. Sick Fish – Inspect the fish closely for clamped fins and aloof behavior. Often, it means they’re ill.
6. Parasites – Does the staff test new fish for the presence of parasites with a microscope? Doing so ensures none of the fish are carrying a parasite before they are purchased.
7. Net Sharing – Be attentive and see if the staff uses a different net for each fish tank. Diseases can spread easily from one tank to another by using the same net.
8. Clear Skin – Be wary for fish with marks, missing scales, sores, or broken fins. These are all symptoms of a possible bacterial infection or parasite.
9. Sizes – Avoid overstocking your pond by taking the size of the fish into consideration. You only want 1” for every square foot of surface water or five gallons.
10. Knowledgeable Staff – Always purchase fish from an honest and informed merchant who can teach you about your pond pets.
No matter the type of fish you add to your pond, your attentiveness to their health in the buying process can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask some of the questions we mentioned earlier. Purchasing the right fish makes owning a pond that much more fun!
For more information on fish in your water feature, visit: https://www.aquascapeconstruction.com/water-gardening-articles/koi-pond-fish/baby-koi-fish