Answers to questions we regularly get asked
Q: How do I diagnose a Parasitic infection and what should I treat it with?
A: The first sign of a parasite problem is fish may start flicking/rubbing and show an excessive mucus layer on their skin. For Koi this can be treated with Koi Care FMG or Formaldehyde and will help return the Koi back to good health. To increase resistance use Koi Care Koivits and Medikoi Health to help support the immune system, which in turn will help prevent a reoccurrence? For mixed species ponds, an effective treatment of Pond Anti-Parasite and Fungus (Eradick) will help bring fish back to good health.
Q: How do I diagnose a specific parasite?
A: While a combination of symptoms can help to generate a diagnosis, the most definitive way is to use a microscope. A skin scrape is performed by sampling the mucus on a fish using a flat object (like another microscope slide) and transferring to a microscope slide for examination. From here, the difference between flukes and protozoan parasites, such as white spot, Trichodina, Costia and Chilodonella can be determined. Knowing the precise parasite can ensure that the correct medication can be applied, such as Koi Care Flukasol for flukes, and Koi Care FMG for protozoan infections.
Q: My fish have Sores / Ulcers what should I treat them with?
A: Sores and Ulcers are commonly caused by a bacterial infection, and/or fish scraping themselves on protruding objects within their natural environment, such as the wall of a pond for example. It is advisable to apply a dose of Koi Care Acriflavin which kills the bacteria which causes ulcers prior to taking the Koi out of the pond to repair damage. Koi can then be treated using Koi Care Ulcer Swab and Propolis. These products clean and disinfect the damaged area as well as adding a protective layer to the skin in order to aid skin recovery. General pond fish found in a mixed species pond should be treated with Anti-Ulcer, Finrot & Flukes (Bacterad) which is better suited for the delicate nature of these species, yet just as effective as the Koi Care treatments.
Q: My water is green! How do I get rid of it and stop it from coming back?
A: Green water is caused by a bloom of single-celled algae and often occurs when the pond is exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight in combination with a high concentration of nutrients. Use ‘Clears Green & Cloudy Water’ (Magiclear) to effectively remove this. Fighting the cause of green water is a battle especially during summer. In addition to Magiclear, you can maintain better water clarity by reducing the number of times fish are fed, clean the pond filter at more regular intervals and test for a nitrate level with a Pondlab Nitrate test kit. Carrying out frequent water changes can help keep algae-causing nitrate and phosphate levels down, providing you have good quality source water. Alternatively, consider using fast growing plants – the more they grow, the more nutrients they’ll take out of the water.
Q: My fish has fluffy white cotton wool like fluff on it, what is it, and how should it be treated?
A: This is a common secondary fungal infection and should be treated with Koi Care Malachite or for a mixed species pond use Anti-Parasite & Fungus (Eradick).
Q: Does it matter if my dog/cat drinks water from pond water that has been treated?
A: No. Pets will be fine if they accidentally drink some pond water as the working strength of the treatment in the pond is not harmful to cats / dogs / birds and other wildlife. It is advisable to keep all treatments away from pets to avoid direct contact but in a diluted form it does not pose a high risk to safety.
Q: How do you get rid of Blanketweed?
A: Blanketweed occurs more often when a pond is exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight and has high nutrient levels i.e. Nitrate and Phosphate. Algae & Blanketweed control (Aquaclear) will prevent the continual growth by filtering out UV light which speeds up the rate in which Algae & Blanketweed is produced. To reduce the speed of the reproduction cycle and maintain clearer pond water test for nitrates using a Pondlab Nitrate test kit. Reduce the amount of food being fed to the fish and clean pond filters more regularly. Installing some method of shading the pond water will also assist in maintaining clearer water. Water changes will dilute the nutrient levels and slow the growth rate of the algae.
Q: How often should I treat a water quality / fish health problem?
A: A fish health problem should be treated for as long as symptoms persist. For water quality, refer to the packaging label as products vary for different scenarios. NT Labs produce a number of preventative treatments for improving water quality longer term to stop a water quality problem before it takes hold!
Q: How long should I wait between applying two different treatments?
A: For medicinal treatments such as Koi Care Malachite or Pond Anti-Parasite & Fungus wait 7 to 10 days before applying a different treatment. If using water treatments there is no specific length of time to wait before applying another different treatment.
Q: How can I get a Nitrite level down?
A: The best solution to get a Nitrite level down quickly is to conduct a 30% water change. To test for Nitrite use Pondlab Nitrite test kit and use Koi Care Filter Bugs and Pond Live Filter Bacteria (Mature).
Q: What is the minimum water temperature I can use a treatment?
A: The minimum "effective" water temperature when applying a treatment/medicine is 10 degrees Celsius. At lower temperatures, everything happens more slowly. Below this temperature treatments may be less effective. Please note that ALL fish keepers have a duty of care to the fish and it may be necessary to treat anyway.
Q: Can salt and medicines be mixed?
A: Pond Health Promoting Salt and medicines can be mixed as long as the salt level is a tonic level and always refer to product label before treatment.
Q: What is the best treatment for Carp Pox?
A: Carp Pox is a virus and cannot be treated, but use Medikoi Health and Koi Care Koivits to keep your fish in tip top condition and help prevent diseases.
Q: What is the best treatment for Finrot?
A: the most effective treatments for treating Finrot are Koi Care Acriflavin for Koi. For mixed species ponds use Pond Bacterad. If a severe case of Finrot is present a topical product such as Koi Care Propolis, Ulcer Swab and Wound Seal may be needed?
Q: My pond has duckweed how can I get rid of it?
A: Once a pond has duckweed it is difficult to remove it without physically taking it out. Rake off as much of the duckweed as possible first and add Pond Duckweed Control (Cristalclear) more regularly to prevent further growth. If adding new plants to a pond ensure they have been rinsed thoroughly as these can in some cases act as an accelerator!
Q: How long do NT Labs treatments keep?
A: All NTLABS branded treatments have a use by date printed on the label and should be used within this time. It is important to store at room temperature in a dry environment, out of direct sunlight and avoiding exposure to prolonged warm or cold temperatures which will affect the effectiveness of any treatment.
Q: How do I mix Malachite and Formaldehyde?
A: Establish how much of each you require - please follow the dosage instructions on the bottles. If you do not want to mix your own Koi Care Malachite and Formaldehyde, the pre-mixed version is available, called FMG Mixture.
Q: Do medicines kill wildlife?
A: In some circumstances Koi Care products are not suitable for a wildlife pond as the strength of treatment may harm some wildlife e.g tadpoles and frogs. Products in the Pond range are suitable and as stated on the label are safe for all fish and wildlife.
Q: What treatments are effective for getting rid of leeches?
A: Pond Health Promoting Salt is the most suitable treatment for getting rid of leeches.
Q: How long should I turn my UV light off when treating a problem?
A: The UV light should be turned off for 2-3 days when using a medication or water treatment. UV light can reduce the effectiveness of treatments.
Q: How do I get rid of sludge in my pond / aquarium?
A: Sludge in ponds is a common build up of fish excrement, dead plants/leaves and general waste found in water. Left untreated this will continually build up making the environment unsightly and not pleasant for fish to live in. Pond Sludge Remover (Sludgeclear) will help break this down to then remove with pond vacuum.
Q: When is the best time to treat a fish?
A: Always treat fish when you have time to observe them just in case they react to the treatment. Do not treat fish in very hot weather when there is high demand on oxygen levels or last thing at night.
Q: How long should I wait before re treating with the same treatment?
A: Some infections can be stronger than others. Persistent infections may require the fish to be re-treated, if so wait 7 days before re-administering another dose of treatment. Should symptoms persist seek professional advice from a fish vet.