There are a number of important considerations to bear in mind when treating a pond.
It may seem obvious, but the most important thing when using medicine around a pond is to always thoroughly read the label before adding to the water! Here are other precautions one should consider before adding any treatments:
- Not all fish species can tolerate some of the active ingredients used to make pond treatments and this is usually noted on the packaging. Note that if a treatment is labelled for koi, this should be taken as suitable for koi only and not assume it is safe for all. These koi treatments are usually stronger and are designed for ponds containing koi only.
- Test the pond water before treating - some treatments can have a negative impact if the water chemistry isn’t right before treating. Always make sure ammonia and nitrite levels are at 0, pH is between 7-8 and KH is at least 3-4 dKH (unless using a product to solve an issue relating to one of these parameters).
- Correct dosage - it is important to first have a rough idea of how many gallons the pond holds. Whilst some treatments aren’t harmful if overdosed, others are lethal if not given the correct amount. A rough guide of length x width x depth (in feet) multiplied by 6.25 will give imp. gallons. Times this by 4.54 to get litres. Every treatment has a certain tolerance built in, so don’t panic if an extra millilitre or two is dosed. If you are ever concerned about dosing your pond, be sure to use the NT Labs Dosage Calculator.
- Never mix treatments unless they say they can be on the label. Koi Care - Malachite and Koi Care - Formaldehyde are an exception, but most treatments shouldn’t be used simultaneously. Always leave at least 7 days between switching treatments to make sure there are no cross reactions.
- Always treat the pond leaving plenty of time to observe the fish in case they react negatively to the treatment.
- Turning the UV off during treatment is important as UV light can degrade the medication. It is usually advised to leave the UV light off for 10 days during treatment.
- Maintain excellent oxygen levels. Treatments can reduce dissolved oxygen in the water so it’s important to make sure all pumps, waterfalls and filters are running at their optimum to maximise water movement and maintain high oxygen concentrations. This should be maintained 24/7 during the course of the treatment.
- Safe temperature range - most treatments have reduced efficacy below 10°C and many have a maximum safe temperature of between 25-30°C. High temperatures reduce water’s ability to hold oxygen. Couple this with adding a medicine and this could cause a sudden extreme drop in oxygen levels.
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