Fish System Cycling

If you are new or old to the fish keeping hobby, no doubt you have heard the phrase "system cycling." What does this mean? To "cycle" an aquarium is to establish its biological filtration, more specifically, your nitrogen cycle. Cycling refers to the colonization of beneficial bacteria to convert your fishes' primary waste, ammonia, into [...]

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Fish Metabolism & Temperature

Why do we have to wait on surgery and other treatments until the water warms up? Well, it's one of the unusual things about aquatic veterinary medicine: our patients cannot regulate their internal body temperature. Known as "ectotherms," or "cold-blooded," fish along with amphibians and invertebrates are unable to create and store internal metabolic heat. [...]

Can koi and goldfish be kept together?

We commonly hear this question and it's a little bit of a headscratcher. Let's look into the similarities and differences of these two species and what diseases you should consider between the two. The Goldfish - Carassus auratus Among the many variations of goldfish is a common ancestor. Thought to be a distant descendant of [...]

Does my fish maintenance company know what they’re doing?

Does my fish maintenance company know what they’re doing?

Many people who own fish tanks or ponds may have a regular cleaning service help with their maintenance. But how do you know a competent service from a dud? Your fish will thank you! Can they name all the components of your system? This is a simple and easy test. Do they know what each [...]

Disaster Planning for Fish

Disaster Planning for Fish

If you own pets, they better be a part of your disaster planning. No matter where you live in the world, there is some sort of disaster that can strike with little to no warning. If you haven't started planning, we recommend taking a look at the AVMA's Disaster Preparedness website. After reading that, you [...]

How to Store Fish Food

It may sound simple, but proper storage of your fishes’ food will allow it to retain the most nutrition for the longest period of time. However, with any fish food, you must replace it after 6 months due to the loss of water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C. To be honest, I’ve never seen a [...]

Salt in Fish Systems

Salt is a normal component of many fish systems. Saltwater and brackish systems require salt on a continual basis. But what about freshwater systems? Some internet pages recommend keeping salt in koi/goldfish ponds/tanks at all times. Others say don't bother. What are the effects of salt on an all-freshwater species? In a freshwater environment, a [...]

Pond Bottom Cleaning – Best Practices

Now that we've covered all your potential options for pond substrates, how is the best way to go about cleaning the bottom of your pond? Here's the full checklist of tasks for all ponds to keep up with on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis. If you have rocks on the bottom of your pond: To prevent the [...]

What’s at the bottom of your pond?

There are many ways to build a koi pond, and some methods can affect your maintenance regimen. Your pond bottom, also known as your substrate, can dramatically change how much time and effort you spend cleaning your pond. We'll cover some of the most common bottom covers and the pros and cons of each Gravel/Small [...]

Top 5 Most Common Problems with Koi Ponds

Koi make up the majority of our veterinary practice, and in seeing so many cases, some common themes occur. Don't make the same mistakes with your fish! Not Checking Your Fish Daily - We know in the winter, when metabolisms are quiet, your fish are not very entertaining. However, even in the slower, winter months, [...]