Reputable Fish Dealers Cannot Guarantee Healthy Fish

a bunch of fish swimming in some water.

Over the years, many of our clients have added fish to their pond without quarantine and denied any problems simply because the fish have come from a “reputable fish dealer.” Unfortunately, even our store, with some of the strictest quarantine guidelines, cannot guarantee our fish are 100% disease free.

Why is this? Well, keep in mind that fish live in a toilet. There are constantly pathogens on them, including bacteria, fungi and parasites. A healthy fish’s immune system works to constantly keep these invaders at bay, but they are always around in low numbers. This is why when water quality goes off the rails, we commonly see secondary infections. The stress of compensating for poor water decreases a fish’s immune function, allowing these pathogens to multiply and spread.

No dealer can 100% sterilize a fish. It would be cruel to even attempt it. But they should be able to keep you away from the worst. In fish, these are mainly viruses. Viruses, such as Koi Herpesvirus (KHV), can wipe out a pond very quickly. By ensuring a proper quarantine length and temperature duration, most dealers will catch infected fish and remove them from their purchasing pools. However, even if they say their protocol is one thing, unless you watch them go through this protocol, you cannot guarantee anything.

Who is the best fish dealer to buy from?

Unfortunately, we do not have any preferred vendors since almost every dealer we know of cuts corners here or there. We have attempted to make biosecurity recommendations, but we know from experience that high fish turnover is key to a profitable fish business, not healthy fish.

The only way to cover all your bases? Quarantine your fish yourself. A simple setup with separate equipment and filtration out of splashing range of your pond will guarantee that no sick fish are bringing anything into your pond. Read this article on quarantine or watch our webinar to make sure you can keep your fish healthy.

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5 thoughts on “Reputable Fish Dealers Cannot Guarantee Healthy Fish”

  1. Edward Broomfield

    I am a believer in quarantining new fish and enjoy your feeds. I have two questions. First, most koi keepers do not have a quarantine pond/tank or the capacity to construct one. What do you suggest for the majority of pond owners who simply cannot quarantine new fish. Second, if a dealer does his own quarantining, including KHV stress testing, is there any evidence that repeating the procedure significantly reduces bad outcomes. What I actually suspect is the pond water the new koi is going to has more pathogens than the dealers pond.

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