Tips for buying healthy fish

Whether you have created a pond specifically for the purpose of keeping fish or you have an existing pond which you would like to add a fresh lease of life to, adding fish to your pond is an easy way to add to the overall experience of owning a water feature.

When it comes to the type of fish you wish to keep, the choice and variety is endless from Koi to Shubunkins, although the same factors and considerations will need to be taken in to account during the decision process. When purchasing new fish, there are certain things that you should look for and ask about to make sure that you are receiving healthy fish.

The first thing you should take notice of is the cleanliness of where you are purchasing the fish. This includes the shop or room as well as the tank itself. If the premises is not clean and well cared for, it may be that the seller or retailer may not provide the correct care for their fish or have the understanding to. Which takes us to our second point.

Are the staff knowledgeable? You want to purchase fish from places that are knowledgeable and honest and are able to help educate and guide you about your pond life. This means all the staff, not just the owners or managers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you do your research beforehand and go armed with questions (and the answers) so you really can be sure your are purchasing from a responsible seller.

Check the aquariums. Look for dead or sick fish. Even if you spot only one, make sure you consider whether this is an indication of a poorly maintained or diseased tank (its not always the case!). Check for fish who may have fin rot, any fish that may have clamped fins or any fish that look to be lifeless.

Does the retailer quarantine their fish and ask them for how long. It is very important that fish are quarantined for at least 14 to 21 days to ensure the fish are not carriers of disease or parasites.

Find out how often the water is tested and changed. Testing the water monitors ammonia and pH levels, as well as nitrites and nitrates indicating when the water should be changed.

Ask how big the fish will grow and ask for recommendations on the amount you buy based on the size of your pond. Overstocking a pond can be counterproductive as well as expensive because of loss of stock.

Whatever type fish you want to add to your pond, its vital to make sure they’re the right fit for your pond and are healthy. Be sure to do your own research and asking questions, maybe even ask several fish suppliers so you know you’re getting the right answers. Taking the time to get it right will ensure you have a healthy environment and can save you money.