On our most recent trip I had the chance to sit down and talk with Taro Kodama about how KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) has caused a problem with koi keepers and dealers alike.
It appears that the first cases of KHV came out of Israel and spread from there. The strains we see today are more serious and can cause significant loss of life and enjoyment to all who are affected.
I was contacted recently by a koi judge who asked me to clarify about how and what we were doing to protect our clientele from the problem. We all learn the hard way or the easy way. In this case, the loss was manageable, but, it did come at a high price.
I have heard about cases in which whole businesses closed due to the problem and I, nor anyone else, wants to be part of that. Quarantine is a huge priority for us at Select Koi, and so is continual testing. Although you can quarantine and test, it does not mean that everything is perfect. It takes a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort to be committed to prevention of spreading the disease.
Testing for KHV in Our Ponds
One of the ways we are handling the approach is that every singe breeder is separated into their respective quarantine holding ponds. That pond is equipped with it's own filtration and is not in contact with any other ponds or koi for a minimum of 30 days. This way we can ensure that no cross contamination occurs.
In order to determine if there is KHV infection within the pond, the water temperature has to be raised up to around 75 degrees to activate the illness. It is at that point that the tell-tale signs of KHV will appear.
What if one of my koi is KHV positive(+)?
If we find any signs of KHV the pond is put down and no koi will ever be shipped from that pond.
The breeder in Japan is also notified about the outbreak. Then, a thorough disinfection process begins, starting with bleach and disposal. That is the best way and the only way to be safe. When the koi leave quarantine and are shipped to our store, the same process is repeated.
When it comes to your home and your koi, I suggest taking the same approach. Every koi keeper needs a quarantine pond, regardless of whether or not you're continually welcoming new koi into your pond.
Keep your koi safe and enjoy the most beautiful fish in the world! Safe Keeping My Friends!