Pond Tips - Medicating Baskets

Medicating a single fish is difficult at best in ponds. Large ponds have too much water to efficiently medicate a single fish. It's too expensive and you don't want to bombard all of your fish and plants just because one fish has a problem.

It is also difficult to continuously catch and release the fish when repeated medication is needed.

One of our products is Koi breeding baskets made of cloth. Once, I needed to treat and hold a single fish. It had injured itself by jumping out during breeding. The breeding basket was already in the water and it was convenient, so I placed the fish in it. The basket was a tight fit for the female, but she quickly settled down. That gave me the idea that a larger cloth basket could be used as a general holding area.

We made a 36" diameter floating cloth basket and used a slightly larger hula-hoop covered with screening to cover it. We have since used this basket numerous times for medication, separation or other types of temporary holding of pond inhabitants. I place small air and water supplies into the basket which keep the contained water fresh. The water slowly runs thru the bag and the flow keeps the bag inflated to it's full dimension. This has turned out to be a very convenient pond owners device. Now, when I need to play doctor, I can do so conveniently and with much less stress for the fish. The floating basket gives us a soft, safe place to hold the fish in between treatments. Because the basket floats at the surface, the fish is easy to inspect. This basket is available on our supplies page.
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While I am talking about medication, every pond owner should keep on hand, medical iodine, medicated food and non-iodized salt (NOT iodized table salt).

Your first defense against all forms of fish sickness or infection should be SALT. Remove the fish and place it into a container/cooler filled with a strong concentration of salt water. Watch it closely. At the first sign of the fish rolling onto it's side, or becomming very sluggish, remove the fish.

Fish are best handled in a wet towel, used as a sling. They can be safely moved without injury, even if thrashing about.

Iodine should be applied with the glass rod attached to the bottle cap. Apply it to all areas of external injury or infection while the fish is in the sling. Do not allow iodine into water that the fish will inhale. Rinse the fish and return it to the holding basket. Repeat as often as needed, keeping the fish confined for observation.

Medicated fish food is normally high protein Koi food with medicine added to it. We use a type that has numerous types of medication including Penecillins, Sulfadimethoxine & Ormetoprim. Sinking food works best. When we need to deliver food to a specific fish, we feed all of the fish first to reduce their aggressiveness, then drop medicated food thru a hose near the fish that needs the special diet.

Lastly, if you are completely unable to catch the injured fish, then you have no choice but to treat the whole pond. See our Tips about "Pond Medication".