Dai Suki Goi The UK's No 1 Koi Supplies Company

Founded in 1997 


Needs of Koi

Unlike there owners, there are only a few things in life that Koi require; Good water, preferably warm with good food, friends although not too many  and saftey.

Firstly Good Water, is an absolute must. As koi Keeper the well being of our pets depends on good quality water, the main considerations of which are zero ammonia, zero nitrite and a stable pH, hopfully around 7.4. Although koi can tolerate a pH between 7 and 8, anything outside of this, we as owners should try our best to improve. Other secondary considerations would be perameters such as water softness and disovled metals in the waters chemistry. Ideally we would like our Koi ponds to be a large lake fed by pure mountain streams, where the water is warm and with a plentiful supply of food.

Second should be a stable water temperature for our pets, and although koi will live in cold water, it is not by choise as these creatures are more subtropical and much prefer warmer water. 

Thirdly, food. The type of food given should depend on the water temperature as in warm water Koi and the almost infinite capacity to eat you out of house and home. However as the water cools so does their digestive system. At 70 F+ the food can pass in and out of a Koi in under two hours. At 48 F the same food can take 2 weeks to pass through. This is why it is important to feed the correct food to correspond to the water temperature.

Another small point to raise at this point is that Koi owners have access to the weather forecast. Keeping a close eye on the weather channel can help prevent Koi being fed too late in the Autumn/ Winter and too early in the Spring.

So what food should the Koi be fed?

For 62f+ water a high growth protein food is best, as this is when Koi will grow the most.

For 55f+ water a growth food is best,as increase metabolism requires more energy from their diet.

For50f - 55f A staple feed would well serve their dietry requirments.

46f -50f a wheatgerm feed is required as this should only have vegitable protien and will become easier to digest in cooler waters.

Below 46f koi should not be fed PERIOD.



So why is it so hard to to keep good water?

There are many complex reasons for this; size of the pond, ambient air temperature, number of Koi, amount of food given, amount of water changed, size of the filters and water tempreture, rain water. These are just a few of the main factors which will have a major impact on the stabilty and quality of the water. And without stability everything will just fall over.

It is no good having very good water for one day of the week and then not maintaining it for the other six days. Maintenance should be made easy and more pleasurable and not so much of a chore. If this is acheived you and your Koi will be happy.

Koi do not intend to commit suicide and in most cases the cause of death would have been avoidable.

Earlier we said the water should be preferably warm and this is due to the fact that Koi grow in warmer water.

The rates at which Koi develop is particularly due to genetics and the disposition of the Koi. Some just have to be fisrt at the dinner table, so to speak, but on average a one year old Koi usually has the ability to grow 1" per month as long as the water temperature is kept above 70 F. Hence the reason for heating ponds, the longer these temperatures are maintained the larger your Koi will grow whilst still maintaining their youthful looks.

Tempretures between 62 F and 70 F the koi will grow but at a slower rate. Between 50 F and 62 F the Koi will just be living for the summers and anything below 50f especially for long periods of time will put your Koi's survival in question and the need for careful maintenance is vital.

Winter Into Spring

With Spring on the way and our fish having hopefully survived the Winter intact, there are certain things we should be doing to ensure their well-being.

It is a recognised fact that both biomass and the Koi's immune system take time to kick in after Winter and it is also a fact that Koi are at their most vunerable during the Spring. Most vunerable time is arounf 50f. This is when the natural pathogens in the water are alive and kicking and the Koi's immune system has not yet started to function.

It is a very good idea to use an anti-bactericide both early and late in the Koi season (Chloramine T) and to regularly change water. Check all your fish for signs of damage, ill health and if necessary take action straight away, as early diagnosis and swift action gives your fish a fighting chance.

Our fish need a good vitamin intake in early Spring and a good method of supplying this is to take a slice of wholemeal bread, spread with clear honey which will give your Koi the start they need. Please also ensure your system is free and clear of all debris, animal or vegetable, as it is in this "sludge" that anaerobic and aeromonal bacteria breed.

To asssist in the re-establishment of the filter biomass we need to use a filter start (Filterbac) which has now been proved that the regular use of these types of pond probiotics are extremely benificial. and act as a good starterfor the filters biomass. 



Feeding Fry

Dai Suki Fry Food. The amount that may be fed is between 0.5% and 5% of body weight per day. That may seem a bit vague, but much depends on the water temperature and effectiveness of filtration etc. The main parameters that are normally  monitored must now be monitored with great detail. Constant warm water of between 70f - 75f with a constant trickle water change if possible. The fry need to be fed very small amounts every hour or so, whilst there is light. We would suggest a pinch of food every hour per 100 fry. If they have only just hatched then their egg sac will provide sustenance for a few days. When you can see that the air sack (swim bladder) has developed, they should have ingested all of their egg sack. Also at this point the fry will be free swimming. Hard boiling an egg and pressing a small piece of the yolk to the side of the tank where they are swimming will be useful to the fry for the first few days. Then you may start to introduce the fry food. Once they have reached 1.5cm in length you will need to check for and remove any deformed fry.

Remember as the fry grow, the amount of food they consume will increase and so will the pollution of the water. This is why it remains very important to check the water quality. Depending on the volume of water and size of the filtration system you have, will determine how many fry can be raised. Fry that are growing much larger and faster than the rest, will possibly be eating the small fry and will need to be removed to the pond filter chamber. The fry that are not growing at all will need to be removed and culled.

If you require more help with this part of your hobby, please do not hesitate to send us an e-mail, specifying as much detail as possible including pond or tank size, present water quality, water tempreture , number of fry/ fish and current maintenance routine.


Bacterial & Viral Infections of Koi

The watery medium in which koi live is potentailly a hostile environment. The water and the substances either suspended or dissolved into it provide an ideal breeding ground for a vast array of bacteria, some of which will attempt to invade fish given the opportunity.

The Koi's defence against such an onslaught is its mucus layer and skin, which when intact provides a fairly imprenetrable barrier against bacterial invasion.

The usual bacteria isolated are environmental contaminants such as "Aeromonas" species or "Pseudomonas". Others occasionally found include "Citrobacter" and "Edwardsiella".

Other important bacterial diseases are the "Mycobateria" (fish TB) and the "Cytophaga" like bacteria which includes "Flexibacter" and "Cytophaga"

In most cases of ulcer disease (Erythodermatitis) in Koi it is usually Aeromonas Hydrophila that is isolated. However it is thought that this is a seconday invader and that it is a different species.   Aeromonas salmonicida, that is able to form an intial lesion, which a Hydrophila subsequently invades and swamps out the slower growing  Aeromonas Salmonicida.

Inadequate amounts of food or poor quality food can severely affect the ability of a Koi to fend off infection. Stores of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A can become depleted during the winter months and extra vitamin C may be useful if the fish is ill.

Detectable levels of ammonia and nitrite, high long-term nitrate concentrations, or inappropriate pH and water hardness will eventually cause sufficient stress to immuno suppression.

Koi are Ectotherms which means their body tempreture closely follows that of the surrounding water and so many of their physiological processes depend upon the water temperature. One such process is antibody production. Koi are, by choice, behavioural thermo regulators and if given the choice will actively seek temperatures of 22-28 C. At temperatures of 18-25 C antibody production is at its best with antibodies appearing in the blood roughly 7-11 days after infection. There is also a very good memory response, whereby if a Koi has already been exposed to a particular bacteria, and produced antibodies to fight it, and is then subsequentily attacked again by the same bacteria, there is a quicker response time of around 4 days, as well as producing higher levels of the antibody needed. This would be typical of the situation in late Spring, Summer and early Autumn in the UK.

If carp are infected at a time of high temperatures, but then the temperature drops to around 10-12 C within 7 days, antibodies will be produced but at a much slower rate. At temperatures below 10-12 C there is no antibody memory response.

Osmosis and Dropsy

Possibly, the most important fact about life in water, is that it would kill if mechanisms to control it, did not exist in the bodies of fish that have to live in it. In the Koi pond, being an unnatural environment, there are man made mechanisms that also have to be understood and controlled. In the confines of a man made pond the Koi are in the hands of the keeper for the quality of the water in which their lives are spent.

The health of the Koi depends on water quality. Seldom does disease just happen, there is always an initiating factor. Poor water quality, fluctuations of pH, toxic substances and stress all play a role in the outbreak of health problems. The ability of koi to cope with all possible causes of disease depends on their own respective immunity. This will vary from fish to fish.

Osmosis is the process by which water passes in and out of the body. A semi-permeable membrane means that a membrane exists as a barrier but allows fluid to pass into a denser concentration. The gill and the gut will both take in water in this way. Koi therefore do not have to drink , whereas some fish do drink as their fluid balance is achieved in a different way.

The gills take in fluids and salts and excrete ammonia. The kidneys will retain sugars and other substances whilst producing lots of urine, which is very dilute by our standards. Osmoregulation is controlled primarily by hormones which will cause changes in the pressure of blood and in turn this will affect the rate at which the kidneys can filter, as filtration is one of its primary functions. In the case of a koi with bacterial disease, or a gill or kidney malfunction, fluids can build up in the body that cannot be excreted. Dropsy is the outcome and the familiar pinecone effect is recognised. The causes of this are many: it is not a disease state in itself.

Salt is by far the best choice of chemical to use to try and balance out the fluids. starting at a low rate of 1/3oz per gallon and slowly increasing by 1/3ozs per gallon per day. to a maximum of 3 ozs of salt per gallon (sea strength).  It may be better to isolate to affected fish to a quarntine tank. Raising the whole pond salt level would be costly and unnessary for the rest of the population of the pond The fish should water temperature slowly increased up to 68-70f by 2f per day, salt level can be raised at the same time. NO feeding should be nesessary and kept in subdued lighting and very quite with out to many distubances. A small goldfish as a friend might help

The Very touchy subject of antibiotics should legaly be used through a vet, there are certain anibiotics that are broard specturm and are water soluble and may have a benifit of being used, so dont be afraid to seek vetinary advise. However No antibiotic should ever be injected or fed to a Koi with this condition. It is very unlikely the kidneys will stand its use. Whilst is is most common for Koi to develop fluid retention problems as a result of an osmoregulatory imbalnce, there are other possible causes. Stress or heart malfunction are other possibilites.

Wounds and injuries will take in fluids and allow body fluids to escape, this again can cause dropsy. The kidney, if not pressured by fluids, is also working flat out to cope with bacteria and can fail as a result.


Potassium Permanganate

Potassium permanganate, usually available in 25gram pots, is a fine purple powder or cyrstals which can be used for the destruction of Parasites, Bacteria, and fungus.

Used at a rate of 1.5 grams per 1000 litres (220 gallons, or 1 metric tonne of pond water). Must be used with extra areation in the pond.

How to use: Place powder/crystals in a bucket, (Potassium P must be very accuratly weighed first) and pour boiling water over the Potassium P. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, to allow toxins to escape. Stiring periodicly to disolve all the potassium. Be careful when adding the boiling water not to splash any clothing as will permantly stain. After the 30 minutes to up bucket with pond water. the care fully pour around the perimeter of the pond. If the pond has a venturi then a small air line pipe can be used to to syphon the water out of the bucket into the air suction of the venturi. Try not to pour any concentate into the path of curious koi.

 Please ensure that pond volumes are calculated using a water meter. If you are about to use potassium Permanganate for the first time only use if you know the volume of the pond to the exact gallon and you have access to gram scales to weigh out the potassium to 0.1 grams that is zero point one grams. Kitchen scales will NOT do.

Treatments are to remain in the pond for 24hrs, after which a 20% water change is advisable.

TIP the pond water should remain a redish colour for upto 7 hours, if there is a lot debris in the water column, then the water may turn brown afer a couple of hours, so do the water change then in 2 days repeat the procedure and the second time the water should stay a redish colur for long.

If you need advise with this product please ask first!!


Chloramine T

Extra Information: Chloramine T is a form of disinfectant, which may be used at various dosage rates, depending on what is is being used to treat.

General  Dosage rate is 10 grams per 1000 UK gallons of pond water.

May be used 3-4 times a year to reduce background pathogenic bacteria levels, best used as water temperatures rise towards 50f  then once during mid summer, and again as the water temperatures drop back down through 50f during the Autumn period.

May be used at higher dosage rates if the are a few koi with Ulcer type infections.

Medium Dose rate is 20 grams per 1000 gallons.

 May be repeated ONCE after 24 hours, then do a 20% water change ,removing bottom water, also switch off UV for the period of treatment, as chloramine T is light sensitive.

High Dose rate 30 grams per 1000 gallons.

Will be effective treatment for certain types of pathogenic organisms

should only be used as a one off treatment not tobe repeated within 7 days. Then the smae type of water change a medium dosage rate.


Virkon Aquatic

FAQ's for Virkon Aquatic

Priciple use and application of Virkon Aquatic, Produced in a 5 gram tablet which when stored properly will last a very long time. The product is activated by contact with water/moisture, and start to work immediatly. It is effective in the water colum for 4-5 days at which point after this period its strength is now half of that when it was first applied. There fore a half dose is required to bring it back to full strength. If Virkon is not topped up by this method then it will biodegrade down to undetectable levels very quickly.

There are 2 main application rates  

1st  is 1 tablet per 1000 gallons, general use in a pond/tank with fish present. followed by 1/2 every 4-5 days thereafter. Dissolve 1 tablet in a 1-2 gallon bucket of pond water and once dissolved pour around the perimeter of the pond. Avoid pouring dirctly in to the path of curious fish . Use venturri method of possible

The 2nd is 1 tablet per litre, and is used for disinfection of pond equipment, nets etc, at this rate contact time for the distruction of pathogens is 10 minutes.


Effects of filtration systems; When Virkon is used at the stated dosage of 1 tablet per 1000 gallons followed every 4-5 days with a top up dose of 1/2 per 1000 gallons, Virkon has an insignificant affect on the biomass of a biological filter. It takes a 4-5 times over dose to start having an effect on the biomass of the filter. However do not place virkon directly prior to the biolgical filter system. As it is very important that the product is diluted into the ponds total volume first, before entering the biological filters.

UV's and Ozonisers should they be switched off? No your pond /tanks should be run completley as normal. Virkon is an add on not an instead of type of product.

 Pro-biotics: If your filtration is a proper size for the pond and it inhabitants, then the need to top up with any pro-biotic such as Filter Bac is minimal, and no more than you would normally do. An Exception to this would be an immature filter or where overdosing with Virkon Aquatic has occured, wether it is accidentally or on purpose due to a major bacteral problem. Virkon Aquatic should be viewed as preventite maintainance and treatment is based on a constant topping up of half a dose every 4 to 5 days.

Known side effect of using Virkon Aquatic

Virkon Aquatic is used in commercial fish production industry, The proven reason for its use is the massive reduction in mortality rates, and increase in growth rates due to fish having better appitites, and the reson for this is the major improvement in water quality.

Back ground levels of Virkon Aquatic should not exceed 6ppm

Fish eggs should not be exposed to Virkon Aquatic. However as soon as the eggs have hatched into free swimming fry, and are no longer utilising their yolks, then at that point they would benifit from the addition of Virkon Aquatic into their water.