As in any quarantine facility, hygiene and environment are paramount, particularly so in warm humid climates which are ideal habitats for the various bacteria, viruses and other pathogens we are endeavouring to control and eradicate. As can be seen in the various photographs each tank is all-glass without any decor or substrate. The gives excellent vision of the livestock and the lack of substrate means less hiding places for the "unfriendly's". Each tank has its own utensils such as a net and a cup for collecting water samples and has a closely fitting cover to minimise cross-contamination. As each also has a separate adjustable water supply we can maximise water quality by daily water changes at the touch of a button.
The cold water house is also operating well and has enabled us to offer an even wider range of species this year including giant Goldfish and large Butterfly Koi. These are of course in addition to the more general selection of Red and Yellow Goldfish, Shunbunkins and a wide variety of Koi.
Although not as vast as the tropical house the cold water unit is still impressive and home to several thousand fish. Holding accommodation is provided by 12 huge fibreglass vats, each holding thousands of litres of water and filtered by Nexus filters. Each unit is capable of accommodating several hundred medium sized Koi, or more than a thousand goldfish.
Although these vats take up almost half of the available space, they are not where the real work takes place. Before fish can enter these vats they must undergo a rigorous 5-day decontamination and acclimatisation routine. This is designed to kill harmful bacteria and parasites while slowly introducing the fish to local water conditions and temperatures.
The day before the fish arrive their new home is totally drained and carefully washed before being filled with water heated to 25°C. When the shipment arrives the pH of the reception tank is adjusted to match that of the incoming shipment and the fish released. They are then left undisturbed in subdued lighting for about 12 hours.
Once settled the fish are inspected and the acclimatisation process begins. As well as being treated for any parasites or possible bacteria infections their water is also slowly replaced, by water redirected from the holding vat into which the fish will eventually be transferred. The water transfer rate is carefully controlled so that after 5 days the water in the reception tank is exactly the same as that in the Vat, and the fish can be transferred without any stress.