Pond plant disinfection can be a tricky topic.

When you put pond plants into your koi pond for the first time, you want to make sure they are not introducing any new parasites or problems into your koi pond. A great way to disinfect your pond plants is by using potassium permanganate. This will get rid of any fish eggs, snails, or parasites that may be on the plants. It can be used even on frail plants such as anacharis and cabomba.

To use the potassium permanganate, you want to use double the dose you would use if koi were present. For example, if you usually use three to six parts per million with your koi, you want to use six to twelve parts per million on the plants.

If you have a pond plant in a pot, you want to make sure the dirt gets disinfected along with the plant. To do that, you want to extend the period of the time the plant is in contact with the potassium permanganate.

Also, plants with airborne foliage need to be submerged in the potassium permanganate. This is easy to do. Use something light, such as the plastic cover from a fluorescent light to press the plant down into the solution.

You should leave your pond plants in the potassium permanganate for three to six hours to ensure complete disinfection.

Some think that Malathion should be used to disinfect koi pond plants. It does work, but should ONLY be used in koi ponds twelve thousand gallons or larger. It is too risky to use in koi ponds smaller than this because it can hurt your koi.

Buy your pond plants from a “Fishless Pond”

You also want to look at where you buy your plants from. It is a good idea to buy from a vendor who does not house koi and pond plants together because koi parasites cannot possibly come on the plants if they are not in contact with koi.

In summary, potassium permanganate is your best bet for disinfecting plants. Malathion can be used in large koi ponds or small lakes, but should NOT be used in koi ponds less than twelve thousand gallons. Also, whenever possible, buy pond plants from vendors who keep them separate from koi.

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