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Your Singapore, the Tropical Garden City
J. Tepper1
1Long Island Fish Hospital, Veterinarian, Manorville, USA
Julius M. Tepper, DVM, CertAqV
Long Island Fish Hospital, Manorville, NY
The pet fish practitioner should have a thorough understanding of the clinically significant life support equipment found in aquasystems. Along with the physical exam and diagnostic workup of the aquatic species and water quality assessment, the assessment of the design and function of the aquasystem and equipment is an integral part of the case workup.
This usually requires an onsite visit, especially for
koi medicine, which will account for over 75% of
the caseload of the pet fish practitioner. Along with examining both the mechanical and biological filtration, of critical importance is the understanding of the circulation, gas exchange and temperature control and the interactions between these factors. In reviewing ponds, a primary assessment involves the nutrient balance. Ponds may be divided into three groups: water gardens, characterized by small decorative fish species, an accent on natural appearance, having much of water surface covered by plants and no feeding of the fish;
the goldfish pond, with small decorative fish species,
the water surface largely open to view, and with regular feeding of the fish; and the koi pond, where koi and/or other large species are kept, the water surface being largely open to view, with regular heavy feeding of the fish. The next assessment involves the basic design concept, of which two types dominate. The first is the shallow dished pond. Its attributes are a traditional natural appearance, is the easier to build, with a cost about one-half that of a deep pond. It utilizes “in pond” settlement of waste, its biology dominated by a very
high number of micro-organisms along the bottom. This type is best for a water garden or goldfish pond, as it
has a high stocking density when koi are kept. Negative aspects are that it’s prone to unstable water conditions (temperature, oxygen levels) and requires regular clean- outs when koi are kept (yearly cost). Heron predation can be a problem. The alternative is the deep pond. Here the circulation and filtration systems are designed for efficient high water quality production with more stable conditions. This is the best type for koi ponds, as it has
a lower (half) stocking density of a shallow pond of the same footprint. The equipment creates a system that

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