Veterinarian Tim Barbé

KOI, your passion
my specialty!

Veterinary practice

Fish-Care-Vet is a veterinary practice specializing in the treatment of aquatic animals. The best medical veterinary care for your fish is our priority, backed by the many years of experience that veterinarian Tim Barbé, the founder and inspirer of Fish-Care-Vet, has accumulated since 2004. In these 20 years, we have already helped more than 3,500 different ponds in times of distress, when they were faced with fish mortality, hole disease, gill rot, skin irritation, poor water quality. …. Each year, 150 to 200 new customers/clients join our practice

In my daily practice I mainly treat pond fish such as koi, carp, sturgeon, goldfish, perch, etc. Aquarium fish are also more often seen in practice and there is currently a slightly growing aquaculture market in Belgium that uses my services, such as breeders of tilapia, shrimp, omega-bass, etc.
I always try to find the best possible solution to a problem I am confronted with, although there are sometimes obstacles to be considered. Sometimes the pond is so big that it makes a medicinal approach difficult, or you don’t have a quarantine facility to keep a sick fish, some medicines cannot or may not be used in Belgium, the best treatment is usually not the cheapest, fish pathogens are getting stronger and stronger…

Through continuous training and investment in the practice, I am able to offer optimal service both in terms of on-site service during a visit and for additional diagnostic techniques in my own lab associated to the practice. Radiography or ultrasound on the spot, blood analysis, bacterial analysis, PCR, water analysis are all possible on the same day, provided that a certain turnaround time is taken into account (for example, the result of a KHV PCR is known 24 hours after sampling).

Upon request, we can provide on-site lectures, presentations or workshops on water quality, disease and prevention. We also provide training for businesses and can provide the legally demanded corporate coaching. Clients whose fish require intensive care and the client does not have a quarantine tank, we can treat the fish in our heated hospitalization tank in our clinic.

Click through the site for more information and prices.

Home visit

More than 95% of the consultations take place at your home, because it is not interesting to travel with sick fish. The survival rate of the fish decreases and I, as a veterinarian, get a very limited picture of what is going on in the pond.

During a home visit, I see the fish in their own environment, their actual behavior, and can assess the entire system, including water quality, up to the minute. I often see more than what the owner asked for.

All consultations or visits are by appointment only, there are no office hours! Every visit must be paid on the spot, we do not work on credit!

Can I come to the office?

You can come to the office to pick up medications, drop off samples, or bring a dying fish if a home visit is not possible on short notice. Someone is in the office on weekdays from 9am to 1pm (Wednesdays until noon), but every visit is by appointment! Veterinarian Tim himself is rarely in the office as more than 95% of consultations are done on the road.

What if you cannot be present during my visit?

I sometimes get the comment that clients need to be working at the time I can visit. Since I plan a route and your location fits into that route in the morning, afternoon, or evening, I usually can’t fit in that much. I ask that you first check in your close proximity to see if there’s someone who can open the door for me. It is not necessary for the owner to be present during my visit. I can do the examinations on my own, as long as I can get to the pond, have materials and a description of the problem. The more you can be present, the better, during my visit you can ask me all your questions and I can immediately find out when a fish was last added, how much water is in the pond, whether the UV lamp is on, whether a particular fish has always looked like this, etc. We can also contact each other by phone when I am at the pond and go over all these things. If we are both busy, this is the best solution.
If you can’t find someone to be there, the third solution is for me to go to the garden myself and do what needs to be done. Then make sure everything is ready for me so that I can work smoothly. Turn off the UV already and give me the total volume of water with a brief description of the problem and history. Also make sure the fish are easy to catch by removing any nets or covers around the pond …. (Tip: The duration of a consultation also determines the price)

What does a visit cost and how do you pay?

Click on my rates for an overview. Each private visit must be paid immediately, in cash or by Bancontact or Payconiq. Please note that if you pay by Bancontact with your Visa or Mastercard, a 2% transaction fee will be added (not for regular Maestro bank cards). With Payconiq, the payment limit is 250 euros.

How do I contact the practice?

If you want to make an appointment for a consultation: you can call the practice every working day from 9 am to 1 pm. My assistant will discuss the possibilities with you. You can also fill out the contact form on the website. Finally, you can send an e-mail, but please be sure to include your name, address, contact information, and a brief description of the problem. You will normally receive a response within 24 hours. During the busy season, you may be transferred to a medical secretary bureau. They can take your details, check the schedule and let us know so we can make an appointment for you. Questions about diseases and treatments cannot be answered over the phone unless there is a previous visit with an examination.

Can I get digital advice?

If you have a question and would like digital advice: Please do not send us a message with a long description of a problem with pictures. It is impossible to tell over the phone what disease your fish have, so if they are sick it is best to make an appointment. Sometimes people just have a question about feeding their animals or adjusting the water quality, or they just want a second opinion. Digital consultations are available, but for a fee. First take a look at the FAQ on our website, there are some common cases described with free advice.

Can we connect via social media?

Periodically we try to post a message on social media: Facebook or Instagram. If you have a comment, feel free to post it online on the relevant post. We try to respond to questions or comments, but we do not answer questions about our treatment methods or make diagnoses through the digital channel. People still try to contact the veterinarian directly through all kinds of ways and send messages through Whatsapp, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, SMS, … we can’t follow up and respond to all these channels. Also, most of the day I’m either with clients or on the road, and cell phone use is kept to a minimum.
We centralize all messages on Whatsapp, this is automated as much as possible and we use it mainly to make concrete appointments for visits (e.g. giving a signal when we are leaving for a client), to follow up on cases of illness and to adjust where possible from a distance, sometimes we ask a client to send us a photo so that we can assess the seriousness and urgency of a disease process, but the attempt of people to get treatments and free advice through this way is blocked. Please do not call us via Whatsapp, Messenger or any other way other than classic telephone!

What do I need for a visit?

1. A good landing net with which I can effectively catch a fish. In other words big enough and strong enough. I cannot judge a sick fish from a distance or just by looking at it. On each visit I catch 2-3 fish to physically examine. If I have to use my own net, there will be a charge for sanitation/ hygienic reasons.

2. A bowl to inspect a fish from below and above and in the gills, to take samples of skin, feces, gills…. This can be a kiddie pool, a curver box, a closed laundry basket, or the like …. but it must be large enough and proportional to the size of the fish. Too big a fish in too small a bowl is a risk of injury for which I will not be responsible in case of problems!

3. A towel to dry my hands. I don’t wrap fish in a towel to hold them better, but because my hands are often wet, I like to dry them with a clean, dry towel from time to time to be able to perform additional tasks such as preparing slides, preparing syringes, taking materials, etc. ….

4. Power for the microscope. My instrument is basically powered by batteries, but just in case they run out or I have my spare with me, I need an outlet near the pond. Certain instruments, such as x-ray and ultrasound, also require a power source.

5. Table and chair are convenient but optional.

What time will I visit you?

Since I’m heavily dependent on traffic and sometimes there are additional visits à la minute on my rounds, I can rarely say 100% exactly what time I’ll be with you. If I make an appointment, it is always with a certain margin of 1 to 2 hours. You can expect me either in the morning between 9am and 12pm, around lunchtime (11am to 1pm), in the early afternoon (12pm to 2:30pm), in the afternoon (1pm to 5pm) or in the evening (by evening we mean after 5pm). So we rarely stop working at 6pm. If you really doubt that I haven’t forgotten you, please send me an SMS.

What is my work area?

I move in Belgium, Northern France and Zeeland. Check the map to see exactly where. From April to October I usually follow fixed routes on fixed days. These visits can be done at a group rate, which means that the travel costs are shared with other visits. In the winter, there are no group tours and travel is at your own expense.

If there is work in your street or neighborhood, please let me know. Moving is time consuming and every day I run into a traffic jam or detour, so whatever can be avoided to get to my clients on time.