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TOPIC: sick koi

sick koi 11 Jul 2019 14:40 #58598


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Hi
I have a sick koi,
has been listless, laying at the bottom of the pond, and when swimming (which is not often) swims in a very stilted manner.
This has been so, for the last week or so (estimate) i only really noticed two days ago because the fish are generally not very active this time of year.
I quarantined it today, and inspected the fish - the scales above the head seem to be injured / infected in some way - have a look at the image.
the fish will not eat.
any ideas on how to proceed with treatment?
thanks
zen

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sick koi 11 Jul 2019 16:39 #58599


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Hi ZenMarie

There is excessive mucous with what looks like secondary Saprolegnia fungus at affected area. Saprolegnia usually secondarily infects tissue when there are other primary pathogens involved.

I suggest you have a skin scraping of the mucous examined under a microscope to see if any parasites such as flukes or Costia/Ichthyobodo, Trichodina etc are involved. Usually they are much less active in the colder water of winter though, so you should also be on the look out for bacterial infections. Often this presents as an ulcer or sore on the fish, but can also cause skin swelling which lifts the scales in an affected area, with associated redness of the skin.

As Neville and Chris posted on another thread, it would be beneficial to heat the water and allow the fish's immune system to function properly.

You describe the fish swimming strangely - does it stay upright or fall over to the side? Does it swim erratically as if it has irritation on the skin? Does it flash against other objects?

Saprolegnia can be controlled with malachite green, and skin parasites can be treated with a malachite green/formalin combo, so this may be a good treatment to try after diagnosing skin parasites. Just be sure to stick with the correct dose, as both of these can be toxic.

PP treatment can help with superficial bacterial infections. Systemic infections would need antibiotics, probably administered by injection. You'd need to get antibiotics from a vet as they are scheduled drugs, although I suspect some of the experienced forumites have their sources......

Hopefully we'll get an opinion from these aforementioned exeprienced forumites before long! But in the meantime, see whether it's practical to heat your quarantine/hospital system up as otherwise you may be in for a difficult battle.

Steve
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sick koi 11 Jul 2019 18:13 #58600


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Thanks Steve
I’ll make a plan to test a scraping under a microscope ASAP.
In the mean time I’ve isolated the fish in a well oxygenated and covered space.
For heating : I see the logic of aiding the fish’s immune system
- however is there not the danger that any parasites present will catalyze from the raised temperature ?
What would the ideal temperature be ?
My pond temperature is 11 degrees C
Would costia / ich etc be active / mobile enough at this temp to be discernible through a microscope ?
Thanks for the advice !
Zen
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sick koi 11 Jul 2019 18:14 #58601


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Oh:
For the swimming ;
It doesn’t flash - doesn’t swim on its side -
What it does is to swim lethargically and sort of unsurely
If that makes sense - a kind of a wobble ...
z
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sick koi 11 Jul 2019 18:16 #58602


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Spot on Steve, thanks

Zen just a little add from my side, be careful for now with PP dipping this fish's gills may have some damage. If you can yes warm the water but dont worry about food. Go with the MGF treatment, I see lots of redness and that as to be addressed. Do your best to get water above 15 if you can.

Your vet may help or you can call me I do have a vet that assists me as we are in close contact and sharing a lot.

Had a very interesting discussion with Chris the other day and he convinced me to not mix MG and Formalin but rather dose it separately at the same time. It does make a lot of sense.

Best of luck.
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sick koi 11 Jul 2019 18:43 #58603


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ZenMarie wrote:
Oh:
For the swimming ;
It doesn’t flash - doesn’t swim on its side -
What it does is to swim lethargically and sort of unsurely
If that makes sense - a kind of a wobble ...
z

That is normal on an infected fish Zen Marie.
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sick koi 14 Jul 2019 08:38 #58607


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Temperature plays a huge roll in the behavior of koi (sorry to bring this up all the time).

Different koi react differently to temperature. At low temperatures some koi will go sit on the bottom whilst others will swim around and ask for food.

There is one factor that always should be taken into account and that is thermal shock. Some koi dont like to be handled in cold weather and they literally shut down and the recovery is slow (because of the temperature). The symptoms of thermal shock is exactly as you described above.

But I am looking at the picture - I see blood vessels and the skin becoming pink. I would suspect there is an internal bacterial infection - which can be noticed by the blood vessels in the skin. The lethargic swimming - I don't think the koi is feeling very well. (Simmilar to us having a bad stomach ache).

So long as the other koi are not displaying any of these symptoms I would tend towards the internal bacterial infection on one koi. If other koi are displaying the same symptoms them look at a parasite infection.

The blood vessels in the skin could be parasites (a lot of costia has been going around this season).

So take a look with a microscope.

If you can wait till temperatures rise a bit at the end of August do a a spring treatment. This would be malachite green at 2 gram per 10,000 L together with formalin at 25 parts per million (250 ml per 10,000 L)

A lot of top end koi keepers are also using Chloramine T at 4 grams per 1000 L to reduce the biofloc (bacterial load) on koi in spring time.

Had a case in the first half of the year where the koi were flashing occasionally. So parasites were suspected. The koi keeper did a scrape and no parasites were found. So a treatment with Chloramine T was suggested. It worked brilliantly.

Chris
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sick koi 24 Jul 2019 17:52 #58615


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HI All
thanks for the help
(will definitely be researching spring treatments in the next few months... many questions about that, starting with at what temp does one think about doing a spring treatment)

update on the situation at hand though:

I did a scraping and found that i was dealing with an infestation of flukes.

i cleaned all the filters, 20% water change
upped the salinity to 0,25 / 1000l
and treated with "Hikari Prazi pro"

i tested again after 4 days and didnt find any flukes...
im thinking i should test again in a month or so...

the showa that was hardest hit did not make it.

I quarantined to stand alone a hospital set up, did the same treatment but with the water temperature at 20c.
very sad...
but lets hope it died in order for the others to thrive...

i had a question about water changes... ill put up another post,
but will also ask here - would a 0,25 per 1000l salinity water be ok to water my garden?
would obviously like to put the run off water from my water changes to good use,
especially since im planning another water change in the next few weeks...

thanks again for the help.
zen
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sick koi 24 Jul 2019 18:20 #58617


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i almost forgot the most important question:

how long can I leave the fish in this salt concentration before i start changing water to reduce salinity levels?

and:

what salinity levels do people advise as a baseline?
(if at all)

thanks
zen
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sick koi 25 Jul 2019 23:11 #58620


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ZenMarie,

.25% is a very low salinity level and it will not help for any disease control. To combat pond issues you now a days need to up salinity levels to .5%. Personally I will only recommend salt in very special circumstances. Koi is fresh water fish and need no salinity.

It takes a long time to rid your pond of a salinity treatment. I still come across keepers who add salt even though they do not even own a salinity meter, wow.
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sick koi 26 Jul 2019 23:05 #58621


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Hi ZenMarie

I agree with Neville. I have never used salt in my pond as you need to make huge water changes to dilute it.

I'd only consider using it in a quarantine pond, where the water can be drained afterwards, and then mainly to assist with decreasing the osmotic difference between the water and the fish in cases with severe skin damage due to parasites.

I'm sure it can be of help against certain parasites, but I have no experience using it, and would only use it in a QT pond setup.
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