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Thread: Swim bladder problems

  1. #11
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    253
    Hi Zoran. I just read your first post and I have a few questions.
    #1 Did you take the water to your friend to be tested? How does she know the water is perfect and if she did test, what are the values?
    #2 Are you on city water and if so, did you use a dechlor type product when you changed the water.
    #3 You said you had ammonia issues early on.....how long ago was that? I realize you probably did when you first started up the tank but were there ammonia issues just recently- before the fish became sick?

    Koi don't just typically go belly up and/and or sideways and recover that quickly. I agree with everyone else....stop feeding and get the water quality under control. Undergravel filters are hard to keep clean and if you did not do regular maintenance on it, you may have stirred up some very nasty gases and bacteria. How much gravel is in there and do you vaccuum it?

    Your filter should be established if it has been up and running for 10 months but if you are using the cartridge type filters, and you replace them ever so often you have to cycle through again to establish good bacteria colonies on that filter pad or if you rinse with "city" water which has chlorine in it, it will kill the good bacteria. Again Koi are not suited to aquariums. But since you already have these two, we can maybe help you, but you must be truthful with us and answer the questions as asked- not what you think we want you to say.
    No digital camera - doesn't have to be a video?

  2. #12
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    KoiCop, I know and I apologize. This was only supposed to be for a few months until I moved, then like most people money issues came up. I will be moving very soon, maybe within the next month. I might ask my breeder to hold him until then, as she has a huge plastic tub that she keeps her koi in. He seems to be doing quite well within the QT, and I am doing daily water changes. He even ate a pea yesterday, so he has a good chance of getting better (I hope).It could be the tank issue. If that's the case should I maybe move him to the bathroom tub after I clean it with vinegar? It's about 150 gallons. I do have a non urgent question, too. He seems to like the plastic tub's corners. Any ideas why? Ruth, I will answer your questions as best as I can. 1. I did, and she just said "perfect". I trust her opinion because she has been taking care of fish and koi for 10 years, maybe longer. 2. No, I have well water and run it through a powerful water filter before using it. 3. I had ammonia issues about 9 months ago, and it hasn't resurfaced yet. I forgot to mention i also have a tank with one Pleco in it that has been up for years, and that water is safe and has high levels of ammonia-eating bacteria, so I douse the filter in that (my filter has a special re-usable sponge type thing). I have been using that for months and that I tested myself. I would have bought a test kit and given the exact figures, but she ran out and has to order more. I can't really afford to just stop feeding, because I have just been feeding him off and on for the past week or two. I don't want to mess him up any more than that. I vacuumed the tank about two weeks ago, and there's an 1 1/2" of gravel. I apologize if I haven't been straightforward, I'm pretty nervous about losing him. And unfortunately I only had a camcorder with photo capability, no digital camera. Well, I do have one but it's about as old as the hills and I don't know where the computer cable is.

  3. #13
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    253
    Hi Zoran, Well at least you don't have to deal with chlorine in the water. But with well water there is very little Oxygen out of the tap. Water changes can be stressful on a fish, depending on how they are done and in my experience I was never able to keep ahead of the ammonia with water changes. Your fish is probably going to the corners, because there just isn't enough room for him to be comfortable. They also do better if there is another fish in the same tank.
    Did you take water from both the q-t and aquarium to be tested by your friend?
    Have you noticed if your fish is pooing? Does it look normal? They really can go with out food much longer than I think you realize. Our fish go without feeding in the winter for months. Did you know that when people are preparing fish to take to a show that most clubs require that they stop feeding (altogether) for a week beforehand?
    if you can get your aquarium (with established filter) in good working order the fish would probably be better off in there than trying to do water changes everyday - again, they can be stressful. If you can not get all the way to the bottom of the tank it might be better to take the undergravel filter tray out.....that is, IF you have another filter. With those in there you can't sufficiently clean the bottom.
    At least maybe by now you are starting to see that Koi do require a large enough space to thrive. Why not join a koi club and go and see some of the systems of hobbyists before you go building your koi pond when you move. If you really want Koi, there are minimums that you should go with....and you can actually save money by building a bigger pond.
    Last edited by Ruth Rice; 07-14-2010 at 11:04 PM. Reason: cause I had another thought

  4. #14
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    OK, my koi is still upright, and he ate some Hikari pellets, so in a day or two I'll be confident enough to stop feeding. I've noticed some spots on him. He has one black spot right below his dorsal fin (Is that right? I just thought of dolphins) that is about the size on a pencil eraser that I don't remember being there. He also has several gray/whitish dots, which are smaller in size and appear to be scales that have lost their color or fallen out. Should I drop a Cure-all pill in there(Cure-all is a pill that cures a lot of basic diseases, I don't know if it's readily available in some places)? Ruth Rice, I did take both, and both were "perfect". As soon as she gets a test kit back in, I'll get the exact figures for you. I'm not sure about the poo. Should I watch him for a while (poo watch lol)? And I would love to join a koi club, but I live in a not very populated spot of western Montana. There isn't exactly koi clubs advertising all over. Is there a club finder website or something? Since I'm moving to Victoria island in Canada (which I believe has a lot of koi fans because Japan is right across the ocean) if I can't find one here I"m very sure there's some there. The established tank is a 20 gallon and almost taller than the other tank. I thought I should keep him in a shallow water pool to relieve stress. I put him in the other tank during water changes, and he can actually swim instead of sitting on the bottom. No problems yet besides spots, thanks guys.

  5. #15
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,620
    without pictures, there is no way for us to know what the spots are. Do NOT start dumping chemicals in there without knowing what is wrong with the fish. It will do more harm than good.

    Have you ordered a test kit yet? As I said before, the Tetra Laborette test kit is excellent and less tha $15. If you are going to keep fish, a test kit is a must. You don't have to go anywhere to get one....order it online from Amazon. If your friend is such an expert on koi and water, she should have given you actual numbers, not just a blanked statement that the water is "perfect".

    Sorry if I sound harsh, but there are no short-cuts to proper koi keeping. The koi was in 55 gallons and you were told it was too small. So now the fish has been moved to an even smaller tank and isolated from the other fish. It will not do better in those conditions.

  6. #16
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Well I just tried to put him in the tank and he did great (swimming normal, touching other koi) for a few hours. Unfortunately, he just went belly-up on the bottom (he was above the air stone if it makes a difference). I have put him back in the QT for now. I got my other camera but I can't find the computer cord and the stupid thing is out of juice. He's not very happy about it, his fins are clamped to his sides. I'm just putting him in for a few hours, then putting him back in the tank. Any ideas about the bathroom tub thing? If no one has any objections I can have him in there tomorrow morning after I clean it with vinegar. I could put the other koi in there too. Just a thought. Will try to get camera up and running, but it looks like the spots are just some silver scales away from the main space of silver scales. Carolina Girl, I won't put in any chemicals yet, and it's fine to be harsh. I haven't exactly been the excellent koi parent. I will purchase a test kit online today or tomorrow.

  7. #17
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    Posts
    6,726
    First of all, you need to get over the whole notion that it isn't "safe" to stop feeding the fish. Right now feeding it isn't safe, and feeding it will not help it get better. It only adds to the deterioration of the water. Feeding a sick fish freezer burnt frozen peas isn't going to do it any favors and if you don't start paying better attention to what people have been trying to tell you there is one thing you can be certain of. You are going to finish the job of killing it sooner rather than later. Moving it from one tank to another is also very stressful and switching it back and forth will only hasten death if you continue.
    Sorry to sound so rude, but this fish is ready to die if you don't take the good advice that Don, CG, and others are giving you and it will be because you and your backyard breeder friend chose to ignore wisdom and chase folly.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  8. #18
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    253
    I asked if you noticed poo.....because if you are not, something may be wrong internally(which may have been the problem to begin with). With you continueing to feed him, that food may just be rotting inside and you really are doing more harm than good when you give him food. I'm assuming that you started with new water in your Qtank and that you could see to the bottom? Feces is normally easy to see in a new setup with no debris or mulm on the bottom.

    You keep saying he did great..but I can assure you that most of the time an experienced Koi keeper can see when a problem is going on and a fish going belly up is just not in good shape. Many times, new Koi keepers miss a lot of tell tale signs. I've even had people not see ulcers..... and/or fin rot down to the bone and they told me over the phone that fish looked fine.

    I think most people have not jumped onboard about putting the fish into the bathtub, because it's kind of gross and do you really want to do that for the long haul if even for a month or so? But the biggest reason is, you still need a filter - not just an air stone....what kind of filter would you use in there? It sure would be helpful to take a picture of your filter and the fish........

  9. #19
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    PapaBear, I AM trying to take advice, but it's difficult when you have no access to a fish vet or professional, limited medicine, and not a great setup. It's my own fault, I know, but that's not really the important bit because my koi is dying. I think it is costia because he has all the symptoms, so I'm doing salt bathes carefully measured each water change. I'm still doing daily water changes. I will stop feeding him (and I got organic, non freezer burnt peas). And just so you know, my friend is a professional pet store owner (not trying to be rude). I'll ditch the bathtub idea, and I have noticed he has been going to the bathroom regularly (I've been sitting with him for over 5 hours a day). I'd love to post photos, but as I said my %$#@ camera is missing a few cables. By "good shape" I meant in his current circumstances, not that he was the picture of health. And I don't need reminders that he's dying. It's pretty obvious. I will say that you people seemed kind of fixated on the tank topic, which has done great with no issues since the ammonia 9 months ago. I'm not trying to shirk responsibility for my actions, but I wish everyone hadn't zeroed in on that. Now that I'm pretty sure it's Costia, (red rimmed eyes, more slime than usual, etc.), I'm doing everything I can to get my hands on malacite and ammonia solutions ( I think that's the combination). I'm looking up everything on costia, and he is no longer going belly-up since I started the heavy "salt therapy" treatment. I'm hopeful, but not by much. I have no clue how he could have got it, but I can deal with that after he's better.
    What can I do to help him survive until 10:00 A.M. I don't need the long explanation I just need something to help his chances of survival. Should I heat the water to 75 Fahrenheit? I just need to help him survive, because this is his most critical hours.

  10. #20
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,620
    Sorry, but if you were trying to take advise, you would have ordered a test kit 3 days ago when it was first suggested. You would have it by now and all of the water quality questions would be answered. Salt does not kill costia. Formalyn and malachite green combination does. But as sick as your fish arleady is, doing unnecessary treatments could kill it to. How much salt are you adding? What is the actualy percentage of salinity? The excess slime coat can be caused by irritation from a water quality issues (or too much salt), or other parasites (such as flukes), not just coatia. Just because your friend owns a pet store, that does not make him an expert on koi. If your friend WAS an expert, the problem would already be solved and it's not....the fish is getting worse. We honestly are trying to help, but you seem fixated on feeding him peas and isolating him in a tank that's way too small and now on curing whatver is wrong with salt.

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