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Thread: Swim bladder problems

  1. #1
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14

    Swim bladder problems

    I have a 10" inch koi in an indoor tank (approx. 45 gallons), along with a 6" koi. He has done extremely well for the past 10 months. We bought him from a local breeder. However, he has suddenly started gravitating toward the bottom. He was belly-up five hours ago for a short time, but is now upright. I put him in a special containment tank to feed him.I have been extremely busy the past few weeks, and (I know, I'm terrible) I have just been feeding him off and on. The 6" koi is just fine. I ran out of test strips a week ago and have been unable to get more. He is gulping air slowly, and is sitting on the bottom, even without the under-gravel filter on. I don't have access to a nearby fish vet, the closest one would be maybe over 100 miles away. I am filtering the tank, and have an air stone. I lightly used aquarium salt, but I was wondering if there is any non-surgical cures, as I'm also tight on money. I have changed the water recently, and that along without regular feeding may have something to do with this, I don't know. Should I just leave him alone, or should I do something? Please help!

  2. #2
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    23
    I am not an expert in the subject, hopefully someone who knows more can add to this, but, from past experience....

    You may also like to view this thread (On this forum) that may be of help...

    Diagnosis & Treatment of Swim Bladder Disorder

    First check is that its not something else that may cause the problem....
    Is the fish defecating OK?... if its got a mild dose of being bunged up, (Constipated..)Frozen Peas (thawed out first and chopped to suitable size) have a mild laxative effect, or even a bath in warm Epsom salts.

    There are the chances of the fish will recover naturally from this, other treatments may involve antibiotic injections, or dosing the tank with antibiotic treatments, if it is some form of bacterial infection....

    Close examination of the fish and gills are required to diagnose bacterial infections.

    There are some commercial swim-bladder treatments available from good pet shops.

    In all cases, check dosage twice before you treat.

    I also suggest you get a good water test kit ASAP.

    I also suggest that 10 inch long in a 45 gallon tank is muck much too small for a Koi.....

    Koi's grow.... they grow HUGE, and recommendations are that you should be allowing 250 gallons per fish....
    Koi are not really a tank fish, if it survives, perhaps you should start thinking soonest rather than later about a bigger home for it.

    I have an ex-tank fish in my pond that a neighbour had no idea would grow so large.... since I took it at 6 inch, last year, its grown to near almost doubling in size....

    Good luck.
    Last edited by SilverDragon; 07-13-2010 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Additional material.

  3. #3
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    23
    Can I also suggest you investigate the site http://koivetforum.com/index.php and put swim bladder into the search box there....
    The site has much information that you may find useful.

  4. #4
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Thanks, I'm moving soon and intend to get a pond then. I'm hoping he will live through the night. These are basically my first fish and I had heard they were extremely hardy. I had some ammonia issues early on but they are hopefully solved. The reason I can't really get anywhere is that my only car was totaled in a crash last year, and so I don't have good transportation. I'm hopeful since he's doing a lot better than he was a few hours ago. Currently he's resting on the bottom and breathing what I would guess would be normally. Thanks for your help, and I'll post in the morning how he's doing.

  5. #5
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Ok he made it through the night with barely any change. I've moved him to a tub with slightly warmer cold water. He does seem to like a gap in the tank (the main tank) and swam up there now and then. The gap is made by the filter not going all to the top, and he will occasionally try to rise there. He's no longer going upside down, but seems to not be able to get upright and is swimming completely sideways. I just noticed a gray fleshy spot as well on his gills. It's a few centimeters in diameter and one centimeter piece of it is off the gills. Is this the cause?

  6. #6
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
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    1,620
    The necrotic gills is not the cause of his problem, it's another symptom. His issue is not a swim bladder problem, it's either parasitic, viral, bacterial or water quality. I suspect water quality, probably ammonia. You need to get a proper test kit ordered ASAP so you can test the water and go from there. Don't get the strip tests....they are inaccurate. You can get a Tetra Laborette test kit on-line for less than $15. There is no way to tell what could be wrong with this fish or your water quality without a test kit.

    Koi are very hardy, but they are not aquarium fish. It's too hard to maintain water quality in a 45 gallon tank when what they really need is at least 300 gallons each. It can be done, but it's kind of like keeping a race horse in your bedroom; not really fair to the animal and a whole lot of work to keep conditions sanitary.

  7. #7
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Thanks Carolina. He's in the QT and doing really well. He's completely upright and seems to be resting. The gray spot on his gills has disappeared, however. I moved him using a net and I guess it came off in the net. I'm soaking some food for him, and I got a ride to the local pet store in a hour or two to get supplies. The owner is the breeder I got him from, so we're good friends and she might be able to do something, or diagnose him.

  8. #8
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    617
    Stop feeding. Get you a droplet type of test kit to test for ammonia. Get a bottle of some anti-ammonia (anti-chlorine) product like Amquel+. Ask your koi friend if your filtration, water changes, and feeding level are correct.

  9. #9
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    I talked to my friend, and all water levels are perfect. I bought some frozen peas just in case it's an impaction. Can't hurt, right? The plastic QT is just a little high PH but that nothing dangerous or near dangerous. So tank is all good. I'm thinking some virus or bacteria, but I can't find any signs of external bugs. He's doing great and the peas are defrosting. The dumb store couldn't freeze a ice cube properly, and it's got extremely bad frost burn and they're almost yellow. Think they're still safe? I wish i could post some photos of my koi but my old camcorder decided to quit a month ago.

  10. #10
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,774
    Hello Zoran . . .

    Sorry to hear your koi is not doing well.

    And while there are some things you can do to try and help win this (or the next) battle, you'll never win this war of trying to keep 2 koi in a 45 gallon AQ.

    Harsh words? Yes. Sometimes the truth is harsh.

    I'd like you to go read this post by JR:

    Nishikigoi International: refocusing the koi hobby towards the positive I.E. wellness

    When you've done that, think of all the reasons your koi (a large, river species that needs to be able to swin away fast, dive or hide to feel safe) might be so stressed (irregardless of water conditions) that it's beginning to break with the symptoms you're only now beginning to observe.

    Please be forewarned: It's only going to get worse if you continue down this path with these fish.

    Best wishes,
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

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