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Thread: CO2 Poisoning

  1. #1
    Boo
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    CO2 Poisoning

    Hi all, I need some advice.

    I've been around on the koi boards for a while (Boo a.k.a. CoyKoi, CK) but haven't been for the last few years. Pond was stable and maintaining well, no new fish and no issues or problems.

    Last week my renter called and said one of the koi died. WV has been very cold, so I wasn't surprised. Then on Friday she calls again and tells me my big showa and a large butterfly were in trouble. I leave work and drive to the house to see what's going on.

    Most definitely CO2 poisoning as there has been no aeration over the last few months. Stock heater to keep the ice from freezing over. Plastic cover to keep the leaves out, but a few leaves had accumulated on the bottom.

    These two koi are floaters, belly up sometimes, on their side on the bottom sometimes, occasionally swimming a bit but go right back to playing possum.

    Is there any hope for survival of these guys? What are the long term effects of CO2 poisoning? Is there anything I can do without bringing them inside to a hospital tank? (my renter doesn't have the skill or the equipment)

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thnx!

  2. #2
    Boo
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    I noticed I spelled the thread title wrong...anyway to change it so I don't appear so illiterate?

  3. #3
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo View Post
    great advice ceric8585. A new Grateful Dead handbag is just what these koi need

    I noticed I spelled the thread title wrong...anyway to change it so I don't appear so illiterate?
    If you use the "edit" button for the original post, when it takes you to the "edit" screen there will also be a "go advanced" button you can push. That will allow you to correct the thread title

  4. #4
    Boo
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    Thanks PapaBear, but it doesn't change the original title. That's okay

    Any advice on the koi?

  5. #5
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Don't know why it didn't work...I've done it before, but lately I haven't screwed up any "titles". Just the rest of a post here and there

    It does sound like you've got some potential CO2 poisoning, but there are other possibilities as well. It wouldn't hurt to get some extra air going in the water column just to help gas off the CO2 and give some relief. It may help some and in any case, moving Koi in this kind of distress from a half frozen pond to a "warmer" area is tricky if you don't have the time to babysit the slow warm up.

    Have you done any other water tests? With all of the snow this winter the pH could have dropped quite low as well, and decaying leaves in the bottom could be creating other water issues beyond CO2 problems.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  6. #6
    Boo
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    On Friday I turned on the 4' bakki filter system which has done very well in the past to gas off and add oxygen. The leaves were just a few and I scooped them out. I didn't get a chance to test the water before Kelly accidentally emptied most of the pond (filter clogged, overflow) The tests are all after the water change; the pH is normally high, over 8.

    someone suggested propping the koi in an upright position...wondering if that would help. They are still breathing, just slowly and not very strong.

    Oh, and the gills on these two fish were very red, clean and firm and seemed normal...not frayed or pale or brown.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    You've got a lot of things working against you with all the changes messing with your water parameters. Makes a good diagnosis a lot tougher.
    Sometimes a "hammock sling" in QT is used to help restore buoyancy control, but results are mixed. It probably wouldn't hurt, but you'll need to move them to a temperature controlled QT with good aeration and filtration, bring the temperature up slowly, and monitor them carefully.

  8. #8
    Boo
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    Oh shoot, I just realized I never posted the water quality.

    Well, since I didn't get to test before the water change, all I have is after: ammonia - 0, nitrites - 0, pH - 8.5. Thermometer has gone missing with all the snow removal, so I can only guess at the temp...no ice, really cold, 13 degrees last night was the air temp.

    Whatever was wrong is fixed now, I just want to give these two koi a fighting chance. What is the result of being on their sides for days? Will permanent damage occur from not being upright? And I'm wondering about brain damage from the CO2.

  9. #9
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    You title of “COI2” is too clever by half. Given the information so far provided it is not possible to identify the cause of the problem you are seeing. CO2 doesn’t seem to me to be the most likely cause of the distress. A Hospital tank under the circumstances to me sounds more dangerous than helpful. Aeration for a start is a good idea. The bakki shower will add air (but is still too cold for ammonia removal by bacteria) and may work against the heater. Does the plastic cover have airspace? Have they been feeding? Your original inclination that the cold is the fault may be right. But ammonia poising is a also a possible cause, so an ammonia test is essential. Some water change isn’t going to hurt, but you don’t want to change the temperature too quickly. If you have an ammonia removing dechlorinator it might be useful. To be of much help more info is needed.

  10. #10
    Boo
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    Thanks Rob, in answer to your questions:

    The plastic cover is a pvc frame like the hull of a boat, so lots of airspace. But heavy snows pushed it down into the water for several weeks. I removed the plastic last week when the trouble started.

    The stock heater doesn't warm the water unless the temps get below 32 degrees...it only keeps the water around it warm enough to not freeze.

    No feeding since November.

    Bakki shower is now running to add oxygen and gas off CO2, but is shut down at night so as to not super cool the water.

    The ammonia is reading 0, but that's after the water 'change'. Gotta love that call..."the pond is almost empty!!!"...when you're 60 miles away.

    There were very few leaves as the pond was cleaned regularly until being shut down for winter, so I don't know if there were enough to be a contributing factor.

    Only the biggest koi have been affected. The other 7 koi seem fine, clean and active.

    Wouldn't ammonia cause burning of the gills, and red streaking? I didn't notice either symptom.

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