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Thread: Help! Costia is in my pond

  1. #1
    Tosai KoiStory3's Avatar
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    Help! Costia is in my pond

    I saw a few of my fish flashing today so I decided to scrape them both and look under the microscope, fish 1 has an ulcer already and the microscopic exam for him showed costia, flukes and chilodonella. Then I scraped fish 2 who looked healthy besides the flashing, his exam showed flukes. I did a bunch of reading and research and have found very conflicting information. I am mostly worried about the costia and i read that costia is immune to salt online and I read in a koi disease book to just salt the pond. I've read quick cure is the best I've read proform c is the best and also just salt.

    Please reply if you've dealt with costia before and how you got rid of it. any help would be greatly appreciated by me and my fish.

    Ph is 8.2
    Salinity .25
    Temperature is 60 degrees
    Nitrates are safe
    and everything else was normal.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Here's the link to a great website. You should bookmark it.

    Koiquest- parasites page

    You should start doing water changes to get the salt out of your pond so you can treat the fish. You cannot use ProformC or Malchalite with salt.

    You do not need to keep salt in the pond.

    Did you just add new fish without QT'ing? I'm surprised that you have all 3 parasites.

  3. #3
    Sansai redman's Avatar
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    I agree with Kntry. When was the last time a new fish was added? Formalin works well.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    Ok here's the 411 on costia---

    Costia is in your pond almost all the time. It has two stages- a mobile stage and an implanted stage ( like a tick on a dog). In the implanted stage, costia sends a deep feeding tube into your koi's cellular structure. The costia then sends in toxins that break down the cells and it ingests the contents. It then moves to more healthy tissue. What you get are rotting gills and areas of skin wide open to secondary bacterial infection.


    So now that we know the enemy what do we do? The good news is it is it is Sooo easy to kill! Just do a PP treatment and you will kill 99% of all living costia. I've used salt and PP with no ill effect but eventually found the PP un-necessary.
    As damaging as costia is, it is not the worst of the protozoa-- only it is the worst if you don't deal with it as it LOVES infesting the gills. An organ system the koi needs desperately! Otherwise it is trichodina that really fuels bacteria infections like aeromonas much more than costia. But costia is a silent killer and gives little warning of it's numbers ( unliek flukes that make a koi jump and flash with irritation.
    Do a standard PP treatment and repeat if needed a day later ( after a 30% water change.
    Costia tend to stay in the harmless swimming form until the koi gets stressed and then they shift to the parasitic form-- so keep the koi healthy and strong and avoid stresss. JR

  5. #5
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    JR...I have actually read about a stronger more resistant strain of costia. Supposedly, the salt wont work on the tougher strain. I had costia in some koi in my quarantine tank last season. I used quick cure (form/mal green) which is supposed to be a more potent form of proform c. I did 3 treatments with quick cure and it was problem solved. Quick cure is a cheaper alternative to proform c as well. No complaints...worked well, and can be found in walmart and petco.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    B, you'r back! hallelujah !

    This business of 'resistant' costia is an over blown subject! It is true that if a species lives in and adapts to water of a higher specific gravity ( brackish at 1.010) that it can 'resist' the normal osmotic shock we put typical freshwater parasites in when we use salt concentrations. In salt water we run the S.G down to 1015 or so to kill salt water ich. In fresh water we run the S.G. up to do the same. and there is no question that some costia can live in brackish water. This is simply a matter of the 'pump' in the costia being able to cope with the external pressure of the water and the internal needs of the individual it supports.

    BUT PP is a different subject! It is a powerful oxidizer that can burn the cilia right off a chilodonella upon contact-- there is no 'adjusting' to that! And no time to condition to it! It is a like putting a hamster in a microwave!
    It was a dealer we both know that was hit with KHV and tried to convince the world and his customer base that it was costia. It did more damage to the innocent public's perception that the KHV did to the fish it killed. And that's a shame as costia is far more common than KHV!
    This does not mean that Costia can't resist PP. Costia can burrow deep into the mucous layer laid down by the fish to protect it's gills. And that ironically protects the costia from the PP charge during treatment. But the PP will oxidize away mucous just as it oxidizes 'some of' the organics in water but not all. It's in fact an old trick we used to use to burn away the yellowed mucous layer on fish's shiroji. In the gill it does the same to mucous there-- so if you suspect a stubborn costia infestation ( conform by gill snip or scaping of gill filament) then simple do a second treatment after the first has oxidized the ' low hanging costia fruit' and most of the gill's mucous. when you hit it again, you will burn away the remaining deep diggers.
    this is the only time by the way that I'm Ok with PP burning the gills as much of the gill surface is decaying from Costia toxins. And a burning away of necrotic tissue is a plus in this situation. Best, JR

  7. #7
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    LOL...I have been lurking here. Had enough of politics for now....too much energy expended, lol. So...it is overblown. Not surprising!! I will say the quick cure worked great though. But..it seems the PP would have been a cheaper option. Any specific objection to the quick cure??
    Hamster in a microwave...that really takes me back. Best 4th of July EVER...LOL

  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    bad, very bad!

    No I've actually used quick cure ( Ich I think?) before and has good results but I've never used it on costia. Funny, I tend to treat my tanks with proprioritary aquarium products and my koi with aquaculture or japanese recommended compounds. I've used clout and fluke tabs on koi with good results also. The clout I've used on costia with good results.

    Best, JR

  9. #9
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    Tell me about it. I have nuflor and baytril sent to my office each year. They call me from the medical/vet supply company. UHHH, Doc...you know that is for cows, not peoples feet..right??

  10. #10
    Nisai kaidoi's Avatar
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    PP will take care of Costia and Flukes, but not sure about Chilodonella. The dosage rate of 2 grams per 1,000 gallons. The key with PP is a clean pond. You need to keep the water purple for 8 hours. Be sure to turn off your UV light during treatment.

    Proform C works on Costia and Chilo, but not Flukes. If you can get your hands on Formalin (37% Formaldehyde) and Malachite Green Crystals it will be cheaper then buying Proform C. The AKCA Guide to Koi Health suggests mixing 28 grams of MG to 1 gallon of Formalin. At this mixture you need to apply 1 cup to 4800 gallons. At your temp of 60 degrees, the guide recommends treatments every 5 days for 20 days to break the Costia cycle. After your done, watch your water quality carefully. Reason being, your filter maybe significantly knocked back after using F/MG.

    Good luck!

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