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Thread: Are my koi Healthy?

  1. #1
    Tosai yyyy2999's Avatar
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    Are my koi Healthy?

    I have had my Koi for a while, and i just want to know if they're healthy or not. Also i want to know if my Tank Conditions are okay

    My First Concern is that my Koi's eye seems "bulging"?
    I'm Not sure if this is actually normal and wanted your opinion. Here are three photos of the particular koi.

    Another Concern is that my fish's tail area is pink-ish, i'm not sure if this is normal?

    Are my koi Healthy?-p1070095.jpgAre my koi Healthy?-p1070158.jpgAre my koi Healthy?-p1070138.jpg

    My other koi that looks similar has less bulgy eyes..

    Are my koi Healthy?-p1070180.jpg


    Here is my 55 gallon tank, My concern is that the Filter's waterfall is too big and creating too many air bubbles? (its an aquaclear 70) Its meant for 70 gallon tanks but this tank is only 55 gallon. Will this stress the fish or do they not mind?

    I also have an airstone to the left of the picture, i'm not sure if there is too much oxygenation or not. Should i move the filter more to the right so they the waterfall would be less intrusive?

    Are my koi Healthy?-p1070119.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are my koi Healthy?-p1070160.jpg   Are my koi Healthy?-p1070160.jpg  

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I understand why you have a concern, but I do not believe there is anything wrong. Koi differ in the degree to which their eyes protrude. Yours seems to be within the normal range. I think in the one koi it is more noticeable because of the eye being surrounded by the red patterning. If the eyes begin to protrude more, read up on the condition known as 'pop-eye' in the aquarium hobby.

    I cannot say whether your tank conditions are good or not. We would need to have water testing results (particularly for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate). However, it certainly seems to be a clean tank, which is very important in keeping koi in aquaria. Having an oversized filter is a good thing. Koi are messy fish compared to tropical fish (or, most tropicals, I should say). So, extra filtration is needed and often overlooked. The high oxygenation is also good.

    The issue you will be facing is that these koi will outgrow the tank if you let them. Keeping koi in aquaria is becoming more common in the urban centers of Japan where it is not possible to have a pond. There are a few different practices occurring. I have read of one shop that takes back the koi they sell after the koi grow to large for the aquarium. More often, the koi outgrow the tank and the owner is left on their own to deal with it. Some release the koi in the ponds in public parks. This is not good to do. Koi can become nuisance fish, destroying native fish habitat. Most often, the koi die early because the filtration is inadequate after they've grown, or they become so big that they cannot move around and end up with sores and infections. There is a different approach being advocated which results in the koi having longer, healthier lives. This is to limit their food to be enough for them to meet their nutritional needs, but not to grow very much. There are koi kept this way that have lived over 10 years and remain beautiful. So, unless you have plans to build a pond, I suggest you feed them very lightly. They will always act hungry, but it is up to you to exercise will power for their benefit.

    BTW, I like your Doitsu Kohaku. This is a good choice for aquarium-keeping because the contrast of colors is sharp even in a small size. Fully scaled koi generally do not have such clear-cut patterning until they grow larger. The deeply wrapping pattern is also a good choice for the aquarium where the sideview is more important than the top view.

    Enjoy your koi.
    Tosai_Sunny likes this.

  3. #3
    Tosai yyyy2999's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I understand why you have a concern, but I do not believe there is anything wrong. Koi differ in the degree to which their eyes protrude. Yours seems to be within the normal range. I think in the one koi it is more noticeable because of the eye being surrounded by the red patterning. If the eyes begin to protrude more, read up on the condition known as 'pop-eye' in the aquarium hobby.

    I cannot say whether your tank conditions are good or not. We would need to have water testing results (particularly for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate). However, it certainly seems to be a clean tank, which is very important in keeping koi in aquaria. Having an oversized filter is a good thing. Koi are messy fish compared to tropical fish (or, most tropicals, I should say). So, extra filtration is needed and often overlooked. The high oxygenation is also good.

    The issue you will be facing is that these koi will outgrow the tank if you let them. Keeping koi in aquaria is becoming more common in the urban centers of Japan where it is not possible to have a pond. There are a few different practices occurring. I have read of one shop that takes back the koi they sell after the koi grow to large for the aquarium. More often, the koi outgrow the tank and the owner is left on their own to deal with it. Some release the koi in the ponds in public parks. This is not good to do. Koi can become nuisance fish, destroying native fish habitat. Most often, the koi die early because the filtration is inadequate after they've grown, or they become so big that they cannot move around and end up with sores and infections. There is a different approach being advocated which results in the koi having longer, healthier lives. This is to limit their food to be enough for them to meet their nutritional needs, but not to grow very much. There are koi kept this way that have lived over 10 years and remain beautiful. So, unless you have plans to build a pond, I suggest you feed them very lightly. They will always act hungry, but it is up to you to exercise will power for their benefit.

    BTW, I like your Doitsu Kohaku. This is a good choice for aquarium-keeping because the contrast of colors is sharp even in a small size. Fully scaled koi generally do not have such clear-cut patterning until they grow larger. The deeply wrapping pattern is also a good choice for the aquarium where the sideview is more important than the top view.

    Enjoy your koi.
    Thanks for your great feedback and advice! Very informative. I've actually had the two red and white koi for around 8 years already and they haven't outgrown the tank.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Your Doitsu Kohaku look very good for 8 year-olds kept in an aquarium. Few people have such success.

    There is very little on U.S. koi boards about keeping koi in aquaria. You could help others by starting a new thread entitled 'Aquarium Koikeeping' (so folks can find it using the search function), and post what you have done to set up the aquarium and your maintenance practices. Having successfully kept these koi for 8 years, you are as expert anyone, even if you do not realize it.

  5. #5
    Tosai yyyy2999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Your Doitsu Kohaku look very good for 8 year-olds kept in an aquarium. Few people have such success. There is very little on U.S. koi boards about keeping koi in aquaria. You could help others by starting a new thread entitled 'Aquarium Koikeeping' (so folks can find it using the search function), and post what you have done to set up the aquarium and your maintenance practices. Having successfully kept these koi for 8 years, you are as expert anyone, even if you do not realize it.
    Lol Wow thanks for the compliment, but to be honest i don't think my aquarium is kept any differently than many others, Actually i've only started to really get involved with the aquarium, my mom used to take care of them mostly. A few Koi in my aquarium died after my old filter failed unknowingly, luckily these survived. One that died was 10+ years old ... So after that i decided to take care of them instead.

  6. #6
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    I never really thought about koi in aquariums. IDEA? What about fry-small koi in aquariums as the grow out and get culled? Probably too many fish to handle in smaller gallonage. I just have 3-90 gallon tanks stacked in my storage shack since the koi arrived.

    Funny Mike mentioned Japan. When I lived there I used the 90 gallon tanks for 3 inch koi I found in a Japanese Department Store. One in each. In 2-3 years that I had them, they grew to 12"+ in the tank.

    Much like Mike also mentioned, I did end up taking two of them (one died) to the base golf course pond to live the rest of there lives. A couple years after I left, I went back to visit and golf at the course; and wouldn't you know it, I saw one of my koi (Aka-Sanke) cruising the sand trapped shores where I released her. In a little over two years, the koi grew to almost 24 inches. The golf course pond was MASSIVE. 300 yards long, 25 yards wide and during its construction, I saw that it was at least 12 feet deep. I was amazed that I even got another glimpse of the koi in my lifetime. I'm hoping the koi is still alive, and its 6 years since my last visit. I'll have to ask my friends still living in Japan golfing on the same course.

  7. #7
    Tosai yyyy2999's Avatar
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    Oh wow i hope your koi are doing okay, wouldn't the koi get lonely by themselves in their own tank? And yeah before when there were 6 koi in a 55 gallon tank, it was probably crowded. Even now it's probably not ideal but its expensive to upgrade..

  8. #8
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Well, I take a little different approach to koi keeping....

    I wouldn't say your koi are healthy. But I also wouldn't say they are sickly. I also don't think they will die within the next month from disease or anything like that. I do however think the eyes bulge more than they should on that one koi, and while not unhealthy, it is clear that they are a distraction. Obviously it is noticed or you wouldn't have asked. Koi are resilient creatures, being able to survive for hours out of water, live in putrid conditions, and even stave off diseases, ulcers, wounds and all kinds of nasties. So it's no surprise they are alive.

    A word that keeps popping up in my mind is Suppression. These koi are suppressed. They are physiologically suppressed as well as conditionally suppressed. You see, Nishikigoi enjoy a rich history of domestication. They are a unique animal and a magnificant creature. A key feature to koi is looking at them from the top. Actually, that is the number one feature, and has been and continues to be the primary goal in the domestication of koi over the last 200 years. Another feature is that they can, and should, grow large. When asked about the subject, a wise old man once said, "To me it is akin to raising a German Sheppard in a kennel all of it's life. Can it be done? Sure. But why?" And I agree. I personally don't get why one would want to totally dismiss what a koi is all about. IMO, it is entirely missing the beauty of koi itself. Why even select koi as an aquarium fish? After all, there are plenty of other fish that are more suited for that environment. So personally, I don't get it.

    Having said that, you are not alone. "Bonsai" koi have a history as well. Mind you there are no bonsai koi. A bonsai koi is a koi that has been keep it such conditions that growth is thwarted. To me that's bad. It is ironic that Japan seems to be the leading nation for bonsai koi. I wonder what the koi forefathers would say about purposefully dismissing everything they have worked for, only to have koi reduced to cramped aquarium conditions, stunted growth, viewed from the side and an abbreviated life. It is not the spirit of keeping Nishikigoi. And it's not the embodyment of the animal itself. There is no 'dwarf' gene in the genetic makeup of Nishikigoi. Nope. They are supposed to get large and even different varieties obtain different sizes- thereby supporting that there is a 'normal' size to the varieties. So, in reality what you have is a suppression of what the koi is supposed to be.

    I'm a believer that koi are to be provided an opportunity to be the best they can be. They should live in conditions that afford them a long and healthy life to which their body is conditioned for. Anything less is pointless. Some may even say it is wrong or even cruel. (I won't go that far by saying wrong or cruel by any means, but again, that is only my opinion.) I can't rationalize purposefully clipping the feathers off a Macaw and placing it in a tiny cage to never stretch it's wings. I can't rationalize raising a horse in a pen and never allowing it to roam and gallop. And I can't rationalize keeping koi in an aquarium having never seen sunlight and never swimming freely in an adequate space. Birds are meant to fly. Horses are meant to gallop. And koi are meant to swim.

    So nah, I'm not a proponent of koi in the aquarium... But, I do respect others opinions even if they are totally different than mine. And truthfully, I am glad you seeked advice on the health of your koi. It is clear you care for your koi and have seen the beauty. So I do wish you and your koi the best.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    What type of lighting are you using?

  10. #10
    Tosai yyyy2999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbradleybradley View Post
    What type of lighting are you using?
    Just typical aquarium lighting, its a fluorescent bulb. One side is actually not functioning so just the right side of the aquarium is lit. I'm not sure if I should have both on anyway since it may be too bright? I'm not sure

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