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Thread: Should I salt my pond?

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    Should I salt my pond?

    We are heading into winter and today I see a couple of my koi flashing for the first time since early spring. Should I salt my pond (.3%)? Is flashing normal around this time and temperature? My water temperature is currently 14C. My guess is that because of the the colder weather parasites are getting the upper hand. Thanks.

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Don't add salt, or any other chemical, without knowing why. Why are the koi flashing? Have you tested all the water quality parameters? Have you scraped and scoped and identified any parasites? Without identifying the parasite(s) that may be irritating the koi, you don't know the best treatment protocol.

    Leave salt for potato dishes and pretzels.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I agree with MCA. The flashing might be due to a parasite, but could also be due to ammonia, chlorine or any number of other contaminants in the water.... including tannins released by autumn leaves getting into the pond. If it is due to a parasite, there are only a few that can be effectively treated with salt. (I know, there are folks who say salt will cure about everything. It won't. It can set back several for a time, but they come back quickly.) The usual suspects, if parasites are causing it, are flukes (salt is useless), Ich (rare in koi, but sometimes happens... salt is effective if kept at about 0.5% for 2-3 weeks), and costia (but usually in my experience costia leads to lethargy without flashing.... salt has minimal temporary effect). It is better to use a chemical treatment that targets the particular parasite involved.

  4. #4
    Sansai
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    . It is better to use a chemical treatment that targets the particular parasite involved.[/QUOTE]

    Hi Mike, What would you recommend for say, Costia?

  5. #5
    MCA
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    FMG product such as Proform-C for 3 successive days. Third day I always add in prazi to take out any flukes. I purchase prazi a kg at a time so a treatment does not cost $100 or more from my 10,000gallon pond. This combo will not knock back the filters like a PP treatment would do.

  6. #6
    Tosai
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    Thanks for the replies. Stopped me from adding salt. I will stay away from salt - it ends up being more work anyways. So I worked around the pond all day yesterday observed no further flashing. I guess I've been reading too much on aeronoma alley and cold water parasites that I panicked. I guess I will never know what caused the flashing. My water parameters have been great since the beginning of summer. Tested weekly.

    Today:
    Nitrates - less that 5
    nitrite 0
    ammonia 0
    ph 7.5 (covered pond)
    tds 164
    water temp 57F (14C)

    When you observe koi flashing, and water parameters are normal and stable, and you're pretty sure it is not any chemical irritants, to what extent would you decide it is time to scrape and scope? I would imagine netting, scraping, and scoping would be pretty stressful for the fish (and keeper) especially around this time of the year.

  7. #7
    Sansai
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    Only a guess of course

    [QUOTE To what extent would you decide it is time to scrape and scope? I would imagine netting, scraping, and scoping would be pretty stressful for the fish (and keeper) especially around this time of the year.[/QUOTE]

    While they are flashing.

    A stitch in time saves 9.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post

    When you observe koi flashing, and water parameters are normal and stable, and you're pretty sure it is not any chemical irritants, to what extent would you decide it is time to scrape and scope? I would imagine netting, scraping, and scoping would be pretty stressful for the fish (and keeper) especially around this time of the year.
    Since most hobbyists net their koi very infrequently, it is stressful for the koi, particularly larger koi. A breeder or dealer becomes skilled in the use of a net and can avoid chasing them around a pond. It is easier in a smaller pond than a large pond, of course. I re-homed two recently. It took over an hour to catch and bag them. It was stressful for me, the two caught and all the other koi in the pond. For a hobbyist who can net up their koi easily, I would suggest a scrape/scope if more than isolated flashing is occurring. For those who cannot catch their koi without a lot of chasing, I think it is OK to wait a day or two to see if it resolves on its own. It often does. Sometimes I think a single koi may flash because some debris, algae strand or some such got caught in a gill. A single koi flashing occasionally is something to watch carefully. Several koi flashing is something to take seriously.

  9. #9
    MCA
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    If a keeper wants to shotgun for parasites...just in case....salt is not the way to go. Use a commercial formalin malachite green (FMG) based product like Preform-C. Typically the protocol is 3 days with water changes. On the third day do Prati to go after any flukes.

    FMG products are not terribly expensive. You can get a gallon that will do a 12,000 gallon pond for around $60. A 100 grams of Prati, enough for 10,000 gallons, is likely over $100. To keep those costs down, I purchase Prati a kg at time from Fishman Chemical (Fishman Chemical, LLC). A club could purchase a kg or two and split them between members.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

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