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Thread: First Chance to Hospital Little Koi

  1. #1
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    First Chance to Hospital Little Koi

    So, I brought home four little 5 inch koi from my parents place that appear to be developing a case of fin rot. I set up a couple small 4ft round QTs for the little guys to try and nurse them back to health. I'm pretty paranoid as I have my koi to keep separate from this sick bunch. Please no spreading of bacteria/bugs. Is this a bacterial infection? I started a week ago with water changes and melafix with antibiotics in the water as recommended doses from the box (erithromycin?). I could see the little fins slowly getting red and shredded the first couple days, but a week later and it appears that their fin edges are cleaning up, and redness gone away. How long does it take for their fins to grow back? Looks like the worst one lost about 1/4" of his/her tail. The others not as bad, maybe I caught it in time for them.

    I'm actually worried about the bacteria still in the water. Even with daily water changes, I know them buggahs are still in the QT. How long before I can send the little guys back home to my parents house with a clean bill of health?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The usual recommendation for use of erythromycin in the aquaria setting is one teaspoon per 20 gallons (use a real measuring spoon). After 24 hours, change 25% of the water and treat again. Repeat for a total of 4 treatments. This is a single course of treatment. Fin rot is normally stopped with a single course of treatment. After 48-72 hours, the fins should appear to be healing... no redness, no frayed edges.... There will be a whitish edge on fins where new growth occurs. It will be fairly even along the growing edge, not streaking into the fin. Keep in quarantine until re-growth can be seen and fish are acting normal. If healing does not appear to be occurring, a second course of treatment may be needed.

    The erythromycin sold in the aquarium trade comes in tiny packages that are pre-mmeasured, etc. and can become rather expensive. It is actually a cheap antibiotic. It's the packaging, pre-measurement, etc. that costs. It can be obtained in bulk at a greatly reduced price. Chain stores typically do not carry bulk packages. Mom & Pop aquarium shops used to carry it in bulk regularly. Today, probably have to turn to the internet for bulk packages. API has a 850 gram container at a more moderate price, even if not as cheap as it could be. (I use to combat blue-green slime 'algae' in plant tanks. Last for years with no observed loss in effectiveness.)

    Treatment of the water is generally effective in curing the fish. But, it is not practical to treat an entire pond. Since you are treating such small koi in a smallish quarantine tank, the cost may be acceptable for you.

    Fin rot is generally indicative of poor water conditions. However, it can also appear when ammonia burn combined with shipment/movement stress allows bacteria to take hold. In either event, for strong recovery, maintaining the highest water quality possible is key.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    As always, Thanks Mike! Yes, these little babies came from a little tub sale from the local Hawaii farm open house day. I'm glad I went to see them at my parents pond. No QT there, so they must have been sick already. Its not the first time...ARGHH. I know pond water quality was good as the system is same as I have. Water quality checked out good, but I took them home and have them now in my 4ft circle pop-up QT. It is the first time I used one of my pop-up tanks. I invested in a few. I have 2-4ft and 2-6ft pop-up tanks that I thought I could use during culling, but now it is good that I have a number of them just in case of illness emergencies.

    I did do one session of the erythromycin for 4 days straight with the water changes. After that, I went with the melafix with water changes for another 4 days and now it is just as you said. No redness anymore and the tails/fins have a continuous white band at the end of the fins. They are acting like koi again and even eating some (feeding only a few pellets).

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Sounds good.

    You have reached the stage of recovery where mistakes get made. It will be best if you keep them in quarantine at least one more week, but only if you can maintain high water quality. Many people get lazy when the fish are recovering despite the best of intentions. Other responsibilities take priority and they do not keep up the water changes, etc. necessary to maintain constant high water quality. It is an easy hole to fall in if the QT is small, unfiltered, etc. Then the fish can suffer a relapse. If a person cannot give the water close attention, it is better to return the fish to the pond. If attention is paid, then better to let the fish gain strength in the QT for a week or more.

  5. #5
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Sounds good.

    You have reached the stage of recovery where mistakes get made. It will be best if you keep them in quarantine at least one more week, but only if you can maintain high water quality. Many people get lazy when the fish are recovering despite the best of intentions. Other responsibilities take priority and they do not keep up the water changes, etc. necessary to maintain constant high water quality. It is an easy hole to fall in if the QT is small, unfiltered, etc. Then the fish can suffer a relapse. If a person cannot give the water close attention, it is better to return the fish to the pond. If attention is paid, then better to let the fish gain strength in the QT for a week or more.
    Mike,

    Great advice! I am still making the 30% daily water changes and using the Melafix regiment. This weekend, I rigged a filtration system for the QT, so we are trying to keep the water environment clean as best as we can. Actually shocked at how quickly the fins cleared up. We'll keep caring for them. I am also using some used-JMat(w/bacteria) in hopes that it can kick start more bacteria growth. Over the course of the first week of water changes, I could tell that the QT water will not sustain for long periods of time without the needed filtration. I noticed the smell even after the first day of treatment.

  6. #6
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Update: Well the little ones appear to be doing fine now. Dosed back on the melafix treatments and increased the water volume for them to swim in. Fins look clean and appear to be growing back slowly. I changed the media in my bucket filter to a mix of ceramedia and j-mat. I have a tiny pump by Rio cycling 400+ gallons per hour. Amazing little thing. It appears to be doing well as the water is clear (not cloudy). Still making water changes every other day now. I think a couple more weeks and I'll send them back to my parents place to grow in more space.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    It is good to hear about a happy ending.

  8. #8
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    It is good to hear about a happy ending.

    Happy ending just became tragic. I came home Friday evening and was happy that this weekend was the week to send the babies home. Looking into the "deep" QT, I only saw two of the four! WHAT!? I have 1-1/2" piping for the filtration system, so I immediately thought, okay they made their way up the pipe and are stuck. But then my pump/filter is still pushing water through with the same flow.....oh oh? During the last week I didn't zip up the netting at the top of the QT as I felt that they should be acclimated to their surroundings after 3-4 weeks in their QT. And with 18+ inches to the top of the QT from the top of the water, I never thought they could launch themselves over the walls of the QT. I was wrong! I lost my first jumpers I went from happy to sad in a matter of 1 minute after finding the dirt/dust covered bodies.

    Yesterday, the last two Kohaku went home

  9. #9
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akai-San View Post
    Happy ending just became tragic. I came home Friday evening and was happy that this weekend was the week to send the babies home. Looking into the "deep" QT, I only saw two of the four! WHAT!? I have 1-1/2" piping for the filtration system, so I immediately thought, okay they made their way up the pipe and are stuck. But then my pump/filter is still pushing water through with the same flow.....oh oh? During the last week I didn't zip up the netting at the top of the QT as I felt that they should be acclimated to their surroundings after 3-4 weeks in their QT. And with 18+ inches to the top of the QT from the top of the water, I never thought they could launch themselves over the walls of the QT. I was wrong! I lost my first jumpers I went from happy to sad in a matter of 1 minute after finding the dirt/dust covered bodies.

    Yesterday, the last two Kohaku went home
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    Could pH or parasites have induced the jumping behaviour.

    Or was it just the excitement of the thought of going home.

    Garfield

  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    So sorry you lost them after such success in restoring their health.

    Several years ago, I got 3 Kohaku tosai to raise up over the Summer. The best of the group jumped out of the pond after 3 months of being completely content. The risk is high with a smallish QT, but even in a large pond these things can happen.

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