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Thread: Can Salt Help Koi Deal With Cold?

  1. #71
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    My sentiments exactly. Any treatment protocol, be it injected, oral, water additives, or simple salt should serve a direct need. Anything entering the pond that alters the best "natural" environment we can maintain is foreign to their physiology and as such creates its own niche of stress to the system. We use those very few necessary things to accomplish a narrowly defined purpose (like dechlor for instance), in order to promote a healthy environment. Less really is more most of the time.
    I should classify koi stress from Aero and Pseudo, in cold conditionss, as a direct need, shouldn't I? Or would koi have to show outwards signs of stress, in order to classify that as a direct need?

    The use of salt is recommended by dealers to help koi recover from stress involved in being in a koi show. Yet the koi seem okay most of the time. Would you say there is no direct need? Or is it better to see koi develop some sickness, whereupon a "direct need" is justified?

    I just can't equate an occasional use of salt as being indiscriminate in using it. I can see though, the bias towards use of other substances in its place, to the point of exclusion of salt, as being unreasonable.

  2. #72
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    1 pound of salt per 100 gallons is roughly 0.1% salt. [454g/(100*3.8*1000)]*100 = 0.12%. But if the salt has 10% moisture, it comes out to around 0.11%. For convenience, that could be rounded off to 0.10%.

    If a koi is helped by salt because salt aids in the osmoregulatory function of the koi, I consider koi to be helped in all other aspects. A lot of energy is spent by the koi for keeping its internal fluids at 0.9% salinity. I think that having salt aids conserve energy, espeially when the koi can use the conserved energy to better use, especially when it is subject to stresses, both internally and externally. Stress from nitrate and stress from external wounds are not the only stress to be considered. There are internal stresses, from internal wounds as well as bacteria and virus. And external stresses as well, such as bacteria, virus, and parasites.

    I don't think salt is the answer to everything, but it certainly will help. I will also employ good bacteria. I can use herbal supplements, as well as antibiotics, depending on the gravity of the situation. But I won't just give my koi the works as I adhere to the old Hippocratic principle of "First, Do No Harm."

    I would be more inclined to use salt first though, before I use antibiotics. This is a preference of mine. I just don't like its use as I personally feel that the usual broad spectrum antibiotics just "throws the baby away with the bathwater." I may end up with a koi that survives, but I don't want a koi to merely survives, I don't want the antibiotic to leave the kioi with a microbiome that is non-existent, which would hamper the development oif my koi.

    Sometimes, I feel the aversion to the use of salt has caused many hobbyist to be trigger-happy with the use of antibiotics. As Tim (Appliance Guy) says, there is too much bad said about salt. This needs to be balanced by an equally balanced aversion towards the wanton use of antibiotics.
    Here is part of the problem. I thought you were suggesting having salt in the pond all of the time. Is that true? or are you talking about occasional use of salt when bring Koi home from a Koi show?

  3. #73
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    Here is part of the problem. I thought you were suggesting having salt in the pond all of the time. Is that true? or are you talking about occasional use of salt when bring Koi home from a Koi show?
    The OP talks about salt use in cold weather. It wasn't about using salt all the time. That said, I don't agree with the premise that Koi natural habitat is salt-free freshwater. Maybe if one considers Niigata to be koi's habitat, then salt-free freshwater would be normative. But Koi came from carp, and carp have adapted to different freshwater conditions In China, in Europe, and in the middle east, to name a few. So I won't really object to use of salt year-round. But only if Koi health were the main consideration.

    Yet I don't advocate year-round use, as I don't think it will help develop colors fully. And because of this, I'm not in favor of indiscriminate salt use.

    If one can't object to using salt after a Koi show, how can one be opposed to using salt during cold conditions? In both instances, salt will help deal with stress, even if the source of stress is different.

    I can't see myself cherry-picking instances where salt use can benefit Koi. I would minimize its use by not putting them too often in stressed situations.

    I can't control the climate though. And risking Koi stress is a given in Koi shows, but one I readily trade for the fun of being with other Koi kichi.

  4. #74
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    I should classify koi stress from Aero and Pseudo, in cold conditionss, as a direct need, shouldn't I? Or would koi have to show outwards signs of stress, in order to classify that as a direct need?

    The use of salt is recommended by dealers to help koi recover from stress involved in being in a koi show. Yet the koi seem okay most of the time. Would you say there is no direct need? Or is it better to see koi develop some sickness, whereupon a "direct need" is justified?

    I just can't equate an occasional use of salt as being indiscriminate in using it. I can see though, the bias towards use of other substances in its place, to the point of exclusion of salt, as being unreasonable.
    If salt was beneficial under those circumstances it would make sense, which begs the question I asked before. Is it? I fail to see how.

    If the water is cool enough to compromise the immune system will the addition of salt revive the immune system? No.
    If the water is cool enough to compromise the immune system will the addition of salt lessen the pathogen population to any appreciable degree? No.
    Does the presence of Aeromonas or Pseudomonas in the water cause elevated stress to an uninfected Koi? No.

    I'll use my own pond as an example.

    Our winters are such that the water temperatures hover between 50-55 degrees every winter for several months.
    That is a "perfect storm" temperature range for Aero/Pseudo activity with compromised immune response from Koi.
    Do I add salt or anything else to prevent infections or relieve stress? No.
    Do I experience infections as a result? No.
    Do I give antibiotic injections as a precaution? No.
    Do I feed medicated food during the winter? No.
    Do I add bacteria or other enzymes during the winter? No.

    Why don't I experience infections?
    I don't have rocks or any other objects in the pond to cause wounds that could become a point of entry.
    I never shut down my filtration system.
    Any and all detritus that might enter the pond is removed via mechanical filtration thereby depriving pathogens of nutrition the require for a population increase.
    All of my water returns are submerged in winter to prevent further chilling.
    I maintain the same trickling overflow of ~1 gallon per hour year around.
    The overflow drains from the bottom of the mechanical filter settlement.
    I flush the drain line at least once each week to flush out any sediment from the drain lines.
    No U.V., no Ozone, no PP, no salt added, no bacteria added, no special tricks, bells or whistles.

    Less is more, especially when less includes less opportunity for pathogens to thrive.

    Don't get me wrong. I've experienced some painful losses over the years due to my own mistakes and accidents and I do not hold myself out as someone with a perfect track record, but salt wouldn't have helped with any of those problems either.
    MCA, ricshaw and coolwon like this.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  5. #75
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    If salt was beneficial under those circumstances it would make sense, which begs the question I asked before. Is it? I fail to see how.

    If the water is cool enough to compromise the immune system will the addition of salt revive the immune system? No.
    If the water is cool enough to compromise the immune system will the addition of salt lessen the pathogen population to any appreciable degree? No.
    Does the presence of Aeromonas or Pseudomonas in the water cause elevated stress to an uninfected Koi? No.

    I'll use my own pond as an example.

    Our winters are such that the water temperatures hover between 50-55 degrees every winter for several months.
    That is a "perfect storm" temperature range for Aero/Pseudo activity with compromised immune response from Koi.
    Do I add salt or anything else to prevent infections or relieve stress? No.
    Do I experience infections as a result? No.
    Do I give antibiotic injections as a precaution? No.
    Do I feed medicated food during the winter? No.
    Do I add bacteria or other enzymes during the winter? No.

    Why don't I experience infections?
    I don't have rocks or any other objects in the pond to cause wounds that could become a point of entry.
    I never shut down my filtration system.
    Any and all detritus that might enter the pond is removed via mechanical filtration thereby depriving pathogens of nutrition the require for a population increase.
    All of my water returns are submerged in winter to prevent further chilling.
    I maintain the same trickling overflow of ~1 gallon per hour year around.
    The overflow drains from the bottom of the mechanical filter settlement.
    I flush the drain line at least once each week to flush out any sediment from the drain lines.
    No U.V., no Ozone, no PP, no salt added, no bacteria added, no special tricks, bells or whistles.

    Less is more, especially when less includes less opportunity for pathogens to thrive.

    Don't get me wrong. I've experienced some painful losses over the years due to my own mistakes and accidents and I do not hold myself out as someone with a perfect track record, but salt wouldn't have helped with any of those problems either.
    That's a lot to digest. For the large part, I agree with the dictum "less is more." And I think that my understanding of koi care would very much follow the same arc that you went through, if I may be so presumptuous to say.

    An example: Yesterday a 5yr old kohaku of mine died. Like most of us, I couldn't tell the exact cause of death. I thought it was the cold season that caused it, but it probably just coincided with it, or the cold made condition a little more favorable for opportunistic bacteria to take over. Yet, our cold is not the winter cold of temperate climes. It was only 22 C. After a koi show, I had put two koi (an 81 cm sanke and a 62 chagoi) into a quarantine tank with biofiltration, with about 0.3% salt. And for a week, the two koi were in good quarantine conditions, ammonia and nitrite being close to zero. I put the chagoi back into the pond, making sure I interchanged the water in the quarantine and the pond so that the salt levels would not be so different before putting in the chagoi to the main pond. I replaced the chagoi with the sick kohaku. The quarantine tank had the sanke and the kohaku. I slowly increased the salt over 2 days, to a level of 0.3% from 0.1%. And then I took ammonia and nitrite readings as a matter of precaution. I found that this time, the ammonia and nitrite readings were high, both at 1 mg/dl. So I had to dilute the water to a point where it's manageable, with both readings at 0.25 mg/dL. I then increased the filtration flow rate from a turnover of 2 hours to that of 0.5 hour. Next morning I was surprised to see the ammonia and nitrite back up at 1 mg/dL. I started to think it was the biofilter that was the problem, and I cleaned the biofilter. Still the same problem. With frequent dilution, I was beginning to get tired. After a few days, I removed the sanke from the quarantine the same way I removed the chagoi, and the only ikoi left was the sick kohaku. But by that time, I had noticed the kohaku to have an open mouth, as if frozen. It didn't look right, and I was starting to get more concerned. For the next few days, there was no change in the ammonia and nitrite levels, even with the reduced koi population of one left in the quarantine tank. It was at this point that I decided it may be better off for the kohaku to go back to the general population, as being in the quarantine tank exposed to high nitrogen waste levels was not helping her. Three days later, it died. I observed the kohaku not eating for a week, and when I saw it started to have signs of inflammation near the caudal joint, I moved it to quarantine. When I took action, it was probably too late for the kohaku, even though it managed to swim gracefully, but continued to not eat. Looking back, there was nothing wrong with the quarantine tank's biofilter. It was the kohaku being so sick already, I guess, that it kept producing a lot of ammonia waste, even while it wasn't eating. Perhaps it was a survival mechanism, but the amount of ammonia being let out by a sick koi must be so much. Anyway, this kohaku has a history. Last August, I had its shimi by the shoulders removed by an experienced keeper from the dealer's. A topical ointment was applied on the wound, and a broad spectrum antibiotic injected into it. I had hoped the wound would heal and that the beni from the excision would come back. It seemed to be getting back the color, but the koi eventually lost its appetite. It was my decision to get the shimi removed, and I think this was a risk I took. It didn't pay off. I don't know what lessson I should come off this with but one thing's for sure: "Don't fix xomething that ain't broke." It may be simply time for the koi to go, or it may be that being "safe" by injecting the broad spectrum antibiotic did more harm than good. After all, the antibiotic ointment on the scalpel wound would have been enough. That time I didn't listen to my inner voice telling me not to resort to the injectable antibiotic. Taking the extra step turn out to be my undoing.

    As far as salt is concerned, certainly it didn't help my koi recover. If it did though, I couldn't tell as the quarantine tank simply couldn't keep the ammonia and nitrite levels in check. The koi may not have died if it left in the pond, where it is more capable of handling the huge ammonia output of this sick koi.

    Going back to salt, are you then saying that the practice of putting koi in a 0.3% quarantine is useless? Even when the koi is subjected to ammonia stress from being in a filter-less tub for two days, where the frequency and practicality of water changes are not enough to put the koi in an ammonia-free (or low ammonia levels like the pond) environment?

  6. #76
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    That's a lot to digest. For the large part, I agree with the dictum "less is more." And I think that my understanding of koi care would very much follow the same arc that you went through, if I may be so presumptuous to say.

    An example: Yesterday a 5yr old kohaku of mine died. Like most of us, I couldn't tell the exact cause of death. I thought it was the cold season that caused it, but it probably just coincided with it, or the cold made condition a little more favorable for opportunistic bacteria to take over. Yet, our cold is not the winter cold of temperate climes. It was only 22 C. After a koi show, I had put two koi (an 81 cm sanke and a 62 chagoi) into a quarantine tank with biofiltration, with about 0.3% salt. And for a week, the two koi were in good quarantine conditions, ammonia and nitrite being close to zero. I put the chagoi back into the pond, making sure I interchanged the water in the quarantine and the pond so that the salt levels would not be so different before putting in the chagoi to the main pond. I replaced the chagoi with the sick kohaku. The quarantine tank had the sanke and the kohaku. I slowly increased the salt over 2 days, to a level of 0.3% from 0.1%. And then I took ammonia and nitrite readings as a matter of precaution. I found that this time, the ammonia and nitrite readings were high, both at 1 mg/dl. So I had to dilute the water to a point where it's manageable, with both readings at 0.25 mg/dL. I then increased the filtration flow rate from a turnover of 2 hours to that of 0.5 hour. Next morning I was surprised to see the ammonia and nitrite back up at 1 mg/dL. I started to think it was the biofilter that was the problem, and I cleaned the biofilter. Still the same problem. With frequent dilution, I was beginning to get tired. After a few days, I removed the sanke from the quarantine the same way I removed the chagoi, and the only ikoi left was the sick kohaku. But by that time, I had noticed the kohaku to have an open mouth, as if frozen. It didn't look right, and I was starting to get more concerned. For the next few days, there was no change in the ammonia and nitrite levels, even with the reduced koi population of one left in the quarantine tank. It was at this point that I decided it may be better off for the kohaku to go back to the general population, as being in the quarantine tank exposed to high nitrogen waste levels was not helping her. Three days later, it died. I observed the kohaku not eating for a week, and when I saw it started to have signs of inflammation near the caudal joint, I moved it to quarantine. When I took action, it was probably too late for the kohaku, even though it managed to swim gracefully, but continued to not eat. Looking back, there was nothing wrong with the quarantine tank's biofilter. It was the kohaku being so sick already, I guess, that it kept producing a lot of ammonia waste, even while it wasn't eating. Perhaps it was a survival mechanism, but the amount of ammonia being let out by a sick koi must be so much. Anyway, this kohaku has a history. Last August, I had its shimi by the shoulders removed by an experienced keeper from the dealer's. A topical ointment was applied on the wound, and a broad spectrum antibiotic injected into it. I had hoped the wound would heal and that the beni from the excision would come back. It seemed to be getting back the color, but the koi eventually lost its appetite. It was my decision to get the shimi removed, and I think this was a risk I took. It didn't pay off. I don't know what lessson I should come off this with but one thing's for sure: "Don't fix xomething that ain't broke." It may be simply time for the koi to go, or it may be that being "safe" by injecting the broad spectrum antibiotic did more harm than good. After all, the antibiotic ointment on the scalpel wound would have been enough. That time I didn't listen to my inner voice telling me not to resort to the injectable antibiotic. Taking the extra step turn out to be my undoing.

    As far as salt is concerned, certainly it didn't help my koi recover. If it did though, I couldn't tell as the quarantine tank simply couldn't keep the ammonia and nitrite levels in check. The koi may not have died if it left in the pond, where it is more capable of handling the huge ammonia output of this sick koi.

    Going back to salt, are you then saying that the practice of putting koi in a 0.3% quarantine is useless? Even when the koi is subjected to ammonia stress from being in a filter-less tub for two days, where the frequency and practicality of water changes are not enough to put the koi in an ammonia-free (or low ammonia levels like the pond) environment?

    So sorry for your loss Mike. Personally I do not think removing the shimi had anything to do with it. Most probably the kohaku suffered already from an internal problem(swim bladder perhaps) that eventually caused it to stop eating and die from septic reason. Sometimes sick koi with SB when you remove from their environment and place in a smaller not well established quarantine tank may be more riskier as there may be more stress involved unless of course your pond's water condition is very clean. At present I also have a koi with swim bladder issue again. That particular koi had signs of possible future swim bladder even more than 2 years ago as she would often swim up and blow bubbles. I guess its time has come this time. She has stopped eating and now stays more and more at the bottom of the pond causing ulcer at the bottom. At the moment she is being treated with antibiotics. I have been discussing with an experience hobbyist who had in fact had success in treating swim bladder issue without resorting to surgery. I will not discuss the matter or procedure here but I am thinking of trying it just for the sake to prove it was not a fluke.

    Going back to the topic of adding some salt to the pond after once koi has participated in a koi show is something I advise as water quality and koi safety chair for the past consecutive 4 years. This year despite the advice I give to all participants I did not bother to salt both of my pond. In the smaller pond where there was still 0.10 salt remaining since it was jus fairly new I even placed a new small koi that I bought after the koi show from another dealer along with 3 new koi I bought 2 months ahead. In the bigger pond, I just returned a koi I brought to the show. However after 3 days without any parking issues, I did put some salt to help begin treating the wound on the kohaku with the swim bladder. My test proved that the koi that I brought to the koi show did not show any sign of stress when returned and that there was no sign of parasite or bacterial cross contamination during the show. In fact my followup with hobbyist who joined this year showed almost no signs of after koi show problems.

    Let me explain though why I advice though to put salt. It is a preventive measure actually. In a koi show there will always be the possibility of a cross contamination. The level of cross contamination would depend on how safely the water in each vat and how the koi had been handled during ingress and egress. I have heard real horror stories in some koi show that after the koi was returned to the owners pond the said koi really got sick and died after 3 days. While salt cannot guarantee all sickness, the salt does help remove some the old slime on it to generate a new protective slime. This gives the koi to remove possible few bacterial and a few parasites that were able to found its way during the couse of the koi show before they are even able to multiply, infect other koi without immunity and then cause more harm. In such case short term preventive measures justifies the use of salt after a koi show.

  7. #77
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    That's a lot to digest. For the large part, I agree with the dictum "less is more." And I think that my understanding of koi care would very much follow the same arc that you went through, if I may be so presumptuous to say.

    An example: Yesterday a 5yr old kohaku of mine died. Like most of us, I couldn't tell the exact cause of death. I thought it was the cold season that caused it, but it probably just coincided with it, or the cold made condition a little more favorable for opportunistic bacteria to take over. Yet, our cold is not the winter cold of temperate climes. It was only 22 C. After a koi show, I had put two koi (an 81 cm sanke and a 62 chagoi) into a quarantine tank with biofiltration, with about 0.3% salt. And for a week, the two koi were in good quarantine conditions, ammonia and nitrite being close to zero. I put the chagoi back into the pond, making sure I interchanged the water in the quarantine and the pond so that the salt levels would not be so different before putting in the chagoi to the main pond. I replaced the chagoi with the sick kohaku. The quarantine tank had the sanke and the kohaku. I slowly increased the salt over 2 days, to a level of 0.3% from 0.1%. And then I took ammonia and nitrite readings as a matter of precaution. I found that this time, the ammonia and nitrite readings were high, both at 1 mg/dl. So I had to dilute the water to a point where it's manageable, with both readings at 0.25 mg/dL. I then increased the filtration flow rate from a turnover of 2 hours to that of 0.5 hour. Next morning I was surprised to see the ammonia and nitrite back up at 1 mg/dL. I started to think it was the biofilter that was the problem, and I cleaned the biofilter. Still the same problem. With frequent dilution, I was beginning to get tired. After a few days, I removed the sanke from the quarantine the same way I removed the chagoi, and the only ikoi left was the sick kohaku. But by that time, I had noticed the kohaku to have an open mouth, as if frozen. It didn't look right, and I was starting to get more concerned. For the next few days, there was no change in the ammonia and nitrite levels, even with the reduced koi population of one left in the quarantine tank. It was at this point that I decided it may be better off for the kohaku to go back to the general population, as being in the quarantine tank exposed to high nitrogen waste levels was not helping her. Three days later, it died. I observed the kohaku not eating for a week, and when I saw it started to have signs of inflammation near the caudal joint, I moved it to quarantine. When I took action, it was probably too late for the kohaku, even though it managed to swim gracefully, but continued to not eat. Looking back, there was nothing wrong with the quarantine tank's biofilter. It was the kohaku being so sick already, I guess, that it kept producing a lot of ammonia waste, even while it wasn't eating. Perhaps it was a survival mechanism, but the amount of ammonia being let out by a sick koi must be so much. Anyway, this kohaku has a history. Last August, I had its shimi by the shoulders removed by an experienced keeper from the dealer's. A topical ointment was applied on the wound, and a broad spectrum antibiotic injected into it. I had hoped the wound would heal and that the beni from the excision would come back. It seemed to be getting back the color, but the koi eventually lost its appetite. It was my decision to get the shimi removed, and I think this was a risk I took. It didn't pay off. I don't know what lessson I should come off this with but one thing's for sure: "Don't fix xomething that ain't broke." It may be simply time for the koi to go, or it may be that being "safe" by injecting the broad spectrum antibiotic did more harm than good. After all, the antibiotic ointment on the scalpel wound would have been enough. That time I didn't listen to my inner voice telling me not to resort to the injectable antibiotic. Taking the extra step turn out to be my undoing.

    As far as salt is concerned, certainly it didn't help my koi recover. If it did though, I couldn't tell as the quarantine tank simply couldn't keep the ammonia and nitrite levels in check. The koi may not have died if it left in the pond, where it is more capable of handling the huge ammonia output of this sick koi.

    Going back to salt, are you then saying that the practice of putting koi in a 0.3% quarantine is useless? Even when the koi is subjected to ammonia stress from being in a filter-less tub for two days, where the frequency and practicality of water changes are not enough to put the koi in an ammonia-free (or low ammonia levels like the pond) environment?
    I'm sorry to hear you lost one of your big girls. That is always painful and frustrating.

    There are a few things to consider here, beginning with your "cool season". In many places that would be considered the "warm season" and is actually within the range considered ideal for Koi growth and health. The word "cool" should not be part of this particular conversation regarding this incident.

    As to your "post show quarantine" protocol, I find no fault in that at all. I would trim the salt back to .1 or .2 but that is just me. I prefer only as much as it takes for conditions, and very little is required for ordinary osmotic stress relief. That includes sick Koi for this important reason.

    Higher salinity increases slime coat production...

    There are times when that is desirable, but in a quarantine system that is struggling to maintain good biofiltration it adds bioload which can cause more stressful water conditions and breathing difficulty. A Koi that is already suffering from an illness is already dealing with problems, and it is easy for excess slime production to clog the gills and add another layer of stress to a Koi that is already in a struggle.

    That may help to explain the problems you began experiencing with Ammonia and Nitrite, but I'm only speculating at this point.

    As to the infection you were dealing with, it is possible that the shimi removal may have been the vector but it is difficult to be certain. I agree that a topical treatment without any injections probably would have been sufficient and probably better as anything that is invasive (including an unnecessary injection) can cause more problems. Antibiotics do not enhance the immune system like a vaccine, they supplement it by replacing its function... That is only a positive when immune response is already compromised or inadequate.

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    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    On your thoughts on salt after a koi show, but my reasoning is more of use of salt for osmotic regulatory relief primarily, to allow it to recover from the stress from ammonia and from transport. The bacteria aspect is part of it, as this gives bacteria less opportunity to inflict harm on the koi. The parasite problem is possible but less probable, given that koi don't get to mingle anymore but I understand that there could be some lapses by people and the risk of contamination is ever present. However, at the 0.3% salting used, I wonder if the parasite would succumb at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    I'm sorry to hear you lost one of your big girls. That is always painful and frustrating.

    There are a few things to consider here, beginning with your "cool season". In many places that would be considered the "warm season" and is actually within the range considered ideal for Koi growth and health. The word "cool" should not be part of this particular conversation regarding this incident.

    As to your "post show quarantine" protocol, I find no fault in that at all. I would trim the salt back to .1 or .2 but that is just me. I prefer only as much as it takes for conditions, and very little is required for ordinary osmotic stress relief. That includes sick Koi for this important reason.

    Higher salinity increases slime coat production...

    There are times when that is desirable, but in a quarantine system that is struggling to maintain good biofiltration it adds bioload which can cause more stressful water conditions and breathing difficulty. A Koi that is already suffering from an illness is already dealing with problems, and it is easy for excess slime production to clog the gills and add another layer of stress to a Koi that is already in a struggle.

    That may help to explain the problems you began experiencing with Ammonia and Nitrite, but I'm only speculating at this point.

    As to the infection you were dealing with, it is possible that the shimi removal may have been the vector but it is difficult to be certain. I agree that a topical treatment without any injections probably would have been sufficient and probably better as anything that is invasive (including an unnecessary injection) can cause more problems. Antibiotics do not enhance the immune system like a vaccine, they supplement it by replacing its function... That is only a positive when immune response is already compromised or inadequate.
    Thanks Larry. This big girl is a cute little one. She's only 68 cm, is straight hi, but has a deep even coloration, a humped back, a wide girth, and a plump face. It won't win competitions, but in my book a keeper because it is playful and a tease. It comes close enough and when you want to touch her, she swims away and is always almost within reach. I can hand feed her, but only after she does a few predictable "fakes."

    I've never thought about lowering the salt level, but you make a good point about not needing to salt so heavily. I would be disposed to agree since I always wonder of the effect of salt on the biofilter's efficiency. Hearing that a lower salt level works just as well with little much to lose, I find it worth trying the next time around. The excess slime angle of salting too heavily needs to be considered as well.

    As for the excess ammonia and nitrite production by a sick koi, I'm also speculating as well. I find it odd that an otherwise healthy and functioning biofilter, as proven by being able to effectively handle the ammonia waste of two koi earlier put in, would have difficulty handling the ammonia load from one koi. I also have struggled lately with the ammonia and nitrite levels in the main pond, and had to reduce feeding to adjust the nitrogen pond levels, and now I'm starting to think that my sick kohaku may be a prime source of ammonia production all that time. Now, I may consider an unusual rise in nitrogen levels in a pond to be a marker for a koi in distress.

    I'm glad you and I are of similar persuasion with regard to injecting antibiotics into a healthy koi. I've been a vocal critic of wanton use of antibiotics, but I have my moments of weakness and gave in to the "better to be safe than sorry" theme and ended up being sorry. Ironic, isn't it?

  10. #80
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Salt at 0.1% helps the koi deal with nitrite, but will not help with ammonia. Without a fully functioning bio-filter, a QT cannot be an effective hospital tank. The presence of detectable ammonia hampers any chance of bringing about a recovery. In this case, it sounds like the Kohaku was too far along for you to save her anyway. Sorry for your loss.

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