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Thread: New Pond Health Help.

  1. #1
    Tosai Bitter Jeweler's Avatar
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    New Pond Health Help. (Parasite Spotted!! 8/21).

    Hi, everyone.

    I just built (it's now 2 months old) a 1600 +/- gallon pond and have 26 fish in it ranging in size from 3" golfish and comets up to 3 10" Koi. I had a similar sized and stocked pond a number of years ago and never had much problem with health or water quality, only ich and fin rot a couple times. This new pond however is really frustrating me. I have a a pump that turns the water over at least once per hour, connected to a downflow lava rock filter with a fiberfill pre filter at the top in a 35 gallon garbage can. It holds 4 cubic feet of lava rock.

    So the problem I have been having is with flashing and a several fish that just sit at the bottom or the side shelves.
    It started with a few fish, then it became nearly all of them.
    I figured it was parasites, so i treated with Tetra Ponds renamed DesaFin.
    It helped somewhat. I did have charcoal in the pond, and was told to remove it because it would remove the medicine. So after four days I treated again.

    Still the koi flash. The odd thing to me is that they flash most frequently at night. Not so much during the day.

    So I asked one pond place where I bought fish what to do. He told me to do a water change of 25% and salt the pond to 3%. I had it salted to 1% and then brought it up to 2.25%. And he sold me MelaFix (Tea Tree extract) to "cure" the fish.

    After a few days the MelaFix seemed to do little to help the fish. They still are flashing (mostly at night) and sitting around.

    So I went to Trickers, the other place I buy fish and stuff. He told me to stop using Melafix, change 25% of the water, and only salt to 1%. He sold me their store brand of No Ich, malachite green. And suggests it should help them within a week.

    While there I bought 2 more 6" Koi, because they were cool and I am addicted. I know...why buy more fish to add to a sick pond...don't yell at me.

    Now the 2 new Koi started flashing after about an hour, so to me that rules out parasites. What else could it be? I use dechlor each time I add fresh tap water, all other water tests come up fine (nitrate/nitrite/amonia) and the PH is roughly 7.2-7.5.

    What could be the cause of this? I see no signs of other illness. No sores, no ich, no spots....I don't have a scope so I can't "scrape and scope" as you call it. Any suggestions?

    I also bought one fish that has its mouth stuck open. It seems to eat OK. I don't remember seeing it like that when I bought it, but now I will look the fish over a little better. Is the koi's jaw broken, or is it some other disease?

    Also, when changing over 25% of the pond water, how am I to add the dechlor? Dose it for the eventual water total prior to adding the water? Add a little as it fills, or add it after it is done filling?

    Like I said I had a pond before for 3 years and never went thru anything like this.

    It seems the more I read on the net, and the more pond store people I talk to, the more I get conflicting information. Your help is much appreciated to help my fish be healthy and happy.

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Questions: Where are you located? (Climate can matter.) What are the actual readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? What is the pH early in the morning, and what is it around noon, and what is it at night? Do you know the hardness of the water? Is the water from a municipal utility, or a well?

    At this point you have treated with salt, a formalin product and a malachite green product. Let's not treat anymore until the problem is figured out.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    PS... I use ST for dechlorinating. For a 25% water change I would add enough to dechlorinate the new water before adding the new water.

  4. #4
    Tosai Bitter Jeweler's Avatar
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    I am located in Cleveland, Ohio.

    The readings for amonia, nitrite and nitrite, show Zero based on the color chart and my eyes. I use the liquid tests that have the color chart, I am guessing they are only approximate.

    We typically test for PH in the morning, and it's around 7.2-7.3.
    I will test it tonight as well, but will have to wait till next weekend to test at noon.

    I don't know the actual water hardness. It is city water, but it doesn't seem that hard. At least we don't get a lot of mineral build up around the faucets.

    To dechlor I used a tetra pond product that has Sodium Thiolate (sp? I'll run down and read the bottle again in a bit) and chelating compounds to remove metals, and some coloidal agent(?) to help the fish.

    60% of the pond gets full sun from about 11am till 5pm. We don't have lot of foliage cover due to the late start. I do have an upper pond of about 30 gallons filled with water hyacinth, a few cat tails, a large sweet flag, and a Pickerel weed (I think). This is where the filtered water goes to, then down a roughly 2 foot stepped falls.

    I clean the fiberfill prefilter roughly every other day as needed, before it hits the overflow pipe. I do use tap water for that, but try to wring it out well before putting back in the filter.

    I am also thinking about making a "protien skimmer" if I can figure out exactly how to build it and where I should put it. I have been reading that thread about the "awesome protein skimmer"


    OH Yeah....the pond is 18 feet long x 7.5 feet wide with a roughly foot wide shelf all around, about a foot down. And the main depth is 4 feet, I just couldn't dig the clay up any further. Or I would have gone for 5'

  5. #5
    Jumbo B.Scott's Avatar
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    Indeed, as mike suggests your filter should only just now be coming into it's own as 6-8 weeks is the normal time it takes a filter to develop the first vestages of equalibrium.
    My other thought is... Have you ever bothered to scrape any of these fish and examine it under a microscope? If parisites are the problem you are not going to get anywhere just blasting away at random.

    B.Scott

  6. #6
    Jumbo
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    Were the new fish quarantined before adding to pond? By not quarantining new fish can cause more headaches. Good luck. Please keep us posted on how the fish are doing.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    What is your filtration? Having no detectable ammonia, nitrite or nitrate is not typical.

  8. #8
    Tosai Bitter Jeweler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Scott View Post
    Indeed, as mike suggests your filter should only just now be coming into it's own as 6-8 weeks is the normal time it takes a filter to develop the first vestages of equalibrium.
    My other thought is... Have you ever bothered to scrape any of these fish and examine it under a microscope? If parisites are the problem you are not going to get anywhere just blasting away at random.

    B.Scott
    I did use a Bio-Filter Jump start product, whether it works or not ????
    I don't have a microscope....

    Quote Originally Posted by Campcheryl View Post
    Were the new fish quarantined before adding to pond? By not quarantining new fish can cause more headaches. Good luck. Please keep us posted on how the fish are doing.
    No, I didn't.
    Mind you I am an amateur that has relied on apparent conflicting misinformation. Could you point me to info on proper quarantining? Or should I just google "how to quarantine new fish"?

    The image of the fish below is the one whose mouth is always open.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Pond Health Help.-pond.jpg   New Pond Health Help.-fish1.jpg  

  9. #9
    Jumbo B.Scott's Avatar
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    Bio-filter Jump starts and for that matter all filter starters are pure snake oil. Don't ever waste you money on them. In normal temperatures it takes a filter 6 weeks to filter with a starter and 42 days without one. I've tested several and know of others who have tested many more in a control setup and never has a single one made any difference.

    A scope... Get one.. even cheap one is better than none at all. My first scope was made by Meade and cost $35. It was good enough for me to identify just about any normal parasite.

    If you can't look for parasites yourself you can't expect us to know what's wrong either.

    B.Scott
    Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat

  10. #10
    Tosai Bitter Jeweler's Avatar
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    B. Scott, point well taken.

    I will have to try to find one somewhere, because I am freaking out about these fish. A couple of them will sit head up, and a couple sit head down. They swim level though.

    What do I use to scrape, how do I scrape, and where do I scrape.
    Then, what am I looking for in the scope?
    Sorry for being such a panicked noob....

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