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Thread: What is "Sleeping" syndrome in Koi?

  1. #11
    Fry
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    update! on another forum someone provided me with this extremely interesting link:
    Koi Sleepy Disease: Emerging Fish Disease from Japan Koinewsnetwork’s Weblog

    It seems this disease affects fry when brought in from a natural earthen pond or lake, to a concrete pond. Precisely what happened with me. The article doesnt explicitely say epoxy or liner ponds do not cause this problem, but it sure does sound like concrete is an important element!

  2. #12
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    I'm not too familiar with sleeping sickness but there's a couple thing that immediately jump out at me.

    Number one, if it is sleeping sickness... You can do the salt outside but can you drive the temps where they need to be?

    Second, the fact that your older koi are flashing with reddened fins is concerning to me. You say that you've only seen pictures of parasites on the net. On a scrape and scope when moving through the magnification just watch for movement. There shouldn't be any.

    You say your water tests fine. Forgive me, but what is "fine"? Actual numbers including temp, pH, nitrite, ammonia, nitrate and hardness would be great for helping diagnose a problem. Any pictures are appreciated as well.

    Best luck,

    Grant

  3. #13
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vertigo View Post
    The article doesnt explicitely say epoxy or liner ponds do not cause this problem, but it sure does sound like concrete is an important element!
    Do not jump to that conclusion. In common discussion, Japanese refer to breeders' greenhouse ponds as concrete ponds. Many 'concrete ponds' are sealed such that water rarely comes into contact with concrete.

  4. #14
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcuss View Post
    Number one, if it is sleeping sickness... You can do the salt outside but can you drive the temps where they need to be?
    in the pond, no. I dont even want to do the salt there, not beyond 0.15% I put in now, or 0.3% if need be in case my bigger fish would get worse. Its a 50K liter pond. Tap water isnt free, and those small koi were as good as free. But I caught a few of the small ill ones, and they are in 100L tank, with aquarium heater and airstone. I can salt and heat them there, no probs. Hoping to catch the other ones.

    Second, the fact that your older koi are flashing with reddened fins is concerning to me. You say that you've only seen pictures of parasites on the net. On a scrape and scope when moving through the magnification just watch for movement. There shouldn't be any.
    In order to avoid writing a long novel, I left out several elements of the story, but lets say its understandable they would be somewhat stressed.

    A month ago, my pond was accidentally drained, all fish where caught in a knee deep mud pool of 30 years of accumulated dirt (I only took ownership of this pond recently, dont blame me). Shockingly they all survived.They have been moved twice, spent over a week in a much too small improvised pond with no proper filtration (I just changed water regularly). Then the pond was cleaned and partly redone, refilled, and fish added again.

    Note that the small koi that seem to suffer from sleeping sickness, were not subjected to any of this, they were added after the pond had been refilled.

    So if it hadnt been for the new small fish showing far graver symptoms, I wouldnt have worried too much about any stress symptoms in the older fish. Frankly, Im amazed they are all still alive, even a shubunkin that has laid dry on concrete for anywhere between 2 and 12 hours.

    As for parasites, I wouldnt trust my own scrapings. But I had several of the affected fish examined by a koi doctor, and he could find nothing wrong with them. (note they didnt even look sick at all in the plastic container when I brought them in, they were completely calm, swimming normally and looking 100% healthy. Back in my pond, after a few hours they were floating as dead again. I obviously used pond water in the container, in case you wonder).

    You say your water tests fine. Forgive me, but what is "fine"? Actual numbers including temp, pH, nitrite, ammonia, nitrate and hardness would be great for helping diagnose a problem. Any pictures are appreciated as well.
    Temp, fluctuating between 12 and 15C.
    Nitrite, ammonia, nitrate, all unmeasurable with my drop test kit.
    KH around 7 IIRC
    GH around 8
    PH ca 7.5 pretty stable.
    O2, not sure, but surely plenty (large airpump with airdisc, and cold water)

    Its a large pond (50K liter), and although refilled, it has an established filter system (that was never emptied), lots of plants, including ca 100 iris, extremely low fish load. I should also note my tap water contains as close to zero chlorine as can be measured, but I sprayed it in nonetheless and waited 2 days before adding fish.

    I understand why you ask, but its not likely something is or goes terribly wrong with my water. But since Id rather be safe than sorry, also had the water tested, and the verdict was that there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. That what I meant when I said its "fine"

  5. #15
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Do not jump to that conclusion. In common discussion, Japanese refer to breeders' greenhouse ponds as concrete ponds. Many 'concrete ponds' are sealed such that water rarely comes into contact with concrete.
    Good to know. Like I said, Im not sure if its the concrete as such they are talking about, or just the lack of mud at the bottom. One wonders what concrete could do to them, especially a pond that has cured for over 30 years like mine. Hence my quest for more info.

    Still, even before reading that, I found it surprising how my previously dead looking young koi almost instantly looked healthy when I put them in a plastic container with the same pond water. Even before salting. No clamped fins, no floating. Just looking fine. And just as quick after releasing them again (admitedly, from slightly salted to not salted water), they looked awful again. Makes me wonder?

    OTOH, after capturing some of them again, they currently dont look too good in the plastic container that now has 0.4% salt and temp has been raised to 18C. Clamped fins, and they seem like overly buoyant, floating up and having to swim down apparently. The ones in my main pond that I havent been able to catch yet, actually look better (although that may also explain why I havent been able to catch them lol).

  6. #16
    Fry
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    As for pictures, you can find some (along with the story prior to buying the sleeping koi) here:
    Whats that skinny guy been doing? Fixing a pond..

    Dont have any pics from the young ones playing dead, but Ill if I can grab some shots tomorrow.

  7. #17
    Tosai fishin4cars's Avatar
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    Glad to see you are trying every possible avenue to diagnose the problem.
    LOL, You can run but you can't hide. No really, Hope you get some good answers. I'm intrested in finding out what the final verdict is and how to treat. Good Luck! "fishin"

  8. #18
    Fry
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    Fishin, stop stalking me lol!

  9. #19
    Tosai fishin4cars's Avatar
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    LOL, was actually reading a PM message sent to me about questions on Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria. I have seen a few posts in the past about them but really didn't know much about them there effects, and how to control or use them. As I found out they are nasty little bacteria that are not wanted. I saw your post and wanted to read it and see what others had to say and what steps you could take. I hope you can get a answer and solution to your issue soon. I know your trying to do the best you can and taking every avenue to find a answer.

  10. #20
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're on the right track with making changes to your pond. So good on you for that! Any chance there have been insecticides or fertilizers spread/sprayed in your area recently? I know it doesn't completely jive as you moved the koi inside the aquarium with existing pond water... but stranger things have happened.

    At this point we need to eliminate as many uncontrolled variables as possible and also to try and get the koi to a place where they won't be handled very much and their environment can be controlled and medicine/treaments administered accurately and easily.

    If it were me, and I was bound and determined to heal the koi I had, I would go out and buy a pool like this one - Welcome to Intex Recreation Also, buy a tarp or cover to keep everyone in the pool as well as create a quiet environment for them to try and reduce the stress they're dealing with.

    I would add only fresh water from the city source, add dechlor and aeration as well as a temp. filter system if possible. If a filter isn't possible maintain parameters with water changes and no feeding. Any parts/pieces that are being utilized from the old pond get cleaned first. This accomplishes a few things. First off, we remove the possibility that something toxic/nasty is in the current pond water. We now have the koi in a place where they are easy to catch so we can intervene medically if required. We have an absolute known volume of water should we need to treat the water itself with meds. And if you want you can drain down the old pond and get it painted. The painting part is an aside... but hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.

    There's simply too many variables going on and nothing definitive has been discovered yet despite your best efforts and the assistance of who I can only assume is a Veternarian who knows about koi. (or at the very least an experienced hobbyist with a lot of knowledge).

    If it's within your ability have the pool inside a garage or basement so that you can drive the temp up to 24 degrees give or take a couple do so. (or 30 if it's sleeping disease). Koi have a very hardy immune system if they're provided with the environment to encourage it... clean, warm, oxygen saturated water can do wonders on it's own.

    I'd also salt the water to .3% if anything to assist the osmotic process.

    Short of that I'd have to defer to someone who knows what they're doing actually getting pond-side at your house with a plethora of testing equipment and knowledge.

    Best wishes, and again, congratulations on all the effort you've expended so far. It might not seem like a lot of fun now, but this hobby can be so rewarding.

    Grant

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