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Thread: What is "Sleeping" syndrome in Koi?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    What is "Sleeping" syndrome in Koi?

    What is "Sleeping" syndrome in Koi?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    it is a virus known in Japan since about 1960 that effects mostly fry and very young juvenile fish. It is easily killed by doing a standard salt treatment at temperatures above 80 F. Some believe it is a herpes virus. JR

  3. #3
    Nisai Eclipsar's Avatar
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    Think they also call it processing sickness in Japan, usually affects koi up to one year old, you will need to go to 30 C to cure it.

    Regards
    Chris

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    You're absolutely right Chris about the temperature. I meant to type 80 F and not 70F. I'll correct that now. JR

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    Tategoi cppond's Avatar
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    Is it common? What are the symptoms?

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    It's pretty much only seen in tosai after they are brought in. Stress is the likely trigger for this virus ( crowding and handling). But since salting and warmer temps are the usual indoor environment in modern times, it is treated as a matter of course in the harvesting process. And with intensive aquaculture becoming more common, the treatment is certainly part of the routine husbandry anyway. You just don't hear about this virus much any more, although once it was a real threat to the koi production. much worse viruses have appeared here and there since this one was gotten under control. Fry are a renewable asset, oyagoi are not.

    The symptoms Carl, are as the disease is named, sleeping! The fish sit on the bottom and tend to loose bouyancy. And if left untreated, die off in groups day by day. You only see it very rarely in the US. I saw it once at a Japanese American's facility in California.

  7. #7
    Nisai Eclipsar's Avatar
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    As JR says it seems to be stress related and seems to happen most when you start moving very young koi about.

    The koi seem to fall asleep then will swim normally for a while, then fall asleep again and if left untreated will die day by day.

    Regards
    Chris

  8. #8
    Tategoi cppond's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thank you, both.

  9. #9
    Nisai simon's Avatar
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    Everything mentioned ubove is bang on. I just imported 100 tosai from japan that have just got over sleeping sickness, but soon cured with salt and heat. However I would add that the symtoms does look like a costia outbreak a little. I scraped koi after koi and could not see anything. then gill scrapes again nothing I then lost six koi the next morning. sucken eyes, lots of mucus and reddening and shredding of the fins. Then spoke to breeder and he informed me that it would be sleeping sickness, with that in went the salt and heat and the koi were fixed within 3 days.
    In spring in japan you can see tosai stocks mixed with a larger koi, when I asked the breeder he said it was to bring out the sleeping sickness in the tosai apparently. so once they have been through the ordeal, it will rarely re-effect them once they are older or have been shipped.

  10. #10
    Fry
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    Hi all, first post here, and sorry to revive this 4 year old thread, but I'm fairly certain I have a case of sleeping sickness as well, and good information from people who know about this illness is very hard to come by. Hope some of you who posted here are still around.

    3 or 4 weeks ago, I bought a batch of 10 healthy looking tiny koi. When I introduced them in to my main pond, after a short while they began exhibiting the symptoms mentioned, and then some: clamped fins, a few with a thick slime coat, all of them laying on the bottom, floating around helplessly tail up or down, as if dead, one even upside down on the surface doing a perfect imitation of a dead fish. When agitated, they will swim normally. So far, 1 has died (though on hindsight, he might not have been dead yet from what I read, but he sure is now).

    I managed to catch 3, put them in a tank, I scraped and scoped them again, but Im a noob at this, the only koi parasites ive seen are pictures on the internet, so I couldnt find anything wrong. It was weekend, and to give the fish better odds of surviving until I could visit a koi doctor, I added 0.3% salt to the tank. In the tank, they looked completely healthy again. The same verdict by my koi doctor a day and a half later, he also couldnt find any signs of parasites or infection or any other illness. My koi doctor said it was probably stress, or a mild parasite that the salt treatment had meanwhile cured. He mentioned sleeping sickness, but didnt expand on it and suggested I salted my main pond, since whatever was causing the problems seemed to be cured with relatively low dosage of salt.

    So silly me, I put these supposedly healthy fish back in to my pond, where they promptly began sleeping again! My water tests just fine, so that leaves sleeping syndrome. Significantly, my older koi have since also been exhibiting signs of stress; occasional flashing, and one has developed a red tail fin.

    So Ive added 0.15% salt to my main pond, as Im reluctant to go higher (its a large pond, >50K liter) for now. That does seem to improve things slightly, I havent seen any floaters anymore, but the flashing continues and the small ones still very frequently sleep at the bottom, laying at an angle.

    A few questions remain;
    Sleeping sickness supposedly only affects young koi, 1-2 years old. But I wonder if the same virus (its virus isnt it?) can also infect older koi, but causing only much milder symptoms there? None of the older ones are sleeping or floating, just flashing and the one red tail fin. I cant find any parasites on them.

    As for treatment for the young ones, in so far I manage to catch them; is 0.3% and 30C what I should go for? How fast may I increase the temperature in the quarantine tank (its at 12-15C now, same as the pond) and how long do I have to keep them there?

    Any information would be most appreciated.

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