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Thread: sick Koi. Please help urgently

  1. #1
    Nisai obman's Avatar
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    sick Koi. Please help urgently

    Hi all,
    Please help!! New into koi, built a 3,000 gallon pond, 4-5 months old. Have about 50 Kois from different sources. For the past 4 weeks, the Kois got infected (some pictures attached). The water is fine. I did a scrape and found Ich. Treated every day with Proform C (4 days so far) but the symptoms continue. Many had died (30 or so over weeks). The remaining gradually have these "greyish/white cotton balls on the body. I started treating with Jungle's Fizz tablets for Fungus which I assume would cover Cotton ball bacteria infection as it contains acriflavin. The Kois continue to get worse with fuzzy stuffs covering their body!!! What am I doing wrong? CAn you tell the disease from the pictures? Please help. I am about to get a heart attack from my fishes dying. Thank you for your help.


    EDIT 11/21/8
    Additional details listed here for others to chime in easily without having to read through the thread
    Address: Valencia/Santa Clarita, California
    Volume: 3000 gallon
    Plants: Yes (water lillies, Lotus, Hyacinth, Lettuce
    Filtration: Lava rocks bed approx 3'x3'x3' at the base of water fall
    Surface skimmer: yes
    Water Circulator: yes
    Water: GH 30 KH 80 PH 7.0 NO2 0 NO3 0
    Temp: 50-80F past few days (I live in central California)

    Additional details:
    When the problem first started, I used Pimafix for 3 consecutive nights under a local shop's advise, thinking that it is a simple fungal infection. On the 3rd day, as the fishes continued to develop membranes that looked like sloughed off skin, I added Melafix. The next morning, there were a large batch that died and I dumped 30 lbs of salt and used Dynex as Ich/Costia were diagnosed, again under the advise of local shop's "expert". The fishes by the way had small whitish patch in their gill. One interesting observation is that any fish that was removed for quarantine or salt bath or exam would almost certainly die very shortly! The water was tested throughly and again was "fine". During this whole time, I have been doing 15% water change every single day (and even until now). I removed the charcoal as well as turned off the UV light (57 watts). I also did a drastic move of removing all rocks from the bottom of the pond and vaccuum as much as I could. The fishes just are not getting better and I did my own research on the net and found out that the treat ment for Ich/Costia is Proform C which I did for 3 consecutive nights until now. May be it was my imagination but it seems stable for a day or 2 (but I think the really sick ones died off already). I had high hopes but then yesterday I noticed many previously healthy ones started having small whitich patch on the body and the "cotton looking ball" again. I added Jungle's Fuzzy tabs for fungus just now but the disease is still progressing after 1 day!!! Please help!!! A picture of the pond/waterfall is included for your viewing or the setup/layout.

    SOme other observation:
    A few fishes appear to be slightly slanting when swimming. The poop appears to be a trail of greyish black. I don't know if they have any intestinal issues. I tried to cut back on the feeding (once a day at most)

    Thank you all, again for helping the poor Kois and me as I am dying with the fish . I took off one week vacation last week to care for them but I just don't know what to do at this point. FOR THE LOVE OF KOIS!!!!!

    Edit:
    I do have a microscope and on gill scraping of dead fish, I found a few black moving circles and occasionally a long thin hair like / rod like very fast swimming organism at 60X as my scope only goes up to 100X but the 100X lense is not too good. I don't know what to make out of this but it sounds big trouble. Sorry. I couldn't take a picture from the microscope to show you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sick Koi. Please help urgently-pics1.jpg   sick Koi. Please help urgently-pics2.jpg   sick Koi. Please help urgently-pics3.jpg  

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Davenport, Oklahoma
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    It doesn't look good, but I'll wait for one of our KHA's to help you with the diagnosis. While we wait I will give you a few pointers that will help you avoid future problems.

    #1 "Fine" is not a description of Water Quality. It is an opinion of how you think the water is. Proper treatment in most cases is dependent on knowing details about your water so you need to provide real numbers. Ammonia ppm, Nitrite ppm, Nitrate ppm, ph, Temperature, and salt ppm are minimum numbers to test for, and once again, "fine" is inadequate. Real numbers from the tests are an absolute must.

    #2 50 fish in a 3000 gallon pond is almost always a train wreck in the making unless you are a highly skilled ponder with a massive filtration system (bigger than the pond) and a constant flow through of fresh water.

    #3 You said that the fish came from multiple sources. If any one of these sources had an infection or parasitic infestation that was not visible at the time of purchase, the entire pond became infected/infested when they were all dumped in together. If you had come here first (I know, you are new and didn't know because nobody told you) you would have been warned against mixing fish from different sources without proper quarantine procedures and against overstocking a pond. Whoever advised you on stocking levels and sold you so many fish without asking about your pond volume should be shot!

    The die off you have experienced was virtually guaranteed under the circumstances, and it will likely continue for a while. While we wait for a KHA to advise you on proper treatment I suggest you begin a massive water change with dechlorinator in order to purge the system of any leftover medications that may interfere with treatment, as some meds do not play well together.

    It will also be helpful to know more about your pond. We know the volume, but we need info on your filtration, flow rates, bottom drains?, skimmers?, Rocks in the bottom?, plants??? All of this will help to advise you better on how to prevent future problems.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  3. #3
    Nisai koiluv's Avatar
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    virginia
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    Hi Obman,
    Welcome to Koi Bito! Sorry for all your troubles. Jim North asked me to check on this. Larry is dead on with all he's mentioned. What you are seeing are all symptoms of poor water quality and mixing stock. A newly cycled pond can't handle that many koi at once, so that started the problem. They most likely were burned by ammonia. My first guess is you have a water mold like saprolignia growing on them. This is serious as it disturbs their ability to regulate water coming in and out of them. The more it spreads, the less chance you have of saving them. There is most likely skin damage under the mold which is why it attached to it in the first place. You are seeing what is usually a secondary infection from some other damage like parasites. They in a sense bore the hole for the mold to grab onto. Molds are very difficult to get rid of. We do need more data about your pond. We need to start with all the water parameters you can give us, what area are you located in (temperature of the water too). I am hoping you are in a warm climate. If we don't get the water pristine, nothing we do will help them recover. Can you pull a Koi and describe the color and condition of the gills? They should be dark red meat color and healthy, not swollen or have any marks on them. Lets start there.
    I am not around much today so I hope others will chime in too. If you can, get some salt on hand in the large blue bag from home depot. Start water changes as well to clear old chems. Terri
    Terri Janas
    Master Koi Health Advisor
    Member of
    ZNA Potomac
    MAKC

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Thanks for chiming in Terri. I was thinking the same, but wanted "certified" eyes on it and didn't want to give conflicting information just in case I was wrong

  5. #5
    Honmei
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    Guessing based on the pictures, there are multiple issues going one. Fungal from the green cotton like groth in two pictures and parasitis based on the other....both will, or already have go to bacterial issues Get a scope and scrape to determine the next proper course of action.

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  6. #6
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    While we wait for water parameters, can you start bringing the temp in the pond up to 78°? No more than 5° a day.

    When you let us know where you live, we may be able to find a KHA in your area that come to your pond and help. There isn’t going to be a quick fix for this and you’re going to lose more koi before it’s over. I’m sorry.

    Since you’re new to koi, you probably don’t have a scope, know how to use it or know what to look for. Doing shotgun treatments are usually not a good thing but if it’s a last resort, we’ll have to do that.

    I’ll try to check in off and on today as I’m sure others will. Once we get numbers, it will be very important to pick a treatment regiment and stick with it. Don’t combine treatments from different people.

  7. #7
    Nisai obman's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help and pointers. Please forgive me in not being specific. Here are the parameters and additional details:
    Address: Valencia/Santa Clarita, California
    Volume: 3000 gallon
    Plants: Yes (water lillies, Lotus, Hyacinth, Lettuce
    Filtration: Lava rocks bed approx 3'x3'x3' at the base of water fall
    Surface skimmer: yes
    Water Circulator: yes
    Water: GH 30 KH 80 PH 7.0 NO2 0 NO3 0
    Temp: 50-80F past few days (I live in central California)

    Additional details:
    When the problem first started, I used Pimafix for 3 consecutive nights under a local shop's advise, thinking that it is a simple fungal infection. On the 3rd day, as the fishes continued to develop membranes that looked like sloughed off skin, I added Melafix. The next morning, there were a large batch that died and I dumped 30 lbs of salt and used Dynex as Ich/Costia were diagnosed, again under the advise of local shop's "expert". The fishes by the way had small whitish patch in their gill. One interesting observation is that any fish that was removed for quarantine or salt bath or exam would almost certainly die very shortly! The water was tested throughly and again was "fine". During this whole time, I have been doing 15% water change every single day (and even until now). I removed the charcoal as well as turned off the UV light (57 watts). I also did a drastic move of removing all rocks from the bottom of the pond and vaccuum as much as I could. The fishes just are not getting better and I did my own research on the net and found out that the treat ment for Ich/Costia is Proform C which I did for 3 consecutive nights until now. May be it was my imagination but it seems stable for a day or 2 (but I think the really sick ones died off already). I had high hopes but then yesterday I noticed many previously healthy ones started having small whitich patch on the body and the "cotton looking ball" again. I added Jungle's Fuzzy tabs for fungus just now but the disease is still progressing after 1 day!!! Please help!!! A picture of the pond/waterfall is included for your viewing or the setup/layout.

    SOme other observation:
    A few fishes appear to be slightly slanting when swimming. The poop appears to be a trail of greyish black. I don't know if they have any intestinal issues. I tried to cut back on the feeding (once a day at most)

    Thank you all, again for helping the poor Kois and me as I am dying with the fish . I took off one week vacation last week to care for them but I just don't know what to do at this point. FOR THE LOVE OF KOIS!!!!!

    Edit:
    I do have a microscope and on gill scraping of dead fish, I found a few black moving circles and occasionally a long thin hair like / rod like very fast swimming organism at 60X as my scope only goes up to 100X but the 100X lense is not too good. I don't know what to make out of this but it sounds big trouble. Sorry. I couldn't take a picture from the microscope to show you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sick Koi. Please help urgently-dscn3920.jpg   sick Koi. Please help urgently-dscn3921.jpg  

  8. #8
    Honmei
    Join Date
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    2,744
    Quote Originally Posted by obman View Post
    Thank you all for your help and pointers. Please forgive me in not being specific. Here are the parameters and additional details:
    Address: Valencia/Santa Clarita, California
    Volume: 3000 gallon
    Plants: Yes (water lillies, Lotus, Hyacinth, Lettuce
    Filtration: Lava rocks bed approx 3'x3'x3' at the base of water fall
    Surface skimmer: yes
    Water Circulator: yes
    Water: GH 30 KH 80 PH 7.0 NO2 0 NO3 0
    Temp: 50-80F past few days (I live in central California)

    Additional details:
    When the problem first started, I used Pimafix for 3 consecutive nights under a local shop's advise, thinking that it is a simple fungal infection. On the 3rd day, as the fishes continued to develop membranes that looked like sloughed off skin, I added Melafix. The next morning, there were a large batch that died and I dumped 30 lbs of salt and used Dynex as Ich/Costia were diagnosed, again under the advise of local shop's "expert". The fishes by the way had small whitish patch in their gill. One interesting observation is that any fish that was removed for quarantine or salt bath or exam would almost certainly die very shortly! The water was tested throughly and again was "fine". During this whole time, I have been doing 15% water change every single day (and even until now). I removed the charcoal as well as turned off the UV light (57 watts). I also did a drastic move of removing all rocks from the bottom of the pond and vaccuum as much as I could. The fishes just are not getting better and I did my own research on the net and found out that the treat ment for Ich/Costia is Proform C which I did for 3 consecutive nights until now. May be it was my imagination but it seems stable for a day or 2 (but I think the really sick ones died off already). I had high hopes but then yesterday I noticed many previously healthy ones started having small whitich patch on the body and the "cotton looking ball" again. I added Jungle's Fuzzy tabs for fungus just now but the disease is still progressing after 1 day!!! Please help!!! A picture of the pond/waterfall is included for your viewing or the setup/layout.

    SOme other observation:
    A few fishes appear to be slightly slanting when swimming. The poop appears to be a trail of greyish black. I don't know if they have any intestinal issues. I tried to cut back on the feeding (once a day at most)

    Thank you all, again for helping the poor Kois and me as I am dying with the fish . I took off one week vacation last week to care for them but I just don't know what to do at this point. FOR THE LOVE OF KOIS!!!!!

    Edit:
    I do have a microscope and on gill scraping of dead fish, I found a few black moving circles and occasionally a long thin hair like / rod like very fast swimming organism at 60X as my scope only goes up to 100X but the 100X lense is not too good. I don't know what to make out of this but it sounds big trouble. Sorry. I couldn't take a picture from the microscope to show you.
    First let me say that your pond looks Beautiful. That being said and from what I can gather from the pictures and your description, it is not designed nor condusive to koi and I think your koi are not experiencing some of those effects. The rocks n the bottom are hiding decaying matter. This in turn is food for parasite, fungal and bacterial matter.

    It is really good that you have a scope. You need to compare what you have seen to pictures of various parasites. the balck moving circles can be a number of different things but sounds like trichodina. Costia is another possibly candidate of your problems but I serious doubt that you could identify such at 60X (it is tough at 100x). 400x is better suited for IDing Costia. Is there a local KHA in your area? You could contact a local club to find out. A Local KHA would be your best bet in assistance since it is ever so diffcult to properly diagnose and recmmend a course of action through the nternet....especially when multiple issues seem to be present.

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    7,642
    yep, this fish's immune system is shot probably due to one of two things- chronic parasitic infestation and or water quality issues. At this point, bacterial infections ( all the lower fins and flanks of the koi- mostly flexibacter but aeromonas has to be soon to follow) and maybe infestations of secondary fungal species ( only an opportunistic species).

    I'm not one to recommend hospital tanks but this fish needs intensive therapy. You need EXCELLENT warm well aerated water ( 76F). This will not increase too rapidly the infestations that warmer water will. You then need to treat this fish thru a series of treatments followed by water changes of EXCELLENT water ( preconditioned for pH/chlorine/metals/lack of oxygen etc) add lots of aeration to the quarantine. Keep the Q-tank spotless. Keep the fish relaxed in low light conditions. I'd give this fish a 50/50 chance for survival as long as you don't do anything to stress the fish more.
    Do some reading on flexibacter treatments for doses and meds. Use only MILD salt. High salt levels will kill this fish. There is going to be a bit of 'art' involved in weaning this fish back from the edge. For this reason, you need the hands on help of an advanced club member or a trusted dealer. This hands on help will increase the chances for survival over any internet advice that I or anyone else can give you. Eyes on the ground are what you need. - JR

  10. #10
    Nisai obman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    First let me say that your pond looks Beautiful. That being said and from what I can gather from the pictures and your description, it is not designed nor condusive to koi and I think your koi are not experiencing some of those effects. The rocks n the bottom are hiding decaying matter. This in turn is food for parasite, fungal and bacterial matter.

    It is really good that you have a scope. You need to compare what you have seen to pictures of various parasites. the balck moving circles can be a number of different things but sounds like trichodina. Costia is another possibly candidate of your problems but I serious doubt that you could identify such at 60X (it is tough at 100x). 400x is better suited for IDing Costia. Is there a local KHA in your area? You could contact a local club to find out. A Local KHA would be your best bet in assistance since it is ever so diffcult to properly diagnose and recmmend a course of action through the nternet....especially when multiple issues seem to be present.

    Steve
    Thank you. I love my garden but the Koi pond is priority ONE. PRoform should treat all Trich/Costia/Ich though. I thought may be the parasites temporary died off and may be the cotton ball disease from bacteria ensues. Please advise as I am afraid to proceed on my own at this point. I have read that the Jungle' Fuzzy Tabs for fungus will cure most bacteria/fungal and thought may be I should continue treating with it?

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