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Parasites Outbreak

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  • Parasites Outbreak

    Hello all Koi experts, I think I have a Parasite outbreak of some sort. Please help to diagnose and treat my koi.
    3500 gal pond 1+ year old.
    2 20 " Introduced 3 weeks ago
    5 10-12" introduced since day one July of last year. (having problem)
    6 4.5-6" introduced more than a week
    PH 7.8~8.0 (could not decide base on the color)
    Amonia 0.0
    Nitrite 0.0
    Nitrate 20 ppm
    All test results were done at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM today Wed. 8/03/05.
    On Sunday nite 2 of my koi had shown sign of stress, the left fins on both koi were close to the body and they seem to like the bottom of the pond more but they do come up and eat but not as much as they would normally. I cosulted with a local koi dealer Monday morning and was recommended to give them a salt bath and use Melafix for 3 daysand also add pond salt to water (I'd been around pond and koi for the last 7 years and this is the first time having any kind of sickness and sing salt on pond)
    Treatment start on Monday noon.
    Two sick koi was dipped in salt bath for 5 min. each I noticed that one of them has a small redness ulcer near the gill area.
    Add salt according to the package instruction and 1 dose of Melafix,
    second dose of melafix on Tuesday afternoon fish seem to get worse. Today both of the sick fish have some sort of white skin all over the body, (look like someone just had a nasty sunburn and the skin start to peel off.) they hang around the side of the pond and not moving much, the rest of the koi are not eatig at all and hiding under the lilly pads. Is this a condition of the salt or Melafix being add to the pond?
    I'd heard about Gill fluke and other parasite problem but never treat my bond for any of them before, all of my fish beside the first 5 came from friend's pond and they were doing well in their pond without any sign of parasite infection. I'd never add anything to the pond beside Amquel when changing water (never have to).
    Talked to the koi dealer this morning and was reccomended again to use Prazipond and Proform C to treat the whole pond and also some type of injection for the one with ulcer.
    Please help.
  • #2

    Hi Andrew,
    Sorry to hear about your trouble.

    My advise is that you found out exactly what your sick koi has and cure it. Don't waste your money on medicine after medicine. You are just stressing out your fish even more.
    Talk to the dealer you bought your fish from and see if they have any problem. Most likely, they will too if their fish is the carrier.

    I myself don't like melafix too much. "Quick cure" is my preferred one.

    Also, make sure your salt level is not too high (0.30 is good)

    Prazi and proform are both good medicine and EXPENSIVE!!! So make sure they are applicable before using them at all.



    • #3

      Hi Andrew, could you joint a pict, if possible a close up ?



      • #4


        why donĀ“t you take a swab from the mucous membrane and examine this und a microscope before you use this pharmaceuticals?




        • #5


          I think your assumption of a parasite outbreak is correct and it appears that you added the last two fish without quarantining them and this is where you picked up the parasites. So now your entire pond is infested with them. Some comments about your situation.

          1. Find a new koi dealer. The one you went to for advice is clueless. If he was worth a darn, he would have offered to scrape and scope your fish to determine exactly what the problem was and offer treatment accordingly. But he did not and instead, sold you the Melafix he just happen to have on the shelf. Koiloco is correct that Melafix is worthless as an anti-parasite and anti-bacterial. In fact, in cases such as yours where the fish is stressed because of parasite irritation, Melafix can make the situation worse. However, the advice of the Prazipond and/or ProForm C is good.. but read the rest of this first.

          2. The appearance of skin coming off the fish is actually excess mucous. It is the mucous coat on the fish that is his first line of defense against parasites and the parasite count on the fish builds, the fish attempts to rid itself of the parasites by excreting excess mucous. All of this adds to stress.

          3. Back to your dealer's advice... the salt bath was probably a good idea but you did not state the salt level that you used. Typically, I recommend a salt bath at .6% for 30 minutes. This may or may not effect the parasite depending on which one (s) we are dealing with. But it is a reasonable first step until we get better information. The problem with the salt bath is that if you do not treat the pond for parasites, then the problem will return immediately when the fish is released back to the pond.

          4. The ulcer needs to be treated NOW. If you have iodine, use that to treat the area directly using a q-tip to scrub under the scales surrounding the wound site. Potassium permanganate paste works well too. Hydrogen peroxide is a distant third. Commercial preps such as Debride and neosporin work very well. But, unless you remove the stress from the fish, the immune system will stay surpressed and the bacterial infection causing the ulcer will spread rapidly.

          5. The best advice you have so far is get a scope and examine a sample of the mucous. This will tell us exactly what is wrong and then we can work to fix it. Without this evidence, we are guessing and left with the recourse of shotgun treatments hoping that we hit the right one soon enough.

          Ideally we are looking at having such chems as Praziquantal or Supraverm for flukes, ProForm C for most other parasites, and Dimlin for argulus and anchor worms on hand. Let us know what you have or have available in your area. But first, get the scope exam done and come back to us with the results.



          • #6

            this is one of my "buttons' so i'll try and keep it brief.

            In order to treat a koi for a medical condition you have to be able to make a diagnosis. If you don't know what you have you can't properly select a medication. That's why in today's world when you call the Dr. he has you come in and makes swabs ( as already suggested) to identify what you have. the day of the broad based anti-biotic is gone. it has to be the correct one for the specific "invader". Parasites and other idiseases are just taking advantage of a
            weakened situation. get someone that knows to inspect your koi. get them to come over or bring one in. watch what they do to inspect and make slides to look under the microscope. Because you'll want to be able to do that in the future.

            I like to put all my work into prevention. Healthy uncrowded environment where
            they can fight things off themselves. But you still have to know what to do when you see a koi flipping or flashing. parasites are like fleas to a pet. You treat them at the first sign and they don't open up wounds for other problems. You make a scraping and find out which bug it is and then treat for that.

            say your dealer makes a correct diagnosis of the problem and sells you the correct medication. have you metered to the exact gallon what water your pond contains so that the medication can be administered in the proper amount? Do you have a q tank to use prior to introducing koi to your main pond .

            I'm sorry I can't diagnose your problem over the internet. You'll have to rely
            on local support. But my hope is you'll learn from this event. Get a microscope
            and learn how to use it. get a book, get educated on diseases. make a q tank and learn how to use it. Spend lots of time with your koi and watch them for any indication of something's wrong. then immediately go into hyper gear and be pro active. If you don';t know what your gallonage is please get a meter
            and be prepared for next time.
            I hope something i've said sticks. I hope you don't feel that I'm uncaring. just the opposite. I want you to be sucessful and happy with your koi. To be successful you have to learn to keep water. Then the koi can keep themselves.
            Dick Benbow


            • #7

              Thanks Koi_Bito folks for the input.

              I was my problem of not quarantin the new fishes first. This morning 2 of my koi died 15" and 12", I had them since lst year, one of them was the one I'd mentioned with the skin peeling off. the rest of the koi are doing fine still swimming around but do show sign of stress, a couple of the big koi 20+" are hanging near the water fall, I also see 2 other koi having a typical finrot problem.
              Did a 20% water change this morning and will talk to the koi dealer again for medication advice. I don't have a scope to look for parasite, can anyone in the area help?
              I'm learning a very hard lesson, What do you folks on this board think about using shotgun approach and treat the whole pond completely and get rid of all parasites by using PP and or Prazi. I need all of the advise I can get. I don't want to bury another fish as this seem to be fast acting parasite, the fish died within 3 days of showing problem.


              • #8

                Hi Andrew
                If you can not get your fish scoped then you can always try the shotgun approach (not recommended). Make sure salt level in pond is below .1%. Use proform C 3 days in a row with 20% water changes in between each treatment. next step use Prazi leave in pond 5 to 7 days. No water changes while doing prazi treatment. MAKE SURE UV LIGHTS ARE TURNED OFF DURING BOTH TREATMENTS THE ENTIRE TIME. Prazi comes in liquid and powder form I prefer the liquid it is easier to measure and there is no problem with it breaking down like the powder form. Powder form requires using a gram scale to get accurate measurements. Buy from a reputable koi dealer not a pet store don't bring friends koi into your pond. QT all fish

                This could have all been avoided if you had QT your fish.
                1. Build a QT tank
                2. suggestion get a book on koi heath care, Dr. Nicolas Saint-ernn has an excellent one called Advanced koi care.
                3. Get a microscope


                • #9

                  Thanks for the quick respond Nancy.
                  Talked to the koi dealer just now, he has no idea beside recommend treating for fin rot problem. This symptom was fast, I did not see the fin rot on the fish last night, this morning something is eating away on the top fin of the body on one fish and white spots on another. Learned a hard lesson, I'll take the shotgun approach as the fish may die soon.
                  Any idea about the affect of turning off the UV during the treatment for 7 or 8 days?


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by andrewn15
                    Thanks for the quick respond Nancy.
                    Talked to the koi dealer just now, he has no idea beside recommend treating for fin rot problem. This symptom was fast, I did not see the fin rot on the fish last night, this morning something is eating away on the top fin of the body on one fish and white spots on another. Learned a hard lesson, I'll take the shotgun approach as the fish may die soon.
                    Any idea about the affect of turning off the UV during the treatment for 7 or 8 days?
                    The only effect of turing your uv light off, is your water might go green.
                    Usually fin rot and aeromonas are seconddary to parisitic infestation. Not always but ususally, make sure you keep yopur water conditions in pristine shape.


                    • #11

                      I think you should focus on saving your kois, and REC and nancy has what may do just that for you.

                      Obviously you have no scope. So shotgun is the way. Summary, you need these:

                      1. iodine or hydrogen peroxide, get it from RiteAide or drug place
                      2. ProfromC, plus Prazi or prazipro. In you are in the valley the cheapest place for that is, drive there, buy the drug and dump it in. The cheapest place for prazi is jemhco, in NJ, too far to help. The cheapest place for prazipro is, also too far to help. Get enough prazi to treat your pond twice.

                      Do these steps today:
                      1. get iodine, hydrogen peroxide, or PP
                      2. apply on koi ulcers
                      3. do 50% water change, dechlo
                      4. drive to fancy koi, buy proformC and prazi or prazipro
                      5. do 50% overdose on ProformC
                      5a. if prazi, mix it with ProformC (shake well), and spread it to the pond
                      5b. if prazipro, just pour it in the pond.

                      dose with ProformC for 5 days, no overdosing, at the 5th days, do partial water change (25%), and do proformC+prazi. no water change for another 5 days.

                      This is not cheap, but hopefully will save some of your kois.



                      • #12

                        Thanks Koi-Bito fan.
                        After a crash research and input from Koi fans, reputable koi dealers in the area, How do you folks think about this treatment approach.
                        1) Bring salt conentration to 4% over the period of 3 to 4 days (help with stress and fungus fin rot problem) starting tonight
                        2) Add Prazi tonight and stop doing water change for the next 10 days.
                        3) Feed only with medicated food for the next 15 days (if the fish eat them, acouple of big koi have not eat at all the last few day).

                        Since my koi are under stress, the koi dealer recommend to use salt to help that problem, I can not use ProFormC as a treatment right now.

                        Or do you folks recommend using ProForm C along with Prazi now and skip the salt treatment.

                        Thanks everybody again for your input.


                        • #13

                          4% salinity is definately wrong. It should be 0.4%. using salt to reduce stress and suppress bacteria has its merit. However, we have to first decide who are reponsible for your kois' dying. If stress does, you must have one or more of the following:
                          1. way over stock
                          2. poor water quality
                          3. some predators having dinner party in your pond

                          if you can provide # and size of kois you still have, and some photo. That will be very helpful.

                          However, I suspect parasites are the culprits. Salt simply will not do much with parasites these days. If I were you, i will go with proformC+prazi. BTW, you should keep salinity below 0.15% with proformC.

                          Let's see what the big guns like REC and nancy think.



                          • #14

                            REC's existing advice is on the dot.

                            Nancy's suggested treatment protocol is a perfectly good shotgun treatment.

                            Many northern california koi clubs have koi health advisors available to do scrape/scope required to identify the exact parasite(s), if any. This is typically kept within the club (if you don't belong to the club, you might not get a home visit) and any issues discussed with a KHA are typically kept confidential, but with encouragement to share the experience so others can learn from it.

                            Some dealers do a good job as well; most (all?) of the top quality dealers are good with a microscope and will scrape/scope on request. The best dealers do this for their sale stock in/out of quarentine, so they have plenty of practice.

                            Anything else I could add will likely just muddy the waters with unneccessary details or repeat what has already been said.


                            • #15

                              Thanks folks for your replies.
                              Saratogan, you're right. 0.4% on the salt concentration (typo). Just did a scope few minuites ago (i brought a sample to the koi dealer) fluke was the main culprit but he said that there were some other parasite also. Since the fish are under stress right now, Salt and Prazi is the only way to go.
                              What do you think?
                              ProformC + Prazi
                              Salt at .4% + Prazi.
                              I have on-hand enough Prazi for 2 treatments, will buy salt tonight on the way home if this is the way to go.
                              If ProFormC + Prazi is the treatment, I will have to wait til tomorrow night since i won't be able to get them til then.
                              Again, thank Koi-Bito folks


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