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  • Big problem - Need help

    Well I feel like a failure as a new Koi keeper as I have lost 2 fish and another 2 are showing problems. The first picture is of a Kujaku I lost 2 days after the picture was taken. When it died more of its dorsal was gone and its tail had problems like in photo#2 (sorry about quality). Photo 2 is one of Dick B's lil Asagi that I got. Still alive but worried because of the speed of progression on the Kujaku. Photo 3 is of a gin rin Karasu that between the red brackets has its skin eaten up and the lip cartilage is showing (still alive). The other one that died (I put down) was a lil chagoi that was missing its entire bottom lip just 2 little pieces of cartilage on the side that made it look like it had pincers.

    New Q tank running since Nov 18th

    Temp has been between 68-72 every time that I have checked it.
    10% daily water change
    Salinity mantained at 0.3


    Nov 23 11:00 am
    O2-8.8 mg/l, PH - 8.0, KH - 90, NH3 - .0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 0

    Dec 3 10:00 am
    O2-8mg/l, PH - 7.6, KH - 60, NH3 - .6, NO2 - .1, NO3 - 0

    Dec 6 10:30 am
    O2-8mg/l, PH - 8.0, KH - 90, NH3 - .6, NO2 - .1, NO3 - 5

    Dec 9 (today) 10:30 am
    O2-8mg/l, PH - 8.2, KH - 100, NH3 - .6, NO2 - .1, NO3 - 5, PO4 - .25, CA - 140, FE - 0.

    Looked in my books, but being new I can not make a diagnosis and I do not want to medicate willy-nilly. I removed the carbon from the TT and dosed with Melafix today until I can find out what to do. Other than the dip in PH on the 3rd (bio filter starting up?) things have looked pretty good with the water quality unless I am missing something. Any suggestions?
    Attached Files
  • #2

    your NH3 and NO2 do not look good at all. I think your filter may not be fully functional, or your tank is overloaded. If I own these kois, I will do this:

    massive water change
    salt to 0.55%
    do neo tricide dip. (or PP dip)

    from the pictures, your kois are yelling fin-rot and mouth rot. Melafix will do younothing as far as the desease is concerned.

    hope this bring out the big guns to help you further.



    • #3

      Diagnostics is as always impossible to accurate give like this. I guess someone wiser then I will come along.

      Take a trip to

      It looks bacterial to me; if so you better get it confirmed (lab test), for witch antibiotic / penicillin to use.

      - If bacterial skip the biofiltert, trickle to overflow fresh, heated and treated (if necessary) water. This should take all filter problems out off the equation and give opportunity for the best readings in water parameter. Do keep mechanical filtration and steep up flushing.

      - Your temperature is for untreated better for bacteria Than Nishikigoi and salt is dependent off strain a double-edged sword. Temperature at 84-85 will often favour Nishikigoi and not the most known bacteria strains

      - Some reproduce faster with salt than salt free environment.

      PS! Please get more than my thought on both off these statements; I’m not educated in medicine beyond my reading skills and limited experience.
      Tone - Truls -Petter
      Vogata NI


      • #4

        Thanks Saratogatan and Vogata for your replies.

        Some more info to clarify: These are my first fish and this is a brand new 500 gal Q-tank I built while I work on my 7,000 gal main pond. I wanted to be sure to have a quarantine/treatment tank finished, runnning, and established before I finished the main pond. I wanted to get some cheap fish to practice and start learning the necessary husbandry/stewardship skills required of this hobby. Being a *new* system I expect the bio filter to take a little bit of time to get established (6-8 weeks?). The NO2 and NO3 are just now showing up so I believe that the bio filter is just starting to get established. Do you not need some NH3 to get the proper bacteria started and established in the bio filter? I expect to see the NH3 start to drop off in a week or two. The stocking level is one 8.5" fish, five 5"-6" fish, and one 3" fish. I believe this may be caused by one of the following:

        1) Improper additions of sodium thiosulfate or residual chlorine from the water changes. I have been carefully measuring the dosage for the 10% water changes by the instructions but I have yet to be able to find a good Chlorine test kit to be sure (only have those cheap pond dip strips). I do have activated carbon in my TT so any chlorine remaining should be removed after one pass through the system.
        2) Salt burns. Maybe I messed up the salt dip solution I put them in when I first brought them home or: being a newbie knucklehead I was just sprinkling the salt into the pond to maintain the .3 salanity level the first week. Some salt would remain until it dissolved around the pump inlet for an hour or two. I am now completley dissolving the salt into solution and adding slowly during the water changes.
        3) Burns from the Titanium tube aquarium style electric heater.
        4) Chemicals leaching from treated lumber. I used treated lumber for the coping around the raised tank that is located under cover on the porch and did not seal it. I added a green house cover to the tank to conserve heat because of the TT . I am wondering with the all the humidity and condensation that is running down the walls inside if it is contaminating the water by leaching chemicals from the lumber.
        5) Some yet undisclosed parasite, bacterial or viral outbreak.

        Attached Files


        • #5

          FPF, I will rule out 1, 2, & 4, based on the the fact the damage on the kois are 'localized'. You would have seen more evenly spread damage on the kois if 1, 2 or 4.

          To check for chroline damage, please net the koi, check its gills. Chroline damage are more visible on gills.

          I will return melafix to the play you bought it. That stuff is pretty useless anyway. I will buy ChromaX, or ammo lock instead. add it to the tank to bing NH3 down to less than 0.25. Your biofilter should cycle with that level of doping.

          You can continue to do salt dip, 1lb NaCl per 5 us gallon. But I still think Tricide neo dip will do the trick. (I would have done PP dip, 1gm/us gallon, 3 minute) given the fin rot is getting to the body of the koi, you simply can't wait any longer.



          • #6

            Agree with Saratogatan...mouth, tail and fin rot. Not fish, new system, stress etc. Biggest problem is that your filter isn't established and your water quality. Melafix in my experience at best only slows the problem slightly, and I mean slightly. I have had great success with Triocide 3 or Neocide (whatever brand name you get it as....same stuff). Should be able to find it ... think you live in western Washington. If not email me and I can direct you.
            Water changes to keep levels of ammonia and nitrite down, no food whatever until you're cycled properly. Salt level about .3%. If too high could slow down the healing somewhat. Until you can get the dip, temporarily sterilize the areas affected with a slightly moistened cue tip with just enough PP to get a little color on the tip. A little goes a long way. this stuff will get all over you if you not careful. Keep it away from the gills. If you don't have any PP use iodine or something similar the clean and sterilize the infected areas.
            The neocide dip should show some improvement after about the 3rd day's dip...use it for 4 or 5 days total. Also if you get the 5 gallon packet measure out 22 grams and make a 1 gallon have to use distilled water...make sure you don't use regular water. Mix well in 1 gallon plastic jug of distilled water from the store.
            Since you fish are small, use just enough in a small bag...about 1/2 to 1 cup of the mix. Get a bowl out and put some of your pond water in it so that you can suspend the bag with the fish into the your bowl. Before you put the koi into the bag of dip, hold the bag in the bowl of pond water to equalize the temperature of the solution. They tend to feel more secure this way even though they are only in a small amount of solution in the bag. They feel like they are in more water.
            Keep them in the dip for 4-5 minutes..watching and directing the solution over the infected parts. Then dump or slide the koi into bowl of pond water to rinse for a minute...if you slide them out of the bag carefully, you can reuse the solution in the bag for each day's treatment for all the koi...or just dump it all into the bowl and use new....then hand move back into tank. Do not get the dip solution into your quarantine tank as it will futher retard your filter. Use new solution each day though. Do not mix all 5 gallons worth...just a waste of money. I've even used a cup or two on larger fish (15-20 inches) this fine. It will last in solution for a long time.
            If there is a positive side to this, it's learning...we've all been there. Hope this helps.


            • #7

              One more should definitely replace that treated lumber around the top of your tank. It overhangs and your going to get some leaching from the wood because of the associated moisture. That's not your main culprit right now... but sure it's not helping your water either. Better to be safe than sorry.


              • #8

                One more ....very important.....keep your ammonia level down to 0 if possible or at the worst no more than .25. with the ph at 8.0 or 8.2 you're really putting alot of stress on those guys. You'll just have to take a reading and note it, change water, say 20-25 % then read again. Keep changing until your reading is .25 or below....preferably .0, but that's tough. Your 1st ammonia indication by tests was December 3rd. You still got about 6-10 days before your filter is hopefully going to handle it. It has started as you you starting showing nitrite the same day. You may be changing out some of the water a couple times a day. Spread it out some. It's a pain but that ammonia has to come down artifically until the filter handles it. The salt level a .3% will help with the nitrite, but you want to do the same the keep it down as well. Don't envy ya..but been there, done that.
                You will get up one morning and your kits will show will happen...that's the good news water wise. By the way what are the bottles sitting next to the pond....amquel, amquel +, etc. Also see you have Hakari food...that I hope stays in the bag for awhile...wheat germ, staple, gold?


                • #9

                  Got bugs!

                  Thanks Saratogatan and Dan, good advice greatly appreciated!
                  Yep Dan located SE of Kent in Western Washington.
                  Sodium Thiosulfate, Amquel, Amquel +, Novaqua, PP, Quick cure, Paracide Green, and a bottle of Cycle. Hikari wheat germ, staple, gold. No food for the first three days (what I was told when I got the fish ....should of told them they were going into a new system), then wheat germ for a week, then pretty much staple although I add a few pellets of gold and wheat to it. Feed once a day what they can eat in 5 minutes and I cut up one shrimp a couple times a week for treat. Don't worry no more food til bio filter gets up!

                  Finally got some scrapes to someplace with a microscope and it seems I have Chilodonella. Not to bad I hope, 3-10 per slide, on the ones that had it, no other parasites were found. I looked all around and down south today for Tricide neo, Triocide 3 or Neocide 3 locally and could not find any, I will check up north tommorrow, if not there I will mail order some.. When I got home I checked the ammonia level and it was at 1.0 so I did a 25% water change and it only dropped to .8. That is when I then promptly freaked out. ten 5 gallon buckets of pond water to the upstairs tub till I had 40 gallons in it. drop in an airstone and went down and netted all the fish. Put the fish in the tub and drained the Qtank and the settlement barrel, left the Bio filter barrel full of ammonia laced water so the bacteria has something to munch on. I hosed out the Qtank and brushed the sides down and wet vaced up ALL the water. Started to fill the tank back up and it took forever because I had to keep waiting an hour for the water heater to recharge each time. salted to .4, treated and tested till all the parameters looked good (O2 8, ph 8 every thing else 0). Turned on the pump bypassing the Bio Barrel. I then got the temp dialed in exactly to the temp of the upstairs tub. Grabbed the fish and brought them downstairs. Each one was inspected and spots were dabbed with Quick Cure before being placed back in the cleaned Qtank. Cleaned up around the tank and kept checking the fish for signs of stress. Everything looked good so I called it a night. Tommorrow I want to address the bugs but I can not use quick cure because of the salt or PP because of the Sodium Thiosulfate to dechlor when I filled it back up (need to wait 2-3 days) So I am thinking Paracide green the whole tank still bypassing the bio for 4-6 hours then turning back on Bio filter and the TT that has Activated carbon in the top tray. skipping a day, treating w/PG, skipping a day, treating w/PG. If I find some Neocide tommorrow I will dip em. I can not believe that with all the meds I got for my birds that none will work on Koi 8).



                  • #10

                    Oh, when I replace the wood on the coping is it all right to use Cedar or is that bad too?


                    • #11

                      Just a thought

                      Noticed your Oxygen levels and thought they did not look quite high enough. Found in my records the saturation levels for O2 for temperature ranges, which I've copied below.

                      5c = 12.8 mg/ltr
                      10c = 11.3
                      15c = 10.2
                      20c = 9.2
                      25c = 8.4
                      30c = 7.6
                      35c = 7.1

                      Personnly I like to get loads of air into my ponds reaching these levels, especially when a new pond, as it will assist with gassing off.

                      Do you have additional aeration? Or is the TT providing what you currently have?
                      Regards, Bob
                      ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
                      <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


                      • #12


                        I have an alita air pump with a manifold going to a 8' airstone near the exit area of the settlement barrel, One 12' in the Bio-filter barrel and another 12' in the main pond underneath the TT for upflow through the TT. Obviously I also have the TT. Temp has been kept at 70F-72F, and I have been running 94%-100% on the O2 saturation.



                        • #13

                          Never use treated wood, has arsenic in it. First good rain you have or any moisture that drains into pond, say goodby to your koi. Cedar,teak work fine. Bug problem, PP 1 TEASPOON per 600 gals (hot mix, standby with hydrogen pexoide if you see any signs of stress, 1 cup per 1000 gals, be sure you bypass filter. You need a well. I went thru same headache you are having with city water. My first pond is 1500 gals and it took 5 hours to fill with city water. If you add all the money you will spend on declorine in the future, think smart, get a well.

                          Remember the $600 rebate Bush gave, I brought a well, smart money. You are building a large pond, well is a must. Good luck.


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