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question on microscopes

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  • question on microscopes

    forgive me if i'm generalizing, but i believe using microscopes to determine problems with our koi is not a commonly practiced method where i am (Indonesia). i'm trying to get a group of koi hobbyists together to buy one. a friend of ours recently purchased a new koi and, you guessed it, his whole pond started acting strange: koi sunk to the bottom of the pond, not swimming, body reddening, etc. the dealer, to his credit, came down to take a look and recommended certain medication. however i can't help but feel the recommendations are shots in the dark and more like trial and error methods.

    to the people who use microscopes, are they really that helpful? after taking a scrape, what source of references do you match them with to determine the problem?

    any advice would be appreciated, including types of scopes, as i've never bought one myself and the last time i used one was in science class in secondary school (many moons ago). i'm hoping it could be the answer to sleepless nights which my poor friend, i can imagine, is experiencing right now. is this a realistic expectation? thanks beforehand.
  • #2


    I would rate the microscope in the top 5 essential items of any koi keepers equipment. It is so important that you have one or have access to one. today's books have very good photography of koi parasites, and in time identifying these parasites can become second nature with a microscope.
    correct identification means correct treatment which could be the difference between saving or killing koi. the wrong treatment can just prolong the suffering of koi unnecessary, and there is no all in one medication to kill all parasites. so the microscope is essential.
    I dont think no one is able to diagnose such problems as costia infestation to the gills, by looking at the fish in the pond. And problems such as costia left longer or not eradicated by medication because it was the wrong treatment can kill are beloved koi in days. invest in a microscope its better than losing any of your koi.


    • #3

      to me, owning and knowing how to use one is as basic as a bottom drain,pump and bio filter to a koi pond.

      a good book to get your hands on is the one that dr. Johnson wrote.

      also let me put a plug in for Q tanks. A great step in between the dealer and your pond!
      Dick Benbow


      • #4

        You need a decent microscope with 40x, 100x, and 400x magnifications (total between the eye piece and the lenses). You also need one with a diaphragm to filter the light to a comfortable level in order to see the parasites.

        Better still, get one with a light so that you do not depend on ambient lighting to work.

        A binocular is not necessary. In fact I find them distracting. I prefer a monocular where I can use one eye on the objective and the other to look at what I am doing moving the slide around.

        A very good investment indeed for a koi keeper.


        • #5

          thanks guys. my friend's company has a microscope that seems to fit the bill, and available for us to borrow for our koi matters, so i'll use that when necessary for now. there's a 1000x Olympus model here going for about USD800.00 but i figure i better try the free one first to make sure i know a bit more about scopes before i put in the money.
          thanks again.


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