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Thread: Unhappy Koi

  1. #1
    Nisai LeslieDurst's Avatar
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    Unhappy Unhappy Koi

    My koi in one of my ponds have been in a stupor for all this spring. They just lie on the bottom, hardly eat, and just don't act right. They did the same thing last year for a while then one day they just started swimming and doing fine again. I suspect parasites as I saw a couple flashing a few times. I treated the pond with potassium permanganate about 2 weeks ago and they seem to be a bit better, but fell back into a slump again. This morning some of the smaller ones did a little spawning actions but soon quit. So again today I hit the pond with PP. I also suspect low oxygen levels. I don't have nor can get any testing supplies , so I would like some input from all you Koi gurus out there. Their color is good , no sores, just listless.
    The pond is 16' x 12' and is about 2.5' deep with shelves on the 2 long sides. It has 1 small pump filtering the whole pond, I think only 250 GPH. There is a fair amount of that obnoxious algae [string algae?] Any ideas on how to get rid of that stuff?
    Any Ideas on what could be going on? Thanks, Les
    Last edited by LeslieDurst; 05-10-2010 at 12:10 AM. Reason: After reading another thread I realized I should give more detail
    Koiboy98

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    2 pp treatments = compromised gills and poor oxygen intake.
    Heavy growth of string algae leads to oxygen deprived water overnight due to respiration of CO2 and consumption of O2 in the water column. 250 gph pump for such a large volume of water is barely enough to put a dent in a small fish population, which may help to explain why the string algae is overwhelming you as it is consuming far more nitrogenous waste than your biofilter.

    Give us some more information on the water such as ph, kh, gh, temperature, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate. All of these factors play a major role in the way your fish will behave and their general health.

    Your pond should contain roughly 5000gallons of water according to the dimensions you gave. You should be turning over your pond at a rate of no less than 2500gph, preferably 5000gph, through an effective biofilter. What are you using for mechanical and biofiltration as things stand?
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  3. #3
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Larry gave you good advice.

    You didn't mention filtration, just a pump. Do you have any filtration? Are there rocks in the bottom? Is there muck in the bottom?

    You can get test kits at any pet store, although they are usually the strips and not very accurate. You can order test kits on line and they are relatively inexpensive. A kit with the minimum, pH, ammonia and Nitrite is about $16.

    How many fish and what size do you have in the pond?
    The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
    SANDY

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    All good advice above, and definitely need more pump/filtration power. The general advice is to be moving the water at a rate that a minimum of 50% of the pond volume is filtered each hour. A turnover (of pond volume) rate of once per hour is better still.

    If you still have string algae after 2 PP treatments, the PP was not dosed properly. If the string algae was not severely set back, any parasites were not either.

    The unusually cold, long winter (by Florida standards) has now been followed by early heat waves with highs of over 90F. In a pond as shallow as yours, the temperature swings will impact the koi. My pond (6-feet deep and shaded) was very slow to reach 70F this year, but then jumped to 76F in just a few days. If your pond is in full sun, it would not surprise me if your fish went from around 68F to over 80F in a period of 4 days or less.

  5. #5
    Nisai LeslieDurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntry View Post
    Larry gave you good advice.

    You didn't mention filtration, just a pump. Do you have any filtration? Are there rocks in the bottom? Is there muck in the bottom?

    You can get test kits at any pet store, although they are usually the strips and not very accurate. You can order test kits on line and they are relatively inexpensive. A kit with the minimum, pH, ammonia and Nitrite is about $16.

    How many fish and what size do you have in the pond?

    I have a half 55 gallon drum with media in it for filtration. It has always done a good job. I do not have the best of systems out there, all homemade and for the most part, very effective and reliable. No rocks , just a clean bottom. I will do my best to get a test kit. The fish deserve it don't they.
    Like I had said yesterday, I treated with a low to moderate amount of PP. Like magic today the were swimming and spawning!! I collected all the eggs I could get and put them in waiting tanks. Then I ran clean water for a half hour to get rid of the stench. Now they are swimming normally and looking like nothing was wrong.
    There are about 10 12' to 18" long-fin koi in that pond. Over stocked I know , but I have no other ponds to put them in yet. I have the liners but no way to dig a pond. I might rent a tractor and get that done.
    Thanks for the input. Les
    Koiboy98

  6. #6
    Nisai LeslieDurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    2 pp treatments = compromised gills and poor oxygen intake.
    Heavy growth of string algae leads to oxygen deprived water overnight due to respiration of CO2 and consumption of O2 in the water column. 250 gph pump for such a large volume of water is barely enough to put a dent in a small fish population, which may help to explain why the string algae is overwhelming you as it is consuming far more nitrogenous waste than your biofilter.

    Give us some more information on the water such as ph, kh, gh, temperature, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate. All of these factors play a major role in the way your fish will behave and their general health.

    Your pond should contain roughly 5000gallons of water according to the dimensions you gave. You should be turning over your pond at a rate of no less than 2500gph, preferably 5000gph, through an effective biofilter. What are you using for mechanical and biofiltration as things stand?
    Thanks Larry, The treatment was pretty low as I don't trust PP very much for that reason you gave that it can burn gills in a hurry. But as you may have read in my other reply, they are fine today and spawned. With cleaner water in there now at last check they seem like new fish!! I am going to try to work on getting a bigger pump, that is excellent advice.
    I have to work on getting a test kit. Fixed income limits me, but my fish deserve better! I appreciate your advice, Thanks again. Les
    Koiboy98

  7. #7
    Nisai LeslieDurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    All good advice above, and definitely need more pump/filtration power. The general advice is to be moving the water at a rate that a minimum of 50% of the pond volume is filtered each hour. A turnover (of pond volume) rate of once per hour is better still.

    If you still have string algae after 2 PP treatments, the PP was not dosed properly. If the string algae was not severely set back, any parasites were not either.

    The unusually cold, long winter (by Florida standards) has now been followed by early heat waves with highs of over 90F. In a pond as shallow as yours, the temperature swings will impact the koi. My pond (6-feet deep and shaded) was very slow to reach 70F this year, but then jumped to 76F in just a few days. If your pond is in full sun, it would not surprise me if your fish went from around 68F to over 80F in a period of 4 days or less.

    Thanks Mike, It was a miserable winter for sure. In spite of the spring temperature fluctuations I have a little to no sever affects [so far]. I've never had string algae before so it is really bugging me. I might drain it and scrub it down. I wish koi ate it! Now it is ladden with eggs. All the same I need to get it out of there. Thanks , Les
    Koiboy98

  8. #8
    Sansai tranquility's Avatar
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    sounds like you may be dealing with the same thing I am...I was overcrowded and then a huge spawn..the koi stopped eating so I knew something wasn't right---I had to go buy a new testing kit mine was old and shure enough my ammonia,nitrates and nitrites were off....I did a 50% water change added 2lbs of salt per 100 gallons the first day..It took me 3 days of water changes to get the readings down...I wouldn't scrub down the sides---I would up my water changes and check those parimeters..I'm sure others can give you great suggestions on filtration and pump size....on a budget can be tuff but,not impossible--my bottom drains are salad bowls-my skimmer a dog dish...my machanical filter is a commercial sink--my bio filter a 55 gallon barrel full of odd and ends--I am adding a additional barrel full of k1 and O2 to help hold these guys over till I can get their new pond done....good luck to you--I know how stressful all of this can be...there are some great folks here that can really help if you let them and listen...Sandy, Bill and Meg have sure helped me this last week....
    Lawanna

  9. #9
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    ...my bottom drains are salad bowls-my skimmer a dog dish...my machanical filter is a commercial sink--my bio filter a 55 gallon barrel full of odd and ends...
    Lawanna
    Hot diggity! New material for the "you might be a backyard ...." thread
    Love ya L
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  10. #10
    Sansai tranquility's Avatar
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    Boy I'm just diggin my hole abit deeper ain't I ....
    Lawanna

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