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    Thread: One deep red fin

    1. #1
      Mot23 is offline Junior Member
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      One deep red fin

      Me again. One of the new koi I bought and is in quarantine developed this very oddly pinkish/purpleish red fin for a few days now. The stock tank is approximately 300 gallon and cycled. I had been watching and didn't add anything or start any treatment. It seems to be perfectly fine otherwise— not skittish, eating normally, no clamped fins. I hope someone could shed some light on what is causing it. I don't have anything to scrape and scope. It doesn't look like it is streaky blood vessels, just a full deep red fin.

      pH: 7.0 - 7.5
      Ammonia: 0
      Nitrite: .25 (spiked and fluctuated since the fish is added)
      Temp: 75F



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    2. #2
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Maybe its the color saturation or interpretation by the camera, but that color doesn't remind me of any that I have seen before. It is too dark for the normal color of the fish, and not really the color of a badly traumatized fin, or infected fin. Is that color a reasonable interpretation of what you are seeing?

      I have seen fins that have gotten caught in nets and bled within the fin, but it was much brighter, blood red. I have seen infected fins, and they tend to be much darker.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

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    3. #3
      Mot23 is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      Maybe its the color saturation or interpretation by the camera, but that color doesn't remind me of any that I have seen before. It is too dark for the normal color of the fish, and not really the color of a badly traumatized fin, or infected fin. Is that color a reasonable interpretation of what you are seeing?

      I have seen fins that have gotten caught in nets and bled within the fin, but it was much brighter, blood red. I have seen infected fins, and they tend to be much darker.
      Hi Rich,

      The color you are seeing is exactly as I see it in person, maybe slightly more purple/pink hue in person. Either way, color looks extremely abnormal. I fed them color enhancing food, but I don't think it is the reason why.

      Here is a nonflash photo. It is blurry without flash.

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    4. #4
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      Are you salting for the nitrite spike? Salt is known to protect fish from nitrites. The percentage of salt in this case is .15%. When adding fish to a pond or q-tank pay attention to ammonia and nitrites!
      My opinions in ER and on this forum are mine only. Use my advice at your own discretion.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."


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    5. #5
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      It does not seem to hold the fin against the body, so I am going to say it is not trauma. The only recommendation that I could give is to wait and watch, but I really don't like that option, just don't have any other direction to point you to.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

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    6. #6
      Mot23 is offline Junior Member
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      Cindy - Thank you, I will start with the salt.

      Rich - Thank you, and yes, It doesn't seem like trauma either. It swims with the that pectoral fin just fine. I will do the salting as Cindy suggested for the nitrite but will watch to see if the condition of the fin improves or get worse.

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    7. #7
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      I wouldn't do anything with the salt until you actually have a nitrite spike. I would suggest testing the water for nitrites to see if you in fact register any reading. Otherwise, leave the fish alone and keep an eye on that pec fin. I agree with Rich, and I've never seen a full pec get colored like that and to have the color be so even. It is NOT color. Also, don't feed color food as it's really not necessary, especially on younger fish. Just stick with an "all season" type food and regulate the amounts given based on time of year/water temperature.
      Mike

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    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      I wouldn't do anything with the salt until you actually have a nitrite spike. I would suggest testing the water for nitrites to see if you in fact register any reading. Otherwise, leave the fish alone and keep an eye on that pec fin. I agree with Rich, and I've never seen a full pec get colored like that and to have the color be so even. It is NOT color. Also, don't feed color food as it's really not necessary, especially on younger fish. Just stick with an "all season" type food and regulate the amounts given based on time of year/water temperature.
      Is color enhancing food unhealthy for koi?

      I use Hikari and I think the main ingredient use for color enhancement is just Spirulina so I don't think it is anything bad.

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    9. #9
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      I have not seen an injury that would do this either. As recommended above I would wait and watch.

      Color food is not unhealthy for the fish but has limited uses and effectiveness. Usually it will only enhance the fish for a short period of time (months at best) and may "burn the fish out" meaning when it stops being effective the color is worse than when you started. Breeders often use it to "sell" the fish before you by it. If you are going to show the fish would be the only time I would recommend any type of enhancement and it is a whole process unto its own starting months before the show.

      If you are asking these questions (about food) then I would stick to regular food and do some research.

    10. #10
      Mot23 is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by montwila View Post
      I have not seen an injury that would do this either. As recommended above I would wait and watch.

      Color food is not unhealthy for the fish but has limited uses and effectiveness. Usually it will only enhance the fish for a short period of time (months at best) and may "burn the fish out" meaning when it stops being effective the color is worse than when you started. Breeders often use it to "sell" the fish before you by it. If you are going to show the fish would be the only time I would recommend any type of enhancement and it is a whole process unto its own starting months before the show.

      If you are asking these questions (about food) then I would stick to regular food and do some research.
      Thank you. I am keeping an eye on it.

      I went through the ingredients and doesn't see any ingredients that enhances colors like beta-carotene or canthaxithin. Like I said, it uses Spirulina, I think in higher content.

    11. #11
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      Spirulina IS a color enhancer. But, just going through the ingredients doesn't tell the whole story. It's how the list is prioritized that makes some real difference.
      Mike

      check out our website at: http://www.pond-life.net



      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      Spirulina IS a color enhancer. But, just going through the ingredients doesn't tell the whole story. It's how the list is prioritized that makes some real difference.
      Yeah. I think this discussion in regard to color enhancing food, its quality, and ingredients is usually always up for debate— especially between old school fish keepers and newer ones. Other than being a color enhancer, spirulina has other health benefits. I have only grade pond koi, so I guess I am not too worry about it.

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    13. #13
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      Well, that's a rather condescending evaluation. Of course newer hobbyists seem to have less patience than us old school keepers but experience will tell you what's best in the end. It doesn't matter what grade of fish you keep, the results of using color food all the time will be less than ideal. You asked and us oldies answered. Now, do what you think is right. They're your fish.
      Mike

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    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      Well, that's a rather condescending evaluation. Of course newer hobbyists seem to have less patience than us old school keepers but experience will tell you what's best in the end. It doesn't matter what grade of fish you keep, the results of using color food all the time will be less than ideal. You asked and us oldies answered. Now, do what you think is right. They're your fish.
      It wasn't meant to be condescending. I am sorry if it came across so. I had read many articles and there never seem to be an absolute conclusion on it, everybody seems tp disagree l. But I think we all sort of come to a conclusion that it isn't unhealthy, especially not Spirulina, and that was my initial question. Thank you for taking time sharing your experience.

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    15. #15
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      Very intereating case. Can you take a video of the fish and post?

    16. #16
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      Okay then, while spirulina is used as a color enhancer to bring up the red color, it will still mostly have to do with the genetics of the fish first. If there is enough pigment deeper in the skin, it will aid in bringing it to the surface. However, the problem with doing this is that it is not a natural ability of the fish but a man made manipulation of underlying factors that, once exhausted, will never return. If you want to buy pond grade fish, and try to use human intervention processes and marketing to improve the fish's looks to satisfy what you really want, which is higher grade koi for less money, then unfortunately, you will be failing constantly and become more disenchanted with your results. There are a few breeders who feed color food consistently/annually to improve pond grade "chuppa" or export grade fish to make them sell more easily. This is noted that , when purchased and fed regular growth or all season foods the colors will fade somewhat. That's why I mention that many newer/younger hobbyists want instant gratification and think they can manipulate a cheap fish into being a competition quality fish. This will most likely NEVER happen due to the qualities of the fish to begin with. There's nothing wrong with pond grade fish so don't get me wrong. It's learning that you can buy better "quality" within pond grade, but don't expect to get quality and pattern together. That will only come with 5 figure fish.

      BTW, no one said it was "unhealthy", just that you will see a reducing return on your investment by using it. I'd like you to re-read montwilla's post as he puts a finer point on how it should be used.
      Mike

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      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    17. #17
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      Wow, there was a lecture!! Perhaps this isn't a forum for all?

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      Mot23 is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      Okay then, while spirulina is used as a color enhancer to bring up the red color, it will still mostly have to do with the genetics of the fish first. If there is enough pigment deeper in the skin, it will aid in bringing it to the surface. However, the problem with doing this is that it is not a natural ability of the fish but a man made manipulation of underlying factors that, once exhausted, will never return. If you want to buy pond grade fish, and try to use human intervention processes and marketing to improve the fish's looks to satisfy what you really want, which is higher grade koi for less money, then unfortunately, you will be failing constantly and become more disenchanted with your results. There are a few breeders who feed color food consistently/annually to improve pond grade "chuppa" or export grade fish to make them sell more easily. This is noted that , when purchased and fed regular growth or all season foods the colors will fade somewhat. That's why I mention that many newer/younger hobbyists want instant gratification and think they can manipulate a cheap fish into being a competition quality fish. This will most likely NEVER happen due to the qualities of the fish to begin with. There's nothing wrong with pond grade fish so don't get me wrong. It's learning that you can buy better "quality" within pond grade, but don't expect to get quality and pattern together. That will only come with 5 figure fish.

      BTW, no one said it was "unhealthy", just that you will see a reducing return on your investment by using it. I'd like you to re-read montwilla's post as he puts a finer point on how it should be used.
      I had always kept fish, from freshwater to marine, and for 99% of the time, it is purely for my own personal enjoyment. I really don't have any interest in making them into "show quality" koi, have any delusion in thinking that is possible, want to spend 5 figure, nor do I have any interest in those sort of competition—it is simply not for me. I buy what I think is already pleasing to my eyes. Keeping pond is also part of my love for landscaping.

      Spirulina has a host of other benefits that I feel good feeding my koi with.

    19. #19
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      Sorry, I guess I got carried away but know this, my post wasn't really directed specifically towards you personally, just info based on what I've tried/done and the real outcome of what happens along with an explanation of why this and many other things in this hobby seem to become very confusing based on marketing. Like I mentioned, there's nothing wrong with keeping pond grade fish. High end/dollar fish aren't for everyone, including me personally. Simply trying to pass on feedback based on personal experiences over MANY years within the hobby. There is nothing wrong with spirulina algae added to food. It's just where this single type of ingredient lands in the ingredients list. The higher it is on the list, the more there is, and if it's down the list to 3rd to 5th position, then usually it's great. You mentioned and asked about color food which can contain a few different ingredients that can do some enhancing of color. I was simply mentioning what results you can expect using color food for too much time. Montwilla also mentions how it's use is recommended. If you choose to do otherwise, that's totally up to you. No one was trying to start an argument as lord knows, we've had enough discussions on foods on the forum boards over the last 12-13 years that there should be many informational ones still listed in the stickies here. So whatever food you choose I wish you luck.
      Mike

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    20. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
      Wow, there was a lecture!! Perhaps this isn't a forum for all?
      I feel like I learn a lot from posts like that.

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