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  • Results 1 to 8 of 8

    Thread: Sad Story and Fish with Ulcers

    1. #1
      Ghoti is offline Junior Member
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      Sad Story and Fish with Ulcers

      After 2 successful mini-spawnings this last summer (my first!) I was keen to get a better quality female. So on the weekend I visited a koi enthusiast who I had previously bought 3 fish from a couple of years ago. He used to have a beautiful set-up with three ponds and many stunning fish, but the thing is he has leukaemia and due to his illness is not able to properly look after them, so he took the step of moving all fish into his main pond. When I arrived I could see that the pond was clearly overstocked and fish were in poor condition and very listless. His explanation was that he had water issues and that the nitrate levels were way too high, which is further compounded by the severe water shortage we are experiencing in Cape Town (no water allowed for ponds, etc). Furthermore he confessed that about 20 of his fish had died in the past six weeks, and in fact there was a rotting carcass in the flower bed 2 metres from the pond.

      Anyway, he gave (not sold) me two fish (approx. 30 & 60 cm = 12” & 24”). I could see that although to my untrained eye they were attractive, they were not in good shape - but the full extent of the injuries/disease only became fully apparent when I got them home and had a bit of time to study them. The smaller one has what appears to be a 9mm diameter ulcer in the centre of its back (which I had noticed earlier). The bigger fish has fin damage as well as an ulcer under the tail joint which I do not have a picture of, but which appears to be the worst wound of the lot. I took some pics with them still in the water which are a bit blurry, but I am trying to minimise their stress after having been relocated. For info I have them in a half full 1000 litre plastic holding tank with a decent pump/filter and lots of aeration. It has fresh spring water in with no salt added, and the temp averages around 20-22 degrees at this time of year.

      Through trawling the www I have formed an impression that the wounds are probably bacterial in nature caused directly by the poor water quality. So my plan/assumption is that it may be best to keep them in quarantine with minimal feeding where I can better manage the water quality until there is some sign of repair/recovery. Common sense suggests that it would be better to fill the tank up to help dilute any waste etc, and I will try to get ion this tonight. But I would like to try clarify a few other issues:

      Should I add salt to the water?
      How long should the fish stay in quarantine? Ie why not release to the main pond asap (which also has pretty decent water)?
      Lastly, has anyone had luck treating external skin ulcers? Will they heal up if left untreated? There seem to be so many different perspectives it is challenging as a koi loner and noob to choose one path over another. Another thread mentioned ‘Q-Tipping’ the wound. What typically would be applied? Could one use a human anti-bacterial product such as Betadene or would that negatively affect the water?
      Will the fin damage repair itself? How long might this take?

      PS - Please note that in spite of the fact I have only met him twice, I offered to go round in my free time to clean the pond, relocate the fish or do whatever possible to help. He said he would call me if it looked like he was not going to make it. All very sad.

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    2. #2
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      Ghoti, sorry to hear this, but clean water is your friend and should help out your fish. just for laughs, look up Aquamedzyme and see if it's sold anywhere that would ship to you. I use this product to protect my fish from ulcers. back to the beginning, clean water. someone else will weigh in on salt. i don't know.
      good luck!
      And welcome to Koiphen.



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    3. #3
      cindy's Avatar
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      2nd picture, looks like it is trying to heal, see the white edges?

      Part 11 on the ER stick talks about cleaning the wound/ulcer with a swab and iodine.
      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...ive-Discussion

      What fish meds are available there? For right now, keep good water and plenty of air and be sure to net the top so they don't jump
      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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      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...nd-Information

      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...06#post2606106 Show thread

    4. #4
      graybird's Avatar
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      What part of South Africa are you in? There are several people in the Johannesburg area who might be able to come help you.
      Mary

    5. #5
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      RickF has posted this before, which may be of benefit to you. "Salt and increased temperature will help, but to give the fish the best chance of healing, you should apply either tincture of iodine or Betadine solution (not Betadine Surgical Scrub) to the ulcer and then follow that by an application of a triple antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin). Be sure to use the ointment, and not the cream, as the cream will wash off as soon as the fish is returned to the water. If an ulcer is caught early, a single treatment is usually enough. If the ulcer is severe, then injected antibiotics are recommended. It would also be a good idea to scrape and scope to look for parasites. Other parasites usually precede ulcers, and unless the parasites are eliminated, the ulcers will return." Also, before using the iodine, clean the wounds with peroxide.

      "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
      Ghoti is offline Junior Member
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      Thanks all for the responses, particularly the link to the (to me) astonishingly comprehensive Koi Health topic. My plan is to use iodine on the bigger fish's fin and tail knuckle - which still seem red/angry - and to leave the smaller one as the white skin seems to suggest repair. I am not sure I am competent to perform any of the more advanced procedures at this point. Interestingly behaviourally, the bigger fish is eating but the smaller one is not and seems to be continually cowering next to the side of the bigger one.

      PS - Mary, I am down in Cape Town so unfortunately people in Joburg are of little help. Now that I am getting a bit deeper into the hobby I will try to make further enquiries re local enthusiasts.

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      The fish are lucky you grabbed them. Welcome to KP and good luck with them.

    8. #8
      Ghoti is offline Junior Member
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      OK, so I picked up an iodine based solution (brand name Betadine in South Africa). Being a bit nervous I bowled the smaller fish first and on closer examination the wound looked considerably worse than it appears in the pic - I could clearly see the flesh and a thin line of white cartilage I assume running the length. I had my camera on hand but it chose that moment to run out of battery of course. I made a decision on the fly to apply the iodine which really seemed to seep into the wound. My wife was on hand to assist as this was not a job for me on my own as I was occupied fully holding the fish. We then tackled the larger fish that was not too keen being upended and I was proved correct in my earlier estimation of the greater size, extent and rawness of the ulcer under the caudal peduncle. Anyway we placed the iodine on that injury (and the fin for good measure) rinsing off in water prior to reintroducing back into the quarantine tank. So I guess now it is a case of waiting it out and seeing if the injuries improve.

      The good news is that before treatment both fish are eating and the smaller one although still skittish, seems to be acting a bit more independently.

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