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  • Results 1 to 17 of 17

    Thread: Fin Rot ?? Looking for Advice/Assistance

    1. #1
      jeter2 is offline Junior Member
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      Fin Rot ?? Looking for Advice/Assistance

      I'm newer to koi keeping (<1.5 years) and have had relatively *few problems so far. Yesterday when I was working around my pond my son found one fish that was very lethargic, although alive, and called me over to see. I immediately noticed his fins where in bad shape and I decided to remove him from the pond. I worked around the pond, cleaning the skimmer, and found my other butterfly (I had 2) in the skimmer and dead and I looked at his tail fin and it also looked very bad. I began watching my other fish (all regular, not butterfly/fancy, 14", 12.5", 5.5", 5.5", 5") looking for any signs of fin decay and have only been able see what may be a small roundish indention on the bottom of the 12.5" but definitely not like the two butterfly koi. My observation was only me observing, not trying to net them to get a closer look.

      At this point I'd appreciate any help in trying to ID the issue from the pictures. My guess is fin rot. Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I do plan on doing the full range of water tests with the API Pond Master Test Kit I have tonight and will share those results as well. If there is any other information that would assist anyone in assisting me I will do my best to help, describe, etc.

      I guess it would be beneficial to provide some information about my pond. It is ~1100 gallons. It has rock walls and gravel bottom and I'm using all Aquascape products, i.e. Biofalls, Skimmer, UV Filter, pumps, aerators, etc. I've attached a picture of my pond from a couple days ago for reference.

      *Few problems ... 2 Falls/Winter ago a Blue Heron ate all my fish, 0 fish in the Spring. This year 11 fish died during the winter that I had since late-April but I attributed that to me stopping feeding too early in the Fall during an early cold spell and then it warmed up again but I had already stopped feeding for 3 weeks. We then had a frigid Winter where the whole pond froze over (pumps and air stones were running) but nearly 10 days of sub-sub-zero and anyway, it was very cold winter and I don't think they had enough food buildup before the winter. So all that to say I've had the fish in my pond now for right at 2 weeks this year. I guess some people might hide some of the facts but I figure the more clear picture I can present the better idea anyone willing to help will have, and possibly provide the best advice possible.

      Thank you in advance!
      Jonathan
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    2. #2
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      I've been working at correcting problems with a large Aquascape pond for 14 years now. I have a few threads you can check out. The rock is probably the main issue. FOR ME, leaving the large stone is fine (others will say no) Removing the small gravel stuff would be a good idea if you could. Just my 2 cents here.

      Doug - out
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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by trumpetdoug View Post
      I've been working at correcting problems with a large Aquascape pond for 14 years now. I have a few threads you can check out. The rock is probably the main issue. FOR ME, leaving the large stone is fine (others will say no) Removing the small gravel stuff would be a good idea if you could. Just my 2 cents here.
      Doug, thanks for the thoughts. You aren't the first and I'm sure won't be the last to recommend this. I'm sure there are more ideal conditions for koi, but I can't get past the thousands of Aquascape ponds that are healthy and have koi. I'm just not ready for a drastic change on that scale just yet as I successfully have had healthy fish in the past. I hope this stance won't deter people from trying to help out though! Thanks again for your opinion and the threads, I will check them out.

    4. #4
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Adding to the information regarding the Aquascape System, there are many ponds with the system. Virtually all landscape companies are taught to do the ponds. They are also taught to inform the pond owner that the pond needs to be thoroughly cleaned each year, nice income stream. Some don't inform or the pond owner decides to ignore the guidance due to cost, etc. Most of the ponds are very good the first year, may not have much in the way of problems the second year, but usually by the third year, there are many problems with fish health. This is due to the fact that the solid debris, whether feces, plant material, pollen, petals, or other organic debris that hits the pond finds its way down into the spaces between the rock, and without current to carry oxygen down into those spaces, anaerobic bacteria try to digest all of that waste. They just aren't capable of digesting that much waste. One of the byproducts of anaerobic digestion is hydrogen sulfide gas, which when dissolved in water is highly toxic to fish, and even in small quantities that may not be fatal, it is physically harmful.

      If you want the looks of the Aquascape, that is your prerogative. After all it is your pond and your hobby, but I would recommend each year, probably in the fall before shutdown time, remove the fish, remove the rock and thoroughly hose all of the waste from the pond and rock, and then replace the rock. I used to use gravel bog filters and shoveled out the gravel each year, about 3500 pounds of it, and put it back. The filter worked, though many will tell you they won't, but it also worked me. I got to old for all the work and changed the filtration on my ponds, and have not regretted it.

      All filters require cleaning. Some clean easily, some not so much, but all need cleaning. The Aquascape design is to use the rock in the pond as the filter.

      "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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      As for the sick fish. All fish have parasites, the number is small on healthy fish, and multiply rapidly on stressed fish. The stressed fish got stressed by transport, by unhealthy water, by netting, by major changes in water chemistry. Buying new fish is always one of the things we all enjoy, but what is the history of the fish. Many go from the spawning facility, Japan or domestic, and are shipped to an importer. At the importer they may get time to destress before the next move. The next move is either direct to the pond owner, or to a retail establishment. If to a retail establishment, some isolate and destress the fish before marketing them and some don't. The pond owner gets the fish, potentially with 3 or 4 transports in potentially a short amount of time, so they may not look sick, they are destined to have problems. Pond owners should isolate all new fish in a quarantine facility for a minimum of 3 o 4 weeks or longer to allow the stress chemicals to leave the fish. That said, I think it would be a good idea to plan to treat the pond with Proform C or equivalent three doses and Prazi in the third. This will take care of most parasites, which will allow the fish to recover. You will probably benefit from the topical application of Triple Antibiotic ointment to the areas with fin rot or red sores.

      "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."

      Zone 7 A/B
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      Richard

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      Richard,
      Thank you for the comments and time to reply. I am aware of the cleaning of the pond and had it done earlier in the Spring (1st half of March). It sounds like your recommendation would be to do in the Fall. Is that because the Spring time is already stressful for fish coming out of winter AND fish won't create much waste in the late Fall and Winter?

      Secondly, thank you for the advice on Proform C and Prazi (I will research and ask if I have any further questions about it if you don't mind).

      Finally, I did test my water parameters tonight and these are the results.
      API Pond Master Test Kit:
      - pH = 9 (tested twice)
      - Phosphate < 0.25ppm
      - Nitrite = 0ppm
      - Ammonia = 0ppm
      API KH Test Kit:
      - GH / KH = 89.5ppm
      API 5 in 1 Pond Test Strips: (I understand not the most reliable)
      - GH = 60ppm (maybe towards 120)
      - KH = 80ppm
      - pH = 7.5 - 8.0
      - Nitrite = 0ppm
      - Nitrate = 0ppm

      I'm guessing my pH is a contributing factor. I had tested pH for several days before I added the fish 2 weeks ago and it was 7.0 - 7.5 (from the Pond Master Test Kit). I'm going to get a digital reader now. I've read that pH will settle down as plants start growing more, etc. as the temperature warm up. Should I stay that course or do something now?
      Last edited by jeter2; 1 Week Ago at 10:36 PM.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      That said, I think it would be a good idea to plan to treat the pond with Proform C or equivalent three doses and Prazi in the third. This will take care of most parasites, which will allow the fish to recover.
      I have found and purchased Proform C with no problem but when I search for Prazi I get all kinds of search results for all different kinds of products. Is there are particular one I should get? Hikari, Thomas Labs, API, AquaMeds, etc.? Do you have a recommendation on a brand you have used in the past and had success with? Thank you in advance!

    8. #8
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      I suspect you're still dealing with water quality issues (so they say fix the water and the fish will fix itself).

      1. ph swings. To assess this, check your ph before the sun comes up in the morning and again around 3-4pm which is the hottest part of the day. I heard, due to high ph (swings) fins can split, including mine from past experience. Use the high range API drop test kit.

      2. Too much organics between the rocks and in the water. Burrow a shop vac and start vacuuming between the rocks. Gentle poking motion with the vac in between the rocks such that debris does not come flying out. If you happen to suck out smaller rocks don't put it back I can tell you that at present I feed my 5 large koi daily, just 5 grams of pellets (one of the best koi food apparently), and you would not believe the amount of crap that I vacuum out on a daily basis - nothing that any large digester could ever deal with of a daily basis. Koi are messy.

      Let us know the results.

      going forward...
      -check your parameters on a weekly basis
      -build a winter cover for the pond and heat
      -when ever possible continue water changes, filter maintenance and water testing even in winter
      -inspect EACH fish on a daily basis, look for skin discolouration, condition of the fins, eye swelling, scale lifting, such that if you see a condition the next day, you'd be certain it wasn't there yesterday
      (I find a good flashlight extremely helpful)
      -predator control - many find overhead fishing lines effective for herons
      -put a grate on skimmer to prevent fish from getting in
      -buy a microscope in order to identify parasites for targeted treatments
      -look into a flow through system of water changes
      (for now daily 10% water changes until conditions improve or stabilize)
      -shading the pond to help with high ph in the afternoon
      -start taking out (at your own pace) a least some of the rocks out, starting with the middle portion
      -feed little, it's very hard to starve koi to death
      -if a fish or two should die, don't replace. Generally a good stocking level is 250G+/koi

      Nice pond, I truely hope it works out for you.
      Last edited by KoiRun; 1 Week Ago at 07:48 AM.
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



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      jeter2 is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      1. ph swings. To assess this, check your ph before the sun comes up in the morning and again around 3-4pm which is the hottest part of the day. I heard, due to high ph (swings) fins can split, including mine from past experience. Use the high range API drop test kit.
      Thank you for taking time to provide advice.
      I checked the pH this morning around 5:00am (just the API Wide Range pH drop test) and the color was more blue than then 8.0 mark but less blue than the 9.0 mark (I've got the high range test kit on order).

      FISH OBSERVATION:
      This morning I was able to observe the fish for a few minutes and all but one seemed to be acting normal and appeared that they were eating. I'm still using sinking pellets because they aren't coming to the surface to grab floating pellets but they are catching them in the water column and then get the remaining few that make it to the floor. However, I did notice the 14" male that I have swim to the bottom and then quickly turn sideways and swim quickly along the bottom and up vertically. He would do it twice and them swim around for a minute or so and then do it again. I will say that the he follows the 12.5" female around a lot so I don't know if spawning could be occurring and this is some fish dance or rather this is acting out towards some irritation.

      Any advice would be appreciated ... I do have Proform C coming but it'll probably be early next week before it arrives. Also, any particular Prazi brand/title I should purchase to help?
      Last edited by jeter2; 1 Week Ago at 06:55 AM.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by jeter2 View Post
      Thank you for taking time to provide advice.
      I checked the pH this morning around 5:00am (just the API Wide Range pH drop test) and the color was more blue than then 8.0 mark but less blue than the 9.0 mark (I've got the high range test kit on order).

      FISH OBSERVATION:
      This morning I was able to observe the fish for a few minutes and all but one seemed to be acting normal and appeared that they were eating. I'm still using sinking pellets because they aren't coming to the surface to grab floating pellets but they are catching them in the water column and then get the remaining few that make it to the floor. However, I did notice the 14" male that I have swim to the bottom and then quickly turn sideways and swim quickly along the bottom and up vertically. He would do it twice and them swim around for a minute or so and then do it again. I will say that the he follows the 12.5" female around a lot so I don't know if spawning could be occurring and this is some fish dance or rather this is acting out towards some irritation.

      Any advice would be appreciated ... I do have Proform C coming but it'll probably be early next week before it arrives. Also, any particular Prazi brand/title I should purchase to help?
      I believe this behaviour you're seeing is called flashing. It happens 'normally', or whenever fish are irritated with bacterial or parasitic infection, or water quality issues. However, I still would not panic at this time and treat before correcting water quality issues. Untargeted treatments will probably results in additional stress. Ph should not swing more than .3 and the wide range ph kit is not accurate enough for this measurement. With a small pond, temperature and ph swings are more pronounced. Do you have a pond thermometer? Anyway you can get a high range ph kit from a store today? Have baking soda on hand. I would start by shading a good portion of the pond (use materials that would not spew any toxins into the pond such as styrofoam weighted down).

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      UPDATE:
      I wasn't able to find a high range pH test kit today, no one local or not-so-local carries them. I've got it ordered as well as a digital one ... both should arrive on Saturday. I've been looking at a way to shade my pond some ... not gonna be easy but I plan on trying a couple things this weekend. The fish hide all day and once it gets around 8:00 and the sun is off the pond then they come out and are out swimming around all evening and still just as active in the morning.

      TREATMENT:
      I was able to find Microbe-Lift BSDT at a not-so-local pond store yesterday. I did the first treatment last night at 8:00pm and did a 2nd application this morning at 5:00am.

      QUESTIONS:
      1. I am wondering if anyone can help me out identifying a Prazi product they've used in the past and had good results with. That would be appreciated!
      2. I also picked up Microbe-Lift pH Decreaser at the not-so-local pond store as well. Has anyone used with any success. I definitely understand being careful about decreasing pH with an additive. My plan was to try to shade the pond first and keep track of pH 2-3 times a day and get a baseline and make a determination about the use of pH Decreaser (pond store said I can return if I choose not to use).
      Last edited by jeter2; 1 Week Ago at 06:03 AM.

    12. #12
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      Normally the Microbe-Lift BSDT is dosed every 24 hours for 3 days and doing a 25% water change between doses.
      I'd keep an eye on the fish in case they react badly to the shorter interval.

      Prazi-Pond Plus (second row down):

      http://highdesertkoi.com/medications/

      Another medication effective on flukes:

      http://www.cascade-pond-supply.com/K...-M-p-1005.html

      Trying to change the pH with additives is a losing battle imo. Raising the KH will buffer it and make it harder for the pH
      to fluctuate, which is ultimately the goal as opposed to changing it to a specific value.
      --Steve
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    13. #13
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      Your measured KH of 80-90 is borderline on the low side. For a better understanding of the importance of KH read http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...ns-and-Newbies. For most sources of water, the predominant contributor to KH is carbonate/bicarbonate which will stabilize at about 8.3, assuming there is adequate calcium to prevent the pH going higher, and adequate aeration to drive off carbon dioxide. Increasing the KH to 150 or 200ppm will give a more stable pH, and can be done with the addition of baking soda. Because the pH is highest in the late afternoon, due to the photosynthesis of the algae, it is the best time to add additional baking soda, and with your estimated pH, I would say add about a pound per 1000 gallons. Baking soda can be bought in 13+ pound bags at the warehouse clubs, or at Walmart in the swimming pool chemical area for very little more than the 1 pound boxes at the grocery.

      As for the pH down, don't. To bring the pH down, you first have to remove the buffer that is holding the pH where it is, so the pH down won't lower the pH until most or all of the KH is consumed, and at that point the pH can crash rapidly, killing the bio bacteria and potentially killing the fish.

      Flashing happens when a fish is irritated. The irritation can be from parasites, can be from high ammonia, pH change, etc. It can also be caused by the fish getting some crumbs/dust from the pellet during feeding in the gills. If the flashing is only associated with meal time, ignore it. If it is happening between feedings, then it is time to look at the other causes.

      "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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      Richard

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      Thank you Steve and Richard for the information.

      TREATMENT:
      I finished the 3rd does of BSDT on Friday afternoon. The reason I did them so close was because the bottle and local pond store said that would be OK ... so I did.

      WATER:
      I finally received a high pH test kit as well as a digital pH meter today. As I checked the pH, with the wide range pH test kit, ever since Wednesday night it always read above 8 but not the color of 9, in the morning and evening. Today when I used the high pH test kit it read around 8.4 and when I confirmed with the digital meter it read 8.47 ... those readings were late afternoon. I'm now going to begin taking readings in the morning and evening to find out what kind of pH swing I am having to determine the next course of action. In the mean time I'll be reading about the importance of KH and returning the pH Reducer!

      The temperature here right now is unseasonably hot and without much surface coverage as the plants are just starting to grow, the fish are staying in their fish cave most of the day. The water temp has been around 71 in the morning and up to 80 in the early evening. I have plans to add a sun shade to help but it won't arrive until the middle of the week ... we've been wanting something to help block the sun in the afternoon over the sitting area near the pond so it'll serve 2 purposes.

      FISH OBSERVATIONS:
      The fish seem to have responded well to the treatments. I haven't seen any flashing since Friday morning (before the 2nd dose of BSDT). When watching them in the morning and night they appear much more calm, swimming together, not darting around, etc. So I think there is hope!

      Given my fish observations would it still be beneficial to purchase some Prazi and dose it as a preventative measure? After reading on forums here and online it sounds like PraziPond Plus is very difficult to wet/dilute in water alone; hence, why Richard told me to do with the 3rd dosage of ProForm C, which I've already finished the 3rd dose. Suggestions?
      Last edited by jeter2; 1 Week Ago at 10:56 PM.

    15. #15
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      For the Prazi, you can mix it with just a small amount of the Proform C, thoroughly wetting it so that it will go into the water instead of floating on the surface and just travelling to the skimmer. You can delay the addition of the Prazi until you see a need, and it doesn't sound like there is a particular need right now.

      "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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    16. #16
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      FISH:
      Seem to be doing well, eating, acting normal. It is VERY hot so needless to say they stay hidden most of the day ... I don't blame them!

      WATER:
      So I've got been recording my pH and needless to say, I'm not sure my digital meter is acting correctly as it just sky rocketed today and has an off reading with deionized purified water, so I'm addressing that with the manufacturer. Here are the readings I taken so far:

      pH Testing
      Saturday:
      4:45pm 8.4 81F (API high range drop kit, 1 decimal place)
      8:20pm 8.47 79F (digital meter, will go to 2 decimal places)
      Sunday:
      8:00am 8.47 72F
      1:00pm 8.83 74F
      8:00pm 8.97 80F
      Monday:
      5:00am 8.53 74F
      2:00pm 9.25 80F
      5:45pm 9.46 84F (this is where I got skeptical)
      ~8.4 (using API high range pH test kit, skeptical as well)
      <9.0 (using API wide range pH test kit)
      I checked the digital meter and noticed it reading 7.34 on deionized purified water so I adjusted it down to 7.01 and tested the pond again.
      6:50pm 8.96

      KH Testing
      6:30pm 107.4 ppm (6 drops of API KH test kit) I tested 2 sample and both were the same.
      I also tested 2 samples of my water from the faucet and it tested 89.5 ppm (5 drops of API KH test kit).

      So my question tonight is, knowing the KH value and seeing that my pH is greater than 8.3 should I go ahead and add the baking soda? I did do my reading today. Or should I wait to get a more accurate reading of my pH for a few more days? There are thunderstorms are in the forecast for the rest of the week. Finally, should I still add the baking soda in the heat of the day? I guess I'm thinking that you want the KH value to be up to prevent pH swings so if I add when it is already at its highest won't that keep it from coming down to where it's been at night? Or because I'm above 8.3 it doesn't matter?

      I really appreciate all the help I've received here so far and one of the reasons I keep asking questions and following up is because people often get their answer and then never follow up with results so it kind leave someone who is having a problem hanging to know if the course of action worked or didn't work. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this problem so I'm hoping my problem can help someone else!
      Last edited by jeter2; 6 Days Ago at 08:49 PM.

    17. #17
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      The deionized water has no buffer so the pH can be anything. Exposure to carbon dioxide in the air will cause it to be acid. For calibrating the pH meter you need to get one of the calibration solutions/buffers, https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...=1VXH37GW8VMX2. I like the powders that you add to the deionized/distilled water to make the solution as the liquid bottles may get contaminated and you will need a new bottle. You need to calibrate with one of the solutions that is near 7 and near 10, as the water will, ideally, be near 8.3.

      Now your KH is on the low side of safe, so I would kick it up some, try for 8 or 9 drops. With a pH that is exceeding 8.3, I would guess your pond is short on calcium ions. The calcium ions react with the carbonate ions which are driving the pH up to form calcium carbonate which will precipitate out, bring the pH down to the 8.3 range. To increase the calcium, add about 1 pound of calcium chloride (pool hardness increaser) per 1000 gallons. Because it generates a large amount of heat when it comes in contact with water, dissolve it in a bucket of water before adding it to the pond.

      "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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      Richard

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