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  • Results 1 to 17 of 17

    Thread: Koi with peeling skin / mucus?

    1. #1
      RG1X is offline Junior Member
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      Koi with peeling skin / mucus? - Update: Died. :(

      Apologies that an emergency thread is my first post, but I've never really had much call to post on these forums before.

      One of my Koi seems to have an issue with what looks like peeling skin / problems with mucus on its head. I've quarantined it in a small tank for the moment but I'm not really sure what's wrong / how to treat it. They're eating just fine as best I can tell, and swimming around with no problems, but I have seen them just floating there whilst the other fish appear more active.

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      I wondered if maybe it could have been sunburn initially, but I haven't found anything online that looks similar for sunburn. Is it possibly a fungal issue?

      Hopefully someone here has an idea as I'm not really aware of anyone locally I could go to for help / treatment. Thanks.



      Answering the questions in the FAQ...

      * Size / Stocking: 3,000 litres and stocked with 1x 16" Koi, 1x 12" Koi, 4 young Koi (~6") and 4 Shubunkins
      * Filter: Blagdon Midpond Pond Filter 14,000 + 12,000 litre rated pressurised filter (long story)
      * Maint: Weekly 15% water changes (with pond vac) / monthly filter cleans.
      * Parameters: Ammonia: Near 0. Nitrite: Near 0. Nitrate: 50-100mg/l. PH: 7.6. KH: 6dKH. Chlorine: Near 0. (All near zero numbers are basically zero on the test as best I can see)
      * Last Fish: 6 months ago.

      I've been struggling a bit with the Nitrate at the moment, possibly because of the hot weather?
      Last edited by RG1X; 08-10-2018 at 02:55 AM.

    2. #2
      graybird's Avatar
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      Since no one more knowledgeable has stepped in, I'll say I'm stumped -- the only time I've seen sloughing mucus like this is in a pH crash, and your pH and KH are both within range. I thought it might be either epistylis or saprolegnia but upon closer exam of the photos it looks like the front dorsal aspect of the fish is discolored with mucus peeling off. (I'm assuming it was a one-color fish originally and that this discolorization is new?). Sunburn is a possibility too.

      Hopefully someone else will chime in soon. In the mean time, you can't go wrong salting the quarantine tank to .3-.6% (roughly 1/2 kg salt per 400 liters for you -- for us it's 1 lb per 100 gallons) will give you .1% salt, so multiply accordingly to get to .3-.6 for your Q volume. I would also heat it if necessary to get a temp of about 23C.

      I'm a little confused as to whether your other fish are also exhibiting this sloughing mucus coat or are just a bit more lethargic than usual? What is your pond temp?

      Your parameters look fine, though I would recommend cleaning your filters twice a week instead of once a month. 3000 liters is VERY small for koi, I'm afraid.
      Mary

    3. #3
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      Thanks. All of the other fish are in perfect condition as best I can see, acting normally, plenty of energy. The PH has been stable at this level for weeks so it's definitely not been jumping around (I've been testing using two methods so it should be relatively reliable). I do have an electronic PH tester I could try too but I've found it fairly unreliable.

      That particular fish used to have quite a lot of gold on it, but for some reason it all disappeared not long after we got it. Looking back at photos it seems it then turned almost entirely grey, and now the only grey that's left is on the top. I'll add some salt for now to see if that helps.

      On the pond size thing, yeah... it's a temporary tank because we've just moved house. Sadly because of house problems we literally can't afford to get the permanent pond built yet, but I'm hoping we can before the end of the year. Unrelated, cleaning filters twice a week seems like a hell of a lot (especially as it takes a good few hours). When I say cleaning I mean removing all the media and washing it through fully.

      Edit - Sorry, temperature. 20c / 68f.
      Last edited by RG1X; 07-24-2018 at 08:18 AM.

    4. #4
      graybird's Avatar
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      I'll keep bumping this up until someone else shows up. Fungus would look more furry/hairy. I notice that the peeling is only on the dark part. In my readings, sunburn seems to happen mostly to white-based fish, but it wouldn't hurt to shade the quarantine tank. Be sure your water in that tank is perfect.

      What kind of media do you have for your pond?
      Mary

    5. #5
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      Even though it lacks the fuzziness usually seen with fungal diseases like sap, it might be worth reading
      up on them just in case. I'd be tempted to try some of the simpler treatments like Gentian Violet as suggested
      in the article to see if it responds at all if the clean water, shade and salt don't show any results.

      Part Fifteen/Fungal Infections in the article:

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    6. #6
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      I had a fish that suffered sunburn and it presented similarly. I don't know why I had one fish that burned and not the other +/-20, maybe shallower swimming, maybe skin type, or genetic leaning, but I put up shade sails and the sunburn went away within a couple of weeks. Yours looks like if it is sunburn, the fish swims with the head higher in the water than the rest of the body, so it may have some form of swim bladder issues also.

      "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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    7. #7
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      Welcome to Koiphen, sorry your first post is a health related issue. I hope you decide to stay on after your issue is resolved, and join in on some of the other conversations going on in the main forum, construction, chit chat, etc.!

      I would like to comment on the pH/KH - - for me, I prefer a KH OF 10 drops, so as to prevent a pH crash, and also to maintain stable filter biobugs. To me, a pH of 7.6 with a KH of 6, is ready to crash. Why I say this, is that my normal tap water presents these values, and I experienced one, It is not something fun to go through. KH/pH are related in that the KH stabilizes the pH (at a slightly higher pH of 8.2). The higher the KH, the more stable the pH. Obviously you don't want to go over recommended KH of 15 drops (high end, I stick around 10 to 12). When you have time, go on the main forum and open up a thread on KH, you'll get a lot of good advice. To increase KH, baking soda is added; for your size pond, 1/2 cup every 24 hours until the ten drops is achieved.


      Also, can I ask if the top of the fish is hollowed out? Kind of like a divot of skin/flesh is eaten away? For some reason, on my iPad, it looks like a good portion of the top of the fish is gone. Either it's an optical illusion of some type, or it's a chunk of missing fish.

      To me, it looks more like a fungus, which can take a long time to develop and get as bad as it looks (to me it looks bad). If it's a sunburn, it developed rapidly; if it's a fungus, it came on gradually over a month or more. If this issue came up when the fish started to turn gray, then it's a fungus and it needs to be treated rather quickly and more harshly than salt. Fungus infections are very difficult to treat because they dig into the skin and flesh of the fish with plant-like appendages called hyphae.

      Keep us posted on your progress, don't lurk anymore!!!

      Nancy


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    8. #8
      RG1X is offline Junior Member
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      Thanks for the responses.

      I'm fairly certain that the dip an optical illusion, I haven't noticed any issues with the shape of the fish in person (seems less flaky today btw, I put some polystyrene in the quarantine tank for him to hide under).

      I'll try and take more photos tomorrow if I can.

      As for questions. Media between the two filters are four different grades of foam, plastic balls (not sure what these are called), Blagdon Pro Ceramic Bio Media, bagged carbon (replaced monthly) and a "polishing" fleece just before the outlet.

      On the KH, I was looking at this earlier, though I'm guessing it's more expensive than baking soda? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Envii-Pond-...dp/B01M0DBNLX/

      Should I generally be aiming for a higher PH than 7.6? Or is that OK? I assume the baking soda will make it head towards the Alkaline side of things.

    9. #9
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      I don't have a clue what is in the Envii product. It shows pH values similar to those achieved with baking soda, (sodium bicarbonate), and it says it is a buffer, as is baking soda, but it says something about adding calcium. Typically some level of calcium is needed to reduce the pH if it were to climb above about 8.3, but the calcium is generally calcium chloride, and it cannot be added at the same time as the baking soda as the two would immediately react with each other and neutralize much of the benefit of either.

      The stable pH for baking soda, assuming good or high aeration, is 8.3. The good aeration is needed to drive off the carbon dioxide that is a byproduct of the reaction with the bicarbonate ion to remove acids produced by the bio bacteria in the reactions to convert ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrate, the hydrogen ion (acid) reacts with the hydrogen bicarbonate to form water and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is an acid when it is in water, and if driven off by aeration, the pH will rise. In a low ofr non-aerated pond, the pH could shift from the 7.5 to 8.5 pH values shown, morning to evening, which is not particularly friendly to the fishes skin.

      I would almost believe that the Envii product is nothing but baking soda being marketed to the fish pond market at a significant increase in price.

      "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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    10. #10
      nmtsaki's Avatar
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      You are shooting for a stable pH, not necessarily a value. I use 8.2, because that is the value that baking soda stabilizes the pH at. Plus, a higher KH helps to feed the filter bacteria so a pH crash doesn't happen.

      I just went on a pond call today, where all the values were within "normal" ranges, but the KH was 4. That is a very small buffering capacity (the pH can swing wildly, causing fish to suffer, and filter bacteria to die off). Just because the ammonia and nitrIte are zero, doesn't mean the entire system is healthy. Her water was very green, she had been told never to do water changes, and never clean filter material. I basically gave advice as above. Water changes and add baking soda. Keep track of water parameters in a notebook. After awhile, with a stable KH, you won't need to measure the pH. One less color to figure out.
      Last edited by nmtsaki; 07-26-2018 at 09:13 PM.


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      Quote:" Obviously you don't want to go over recommended KH of 15 drops (high end, I stick around 10 to 12).".....
      Just curious, why is a kh of 15 the max? What would happen at a 20kh or 25? I head higher is better for bio.

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      RG1X is offline Junior Member
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      Interesting, thanks. Is this basically what I'm looking for? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/25Kg-Bica...s/170552336261

      (I know I don't need that much, but just as an example)

    13. #13
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      Yes. That is the stuff. Common baking soda is the same thing and may be more the size that you would need. We have Arm and Hammer brand in the USA, and they package a big bag that is about 13 pounds, 6KG, and costs about $5 or $6, but also at the grocery it is available in 1 pound, 2 pound and 4 pound boxes with the 4 pound box being almost as much as the 13 pound bag.

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    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rich8888ri View Post
      Quote:" Obviously you don't want to go over recommended KH of 15 drops (high end, I stick around 10 to 12).".....
      Just curious, why is a kh of 15 the max? What would happen at a 20kh or 25? I head higher is better for bio.
      To my knowledge, there is no upper limit. Above 200ppm (12 drops) is probably a waste of good buffer, but not a problem.

      "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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    15. #15
      nmtsaki's Avatar
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      Sorry, I work all day and don't get a chance to get on right away to answer questions! We're not allowed to go on to different websites from work. I'm glad Rich is here to answer all those questions though!


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      RG1X is offline Junior Member
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      Fish didn't make it. We had someone come to look that suggested we treated for costia and fungus (used F-M-G). Did two rounds of treatment and he seemed to be getting no better.

      Did a 2% salt dip as a last resort today as he'd stopped eating. Obviously was too little too late / too much of a shock as he died a couple of hours later.

    17. #17
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      So sorry.
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