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  • Results 1 to 18 of 18

    Thread: Help! I'm losing 15-25 year old fish

    1. #1
      68bruin's Avatar
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      Help! I'm losing 15-25 year old fish

      I have two ponds - larger one 4000 gal has some problem(s) and I've lost two pretty old fish (20+ years) in the last 2 months and two more older fish (15+ and 20+years old) seem on their way out. Rest of fish are flashing/scratching their gill plates, and there is some occasional jumping. Parasites, right? well there have been no ulcers on the dead fish or any others currently. The fish feed vigorously, even the two i'm worried about, like there's no tomorrow. Water temps have to be close to 78-80 deg. The two I'm worried about sit motionless on the bottom unless they see me. Their slime layer is thicker, one has raised scales on its hind third with a whitish film over this third (see photos), and they both have gotten skinny despite eating well, as did the two that died. The two that died - a shusui that got very skinny and raggedy fins that looked aged but not red was about 22" and at least 25+ years old - and a goromo that got very skinny and turned from white to pink from inflammation and the outer edges of its gills were tan color while the rest was normal red color - it was about 20" and at least 20 years old - neither one had ever been sick before.

      water quality - exceptionally clear with little debris on the bottom
      ammonia - 0.125 (tap water is 0.25)
      nitrite - 0
      nitrate - 60ppm (high but always has been despite plants, water changes, no overfeed) 25 fish various sizes in 4000gal
      ph - normally between 7.6-8.4 right now is 7.6
      kh - about 60ppm (low I know - i'm going to raise it - I just today tested for kh for the first time in 25 years of owning ponds/raising koi)

      pond has skimmer and side-bottom drain on top of rubber liner straight walls 2' to 4' deep (mostly 4' deep) Water goes to filter basket to bead Ultra II biofilter back to upwell waterfall with five bio-filter pads then thru plants, and venturi, and bottom of pond exit (three exits).

      treatments so far: suspected costia (no microscope, bad back, can't catch the fish anymore anyway) so did 50% water change and treated with formalin/Malachite green combo using directions on bottle, next day did 25% water change and repeated treatment. Things seemed better, then got bad again after one week. So did a 75% water change, repeated same tx again. It's been two days. Really no change - the two fish lay on the bottom most of the time unless feeding - then they're active. most other fish have been seen flashing. There still is occasional jumping.

      What now? I'm an old guy with a bad back so I can't be catching all the fish and putting them in medicated baths or scrape and scope all these fish. I look very carefully for visible parasites but I see no anchor worm nor fish lice, nor ulcers (yet). but some fin tears but not typical red edges to the fins like with fin rot. I'm thinking of doing potassium permanganate treatments which Im experienced with but should I wait awhile before adding more chemicals? what are your thoughts? Ill try to post photos, but have problems downsizing full size photos - they won't post. How do I post photos? I forgot. Thanks for your help - Larry
      Last edited by 68bruin; 07-25-2018 at 10:55 PM.

    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
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    3. #3
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      I’m in Northridge too , you want some help ?

    4. #4
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      That would be great! Thanks for the offer. I'm retired so home most of the time. How do we connect?

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      Im retired too , how about tommorow before noon ?

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    7. #7
      ademink's Avatar
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      Thank you, catfish!
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    8. #8
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      Please post results so we can learn. Thank you

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      Im retired too , how about tommorow before noon ?
      You are an asset to the hobby.
      people like to vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better

    10. #10
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      I hope I was able to help.
      Formalin/malachite green only , had been used by the OP to treat flukes , so I brought over prazi powder and instructed Him to treat again but add it with the FMG this time . He will treat twice , 4 days apart.
      Two fish had external bacterial issues , one had the beginning of an ulcer, so I gave Him some elbagin , and We placed those two into a tub with a 4 hour bath dose. I also instructed Him on the procedure to treat the ulcerated area with neosporin , or He can use tricide neo , whichever He chooses.
      The ponds Amonia level was in the .2 range , and the last water change / water conditioner addition was 4 days ago , so I ruled out a false reading (ammonium) . The nitrites were 0 , and nitrates were 60-80. I didnít measure the KH , but the OPís recent reading of 60 is about what I see at My House just 1 mile away.The PH was in the mid 7 range, normal for the area. The OP is only feeding once a day .
      An Ultima bead filter is being used , and also some submerged matala matting. We talked about raising the KH using baking soda , and itís importance to maintain a KH of at minimum 150 to compensate for the bead filters carbon dioxide rich environment. With such light feeding at only once a day , the OP might be able improve the bio filtrations capabilities by simply raising the KH, so that will be tried first , but I recommended improving the bio filtration with a small shower filter, as the OP has a perfect spot for one where the water is returned to the pond through a small waterfall. I also recommended increasing water changes to lower the nitrates .

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      I hope they pull through for you.

      Catfish whiskers, thanks for helping him out. The first thing I did when I read he could use some help was to see where he was located. It was a little far for me to drive though from TN. Lol



    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      Im retired too , how about tommorow before noon ?
      Lol, Retirephen
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



    13. #13
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      Update: this morning, all fish were lying on the bottom, not moving. This never happens. When they saw me all began to swim around where I was standing (as usual), except the two that were treated with elbagin - they remained motionless on the bottom. Midday I fed the fish lightly (they were not fed at all yesterday) and all fish ate vigorously, even the two that were treated. But then they all went right back down to the bottom. After this feeding, I added baking soda to both ponds to raise the KH an increment. Now, at 6pm, all fish are swimming around the ponds - they know feeding time is approaching - but the two that were treated seem better. One is so bad that full recovery would be a miracle, but there's still hope. I don't know if raising the Kh, or the effects of the medicines wearing off, or less worry about a predator (I've seen raccoon tracks around the pond the last few days), or some combo of these is the reason for the uptick in energy, but I'll take it. I'll update more later.

      The main thing though, is the direct help, thru Koiphen, that I was offered by Catfish. He took a lot of time out of his day to come over and work to try to help me and my fish. I'm very hopeful that the treatment he's recommended will be successful. He has a lot of knowledge. Thanks again Catfish!!!

    14. #14
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      Update: this morning I was happy to see all fish swimming around as they normally do - none laying on the bottom. There was one "flash", no jumping in 5-10 minutes of observation. The first dose of baking soda raised the ph from 7.6 to 8.4 (about an 8 fold rise) but I was told this will be buffered and it won't go higher with additional baking soda adds. I want to get the kh up to around 170. It went from 60 yesterday to 110 today. I added another increment today. Ammonia has gone from 0.25 to almost 0. Thanks for your additional advice, Catfish.

    15. #15
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      Name:  fullsizeoutput_43bf.jpg
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Size:  137.8 KBHere's a photo of the 15 year old sanke thats been most affected by flukesName:  IMG_4582.jpg
Views: 133
Size:  151.6 KB

    16. #16
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      The sudden drop in Amonia , I believe was a result of residual ammonium from a previous water change /water conditioners because the API test kit can not tell the difference between free , and bound Amonia (amonium). You said you had previously done a 75% water change . You can definitely improve Your biofitration though. The sanke has some serious skin issues , and lack of slime coat. I didn’t want to touch it and possibly damage it any more than it is ,that’s the reason I recommended using the elbagin bath. You might help it by putting it in a long term bath with salt and aeration, but you will need a larger container .Try One gram of elbagin into 25 gallons of water along with .6 salt .

    17. #17
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      update: second praziquantel tx was done Monday - today all fish swimming around normally. Kh up to 150 so far.

    18. #18
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      Sounds good.

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