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    Thread: Possible swim bladder issue

    1. #1
      Joeyfischer07 is offline Junior Member
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      Possible swim bladder issue

      Hello all! Long time reader, first time poster (as they say). I have a 20" Ohgon that has been experiencing what I believe is swim bladder issues. When not swimming it goes into a head-down tail-up position. When swimming it moves a little awkwardly with a bit of a side to side roll. I followed the rules as I understood them about feeding (scaled way back as temp dropped, switched to a wheat germ product as water temp approached 50 degrees, stopped feeding right before it hit 50 degrees) but I suspect this one overfed and a cold snap dropped the temp down fast. He shows no other symptoms or physical signs as far as I can tell.

      I've checked water parameters: Natrate-10 ppm, Nitrite-0 ppm, pH-7.5, KH-80 ppm, GH-180 PPM. Ive added salt to around a .025% change. I don't have a salenity meter so I hesitate to do more as I have salted earlier in the year. Water temp is mid 40s.

      I don't have a quaranteen tank but I'm planning to build one if need be to pull him out. Would put it in the basement so I could slowly warm him up.

      Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
      icu2 is online now Administrator ~ WWKC Treasurer
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      Welcome Joey but I'm sorry for the situation that prompted your first post!

      I had a chagoi that actually got hit by stray voltage but sounds like she had similar symptoms.
      I showed a video of her to a vet and he didn't think it was a swim bladder issue, but damaged
      neurological function from the electricity. He said there was nothing he could do and sadly she
      never recovered but I hope you have better luck.
      Here's a video that maybe will help others diagnose your koi if it moves similarly (it's hard to see
      but notice her difficulty keeping her tail in the water; when she stopped moving she was like you
      said, head down, tail up):



      I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the best!
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    3. #3
      Joeyfischer07 is offline Junior Member
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      Reply

      Thanks for replying!

      I had read stray voltage as a possibility. I did have a heater trip a GFCI around the same time the problem began (2 weeks ago) but I have read that's not necessarily indicative of stray voltage. I assumed swim bladder problems as the issues began days after I stopped feeding and water tamp then crashed to near freezing.

      Sorry to hear yours never recovered. How long did it live like that? Also, do you have any recommendations on how to locate a vet who could help? I'm new to the hobby and will take all the help I can get!

      I also posted a screen shot (couldn't get the video to upload). The pond is 2800 gallons with 18 other koi who show no issues
      Attached Images Attached Images  

    4. #4
      icu2's Avatar
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      Videos can't be uploaded directly to the forum but you can host them on YouTube or Vimeo and then
      put a link to them here.

      She lived about a year like that until she started to develop ulcers from being on the pool floor so much.
      I couldn't see her quality of life improving at all so I finally had to euthanize her. One of the hardest things
      I've ever done.

      Honestly I lucked out on the vet. I went in one day to see if I could purchase sterile water from them to
      dilute some antibiotics I had for her and I told them what it was for and that's when I learned he'd been
      treating koi and other exotic aquatic species for many years. Unfortunately he doesn't do pond calls so I'd
      need to transport her in to see him (she was about 36") or I could email him the videos and talk online with
      him. There was a thread on the forum listing vets in different parts of the country. I'll see if I can find that
      old thread.

      An unusually note is she was with 6 other koi when the electrocution happened (it was from well pump shorting
      on the well casing) and none of them were effected. The vet said often times the largest fish will get the worse
      damage and some can be unaffected. But yours may be more of a temp issue like you said.

      Edit: I found the old thread but it looks like Aquavets Online is no longer active:

      https://web.archive.org/web/20170209...o:80/index.cfm
      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    5. #5
      A1Koi's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Joeyfischer07 View Post
      Hello all! Long time reader, first time poster (as they say). I have a 20" Ohgon that has been experiencing what I believe is swim bladder issues. When not swimming it goes into a head-down tail-up position. When swimming it moves a little awkwardly with a bit of a side to side roll. I followed the rules as I understood them about feeding (scaled way back as temp dropped, switched to a wheat germ product as water temp approached 50 degrees, stopped feeding right before it hit 50 degrees) but I suspect this one overfed and a cold snap dropped the temp down fast. He shows no other symptoms or physical signs as far as I can tell.

      I've checked water parameters: Natrate-10 ppm, Nitrite-0 ppm, pH-7.5, KH-80 ppm, GH-180 PPM. Ive added salt to around a .025% change. I don't have a salenity meter so I hesitate to do more as I have salted earlier in the year. Water temp is mid 40s.

      I don't have a quaranteen tank but I'm planning to build one if need be to pull him out. Would put it in the basement so I could slowly warm him up.

      Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
      I would recommend some way to raise the water temperature and start feeding medicated food, try making your own by soaking your wheat germ with prazi or oxytetracycline.

    6. #6
      Joeyfischer07 is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by nicksnishikigoi View Post
      I would recommend some way to raise the water temperature and start feeding medicated food, try making your own by soaking your wheat germ with prazi or oxytetracycline.
      Thanks for the recommendation! Any advice on how to raise the temp? Considering the high air temps are going to be near freezing soon I'm ignorant on how to do that. That was the main reason I was leaning towards pulling this one out and putting it in a quarantine tank inside.

    7. #7
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      For years, I built a lean-to over my pond covered by swim pool solar blanket, and installed a door using a zipper from Home Depot or Lowes for use on poly in dust containment in houses. Just the cover will keep the temperature up some, but the addition of heat, as in paint bucket heaters, immersion heaters, or other heat sources, the temperature can be maintained much warmer than an exposed exterior pond. I started to try to keep the fish active, and maintained a temperature of 60F for years and then the last couple of years with only one pond, I kept them at 70F. Cold fish sitting on the bottom of the pond all winter tend to come out of winter with belly sores, and I wanted mine to not rest on the bottom that way. It can be cheaper to heat a smaller volume of water in a Q-tank in the basement, but small water volume with high fish loads can be more difficult to maintain water quality.

      "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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    8. #8
      Joeyfischer07 is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      For years, I built a lean-to over my pond covered by swim pool solar blanket, and installed a door using a zipper from Home Depot or Lowes for use on poly in dust containment in houses. Just the cover will keep the temperature up some, but the addition of heat, as in paint bucket heaters, immersion heaters, or other heat sources, the temperature can be maintained much warmer than an exposed exterior pond. I started to try to keep the fish active, and maintained a temperature of 60F for years and then the last couple of years with only one pond, I kept them at 70F. Cold fish sitting on the bottom of the pond all winter tend to come out of winter with belly sores, and I wanted mine to not rest on the bottom that way. It can be cheaper to heat a smaller volume of water in a Q-tank in the basement, but small water volume with high fish loads can be more difficult to maintain water quality.
      Thanks for the info! So do you continue to feed year round then ? Also, do you have any recommendations on heaters? I covered the pond yesterday and have a stock tank heater in but would have a long ways to go to get the temp to where they would feed (about 6 inches of snow and counting so far today).

      Would there be any conditioners that might help fight off any infection? I know the cold likely makes that a no, but my attempts to try to get him to eat medicated food have been unsuccessful, and that was at a warmer temp than the pond is at now.

    9. #9
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      The stock tank heaters have thermostats in them that only allow them to come on at temperatures at or near freezing to prevent freezing of the stock tank. They will be of little use. The heaters that I used were similar to https://pentairaes.com/resistance-im...n-heaters.html EZ Plug eaters with https://pentairaes.com/heater-controllers.html controller. I used heaters that were about 1500-1800 watt and usually used at least 2. There are inline heaters that are available also, and you might contact birdman, one of our pro vendors about one of those, http://highdesertkoi.com/accessories/.

      You will see the fish come up now that the pond has a cover, temperature will slowly rise from the ground temperature under the pond and the solar gain. If the fish are up and swimming, they are much less likely to develop sores. Yes, I did feed year round, multiple feedings during the summer, but usually only one after the covers went on. As for conditioners, most are snake oil. I did use KoiZyme, or Aqua Medzyme, both were useful in controlling the CFU counts of the aeromonas bacteria, so reduced the availability of the bad bacteria. I would try to heat to at least 50, which will allow treatments, and the fishes immune system to be functioning, though higher is better for that, but higher is also more expensive. There is a zone from 50 to 60 referred to as aeromonas alley, but that IMPO is for fish that have been allowed to winter in the cold, and coming out of the cold, the bacteria get a head start long before the immune system, making for spring 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."

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      Keep your words sweet. You never know when you may have to eat them.
      Richard

    10. #10
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      I am selling two 11kw therma koi digital pond heaters at a very reasonable price to anyone needing to warm there pond or quarantine tanks this winter.

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