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    Thread: Heavy Slime Coats--Costia? And Tonight...Dropsy. Blast!

    1. #1
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      Heavy Slime Coats--Costia? And Tonight...Dropsy. Blast!

      O dear, I NEVER have sick fish, and I have a sick fish. What I thought was a late season pregnancy is in fact the dreaded dropsy. And I notice a fairly heavy slime coat on this fish, on another non-metallic burnt orange colored fish, and on the black portions of my showa and hi utsuri, all matte-black or matte-orange coloration, where slime coat is particularly visible. Because we live in the very hot desert, I am most likely to enjoy my fish in the dusk hours or early evening. Consequently, most of my fish are metallic or ginrin for better viewing at night--my mother calls it the Vegas koi collection. It's very hard to see the slime coats on these guys, but if my matte-skinned fish seem grey, can I assume the others are too?

      And is a grey slime coat likely to be anything OTHER than costia?

      And yes, I know I have a lot of danged nerve even approaching you all for help without water parameters to report. Unfortunately, it all sort of came together in my head under a flashlight inspection tonight. I will do a thorough water test tomorrow.

      However, I will tell you that I have been doing 30% water changes with well water each week since bringing a number of fish out of quarantine 4 weeks ago, just to keep water parameters good until my larger pond is completed this month. I am admittedly maxed out in biomass right now, and fish are feeling crowded. I am ashamed of myself. Also that our water temperature has dropped from a constant 86 through the summer to a pretty standard 76 in short order. And that our water is "liquid baking soda" alkaline.

      And finally, I am assuming I should euthanize my poor, lovely pinecone. Is there anything, really, to be tried at this point? I don't believe in letting animals suffer needlessly. Salt? Baytril? Or just let her go? 😥

    2. #2
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      Do you have another tank you could put Ms. Pinecone in? Salt added gradually over several days to .6% is supportive if you can isolate her. Be sure to test your KH and the pH both at dawn and at dusk to see if it is swinging. Do you use baking soda to bring the pH down or just leave it as is?

      We really need the test info as soon as you can provide it. Are the slime coats sloughing at all or just grey?
      Mary

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      Just grey, no sloughing. Barely noticeable unless you're looking for it.

      I will get water test info asap. And yes, I can isolate her with salt. She was frightfully easy to net. :,- (

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      And no, no baking soda. Just as you pump it. Older koi have been established in this water for 4 years now, no issues.

    5. #5
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      The thickened slime coat can be caused by anything that irritates the skin, that can be costia, several other parasites, or water quality issues, like high ammonia, which burns or swinging pH going from alkaline to acid, due to low KH. So before treating for parasites, be sure to verify that there is not an issue with high ammonia, or major changes in pH morning to evening. For the one with dropsy, once you have caught it, if it has a large ulcer, the salt at anywhere from 0.6 to 0.8% will help to relieve pressure on the kidneys by reducing the osmotic pressure from low salinity to high salinity where the fishes blood has a salinity of 0.9%. At the higher salinity, then antibiotics will help the ulcer heal by treating the bacterial infection causing the ulcer. The antibiotic can be injectible Baytril if your vet will work with you to supply it, but if not, then Tricide Neo is a good alternative, and further down the list is Triple Antibiotic Ointment. If there is not a major ulcer causing the dropsy, I don't think the salt will do much. Dropsy is a symptom of the kidneys not being able to expel enough water from the fish to keep it from bloating up, and that can be from too much water entering the fish, as in the case with an ulcer, or due to kidney failure. If kidney failure, the use of antibiotics are not very effective either as they are hard on the kidneys which are already compromised.

      "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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      KOIAnon is online now Member
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      I don't think treating dropsy with antibiotics is necessarily a bad idea. I just wouldn't use kanamycin or gentamycin.

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      I regret the delay in getting water parameters to you. My mother suffered a cardiac event, and my focus has been with her. Sadly, I lost Ms. Pinecone and a second victim, another 9-10 inch orange butterfly koi, and a pricey one. We do pay for our sins, dont we? I blame my overcrowding the smaller temporary tank, related stress, and possibly injury.

      Good news/bad news. Out of the tap, our mixture of well water and added phoenix city water is as follows:
      Ph 8.2
      Ammonia 25 ppm (!)
      Nitrites 0 ppm
      Nitrates 20 ppm

      From tank, morning and night:
      Ph 8.2
      Ammonia 50 ppm (!)
      Nitrites 0 ppm
      Nitrates 150 ppm (!)

      My hardness test kit is apparently MIA, but GH is generally low, and KH is ALWAYS high. I will look for some test strips, at least, for hardness when I take a break in a few minutes.

      I have always previously had an enormous bio mass of water and marsh plants, so I have never dealt with nitrates before. Sadly, at this Ph and with Phoenix heat, plants are virtually impossible to sustain. Maybe reeds or cattails?

      With mom, I missed a water change this week, and my neighbor has been (no doubt) overfeeding for me.

    8. #8
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      New question, sort of. I love a product called Ich-X I use in my aquariums. A dosage produces concentration of 0.5 mg/L of malachite green and 15 mg/L of formalia ~5.55 mg/L of Formaldehyde. Would this be effective on costia, trichodena and the like?

    9. #9
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      This Ich-X has the same chemicals as the Proform C that we usually discuss using. I can't remember the exact concentrations of each but it is a great for costia and most other parasites, except flukes for which it is recommended to use Fluke-M or Prazi, and the visible parasites of anchor worm and fish lice, which need a product like Dimilin. I think the Proform C, or Microbe Lift BSDT or Aquameds Terminate may be more cost effective.

      The ammonia level is too high and nitrate level is high. You can reduce both with major water changes but you will also need to treat with Safe, Cloram-X, Prime or similar to bind the ammonia into ammonium which is less toxic. The test kit will still show the ammonia+ammonium but if you get a SeaChem Ammonia Alert Card, it will only show the toxic ammonia as safe, marginal, harmful, fatal, or some such scale. If enough of the binder is in the water, then the reading will always be safe and it will tell you when you need to redose, as the fish continue to expel new ammonia that has to be bound.
      Last edited by RichToyBox; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:40 PM.

      "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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