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  • Results 1 to 4 of 4

    Thread: Weird behavior

    1. #1
      cahriad is offline Member
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      Weird behavior

      Four large 26" Koi coming out of their winter layover outdoors. Current water temperature 27 Deg at night, mid 30's to low 40's during the day. Normally they are all laying on the bottom of the 5' pond barely moving but yesterday on of them decided to work its way off the bottom and somehow beach itself by the skimmer entrance. Luckily I was around and coaxed it back into the water, it was out and sucking air. It swam to the bottom and stayed there most of the day but this afternoon I found it at the 1' bench with it head barely in the water and not really moving. I nudged it and it swam back to the bottom. Tonight it is back at the surface and barely moving again. The other three are behaving Ok, just this one that is causing me some concern. They are all around 7 years old.
      No visible signs of damage.

    2. #2
      montwila's Avatar
      montwila is offline Supporting Member ~ Koi Health Care Committee Member
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      A couple of things to start:
      Your water cannot be 27* F unless you have enough salt in it to kill the koi or it would be frozen.
      If your pond is 5' deep then a diurnal temperature swing of over 10* F would be hard to believe. It would stress the fish so bad, it too would kill the koi over the Winter season.

      Now I suspect that the temperatures you are reading are not reflective of the entire pond's volume. Please include the volume of your pond in any further posts along with other water parameters. The fish are laying over because they are in "torpor" not true hibernation but about half way there. This does mean your ponds true temperature that the fish are experiencing is very cold. Anything below 38*F and the fish may not recover. It sounds to me that this fish is suffering from cold water and is probably challenged to keep its balance. This is often seen after exposure to cold water. They will come up off of the bottom and swim erratically trying to balance themselves in the water column. This may be why you are finding it in "weird" places. It simply swam until it was exhausted and that is where it landed. Remember that coming out of torpor the fish are very delicate and have very little energy. Many fish do not recover and may continue to "cork screw" as they swim. If the water warms up, some will swim normally and recover. Next Fall when the water cools again then they may swim erratically again.

      Good Luck

    3. #3
      cahriad is offline Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by montwila View Post
      A couple of things to start:
      Your water cannot be 27* F unless you have enough salt in it to kill the koi or it would be frozen.
      If your pond is 5' deep then a diurnal temperature swing of over 10* F would be hard to believe. It would stress the fish so bad, it too would kill the koi over the Winter season.

      Now I suspect that the temperatures you are reading are not reflective of the entire pond's volume. Please include the volume of your pond in any further posts along with other water parameters. The fish are laying over because they are in "torpor" not true hibernation but about half way there. This does mean your ponds true temperature that the fish are experiencing is very cold. Anything below 38*F and the fish may not recover. It sounds to me that this fish is suffering from cold water and is probably challenged to keep its balance. This is often seen after exposure to cold water. They will come up off of the bottom and swim erratically trying to balance themselves in the water column. This may be why you are finding it in "weird" places. It simply swam until it was exhausted and that is where it landed. Remember that coming out of torpor the fish are very delicate and have very little energy. Many fish do not recover and may continue to "cork screw" as they swim. If the water warms up, some will swim normally and recover. Next Fall when the water cools again then they may swim erratically again.

      Good Luck
      Parameters are fine, pond is 2000 gallons, water this morning was at 38 and it is floating vertical in the water with very little movement

    4. #4
      montwila's Avatar
      montwila is offline Supporting Member ~ Koi Health Care Committee Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by cahriad View Post
      Parameters are fine, pond is 2000 gallons, water this morning was at 38 and it is floating vertical in the water with very little movement
      Parameters are fine does not really tell me anything. A 5' deep pond that is 2000 gallons will have a very small surface area. So the diurnal temperature swing should be very small. Since it is a floating thermometer it will only be measuring the top 6-8 inches of water and the portion of the thermometer that is above the surface may be influencing the actual reading. If you can take the float off (as in a spa thermometer) then it will read a couple feet below the surface depending upon the strings length. A much more accurate reading of the over all pond temp. Especially if there is "very little movement'.

      Regardless it appears your fish is being affected by the cold water it has been exposed to over the Winter and has an equilibrium problem. I have seen this with several fish starting with temperatures as high as 46*F. Usually in younger fish. They usually upright with warmer weather if they survive that long. Then next year they have the same problem. Most die before the water is warm enough for them, probably from the stress of not being able to swim correctly. The only "fix" is if you could warm it up and get it swimming correctly. If it is only temperature then this will get it into summer.

      If it is a bacterial infection starting in the forward swim bladder (connected to their ear and thus balance) then you will have to treat that as well. I am assuming that your fish being 7 years old, has been been "wintered" before and may have an infection starting to block the duct influencing its balance. Again, warmer water and possibly medical treatment will be needed.

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