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  • Results 1 to 11 of 11

    Thread: FMG & PP Resistant Costia! What Treatment Now?

    1. #1
      Koiz is offline Junior Member
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      FMG & PP Resistant Costia! What Treatment Now?

      Hi folks,

      Newbie to your forum here in need of some urgent help please. Iím based in the UK and became bitten by the koi bug 9 years ago when I moved into my current home that had a pond. In 2017, I turned the Ďhole in the groundí into a raised 11,500L formal fibreglass pond with two windows. Last June my husband bought me a baby Showa for my birthday and since then Iíve had a huge parasite problem. I do not have quarantine facilities, but the Showa was only 6Ē so was kept in an empty aquarium for several weeks and closely observed. I did not, at this time, have a microscope Ė I have since been on a very steep learning curve! I do not know for certain that the Showa was the source of all the problems, but I keep my pond covered with nets in summer and polycarb in winter, so do not have wildlife getting in.

      The trouble started with prazi-resistant Flukes a week after I introduced the baby Showa. This did not clear totally despite 4 rounds with Flukesolve, and eventually with salt at 0.89% added under the advice of Fiona McDonald (the creator of Flukesolve). My 10 koi came through winter fine but by March were starting to flash again. Scrapes showed the same skin flukes so I decided to go the Lernex Pro route after a couple days of CT prep. I did two Lernex Pro treatments and this finally took care of the flukes.

      Unfortunately, a few weeks later the fish started flashing again and scrapes showed Chilodonella and Costia. This was treated with FMG twice in 7 days which took care of the Chilodonella, but not the Costia. By now my baby Showa was very poorly so I isolated her in my 100L bowl as I was concerned that perhaps my pond volumes were not accurate and that was why the FMG had failed on the Costia. Whilst in 80L of water I tried further FMG using the products from Parkstone Koi in the UK, and then tried Kockney Koi brand just to be sure it was not a chemical issue. Neither worked and the baby Showa declined more with sunken eyes and notched nose. In desperation I tried a salt dip which did perk her up but only for a short while, then Acriflavine & MG. Eventually I euthanized the poor thing as I couldnít see her suffer any more. Post-mortem scrapes showed no decrease in costia whatsoever, even after being in AquaSed for 30 mins - useful to know if you are worried that sedating a koi to scrape for costia will result in a false negative!

      By this time I had followed advice to remove my remaining 9 fish into an Intex pool to treat in a known volume of water and to bomb my pond with caustic soda and bleach. Unable to get hold of those chemicals in the lockdown, I resorted to using 20ppm PP for two days and threw in all my equipment too.

      Whilst in the Intex my koi have been treated with the Kockney Koi FMG - again with no success. I then resorted to 2ppm PP, 3 times. This seemed to help and I then gave my fish a breather in AquaSouce Vitalize and Enzyme for 10 days, during which my Shiroís red streaked skin mostly resolved, though I still have some red streaked fins on my remaining Showa and the fins of my baby Ochiba are looked ragged on the edges, possibly from so many chemicals?

      Yesterday I scraped my Shiro again, only to find costia still, though in small numbers. I repeated the PP yesterday at a slightly higher doses of 4mg / 1,680L for 8 hours. I have just scraped again and the Costia is still there Ė in fact, I could see more on the scrape today than I did yesterday.

      To say I am at my wits end is an understatement. I canít keep repeating PP when it is obviously not working as well as I thought it was. The PP I have used is from Proton Scientific and is supposedly 99% pure, but could this be the problem? I used it last year for Trich and it worked a treat. Should I try Kusuri PP? Salt dip didn't work at all for the baby Showa, but perhaps she was just too riddled by these hideous little parasites.

      Many in various forums have talked about Colombo Alparex (which I believe is a combination of Acriflavine and MG?) for costia, but Iíve been warned that this can wipe out ponds of fish despite having good KH and GH, and my own experiment with the Acriflavine and MG on the baby Showa showed no signs of success, though it was not in it for many hours before I had to euthanise.

      This is the link to my folder of Scape Videos should anyone wish to take a look. There are some beautiful shots of the gill biopsies I did of my baby Showa - even in death that fish was very pretty. I have spoken with Dr Paula Reynolds, the Aquatic Patho-Biologist of Lincs Fish Health which is not too far from me, as I was concerned that perhaps I had something other than Costia going on, but she checked my scrape videos and confirmed it is definitely Costia but could not offer any further advice unless I took a fish to her laboratory Ė which is a one way trip for the fish.

      My koi are still in the Intex pool as I have now stripped out my whole filtration system, so my pond will not be usable again for at least two more weeks at the earliest. On the whole they are OK - the costia are not taking their toll on them like they did the baby Showa Ė yet, but I have seen occasional flashing from my large Showa. Heat ramping is just not possible for me Iím afraid as my largest koi is 75cm, so whilst I may be able to bring my Ochiba in doors in 80L of water to heat, that would not help the other fish.

      I have pasted below all the treatments I have done this year so far so you can see my doses per water volumes, temps etc, in case I have done something wrong and just can't see it for myself. It does not make for pleasant reading and I feel so sorry for my fish having been put through all this. I genuinely do not know what to do next and would be very grateful for advice or shared experience. I am posting in this forum as I read with interest a discussion back in 2004 started by @blammo in which PP dips were advised to wipe out Costia, but no doses were advised. Does anyone have any experience of this they could share?

      I thought my prazi-resistant flukes were bad enough, but this is next level stuff and Iím now out of ideas with no time to waste. I would be immensely grateful for any advice.

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    2. #2
      Marilyn's Avatar
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      Prazi resistant flukes have been the talk for roughly 10 years. The good news is that there is a product called FlukeM which is readily available in the UK and does a far superior job on the flukes. I would do two treatments since you've had such a tough time eradicating them. The active ingredient in FlukeM is taken into the koi differently that the Prazi or Fenbendazole.
      This article may be of interest:

      http://www.inkmkr.com/Fish/FlubendazoleArticle.pdf

      In the US, we typically treat with MG/F for three treatments. For difficult infestations, four may be used. I suspect you knocked them back but did not catch them in all the life cycles.

      I find the above medications, when used properly and for the right dosing protocol, to be far more effective than PP for parasites. Just make sure to always increase aeration during any treatment. Water temperature must be considered as this affects the life cycle.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

    3. #3
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      As Marilyn has stated, for the formalin/malachite green treatments, the treatments are 3 times, once daily for 3 days with hopefully a 25-30% water change preceding each treatment. The large water changes remove large amounts of bio materials that could be consuming part of the dosages. On rare occasion it has been found that a repeat of the above may be needed after one week. The temperature needs to be above 50F(10C). The dosages you have used may have just not been strong enough/long enough to take care of the 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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    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Koiz View Post
      This is the link to my folder of Scape Videos should anyone wish to take a look. There are some beautiful shots of the gill biopsies I did of my baby Showa - even in death that fish was very pretty. I have spoken with Dr Paula Reynolds, the Aquatic Patho-Biologist of Lincs Fish Health which is not too far from me, as I was concerned that perhaps I had something other than Costia going on, but she checked my scrape videos and confirmed it is definitely Costia but could not offer any further advice unless I took a fish to her laboratory Ė which is a one way trip for the fish.
      Anybody else recognize costia on these slides? Also, why would this be a one way trip for the fish?

      BTW excellent images of skin flukes.
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin

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    5. #5
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      Anybody else recognize costia on these slides? Also, why would this be a one way trip for the fish?

      BTW excellent images of skin flukes.
      I'd agree... excellent pics of flukes but costia are harder to spot. Needs 400x magnification. I didn't really see any on the
      video clips I looked at.
      Side note: Great job of documenting your progression along the way!

      Video of costia that might help:



      Great info already given on tackling parasites.
      --Steve


      In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave,
      and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him,
      for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

      ---Mark Twain

    6. #6
      Koiz is offline Junior Member
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      Thank you everyone for your replies. Iím afraid that my subscription to this thread had not worked properly so I did not get email alerts and have only just now realised that Iíve had feedback.

      Just to clarify, the problem I have is costia Ė not flukes. The flukes have finally been taken care of by the Lernex Pro (a combination of Nitroscanate, Praziquantel & Flubendazole). The fish are in an Intex holding pool, so there is no biological mass in the pond to take up any medications, but equally no effective filter system either, so I am having to do daily water changes for them until my pond is back together. The reason Paula advised it was a one-way trip for any fish is because it would be euthanised as part of the investigation. The lab is not open to the public.

      I have just completed a 2 day course of Colombo Alparex. I dosed at 42ml for a 1,680L water volume, and because the koi coped well the first day and my KH was at 9, PH at 8, but temps were dropping, I dosed at 44ml the 2nd day. Throughout treatment temps have ranged from 22.8C at the start of the Alparex, to 13.8C early hours of this morning. There is nothing I could do to stabilise the temperature as it was too windy last night to risk putting the polycarb covers over the Intex. Iím sure the fluctuations have not done the fish any good at all, but at least they did not go below 10C.

      I have just scraped my Shiro and I still have costia. A lot of it. Iíve uploaded the latest scrape Ė Folder 10. This is at 100x, 400x and 600x. Sorry for bad focusing but my eyesight is very poor at the moment (I have a bad cataract in my right eye from retinal detachment surgery last year, and my left eye is on the verge of detachment too with PVD in full swing Ė and Iím not even 50 yet!).

      Please let me know if this is NOT costia, because this is what I have been seeing all the way through and was told it was costia by several people. Latest Video Here.

      Iím beaten and in tears. I have had another two sleepless nights, out checking the fish every few hours. My water params are now bad (Ammonia 0.5, Nitrite 1, Nitrate 40) and my little Ochiba is constantly lunking so I need to do a big water change. I cannot risk leaving them any longer in this water. I can honestly say, if I had known what was involved in keeping koi in 2017, I would never have expanded the pond, but done away with it all together and been content with my indoor aquarium.

      I've wasted hundreds of pounds on chemicals, Iíve stripped my pond, Iíve bought a new filter system (replacing a Nexus & Draco Drum combi with an Oase Proficlear) and Iíve made myself ill with the stress of it. If my pond wasnít an integral part of my garden walling, Iíd be looking to rehome the fish. But I canít just 'fill a hole in the ground' as you can see from my photos below taken in June last year, just before I went 'Koi only' and all my troubles started. I actually designed my whole garden around the pond so the fish could be seen from every window in the back of my house and summer house. I have no choice but to keep it, especially as I persuaded my husband investing in the pond was a good idea!

      Unless someone can offer me advice on what I can do next, I plan to do a huge water change in the Intex now, leave the fish in AquaSource Vitalize and Enzyme till my pond is running again, then put them back and hope theyíll find an equilibrium with whatever parasites I canít kill for them. What else can I possibly do as I will not have a mature filter system for a very long time now after being told to strip my pond?

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      And this is what my poor fish are living in at the moment. The green water is the remnants of the Alparex:

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      Last edited by Koiz; 5 Days Ago at 02:27 PM.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      As Marilyn has stated, for the formalin/malachite green treatments, the treatments are 3 times, once daily for 3 days with hopefully a 25-30% water change preceding each treatment. The large water changes remove large amounts of bio materials that could be consuming part of the dosages. On rare occasion it has been found that a repeat of the above may be needed after one week. The temperature needs to be above 50F(10C). The dosages you have used may have just not been strong enough/long enough to take care of the problem.
      Do you think I should repeat the FMG 3 day protocol? If so, how many days should I now leave before I try that. It's not an issue of the treatment still being present in the water as I'm changing the water so often, but weighing up the chemical onslaught the fish have been through vs how rapidly costia could suddenly multiply - which one will kill them first? Or should I try the Sacramento Koi Costia protocol:

      To treat ponds up to 1500 gallons. Measure out enough Malachite Green & Formalin to treat the whole pond at a dosage of 10 ml per 100 gallons. Drain 50% of the water out of the pond and then add the Malachite Green & Formalin to the pond. After exactly 2 hours, refill the pond as fast as possible to its normal level. You must be able to refill the pond within 45 minutes or you risk the chance of burning the fishes gills. Perform this treatment 3 days in a row. If you have costia we recommend treating one more time on day 5. If the pond is being refilled with city water remember to add dechlorinator to the water to remove any chlorine in the new water. This technique is very effective because the parasites are exposed to twice the dose of medication for 2 hours which is usually enough to kill them.

      And whichever protocol I use, may I ask what strengths I should dose at? I have 38% and 30% Formalin, and 1% and 2% MG - all newly opened bottles that I could use. Guidance would be very much appreciated as the Sacramento protocol does not state strengths of medication or if it is a pre-mixed remedy.

      I've now changed out 1,000L of water which has brought the Ammonia down to 0.2, Nitrite to 0.5 and Nitrate to 20, and added 80ml of Vitalize. Chlorine is not an issue as I'm filling from my kitchen tap that passes through a whole house filtration system plus I'm testing with DPD4 rapid dissolve tablets. I've got an 80LPM air pump on three airstones and an old Hozelock EasyClear 9000 with no UV running, so the fish have plenty of air but no meaningful filtration, hence daily water changes. Don't even want to think about my water bill - I'm on a meter!

      Please Note: My posts take several hours to appear on the forum after submitting, so apologies if anything I write overlaps or gets out of sync with any other responses.

    8. #8
      Koiz is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      I'd agree... excellent pics of flukes but costia are harder to spot. Needs 400x magnification. I didn't really see any on the
      video clips I looked at.
      icu2 and KoiRun both raise a very pertinent question - because it's what I've been wondering myself all the way through this nightmare. I've been assured by several experienced UK Koi keepers, including Paula Reynolds, to whom I sent the same link as I've posted above, and all confirmed Costia. I was doubting the diagnosis because my 'costia' never seem to be moving all over the screen like you see on other costia videos - rather they just seem to vibrate in a small area, and they rarely look comma shaped - more round, and that's at 400x and 600x. The latest video (in No.10 folder dated today) shows clearly in the first few seconds what I am seeing time and time again, so hopefully other people may have a moment to take a look and comment.

      Could it be that this is actually NOT costia, but some other parasite - or not a parasite at all? If so - does anyone have any idea what this is and why it killed my baby Showa?

      I'd also be very interested in what you think of these two videos, again at 400x and 600x. I thought these were Chilodonella, but I'd be happy to be corrected...
      01 - https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ag9NuRDhoBlPhdskfMXIo9bvziIBsQ
      02 - https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ag9NuRDhoBlPhdsqThJHw1v4HfuLgg

    9. #9
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Studying the scope views, I am not completely sure that what you are seeing is costia. The videos that I have seen and my experience was that I found most parasites in the slime, and what it looks like I am seeing is in the water surrounding the slime. I don't see any movement in the thicker/denser slime coat. The movement is right, but the population location is bothersome. If the fish are not flashing, breaching, or otherwise showing signs of irritation, I would give it a rest for now.

      "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
      Koiz is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      Studying the scope views, I am not completely sure that what you are seeing is costia. The videos that I have seen and my experience was that I found most parasites in the slime, and what it looks like I am seeing is in the water surrounding the slime. I don't see any movement in the thicker/denser slime coat. The movement is right, but the population location is bothersome. If the fish are not flashing, breaching, or otherwise showing signs of irritation, I would give it a rest for now.
      That is exactly what I am doing. Large water change again this morning, and a big dose of Vitalize. I've also just ordered the Seachem Safe to balance the Amonia and Nitrite whilst the fish remain in the Intex till my pond is ready for them again. I have not tried that before and hope it will help calm things down for them in the absence of a mature filter.

      In the meantime, can anyone please identify what I am seeing on these scrapes? You only need to view the first few seconds of the latest video here - no need to trawl through all my folders as I know time is precious

      If this is not Costia, then I have been unnecessarily subjecting my fish to a huge onslaught of chemicals that have been costly, potentially damaging or fatal, and very stressful for the fish and myself!

      What are these tiny vibrating round objects visible only really at 400x and 600x that are still present in significant numbers despite FMG, PP and Alparex treatments? I think it would be very helpful to get to the bottom of what this is for anyone reading this thread and seeing these on scrapes in the future. Some very important lessons could be learnt from my mistakes, and hopefully some good can come out of the untimely death of my baby Showa.

    11. #11
      icu2's Avatar
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      On that video those look like costia imho.
      --Steve


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