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    Thread: two maybe three sick fish need help please

    1. #1
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      two maybe three sick fish need help please

      going to sleep last fall two fish had reddish fins one held a fin clamped. by the time it was to cold to treat they both looked OK not great but temp was to cold to do much more. in the spring one died.
      so a few weeks ago i finished my spring clean emptied the pond cleaned and refilled [not sure this was the right thing].completely emptying the pond and cleaning was on the advise of a local pond supply company. since I've heard this is a no no. i should of known better i raised tropical fish for years and would never do a 100% water change. but i figured koi were different.
      now i have two sick fish with a possible third not sure on her yet she has a cut on her side but the could be from rocks or something.shes eating and active. i think a little upset because i took the two males out to quarantine and she has a belly full of eggs.
      my immediate issue two males had about 70% of there body covered with a whitish grey film and what looked like some missing scales.one is still active the other is just laying on the bottom. right now there in a 125 gal pond isolated from the rest I've been treating with melafix and pimafix for three days with no noticeable change. i just finished reading Hanover koi info web site they don't seem to think melafix and pimafix do much and suggest salt at 3% and proform -C and maybe following up with PP if needed.
      so after reading 90% of hanover koi web site I've started adding salt to the quarantine pond i'm at just under 1% and I've ordered proform C.
      i never had issues with tropical fish water quality and water changes and you had a happy healthy tank. i'm at my wits end everything i read says something different. i really don't want to lose these two

      side note i have something called wipe out not sure if i should use it or not seems like it may help

    2. #2
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Lets get things started with a first things first. The most important thing with fish is the water. We like to see the numbers, preferably from liquid drop type tests instead of dip strips which can be real iffy. The numbers we are interested in are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH morning and evening (High Range Test as it should probably be over 8), KH, water temperature, gallons of water in the pond, filtration system (type and size), does the pond have rocks on the bottom or not.

      The grey film is a thickened slime coat, and this is a defense to irritation. Irritation can be coming from ammonia in the water, large swings in pH, parasites, or possibly other issues, but since the water is so important for future healing as well as current health, we like to start there.

      John at Hanover Koi is good, but some of his treatments are different than traditional. The manufacturer of Proform C states that it should not be used with salt, but John has used it with salt at some pretty high values. Salt should never be used at values much higher than 0.9% as it will desicate the fish. Because salt is an irritant, it can cause thickened slime coats, which on the gills will interfere with oxygen transfer. If as you state you are up to about 1%, then it would be a good idea to do a 50% water change to reduce it to a reasonable value.

      In addition to the Proform C, I would order Fluke M preferably, or Prazi for treating for flukes. Proform C will take care of the other microscopic parasites.

      "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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    3. #3
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      thanks Richard,
      I typed the salt level in wrong its 0.1% right now i'm going to bring it to 0.3% sorry for any confusion.
      pond specs
      approx. 2200 gal
      gravel bottom with rock formations and a few iris
      skimmer with 4500 gph to a large spillway with course and fine media and active carbon
      1800 gph pump to a sized UV light going to a small pond then to a water fall back into the main pond [this doubles as my quarantine tank by shutting off the uv pump]

      water quality
      PH- 7.5 to 8
      ammonia - 0
      nitrite - 0-10
      KH - i've order a kit [i didn't realize the importance of this its not really used in tropical fish]

      pond population
      3 large koi 14 to 18 inches
      1 small koi 7 inches
      6 comets

      no changes in the quarantine tank - but the large female in the main pond is acting weird her scales have a little damage and shes flashing i little i think ill move her to the quarantine tank.
      I've ordered fluke -M and prazi which ever one gets here first ill use
      should i stop the melafix and pimafix and wait for the other medication to get here?

      thanks for your help is there any thing else i should be doing to help these fish or long term to keep them happy?

    4. #4
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      I would stop the use of the Melafix and Pimafix. Don't know of any use except to make the water smell good.

      When you state the nitrite is 0-10, is that nitrite or nitrate. Nitrite is very important to maintain at or very near 0, like no more than 0.1 without treatment. If the quarantine tank is a portion of the pond, is it able to have good filtration or does it rely on the pumps and biological filtration of the main pond. The fish need the best water possible, which means the best filtration you can provide.

      As far as the rocks on the bottom, they look good but they also trap a lot of solid debris which due to a lack of oxygen down in the rocks creates an anaerobic digestion situation creating hydrogen sulfide gas, which is very toxic to fish. If the rocks are removed for a near 100% clean out at least annually, then that is not a serious problem, but many of the rock bottom ponds are sold with the idea that they are no maintenance. I used to have an upflow gravel bog for a filter and the annual clean out, removing and reinstalling a couple thousand pounds of rock became too much as I got older, so I moved to more effective and much more easily maintained filters.

      A little about KH. As far as I am concerned, in an established pond, it is the one test that I ran, and only worried about the other values if the fish were showing a problem. If the KH is well over 100, even over 200, then the pH will be rock solid, and with the pH rock solid, the filter bacteria had an environment conducive to their continued good health, and if they were doing good, the ammonia and nitrite would be doing good. If the KH falls below about 80, then the pH starts to fall, and as the KH goes to zero the pH will shift radically from very acid to very alkaline morning to evening. The bacteria produce acid in the conversion of ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate, so the KH is always being consumed.

      I think I would leave the salt at 0.1% as I know that that level is good with the Proform C. Some would caution using the Proform C, because of the manufacturers warning, if the salt were up to the 0.3% level.

      "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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      Richard

    5. #5
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      thanks again Richard
      i stopped the Melafix and Pimafix but still haven't received the proform C hopefully by Thursday along with prazi or fluke M
      nitrite test kit say 0 to 0.1 not 10 sorry i'll try to be more accurate
      my filter system does go through the smaller pond {125 gal} but is easily redirected to isolate the pond. so as a quarantine tank i have a small box filter i add with course and fine media and a 250 GPH pump. i'll check water today. pond seems very small for three bigger koi. i think moving forward i'll look into getting a 200 gal plastic water storage bin I've seen on craigslist

      should i be feeding the fish while in quarantine? its a really small pond i don't want to have water quality issues during treatment.
      right now there's no change in the fish two are swimming around OK and one is laying on the bottom but does move around from time to time.i tried to upload pic of blue koi he seems to be the worst off

      as far as the stone goes their 1" river stones. I empty the pond and power wash ever spring probably getting about 75 to 80% of all the muck approximately, on and around the stones yes its a lot of work.Could this be part of my issue with sick fish not reintroducing them to the pond properly? maybe not preparing the water properly before putting the fish back? what can i do during spring cleaning to insure happy healthy fish? I've found info online about this but not very specific. some say its a good idea some say its not.

      thanks for the KH info. should have the KH test kit this week.
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      once again thanks for your help

    6. #6
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      bad news the blue koi died after testing the water in the quarantine pond 0- nitrite 0- ammonia but ph dropped to 6 -I've added a small amount of baking soda trying to get it closer to 7 by the end of the day. not sure what else to do. my stupidity is killing these fish
      main pond tests fine thankfully i hadn't moved the big female to the quarantine pond. I was going to move her this morning but wanted to wait because i thought the quarantine pond would be crowed with three bigger koi . seems i doing a really bad job

    7. #7
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Don't worry about the fact that you may have killed a fish or even a couple. Most of us, on our learning curve killed many more than that. Unfortunately education comes at a high price.

      If the KH were high enough, I would expect the pH to be about 8.3. This is a good pH, as long as it is stable. When the KH drops very low the pH will drop overnight, and then rise dramatically during the day until the sun goes down. The swing can be from 5 to 10 with low enough pH and algae present. Unless you have a reason that you want to keep the fish in the QT, I would keep them in the pond. The complete system will need to be treated since the parasites can be in transit through the filters and pond. The best water is going to be the complete system as most of the filtration is attached to the pond, not the QT. I would add the baking soda in the late afternoon as the pH will be the highest, making for the least swing caused by the addition of the baking soda.

      If the fish are in the main pond, you can feed, but if you are keeping them in the QT, it is a bad idea to feed as it will increase the ammonia load.

      "as far as the stone goes their 1" river stones. I empty the pond and power wash ever spring probably getting about 75 to 80% of all the muck approximately, on and around the stones yes its a lot of work.Could this be part of my issue with sick fish not reintroducing them to the pond properly? maybe not preparing the water properly before putting the fish back? what can i do during spring cleaning to insure happy healthy fish? " As I said before maintaining a stone bottom is a lot of work when it comes time to clean. I suspect the power washer removed some of the waste near the surface, but if the rock is 6 or 8 or more inches deep, it did not get all the way to the liner. On a day that you have time, move the fish to the QT for a time and pump the water out of the pond, dig down to the liner in one corner and if you do not see black coloring on the rocks and smell a rotten egg odor, you are probably doing all right. If you get the rotten egg odor, then you know that you have anaerobic digestion going on, and the water is less than ideal, meaning a complete removal and rinsing of all the rock and pumping the muck from the pond.

      "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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      Richard

    8. #8
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      thanks
      so your saying back to the main pond and treat there OK. everything I've ordered should be enough to treat entire pond i'll need to add salt to the pond to check exact gal. for treatment.

      as far as stone goes there's only enough stone to cover the bottom. probably an inch or so. which gets moved around and power washed every spring. basically its just enough stone to cover the rubber lining.

      not sure if i'm doing my spring clean properly regarding reintroducing fish to the pond and i think this may be the reason i'm having issues. would you mind giving me quick lesson on the proper procedure.
      this is what i'm doing now
      1. open pond run filter system for 30 days or so drain 50% move fish one or two at a time to QT pond
      2. empty pond power wash shallow end pushing all water to deep end
      3. pump out deep end,power wash and pump again
      4. normally i don't clean filter hoping to maintain some good bacteria
      5. fill pond dechlorinate run for 24 hrs
      6. adjust water as needed
      7. put fish back into pond

      just dawned on me i've been having a blue herring visit the pond daily for the the past few week he did get two small koi I've since installed motion alarms both noise and water spray which seems to of ended his visits. i'm wondering if he brought in parasites. or maybe it was just left over from last years issues. also the two Koi he got were new last year and were not put in QT when they arrived which caused an ick break out.

    9. #9
      trapper is offline Senior Member
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      You could save yourself all of that extra work each spring if you were to get rid of the bottom rock.

    10. #10
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      thanks trapper i don't mind the extra work and its a great time to bond with my daughter she love the pond and taking care of the fish. were both a little heart broken over the loses but were going through it together.hopefully with everyone's help on this forum i'll be able to gain enough knowledge to keep my fish happy and healthy.

    11. #11
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Reintroducing koi to the pond is mostly a matter of getting the water as close as possible to the QT water, temperature and pH. Then start the filters for the pond and move the fish. If there is a significant difference in temperature, then transfer some of the pond water by bucket into the QT, allowing overflow to the pond about every 10 minutes or so to equilibrate the temperatures. Make sure the pond had good high KH before starting cleaning and again before transferring fish. This should assure a good pH for the both the QT and the pond.

      Filters need to be cleaned but I would not clean the filters at the same time as the pond so that you maintain some good bacterial filtration. I would clean the filters at least monthly, though weekly would be better, using pond water to clean the mats.

      As for the heron, it would be best to place a net across the pond. The net can be suspended a couple feet off the water, but makes it impossible for the heron to get an aim and strike.
      Last edited by RichToyBox; 06-03-2020 at 07:29 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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      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      thanks richard
      thats about what i do except the temp i will add that to my process
      i'm on second treatment of proform C not much change yet. fish are eating but not over aggressive going after food like normal. i'll do the final treatment tomorrow with prazi since the fluke m didn't show yet. i'm thinking i should take the bad koi out and apply neosporin to some of the areas that look white and stringy for lack of a better description.
      got my KH test kit yesterday Kh was 58 i added a baking soda last night and at 5am this morning. as of 5:30 pm today its up to 89. i'll add more this evening which should put me low to mid 100's i'll monitor from there.

      water as of 5:30 pm today
      PH- 7.5 to 8
      ammonia - 0
      nitrite - 0
      KH - 89.5 -- 5 drops the fifth drop being the one to turn the vile yellow [just making sure i understand the directions]
      two doses of Proform C

      side note: buying an old food safe plastic container [250 GAL] i'll be converting into a QT tank

      thanks for all the great info

    13. #13
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      third and final treatment of proform with prazi also took the butterfly koi out and put neosporin on his sores. still no real changes there eating. major rain storm last night raised the pond level an inch or so hope it doesn't effect medication to much, not a lot i can do at this point
      water quality seems good
      PH- 8
      ammonia - 0
      nitrite - 0
      KH - 143.2

    14. #14
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      If the medication had been in the pond for more than 12 hours, it had probably done all that it was going to do. I would probably do a second treatment with the Prazi in about 5 or 6 days to be sure that any eggs from the gill flukes have hatched and get them killed before they have a chance to lay new eggs.

      "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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      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      seems there still could be an issue the butterfly koi was swimming with one fin clamped on and off during the day. this was the same thing the blue koi was doing who was much sicker and died last week
      this is where i'm at medication wise
      three proform C treatment last one with prazi --- { i don't have enough for a second treatment]
      should i order more prazi
      i have fluke M on the way

      water is still good
      PH- 8
      ammonia - 0
      nitrite - 0
      KH - 143.2

      thanks again for the help

    16. #16
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      The Fluke M is a substitute for the Prazi, and for some has been much better, so just wait on it.

      "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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      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      ok thanks fluke M should be here tomorrow
      day 5 would be Wednesday.
      does this make sense
      1.25% water change
      2. final treatment proform C with fluke M

      i've read de-chlorinator with ammonia binder can neutralize some medications. which i would have in the system after a water change
      i do need a water change we had very heavy rain fall two days ago and my pond is very dirty

    18. #18
      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      I've been reading about PP would that help me out at all in this situation

    19. #19
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      Because the instructions for the Proform C specifically state that you should do a 25% water change before each treatment, I am going to assume that the manufacturer knows that we will be using dechlor if we are on public water supply and does not address it as a problem, so I am going to say go with the Proform C.

      I have used PP in the past, but many do not like it as it oxidizes everything, including the gill tissue. For it to be effective, it needs to be strong enough to maintain pink to purple color for hours, and if there are organics in the pond, then that really requires additional doses to maintain intensity to do the job. To maintain intensity, you need to have the test strips that indicate the strength and as it decays, add more, maintaining the 2ppm level for a minimum of about 6 hours. I found that because I ran it through my filters as well as the pond to take care of all parasites in the system, I was having to add to the dose about every 15 to 30 minutes.

      "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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      bkidder is offline Junior Member
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      so a couple of changes most of the comets are just sitting on the bottom of the pond or in a cave and not eating. i pulled one out he had a good slime coat[ seemed thick] and looked OK but i suspect there all stressed out about something.last week they were chasing each other around the pond non stop.[spawning??]

      the butterfly koi's scales look brighter no more whitish build build up. although he does have small whitish strings in one of the areas with a missing scale. other areas are healing. one weird thing there appears to be some growth on the end and edges of his fins sort of yellowish/off white. the growth seems thicker than his fins. i'm not sure if hes just healing or something is going on. other than that he looks brighter in color and eating a little. i've attached pic of growth not a great pic.should i do more for him? topical treatment?

      my big yellow female still seems good eating good and active. basically unaffected by this this other than a little flashing earlier in the treatment.she has two missing scales on each of her sides both in the same spot i suspect blue herring tried to grab her but couldn't because of her size.i'm also thinking could be the same issue with missing scales on the butterfly.will they regrow scales?

      i'll being doing a water change today and adding proform C and a treatment of fluke M

      we've added motion alarm and motion water sprinkler also fishing line over the shallow area and in the one area I've seen the herring enter the pond.

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