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Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Help!! Fantails with disease & growth       6/11/17
Hi Neale/Bob -
<... 16,345k?!>
Firstly, thanks so much for such a helpful and informative site. Having never previously owned fish, your site has assisted us in having our 18 fantails thrive in a 3500L outdoor pond for the last 7 or so years without incident, with a few babies also :)
I am writing because I have two fish I am concerned about (for different reasons) and, despite trawling through your site, I am no closer to being sure what the problem is. I am therefore reluctant to do without knowing exactly what is wrong. One has a growth, and the other has two white spots.
Incidentally, they are both the oldest fish in the pond.
Flippy is the matriarch who has all the babies, and over the last several months has developed what looks like a benign tumour. It started with scale discolouration, then scales lifting, then the cauliflower-like growth that is there now.
<I see this, and agree re this being a growth of some sort. Some folks might try excising this (essentially cutting away with a scalpel) and daubing the area... I would leave it be>
She is otherwise happy and healthy, and eating normally (see photos attached).
Houdini is a master of survival, and lived in the shallows of the pond without our knowledge for approximately 18 months before joining the main pond about 7 years ago! He has very recently developed two white spots/growths on his side, but is otherwise happy/healthy and eating well. He does not seem to be exhibiting any strange behaviour (rubbing, scratching etc).
<Can't tell what this is... as it's only on the one fish... Perhaps simply a manifestation of a physical trauma; I would NOT treat for this>
The pond has a dirty water pump with UV filtration, which does 12000L/hr. We use Wipeout for bacterial control (though we have only ever had to use this once or twice), water conditioner in summer when the pond loses water at a faster rate, and Coptrol (aquatic Algicide with 107g/L mixed copper chelates) as needed to manage algae.
<Mmm; the last is dangerous and perhaps a factor here... stressful to/for the fishes, lilies>
I'll admit we have never needed to use testing strips in the pond, so I cannot tell you what our levels are, but the other fish are all happy, healthy and disease free. The water is also clean and clear to the eye. We do have a lot of detritus in the bottom of the pond (by design), but do control this with regular and gradual clean outs as required.
<Good; I like this last description/practice>
There is <sic> water lilies and water reeds in the pond, and the fish are fed pellets from our local specialty fish, pond and pump supplier. They are fed in the afternoon every second day (there is rarely left over food), and seem happy with this. To the best of my knowledge, they have always been healthy and happy in the pond. Until now, really the only issue we have ever had is with Ibis (a local water bird) coming in and trying to steal fish (hence the netting in the pics)!
Just in case it is relevant, I am in Perth, Western Australia and we are just going into our winter. These are generally quite mild - today it is sunny and fine, with a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 23 degrees Celsius (the average range in winter is 8-19).
<Sounds good; I would cease feeding pondfish when the temperature stays less than about 50F/10C.>
Any advice or assistance you can offer would be sincerely appreciated. <As above; I would likely stick w/ your stated routine and not add anything more>
Many thanks
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner>


Re: Help!! Fantails with disease & growth     6/12/17
Hiya Bob -
Thank you so so much for such a speedy response! And sorry about the file size *hangs head in shame*
I will do exactly as you advise, and also look into another option for algae control.
<Ah, good>
We were obviously ill-advised when we were told this was safe for fish.
Thanks again -
Keryn :)
<Glad to help. BobF>

pond goldfish with one showing blisters     4/5/17
Dear Crew,
I have aprox 3000 gal recirculating pond with waterfall. There are 7 adult goldfish (2 comets, 3 Sarasas, and 2 Shubunkins ranging from 6 to 8 inches) as well as 4 fingerlings, (native frogs that I can't keep out) and a variety of water plants. I just had the spring cleaning done by a professional (which included replacing the water) last week. There is 1 functioning aerator (a second one is waiting for repair). We also replaced the Triton ionizer anode but the controller doesn't seem to be working so are waiting for parts to replace that as well. I live in Texas. We had a gentle winter so they never truly hibernated this year. Our spring/summer warm-up began in March and they have become correspondingly ravenous. I don't feed them daily but when I do, I use Tetra season appropriate food. I converted them to the summer food when the water temp reached 60 a few weeks ago.
<With you so far>
Today (April 4) I noticed that the largest Comet has aprox 5 blisters (none of the others have any that I can detect). I last fed them on April 1 and didn't notice any blisters. The comet with the blisters is currently acting normal. It is the largest of the fish and the most voracious eater.
Any ideas?
<Could be... nuptial (breeding) tubercles (do look up)... As none of the other fishes are showing such, I doubt if there is an environmental or pathogenic issue. I would do nothing at this point... but watch the one "blemished"
fish for reproductive behavior. Bob Fenner>
Thanks, Sharon Nilsen
Re: pond goldfish with one showing blisters     4/5/17

Thanks so much for a quick response! Will monitor.
<Please do keep us informed. BobF>

Koi with black spots on eye      5/30/16
Greetings Bob,
I noticed some of my koi fingers have black speckling on sclera portion of eye. Most fish look affected but show no signs of distress (flashing or similar behavior) or deaths. This line of koi does develop a fair amount of black pigments on skin. Hoping this isn't a fluke or similar parasite.
<I don't think so. Have seen this sort of marking on tategoi... speculative, smaller fish... and chatted w/ koi breeders in Japan and the US in places re... they and I don't know what the black specks are... Sometimes they "resolve" on their own; and other cases are persistent. As you state, the spots don't appear to mal-affect the Koi>
The tanks are well established tanks connected to aquaponic grow beds, nitrates rarely creep over 10ppm and NO-2 and NO-3 are zero. We are on a "hard" water supply. I do have access to a microscope... Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd keep these specimens if they're otherwise attractive (physically proportional, well-colored....). Bob Fenner>

Koi fry, dying       9/19/15
Greetings WetWebMedia crew,
I recently separated some Koi fry and added a few to a 150g aquarium. I'm noticing some of the fish in the 150g are whirling and I'm starting to notice some deaths.
Could this be a parasite?
<No; not likely. How recent is recently? I'd be adding a BUNCH of the pond water to this tank.... like maybe changing all of it out and replacing... STAT! As in right now>
If so, which one and what's best treatment. Also what would be best way to ID. I'm not seeing any outward signs of illness(aside from whirling). I have HexShield and Ickshield on standby, is there any harm in treating fish so young? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
<.... not parasitic likely, but environmental. Bob Fenner>
Koi fry parameters      9/19/15

I forgot to include parameters. This is a cycled tank with over the top filtration. Nitrates less than 10 due to the Aquaponic grow bed that filters this tank in additional to a few sponge filters. Water is moderately hard and have had no issues with my Koi in other tanks/ponds. Please help. Thanks again.
<IF it's not the water they were born in.... CHANGE IT OUT, NOW. Something in the tank is toxic. Bob Fenner>
Re: Koi fry parameters      9/19/15
The only odd thing is, I have a few other aquariums loaded with fry and only this tank is showing symptoms.
<..... RE read the last mail. B>
I have been separating them out for a few weeks. I do drip acclimate when transferring. This particular tank was holding a pair of cichlids that I removed 2 weeks ago, added heavy salt and let run without fish. I then lowered salinity to zero and added fry. I knew this was risky but because of grow bed, I didn't want to sterilize; this is the reason I suspected parasites. Thanks
Re: Koi fry parameters      9/19/15

Thank you for your input.
<Welcome! B>

Oranda with raw, white sore on face
Good Morning,
<And you>
I am at my wit's end and hoping you could help us.
<Will do my best>
My mom has a 270 gallon reflecting pool in her back yard (with a fountain two filters, one of which is attached to a UV light). There are no plants in the pool. She has kept Orandas for years and is cleans the water regularly. Currently she has four Orandas. She feeds them sinking food.
<What brand, type?>
She bought Maybe on 06 May 2015 from PetSmart and introduced her into the pool without any issues. Recently, the pool had been treated when one of the other fish Fatso had white spots (Ich?); he has been healthy for a few weeks now (about two).
About 10 days ago there were two black spots on Maybe's face, one of which developed into a large crack under her right eye on 11 Jul 2015 which is about 1/4" long. Below is a picture where you can see the crack:
[image: Click image for larger version. Name: Maybe_11Jul2015.jpg Views:22 Size: 48.2 KB ID: 173218]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173218d1437079547-very-sick-oranda-situation-worsening-maybe_11jul2015.jpg >
<See this>
- 80% of the water was changed Sunday. My mom had the old and the new water
tested (pH, ammonia, nitrates, salinity, everything). The pool was then medicated--after the water was changed--with Melafix
<Of no use whatsoever; in fact, detrimental>

(before the water change and after). She turned off the UV light when she began medicating the water.
<I'd turn it back on>

The situation got much, much worse this morning (more black spots and white, raw sore under her right eye which looks like it is being eaten away and very raw). Maybe was lethargic on the morning of 16Jul2015, but she is swimming around acting normal now, not rubbing her head on the sides or bottom of the tank.
- Maybe was separated yesterday morning (16Jul2015) when my mom saw her condition, with the same pool water into a about 5 gallon fish tank
<Too small>
equipped with aerator (mom added a little more Melafix and some stress
<This tree extract may well be mal-affecting nitrification; DO monitor Nitrogen waste cycling>

Unfortunately that is the biggest container we have in the house.
She is swimming around normally but she isn't eating today (17Jul2015)
- All other fish appear to be okay. There are no spots on other fish and they are acting normal.
<Interesting; as my presumption is and was that the source of trouble here is/was environmental: Hence all would likely be similarly afflicted>

- Maybe was separated yesterday morning (16Jul2015) when my mom saw her condition, with the same pool water into a about 5 gallon fish tank equipped with aerator (mom added a little more Melafix and some stress coat). Unfortunately that is the biggest container we have in the house.
She is swimming around normally but she isn't eating today (17Jul2015)
Could this be hole in the head, or a fungus?
What is our best course of treatment at this point?
<Perhaps an antifungal (sulfa drug/s my fave), plus a modicum of salts
Since the container is too small for an Oranda, is there anything else we can do? We are beside ourselves!
<Get/use a larger container, or treat the whole pond with this Oranda placed back in it>
The photos below were taken right after she was separated (16Jul2015) showing the black spots on top of Maybe's wen and then the raw patch under her right eye:
[image: 173212d1437078847t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 1]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173212d1437078847-nasty-cracks-orandas-wen-maybe_1.jpg>[image:173213d1437078848t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 2]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173213d1437078848-nasty-cracks-orandas-wen-maybe_2.jpg>[image:173214d1437078848t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 3]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173214d1437078848-nasty-cracks-orandas-wen-maybe_3.jpg>[image:173215d1437078849t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 4]
173216d1437078849t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 5]
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
<I'd have you use the search tool on WWM (on every page) with the words:
Goldfish, Fungus, Treatment

Bob Fenner>

Unknown Goldfish Disease     7/28/15
Dear WetWebMedia,
Please can you help me.
I have a small pond, 700l, with 8 Sarasa Comets that I have had for many years. There is a good filtration system with UV steriliser, and everything has been running problem free for years, with no health issues or algae problems and the fish were happily spawning (three of the fish are offspring).The older ones have suddenly been struck with an illness that I have never encountered before and I have lost 2 in quick succession.
<Your photo... shows some sort of bacterial involvement... maybe an Aeromonad... but what re root cause... usually environment, sometimes a nutritional deficiency component.... See/Search WWM re goldfish bacterial infections. Do you have data to share re water quality measures?>
I don’t know if it’s linked, but 2 of the older ones developed a few rounded lumps over the last couple of years, which a vet identified as tumours which were not contagious and not interfering with their lives. 2 months ago I introduced a new fish after a previous one managed to beach itself outside the pond. In that time all the older fish have developed sores on their side, and in particular at the base of the tail. This is now spreading into a red patch and dissolving the central part of the tail. I have attached a picture of one that died today.
At the moment the three youngest fish are not showing symptoms. Can you identify this illness and can it be treated?
<See WWM re Ana Aki... Aeromonas troubles; and their treatment. Do you need help using the site?>
I don’t want to destroy the biological filtration system that has been working so well for so many years, and I also don’t want to risk the younger fish also getting ill. I would hate to do it but am considering if I have to humanely euthanise the older ones, both to prevent them suffering and to protect everything else.
Please let me know what you think.
Many thanks and all the best,
<There are treatments; improving the env., antibiotics added to foods.... Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown Goldfish Disease (Neale; elaboration please)       7/29/15
Thanks for your quick reply.
The water levels seem acceptable - Ammonia/nitrite - 0, Nitrate 40 mg/l,
<Too high by twice. READ on WWM re>
ph 8 (Tap water in London has lots of nitrate and a high ph so water changes can’t really improve these parameters)
<Ah yes one can... by treating the new water ahead of use. Again; all this is posted on WWM. Am cc'ing Neale (a UK native as well) to chime in w/ specifics>

They have always been fed Hikari Gold in summer and Hikari wheat germ in winter. Is that not ok?
<Good foods; but I would be supplementing w/ some useful live plant material/s... a fave: Egeria/Anacharis>
Re antibiotics, I don’t believe I can buy them over the counter in the UK, also will they not destroy the biological filter?
<Hard to get there, and yes; some will interfere w/ nitrification>
Many thanks,
<Cheers, BobF>
Neale's further input       7/29/15

<<Personally I don’t worry too much about the nitrate. When living in London I had no problems keeping fish. Frequent water changes are important though, not overstocking, not overfeeding, and I became increasingly reliant on using fast-growing plants to absorb nitrate and keep water quality good. Floating Indian Fern for example would do this nicely, as well as provide nutrition for your Goldfish. Removing nitrate (and hardness) via RO was never cost effective for me and in terms of ecological sustainability it’s pretty difficult to justify. Goldfish can and do thrive in hard water and their tolerance for nitrate is relatively high (under lab conditions over 100 mg/l for short periods at least) so if the tank is otherwise well maintained, I doubt the 40 mg/l nitrate in your tap water is causing your problems.
Antibiotics depend on a vet’s prescription here; last time I did that, the cost was about £20, but you can also get some aquarium antibiotics via eBay, though the legality and reliability of this is unknown to me (and by the time they’re shipped from the US, the cost seems about the same as the vet). I’ve found alternative products can work well, with eSHa 2000 being my go-to medication of choice. It’s very economical doesn’t harm the filter, treats a wide range of external problems quickly, and doesn’t cause problems even to sensitive fish like catfish and puffers. Cheers, Neale.>>

Sick pond fish       1/23/15
Hi Bob Fenner,
You have been recommended, by Neale Monks'
<Oh, yes, a fine fellow>
I live in St Helens Merseyside England. I have an outdoor fishpond and keep quite large goldfish and Koi, it is winter i have not fed my fish since end of summer,
<Below about 55 F consistently, I think this is the route to go>
I have 2 sick goldfish, symptoms are they look bloated having trouble keeping their balance, i have been putting Myxazin P, in pond past three days, with no effect.
<Aye ya... not likely to be effective during cold months>
Although weather is 3 degrees during the day, is there anything you can suggest that I can try doing
<Yes; the simplest, least expensive, most likely to work and not cause trouble is adding Epsom Salt (MgSO4); about a cup per 100 gal.s (UK or US)>
The fish did belong to my Dad who passed away a few years ago. I am trying my best the pond holds about 280gallons, with a green gene filter. All the other fish seem to be fine, they are about 10-15yrs old. Neale, mentioned Epson salt, i have never used this, he also told me you are an expert on pond fish.
<Ahh; Epsom, not Epson (the printer co./brand)>
I hope you don't mind me asking for your help and opinion of which I would be so grateful.
Kind regards Nerina x
<Do try the Epsom... you should be able to procure it at most any grocery store... Used often as a "muscle relaxant" by humans. Bob Fenner>
Sick pond fish       1/23/15

Hi Bob Fenner,
Thank you for getting in touch, would I be better taking the sick goldfish out the pond,
<No; much worse for pondfishes to be moved, manipulated during the cold/er months. Unless there is something very wrong w/ the system itself, leave all in place>
i have a container that I can fill with water and put in my garage were it is a bit warmer, just put a couple of tablespoons in, in your opinion would this method work any better?
Kindest regards Nerina x
<And you, BobF>
Sick pond fish       1/23/15

Hi Bob, thank you so very much for the information, I will try the Epsom salts in the pond, as long as it won't cause harm to the rest of the fish. It is going to be 7 degrees tomorrow.
Thanks for your help! :-)
Nerina Everall x
<W. B>

Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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