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FAQs on Pondfish Disease 1

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Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Aquatic Gardens

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Outside pond fish... possible Lernaeid  10/21/05 <Sabrina, should we post this to the FW goldfish FAQs as well?<<I sure think so.  Likely will go into Koi, Pond Fish Disease, Goldfish Disease, and Crustacean Parasitic Diseases.  SCF>>Hi, this is our first time on your web-site, and we have a question. We have an outdoor fish pond with 4th generation goldfish! Today I noticed something on one of the fish. It is gold in color, protruding ( from under his skin)? or sticking out of his skin, I can't really tell. It looks like a thick wire sticking out. He doesn't look or act different, eating as normal. I didn't see anything like this on the other five fish.   Do you think this is some sort of parasite? <Mmm, possibly... Lernaea... "Anchorworm"...> What would you suggest we do? <Mmm... place this/these terms on the WWM, general search engines... read... If this is the cause/parasite, removing the adults by tweezing, inspecting all fishes, using a organophosphate to kill intermediates is suggested. Bob Fenner> Thanks Donna

Pond injuries, disease We have a 700 gallon backyard pond with waterfalls, plants and 15 fish. The pond is well established, about 6 yrs old and we've added salt and test the water etc. Seems fine. I have 2 questions. 1) Fish periodically get sucked into the skimmer basket... <Do fashion a screen over the front of this> ...and are usually fine when taken out and put back in the pond. We have one fish that was hiding for about 2 days and I finally found it and it seems to be swimming like a rolling barrel and then resting on the bottom. Should we euthanize this fish? <I would wait, see if it "straightens out"> 2) Another fish is acting normal and swimming around with the others but I see what looks like a couple of algae (green) threads drifting up off of 2 tiny spots on the back near the top fin. I can't find anything about this. Is this something to worry about? It's a new one on me. The rest of the fish look fine and healthy. <Net the fish out and examine this area carefully... this may be a crustacean disease... remove with tweezers, and daub with Mercurochrome, Merthiolate or Merbromin. Bob Fenner>

Re: Koi Illness?? Dear Sir I emailed you yesterday as we thought that one of my KOI Carps could be egg bearing. Just to re-cap the fish had put on a lot of weight put seems to be resting at the bottom of the pond for a short period of time with the pectoral fins flat on the floor. After referring to our KOI KICHI book by peter Waddington we have examined the fish the abdomen is soft and spongy to touch, however we have now noticed that she has blood loss coming from her gills (like short spurts) not constant. Her skin, eyes and fins all seem fine however because she is a HARIWAKE it is difficult to tell if her colour looks paler than usual.  Your advice would be much appreciated <The softness of body is trouble, the excretion of blood very dangerous. I would isolate this fish for closer observation, perhaps to slow progression of infectious disease to your other fish/es. Bob Fenner>

Egg-bound pond goldfish Hi: We have a white goldfish that we've had for more than 10 years - in a small outdoor pond. She is very large (with eggs, we think), but has been this way for more than one week. There are only three other fish in this pond - two are from her and the other was purchased with her (also 10 years.) Anything we can do to assist her to release the eggs. She is moving very slowly and we are worried about her. <You might try adding Epsom Salt to the system water... the equivalent of a level teaspoon per about ten gallons of system water> In the past, the other white fish would "chase" her, but, this does not seem to be happening this year. S. Robison <Bob Fenner>

Red Patch on Shubunkin Dear Crew, I have a small outside pond (approximately 60 gallons). My two comets and shubunkin have been doing well for the last four years until about one month ago when a heater I put in the pond broke sending an electric current through the pond. The two comets recovered fully, but the shubunkin seems to have a damaged swim bladder. He is unable to hold himself upright when still. However, he can right himself and swim, but once stopped he slides to his side. <<Ok.>> He has shone such a desire to live that I have been hand feeding him. <<Goldfishes/Koi learn this trick well, too.>> Lately, he has shone a lot of strength and seems to be adjusting to his disability. Within the last few days though, I noticed an angry-looking red patch on the side which he lays on. His tail fin is ragged-looking and somewhat reddish. I'm afraid I caused the fin damage when I started handling him in the pond. <<Yes, and there's also a good chance of Furunculosis this time of year. Do Google, the web and our site, on diseases of goldfish, Furunculosis.>> I am now very careful to not hold or guide him by his fins. <<Good.>> Two days ago, I have started treating the pond with Melafix, but in reviewing the WWM site, the benefits of Melafix are both praised and discredited, depending on the WWM crew member responding. <<Yes, and you'll find me, Marina, agreeing with Bob on the general assessment of this alleged panacea. I'd rather go with salt (literally) than rely on this derivative of the Melaleuca tree for anything, including relieving dandruff.>> Also, he seems to have trouble eating as he often spits out the flakes I feed him. <<I've seen lots of goldfish do this, but if it's not normal for him, I'd go with feeding a slow-sinking pellet, some live, and more vegetable matter. Follow those links via the goldfish web.>> Can you advise me? Thank you, Kelly <<Please do look up as suggested via our Google bar and the web. We have posted a good deal on these subjects. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm Good luck with keeping this pet going, sounds like overall he's doing pretty well. I think due your diligent care s/he could live to its fullest span. Marina >> 
Red Patch on Shubunkin - Doing Better!
Dear Marina, Thank you for your reply. <<You're very welcome Kelly.>> My shubunkin, "Blue," seems to be doing better - the redness in his fins and the patch on his body seems to be fading. <<Ah, excellent!  I was worried it might be the onset of Furunculosis.>> Again, thanks. Kelly <<Do keep an eye on him, just to be safe (I'm sure you already do), you may want to have some medications and salt already on hand.  A "Fishy First Aid" kit is good to have in any event.  Marina>>

Koi Illness?? I have a 1500 gallon pond, the water checks are okay, For the past 5 days one of my Koi carp of 20 inches has put on a lot of weight and has episodes of sitting at the bottom of the pond for about 5 minutes with its fins spread out, not gasping for air, is feeding, however this fish has never behaved this way before, getting a little worried as it does not move when I approach the pond. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated <Mmmm, may be just "egg-bound" temporarily, but could be sign of gut blockage... Do read on WWM re Koi foods/feeding/nutrition... and I'd remove the one fish to a large-enough separate system (like a kiddie wading pool of size) and add the equivalent of about one level teaspoon per ten gallons of Epsom Salt to the water... monitor ammonia, make daily water changes and see if this "moves" whatever is causing your fish to expand. Bob Fenner> 

Tumor-like growth on pond goldfish I have a beautiful fan-tailed goldfish in my small pond that has had a strange elongated tumor-like growth on its side for a year or more. It keeps growing as the fish has. The fish appears to be healthy and vigorous in every other way, none of the other fish have this and the pond is healthy and balanced. What might this be and is there any treatment for it? Carol Payne <Not much that can be done with such growths... some folks have tried, or had Vets do surgeries to remove... sometimes, as with human virally mediated growths these just spontaneously remit... Bob Fenner> 

Bubble type bumps on goldfish in a pond I have an out side pond with Gold Fish and when I opened the pond after a winters spell, I noticed some bubble type bumps mostly on the Gold Fish heads.  They seem to be in great shape other than this problem.  I have had them for 4 years now and are very large. I also have some Koi in with them as well as a large Catfish.  But they do not have anything wrong with them. Can you tell me what these bubble type bumps are.  On one fish there is a string of bubble bumps. <Mmm, may be that these bumps are "pre-nuptial tubercles"... natural growths that occur on male goldfish during spawning season... if they don't seem to be mal-affecting them, I would not be concerned, and just continue with your post-winter Spring clean-up and maintenance routine. Bob Fenner>

Spring is in the Air - Watch Your Pond Fish >Hi Crew >>Hello. >I have a small garden pond with six goldfish. I have recently cleared it out after the winter and there were a lot of rotten leaves on the bottom. Five of the goldfish were very healthy but the sixth appeared with most of its head eaten away with fluffy strands coming from the opening. >>This is the beginning of the Furunculosis season, and the ulcers can allow fungal infections to set as well. You need to watch all your fish closely now, and be ready with salt and Nitrofurazone. Also, search our site on these issues. >It was in a dreadful state and had to be put down.  >>Indeed, I am all too familiar with this awful condition. >Can you tell me what it was and will it spread to the other fish. >>Furunculosis (ulcerations) is VERY contagious, and very difficult to treat. If you have pond plants you will not be able to treat the fish in situ (I wouldn't recommend it anyway). Kiddie pools work well in these instances. Again, do search our site, as well as general Google, search for pond societies/websites, etc., as they're geared towards handling these troubles quite specifically. >The pond is well aerated with a small waterfall and I have removed all the leaf debris from the bottom now. >>Take care when doing this, as you can open up any anaerobic areas which will quickly suffocate the fish.  >Many thanks, Terry >>Marina 

Loner Goldfish in Pond Obsessed with Wall Hit the Wall We have a clear, UV-filtered, chemically well-balanced 1000 gallon pond in our backyard with 3 Koi, 50-100 minnows, probably 150-200 snails, and 6 goldfish, one of which recently died. Question about the strange behavior leading up to the passing of the recently deceased goldfish: <Okay> We added the 6 goldfish about 1 year ago when they were tinier that the minnows, and they grew rapidly. The now deceased one grew bigger than the others for a while, and socialized with them normally, swimming with the others in a group as they fed, grazed on algae, etc. However, about 5 months ago the now deceased one stopped hanging out with the others and became "obsessed" with one wall of the pond kind of near the weak waterfall, but not really near enough to be near the bubbles. (We have 2 waterfalls in the pond, one weaker than the other).  It always just stayed staring at that wall at a normal depth (midway between the bottom and the top of the pond) and once in a great while grazed on the algae growing there. It would do this 24-7 except when it was dark (as far as I know). It would maybe twice a day meander over to the other fish, look at them for a second or two, then go back to the wall and stare at it again. It never seemed to be doing anything but stare at this wall - it didn't look like it was exploring, hardly ever grazing, etc. Meanwhile, the other fish, both Koi and goldfish, would swim in a group and graze on algae all around the pond and eat the Koi pellets we threw in it. The now deceased fish ended up getting scrawnier that its brothers and sisters, when it was once the biggest when it was socializing normally. <Strange> Sadly, we found the fish dead this weekend. My dad thinks it starved itself, as it rarely seemed to eat. He also thinks that maybe it became brain damaged in some way, <I agree with his guesses> which led to its starving itself and becoming obsessed with the wall. Also, I never saw the other fish ever bullying this fish; it seems that one day he just decided to be a loner. Also, when he did venture over to their group for a brief second here and there, they didn't seem to mind. Regarding food, all the fish seem to get in a good amount - there never seems to be bullying in that respect, although the goldfish hang back when we first throw food in and let the Koi eat a few huge bites before they start eating. <Good descriptions> I am just curious as to what could have been wrong with this fish. None of the other fish have any social problems whatsoever - they act perfectly normal as far as I can tell. They all swim together and seem to have fun. Oh, and I read in your FAQ that lionhead fish tend to be lonely, but this wasn't a lionhead, but a regular looking deep-orange goldfish (I don't know much about breeds). <Likely "Comets"... an American development> I'm pretty sure that it's the sibling of the other goldfish.... however, all of our goldfish, while having the same features, are different colors (one all white, one pale orange and white, one bright orange, another white and really fat), and some are fatter than others. All of them are pretty big though, except our poor little deceased loner fish. Thanks for your help. <Thank you for writing. This does sound like some sort of "developmental disorder"... as your father speculated, perhaps best described as a type of "brain or neuronal dysfunction"... As your other livestock appear fine and your system reads as solid, I would not be alarmed, treat the water in any way. I wish you well. Bob Fenner> 

Help!! Koi problem! Hi, <Hello> We are having a problem with our Koi and I can't find a similar problem/answer anywhere. Hope you have and idea. <Let's see> (first a bit of background) My daughter was lucky (?) enough to win a "goldfish" at her school carnival about a year and a half ago. <Like giving away "the first pack of Pall Malls..." this is how many of us "got started" in this wonderful interest/hobby> (Figured he/she was a feeder fish a wasn't really thinking he'd last too long) Started him/her out in in small tank ( 2 Gal). Fishy got bigger. We moved him to a bit larger tank (5 Gal). Fishy got bigger. Ok... notice a pattern? We have since moved Fishy to a 10 Gal. tank and he's still getting bigger (about 9-10 inches). So, we have made plans to excavate in the backyard and install a pond. (as you may a have surmised, Fishy the goldfish is actually fishy the Koi! ) <I see... unusual... usually are comet goldfish that are given away> The problem is this, Fishy has always had a nasty habit of snacking on the gravel in the tank. To curb this, we changed to a larger sized gravel (more like stones). This took care of the problem for a bit. Now, as Fishy has grown, so has the size of his mouth. The bigger rocks are no problem now. Usually, in the past, he has managed to either "pass" or regurgitate the gravel/rocks.  Currently, he doesn't seem to be able to do either AND his tummy area is looking quite large. He doesn't seem interested in food....very odd for him and seems to hover (head down/tail up) in the tank much of the time. Is there anything that can be done? I've taken all the gravel/rocks put of the tank but, I'm worried that this time he's eaten way more than he can take care of on his own. <I strongly suspect your fish is either "just fat" or "full of eggs", but in case it has swallowed rocks, I would add the equivalent (you may want to move the fish into smaller quarters) of a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per ten gallons of water...> Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Kathy <The Epsom is safe, and should help dislodge whatever the cause is here... Please do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfishfeeding.htm re pond foods, feeding... in case the cause is actually nutritional. Bob Fenner>

Strange Koi behaviour For the last couple of days I have noticed a large Koi curled around a clump of pond weed in my mud bottom pond. It is right at the surface of the water and part of its body is even above the surface. It twitches once in a while but is otherwise motionless. Any idea what is going on? <This IS strange behaviour indeed... if this is the only fish exhibiting such, am given to suggest it may have "eaten a bad bug"... an insect or such that got into the water... I do hope/trust it will be okay... If you have other quarters, I might move the fish, treat it with the addition of some Epsom Salt (about a teaspoon per five gallons... in the hope of dislodging whatever this might be.> Love your Koi info pages... thanks for the providing such good material. <Ahh, glad it is of service. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Pale Koi Hello: <Hi there> I have had a Koi in my pond for about 3 years now and today I noticed it's a pale on the fins. it is not very active and seems to be coming up for air and stays there for a while. it doesn't seem to be its normal self. Usually its very active. Thanks Shobna <Good observation re the fin color... I don't know what this might actually portend... The breathing worries me though. I would test for what aspects of water quality you have gear for... and effect a large water change (25%) and possibly move this fish to all new (conditioned) water if this water change doesn't remedy the respiration behavior. Bob Fenner>

Pondfish with Bulge on Side About 1-1/2 years ago I bought 4 small fish for my pond but because they were too small to survive with the 18" - 24" Koi, I put them in a lined whiskey barrel to grow for a while. <Okay> Last fall after I moved some Anacharis from the pond to the barrel, one of the fish developed a bulge on its side. I presume this is some type of parasite but the link I tried to follow from the one of your descriptions that matched best was broken. <I see> I've attached a photo of the fish to help. For reference, although the water is not changed regularly, the test results are as follows: pH: Between 7.5 and 8.0 Nitrates: About 10 mg/l Nitrites: Less than 0.1 mg/l Ammonia: 0 mg/l Salt: ~0 (I thought I had added salt but apparently not) <All look good> I'd like to cure the problem with this fish but the bigger problem is my 3000 gal pond where I took the Anacharis from. Although I don't see any fish with the same symptoms now, I had other problems last year with some of the goldfish and one of the Koi. That Koi had a round open sore about 3/4" across (like a ulcer in the mouth) with a raised edge. Some of the goldfish had open sores (irregular, not round) or white fluffy stuff like cotton over red areas. <Very bad> I tried a number of medications (Ich Out with Formalin, sulfa, and something else I can't find now) but what helped the most was medicated food (with an antibiotic). Thanks for any suggestions you can make. Larry Heine <The one fish may actually just have a developmental or genetic disorder... Not a parasite... If it were me, mine, I would Not treat the system per se... If you have an aquarium, it might work to put the one fish in, treat it with salt, keep it under observation. I take it there is not a question of good nutrition. Bob Fenner> 

Gill Flukes and the Like Hi, I have an 8ft Dia by approx 30" deep pond and its approx 2 years old. the question is that every year I have had problems with the fish flicking and scraping on the bottom of the pond (where there is some gravel from the lily's) I have been told this is probably gill flukes <Maybe... a likely possibility> and treated in year 1 with an antibacterial solution <Mmm, flukes are trematodes... a type of flatworm... not bacteria> over several days treating on days 1,3,5,8 and 10. Due to the cold weather (below 10c)I had to continue this for 3 weeks to eliminate the flukes at all stages of the life cycle. But it seemed to work. <Likely they just "cycled out" on their own... to return next season...> This year the flukes arrived later in Nov04 and I treated them the same but only for a week...no good came back in Dec04...Treated at a slightly higher dosage for another week before Christmas (when I went away for a few days)... when I came back the fish looked fine. although the temp had dropped. and show no signs of flicking...do you think this infection will return on the temp rising ?? can I stop this repeat infection every Oct/Nov ?? <Likely yes> I have 9 fish 2 x Koi, 2 x Ghost Koi, 2 x Goldfish and 2 Shubunkins...the Koi are now about 12-14" long and one was once scooped out by a fox cub left on the side of the pond but I managed to save him and he recovered well after a few hours in the hospital tank... <Neat!> I don't want to lose any of them to disease and hate to see them suffer...they give me so much pleasure in the summer months...Thx...Richard <Richard, there are some simple, relatively non-toxic means to stop these infestations once and for all. They involve the use of "economic poisons" whose designated use is for ridding terrestrial arthropods... Dimilin and Masoten (occur under many other generic names) are either of what you want to secure/use. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked files above, in blue. Bob Fenner>

Pond Goldfish Dying Daily Hi there, <Greetings> I hope you can help me.  I have been looking at the info and FAQs on your site for about the past 10 - days during which time I have lost about 30 goldfish -   hoping to find some answers to my dilemma.  (By the way It is a terrific site and has taught me so much - Thank you).   However, I can't quite find a similar situation to my problem and can't get through anymore reading in fear of there being no more fish left by the time I've covered every FAQ! Firstly I will tell you I live in Australia. I have a 2000 litre fibre glass pond in my back garden  established for 2 years 4 months. I have a Oase Aquarius 4000 E pump with an aerating type of fountain head that I can regulate which takes the pond water to a bio filter and then (by gravity) comes back into the pond by another inlet.  I can control the flow rate of this too. <I understand> I have 3 medium and 2 small water lilies in pots I have a dwarf papyrus and a large tall papyrus again in pots and two small pots of water irises.  I took out my huge pot of grass and much of the elodea and parrots feather with the first two deaths as it had spread so thickly and old growth had died off under the water and I wasn't sure it might not be bad for them. I started off with about 30 goldfish (comets - some with long tail fins, some with short -  plain gold and Shubunkins and two fantails) of varying sizes (mostly under 2 inches as they were the babies which I transferred (without any problems) from my other pond (680 litres) that I have in my front garden when it started to become over crowded. Out of that 30, 5 fish were between 6 and 8 inches long. About 8 months later I purchased 5 more large goldfish (10 inches plus).  Needless to say they bred and the babies grew (now about 5 to 6 inches long including tales and I had about 58 that I could count - Again I thought it was time to put in yet another pond to move some of these to due to overcrowding). <Good> That was until 7 weeks ago. Until then I had only ever lost 1 of my big guys in all that time (dropsy - I brought her back and got her scales down and she lived happily for a further 6 months before she went) and none of the small ones. Late one afternoon while having a regular check I noticed a 2 inch grey baby just floating on its side with the water lily leaves.  It didn't look as if it had been dead for long as it didn't have any marks on it and it's eyes were fresh and clear.  I took it out immediately thinking it must have just been a weak little fellow.   Next morning I checked again and I noticed my big white girl with her nose parked in the large papyrus plants roots about quarter of the way down.  She didn't come with the others to get food (floating pond sticks) On further inspection we thought she was gone so we pulled her up with the net.   Again no marks blotches or anything and eyes so clear and fresh - I figured it must just be a heart attack.  None the less I medicated water with Melafix which my local aquarium recommended in case of bacterial infection and did a half water change. (great - we have water restrictions at present but managed to recycle to the garden!) <Good> The water for some time has been very murky looking.  We have green algae growing off the walls of the pond and also off the underside of lily leaves and stems etc.  The fish pick at it so I have cut them back a bit on their food.  They kind of demand feed.  They see me and I throw a small handful in - maybe sometimes 3 times a day. The food all goes in about 30 seconds. The water usually starts off clear in the morning and then as the sun gets warmer or brighter (because the sun is strong even in winter when the weather temperature is less) it starts to cloud up sometimes to the degree where you can't even see a few inches down.  During the winter I got sick of this and turned the pump and filter off  for a month or so (which I have always done periodically over the 2 and a bit years I've had the pond) because I felt that this just contributed to the murkiness by stirring up the water.  There seems to be enough movement and it doesn't go stagnant or get too many mosquitoes or anything.  But it didn't stop the water from clouding up that much.  We only turned the pump back on and started to operate the bio filter again once we found our first two dead fish. <I see> Then we were OK for about 4 weeks and it was just after Christmas that I found one of my 5 inch gold baby comets just floating. - Again I couldn't see anything wrong and it looked as though it had just gone - I was shocked - Then a few days later another - same size and type.  in the following days they mostly all started to gape at the surface.   very listless not interested in food.  Water still murk central.  I did PH test and came in a little high but not out of the range.  About 7.4. <A good clue>   I noticed that some of my fish had started to get this sort of mucous covering them and eyes bulging and gasping at surface.  Aquarium told me mucous was because they were stressed and there was a problem! with the water.  One guy there told me to completely empty pond and start again.  So we pushed fish to one end and started to empty pond (again) and took it down to about 8 inches. and scooped out heaps of sludge from bottom - <Yes... a root cause of your losses here> (I've got those Dragon fly Odonata things in there which I've never found to cause a problem) <These can be large enough to predate small fishes>   but I couldn't empty it completely as I couldn't get all of the fish out.  Also we cleaned out the bio filter as the aquarium people suggested - to start from scratch again.  We refilled with tap water blasting quite a bit in there to create oxygen (as this is what they seemed to lack from looking at their bulging eyes and gasping) and added the appropriate amounts of chorine and chloramine inhibitors to the water. <Okay> Next day many fish appeared a bit better.  But some still mucousy and gasping at top.  Two had red streaks in there tails and I continued to treat the pond with MelaFix. (they died) But  the pond water even murkier and more sort of brown.  I noticed that most of the algae had gone from the walls of the pond too. <Likely mainly cycling signs...> Two more fish dead the next day.  And my first baby ever (now 7 inches and fat) - gone.  I couldn't find her in the pond.  It must be dead and trapped under something.   She was very covered in mucous just before she vanished.    I decided to go back to local aquarium and get tests for ammonia nitrate and nitrite and hardness. <Good> which they did - only ammonia a little up.  I purchased Zeolite Ammonia Remover bags and  put in the bio filter. Also some water conditioning salt to get the water a little harder (didn't need much). Over the next few days more fish started floating some had been dead a while and just surfaced by the looks of them and some only freshly gone. Still many of them looked so perfect without marks.  I started to identify the ones that I thought were going to die as they seemed a little disorientated and gaspy at the surface.  So I thought I would transfer them to small Hospital pond I had readied so I could keep a closer eye on them. NOW THIS IS WEIRD. As I took them out of the pond and put them into the bucket containing water from their own pond to transfer to hospital pond they started to flip and turn upside down and jump out of the water and then lay there - They would be dead within seconds. <Sounds like something in the way of a residue was in/on the bucket>   I did this to two slightly sick 5 inch comets that I thought I may be able to save if moved them out of the 'poison pond' quick enough and they were dead with in seconds.  I thought it must be some weird co-incidence and a day later tried it with another fish (small 1 inch long) same thing.   Jumped all over the place gasping in the water and just died in seconds. Then I tried it again with another but didn't remove it from the big pond with a net.  I scooped it out in a small container without it leaving the water at all.  This survived a little better for about a day then died in the hospital pond. (jumping again.)  It looked like I'd thrown them into a pot of boiling water or that they were being electrocuted.  After scouring your site I thought it may be gas bubble disease and something to do with gas pressures inside and outside of fish -  although I could not find any evidence of little bubbles on them some did have slightly protruding eyes.  And I don't have anything aerating the water from underneath only from the external fountain head! This morning my big 12 inch red and white girl was floating.  She looked perfect.  Fresh eyes and brightly coloured.  The mucous (which traps the algae particles) that covered her body  yesterday seemed to have left her  and she looked very clear and bright.   Water still murky maybe a slight smell too. <Something like rotten eggs, or at least a dank, dirt-like smell?> I can't even see many others in there - I know I have 5 largish ones left 3 of those I haven't seen today.  I can glimpse a couple of red shadows moving around under the water.   They seem to have gone quite deep.  They sometimes come up for food a bit.  But they seem to 'dart' quite a bit swimming fast and incoherently down in the deep.  Two have got tail rot.  (I am still Melafixing).  So I went back to the aquarium this afternoon and got them to redo there tests again today's (10 days after the last) and they are clear.  NO AMMONIA. <Be aware that ammonia is quite transient... by the time you take a sample to somewhere it can well have evaporated>   Everything else normal too except water which could be a little harder.   They are at a loss.  I came home and two more 2 inch babies were floating - one of which I recognize as being one of the fitter and healthier ones two days ago.  I know I'm going to lose my big fantail next (I've had her for 6 years) - she is one of the ones that has fin rot and her eyes are bulging. - I am frightened to take them out of the pond to transfer them to hospital pond now as I think I will kill them due to that darting and freaking out business I mentioned above.   PLEASE HELP. Thanks -  I know it's a long email but I'm trying to paint the whole picture.  Oh yes the other thing in the last few weeks it has been very hot here.  I have tried to shade the pond a bit with garden umbrellas - I don't know if that's relevant or not. I've seen in FAQs that the heat can have an effect depending on the condition. Thanks again Carol <Thank you for your careful relating, good notes. You appear to have some source of chronic poisoning at play here... most likely the soil and/or what you have used for fertilizing your potted plants... the low pH (it should have been much elevated by daytime driven photosynthesis) is evidence here as well as the order, size of your fish losses, and their timeliness... the move to reduce the sludge was a good one... as was the addition of salt. The Melafix I would hold off on, as this is working against you more than for... stalling biological conversion... A few things going forward... A five hundred gallon/2000 litre system may seem large, but it should not be overstocked (yours was)... particularly during the warming months (Australia for folks in the N. hemisphere) has its seasons switched of course... winter here is summer there... With the warming water you need more biological filtration than the Oase unit can provide... or as a corollary, much less feeding... I would re-pot your aquatic plants... blind potting them per here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm and re-add the floating grasses (Elodea...)... You may be able to discern the cause of the acute poisoning in the bucket you mention... through PolyFilter use (it turns colors per source metals)... or taking it to a lab, college... but I would definitely exclude its use around your ponds... Much to do, relate in turn... there could be an/other source of poisoning here... agricultural, pest likely... am hopeful that by cleaning the pond out (get rid of those Odonatans) and re-potting the plants, either low-stocking or adding/building a bigger filter, you will have renewed success. Bob Fenner>

Copepod or parasite on Calico Ryukin Great website and FAQ section, folks! <Thank you> I recently picked up a gorgeous calico Ryukin for my newly setup goldfish tank.  After many years of tropical freshwater and marine setups, I'm back to my first love, goldfish! <Ah, outstanding... one of my fave petfish statements is: "Most people start with goldfish, and if they live long enough, well enough (go through cichlids, exotics, marine...) they end up back with goldfish">   Three 3-inch goldies in a 60 gallon at the moment.  Bio-bed still being established and there's a dual mechanical filtration setup (undergravel plus over tank). <Some folks would encourage getting rid of the UG> The calico looks and acts fine.  No stress whatsoever.  So it was with a bit of surprise that I noticed this 1-2 mm nearly invisible creature on it's caudal tail.  I'm surprised I missed it while examining the fishy.  Mind you, the calico is multi-colored so it was a challenge. <Neat, and good pic> With a tweezers, a Q-tip, bowl of aquarium water and shaky hands, I was able to scrape this little baddie of the tail and take a pic of it (Ahhh...the wonders of a digital camera!).  Any idea what I'm dealing with here? (pic attached)  The calico's two other companions (a feisty black moor and a dopey lionhead) are just fine and dandy.  Thanks in advance! Regards, Ted <Yes... is actually a Branchiuran, genus Argulus, a "fish louse"... Please place these terms in your search tools... and look for a DTHP or Dimilin based treatment (there are other, acetylcholinesterase inhibitor/insecticides as well) to take out the less than adult parasitic forms that are likely now in your system. Bob Fenner>

Re: Copepod or parasite on Calico Ryukin Thank you for the prompt reply. <Welcome> After much research regarding your alternatives, I will look into getting my hands on some Dimilin (otherwise known as Diflubenzuron, as I just learned!) <Yes> as it is the only one that will not affect my bio filter.  Apparently, DTHP (otherwise known as Dylox, D50, Dipterex, Masoten, Trichlorofon, Foschlor or Neguvon) does affect the bio bed; not a good thing in my eyes for entire tank treatments. <Mmm, DTHP is about as efficacious as Dimilin in regard to nitrification> A very interesting piece of tidbit I've learned from my research.  Some people swear by the use of Tin-Foil Barbs as a way to control fish lice.   <Interesting... had not heard this before> Yes, it is a myth to others, but some of the posts I've seen appear to back up this claim.  Obviously, it would work in ponds for 12" Koi, but I'm curious as to what would happen if I plopped in a small barb in my tank with my 3-4" goldies?  Might be worth exploring. <Mmm, their mouths are quite small...> One more question.  Your initial reply mentioned that some folks would discourage against the use of an UG filter.  Why would that be? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/ug5proscons.htm and the linked files (in blue, above)> I see it as a way to have a primary mechanical filter (in addition to the tank mounted one) and with a powerhead, there is aerobic activity (to foster the bio filter) as opposed to anaerobic activity (very very bad) with no water flow through the gravel.  We all agree goldies are messy.  Detritus will end up in the gravel no matter what.  But at least with an UG filter, aerobic activity can take place. <Trouble... in regards to reductive nature principally here, though TBC's are elevated as well, with concomitant metabolite challenges.> Thanks for your valuable advice, once again!  Even a vet like me can always learn more. :) Ted <Ah, good. Bob Fenner>

Pondfish, ich, temperature Robert, <Michael> I have a 650 gallon pond with mechanical and biological filtration system.  My two 14" Koi and several fan tail goldfish have ICH parasite. What do you recommend using to eradicate the parasite?  Pond temp. is 60 degrees.  Thanks Michael R. Graham <Mmm, if they are in otherwise good health, a simple solution of Malachite Green... made by quite a few companies... and labeled variously. Note to others, I would NOT do this if the temperature were lower, but instead wait till the weather warmed OR I could bring these fish "indoors" to conditions where both temperature AND water chemistry could be monitored. Re this last, do be careful to monitor ammonia concentration, lest the treatment suspend or destroy your nitrifying bacteria. Bob Fenner>

Koi with sudden Curvature Of The Spine? Hello, thank you for running this awesome site.  One of my Koi, 11 months old, about 7 inches long (approx 1 inch less than others his age) and while they appear to be maybe overweight, is in good shape but not as heavy.  He/she is an orange and white Kohaku and I have often thought in the last month or more that it had developed a slight kink where the body meets the tail itself. <Not good... thank you for the useful info. above... such twisting/kinking is likely genetic here... though can be infectious (e.g. Myxosoma), nutritional in origin> All Koi are growing like crazy, eating out of my hand, surfacing to allow me to pet their heads, except this one? Now today I noticed that it is bending its back third of its body most of the time making it swim crooked and unbalanced.  In fact with its body straight while motionless, it lists to one side and stops the listing by suddenly kinking the last third of its body (approx. from the rectum back?) It seems quite bad?  So my questions are:  If it was normal at birth, why is it now developing a Curvature of the Spine or whatever is happening?  I switched to a higher protein food in the last month or two.  They are fed some Wardley's Pellets and Wardley's Tubifex Worms, some Nutrafin Spirulina Algae Flake Food and some Hikari Gold Pellets.  Averaging out the protein comes to 40%. <Mmm... I would offer "regular" Koi food prep. (pelleted) foods... better nutrition and MUCH less expensive.> Water temperature is consistent at 68.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  I vacuum off 20% of the water daily, removing all traces of debris on bottom of tank. <This much protein is "okay" at this temperature, but it would be better for your Koi to eat less protein percentage... like twenty percent maximum, and grow more slowly... will live longer, healthier lives...> My well water straight from the well has a pH of 7.0  High range pH of 7.4  Nitrate 10 and Ammonia between 0 and -.25 as so hard to decide on the color graph with my Master Test Kit on that Ammonia?  Well water is tested safe for Human Consumption every year. <Then it is fine, I assure you> Tank is consistent at pH 7.6  High Range pH at approx 8  Nitrite is always 0  Nitrate around 80+  And that Ammonia comes in around -.25??? Just don't know, MAYBE it is 0 but the color test strip makes me suspect from yellow (0) and kind of a yellow/lime colored (.25)??? <A good idea to store, aerate new water ahead of use... like in a covered plastic trash can, for a week> Bio filter is cleaned every 14 days.  Foams, pads and carbon is cleaned, bio stars and rings are not flushed with tank water more than every 2nd or third cleaning? <Ah, you've been studying!> Tank is a 200 gallon galvanized aluminum stock tank. <Mmm, hope it's "old"... the galvanization, aluminum can be toxic> Also Aquarium salt is kept at  less than 1/2 recommended amount for freshwater aquariums.  4 growing Koi and 2 tiny Comet Goldfish. Water is added back each day after vacuuming as close to 68.5 degrees as possible, rarely out more than .5 degrees. Any chance you can explain to me what is happening with this Kohaku?  I am thinking it might just be Genetic but certainly don't want it to start happening with my other 3 babies who are more excellent quality.  Thank you kindly, Gayle <Ahh, we concur re the cause here. I would just enjoy this specimen... it may survive for years... Not a contagion at play here. Bob Fenner>

Koi in tank, in trouble Hello,     It all started when my friend Sara came over. She began to torment my Koi and he hasn't been the same since. Next thing you know he isn't eating for days. So I began to get worried and looked around online for what could be wrong with him. It stated that stress or poor water conditions could have caused him to not eat and get red spots...which he has a few of now. So I changed the water and a few days later I thought to change the filter because I thought it may have become contaminated by the bad water. I figured the water might have gone bad due to the food sitting at the bottom for too long. So he is still not eating and I'm worried because I cant bear the thought of losing him. So if he hasn't eaten by Tuesday I was thinking about putting him in  a bigger tank with fresh water once again. I just wanted to know what you thought could be causing him to eat and if what I planned on doing was a good idea. Please help me because I'm stressed every day he is. thank you and I would appreciate it if you could write me back at XXXX@comcast.net. - Christine <Hello Christine,  First off I would change 50% of the water in the tank.  Your filters need to be maintained on a weekly basis.  Always remember, even though the waste is in the filter, it is still in the system and needs to be removed.  James (Salty Dog)> Koi Problems Hello, I am hoping someone could help me. I am a new tank owner. It was passed down so I am not very knowledgeable about all this. I have a mini Koi and it has a small white dot on the fin it almost looks like a pimple and it has a red dot and a vein around that. I have been on the web trying to figure out what it is and also how to get rid of it... In the past I have captured the fish and rubbed it off but then a few days later the fish has another one in a different spot. Do I need to quarantine the fish?? Also I just recently started to put salt in the water, could this be it?? I am so confused about this?? Where did it come from?? I hope that you can help me. Thank you and my fish thanks you too. Jodi <Hi Jodi, Don here. You are describing two different problems. The white spot is Ick, a parasite. Salt is the very best treatment, so it's OK that you added it. Please read here for the proper use of salt to treat ick. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32 The red streak is bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia. Usually caused by poor water conditions. Do several water changes a week to get things cleaned up. Use a gravel vac to remove uneaten food and poop. If he gets worse treat with Oxytetracycline. Do not treat until the water is pristine. Good luck>

Fish in a Barrel I have a 20 gallon whiskey barrel water garden with about six mosquito fish of various sizes, at least 2 mature females and 1 mature male. I added 2 small comet goldfish (less than 2 inches long), thinking that they would be compatible. I took the goldfish out of the barrel and placed in a glass jar today to check health and overall appearance.  To my surprise, ones tailfin is almost gone, and the other (longer flowing tail) is torn and gone in places. First I thought it was fin rot, but on closer inspection there is no white edge or fungus growing on the fins. Are mosquito fish capable of this damage, or could it be the cooler water temperature of 63 degrees stressing the fish and causing fin rot? I live in San Diego, but the barrel is deeper than it is wide, and the water doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight to warm it.  Help I don't want to torture these goldfish. <Hi, Don here. The temp is a little low, but goldfish can handle even cooler without problems. They do produce large amounts of waste. If you are not already doing so I would suggest trying a few large water changes. About 30 to 50%, siphoned from the bottom. Daily for a few days, weekly after that. A test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate would confirm this as the problem. do not forget to match temp and dechlorinate. A little salt would help the fins heal without getting fungus>    

Sick goldfish in Australia needs help Good Morning, I have 2 goldfish in an outdoor pond approx 200 litres. The fish are about 7 years old and have always seemed healthy. Now one is not well. It can be seen most of the time  near the floor of the pond on it's side. It still swims around but infrequently  and still eats a little. It's condition appears unchanged after 2 weeks.  Any advice would be appreciated < Your fish may have an internal bacterial infection. I would recommend a 30% water change and clean the filter. Treat the water with Metronidazole and see if that helps.-Chuck> Chris Goodes

Koi sucked into bottom drain Hi, <Hello>     Major problem.  5 days ago one of my small comets were sucked into the bottom drain of our new pond. <Yikes> I found him in the catch basket at the pump system.  When I pulled him out, quite a lot of his scales were taken off and he has lost all of his fins, with the exception of his tail fin.  The bony structures of the fins are still intact but, the webbing between them is all gone.   <Not good>     We took him immediately inside and placed him into a medical tank and subsequently into a 30 gallon holding / recovery tank with a Melafix treatment prior to the final transfer.  The Melafix treatment was done at the lower dose.  Today, since the temperature outside is going below 50 degrees, we went and purchased a 12 gallon indoor aquarium for him.  The water was transferred from the outside tank into this one.  He does swim straight although, he spends 99% of his time stationary on the bottom. He did have a problem with buoyancy, but for the past 2 days this doesn't seem to be a problem.   The water quality and temperature is closely monitored. Since this incident, he has not eaten anything <Not to worry... keep trying to offer food twice daily> and there is white cotton like material beginning to grow on his body.  Also, at the base of his tail, just before the fin, the flesh appears to be turning white.  What should the salt level be for this situation?  Should we give him other treatments?  Is this a common problem when a fish suffers injuries like this? <I would add some (perhaps two teaspoons per gallon) of "table salt"... iodized or not to the system water... works as a general anti-microbial... to help this specimen... and keep an eye on water quality, have some warmed-up pond water to switch out a good part of the aquarium water if ammonia, nitrite... water cloudiness present problems>     Can you please help me!!!  Is euthanasia needed when something this traumatic happens and the fish begins to develop symptoms like he is developing?   <Can be... but given the efforts you have exerted thus far, I would hold on, hope for recovery> We are first time comet and Koi owners with a 3500 gallon pond.  We have placed plant baskets over the bottom drain and surface skimmer so water can still go through without capturing any of our remaining comets and Koi's. Sincerely, Ken Brock Douglasville, GA <I wish you life. Bob Fenner>

Sick pond goldfish Hi, I have a small outdoor pond, 90 gal. in NJ. <Hi Lora, Don here in Philly. You're right, that is a small pond. Do you have plans to bring her in for the winter?> My pride and joy goldfish who is about 2 yrs old is suddenly sick. She seems a bit bent at the tail, is hanging out on the bottom of the pond. When she is still she starts to flip slightly to the side. Can you help with any suggestions? Watched her be born and she is beautiful. Don't want to do the wrong thing by misdiagnosing her with all the different info online. Many thanks, Lora <Lora, do you test the water? If not, take a sample to your Local Fish Store. Get the actual numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Do not accept "Everything's fine". Better yet, pick up a test kit. How many fish are in the pond? How often do you change water? If you do have a tank inside to winter her, I'd bring her in now. Make sure you match pH and temp. Goldfish are so hardy that fresh water is usually all they need. If you see any fin decay, you can add some salt. If she does not improve it will be much easier to treat her inside. But before we can recommend any medication we need to know her water conditions.

Question about inside/outside pondfish disease Hello and thank you in advance for answering my question. <Hello, Gayle...Jorie here tonight - I'll try my best to help you!> (1)  I had 10 fish in an outside tank until September 18th when I brought them in for the winter.  I used 50% of their water from outside tank and 50% new water.  Tank has 150 gallons in it.  It has aquarium salt added.  The water temperature was exactly the same when moved from outside tank to inside tank. <What type of fish are we talking about? Just goldies or something else as well? How long have they been in their present tank set-up?  It's great that you used 50% "old" (and I am assuming it was old enough to have been a fully cycled tank) water, but I would still suggest you closely monitor ammonia, nitrite and nitrates for a while.  Have you have taken any measurements? If so, could you let me know what they were reading? And, definitely good that you matched the temperature...did you check to see if the pH was the same as well? Something else to consider...> (2)  The 2 very large Comets became so stressed they were attacking the other fish.  They were removed.  2 Koi appeared to have serious Gill Disease and were removed.  Leaving 4 (6 inch) Koi and 2 (3 inch) Comets. <Did you put these guys in a hospital tank somewhere? If so, how are they doing?> (3)  They all had started flashing against the bottom of the tank after being in the house for a couple of days. <Again, I would suggest you start with checking all the fundamental water parameters, such as the ones listed above.  Also, I should have asked you earlier what the "matched" temperature you refer to is at. Perhaps the fish were reacting to some sort of environmental stressor.  Or, perhaps they aren't used to their new surroundings...is the inside tank in a high-traffic area? Is there a big difference in decor between the outdoor and the indoor set-ups?> (4)  I treated with  Jungle "Anti-Bacterial" fish food for 6 days.  They did not stop flashing but did for the first time ever start carrying their top, dorsal fins fully erect and seemed happier and not stressed any longer. <OK...that sounds like you're heading in the right direction.  I'm curious if you ever saw any external parasites on the bodies, or in the gills of these guys.  Or, what about any white spots (ich)? Anything besides the flashing behavior you've described?> (5)  Then I was told to treat with the Mardel "Copper Safe" for parasites and "Maracyn Two" for secondary bacterial infections.  Since the carbon filter was in use over 6 days, the instructions said it could be left in place.  I miscalculated and did not purchase enough of these two products so the recommended full dose was not used in the water. approx. 3/4 doses used. And since at least one fish had pale, stringy feces, I was told to feed Jungle "PEPSO FOOD" for internal parasites as well. <Yikes...this is a lot of medication to introduced all at once.  It is generally not a good idea to mix and match medications - I would bet that your fish aren't happy to have had all of these meds thrown into their tank at once.  Also, it becomes quite difficult to pinpoint what works and what doesn't work.  I would suggest you do several large water changes (again, make sure to match water parameters to rid their home of all the toxins that have likely built up.  It sounds to me as though the cause of the problems may have been environmental and could have been rectified by several large water changes - never underestimate the power of pristine water conditions!  And you should be aware that you've likely wiped out your bacterial population with all these meds, so your tank is going to have to re-cycle.  That calls for even more water changes, my friend!> (6)  They ate the food Friday night and Saturday morning.  Then completely stopped eating and went into hiding.  They won't eat even their favorite foods and if they come out of hiding, they race madly once around the tank and go back into hiding.  They have not ate for 2 and 1/2 days. <Check your water parameters.> (7)  I did a partial water change and vacuumed the tank bottom really well.  I am worried they are going to die on me.  Please advise ASAP.  Thank you, Gayle <When you say "partial water change", how many gallons are you talking about? In such a large system (150 gal.), you are going to need to replace a lot of water (over the course of several changes, not all at once of course) and I'm just trying to get a handle on how much you've already replaced.  In any event, I'd suggest doing at least a 40-50% water change ASAP.  Do take those readings before and after, though.  Give them a few days to settle down and re-assess.  If the flashing behavior continues after the environmental conditions have been rectified, then chances are you are dealing with some sort of gill parasites, but I wouldn't go there quite yet.  It sounds like you take very good care of these fish, Gayle, and I hope they pull through.  Keep me posted on how a big ol' water changes affects things, and we'll go from there.  Best of luck, Jorie.>

Koi with fungus I have a Koi fish who recently got a fungus infection (red spots) and I gave him a  fizz tab called fungus clear, and it almost completely cleared up, but not quite, so I changed 25% of the water and put in another one in 4 days. It  cleared up, but 4 days after I put it in, it came back, is it safe to give him a third dose? <It is probably safe to give him the third dose but what concerns me is why he keeps getting the fungus? Is he rubbing on something? Is something stressing him? What's the water quality like? You might want to try addressing these questions while doing his treatment and lets figure out what's going on to keep the fungus issues happening.  Good luck, MacL> Thank you so much

Carp Pox? 7/20/04 I'm at a total loss at to why goldfish are dying in my 900 gallon pond established 2 years. Water quality checks out on tests fine, and I have a solid UV filtration system which leaves the water quite clear. I action regular husbandry of the pond, using a pond vac at least every 3 weeks. In the past 4 weeks about 7 goldfish out of the 16 I had have died, but none of the 6 Koi I have shown any symptoms yet. The symptoms are 1. White spots on tail fins, but fish continues to swim well and eat well 2. After about a week to 10 days an ulcer like lesion appears on the fishes side just in front of the tail fin. The fish still continues to eat well 3. Within a week though it usually then dies. I have tried full course of  white spot treatment, ulcer treatment and general pond tonics with no success. I have tried isolating in a quarantine tank fish showing any symptoms, and then using one of the above treatments. <it does sound perhaps viral in nature. Tough to say for us without seeing the fish and observing them> I also found a small 4 inch frog dead in the pond 4 days ago. All of the goldfish are about 3 years old, and were bred in my last houses pond, the Koi have been introduced over the past two years and are between 3 and 5 inches in length as an average Thanks, Andrew <its very tough for us to say, my friend... your husbandry and treatments have been sensible and wise. You may need to enlist the help of a local expert for a trained set of eyes. Are you near Shirley's Aquatics by chance? Some great staff there for consult in the UK. Anthony>

Pond goldfish pregnant or diseased? hello, <Hi there> just wondering if you could advise me. we have a pond with around 50 goldfish most of which are very young. Recently (well within the last 2 months) we have noticed that one of the older fish has become bloated. At first we thought it might be "pregnant" with eggs because we keep seeing new little goldfish all the time! However it doesn't seem to have given birth so we're wondering if it's diseased? It has a good appetite and seems quite happy and joins in the feeding frenzy. Any ideas would be very welcome and appreciated. Thanks Dan and Diana <Mmm, if it's only one fish affected... seems that some sort of pathogenic complaint can be ruled out... or even trouble with food/feeding... It may be the one fish has what is called "dropsy" or a dropsical condition, but I suspect you are correct in your estimation that it is a female full of roe. If you are concerned that this might be a problem that could spread you might administer Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) at the rate of about a teaspoon per two gallons of water (hope this is not a very large system), or move the one fish to a smaller system and treat it hence... or just wait and see "if this too passes". Likely so. Bob Fenner>

It's Not Easy, Bein' Green....  06/20/2004 Hi, <Hello.> I have a large outdoor pond (1400 gal).  Two of my goldfish developed a green fungus on the skin on both sides of their bodies. <Wow, now *that's* something wholly unfamiliar to me.> One died, the other just developed the same symptom.  Do you have any idea what it is?   <'Fraid not....  I'll be hitting the books, though, and see if I can find anything.  Meanwhile, if you could please respond with ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH readings, that may be of help.  Also, any other symptoms the fish may exhibit - lethargy, clamping of fins, any marks or discoloration (besides the green), perhaps also describe the green fungus in a bit more detail (fluffy, stringy, grainy, bright green, dark green....)> How to cure it? <Sorry I'm not of the greatest help, at the moment.  Please do respond, though, and know that I'm trying to find any info on the situation as you describe.> Thanks for the help. <Hoping to be of better service,  -Sabrina>

All my pond fish have open sores Hello, I have a 95 gallon in-ground pond that has been running for the second year. All of my fish, seven 4" comets and one 7" calico goldfish have developed a severe case of open sores. <This is very bad...>   Reading some disease facts on your site, I believe they have Furunculosis. <Me too... or some extreme environmental insult> These are the same fish I had last year with no problems.  I have been told by my LFS to use Pond Melafix to treat the pond. <Ehhh... what?> After 4 days of usage I have not seen any improvement in the sores.  I am at a loss of what to do next.  My questions are if I should do any of the following: Should I continue this treatment, try some other med, do a large water change, add salt? <Please review the article on Furunculosis... if all fishes are affected I would encourage you to commence a regimen of antibiotic laced food/s> I would appreciate any help you could give me as the situation looks severe. Background Early this year, I added a bio filter to the existing bubbler pump to help filtration and a trickling flagstone rock waterfall.  The water has been clear, which I contribute to the filtering abilities of the thriving water hyacinth, lettuce, and a water Lily.  I have not been in the practice, however, of testing the water as I did not for the first year which was very successful.  The same has held true for this year except for the open sores in the fish.  I perform a 15 gallon water change about every month. Feeding is once a day without overfeeding where the fish are always eager and active to eat.  Circulation and oxygenation is very adequate.  I have used the Micro Lift product two times, once in the early spring, and once about 1 month later.  Temperatures, as of first noticing the disease, have been low in the upper 50's to high in the mid 70s. Thanks, Glenn Koenig <Do you have a sophisticated store where you might take some of your fish for their inspection? Are the sores emarginated? That is, do they have an obvious reddish zone about the openings? Bob Fenner>

Sick Koi Hello Bob, I hope you can help me with this, My Koi fish is losing it's scales, I haven't noticed any change on it's fins, those are normal, although its breathing heavily, today he is at times at the bottom of the tank, barely moving, just occasionally, he won't even come up to eat, I have two other fish in the tank, a 25 gal. tank, a Japanese Koi and a Comet, which are fine. I don't know why is this happening. Thanks, Miguel Garoz <How long have you had this fish? How large is it and the other fish in this tank? You do have filtration, aeration of some sort? Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Koi
Bob, I've had this fish for about one week, it's 1.5 inch long, same for the Japanese Koi, and the comet is 'bout 1 inch long, I have a powerhead with a QuickFilter attached to it, which is under where the sick fish hides, I also have a 100w heater, the tank's temperature is at 77 F. Thanx again <Good info... It is likely the one fish is infested with one or more possible parasites... and these will very likely spread to your other fishes. Indeed the entire system needs to be treated. I encourage you to seek out what your local stores stock in the way of fish med.s that include the compound Neguvon, Trichlorofon, Masoten... these are all the same compounds. I would do this soon. Bob Fenner>

Sick Koi & Comets <Hi! Ananda here today while the usual Koi crew are out and about...> I guess I have been lucky until now, I have a large pond (1600) gallons, this past week the fish all started acting strange, they seem to gulp for air, (not all the time) stay at the waterfall, some have a film <I'm not quite sure what you mean by "a film"...> and I have lost 5, the salt level was low, I have brought it up to .2%, the ph, is a little high but not in the alarming range, <Any change of more than 0.2 per day can be stressful to fish.><<RMF says 0.1>> the nitrates, ammonia are both ok, the water is on the hard side, well water. We recently put in a new filter system could this have stressed the fish?  <Perhaps, if you also removed the old filter system at the same time, leaving the fish with no biological filtration, or something similar...?> I also wonder if maybe the pond now is overcrowded as I have several large Koi and then smaller fish. I am at the end of the rope trying to figure things out. There are several pond owners in town that have problems and have lost fish this past week. <In that case, a couple of things come to mind. Have you had a heat wave? A sudden increase in water temperature might lead to significantly lower oxygen levels. A sudden change could be especially problematic. Did several of these people do a water change shortly after the city added something different to the water, perhaps?> We have had a lot or rain. <What is the pH of the rain, compared to the pH of the pond? Is the difference enough to cause a pH swing in the pond?> If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them. Sarah <Got a pond club or Koi club? If so, I'd get everyone who's lost fish, and several people who have not, to check their water parameters -- preferably with the same test kit (pond tour time) or at least using the same brand of kit. I'd compare those results with each other. I'd also look at any trends the various owners may have noticed in their water parameters. And I'd compare pond maintenance practices. I'd look for patterns in just about anything... it's detective work, but perhaps you'll find something. Wish I could be of more help. --Ananda> 

Large Koi sudden problem. help! My husband is out-of-town on business and I have been entrusted with the care of his three Koi. They reside in a 280 gallon insulated pool on a deck 20 feet in the air. They are well protected from elements and predators. The largest two Koi have suddenly begun behaving strangely and I have been unable to locate a reference to their exact behavior on-line. Odie is about 19-20 inches and four years old, Laz is about 14 inches long and as old. The baby is only 5 inches and has only joined them about a month ago. I have tested, ammonia, Ph and salt. All are great. The nitrites were a little high about a week ago so over the last week I did a ¼ water exchange several days apart adding appropriate salt and stress coat each time... then tested salt and nitrites again. They are suddenly changing swim direction and flashing their bellies as they do. Odie is also floating vertically with his mouth about an inch below the water surface. He is not gasping or breaking surface. Dorsal fins are clenched on both fish. Biofilter system. Intact at bottom of pool opposite end of water return. They have thrived in their environment until recently. The only thing I changed prior to this problem was to add two new water plants this month... and the new addition of the little guy. He is doing great. Can you advise me of what to check next. Should I test nitrates as well as nitrites? I don't want to loose my husband's huge fish... help. < Service the filter and make sure everything is working. Then look at the fish closely for little white dots on the fins. If you see some then the ich parasite is attacking the skin of the fish as well as the gills. They need to be treated. I recommend Rid-ich by Kordon as per the recommendations on the bottle. I suspect the new guy brought it in with him. Even though he may not show signs of the disease he can still be a carrier. -Chuck>

Swim bladder problems in golden Orfe  Hello to you all,  <Salutations>  I am in England and have just discovered you on the web whilst searching for an answer to the problem of what can only be a swim bladder problem in a golden Orfe.  I have a pond of approximately 2000 gals. in which I have Koi, grass carp, ghost carp, comet goldfish and, of course, golden Orfe. The total number of fish is 20 so the are definitely not overcrowded.  Yesterday, Sat. 13th. April, I noticed one of the golden Orfe, a fish about 10 inches long, was on the surface with its dorsal fin out of the water and it was having the greatest difficulty submerging. Twenty four hours later it shows no sign of improvement. I can only presume from its condition that it is a swim bladder problem.  As at this time of year in England the pond water temperature is still rather low the fish are not really feeding so I am unable to supply any oral treatment, if indeed there is any, at this time.  The pond has been treated with Acriflavine and a commercial tonic pond salt with a Ph buffer.  I would be grateful for any suggestions you may have and thank you in anticipation.  Kindest regards,  Ken. Drewitt.  <I suggest the application of Epsom salt here (Magnesium Sulfate), at the rate of one pound per thousand gallons... I would not be concerned re the lack of feeding during this cooler weather. The root cause/s of this condition may not be nutritionally related, but I would look into a low protein (less than twenty percent by dry weight) prepared food source during cooler months. Bob Fenner>

Butterfly Koi characteristics Hi Mr. Fenner - <Judith> I have a neighbor who has Koi in an outdoor pond. She is very conscientious with all her critters. One of her butterfly Koi (named "Ghost" as he is a whitish-gray and has some black markings on him) has what look like little wavy fins in front of each eye. As she had never noticed this before and noticing that he had a scrape on his "forehead," she retrieved him from the pond and has him in a tank in the garage (filtered, water changed, fed, with a door over one end of this large holding tank so he has "privacy") and she is treating the water with whatever the little cylindrical tablets are. <Mmm, okay> Anyway, she wants to know if the little wavy fins, eyelashes, whatever, are normal. If so, she will release him back into his 40,000 gal pond with his buddies. She was concerned that maybe he had a nostril infection or something. Seems the best fish expert in our area is in the hospital! <If they are symmetrical (over both eyes) I suspect they are "congenital" and not indication of a parasitic condition. I would return this fish to the main pond. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help. I do bunny rescue so this is not at all in my area! Judith

Anchor worms, Lernaea I, john day have had a major problem with parasites, sores in my arms and legs. coughing up larvae.   recently diagnosed as anchor worms. is this common for humans to catch this. my doctors don't know how to treat the problem. are you familiar with anyone who knows how to deal with this? you can email me  thank you <Lernaeids are external crustacean parasites of fishes... What you think you may have personally is not these. I strongly recommend you visit a GP doctor however. Bob Fenner>

Mysterious Death Hello, <Hi.> Im thoroughly confused. <Me too, a great deal of the time.  This condition can often be easily combated with books and other resources concerning the topic(s) which confuse you.  Oh.  Wait.  There's more to this, isn't there?  Something fishy, perhaps?> I have just found a dead goldfish floating in my pond.   <Sorry to hear that.> The pond is about 12ftx20ftx3ft deep (at its deepest point) and has been established for about 5 years (2 comets, 4 goldfish, 5 Rudd <I had to look "Rudd" up; I've never heard this common name, nor seen pictures of this Eurasian cyprinid.  Cool looking fish.> and numerous sticklebacks). <Sounds good, so far.> The fish is about 4 years old and is approx 6 inches long and appears in perfect health all the fins are intact and the colour is fine <Sounds excellent, minus the bit about being dead.> I thought it was just resting but it was on a slightly strange angle (maybe dead for an hour or so at most I think) and the fish is a good weight and size and has no outward signs of disease or parasites or damage etc. The temperature is probably btwn 2-6 degrees Celsius and there has been no ice on the pond for a few weeks now (I'm in the UK) It is the first fish I have lost from the pond (apart from the odd stickleback every few months at worst) <First thing to check is water parameters - find out where you're sitting for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.  It would also be a good idea to check your oxygen level.  Another point to consider, are you feeding the fish? At these cold temperatures, the fish cannot benefit from the food, and it really only contributes to waste buildup, which can cause ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to rise to perhaps toxic levels.> I am a relatively experienced fishkeeper (6 years tropical/coldwater) and I just dont get it?  Do you have any idea what could have caused this? <In all honesty, this may be a completely unsolvable mystery.  It is entirely possible that the animal died of something unexpected and sudden, just as other animals and people sometimes do.  Dissection may shed some light on what did him in, but other than that....  Test your parameters, rectify if necessary, and don't lose too much sleep over it, at least.  Everything sounds good otherwise, really.> Many thanks,  Paul Newman <Any relation to.... no.  No, I am *not* going to ask that.  I get enough "teenage witch" comments, I can understand where you'd go nuts if I asked you that, so I'll refrain.  Wishing you and your pond well,  -Sabrina, neither teenage, nor a witch>

Wardley ick away Hi, I have a sick fish in my outdoor pond.  He has ick and very sick.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought Wardley Watercare Ick Away and put it in my outdoor pond.  Is it harmful to kids and domestic pets. Thank you Janet <Mmm, time to send you to their website for their technical help. These formulations vary and most are relatively "safe" around pets, children (let's say, compared to many household cleaners). Check the product or packaging for their website or 800 number. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish with black patches Hi, my name is Wynand <Hi Wynand, this is Sabrina> I have a pond with 10 goldfish in it, have had the goldfish for about 8 months. All was going well till last week when simultaneously all of them started to get what looks like black patches all over their bodies, and it seems to be under the scales. I have already contacted 5 pet shops and none of them have a clue as to what the problem is or how therefore, to treat it. The pond has a small waterfall; the water is changed once every 6 weeks; the fish are fed once a day with goldfish pellets; there is no sand in the pond only a few rocks. The fish are not acting abnormally. <This sounds to me like fish pox (also often referred to as goldfish pox, carp pox, and Koi pox).  This viral disease usually affects goldfish and Koi in ponds (can be seen on other fish from time to time as well).  Usually it will start out as white to pinkish lumps, that look rather like melted wax.  As it progresses, the lumps turn darker.  Please do take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm - very near the bottom, you'll find a picture of a red and white fantail goldfish with this ailment to compare with what you're seeing on your fish.> Have you got any idea as to what this is and how I can easily treat it? ( I come from Zimbabwe and we don't have much of the fancy fish medication available to us). <Well, unfortunately, there is no remedy for this.  However, it can be rather easily controlled, sometimes eliminated, with maintaining excellent water quality.  Please test your pond water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH - you'll probably end up needing to do water changes more often to keep this illness controlled.  Hope all goes well.  -Sabrina> Please help  Thanks!

Pond aliens I have noticed a proliferation of 2-4mm shrimp-like creatures (copepods, as I have learned) in my pond in the filter net and such areas.  I have not examined my fish.  They don't look like fish lice and don't have a Y shape. They swim around inverted frequently. <Could very well be a copepod of some sort, like Cyclops, or perhaps water fleas (Daphnia), or one of many, many other tiny critters that show up in ponds.> Are they bad news? <Unlikely.> I am worried that they are parasitic. <Although there are parasitic copepods, and other parasitic tiny forms of life that will appear in ponds, chances are good that what you're seeing isn't parasitic.  Of course, it would definitely be a good idea to net out a couple of fish just to check on them, make sure nothing's amiss.  Also, while trying to identify pond organisms, I ran across this page/site that may be of use to you to identify what you've got:   http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/index.html? http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/pond/insects.html .  Play around with the links and other pages in the site, and you'll probably be running out to your pond for a cup of goo to stick under a microscope.  Lots of fun.> Thanks for any comments,  Roger <No problem, Roger.  Have fun with your tiny pond life,  -Sabrina>

RED SPOTS on pondfish Hello, <Hi there> I have searched the internet, researched books, and consulted my local aquarium shop without success. I have a 250 gallon outdoor pond with a 750  gph pump and compatible Bioforce uv filter.  ( which I split into two separate returns )  My pond  is  home  to  7 six inch fancy goldfish, 2 seven inch Pleco, 2 three inch baby turtles, and 6 mystery  snails.  Last week I  noticed  a  very  small  red dot (1/8 inch) on the cheek of one of my pearlscale's. Today I noticed a similar but larger red  spot (1/3 inch) on  the  chin of  one of  my  Orandas. I  would describe these  spots  as  blood vessels or some sort of hemorrhage under their skin but not under their scales. The spots are not close to  the gills and they do not appear to protrude. Could this become serious? <Could be... but I suspect not... much more likely a "seasonal" change to cooler/warmer weather, even perhaps "nuptial tubercles" (raised and reddened areas on fishes with the physiology and behavior of reproduction... Your fish may have the hots. Seriously, I would not be overly concerned... Keep checking on water quality, routine maintenance and try not to worry> Can treatment be confined to  a  quarantine  tank  rather  than  the entire pond? <Yes, could be... with most of water coming from the pond itself... I would only do this if other symptoms (off-feeding, stringy-feces, a lack of swimming activity...) occur> Any advice you may have concerning this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

MY GOLDFISH ARE DYING Hi. <Hi Todd, Sabrina with you today> My name is Todd and I have put 24 common goldfish in my outside pond about 2 weeks ago. <That's an awful lot of fish to add all at once....> The pond is about 7 feet deep and 10x10.  Rain water fills it and I run cold well water to keep it full.  They have been dying off 1 or more a day and have tried to feed them bread, peas, goldfish crumb food but they don't seem to eat anything. <Don't try bread.  It's an inappropriate food for them really.  But I'm surprised they didn't take peas?!  Every goldfish I've ever had is insane for peas.  They may just be scared of you still, being in a new environment and all.> The well water temperature is around 50 degrees f.   They swim off scared with I come to the edge of the pond. <That's normal, until they start associating you with food.  Then you won't be able to keep them AWAY from you!!  :) > I also  tried to feed them live cut up  worms but they didn't want any. Is the pond temperature to cold for them to eat???    <Possibly.  You said the well water is 50F, right?  What's the temp in the pond itself?> Any response as to why they are dying would be appreciated.   <Well, there are definitely a few important things I'd like to bring up.  Do you test for ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate?  If not, please invest in test kits (liquid reagent type) so you can know what's going on in your water, and see if there's something wrong that might be causing your goldfish to get sick.  I wouldn't worry too terribly about them fasting, as there are plenty of organisms for them to feed off in an outdoor pond - especially a large one like yours.  There should be plenty of stuff naturally available for them to munch on.  I would imagine they're not starving to death, but rather, dying from some unseen factor in the water (ammonia, nitrite, perhaps).  If you can't get test kits now, take a sample of your water in to a local fish store, and they should be willing to test it for you.  Do please find out and keep us updated.> Thanks, Todd from  Canada

Goldfish are STILL dying Hi.   The letter sent back to me didn't finish.  It ended with  the word INFE. <I will resend very shortly.  Hope everything comes through, this time.  Also, please do look for this at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdh2ochemfaqs.htm .  The day you receive the email, or perhaps the day after, you may see your answer on the Daily FAQs page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm .> I think you were going to say inferior quality fish. Right??? <Sorta....  as I said, I will resend it.  Hopefully will clear up a lot of confusion.> These are from a different pet store than the 24  common goldfish I bought for my pond in which 23 have died.  These 12 new common goldfish were bought from a different pet store hoping for a better quality of fish if that is the major problem in the first place.   The 12 new goldfish I put in my garage fish tank which is in my garage and made from a old chest type freezer with a plastic liner (house vapor barrier poly) on the inside.  A 5 gallon pail filled with medium rocks and filter on top to collect  debris and a   pump filling the filter constantly  and it drains back to tank. 300- gallons approx.    <I'm pretty confidant that it's a water quality issue - again, not with the water from your tap, but from adding such a bunch of fish all at once.  It is very important to get test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH so you can have an understanding of what the problems are.  Until water quality issues are ruled out, there's really no diagnosis to be made.> The rocks are said to remove ammonia and toxins and the material on top to remove bigger stuff.   Only 6 out of the new 12 goldfish are still alive in the garage tank after 1 week in there.  I've kept minnows in the tank before and they seemed to do ok.   But since then I've had to put in the poly plastic liner because of leaks. I wonder if the poly plastic could be a problem? <Doubtful, but possible.  Wild guesses are all I can give you without knowing water quality and symptoms (white spots on fish, lumps, discoloration, wounds, any abnormalities whatsoever?) The pond outside has the same plastic liner to where the other 23 out of 24 died.   I will take a   water sample into the store where I bought the last 12 goldfish and ask them to check the water quality.   <Ahh, wonderful.  Be sure to ask them for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.  Please do consider purchasing your own test kits - it's really an invaluable thing to be able to test your own water, whenever necessary, right when you need to know the values.> I have also added a charcoal filter to the top of the garage tank filter system. I plan to keep all the pond goldfish in the garage tank during the winter IF I EVER FIGURE OUT WHAT IS KILLING THE GOLDFISH!!!!    LOL    LOL      This is starting to drive me a bit insane figuring it out but with your help and going back to talk to the pet store guy, I will find out what I am doing wrong or if the fish are inferior and I have to spend more money for better quality fish since these are only  $4.99 a dozen.      <Ultimately, if your 'feeder' comets are coming from a good source, they *should* be okay.  Operative word here is *should*.  It's entirely possible that they're all sick, but water quality is always the first suspect.> The next step up in price is 2 for $5.00, which are not the common goldfish but another breed of goldfish.   <"Fancy" goldfish?  Shubunkins?  Something else entirely?  You should be able to get 'pond' comets (as opposed to 'feeder' comets - they're healthier and sold at larger sizes) for an inexpensive amount.> Your help is greatly appreciated in  my    GOLDFISH DILEMMA...... THANKS FROM TODD <Any time.... Hope this one gets through okay.  -Sabrina>

Koi are dying left and right - please help! Hello - <Hi!  Sabrina with you today> I have had my 500 gallon pond for 2 years and have never had a problem.  All of a sudden, last week my Koi have been dying one by one.  I found another 3 dead this morning -- two 12" butterfly and a 10" regular domestic Koi.  This makes 5 dead Koi since last week.   <How many fish are there/were there altogether?> I have examined the fish and have found nothing wrong.  For a few days they appear lethargic, anti-social, and do not eat --- then the third day they die.  I have not introduced any new Koi in to my pond lately.  I do regular water changes -- about 20% once a month.   <Depending on your fish load, this may not be enough (or it may be just right).  Have you tested your water lately?  Check your pH, ammonia and nitrite right away, see if any of those values are outta whack, it sounds like this might be water-related> They only thing I could think of is all the rain we have been getting in NE Ohio recently.   <Possible.  That might affect pH, and too huge a pH change might cause the fish harm - but that's a real stab in the dark.  Has anything else changed?  Feeding regime/type of food, water conditioner, anything?> I'm lost.  I'm sad.  I'm frustrated. I'm confused.  Did I say sad?    <I'm sorry :( > My local pet shops don't have a clue.  Please give me any help you can.  One more thing -- my Shubunkins, Sarasas, and goldfish are doing fine -- why is this?   <IME, Koi are a little more sensitive than goldfish.  Whatever's affecting the Koi probably is affecting the goldfish too, but to a lesser degree.  Check your water parameters, and fix if necessary.  Best of luck to you!> Thanks - <You're welcome> John
Koi are dying left and right - please help!  (Part 2)
Hello again - <Hello again, John!> Thanks for the fast response.  I just went out to my pond to check on my fish and I lost two more Koi.   <Sorry to hear that.... :( > However, all the other Koi that have died showed no physical signs of illness.  But the one of the two Koi that just died had a white fungus on it.  It was quite severe.  Why would this fish have a fungus and the others show no signs of fungus?   <Could be that there's something else at play as well, that's not as easily seen, and this fish, weakened but still alive, ended up contracting the fungus where the others just hadn't yet?> And why would this fish die after the others if it's in worse physical condition? <He may have just been a stronger fish overall, and the fungus finally did him in> To answer your questions . . . I had five 10-12" Koi three 4" Koi four 4" Shubunkins maybe 20 goldfish (all small) and two Sarasa (about 4") <This really seems a bit much to me, for a 500g pond.  Illnesses can spread like wildfire in high stocking densities, and fish waste can build up rather quickly, worsening environmental conditions> (again, all my fish that are not Koi are still alive.  I down to two Koi) I've now lost 6 Koi within 24 hours. <I suggest you catch a few, one at a time, and take a close look at them in a clear container.  Look for the fungus that you saw, and anything else amiss; look especially for white stringy feces, as perhaps you're dealing with something internal, which may explain why the fish have looked more or less undamaged externally.  Check the color of their gills, their rate of breathing.  It might be a good idea to try treating with MelaFix, as it does have antibiotic properties; I'm really not convinced as to its effectiveness, but I've used it in conjunction with other things and gotten results.  might be worth a shot, if we can't figure out what's ailing them (aside from the fungus).> Ammonia and Ph levels are testing out fine.  However, my  water hardness is on the high side. <I assume you mean ammonia is zero?  I don't think I'd be terribly concerned about the hardness, unless it's WAY off from the norm, or has been changing dramatically.  Do check your nitrites/nitrates, though, and see where they're sitting.  Also, the next time you get a chance, you might think about collecting/testing the rainwater and see what that is as compared to the water in the pond and from your tap, or whatever source you use for water changes.  Another long shot, how often do you check your filtration system?  Perhaps that's gotten out of whack somehow, or gotten really gunky?  Have you used any gardening chemicals/weed killers/anything else like that that may have gotten into the pond with all the rain you've been getting?  Any next-door neighbors uphill from the pond that might have done so?> Re: Koi are dying left and right - please help! Thanks again for your prompt help.  I had no deaths so far today (but then again I don't have many fish left).  We did look at the gills of some of the dead Koi last night and they looked nice and pink.  No parasites.  Also, to answer your question, the nitrates are checking out fine.  I also pulled out some of the fish as you requested with a net and examined them and found no noticeable defects or parasites. My filtration system is clean as I'm religious about my weekly cleanings.  No gardening or insect chemicals have been sprayed around or near the pond that I know of.   I have purchased some MelaFix and added it this morning.  Is there any other recommendations for medications that you may have?  Also, if I'm unlucky enough to have another death and end up dissecting it what should I be looking for?  Thanks again. <Reading over this correspondence brings back bad memories of years past when we had service accounts that suffered similar sudden "anomalous" losses of pond fish. I want to add an emphasis on having some of the dead fish checked for pesticide residue... a spray truck (usually for wood termites... in the ground or structures) can account for this sort of wipe out... and be a few blocks away. Bob Fenner>
Koi are dying left and right - please help! (continued)
A pond shop in Akron might know what the problem is.  As you suggested, it's more than likely a parasitic problem.  I didn't  mention in my previous e-mails that my pond is located in the shade surrounded by several trees and a bird feeder.  The pond shop thinks that parasites may have entered the pond via bird droppings.   <Yes, this is possible, especially if you have birds coming that visit local ponds, streams, rivers, etc. - glad the store could help you, and I hope you've located the problem at last!> I have since relocated by bird bath and feeders to the opposite side of the yard.   <Great.    This may help prevent recurrences of the same problem (if, in fact, the birds did bring something with them), but do understand that it's impossible to eliminate the threat altogether; birds come to ponds, and the most we can do is be vigilant and keep an eye open for anything wrong, as you have been doing.  Although I've no direct experience with birds bringing in parasites (thank goodness!!), I have heard of similar cases.> I have purchased parasitic treatment and I hope my pond is on it's way to recovery.   <Excellent  - but please do not discount the possibility of pest control poisons.  Keep your eyes open, and see how the fish respond to the treatment.  With all due luck, you've found the problem.> I have two more sick Koi that appear lethargic.  I hope they make it.   <Our fingers are crossed!> Thanks for all your help -- seriously.  I can't  believe that there are people out there that care for the Koi of strangers.  It's nice to know that people like you exist out there. Thanks! <And thank you for the kind words!  -Sabrina> John Trafan

Koi disease I hear that there is a new Disease that originated in Japan, and effects Koi Carp.  I have recently bought some Koi from a garden center and was told that this disease constitutes such infection that even the pond liners, pumps and filters need to be renewed.   <Mmm, likely someone is referring to the every few years recurring pandemic called "Ana aki" in Japan, aka Furunculosis in the west> I would be grateful if you could tell me anything about this disease and symptoms that I could look out for. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Regards Maurice. <We have an article and some FAQs re this condition posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm Bob Fenner>

Bloody, shredded tails on pond fish >I have a 1200 gal. pond with approx 15 goldfish and Shubunkins. Six of these are from 6" to 8", the rest are from 2" to 4" long. About five days ago I noticed my largest fish had blood in his tail. Some of the other large ones had shredded tails, one looked like he had a cotton ball on the tip of his tail. The smaller ones seemed okay. I ran a garden hose in the pond and let it overflow for a couple of hours. This should have changed at least 25% of the water. I have treated with Melafix for four days. I have also been feeding Tetra medicated food for bacterial and fungal disease. The fish do not look any better. Some of the smaller ones have now started to develop the problem. They all have good appetites still. An ammonia test was okay. >>Please accept my apologies for being so late, I've been battling some computer issues.  This sounds like a bacterial infection to me, commonly experienced in overcrowded or polluted conditions.  Please see this link --> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for treatment.  When I can restore some of my medication charts on this box I will try to get them posted, in the meantime, I believe Furazone or similar would be a better way to go.  It will DESTROY all nitrifying bacteria, so ammonia poisoning must be addressed with frequent, large water changes. >About one month ago my pump quit (probably for 12 hours). We had to pull the filter out in order to fix the pump. It sat out of the water for about an hour. >>This, on its own, should *not* have created a problem unless your system was "on the edge". >The water was clear before this happened, but is now green. >>A release of excess nutrients, plus a die-off of nitrifying bacteria most likely. >It is not so bad that you can't see into the pond. The pond has a good amount of bog and submersible plants and some trapdoor snails. I have had this same setup for several years without any problems. >>Then I take back the overcrowding comment, unless your fish have been doing what mine have and spawning like crazy.  We just had a large die-off of most of the fry from this year--to be expected, though, especially with little in the way of maintenance being performed. >The pond is drained down every fall in order to catch the fish to bring them in for the winter. It is drained again and cleaned in the spring about one month before the fish go back out. >>Aahh.. the joys of living in Southern California (sorry, can't recollect our zone!). >They have been out since the middle of May and were quite healthy until now.  What else can I do to correct this problem? >>Do read the link, and also try searching our site's goldfish FAQ's, as I may have missed something.  More water changes might be in order as well, just in case.  You may need to thin out the herd, so to speak, though in my opinion having good plantings helps tremendously.  Do hope this helps, and again, accept my apologies for being so late to respond.  Marina

Missing Both Eyes >Hi, >>Hello Bianca (lovely name), Marina here. >I have a 220 gallon pond in my backyard.  A couple of weeks ago I went out to feed my fish and noticed that my Black Moor was missing an eye. Just an empty crater where the eye was. I was shocked. >>Uh oh. >But imagine my shock and horror when a week later the other eye was missing!! I feel so bad for him. He's still swimming around and eating. He lives in the pond with about 10 other goldfish. I just wonder what could have happened . And should I treat him with anything?   >>Oh man, how AWFUL!  A couple of quick questions, then suggestions.  First, are there any predatory animals in your area?  If so, I would consider moving the fish to a safe location (his own tank, possibly) or covering the pond with netting.  Second, do you have dragonflies in the area?  My first thought is something like a nymph (you do NOT want to be nailed by one of those things), not likely, but a possibility.  Third, did the fish do as mine did and SPAWN like crazy when it warmed up?  If so, this could have been what happened (poor thing!).  As long as you have no predators (heron, kingfisher, raccoon), then, as long as the fish shows no sign of infection I would leave him be.  If he does show signs of stress/infection, you should remove him to a hospital tank.  The next biggest worry is that he'll get *enough* to eat.  You'll need to watch this closely now.  Sweet Christ on a crutch, the poor fish!  Oh, if he seems to have a particular "friend" he hangs out with, I would keep that fish with him wherever he goes.  Completely weird, I know, but it could be acting as a sort of guide... yes, I'm whacked, I know.  But, it's a thought, yeah?   Thanks so much,   Bianca Christensen

Goldfish in our pond Hi crew, Just wondering if I should be concerned with the larger comet that is being chased and seemingly picked at by the smaller Shubunkins that I just added to our pond. Also, can Koi and goldfish live peacefully together? Regards, Jennifer <Mmm, these types should be okay. Likely a bit of pre-spawning behavior... the larger comet is probably faster than the Shubunkins and can "get away" unless the pond is too small. Do keep an eye out for eggs! And the possibility of separating these fishes if signs of damage become obvious. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish/Comets .. white spot ? hi <Hello> we have a very large pond (12,000l) with mixed pop of comets fantails, swords, catfish and mollies <Any recently added?> we recently lost one of our best and largest comets .. there were no visible signs and then we noticed two other comets who have a white spot on body .. when I did Google search I found that white spot  is indicated by lethargy, and by rubbing, and by swimming in 'front' of pond inlet ... which is exactly what  the one who died did ... but these only have one spot on body the one we could catch it was a velvety type of fungal growth .. but they don't have spots all over like white spot should also spots are somewhat larger than the 'salt like' appearance mentioned for white spot and there is only the one <Do you have any testing results recorded that you can share?> so I was doing to treat pond with Condys crystals as indicated when doing Google search (www.koivet.com/html/articles/...) the little comet is almost dead and I am worried about other affected large one .. although he is not showing any other signs  (and he won't let us catch him either! so before I treat pond I wondered if there was another disease or parasite that this could be instead of white spot  ... and if so would treatment be the same <Yes... there are other Protozoans (with about the same treatment regimen), and some "environmental" diseases that can express themselves as "pimples", hence the questions about when livestock was added, the history of your water quality.> ps if I do treat pond, I was going to disconnect bio filter and just have the return for that pump running into pond <What is this "Condy's" product? I would not discontinue the biofilter unless absolutely necessary... the beneficial microbes will die there if circulation is stopped> giving oxidizing affect of Condy's, is there anything else I should do if I need to do this treatment <Ask the folks selling, promoting this product... is this potassium permanganate and some sort of salt mix?> can you let me know if you have any useful advise /info? <Yes. Please see the Pond SubWeb on WetWebMedia.com under "Disease"> PS water tests perfectly for ammonia, nitrates, and Ph <Mmm, need the actual values, history> cheers don card <Bob Fenner>

Goldfish/Comets .. white spot ? take II thanks for reply ... please see additional info etc below hi <Hello> we have a very large pond (12,000l) with mixed pop of comets fantails, swords, catfish and mollies .. and various rainbows <Any recently added?> >>> yes some (more) mollies and rainbows about two weeks ago ... all seem fine as fair as we can tell/see <<Ahh, these were likely the source of your parasitic problem>> we recently lost one of our best and largest comets .. there were no visible signs and then we noticed two other comets who have a white spot on body .. when i did Google search i found that white spot  is indicated by lethargy, and by rubbing, and by swimming in 'front' of pond inlet ... which is exactly what  the one who died did ... but these only have one spot on body the one we could catch it was a velvety type of fungal growth .. but they don't have spots all over like white spot should also spots are somewhat larger than the 'salt like' appearance mentioned for white spot and there is only the one <Do you have any testing results recorded that you can share?> >>> no <<Rats!>> so i was doing to treat pond with Condys crystals as indicated when doing Google search (www.koivet.com/html/articles/...) the little comet is almost dead and i am worried about other affected large one .. although he is not showing any other signs  (and he won't let us catch him either! so before i treat pond i wondered if there was another disease or parasite that this could be instead of white spot  ... and if so would treatment be the same <Yes... there are other Protozoans (with about the same treatment regimen), and some "environmental" diseases that can express themselves as "pimples", hence the questions about when livestock was added, the history of your water quality.> ps if i do treat pond, i was going to disconnect bio filter and just have the return for that pump running into pond <What is this "Condy's" product? >>> pot. perman. (generically known here as Condys crystals) <<KMnO3... effective, but potentially dangerous... use with care>> I would not discontinue the biofilter unless absolutely necessary... the beneficial microbes will die there if circulation is stopped> giving oxidizing affect of Condy's, is there anything else i should do if i need to do this treatment <Ask the folks selling, promoting this product... is this potassium permanganate and some sort of salt mix?> >> as above <<I reiterate: I would not turn off the flow of water to your biological filtration>> can you let me know if you have any useful advise /info? <Yes. Please see the Pond SubWeb on WetWebMedia.com under "Disease"> PS water tests perfectly for ammonia, nitrates, and Ph <Mmm, need the actual values, history> >>> nitrate  ~ 0 ammonia ~ 0 recently lowered Ph from around 7.6 to 7.2ish <<Looks good>> >>> apart from Ph at around 7.6, these values have been constant for a long time  ... there have been no major water changes for a month (although we got two inches of rain last night  :-)) <<As stated, you likely "inherited" a hyperinfection with the new (unquarantined) fishes>> >>> have worked out if we use salt instead of Pot. Perman. would need about 55 k  to bring up to 3%  (which i guess we can get)  >> but it seems it might be a safer treatment than Pot Perman. ?? <<Maybe not... for your size system, multitude of ills this treats... just has to be carefully (dosage) administered... as the amount added is a function of dissolved, suspended organics... so the active ingredient will/can be "used up" w/o doing much good... or alternatively, if too much placed, can "burn" your livestock to death/disease>> >>> what else could spot(s) be ?  ... it was very 'interesting' that one who died (who showed no spots but i gather that is possible with white as it might show only ion gills) exhibited the 'swimming in inlet' behavior ... which is/was unusual for our comets >>> (can't find little one at moment so can't whether he's alive or dead .. and haven't seen other large comet with the one spot  .. after previous attempts to catch he is not visible/approachable) <<Might be better/best to "take a look and see" approach here... the parasite might be "transient" in your set of circumstances, and be gone or latent (for now). Bob Fenner>> cheers don card <Bob Fenner>

Leeches Dear Sirs: <Just PF will do for me, calling me sir still makes me feel old. > We have a one acre pond in upstate New York.  It was formerly a cattle pond, which was half the size when we purchased the property.  When we enlarged the pond, we had it dredged and scraped, and it refilled naturally from small springs and rainwater.  We had a problem with algae, and treated it successfully with copper sulfate for several years, but then that became ineffective.  We then stocked the pond with neutered carp, and luckily, the pond has been algae free since then.  However, a new problem has developed.  We now have leeches, which certainly discourages our grandchildren from swimming in the pond.  We've read that copper sulphate is the only way to rid the pond of these pests.   Do you know of any other antidote to leeches, and if not, do you know where we can buy copper sulfate?  It is no longer available in New York State.   Thank you for your attention. Yours truly, A. Pearlman <First off, yikes! Can't get that picture from the African Queen out of my head. Reading over the FAQs, I saw Bob mentioned using Chloramine to treat for leeches. That was for a much smaller pond though, and I don't know dosages, nor how long it would linger in the environment, let alone if it's legal or not to use (same thing with copper sulfate). Here's the page on pond parasites, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm . Have you tried contacting the fish and game department, or the biology department of any local colleges or universities? They might have ideas. I'm not sure about biological controls, since I'm not that familiar with leeches and what might eat them. Giving it some thought, the common bream or sunfish might eat them. As for locating copper sulfate, I would recommend doing a Google search (http://www.google.com )and looking for a supplier that way. Best of luck, and I hope you find a solution soon, PF>

2 Dead Goldfish :( I've recently lost two of the goldfish in my pond.  The first one died a little over a week ago.  I wasn't too concerned because he was born deformed and always had some problems swimming.<ok>  This other fish that died today was always seemingly healthy (as are the rest of the pond fish) so I was not expecting it to die so soon.<agreed>  The first fish had some small patches of what could have been abrasions,<sounds like a bacterial infection to me> which I really didn't think too much of at the time since he had a problem swimming and the fish are breeding and tend to "run" him over while chasing the females.  I thought he must have got bumped around and bruised up a bit.  But the fish that died today has the same wound, only much larger.  It has me wondering now if this was not a wound caused by overly eager breeding fish but perhaps a fungus or something else wrong that has my whole pond at risk.<i am guessing a bacterial infection>  Any suggestions?  I could email you a picture of the second dead fish if it would help.<yes, would help tremendously>  I forgot to mention this fish's vent (sorry -- don't know what the technical name for what a fish poops out of) is slightly protruded and red.<again sounds like a bacterial infection><In the meantime (before you send the pic-I like to see pictures of the fish because sometimes people have different interpretations of what has happened/or happening) do read more about diseases and treatments at WWM, Have included a few links that should help.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwdis3setsfactors.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm><IanB> Sincerely, Kristi Thomas

Re: goldfish blowing bubbles I just started a goldfish pond. I have a 90 gallon pond. I bought 8 fantails. Today we noticed one staying at the top of the water and blowing bubbles. It was not very active either. Please tell me what is going on with this fish? Thank you, Glenda <It may just be something he likes to do. Keep an eye on him for signs of distress or disease (white spots, darting, rapid breathing, scratching, etc) but for now dont worry too much. Ronni>

Re: HELP!!!  Comets Sick & Dying! Hi... I have a very active ornamental pond in our back yard.  We had a gruesome winter and we over wintered about 16 comets.  The pond is about 600 gallons.  We used a heater to allow gases to escape.  We had a few days of really warm weather a few weeks ago and then cold at night and then snow and now warm again... <Geez sounds like the winter weve had here!> I have lost 4 fish during this time and have 4 more that are sick...They are developing a white fuzzy ring around their tail where it meets their body - eventually they stay near the top and then bye-bye. I have changed 25% of the water and used something for fungus that a pond store gave me (small bottle of yellow powder) and have now done the second treatment... <Hmm it does indeed sound like a fungus of some sort. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm and also http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfshdisart.htm and the related FAQs. You should be able to find more info there.> I do not think I am doing the right stuff...Any ideas would be really helpful! Thanks, Ellen Shepard <You're welcome! Ronni>

Bumps on Fish Hello, <Hi> We have a fan tailed goldfish that has for the last month been producing large, pimple like balls (coming from under the scales) on its eye, side and around its anal fin.  Each time these bumps appear, about a day later they seem to somehow be pushed out or fall off? The fish does not seem unhealthy in behavior and all the other fish seem normal.  Could you tell us what this is and what to do about it? Is there a cure or concern, it is on about its 6th bump? Thanks, Charles and Tricia <Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm to see if any of the descriptions fit what your fish has. Treat according to the recommendations given there. Ronni>

Outdoor fantails losing color I have had fantails in outdoor pond for 8 years (about 1.5m length x 1.0m width x 0.8m depth - no problems! Until, that is, I decided to clean out the whole pond two Easters ago. Well, said fantails absolutely loved the renovation and proceeded to breed prolifically. I've given many away to various friends over the last year or so. However, they are all losing their color. I can't see any kind of parasite on any of them. Some of them (the smaller ones) have lost almost all their color. The larger ones are starting to lose it in patches. They seem perfectly healthy apart from that. I can't see any evidence of aggression between them either. I feed them floating food sticks and they have plenty of natural food (plant life, mosquito larvae, frog spawn etc. I have a small pump in the pond that produces a fountain so the water is well aerated and is very clear (although in the hot weather sometimes it can get a bit cloudy with algae, but that's easily treated with a change of some of the water and a bit of chemical assistance (not much is needed thankfully). I did a pH test last week and it's fine. Any ideas what the problem might be and what I need to do? <Its not uncommon for goldfish to lose color and they rarely get it back. The one thing to do is check the ammonia and nitrites. If these have gone up above 0ppm it can cause a loss of color but in your case its most likely a genetic thing. Ronni>

Outdoor Fantails Losing Colour Thanks Ronni, will get a water test done on the weekend. Seems bizarre that they've only just started losing the colour after 8 years of us being here - could it be there's too much inbreeding going on? <Inbreeding is very likely the cause. If you can do it without crowding them, you may want to get some new fantails to add new blood to the mix. Be sure to fully quarantine them if you do. Ronni>

Possible anchor worms and CopperSafe First, I'd like to tell you that your site is fantastic, the best fish site I've come across, and I've looked at a few. I think I'm having a problem with anchor worm.  <Sometimes difficult to eradicate once established.> I have three tanks-one 20 gallon with four (used to be six) very large ex-feeder goldfish which is always cloudy, yet the ammonia and nitrites/ates are nil and the pH is 6.5 or so. One tank is 55gallons with two big Koi, three channel cats (two big), and seven goldfish of varying size (two of which came from the 20 g tank). The other tank is 15 gallons with three very small fancy goldfish (the ones with the big bellies and the forked tail fin) and a Pleco which also came from the 20 g tank. Two days ago, I noticed a goldfish in the 55g had a bump on his skin with a white wormy thing sticking out. <Does sound like a Lernaeid...> Then I saw that a goldfish in the 20g tank had two red raised spots with white stuff on him (the scales were missing from the spots) and one with a veiltail has red near the ends of his tail fin. The Pleco in the 15g has had his fins clamped and won't eat very much, and I think I saw some white stuff on his mouth. He doesn't come out much, it's hard to see what's going on. These tanks are all well established and have the same water chem, i.e. no ammonia, no nitrates, and 6.5 or so pH. The water in the 55g is crystal clear, and a little bit cloudy in the 15g. They're well established, I do water changes every week, and I don't understand why they should all of a sudden all get sick. The transferred fish have been in their new tanks for at least 2 1/2 weeks. I started using CopperSafe, and it made all these little red worms come out in the 20g tank, and white worms in the other 2. <The copper won't "get" the intermediate stages... you'll poison the fish stock before the treatment can be completed...> No noticed improvement in the fishes' conditions. How long does this stuff take to work? What can I expect? Do I have to treat for secondary bacterial infection? <Good questions. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm You need to seek out a source of this pesticide, follow the directions that come with it, or the ones posted here> I apologize for the length, but I really don't want my fish to die and you really seem to know what you're doing. Thanks in advance. Pati  <No worries. Do contact me if this is unclear, incomplete. This is an easy problem to fix, given the active ingredient... and cautious use. Bob Fenner>

Pond Deaths Hi, I'm in need of a grief counselor and pond expert...unfortunately, in that order! <Okay, belly up to the bar> I have a pond, approximately 2700 gallons. Its been up and running for five years, maybe six. I have (had) about 20 Koi and a few Rockets, most about five to six years old. Two nights ago one of my big German Koi was dead. I pulled him out and there were no signs of an animal attack, no missing scales, no pooched out gills, mouth eyeballs, nothing...body wasn't bloated. Following day I saw one of my other big-boys sort of listless and up close I could see white junk on his scales...not fuzzy like cotton woolly and not stringy, squiggly like worms, just sort of breaks in the color pattern. <Yikes> They are all not eating much. Today six more were dead including two recent additions to the pond, about 8" white Koi I got from PetCo. <Bingo... the transmitter... should have kept this fish isolated on purchase...> I didn't quarantine them before introducing them to the pond. I've had great success with the original boys and the newer additions over the years didn't bring anything bad... I got lazy and complacent and am paying the price. <Yes, unfortunately> I have cleaned and back-flushed my filters and taken the pond down a few hundred gallons and added Melafix to the water. I then brought the water level back up and repeated this treatment yesterday and today. Any suggestions as to my fishes afflictions and possible other treatments would be greatly appreciated. Paul Harford Benicia, California <What you likely are encountering is a protozoan infestation like Costia... there are a few courses of action to consider... formalizing (treating with formalin or formaldehyde) or a strong oxidizer like permanganate... dangerous... will kill all beneficial microbes including nitrifiers... or perhaps just a salt treatment (ten pounds per thousand gallons... put in over three days time (not all at once) and whatever else you can do to effect "good water quality"... and a self-cure of sorts. Going forward, ALL new livestock should be quarantined (of course for a couple of weeks)... Do utilize test kits for checking how your water quality is going through this treatment process... Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond Deaths
Thanks... I read around on your site after sending the email and saw the article on furnuf!/~#8^=@?)ocluos and recall seeing a 'bare spot' a little roughed up, not bloody on a few of the casualties yesterday, but I do have stones and plant stands in the pond and when the fish are frisky they do splash around... <Good point... these markings could have little primary bacterial involvement...> I'm going to go back to basics and get the water tested and hope for the best. <Good move> No more short cuts, Paul in Benicia <Good luck, life my friend. Keep us informed as to your progress. Bob Fenner>

"Saddle bags" on  goldfish Dear Robert: Diagnosis SVP? I have a farm pond ( actually a reservoir) some 300 feet by perhaps another 300 feet with mosquito fish (uncountable) and over 100 goldfish. All have been in the pond for over 7 years. Every once in awhile a gold fish shows up with what I call "saddle bags" on both sides of the body. The "saddle bags" are very symmetrical, oblong, do not look like tumors, and don't resemble photos of fish with dropsy. <Interesting> Over the years I may have had one or two fish each season with "saddle bags". Only one of them died, as far as I can tell; unless a bobcat has fished for the others. Is this something to worry about? And if so, what is it, what can be done in such a large water hole? <May be something of concern. Have you had any of the "saddle bag" fish opened, looked at internally?> I have planted some water-iris in pots and lotus here and there around reservoir perimeter; most of the fish like to cavort around a wooden staircase I use to get into the water myself to swim with them. <I would have the fish checked out> Any help gratefully awaited, from the Shingle Mill Pond residents <Bob Fenner>

Leeches! Help! I've just moved into a house with a fairly derelict pond, it has about 3 inches of water in it and is stagnant.. lots of weed. Someone told me that the nasty black slug like things in it are leeches... is that possible in Milton Keynes? <Possibly> And if it is.. how on earth do I get rid of them... I was just going to take as much out as possible with a bucket and then clean it up but now I'm scared to go near it. Sorry if this sounds girlie and pathetic.. but your advice would be appreciated. <Do move what seems like water to a "kiddee wading pool" with a cover (just mesh) and an airstone/airpump... scoop, pump out the muck, refill, treat for chloramine... and move all back in a week or so... w/o feeding livestock in the meanwhile. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Terry Howard

Re: (Koi) flipping over I have Koi fish, I found out they move fast and keeping flipping If they behave like that ALL the time, or very frequently, there might be a real problem as such activity is rather stressful, and can be caused by a number of outside influences. Overcrowding is one highly possible culprit. Please read more about Koi disease on our website: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfshdisart.htm > ,also they eat very well and fast. That's usually a good sign. > Please it is a sign of disease? More likely an environmental issue, probably one you can correct. Do send email to Crew@WetWebMedia.com if you have more questions, I'm more of a website and marine aquarium person... Regards, Lorenzo <Thank you for this Zo. Bob F>

Koi Problems Hi There, I am not a novice. But I would take any advice about my Koi. The Problem is one of my prize Koi is listing a little on his side. But when I go to feed them he perks up. Should I be alarmed? <I would be.> I know my fish and this is not normal. <Agreed.> Here are the stats. 150 gal tank inside. Good filtration, did water change yesterday and do regularly. Have 10 or so med to large Koi with, plus 20 or so small ones. <That is an awful lot of fish for that tank.> All other fish doing fine. Should I separate and try some meds or what do you think? <I would first examine water quality (this is my first reaction to anything abnormal); pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and particularly oxygen concentration. It is not unusual for the largest fish to show signs of distress when oxygen levels are depressed. -Steven Pro> Please help, Thank you Clark R. Puyallup Wa

Argulus (food, pondfish culture, disease control) Dear D. Fenner Robert, I am a veterinarian working in State Bank of India biggest Bank financing agricultural and Aquacultural schemes in India. 2.Fish farmers raise Major Indian Carps (Catla catla, Labeo rohita etc.,) in big freshwater ponds with an extent of 10 acres to 100 acres Water spread area. The culture period is 8 - 10 months -Weight 1-2 Kg each. To minimize the feed cost and cost of production, our fish farmers are using heavy doses of dried poultry droppings organic manure) to fertilize the pond waters and for production of Phyto & Zoo plankton. The demerits of this practice is too much infection with Argulus (sea lice). As a result, farmers are using pesticides Viz., Deltamethrin (Butox), Dichlorovos (Nuvon) which are retarding the growth of the fish. Please enlighten me on the following two points: a. whether any effective biological control against Argulus is available? <None that is practical as fast as I'm aware... most practices are as yours, involving economic poisons in the class of organophosphates (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors)... as these crustacean parasites metabolisms are similar to arthropod pests> b. whether Diflubenzuron/lufenuron (Dimilin) can be mixed with the above chemicals to decrease the dosage and frequency of chemical application? <Yes, once again, as far as I'm aware. Dimilin supplanted the use of DTHP (Neguvon, Dylox...): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pndparasitcont.htm in ornamental pond use (on cyprinids like Cyprinus carpio (Koi carp, nishikigoi) and Carassium goeblio (goldfish) in the U.S. some years ago. Should be miscible.> Please send technical information on the life cycle and control methods in big fish ponds. <I don't have ready access to such, don't even know if this is part of the literature... would have to search as you are> 3.Please help me in the upliftment of fish farmers. <I will gladly assist you in what ways I can. Understand that though my academic background is in fisheries, I have spent the last decades in ornamental aquatics... not production. Bob Fenner> Thanking you. Yours sincerely, Dr. A. Purna Chandra Rao, Chief Manager Technical),Region-4,Zonal Office, State Bank of India,VIJAYAWADA-520 010,A.P; INDIA e-Mail: ap_purna@yahoo.com ap_purna@rediffmail.com

Ick \ whitespot in large pond. I am looking for dosage amounts for the use of Penicillin to cure the ick cycle I have in my pond. <Penicillin and ich? This antibiotic won't kill the protozoan...> in the past I have quarantined the fish, and treated the pond with multicure. My pond is 15 foot long, 4 foot wide, 3 foot deep and houses 30 fish (inc Koi, comets, and fantails) cant seem to find dose amounts, I have access to multiple antibiotics, please help. also do you have recommendations for the process etc many thanks in advance, Dale Brown. Australia <Please read through the Pond Disease sections on our site starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/KoiDisArt.htm following the links, FAQs where they lead you. There is a Google search tool there as well. Bob Fenner>

Pigmentation change We have a new pond feature in our backyard. This is our first year with fish, and we have 2 comets, 2 subunits, and (I think) a fantail. All have been healthy all season. Recently, one of the comets lost his/her orange stripes and is now mostly a gold color. The other comet still has his/her strong orange spot and stripe. Why did one lose its color? Still healthy, still goes after food, still plays and socializes. <Thank you for writing. For whatever reasons (genetic predisposition, "weather", water quality, nutrition...) some goldfish as individuals tend to lose their color with time, growth. Black Moors produced in the U.S. for instance have tended to go "brassy" rather than stay black for years... Nothing to worry about here.> Thanks for any help you can give. <Enjoy your pond and goldfish varieties. Bob Fenner>

Koi hi two of my Koi have some type of white almost pimple like spots on their tails. One Koi only has one spot the other has a few. The rest of the fish don't have any. All the fish including the ones with the spots are all acting normal. The water quality is all good, all zero except a little nitrate. I tried to raise the salt to see if it would do anything, but it has been a couple weeks. There is no redness around the white areas. It's too large to bee ick and doesn't look like a fungus. In a few books I read of white blobs being carp pox, <Yes, this is likely a virus> but these don't look greasy and the water is pretty warm(76-80). If you have any ideas as to what this is and what should be done help would be appreciated. thanks <I would add 250 milligrams of tetracycline hydrochloride antibiotic per pound of dry weight pelleted food, shake all in a bag and feed this for the duration of the warm weather... and not worry. Bob Fenner>

Koi.... again Hi Sorry to be a bother, but can't get much help from locals. I emailed you before about a Koi that had white pimples on its tail... A few days ago the same fish developed a bubble like cyst on its side about size of a marble, the fish is around 23"). The next day it had popped. I'm wondering if this also has to do with the pox virus. <Yikes... does sound like this sort of complaint... or Ana aki. Please read through this section and images on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/holedispnd.htm and the suggested, tried routes for cures> Also It looks like a brownish blister on another area. I bought some wound seal to put on the popped bubble, the thing is I don't know if I'd be doing more harm than good stressing him to do so. The fish still eats and acts normally and all other fish are unaffected. If you could help I promise I'll leave you alone for a week or so.... <Hmm, if your Koi are very valuable you might well want to contact the veterinary services in your area to see if there is someone who works on pond fishes... and will attempt to culture the microbes about the site... this does sound like our old enemy Aeromonas... Read the bit on the WWM site, and we'll be chatting. Bob Fenner>
Re: Koi
wow quick response. I just have a couple more questions. Am I correct to assume that this will most likely spread? and also Will the symptoms (white pimple things) always show? thanks <These "pox" problems generally don't spread (though they can... then are termed "acute" versus chronic)... and generally take a long time (months) to resolve, disappear under treatment. Bob Fenner>

Koi w/ scrape hi, About a week ago I bought a new Koi. Now I see what seems to be a scrape. That's fine enough but I don't know if it is infected. It seems to have a tannish appearance around the scrape. Also has a little thing hanging off, possibly skin? <Does the "thing" look like two little strings arranged at an angle hanging off the fish?> It doesn't look like a fungus. My water quality is: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, pH 7.6, Nitrate 5, salt .23 With .23 salt in the water I tend to believe that an infection is unlikely, but the tan appearance seems odd, I think. My question is do you think that it is infected and also should I raise the salt level to .3 to treat for a bacteria or something that could be in there. Thanks for your help now and in the past. this site has been a great help. ed <I would definitely raise the salt content... and keep a very sharp eye on the affected specimen. Do please read over the piece on Furunculosis: http://wetwebmedia.com/holedispnd.htm I do hope this sore is just the result of a physical trauma... perhaps evidence of an Fish Louse (Lernaea sp., a copepod parasite of fishes)... and not signs of an acute or chronic Ana aki problem... I would inspect the other fish in the pond, and if only the one is marked, place it in a separate system. Bob Fenner>

Red Cap Oranda w/ SBD Dr. Mr. Fenner- I have a red cap Oranda in my outdoor pond and for the last two weeks he's been floating at the surface. Through my internet investigations, I suspect swim bladder disease. I've tried feeding him frozen peas as I had seen suggested on several websites, but unfortunately he spits them back out almost immediately. <...> I am contemplating brining him indoors into a controlled environment to try to help him. <A good idea... if the temperature of the respective waters is not too different (like five degrees F.> Will this stress him unduly? What should I do about the abrupt temperature change? (Water temp outdoors 55º) What types of medicated foods will best help him with this problem? And finally, since he rests at the surface completely upside down, is his quality of life good? Would euthanasia be a better alternative? <Look to the medicated foods for bacteria made by Tetra... and I Sera here... if you can find them... otherwise, please look over the piece on "Hole in the Side Disease" posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site re how to make your own... and the possibility of injecting this specimen if need be.> <Bob Fenner>

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