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FAQs on Environmental Pondfish Disease 2

Related Articles: Environmental Pond Disease, Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHPHole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis Goldfish Disease,

Related FAQs: Pond Environmental Disease 1, Pond Environmental Disease 3, & FAQs on Pond Environmental Disease: Prevention, Diagnosis, Causes: Cumulative Stress, Predation, Low/no Oxygen, Poisoning (Algicides, Metals, Pesticides...), Metabolite Accumulation, Physical Trauma/Damage, Electrical, Troubleshooting/Fixing, & Pond Fish Disease Pondfish Disease 2, Pondfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease,

dead Koi 06/26/08 <... Please... fix your English if writing us> the weirdest thing happened , this morning I came out to check out my Koi pond, they were all dead including a goby and a goldfish I have, yet none of the suckerfish are dead. they had no lesions ,cuts, nothing I checked the ph nitrite and nitrate they were perfect. the Koi themselves were sort of inflated and mushy inside it looked like there innards were gushy and one of females um hole? was open and red and it looked cut. one of the males looked like it had a long round balloon coming out of his belly. yesterday they seemed fine nothing really bad to mention. the water seemed clouding and white , and it looked like oil had been spilled in the water and looked like white little pieces of junk was in the pond. can you help me out??? ? ????????????????????? it's so weird, and it was so sudden please help me!! <... Something happened... tis the season... likely either an oxygen depression during the night, and/or a die-off of microbes/algae... need to read and heed re dynamic equilibrium in pond maint., redundancy in filtration, circulation, volume... where? On WWM. Bob Fenner>  

Sarasa comet gasping for breath? Pond Troubles - Water Quality 06/08/2008 Hi Crew, <Hello, Amanda! Sabrina with you today.> I hope that somebody is able to help. I have just recently set up a new pond with just over 3000 litres and a waterfall. <Approximately 800 US gallons, for metrics challenged folks> I am using a Hozelock Cyprio Bioforce UVLC 8000ltr filter and an Oase Aquamax 3500 pump. The pond had been up and running for about 3 weeks with plants etc. before I did a first water check to be able to introduce some fish. The levels were pH 8.5 and nitrite .1. <Wait, wait! What about that all-important, deadly toxic compound, Ammonia? Please, this is urgent.... Do be testing for Ammonia and Nitrate in addition to pH and Nitrite. Ammonia and Nitrite in ANY concentration should be treated as toxic or deadly. pH should remain stable - goldfish are very tolerant animals - though closer to 7.0 would be nice, stability is far more important than precision. I would prefer not to take goldfish above 8.0 if possible, but again, stability is far, far more important here. Nitrate you'll want to aim to keep as low as possible, probably with plants and a low stocking density as water changes in a pond aren't necessarily easy or fast.> I gave these levels to the aquatic centre and they assured me that it would be fine to introduce some fish. <.... Did they not question the presence of Ammonia?? I would be VERY cautious here.... Dead fish mean you'll buy more fish. I am not saying your local shop is unscrupulous, just that some very few are. Further, even some great shopkeepers can forget new hobbyists' lack of knowledge or experience and recommend courses of action that they, in their experience, might be able to handle but which a new hobbyist maybe just doesn't have the experience or knowledge to deal with.> I bought just 6 fish to start....2 Sarasa, 2 canary yellow goldish and 2 red comets. Everything seemed to be going fine. 10 days later I decided to introduce some more fish...I did another water check and levels were much the same...nitrite slightly higher (between .1 and .25), <Dangerous, here.... this *needs* to be zero to be considered "safe".... Please do NOT add any more life to this system until this "cycling" is under control. There is much information on WetWebMedia regarding establishing the "cycle" that will keep your livestock alive and well. Please start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm .> ...think I may have overfed the first fish slightly. so I reduced their feed to help lower the level. I also checked nitrate which was 10mg/l. <This is a safe/appropriate level.> I gave the levels to the same centre as before, who again said everything was okay to introduce some more fish. <Whaaaaaat?? All that fish "want" in life is a proper environment, a bit of food, and maybe some pals to spawn with. Focus on the proper environment, and you'll do very well. Again, in short: Ammonia and Nitrite must be ZERO, Nitrate less than 20ppm (ideally - a little higher may not be too bad, but can lead to trouble), pH *stable*, and ideally closer to 7-ish (once more, stability is key - if 8.0 is easy to maintain, then 8.0 it is.) Please know that Ammonia or Nitrite in any concentration can lead to real issues. Further, Ammonia is "more toxic" at higher pH, so this is even more important in your case.> This time (yesterday) I purchased 7 fish...(2 Sarasa, 3 golden tench and 2 shubunkin) all fish around 2-3 inches long. <Do please be concerned.... and begin changing water right now, if you can.... and please, no more fish until this environment is much, much more stable.> The smallest Sarasa almost since being introduced (after a couple of hours) to the pond, has been at the surface 'gasping' for breath, he is also not moving around that much....at times it almost appears that he is in a trance and just 'floats' with his the tip of his head out of the water. <Trouble.... Symptoms of a problem (Ammonia or Nitrite) in the environment.... Do not add medications for this; rather, *change some water*. Good water quality is of the utmost importance here. Be sure to dechlorinate new water. Keep that waterfall running for good oxygenation.> I have read some of the FAQ on suffocation and can only assume that it might be parasites as none of the other causes seem to be relevant. <This is more likely environmental than pathogenic. I would work first on correcting the environment. Even if there IS a parasitic complaint as well, the environment must first be safe and stable before you tackle treating a pathogen.> I just wondered if this might be correct because I don't want to lose the fish, however, I do not wish to give unnecessary medication or introduce anything to the pond that might affect the other fish. <Gooooood job, and kudos to you!!> If it is parasites, is there anything that I can clearly look out for to help diagnosis? <Certainly! Observe the animal as closely as possible. Fix the environment before taking any other actions (e.g., do some water changes). Look at the fish's skin; look for any "obvious" parasites, as well as other abnormalities.... Streaks or inflammation in the fins and body may well be attributable to simple poor water quality (again, presence of Ammonia and/or Nitrite). Trust your gut instinct, do not add medications or other chemicals to the water until/unless you *know* you have a real pathogen to battle. You might do well to remove the little Sarasa and quarantine him separately from the others, in case there is something communicable present. I still rather suspect that this is just environmental.> Also, if this is the case, would it be infectious to my other fish as currently they all appear to be fine. (The Sarasa both came from the same tank at the aquatic centre). <Coming from the same tank doesn't necessarily mean that he can't have something the others don't, but really.... chances are that this one little Sarasa is, for whatever reason, more susceptible to poor water quality than the others. You mention that he's small; young fish often show problems sooner than older fish. Test your water, get Ammonia and Nitrite to zero with water changes, and you'll be off to a great start.> Sorry to be so long-winded, but I wanted to give as much background and information as possible so that you might be able to help. <Don't apologize for this, please! You did very well to provide the information that you have. Thank you for being detailed.> Thanks in advance, Kind regards, Amanda <Best regards to you and your fishy pals! -Sabrina C. Fullhart>

Re: Sarasa comet gasping for breath? Pond Troubles - Water Quality II - 06/09/2008 Hi Sabrina <Hi, Amanda!> Thank you so much for your information and help. <Glad to be of service.> I have checked on him first thing this morning and he is swimming around a little more, however, I will begin to implement all of your advice today <Excellent!> and do some more research, <Ahh, WONDERFUL. That's the best thing you can possibly do.> and let you know. Thanks again. <Any time.> Kind regards, Amanda <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> Re: Sarasa comet gasping for breath? Pond Troubles - Water Quality III - 06/09/2008 Hi again Sabrina <Hi again, Amanda!> Just a quick update and therefore a couple more questions...sorry! <Hah! No apologies, here. I mean, heck, you're capitalizing your sentences, using proper grammar/spelling, and researching about your livestock - what more could anyone possibly ask?? You're the ideal question-asker, as far as I can tell.> I tested the water this morning and the nitrite was .1 and ammonia was 0. Could it be this is just my new pond settling down? <Yes, this is *exactly* what is going on. If the little fellah is still having trouble, you might still try a water change or two over the next day or two. A cycling system - pond or otherwise - is, in my opinion, no place for a fish. Keep Ammonia at zero, and get the Nitrite down if you can. You'll probably see Nitrate going up a bit soon, which is expected and okay.> The Sarasa is moving more today so far...although does still appear to be coming to the surface far more than the others. I have been keeping an eye on him (as much as is possible in a pond), to see if I can see any parasites on him...nothing seen so far. <Good.> I have also looked into a live bacteria additive for new ponds and wondered if this might help...one that is safe to use with fish. <Quite possibly.> However, my concern with this is that it would push all levels up first as the bacteria is introduced before it began to actually stabilise the environment more...is this right? <Well.... In some cases, you would be right, and in others, actually, it's the opposite. Some products just speed up or induce the growth of new bacteria, by providing "stuff" for them to consume... some of these products will result in a faster increase in Ammonia and Nitrite. However, the very, very few "real" products (such as Marineland's Bio Spira, when that used to be available) actually contain the real bacteria that oxidize Ammonia and Nitrite, so you would see a pretty fast decrease in Ammonia and Nitrite.> I obviously don't want to do anything that might harm the fish. <Obviously, indeed - you are doing an excellent job thus far. Your fish would thank you if they knew how dedicated you are!> Thanks very much, and also many thanks for your very swift response previously. <You are very welcome.> Kind regards, Amanda <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

PLEASE HELP!!! Pond... fish... dis. Reading  5/1/08 I have a medium-sized outdoor pond containing 4 black moors, 1 fish caught in a river, 3 Shubunkins and 6 goldfish. Recently my pond was infested with plants <? You mean algae?> and the fish had an oxygen deficiency. I took out most of the plants and found that some had Finrot. <The fishes...> I treated them <With?> and later saw that on some of my other goldfish there is what appears like red streaks, kind of like veins on them mostly on their heads and near their gills (some of them are only breathing with one gill, the other seems to be shut). They aren't feeding properly and have become in active mostly staying near the plants and never venturing into clearer water like they use to. I have done water changes and cleaned the pond <How?> but the fish don't seem to be getting better. My water also keeps going a murky greenish brown but is still relatively clear, algae is every where but im not sure this would have anything to do with this. please help me! Thanks Michelle in Melbourne, Australia <Mmm, a few issues here... Likely your water quality is "out of whack"... and this, along with the "treatment", pond cleaning... are stressing these fish... resulting in the blood-streaking. You don't proffer data on the set up, maintenance, water quality... But, there is likely time to save all here. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm The areas on pond design, maintenance, water quality... small, frequent water changes are all I'd proscribe here. Bob Fenner>  

Sick pond Goldfish. Koi ... no useful data or reading 04/22/08 I hope you can help because we have already lost 1 fish to what ever this is. Charlie is 9 inches long and resides in our 10 x14' pond with 7 other fish in approximately 1600 gallons of water. He has started to swim in spirals recently and lies bent over rocks or floating at the top of the water. He also has much more vibrant color on the side of his body that is facing down. His appetite is pretty good but he grows increasingly lethargic. I filled or 10 gallon aquarium with water from the pond & placed an aerator in the tank. He is now inside where we can watch him closer till I know if this could be contagious. I can't find anything like this on the internet. Hope you can figure this out. <Something amiss here... with the environment itself... Need data on the history of water quality, including how much the temperature vacillates here, DO... I suspect it's the largest animals that have died, been mal-affected first... Have you read through the Pond Fish Disease FAQs on WWM? Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Read re others experience to give you an idea of what sorts of info. we're looking for/need to help you. Bob Fenner>

Sick pond Koi possible poisoning ???   11/11/07 I have a 12-inch Koi thats not doing well( I dont think hes going to make it). He has been outside in a pond for the last year. A few weeks ago something nasty got into the pond and killed off all the fish except him. <Yikes...> The water smelled like bug spray and was all foamy. <I can tell you some incidents of such "over-spray" here in S. Cal. Does happen> I have no idea what it was. We drained the pond, cleaned it, refilled it, let the water mature and put the Koi back in the pond along with two new three inch Koi. <Mmm, I do hope some of the biological filter capacity was preserved...> Yesterday my dad said the big Koi was hanging around the top. I checked but he was hiding in his flowerpot. When I went to feed them today he was on the top and didnt run when I picked him up. <Not good> All of his fins are bloodshot (hemorrhaging) and very stiff almost rigid. He cant seem to stay upright very well and is gasping. <Good description, bad signs> His slime coat seams not to be almost nonexistent except a small amount around his head. His anus has some hemorrhaging around it as well as some small 1-3 cm patches of hemorrhaging in other various places on his body. He follows me with his eyes so I know he can see me but he just isnt able to react. I have no idea what could have caused an otherwise healthy fish to suddenly turn south like this practically overnight. Unless whatever got into the pond poisoned him as well & hes just taking longer to react to it because of being so much larger than his other pond mates were. <This is likely the case> The two new Koi are doing fine. No signs of whatever is affecting the larger Koi. Any ideas on what could have caused this or if theres anything I can do for the sick Koi?...........(ex-sick Koi I have just been informed that it is dead) <Nothing other than what you have done my young friend. Bob Fenner>

Possible sick Koi and gold fish 09/19/07 Crew at Wet Web Media, <Hail!> I have a fresh water tank (pond) that is rectangular in shape and built into my deck outside. I have had this pond in my deck for over 11 years. Outside of having to rebuild it 3 years ago because of termites in the wood frame I have had no problems with it at all. I use a biological filter that consists of a bucket with lava rock with water that circulates at 300 gallons per hour. I have water lilies, originating plants and a fountain. <OK.> The total volume of the pond is around 800 gallons. I have 4 Koi and about 12 gold fish in the pond. <All sounds fine.> There is 1 Koi and 3 of the gold fish that exhibit a peculiar curvature to their spine (my main concern). None of the fish swim around like they used to. They mostly stay on the bottom and only come up to feed and are not friendly at all (they used to feed out of my hand). <When a bunch of fish all at the same time show skeletal deformities, and they're not congenital defects, then you have to look at water quality and diet.> I have tested my water and the following are the readings that I'm getting. PH between 7.4 and 7.8 <OK.> Ammonia is less than 0.5 <Unacceptable. Must be zero; there's no "Safe" level of ammonia. It's either zero or dangerous, there's nothing in between.> Nitrate (No3) is between 20-40mg/L <OK.> Nitrite (No2) is >2.0 <3.0 <Dangerously high.> Total Hardness (GH) is around 150 <A bit on the low side for goldfish, but acceptable.> Total Chlorine ppm is < .05 <Again, should really be zero. Are you using dechlorinator when you change the water?> Total Alkalinity (KH) is >120 <Acceptable; with goldfish and Koi, the basic rule is "the harder the water, the better".> I realize that the pH, Nitrite, and hardness are high. However never having a problem before I do not know how to safely bring all the readings down to a ideal level. <The critical issues are the ammonia and nitrite, and to a lesser degree the chlorine. Using dechlorinator and adding something like a fountain should drive off/remove the chlorine quite well, so this is an easy fix. The ammonia and nitrite levels together indicate a pond that is either overfed or underfiltered (or both).> The only thing out of the ordinary is that a snapping turtle found its way into the pond somehow (it was removed immediately upon discovery with no visible harm done to any fish). <Irrelevant. Wildlife moves in and out of ponds whatever you do. Admittedly, big turtles will eat the fish, but that's not the problem here!> Any help in correcting my water to bring it to good readings and an idea of what is going on with my fish and how to help them would greatly be appreciated. <Review filtration. Clearly, your pond doesn't have enough. If the filter is new, then maturation may be an issue, but if the tank is established, then check that the pump is working and that the filter medium is not hopelessly clogged up. If everything seems normal, then you may need to install additional filtration, or else thin out the livestock. Reflect on how much food you're adding, and especially what kinds: both Koi and goldfish are largely herbivorous, and at least 4 meals out of 7 can be plant material. Plant material includes kitchen greens, pondweed, algae-based foods (like Sushi Nori) and so on. The point here is that not only is this healthier for the fish, but also plant material contains less protein while retaining the energy and vitamins the fish need. So less polluting.> Thank you in advance. Sam <Hope this helps, Neale>

Re: Possible sick Koi and gold fish  7/21/07 Neale Thanks for the input. I am currently feeding the boys and girls "Tetra Pond" pond sticks and they usually get fed once in the afternoon when I get home from work. Do you think it is advisable to mix some greens with the pond sticks? I will watch and only feed them what they will eat in five minutes. I will also add another pump, filter, and fountain to the pond and watch the chlorine level to make sure it goes down. Now that I think about it the pump is a new one that doesn't have as much flow as the previous one had I hope that this will take care of the ammonia and nitrite problems. I forgot one of the first things that I was told about ponds, "The more flow and filtration the happier the fish". With great appreciation. I have searched for answers at other places on the Web and you are the first and only one to respond. You guys are great. Sam <Hello Sam. Happy to help! Yes, mix greens with the pond sticks. Do one on one day, and the other the next if you like. If you dump some cheap pond plants (like Elodea) into the pond, you can skip feeding them for a few days entirely, and the fish will eat those instead. This is especially valuable in the cooler seasons, where pond fish are easily overfed (to their detriment). Live plants are an excellent food source at these times. It sounds as if the pond pump might be one factor at work here, so yes, go ahead and check that. Water flow *is* the key in small ponds especially. Good luck, Neale>

Koi problem, pred.    7/15/07 Hello- I have a pond in Seattle that is several years old. My biggest, oldest fish (about 16 y.o and maybe 20" long is suddenly missing some scales. I noticed just two at first and now some more. Otherwise he is acting fine and eating normally. All the other fish are acting normal and none of them appear to have missing scales. BTW, I use a scarecrow water sprayer to deter blue heron and raccoons with good success. (After losing fish to both.) Any insight you have would greatly appreciated. T. Sullivan <I too greatly suspect some sort of predator... the potential list is long... perhaps a mammal here ('coon, large cat...) . Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdpestspreds.htm and the Related FAQs file linked above. Bob Fenner>

White blotches on Koi, env. dis.  06/11/07 Hi WWM crew, Thanks for your help in the past. <Welcome> I have a 2,000 gallon Koi pond, established 10 years ago. It's been remarkably problem-free over its life, and a few of my Koi are originals purchased in 1997. <Nice> It has 15 or 16 fish, all Koi except three comets, ranging in size from 5 to about 15 inches. It is filtered with a big Savio trash can-sized filter that feeds a 15 inch waterfall, a 35-gallon bacteriological filter that feeds another small waterfall, and a 6 foot long algae mat. I also have a third circulating pump feeding a 6 inch waterfall, with no filtration mechanisms attached. <Good... and am hoping that all these pumps are on separate electrical circuits...> It is under trees, so the water is mostly shaded, some dappled sunlight. The water is clear but not as clean as it used to be, and has a brownish tinge, probably tannic acid. <Ah, a clue...> With three waterfalls evaporation is rapid, so once a week it gets a generous top off/water change, and a few times a season I remove and change a few hundred gallons. <Better by far to make sure you are removing water regularly... to prevent a sort of "Dead Sea" effect, the accumulation of solids (left behind with water evaporation)... replacing said removed water with new> I noticed that a few of the fish, but one in particular, has white splotches. On the fish most infected there are three, each about the size of a quarter. They are pretty pronounced. On a few other fish there are smaller, less obvious ones. All fish are acting and eating normally. <Mmm... likely environmental in origin> A visit to the water gardening section of my local nursery led to the recommendation of using a treatment with Clout <No!> (filtration stopped during this time) I did this but it had no effect, although in fairness I probably turned the filter back on too soon, as the blue disappeared within an hour or so of turning the filters back on. Any suggestions? Thanks Jeff <Relatively large serial water changes... along with testing... I suspect you have very high TDS, nitrates... And do look into adding a UV or Ozonizer to this system... cheaper to run than one of the pumps... and much improvement in water quality, livestock health. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Jeff Zegas

Fishy <I'll say!>... Over bio-loaded pond... stop-gap measures   4/19/07 Dear Bob & crew <Big D> Last night, for no apparent reason, my white tip reef shark bit the fluke of my bottlenose dolphin I bet you wish you had a nickel from every time you've heard THAT, right? (ahem - just kidding) <Heeeee!> Finally, my son's marine aquarium is stable, thanks in great part to your wonderful site and expert advice. Things are nice and quiet. Yep.  You guessed it. Too quiet. Nature abhors me having a nice, relaxing day. <And a vacuum!> So a woman I know called and told me she just bought a house with a Koi pond and asked if I could come take a look.   So I get there and it's a nice house and a nice pond.   There are six 22+ inch Koi and two 8 inch Koi in a 650 gallon pond with a 800 GPH submersible pump emptying into a 30 gallon filter. <Yikes... too much life, too little water, filter...>   OK, it was a nice pond when there were 8 fingerlings in it.   So I whip out my test kit and get exactly what I expected:  1.0+ Ammonia, 5.0 Nitrite & 8.1 PH.    So I ask her:  Are you sure they're not dead and it's just the current blowing them around? <Good one> Well, no I didn't ask exactly that ...  but now I'm under more stress than the Koi. Changing close to 650 gallons of water over 36 hours improved things dramatically, but I swear, even as I'm doing this ... a couple of the Koi would nose to me, head almost out of water and then turn and shoot poop out as if to say "we've evolved, we LIKE ammonia!" <Doubtful> Anyway ... a bigger pond and less fish is the answer and we're working the logistics on that ... but in the near term, what would you think about 4 litres each of Purigen and Phos-Guard in the filter as an artificial assistant while I dig the other hole, pour the other cement and beg the homeowner for the funds to do all this? <This and more or less constant water changing, very limited feeding... Bob Fenner> Koi problems...trouble breathing  03/25/07 We lost one 10 inch Koi last week. For approx: 2 weeks it was breathing heavy, before it died. Now the others are showing the same symptom, and they are 2 ft+. I am Building A pond outside. These have never been outdoors. They are in A 300 gal Rubbermaid tub. I change water regularly once A week 40%. I heat to 87 Fahrenheit and store the water I use to change with. I don't want to lose these fish, they have been with us for a long time. Can you suggest something to help? <What equipment are you using to aerate the water. You are running this set-up quite warm...a little too warm in fact.  The higher the temperature of the water, the lower the dissolved oxygen in the water is...tis the reason why you take a cold water/temperate animal like a leopard shark and put it in a tropical tank it does not live very long. (Marine example I know, but the concept is the same). You will either have to use serious aeration equipment or lower the temperature significantly, refer to WWM re: Koi fish for specifics.  And are you testing the water chemistry?> Please. Thank you. Sincerely; Fred Elliott <Adam Jackson.> Sick Koi?  03/09/07 Hi, <Bonita> We have had our Koi pond for just over one year. When the ice thawed about 2 weeks ago, it started getting full of stringy moss.   <Seasonal... to be expected... and a note to all... I would NOT fool with a pond this early out of the "cold season"> The Koi have been kind of dormant (not moving around much) which seems to be the case whenever the water starts getting colder (going into winter). <Yes> Anyway, one of the Koi was particularly dormant and seemed to have moss growing on it. <!> Now the rest of the Koi are moving around a lot, but this one has a big patch of green on its back and a small patch over each eye.  It looks just like the moss (same color and looks stringy).  My husband picked the Koi up and rubbed his thumb across the green patch on its back.  It didn't come off at all and he said it felt really slimy. <Mmm... healthy Koi, pond fish... are slimy... not "dry"... but not "too" slimy either> Can you tell me what this is and if there is anything we can do about it? <Likely nothing... really. I would leave this fish be... and if you do "anything" with the pond... do it s l o w l y> I have been trying to find information, but everything I read about fungus and other things seem to be white or red in color.  Also, I have read something about putting salt in the pond and someone told me I could treat the fish with salt??? <I would not at this time of year...> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Bonnie & Rusty Wilson   <You should read... here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm scroll down to the tray on Pond Maintenance... the articles by myself... and the related/linked FAQs files. Don't fool with the pond or livestock... until it's much warmer, consistently. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Koi?  3/9/07 Hi, <Bonita> Thanks for the speedy reply.  We ended up taking the one fish out of the pond <... a mistake> and put it in a 10 gallon tank filled with water from the pond and bought PIMAFIX <...> from the local pet store (they recommended it and said that the fish sounded like it had a fungus).  We removed him because he ended up in the skimmer.  He is about 10 1/2 inches long and unless sick I don't think the current would push him in there skimmer? <What else has been going on with this pond? Something is awry here> We put a bubbler in the tank so he would get air and added a tsp. of the PIMAFIX as the directions said to do.  The green on him still looks like the moss to me and is stringy, but looks like it might be loosening up some.  Both of his/her eyes are covered with it and a big patch on his/her back.  Do you think we should put him back in the pond, and if so, how soon. <I think this fish will perish at any length at this point from whatever beset it, and consequent handling... Is your pond large enough, deep enough, positioned near structure to be stable "enough"... Perhaps this one fish was just not strong enough...> I read somewhere that if you remove a fish for treatment the stress of a small tank could be really bad for it <You are correct> and you should put it back in he pond after treatment, <...> but I'm not sure how long to keep him out. Again, thanks for any help/advice. <Please... read where you were referred to... There is too much to relate, ask back and forth... to educate you in this manner. What you need to know is posted. Bob Fenner>

1 Goldfish with white eyes and another with a wound, ponds...   03/09/07 I've looked through your FAQ's and couldn't see anything like my problem. I recently moved my pond goldfish into a larger pond. <With all new water? Better to wait on such moves till the overall weather is better... water temp. consistently 55 F. or warmer> One of them has developed white lumps over its eyes. It looks fine apart from these and is swimming around as usual (slow due to time of year but as much as expected). The stress of the move caused a couple of last years fry to die and so the pond was treated with Medifin and everything seems okay now except for this ones eyes. <Okay... there are other fishes, livestock not similarly afflicted> The other problem is a wound on my largest fish. A damn cat or something managed to get him out of the water. God knows how - he needs two hands to hold him. I found him on the ground beside my pond (which is partly built up above ground level). I put him back in the water and he is swimming around and everything but he does have a wound on the top of his body. This was all about a week ago. The wound is about the size of a UK penny. It doesn't seem to be causing him any trouble but it looks sort of yellowy so I wanted to know if there is anything I can do to aid healing. Appreciate all and any help with either query. Thanks. VivienneO.. <There are some "general tonic" sorts of approaches... but once again, with the water temperature being low, the fishes' immune systems being concomitantly depressed, I would not do much to further impugn them... Perhaps a bit of "aquarium salt" (sold at your stockist (UK term) as such)... a level teaspoon per twenty gallons or so... should do it. Goldfish are actually quite tough, and yours should recover, including the one with the marks above the eyes (likely due to a trauma in the net, swimming into the side...) with just time going by and your good maintenance. Bob Fenner>

Re: 1 pond Goldfish with white eyes and another with a wound   3/11/07 thanks for your advice. I didn't put all new water in, <Good> it was a mixture of the old pond's water, rainwater and tap water. I'll bear in mind not moving them when its cold. I thought it would be okay as it's been warmer (all the plants are budding) and they were moving around a bit more. If I have to move them again I'll wait until they start eating. <A very good idea> There hasn't been any improvement in the eyes but the others wound looks smaller, so hopefully everything will clear up. I'll get some aquarium salt and dose if it looks necessary. Thanks again. VivienneO.. <Such wounds take quite a while to repair... months usually. BobF>

Re: 1 Goldfish with white eyes and another with a wound  - 03/12/07 ><Such wounds take quite a while to repair... months usually. BobF> Arh, I didn't realize that! Is it safe to assume that as he is still alive after nearly three weeks, and there is no sign of ulcers or anything, that he will survive his ordeal? <Mmm, is a good indication> I really don't want to lose him now that I can finally see him - he is very dark and i couldn't see him at all in the old pond. I was quite shocked by how big he'd got! Anyway, thanks for answering all my questions and queries, its helped me to stop stressing about it!! VivienneO.. <Have you read on WWM? Much ancillary information to relate, understand... water changes, keeping the system covered... Read. BobF>

Checking up of <pond>fish illness   1/16/07 I was wondering if you received this 2 weeks ago. I know you have a fast response time and I heard anything back. Thanks <Thank you for re-sending this... I had not seen it> I recently bought a house which had a 300 gallon pond which was about 5 years old. It uses 2 pumps one feed the UV Pond Mate filter and the other feeds a small water fall.  Originally it had 5 10goldfish / Koi. Since then I have added 3 more 3 Koi, and a water lily. The water quality was very bad and I noticed that one fish had a large blister looking growth (about the size of a dime and ¼ tall) and another had 3 small white dots 2 near the head and one near the tail. <Environmental...> I drained, cleaned and refilled and treated the pond with API Melafix. <...> Everything was looking good > the water change out> and the fish started to eat and everything seemed good until I noticed that the blister was growing. After 3 weeks it fell off the fish and it died. I drained and refilled the pond, and added the 3 new Koi. <Mmm, this volume and filter cannot really accommodate more fish life> The last 3 months everything was fine but I notice that the other fishs white dots were starting to rise more, stomach is large like she has eggs and another fish has a single dot near the head. I treated the pond with API Pimafix and Melafix <Please... stop... Have you checked the water quality... with test kits...?> for a week and added sea salt. The fish with the eggs has been large for two weeks now and another fish is constantly chasing her. How long does it take for the mating ritual to end and the eggs to be released? As far as I can tell the pond has not produced any fry. As a separate note I changed the type of food that I was feeding them last week and none of the fist are eating like they were. Its the same type of food just a different company. I have search the internet and books and have not found anything that looks or sound to be the same. Any ideas? -Steven Schulz- <Have just skipped down... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm The sections on filtration, Environmental disease... and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Checking up of fish illness    1/17/06 Thank you for the fast response. Yes the water quality is: pH 7.6, Ammonia and Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 5ppm. I have read over the sections you suggested but didn't find anything to help my problem. Thanks again. <Well, the water quality reads as good... perhaps something else causing trouble water quality wise though... I would do some very slow water changes... dripping in new water... over the falls... allowing this to make up for vented water... Bob Fenner> Injured Koi, moving/jumping and a large bird predator   1/9/07 I just recently became a Koi pond keeper. My husband and I built our own pond last spring. It was at deck level close to pathway to our house and approx. 3000 gallons. We knew nothing about Koi keeping and asked as many questions as possible. We stocked our pond with approx 12 fish, a mixture of goldfish and Koi. We also added about a dozen snails. We used the aquatic plants recommended by the shop where we purchased everything else. I had no idea how much I would come to enjoy this pond. In a short period of time the fish were eating out of my hand. I absolutely loved it and enjoyed taking care of them. By the end of summer we noticed our population growing with tiny fish no more than an inch in size with beautiful vibrant colors. The fish seemed to really thrive an the only thing I ever really battled was the algae growth as the pond was located in quite a sunny area and the trees around the pond were just starting to grow. This spring (one year later) my husband and I sold our home and moved to a waterfront property on a freshwater lake. I refused to leave my fish behind as I had grown quite attached to them. We built two small ponds at our new house and prepared to transfer the fish over. We knew the new ponds were too small for permanent living but our move was quick so we only had time to construct something to house them until we could move in, plan our landscaping and larger pond and construct it. After a long day of stress (more so on me than the fish) we had successfully moved all of them over. To our surprise we had accumulated over 60 fish ranging in size from 1 in to 10 inches. I had no idea they would reproduce so rapidly. During the move we lost only one very small little guy and even that hurt my feelings. After we built our larger pond we moved the largest fish into (6 at 10 inches in size). I checked on them frequently and found three missing the following morning. I sadly assumed a predator had gotten them until I saw something laying in the leaves below the pond. I found 2 of the three missing fish. One of them was missing his pec fins and wouldn't swim. I worked with him for over an hour as he just kept falling to the bottom and laying on his side. He finally started swimming on his own and is still living and doing well. The guess was that the fish were jumping out. I could only assume that one of my dogs had found the fish and damaged the fins explaining the missing pecs.  I moved the large fish back to the pond they seemed to enjoy and put some smaller fish in (about 10 at 5-6 inches in size) and then I covered the ponds with netting. Two days ago we had 70 degree weather and I decided to give my pond some attention. I removed the netting (it is hard to hand feed them with the netting) changed out some water, added some features for hiding places and decided not to re-cover them. My determination was... the smaller ones don't appear to try to jump. I came home today to a huge egret standing in my yard. <Yikes...> He flew away when I startled him but not before consuming what appears to be about 10 of my fish. The water was a mess. It looks like he got in. I have one fish that I found at the bottom, he appears to be breathing ( he moves his mouth) but does not swim at all. I moved him through the water trying to see what kind of injuries he has and can only find some scratches on his back and one red spot (almost like a puncture) Its been 4 hours and he is still on his side on the bottom. Is there anything I can do or should we go ahead and euthanize. <Mmm, I would not give up hope here...> I was hoping to save him but I am just not experienced enough and I am afraid of doing more harm than good. Thank u so much in advance for your advice. (and I have put the nets back on) <Do raise the netting up a good foot or two, over-draping the edge... Perhaps a support made of PVC piping and fittings... Bob Fenner> Goldfish pond problems  1/5/07 Hi, I have about 9 goldfish in an outdoor pond which is about 650 gallons.  My problem fish are 7-9 inches long and about 5 years old.    One has had problems with balance for almost 2 years.  He swims upside down and now his head is a normal size and his body is bloated and the scales are protruding from his body.  The second problem fish lies on the floor of the pond and is very thin.  I have treated the irritated side with "bio-bandage" and that has improved its appearance. <Mmm>   The third fish is really puffed up and lies at the floor.  Its scales are not really distended. <Also a clue... environmental trouble... dropsical conditions...> We have eyedropper fed Epsom salts <? Into your fish?> and anti bacteria medicated fish food to all three.  We   have tried dosing with peas but they spit them out once released.    What other things might I try? Thanks. Char Cardey <Mmm, likely fixing the environment itself... no mention of your filtration, maintenance procedures, water quality testing, foods uses... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdenvdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Large ghost <Koi>, off colour. 12/13/06 I live in the UK, I have a large doitsu <Oh! A "German scaled carp"... Doitsu is a Nihongo take on the word Deutsch... a Koi variety... one with large lateral and/or dorsal scalature... a variety developed by the way, to facilitate their cleaning for human consumption> ghost that has been off colour for some time. I have an established 2000 gallon set up that is well filtered with no water quality issues. (Nitrite/ammonia maintained zero, plenty of aeration, Ph at 7) Other than Nitrate creeping up towards 100 ppm, <Bingo... this could be the cause, alone here> but our tap water is nearly half that. <... danger... to humans... from consuming such... I would be checking into this> The fish is one of 10 Koi and is the only one displaying these symptoms. <Mmm... "happens" with some Koi... Ohgon varieties quite often...> At 24 inches and a weight of 10 pounds she has always been the largest, greediest fish and has grown an awful lot this year. <Also common of Ohgons ("sun colored fish"... one-color, warm... silver-platinum, orange... varieties> She lost interest in feeding however around about November - water temp. was still mild, holding around 12 degrees. <And... such color changes, color losses are often timed/identified with thermal changes> All other fish remained feeding (much less, of course). Even now, in December, the pond has stayed mild, but she does not want to feed. <Time to stop offering> She will eat the odd bit of brown bread if you can get it to fall near her nose, and pick out whatever she might bump into, but frequently just spits it out. She just won't eat pellets or sticks (Kasuri / tetra wheat germ). <Good products> She will follow the pack at feeding time, and I can tell she isn't blind, but she has always only had one eye. She didn't spawn this year, she remains quite bloated, firm gut, she's a broad, deep fish but is certainly much wider at egg end. Being sparsely scaled it's difficult to see if scales are raised, <Mmm, are not... this would be obvious> also having only one eye, it's difficult to see if this is bulging. It looks like it is, but not overly. She swims slightly awkwardly, flashes sometimes- very precisely just rubbing her head. She tries to squeeze herself between pipes frequently. I've even seen her try to engage the males into what looks like spawning- now- in the winter! <Mmm, not spawning behavior... likely dominance displays> She will sit near the outlet sometimes. She has now got a slight grey appearance to her scales, and head- could be extra mucus. I got her out a couple of weeks ago, checked what I could, and she looks fine. I've had her five years and you get to know your fish, I know she's not right. I'm reluctant to treat, I have added 0.3 % salt. And this week Acriflavine, <These are relatively safe remedies> mainly because I don't know what I'm treating and these products are harmless. <Oh, yes> I've ruled out simple parasites, as it's not behaviour common to these I've ever seen before. I have no 'tank' to separate this fish, certainly nothing large enough. She has always been an extremely hardy fish, tough as old boots and wanting to climb out the pond to feed, even in winter. I hope you can appreciate my concern and hope you can help. Many thanks, Julian. <Mmm... well, not much "to do" here... but give up on trying to feed this animal... hope that the swelling, bloating and other aberrant behavior "cures" itself over the winter... I would cease feeding/offering foods of all types once the water temperature is below 55F. consistently. Bob Fenner>

Re: Large ghost, 'off colour'-  well, 'sick'!.   12/15/06     Dear Bob Fenner,    <Julian>   Thank you for your response re. My large Doitsu Ghost. I can see a 'language' mis translation here as in the UK when we say 'off colour' we don't mean it literally- we mean 'sick' or 'poorly'.    <Ah, yes>   I'm unsure about the nitrate readings (near 100) as i only test for these on a 'strip'. <This really needs reducing... but I would be careful, likely ignore most all water chemistry (lest it were outright toxic) during the cold months... once feeding has ceased... below 55 F.> I use proper tests for everything else so I will purchase a proper test for the nitrate to double check (tap and pond).    <Good>   Since sending the message I did get her out to have a careful look. Her large scales aren't raised but they're 'glassy' in appearance. And her abdomen huge. She seemed fine other than this. My gut feeling is that there is an internal problem, best left alone.... do you think? <Is possible... however... what to do? It is dangerous to handle, treat Koi during cold water seasons...> I shan't get her out again, as when I put her back she lay on her side, clearly stressed, for five minutes.    <Yes>   Sometimes in my experience trying to 'interfere' can make things worse. <You are correct here... our observations concur> I agree that she might just come out of the winter fine... I just needed your re-assurance I guess. I thank you for your help, and informative web site.      Julian. <Thank you... I would wait till Spring... perhaps try an Epsom Salt bath then if the swelling has not been resorbed. Bob Fenner> Unhappy Koi  - 12/12/06 Hi guys <A and I> I tried not to have to bug you with questions, but I've been going through the forums for hours, and my eyes are going seriously fuzzy! <I prescribe Sulfa drugs... oh, wait, not for your fishes, for you... Okay, perhaps a nice Merlot> My silver Koi, whom I've had for about 3 years, is looking distinctly unhappy. He has been hiding behind a potted plant for the past 2 days and refusing to eat. When I approach him with my hand, he darts away really fast, swims right around the pond and lands right back in his hidey-hole. <... perhaps a predator...> I took him out today to have a good look at him, and I can't say that there is anything visibly wrong, but then I'm no great expert. I THOUGHT there were tiny pinprick holes on his 'forehead', but on closer inspection they seem to be too uniform to be nasties, they look more like they are part of his ...'design'? Oof, this is frustrating! <Is likely part of this fish's lateralis system...> Ok, some background. Johannesburg, South Africa. Summer rainfall. It is now pretty much mid-summer...yup, swimming pool Christmas parties! <You lucky pugs! It's so called in San Diego, I've had to put on long sleeve tee shirts!> 3 year old 500 litre concrete pond, above ground. <Oooh, this is quite small...> 4 Koi, 3 of which are the same age, I've had them for roughly 3 years,  bought them when they were about 10 cm long, and are now about 25 cm- 30 cm long. The last Koi I've had for about a year, so he's smaller. (He replaced a jumper.) <Yes, happens> 2 Shubunkins, about 15 cm long. I had a third, but he developed dropsy and died, about a year ago. 3 goldfish, roughly the same. One has what look like cancerous growths, hard bulges, <Perhaps "carp pox"...> but seems happy enough. One was bought gold, but rapidly lost his colour and is now a creamy colour. <Nothing problematical there> He has spongy orangy-pink growths on the joint between his body and his front fins. (Please excuse the ignorance of fishy anatomy terms.) I was told by a supposed Koi expert that this is common in goldfish and nothing to worry about. <Likely not> 1 fantail, about 10 cm long. He too has the spongy bits on the joint, which he developed about 1 and a half years after the goldfish. I originally had another 5 baby fantails, but they apparently came sick from the shop, as 4 of them rapidly developed swim bladder disease and died within days of purchase. The 5th lasted a couple of years, until the survivor started tormenting him and seemed to nibble his fins to shreds, and then he too, died. 1 baby hatched in the tank, looks half Koi and half goldfish! <Is a definite possibilities... do "cross"> He's about 8 cm long already, he's been growing really fast. Please note that 'he' denotes either sex, as I have NO idea how to sex fish! <Can be done... with practice, close observation, seasonal changes... see WWM re> Ok, so last week I had done a 1/3 water change, which I do fairly regularly, every few weeks when the water starts looking dirty. I try to vacuum the bottom too with the end of the syphon hose, which works quite well. I added 1 kg of salt, which I don't normally do, I usually just add chlorine remover. Today, out of panic, I did a 50% water change. I also went to the pet store and they gave me a parasite medicine, 'Parasite Clear' by Pond Medic, which contains Methylene Blue. <Very safe> The container reads that it also treats fungal infections and is effective in eradicating roundworm. <Mmm, dubious re this last claim> I added 30 ml. They also recommended that I add another 1/2 kg of salt to replace what I'd removed. (By the way, they came down on me from a dizzy height for doing a 50% water change!) <Better to limit these to no more than 25% or so> I dislike adding medicines, much as I dislike taking medicines myself! <Good> My filter is a simple sponge filter which I rinse out every 3 days or so in summer because of algae build up, and every 5 to 6 days or so in winter. <Mmm... I'd take care here... There is an inherent problem here with environmental vacillation due to the small size/volume and above-ground location of this pond... This env. stress is manifest in the viral expressions on your goldfishes...> Speaking of which, I occasionally will treat the pond with an algae killer when it gets too bad. <Not a good idea...> I do realize that my Koi are getting a bit big for that pond, and am doing my feminine bit to persuade the man to fork out the money to build a bigger pond for them. (Nag nag nag.) <You really should give these Koi away then... this system is too small for all you list, most especially the Koi> Whew! Sorry for the novel, but I really need help here, my heart is aching for the poor fish! <Translate this caring into action... on your fish charges behalf... Move the Koi, add bio-filtration...> And before you ask, no, I'm afraid I've never tested the water. <You should> (Bad bad fish Mommy!) Sigh! A friend moved into a house that had an abandoned  little plastic pond FULL of goldfish that had not even been fed for 2 years, and NO pump or anything, and they were happily breeding and living until the neighbours cat discovered them. Why can't it always be so simple! In urgent anticipation Irene <Can be... with planning, knowledge, patience... Bob Fenner>

Pond problems  9/15/06 Hi.  I came across your site on the web.  I am experiencing problems with my new Koi pond and was wondering if you might have any insight. <Might> My pond was built about 3 months ago out of bluestone with a standard liner. <Standard? Not one made for swimming pool use I hope/trust... these are toxic> It is a small pond, about 250 gallons (3.5 feet x 6.5 feet x 20 inches deep). <Not large/deep enough to be stable-enough in most settings, climates> We have a pump with a filter that circulates the water with a waterfall.  We have added plants -- water irises, parrot feather, water hyacinths and water lilies.  I have also been adding bacteria -- specifically in liquid form with a product called Clear Pond.   <Yes... sometimes "works", often not> About 3 weeks after the pond had been running, I added 2 small Koi to the pond.  One of the Koi died within 2 days.  I waited about 4 days and introduced 3 very small Comet goldfish. <Mmm, would get/use test kits for water quality. Would not keep Koi in such a small volume, definitely would not mix goldfish and Koi>   About 5 days later, 1 of the goldfish died.  Then slowly, over the course of the next week, each of the fish died.  We had the company who constructed the pond come out to test the water 3 times, and each time all of the levels (ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, ph, water hardness) were in normal range.  So, I waited a week, continued to add the bacteria and introduced 2 more small Koi.  They also died within 1 day. <Something toxic...> I called in another pond expert to get a second opinion.  He also tested the pond water and said everything looked fine. <For what was tested>   He gave me a better bacteria in granular form that he uses and told me to add a 1/4 teaspoon to the pond every day for 2 weeks and that he would then bring in a hardier Koi.  Well, 2 weeks past, he brought the medium sized, "hardier" Koi and it died with in 4 hours. I am perplexed, as are all of our pond experts.  The one commonality is that all of the fish had glazed over/white eyes when they died.   <Poisoned> In fact, the last Koi's eyes were bulging out.  None of them were gasping for air or swimming at the top, therefore I do not believe it is an oxygen issue.  And the pond water is clear. <"So is white vinegar"...> Please help!  Do you have any idea what could be wrong with my pond, or could you give us any suggestions of what to check?  Thank you! <I'd dump all the water out (leave the plants), re-fill, wait a week, look for a product called "Bio-Spira" for freshwater... add this, wait another week, and try whichever type of fish life you intend to keep again. I suspect that there is "something" that either was left in the original construction or consequently got into your system that was/is toxic. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdenvdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Suspected Koi/pond poisoning      - 09/14/06     Two weeks ago I went out to do my morning feeding and found my 20in Showa floating around on the bottom.  I netted him out and found no signs injury predator) or disease. One week later my 18in all-white female died just as suddenly - no signs, or indications of weakness/stress/injury the night before.     Sudden panic!  What would cause the two largest Koi to die overnight!? <... either a non-related coincidence of something toxic being ingested... an poisonous insect? Or related "over spray" incidents of pesticide likely> They're the biggest., the biggest need more oxygen! <You are correct here> All the plants consume more oxygen at night! <Also correct> I have an oxygen problem!  Nope - testing shows the level of dissolved oxygen to be higher then normal range.     Tests immediately after both deaths show the water quality is very good. , with no nitrite, or ammonia readings at all., and pH at 7 to 7 and a half.     (I test weekly.., and have never had a 'bad' reading.)     Two days later the next two largest Koi don't come for their morning feed. (I hand feed my Koi.)  Just sitting on the bottom and swimming around slightly.     Now it's full-fledge war!     After half a cup of coffee and starring into the depths of the pond.., the only thing I could come-up with is poisoning.., of some kind.  What would cause it!? <Mmm, yes>     What has changed? The only environmental change I made in my pond in months was the addition of three new cattail plants about three weeks ago. FERTILIZER! <Or pesticide...>     I immediately yank all three plants from the pond and performed a 95 percent water change. (Hard to do with an 8500 gallon pond!) Figuring that there must be an odd/nasty fertilizer in the new plants. (Yes, I treated for chlorine/stress coat as I refilled, back flushed the bio-filters for half an hour each.., and added beneficial bacteria.)     The 16in Showa started to show improvement and the next day came up to eat., though he is still slightly lethargic, and not eating very well, or much.     Big-Red, the 16-17 in female didn't improve and started developing white patches on her face.  I hesitantly pulled-netted her from the pond and isolated her - she was stressed enough, without being man-handled.     The white 'spots'., in two days went from slight discoloration, to large open wounds - like someone had splashed her in the face with acid!  In some places clean down to the bone.., and some skin just hanging from her face. (see pic)     I just lost her about an hour ago. (Actually I 'iced' her. She was laying on her side and slowly gasping for the past couple hours.  Couldn't watch her suffer anymore. She was one of my favorites - it was hard to do!)     ..,also this morning I found one of my 4incher's dead. Seemed just fine last night., but hard to tell with one so small. With slight raised scales around the back part of the gills and in front of the tail section. (see pic)     Since Big-Red developed open wounds/sores (no bleeding ever visible) I treated the entire pond for fungus/bacteria infections. (yes, I removed the active carbon.)     Question:  Have you ever seen this/heard of this?? <Yes... anomalous or mysterious losses... syndromes of this sort. Quite a few times over the years> I am possibly right in the fertilizer poisoning? <Maybe... could even be some sort of endogenous biological poisoning... there are algae, microbes that can present themselves with these loss profiles> Or is this something completely different., and I'm going in the wrong direction?     Background:  Pond is 8500 gallons, over four feet deep, three large natural rock waterfalls, two skimmers, two over-sized bio-filters w/UV, two small bubblers, pond pumped and filtered approx every twenty minutes.  Water is clear., and you can see the small river rock on the bottom quite clearly (no sludge/gunk.)     Population at the beginning of this: 9 large Koi 12 to 20 inches., 20 three to five inch 'babies' (Koi).., two 8in butterfly Koi and three 9in gold fish. <Mmm... I would not house goldfish and Koi together... there are some strong anecdotal "reasons"/pathogenic disease issues here> A dozen snails (two-three inches - all still alive). <Nor snails... too often vectors for fish and human parasites> About seventy percent of the surface is covered with lilies, hyacinth, and water lettuce. (No fertilizer ever used in my plants.) No ornamentation (i.e. brass/bronze figurines, etc in the pond.)     Any idea what's going on here!?     thanks in advance     Lynn - Washington state <Given the circumstances as you've related them, I would have done the same as you... At this point, I might try measuring the pond for stray (electrical) current, using a pad or two of PolyFilter in your filter flow path to see if you can detect (by color) some errant metal contamination... thoroughly wash your filter media... All in an effort to "re-establish" chemical, physical and biological dynamics in your pond... If really in doubt, and you have facilities for such, moving all fish livestock, allowing the system to be drained, cleaned entirely, run for a few weeks... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Attacked By Raccoon  - 09/07/06 The background: I have a 35 gallon barrel pond that's home to four mega store-bought "feeder" fish, who have been quite happy for months.   The barrel is stocked with a variety of plants, including Anacharis, water hyacinth, and others. I don't feed them much, a few pellets now and again. There's a filter in the barrel, water chemistry is consistently good (once I learned from your site what that means) and I keep up with water changes. The problem: Sadly, twice in the past 10 days my barrel pond has been attacked by raccoons. One fish was eaten but the others escaped. The latest attack was over the weekend while I was out of town. I put their house back in order and screwed mesh over the top to protect the fish. Ugly but effective. The remaining three fish seemed to be doing OK. The biggest seemed the worst off, swimming very slowly and staying near the bottom. Not eating. This morning I went out and he is floating at the top, barely moving his fins now and again. He does seem to be bloated, though not as ballooned out as some of the photos on the site. I can see there are several missing scales on his side, presumably injuries from trying to escape the raccoon. He will occasionally right himself for a few moments, but the rest of the time he floats at the surface.I read over your FAQs about floaty goldfish. I removed him from the  tank and placed him in a container with some Doc Wellfish aquarium   salt, at the ratio of 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons (his container is just one gallon, though). I don't have a quarantine tank. The FAQs indicted that Epsom salt was the thing to use; I happened to have the aquarium salt on hand for immediate action. Should I redo the solution using Epsom salt? I placed a cooked, shelled pea, cut into quarters in the container with him but he doesn't seem interested. Is there anything further I can do to try to help the fish to recover? He looks pretty bad, so any advice is most welcome. Thank you for your help. Linda < The raccoon may have damaged the internal vital organs and there really isn't too much you can do about that. If the organs are OK, then the stress of the raccoon attack may be the problem. Stress causes problems like internal infections. Treat for bloat with Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole, or Clout. Keep the water clean and see if he starts to eat in a few days. That will be your signal that he is getting better.-Chuck>

Old Tank Syndrome (or pond rather) NEED HELP ASAP... IMPORTED KOI NEED HELP!!!   9/6/06 Hi,     My Grandfather has a 2000 gallon pond with very  large imported Koi, comets, and channel cats. <Mmm... can be a dangerous mix...> The pond is  EXTREMELY over stocked. The reason being is that we were building  a 4000 gallon pond on his property over the weekend and he was "conditioning"  these large Koi for the new pond, but he added a few to many. In addition to  that, he did a large water change a week ago, and his bio filter seems to have  crashed. <Yikes... with no back-up mechanism?> (Our tap water has chlorine and chloramines, and he accidentally put  Clear Pond in, instead of Stress Coat, while doing the water change.) So, today  being Wednesday, the new filter for the 4000 Gallon is coming, and he has lost 5  comets already and many more fish look like they are on the way out. Yesterday,  the ammonia was 6- 8 ppm, <Yeeikes... no feeding!> so I purchased Amquel (I know it slows down the cycling process, but I did it to save their lives) and added 3 more pumps to  increase water movement. <All good moves> I tested the water an hour afterwards and the  results were: Ammonia 3.0 (so it basically halved) Nitrite:15 ppm, <Yowzah!!!> Nitrate 250  ppm, and the pH was so low it was off the charts! <Thank goodness. DO NOT adjust the pH upward... all will die... almost immediately> Also, the buffering capacity  was on the lowest level on the test kit. What should he/ I do?  I planned  on doing a 1/3 water change and adding a 150% dose of stress coat, as well as  add a concentrated shock of some powdered bacteria he adds regularly. Please  help, I don't want him to loose any more fish. Thanks, Anthony <Quickly call, run/drive to as many fish stores that have Bio-Spira in stock and add this to the filter intake... Quick! Bob Fenner>

Question about sick pond goldfish... Mmm, and Pond Circ., Filtr., Maint.    8/7/06 Hi - I could not find the answer to my question on your web site and hope you can help.    <Will try>   We have a natural outside pond. It is under shade all day and has much foliage around it but none in it other than the occasional foliage which drops in from around the pond.  The pond measures aprox. 26 ft by 14 ft by 4 ft deep.  It is always clear and is fed from the runoff of our spring box. <How nice!> The water is constant circulating and has a pipe in the middle of the pond to control overflow. <Mmm, I would "sleeve" this... put a pipe over this one, notched at the bottom... to "force" "old water" and silt from the bottom rather than venting newer water from the surface>   There is a dirt bottom and a layer of leaves.  Also at the bottom is a very small spring which additionally feeds the pond. <Great>     I am not sure how old the pond is, we have lived here 5 years and it was here when we bought the home.  The only upkeep is the removal of leaves every 2 years or so.    The current gold fish we have in the pond have been there 3 years.  We originally had five. <No reproduction? Odd...> Just this past year, around the beginning of spring we lost one fish and now, recently, a second.    The goldfish both measured about 6 to 8 inches long.   Prior to dying, they both became lethargic and kept themselves close to the edge of the pond.  Resting themselves there and not swimming around at all.   They also lost many of their scales and where the scales were, there was "fuzz".      <Perhaps... secondary... decomposition>   We are worried there may be a disease or parasite in the pond. <Mmm, not likely... or at least not likely a primary cause/source of mortality here. Much more likely is some sort of environmental complaint... most easily addressed with the added "sleeve" over your standpipe mentioned above...>   We are also concerned that the problem may be at the source spring. <Mmm, yes... and/or some bit of decomposition in the "overburden"... the unconsolidated "ooze" at the bottom... again, best addressed with the sleeve, periodic increased (overflow from rain...>   This is concerning because we use the water from this spring for our home use.  It is a separate spring box pumped to our home but the overflow from this spring feeds the pond.      <Mmm... Am sure you have particulate and chemical treatment to make this safe, potable... If it were me/mine, I would make use of a reverse osmosis device for potable uses... adding a "booster" pump for needed pressure if required...>>   Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.   Thank you.      J.M. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question about sick pond goldfish   8/8/06 Thanks Bob,   <Welcome>   Need clarification on the "sleeve".  I understand a pipe over the existing pipe but please explain the "notches" at the bottom and how it allows for water and material to be pulled from lower pond depth.      <Wish I knew how to make, post a drawing of such... imagine your existing overflow pipe... with a pipe of larger diameter placed over/around it. The new, larger pipe is "taller", and there are some holes, inverted "V" cut outs in this pipe at the bottom... such that, when the water level rises, the water from the bottom of the pond (about the cut outs) travels up, between the inner wall of the new pipe, the outer wall of the old standpipe... and to waste>   And again for clarity - the "sick fish" problem is likely environmental? <Almost assuredly> If so, then explain how the "sleeve" will "fix" this. <By improving the environment... helping vent "bad water" (nutrient laden, low/no oxygen...) from the system> Are we likely to lose the rest of our fish before the problem is resolved by the "sleeve"?      <Mmm, impossible to say. However, not worth trying to do something "overt" here... adding a large influx of water, "treatments"...>   I too was surprised that we have not had "babies" yet.   Any ideas on cause? <Many possibilities... mostly "environmental/water quality" probably... though could be predation... frogs, insect larvae (do you have Odonatans/Dragonflies?> Should we create "ambiance"? :) <Could... more diverse habitat would help... plants...>   Or,  there are babies but they get eaten.  Or there are eggs but environmentally the conditions are not right for maturity. <Some should survive>    Maybe I should stick to one problem at a time - the "sick fish" for now would be the priority.   If we lose the rest of our fish, is there a "stronger" fish we should consider for replacement? <Mmm, would need much more information... on where you're located, the local laws, the likelihood of the animals getting loose... too many issues to speculate on w/o much more input>      Again thanks for all info - and your quick reply.  JM <Bob Fenner>

Koi lying on its side   7/28/06 Hi (from South Africa) <Aloha from Hawai'i> I have a Koi (sorry don't know what kind) - I have had him in the pond (bio filter) for about 9 months.  We have another 6 - we bought the house 2 years ago and the outside pond had one Koi so the pond has been established for at least 3 years.  The Koi I refer to started flipping above the surface last Thursday - he then disappeared to the surface (about 1 meter deep) and I could not see him.  On the Saturday (2 days later) I cleaned the bio filter and on Sunday saw him lying on his side.  I thought he was dead, but he is not.  He moves his side gills occasionally and some how moves around in the pond.  Why might this be happening - <Mmm, a likely scenario is that the one fish injured itself... perhaps by splashing about, maybe brought on by a warm water spell...> the other fish are fine - and please tell me what you suggest I do.  Someone I know with Koi suggested euthanasia <Mmm, I would hold off here> but there is no way I can bash a fish on its head, so what is the kindest thing to do.  Please help I don't know where one finds a fish vet.  Thanks <There is a very good chance this fish will self-cure... w/o the addition of anything here. I would hold off, just wait, monitor water quality to assure a minimum of ammonia, nitrite... if necessary use means to speed up your biological filtration... feed sparingly in the meanwhile. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Re: Koi lying on its side   7/29/06 Thank you so much for this reply - the fish is still alive.   I read a little on swim bladder - is it possible it could be that as opposed to hurting himself? <... could have damaged this bladder> I have seen the fish move along on its side. I cannot see any problem with colour or scales or anything external.  The question/answer sections regarding swim bladder mention the addition of salt  - you mention not to add anything so should I not even add salt. <I would not do this. Too likely to upset the not-yet-established biological filtration organisms> You also advise that I speed up my filtration - how do I do that? <Adding a bacterial culture principally...> I have cut back on the feeding to 2 times per week - the weather has not been that warm recently - temperatures in the range of 7 degrees (early morning) to about 19/20 degrees.  Thanks again Regards, Yvonne <"Keep the faith"... patience my friend. Bob Fenner>

Koi are dying... env. dis., Algicide poisoning   7/17/06 Hi! I have outdoor 4300 gallon pond. My pond water really green pea soup looking, <Not good... such presence can easily cause way too varying water quality/conditions in the day/night...> and  I don't have any shade for my pond. <So...> So I keep adding algae fix every 3 days <Dangerous... toxic> and drain the pond late at night everyday <... the algae can double in population more than every hour...> it does not seem to help. 2 of my Koi died with mo sign of disease <... the Algicide and water changes...> My problem now is several of my Koi that I have for 8 years are very lethargic and the body are pinkish and the other have blood streaks on fins and tail. <"Environmental stress"...> I check most of this ph, nitrate, nitrites, ammonia and water hardiness they are all fine.  I have added chloramines remover, stress coat and MelaFix yesterday and I did not see any improvement at all. please help! Lonnie & Carmen <There is something amiss, deficient in your system make-up... insufficient filtration/nitrification surface area,  too little circulation/aeration... could be too high initial pH... Shade, the use of purposeful plants... perhaps a UV sterilizer or Ozone generation... Many roads/steps can be taken to curtail algal proliferation (and should). Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdalgcontrol.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Koi are dying ... Not reading?! What the....?  7/18/06 Thanks for the quick response.     Is there anything I can do lower the toxicity of my pond water to save my fish? I need all the advice I can get right now. I'm really upset that I did this to my fish. Lonnie & Carmen <...? Yes, read where you were referred to. Bob Fenner> Pond Goldfish behaviour, post Bird predator injury, trauma    7/13/06 Hi,   I've kept fish for many years and have a 100g pond (soon to be much much larger!). <Yay!> This year we had about 4 fish taken by the heron we was left with one distort shubunkin with a now massive scar down one side we were lucky he survived, we still had a few fish left but small ones and they hid so he was mostly on his own as he was one of the largest, we've sorted the heron problem but the shubunkin (Nemo) seems to be acting a bit odd. We replaced the fish we lost with some smaller ones which he gets on with well. One of the fish we lost to the heron the shubunkin (Nemo) was actually mating with so I don't know if this caused stress. <...? Pretty traumatic...> He's settled down a bit now but still goes into fazes, the other day he darted real fast across the pond and smacked his side on the bottom of the pond and kicked up silt!! He's also tried going up the waterfall which I know is natural, but none of the other fish are doing this. All the water is ok, I did think parasites but cant find any, there is no excessive levels in the water, so what's going on? Thanks very much Vicky <This fish should be fine, improve in its new quarters. Bob Fenner>

 Koi ... beh., actually env. dis.  7/11/06 We have a out door pond about 700 gallon water. Our first Koi of four years old is acting strange. It seemed healthy eating a lot. It is about 20 inches in length. <A big fish in actually very little water...> The past week and a half it has behaved differently. We had a long stretch of extremely hot weather. We thought perhaps it was spawning. <Likely so> The three smaller Koi was attracted <Eng...> to the large Koi. The large Koi did a lot of swimming and flipping. Then it stopped eating and started laying on it's side. There was white gooey stringy stuff coming from the fish. I don't see any more of this substance but the fish still lays on it's side on the bottom of the pond or goes by the waterfall in shallow water and lays still. It has tried to eat, but spits it out. We feed the fish with Koi Pellets. We have added Epsom salt. We are at a loss of what to do. We have never had this happen before. <I would start a very slow "drip" replacement, change-out of water here... check your filters, backwash/clean... monitor water quality... and start planning on either a larger pond, or trading out your largest Koi. Bob Fenner>

Koi Resting  - 05/29/06 My mom has a pond in our backyard and she has some goldfish and 3 Koi. One Koi, the largest one, just 2 days ago started to stop swimming, and just float along on his side. He is eating fine and is otherwise acting normal. His floating action is like he is sunbathing but, he is not particular about where he floats. He just swims, and then stops on his side and sits there for maybe 30 seconds. Our pond is about 200 gallons and no other fish seems to "sunbathe" either. What may be wrong, or what could we test for to find out what is causing the problem? Thank you very much. Marc <Mmm, considering the small size of this system and the warming season, I suspect the chemical/physical changes in this bit of water are over-stressing this one fish... Could be a sign of coming trouble. Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdspgmaint.htm concerning what you might do. Bob Fenner>

Koi... seasonal die-off? More likely poisoned by too much change, untreated source water   05/08/07 My finance and I recently moved into a rental with a pond in the backyard (We do not know the size nor the size of the pump-sorry). Last week, we noticed that the algae was getting pretty bad, so we took all the fish out (12 Koi, 1 turtle and 3 catfish), put them into tubs and scrubbed out the pond (no chemicals used). <Not even something to remove the tapwater sanitizer?>   Yesterday, the turtle and the catfish were fine (and still are), but all but 3 Koi were dead (as of this morning, only one is still living). Since we don't know the first thing about the fish (the landlord told us to feed them and that's all, saying that they take care of themselves), I want to see what can be done.   We took all the catfish out and the turtle and put them into one tub, and the Koi into another one. We don't know if it is male or female, so "he" is floating towards the top, doesn't seem to be interested in food and is pretty still but still breathing. He is dark orange in color and do not notice any external problems.   We drained out the pond again but the algae this time was worse than last week. We are not done cleaning it out yet (will be by this afternoon) and was wondering what we need to do help out our last surviving Koi. Do we keep him away from the catfish for now? And mainly could you help us try to find out what may be the problem so we can keep him?   Thank you so much! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm The trays below on Maintenance, Water... Bob Fenner>

Koi leaning to one side... handling, not, pondfish during cold seasons  03/26/07 Hi, Crew! I have a pond outside with several Koi and goldfish who remained in the pond over winter since I didn't have enough space to bring them all into an aquarium. To ensure that they didn't freeze to death, I bought a heater to make sure there was always some of the pond that wasn't frozen. Now that spring is arriving the ice is melting and I can see a few of the fish. I found one of the Koi kind of just lying on his side at the bottom of the pond - at first I thought he was dead but then he started to move around. <Best not to handle pond livestock, or walk on the pond... when there is ice present> He suddenly got a bit 'crazy', started darting around everywhere and spinning (like a crocodile's death roll). He even came to the top and I think he hit some of the remaining ice, he then eventually calmed down and went off to the bottom near the side of the pond and just lay there. Afraid that he was hurt, I caught him, put him in a bucket and brought him into my garage. He seems to perhaps have hurt himself close to his left eye, though it's hard to see, but he is most definitely having trouble swimming - he continuously seems to fall over to one side. Apart from that, he doesn't seem to have any other injuries or diseases that I can tell. It looks almost like a swimbladder problem but I've had him since last summer and he never showed any difficulties with swimming before. Plus, it seems to me that Koi and regular goldfish rarely have swimbladder issues, no? <Variable> I'm planning on keeping him inside now for another couple of months until the nice weather becomes more permanent. I was wondering if you had any idea what he has. Is it possible that by hitting his head he's some how affected his balance? Thanks for your help! Erika <I would return this animal, hope for the best, and leave the pond and its inhabitants alone till the water is much warmer. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm The tray below on Pond Maintenance, Winter... Bob Fenner>

Pond goldfish bent in half  - 05/21/2006 Hi.  I live in Florida and  have about a 300 gal. water pond.  Temp is around 75. On Friday I noticed that the water had gotten so low that the pump had quit. <...> I immediately added enough water (not too much) to get the pump started again. Then I noticed that one of my beautiful fancy tailed goldfish - older - about 3 years old- was laying in the bottom of the pond.  I picked him up thinking he was dead from lack of oxygen. He wasn't dead,  but was bent in half. I started the aerator also and put him in the upper pond by himself. He somehow got back down to the lower pond. It is now Sunday - he's still alive - still bent in half at the bottom of the pond.  He flaps his little flippers but pretty much just goes in circles. I have just got him an 11 gal hospital tank and put him in it and started him on antibiotics. What is wrong with him? <? Perhaps just low water... poor, changeable water quality... malnutrition, pathogenic disease, stray electrical current, genetic/developmental expression... many possibilities> P.S. Got a new fish which I added to the pond about 3 weeks ago.  None of the other fish (total of 6) are sick. What else can I do? <Read... on WWM and elsewhere re proper care of this system, its occupants. Bob Fenner>

Strange pond behavior (Koi flashing at dusk)  5/15/06 Greeting from LA to the WWM Crew! <Howdy from mauka of Kailua-Kona> First, let me say that since I first put in my pond I have been able to find all my answers in browsing your site.  Thank you for that.  I am afraid however that I may now be in need of a little personal help. My fish have been exhibiting a new behavior; specifically - Acting erratically, flashing, and jumping.   This begins about an hour before the sun goes down and lasts to about a half hour after dark.  This behavior is being exhibited by every single fish, and they seem to all be being led by my butterfly Ki Matsuba (like a destructive game of follow the leader). Now on to the details: 10% water changes weekly. Filter media cleaned monthly. Bio media cleaned every 4 to 5 months. Water is crystal clear. I do get scummy blue/green algae on rock surfaces and such (pond is in direct sunlight for ~3hrs/day) Salt:          .2% pH:            AM readings are consistently 7.4, PM readings are consistently 8.6 <Mmm, too much diurnal vacillation... You should look into means of limiting this... there are a few> Ammonia:  Typically 0ppm (occasionally spiking to .10ppm, and once to .25ppm - which prompted two weeks of 30% water changes). <Again... too much...> Nitrites:      0ppm Nitrates:     0ppm All fish have been inspected for visible parasites - none exist. <Not surprising... "is" environmental> I do not have a scope so I haven't been able to check for micros. Gave all fish a 3 min. dip in a 5% salt solution Fish are active. Fish eat like the little piggy's they are (feeding one pellet per inch of fish twice daily). Daytime behavior is perfectly normal. (with the occasional flash by the Matsuba). Help please!  :-) Warm regards, Stephen & Camille. <Mmm, well, the "Pinecone" fish shouldn't be the "first to scratch" for any other reason than it is likely the largest/dominant female... The activity could be mostly "seasonal" with the water warming, days getting longer... But I would have your water/system checked for errant electricity (I do hope/trust all your circuits associated with this pond are wired through GFCIs). Otherwise, I would look into means to discount the too-wide varying change in daily water chemistry... could be more involved... Use of ozone, ultraviolet sterilizer... to simpler buffering, shading... take care re the filter media... you don't want any, as in zip, zero, nada ammonia. Bob Fenner> Re: Strange pond behavior ( Koi flashing at dusk)  - 05/21/2006 Greetings Bob and thank you for the speedy response. <Welcome> This week has been a bit busy rushing around trying to return homeostasis to my little pond.  Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. <No worries> You hit the nail on the head with the comment on the Ki Matsuba, she is by far the largest of the group. <A fave breed, key fish IMO... along with a good-sized Ohgon of course!> Measured errant electricity - negative <Good> I think the problem may lie in one or both of the two other issues you raised. Diurnal Vacillation:  The only factor that I can think of is the amount of algae/plant life, thus fluctuating O2 (day) CO2 (night) content, and in turn pH variance. <Very common a source of "stress" seasonally... good to check in the AM, mid-day... and do what can be done re reducing the degree of vacillation... water changes, backwashing filters regularly, shading...> Elevated ammonia levels:  Bio filter can't keep up with load? <Likely so... best look at the type, amounts, frequency of feeding, reduce population/s and/or increase amount/surface area of filter media> Over the course of the last week I have done the following (I could use a logic check here if you don't mind): 1)  Stopped feeding fish 24hours prior to any change. <Good> 2)  Moved fish to quarantine. (no feeding occurred in q-tank as it is not filtered) <Still monitor water quality... fish still excrete ammonia irrespective of feeding> 3)  Scrubbed algae from all pond surfaces. 4)  90% water change <Yikes... not all at once I hope/trust> 5)  Installed additional bio-filter in line. 6)  Installed 3 air-stones (two to pond and one to new bio-filter) in hope that this would limit O2 fluctuation and promote good bacteria. 7)  Seeded new bio-filer with media from existing bio-filter. 8)  Ran system for 24 hours before re-introducing my fish. <Sounds good> I reintroduced my fish to the pond yesterday (minus the Matsuba - gave her to a friend with a much larger pond).  Today was the first feeding (which I will keep at apprx. 1/3 the normal amount for the next couple weeks while bacterial colonization occurs).  Every one seems happy, no flashing, very active and continually on the hunt for food. <Outstanding> Thank you for your help, and if you see any red-flags with what I have done so far, or can suggest anything I still need to do please let me know! -Stephen <Thank you for this thorough follow-up. Bob Fenner> Painted Fish - 04/29/2006 Well, this is unbelievable. I seem to have finally gotten my half barrel water garden cycled, and the pH has stabilized at 7.2 with the KH reading "ideal" on my test strip. The fish seem happy and their bluish white coating has dissipated and is almost gone. The water lily is growing, the elodea is well-nibbled, the water hyacinth has new leaves. All seems well.  Except today the next-door neighbor sanded his house all day, and it's windy, so the paint dust drifted over my way and coated the water surface. <Ohhhhh no....> I did a partial water change (about 30%), removed the hyacinth and bog plant and rinsed them well before replacing them, and scooped out as much of the remaining dust as I could. But there is still some on the surface, and it's still windy so there's paint dust in the yard and in the air. I see little specks of paint that are now attached to the elodea, the still-underwater lily pads and yes, I even see a couple of specks of paint attached to the fish.  Seriously. And it's not ich, unless the plants have ich too. The paint in question is new exterior paint, not old (lead based) paint.  How bad is this for the fish, and is there anything further I can do for them?  -Linda <In all honesty, this isn't particularly good.  I wish I had a very good solution for you, but the best I can think of is to do some significant water changes, rinse off the plants as best as you can in dechlorinated water of the same temperature, and cover the pond or bring it inside for the duration if you have room....  How frustrating, I'm so sorry!  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>  

Goldfish pH Concerns  3/13/06 <Hi Greg, Pufferpunk here> I know there are many articles on your site about pH and I have read what seems like hundreds of them but call me dense--I still can not seem to solve my issue.  I have a terracotta tank outside that holds 20 gallons and 4 small gold fish in a "pond environment" with an aerator, filter, plant and waterfall.   I flush the water in the tank regularly and it has access to fresh rain water.  I also test the tank often and it tests great with the exception of alkalinity (ability to buffer) and pH, both are unbelievably low.   <Acid rain?> I have tried using the pH up drops but they move it only slightly and then the pH falls again.  I know changes in pH do not have a good effect on the fish, so I am concerned about continuing to use the drops only so they will drop again.  Do you have any suggestions on how I can increase the pH and therefore the alkalinity so that it will stay at a proper level?  Since low pH is acidic would adding a little diluted base like baking soda work? <You are correct.  It is worse to make a fish live in fluctuating pH, than low pH, so don't add buffers.  They will just break down & the pH will go down again.  I wish you had posted what your pH is.  What is the pH of your tapwater?  You should be doing large weekly water changes on a goldfish tank (90%).  Most fish can adjust to most any pH, so as long as you are doing regular water changes, I wouldn't worry much.  Eventually, 20g won't be nearly large enough for 4 goldfish.  ~PP> Thank you for all of your help.  Greg Container Pond, Unhappy Fish?  03/07/2006 Hi Bob, <Actually, Sabrina here tonight.  We had some technical difficulties; turns out my laptop at home has a configuration that allows us to read and respond to your query.> I found your website through Google and I sincerely hope you can help!  I purchased a glazed water bowl (very large) on the weekend and have filled it with water, placed 4 goldfish and a water lily plant in a tub in the base of the bowl.  It sits outside and is about 1 metre in circumference.  I have feed the little fish each morning, however it doesn't seem like they are eating.  They certainly do not respond at all when I place the food in the water.  They float at the base of the bowl and rarely move.  I must say I am very concerned for them!!!  I bought the fish from a brilliant pet shop and requested the most hardy fish possible for outdoor ponds.  No other information or recommendations were provided.  Can you please help?   <Very much to learn, here....  First and foremost, the basics of keeping fish....  Cycling the "tank" (pond, in this case), maintaining the system, caring for a pond....  As for why the animals are listless at the bottom of the container, this could be anything as simple as a very low water temperature to something as deadly as high ammonia.  Please read the following link, and the other pages linked at the top: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm , and the applicable sections here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm .> Look forward to hearing from you.  Yours sincerely,  -Peta Donaldson <I do hope this is the beginning of an exciting learning experience for you!  Container ponds are great fun.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Container Pond, Unhappy Fish? - II - 03/07/2006 Sabrina, <Hello again.> Thanks for your reply.  However, a little too late...  the fish all died two days after I sent you the email.  I contacted the pet shop from which I purchased the fish and told them how bitterly disappointed I was. <Very sorry to hear this.> Fish abuse at its best.  Very upsetting. <Indeed.> That is definitely the first and last time I purchase fish. <Do please take some time to read, research, perhaps invest in a couple good books (or even borrow from a local library) and look around on WetWebMedia - and once you have a better understanding of the animals you wish to care for, try again.> Best regards,  -Peta <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>   Dead fish Aarrgh... ponds period  3/20/06 Hi <Hello> I inherited a pond last year when I moved house.  There are [or should I say were :-( ] 5 fish - look like goldfish but I'm not sure, they are mostly orange, orange and white and there is one black one - they range in size from about 15cm - 25cm in length.  About a week ago my son found one |(apparently) dead at the edge of the pond, but although it did move when he fished it out, it was obviously not long for this world and was barely breathing.  We put it in a large container (plastic barrel) to reduce the likelihood of any infection to the rest of the fish - though I suspected water quality to be the problem - <Me too> from what I know of aquarium fish.  I really know nothing about pond fish other than a note left me by the previous owners advising me to stop feeding and turn off pump with the onset of winter (which is about when we moved so we haven't had much to do with the fish up till now) and to turn the pump on in spring which I have now done. <You hopefully flushed the lines, filter/s if there...> I don't know what type of pump it is but it seems pretty basic and they didn't mention anything about filters - just that it may need cleaning out occasionally. We now look as though we are about to lose another fish - again one of the smaller ones - I cant see any obvious injury or illness other than the lack of life!  Not wanting to be flippant - I am really concerned.  Would appreciate any advice or request for additional information you may need.  I can send photos if you need. <You need to read first> We have loads of amorous frogs who seem very lively - would the change in pond life have any effect? Thanks in advance for your help. Also can you recommend a book on keeping pond fish - I think I need to do some swatting. Janet <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Start at the top...> P.S constipated aquarium Oranda - we have been feeding daphnia to no effect and have added salt - going to try peas - do I squash them, remove the skin or what? <Pinch the skins off> (Obviously talking about the peas not the Oranda) <Bob Fenner> Re: Dead fish Aarrgh... ponds period   3/23/06 > Thanks for help - have done some swatting <?> and know where to look if need more help.  Have done massive water change and pump clean and all now seem to have livened up.  Found a rotten frog at bottom which must have been breeding bacteria etc. badly. <Yikes> We have 2 large fish and one small left and I think that 's probably enough from what I've read.  Anyway I'll keep on swatting and hope situation won't arise again! Janet <Swatting? Thanks for the further input. Bob Fenner> Hi Swatting = intensive reading Janet <Ahh! Thank you for this. RMF>

Shubunkin problem ... pondfish env. dis.  - 3/1/2006 Hello <Good morning... or later> You have helped me in the past regarding problems with a new pond.  I am in Cornwall, UK, and I have a 100 gall garden pond, with goldfish and shubunkin.  It has been cold lately with some snow and ice.  One of the shubunkin, the smallest at about 3" long, has been seen to be floating about in the crevices along the pond edge for about a week.  If touched it has swam away, downwards.   <Likely either from the cold, or more likely from the too-quick change in temperature. Larger ponds, with more depth in particular, are more thermally stable> On Sunday I had problems with the pump not working, and whilst out checking it, noticed that this fish had sank to the bottom and appeared motionless.  I reached in and picked it out, <Best not to "fool" with biota in ponds during cold seasons> it was not dead so I returned it to the pond to see if it would swim.  It got caught in the flow of the waterfall and was tumbled downward and then lay at the bottom again, as if dead.  I have brought it in the house, and left it in a bucket of pond water, along with a little weed. <See the above> It's gills are moving, and it's fins move from time to time, but it has a frayed tail, and a small chunk of it's face appears missing and hanging off.  It just sits at the bottom of the bucket.  At the base of the tail there appears to be a small cloud of fluffy grey, not really attached and growing on the fish, but just seems to be hanging on it.  I have not disturbed it at all.  Not knowing what to do, and reluctant to stress the fish with chemical treatments I have used Kusuri-Sabbactisun and Kusuri-Parazoryne, described as herbal treatments to boost the immune system.  The fish is still alive 3 days since being removed from the pond, surely a good sign.  I wonder if you have any advice on how I can treat it.  I would like to save it if I can as it is a particularly pretty fish, very opaque and almost all over pink, with bits of orange, and specks of grey.  It is at present still in the bucket, in a cool unheated room.  Would warming it help? <Not likely at this juncture... but worth a try. I would not return this fish to the outdoors till the weather is very warm consistently. Please read here re pond design: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pddessize.htm Bob Fenner> Any suggestions much appreciated. Wendy



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