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Koi: unusually..sideways head down to the bottom and belly up…

Customer Question
I have 9 sizeable Koi...
I have 9 sizeable Koi and 2 mature (apx. 5-6 years old) fancy black goldfish in a 950 gallon pond . After a recent 6 week unusually cold spell of weather I noticed one of my fancy black goldfish sideways head down to the bottom and belly up. I netted him for close inspection, the fish had some white spots on it's nose area, a couple of which I was able to scrape off with a fingernail. I returned him about 3 weeks ago and added apx. 22 lbs. of water softener salt to the pond over a 4 day period allowing it to dissolve over an apx. 6 hour period on the top inlet of my suction filter.

The fish is still alive and likely improving, swimming around with his other fancy black pal. He still goes head down, belly up sideways on the bottom when resting. I am very concerned about my other fish being subjected to some contagious or fatal crud.

What say you?

Thanks,

Dave Westerman
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/5/2010
Pet Specialist: TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE replied 8 years ago
TROPICAL FISH  AFICIONADO
TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE
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Hi Dave.

 

Your goldfish is suffering from something called Swim Bladder Disorder (sbd).

It's not a contagious. The white spots on the nose were most probably minor fungal issues.

 

The swim bladder is responsible for a fish being able to swim upright and maintain its buoyancy. When it becomes blocked, infected or too full of air it ceases to function properly. Many times feeding too much flake food will cause swim bladder problems as the fish will intake too much air while feeding. Also many goldfish because of their anatomy are more likely to contract sbd.

 

The most recommended way to treat sbd is to feed the fish canned peas without the husk. Depending on the size of the fish, feed 2-4 peas twice a day. If the pea doesn't work try the peas with intermittent days of fasting, i.e. feed 1 day--fast 1 day. Peas have a way of rectifying swim bladder issues.

 

In addition to the pea diet you can try treating the fish with a medicine called TetraPond Pond Fish Treatment which could prove helpful in curing sbd as some cases are caused by bacteria. Make sure to follow the directions on the product label for dosage amounts.

 

TetraPond Pond Fish Treatment can be found at most pet stores where fish are sold. Click on 1st link below for a view of the product. It is also sold under the name of DesaFin And MediFin outside of the USA

 

Please keep in mind that sbd can sometimes be very difficult to cure and is one of the

most common problems pond fish face. Listed below are 2 links, the 2nd & 3rd, which will give you additional information concerning sbd.

 

Note that a major cause of sbd is a diet that is exclusively made up of flake food so if you're feeding only flakes to the fish try and vary their diet a bit.

 

Best wishes and please let me know if you have any questions.

 

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5163+5304+5408&pcatid=5408

 

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?topic=1026.0

 

http://www.fishdeals.com/fish_diseases/swim_bladder_disease/

 

 

.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

These fish have not been fed since late November, 2009 when the water temp dropped below 50 deg. F. I do not expect the temp. to top 50 deg. til mid April. My understanding is that fish should not be fed in cold water and all the rest appear to be thriving.

 

They have been fed only small pellet type color enhancing Koi food for all their lives.

 

When this fish swims he appears to swim normally. He only gets in the "position" at rest.

 

I am also unsure how to feed peas to one fish out of 11 in a 950 gallon pond. I think that if I net him and attempt to hand feed him he will be too frightened to think of eating. I will visit the suggested sites and study more.

Pet Specialist: TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE replied 8 years ago

If feeding the fish in a low water temperature is a concern than the only thing obviously is to not feed the peas.

 

An alternative would be to isolate the affected fish if possible and feed peas in the seperated quarters.

 

Also if you were to feed the peas it wouldn't hurt the other fish to consume them too.

 

.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Is this problem fatal or will it eventually go away? I have been unable to locate TetraPond Pond fish treatment. I Have a 5 gallon bucket where I can isolate the fish and feed him peas, but I am concerned he will use all the oxygen in the water in a very short time.
Pet Specialist: TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE replied 8 years ago

Sbd is usually not fatal but is unpredictable as to if it can be cured. Every case is different.

 

If you're encountering difficulty in finding the Tetrapond Treatment another medicine designed to treat bacteria can be used.

 

To remedy the problem of oxygen depletion in the bucket an airstone/air emitting device can be added to the bucket.

 

.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Will the bacteria treatment have any adverse effects on the other fish in the pond? There are five 18 year old 20 and 22" Koi in therr with the lil' ole fancy blacks and I'd rather see the black swim like a drunk than harm my whoppers.
Pet Specialist: TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE replied 8 years ago

The bacteria treatment shouldn't harm the other fish but ideally it's always better to quarantine the fish who will be treated in a seperate holding area.

 

Keep in mind the primary treatment is feeding the peas and the secondary part is adding the medicine but as you've mentioned prior you were hesitant to feed the fish then the medicine is the only alternative although it's not the full treatment.

 

.

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