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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 550
Experience:  2003 Graduate
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I was just searching questions similar to mine. One of

Customer Question

hi, I was just searching questions similar to mine. One of my Koi has been lethargic for a few days - not really feeding and today it is mostly on the bottom , right side up each time. Pinkish around the gills and in patches on the skin. The pond, anyway, carries koi pox since I left it in someone elses care for 6 weeks 3 years ago
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's quite large and probably 16 years old. Mostly the pond is healthy until last year when one fish had dropsy! n.b. we recently had a lot of work done in the garden which involved a lot of flying dust from slabs being cut to size. mostly granite and some indian sandstone also cement mixing - but the other 10 fish seem fine so far
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. Thank you for requesting me. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. some additional information will be helpful in figuring out what is wrong. Have you tested the water? If so, what numbers did you get in parts per million (ppm) for ammonia and nitrites? Check the other fish closely. Do any of them have any redness or pinkness in their fins or tails? When you said there is koi pox in the pond, were you referring to the carp pox which produces waxy white growths on the fish, or the more serious koi herpes virus, which produces red lesions on the gills and skin and often kills fish? Thank you. Anna
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Anna, thank you for your reply. I only have a nitrate testing kit and that shows very clear. I also did a 1/3 water change 10 days ago after the patio work had finished (dechlorinator of course) I have a good pump and filtration system which is currently running 24 hours due to sunlight and green water! The water is clear to the bottom of the pond. The infection in the pond 3 years ago after they'd been overfed and the filter left very dirty and clogged resulted in them having a mixture of waxy white growths and red lesions. Their skin was very fragile and bled easily but since then , although they occasionally show waxy spots and often have 'unsettled' skin they appear quite well. One multi coloured koi has had a fairly bad 'poxy' looking skin for some time but appears quite happy. I was advised to just live with it at the time but now this....any suggestions?
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. The waxy growths are koi pox, and there is nothing you can do about them. They don't generally make fish sick, and we do just live with them. The lesions and redness in the hill area are more worrisome. I'm concerned that you may have had a serious viral disease in your pond, and it is flaring up again in this fish. However, before we can conclude that, we do need more information on the water. Nitrates should not be at zero. We like to keep them below 40, but none at all can indicate the nitrogen cycle is not working. I recommend that you get a test kit to test for ammonia and nitrites. Both are invisible and odorless, so we can't detect them without a kit. Try to get a kit that has test tubes and chemicals you add to water samples. The paper strip tests are inaccurate. After you get results, let me know and we'll go from there.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. I'll be in touch . Angie
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
I'll watch for your response, Angie.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Anna I will get test kits tomorrow but I think that the fish has a more obviously distended abdomen from when I last looked . Does that give you any more ideas I wonder?
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay - I had a dentist appointment. The fish is in serious trouble. Without even knowing what is wrong, I'm recommending a hospital tank for it. A large tote, such as those made by RubberMaid will work well. Use water from the pond and set up a filter or pump with an airstone. Once there, there are a couple of things that may help the ailing fish. If it will eat, give it a couple of thawed out and peeled frozen peas.Peas can sometimes get things moving again, and ease pressure on the swim bladder. I would also add one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water. Don't use table salt - it sometimes has toxic additives. I would take these steps as soon as possible. If you have no way to set up a hospital tank, treat the whole pond with pond salt. It won't hurt the other fish. All the symptoms we are seeing in this fish are serious. They can indicate ammonia toxicity, Koi Herpes Virus, gill flukes, and many other conditions. Salt helps fish deal with stress and parasites don't like it, so it's a good first aid measure. Keep watching the other fish for any symptoms. Send your test results tomorrow. Thank you.