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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11549
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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I lost three koi in the last several days. There is one

Customer Question

I lost three koi in the last several days. There is one large koi in my pond and now he is on his side. The water tests very well. There are obvious signs of bacterial infection . a little redness on the edge of the gill, some blotches on his lower scales. He has struggled for days.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in fish. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. This post is not your answer, but is only a request for more information. So don't rate my service yet- we're just beginning. When you say the water tests very well, what numbers do you get in parts per million (ppm) for ammonia and nitrites? How many koi in all are now sick? Thank you. Anna

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ammonia is between 0ppm and.25

the sick fish is the only coi left. It was a small pond with 4 koi in it. meant to say there are no signs of bacterial infection.

Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. The number you gave me for ammonia makes me think you tested with a paper strip, rather than a kit with test tubes and chemicals you add to water samples. The paper strips are very inaccurate. The reason I am concerned is that redness around the gills and splotches on the body are signs of ammonia toxicity, as well as of infection. Ammonia toxicity kills more quickly than infection. Regardless of what is wrong, the first step would be to do a 50% water change. Use water that is the same temperature as what is in the pond, and make sure the chlorine has been removed. After the water change, add aquarium/pond salt at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water. These steps will help if the ammonia is over zero. Ammonia at .25 ppm is enough to cause sickness. Once you've taken care of the water, you can treat with Melafix (sold in pet stores) for any bacterial infection. If possible, get a good test kit so you can monitor your water quality. With koi, any ammonia or nitrites is dangerous. Zero is the only safe amount. I'm sure you know your koi is in critical condition. It may be too late to save him, but I would certainly try. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I wish you success. Anna