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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21196
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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It is a large koi in a fish tank waiting pond. He is

Customer Question

It is a large koi in a fish tank waiting for a pond. He is gulping, now sitting on botom nose in corner. 2 others died. ammonia, nitrites are okay; nitrates high, but i've done 30 percent water change today and 2 days ago. can i put them in purchased spring water (i have natural spring water i the TN mountains
JA: IÂ’m sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will not be able resurrect the Koi. What is the Koi's name?
Customer: the dead ones I figured you couldn't help with; I was hoping some water quality issue would be possible to fix. i've had these guys 12 years and no problems like this. fish name is Otto
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Otto?
Customer: the dead guys were charlie and frank
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. Now based on Otto's signs and your water parameters, this does all fit with a primary nitrate toxicity. Often fish exposed to high nitrates will have reduced activity, bottom sitting, and depression. This is because the nitrates are binding the red blood cells and preventing oxygen uptake. If those levels get to high, they will pass (essentially due to chemical suffocation) as you have seen with the others. In regards ***** ***** here, we cannot transfer him into pure nitrate free water. The reason is because that could cause shock. Instead, we need to start aggressive water changing over today +/- using nitrate binders and oxygen support.To start, I am glad that you have done the 30% change but we'd want to aim for 50% over the next 24 hours. Small changes frequently in these cases are better then large, since again those nitrate levels have to be decreased gradually. Make sure that the water is treated with dechlorinator and that its room temperature when you add it (to avoid other causes for shock) If you are using a heater, consider reducing the water temperature since this will decrease his oxygen requirement. While doing this, consider increasing your aeration (ie add another air stone) to make it easier for him to oxygenate.Overall, his signs are consistent with active nitrate intoxication. (Especially since primary oxygen deprivation would have him air gulping at the surface). Therefore, I would advise monitoring tank parameters closely and increasing your partial water changing plan for today. Once they have been completed, recheck the water parameters and continue if the nitrates/nitrites are not back into normal ranges. As well, do make sure to support his oxygen levels. And as this can often be an issue triggered by a biofilter (good bacteria) crash, you may also want consider bolusing the bacterial biofilter (ie Tetra Safestart ) to make sure it is at optimum to help break down these nitrogenous wastes as it should. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )