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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11459
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My koi are dying :( we moved them out of the pond as soon as

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my koi are dying :( we moved them out of the pond as soon as they started dying. we lost nine yesterday and 7 last night another one just now
JA: What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: koi fish
JA: OK. I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the Koi?
Customer: they are just dying. lying on the bottom
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the Koi?
Customer: ive lost 16 in three days
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in fish. I'm sorry to hear if this problem with your koi.There are very few things that will kill so many fish so quickly. Both occur more often in the spring. One is a problem with water quality, so the first thing to do is test the water. The best test kits are the ones that have test tubes and chemicals you add to water samples. The API Master Test Kit is one. Once you test the water, give me the results in parts per million (ppm) for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. We'll proceed from there.The other possibility is one of the viral diseases that are becoming more and more common in koi. After we know your water test results, we may have to look at these more closely.Please do 't rate my service yet since we are just beginning. I'll watch for your reply. Thank you.
Anna and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
As I explained above, I had not even tried to help you yet. I wish you would have waited to rate until we knew what was going on. I still want to help your fish, but I need the water test information in order to do that. If you are able to get a test kit, you can take a water sample in a clean glass jar to a pet store. They usually will test at no charge, but the method they use is less accurate. It is better than nothing. Please try to get some test results so we can figure out what is going on. Thank you.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Anna,I did try to look for some test kit but at the vet I went to they don't have. I will look at the specialist koi shop. We have 4 koi left which seem to be ok. So they have stopped dying. We are not buying koi until we can determine whats wrong if anything. We have added Tilapia in with the koi(non-aggressive) and will see how they do.Thanks

Hi Greeshma,

Since you now have some healthy koi left, I suspect one of the koi viral diseases went through your pond.

Unfortunately, over the last ten years some viral infections have become common in koi. One called Spring Viraemia of carp (SVC) often flares up in the spring and the fall. It is the less common of the viral diseases, but has been found in the USA. Floating on the side is one symptom. There are others, but fish don't necessarily exhibit them. Sometimes the fish seem to die with no symptoms at all. There is no effective treatment.

Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) often produces lesions on the gills and skin, but there have been outbreaks where the fish suffered mostly internal damage and died before external signs developed. KHV is quite common in koi. It can remain dormant for a time, but becomes full-blown when certain temperature fluctuations develop. again, spring and fall are the times this may occur. This is another disease which can't be treated.

You are not the only koi keeper to suffer devastating losses like this. It is heartbreaking when it happens. I'm sure you are wondering what to do now. The KHV organism can only survive outside of a host for about 24 hours, so your pond is not contaminated if that was the problem. However, you have no guarantee that any new koi you purchase will be free of the virus. SVC survives indefinitely in water, so if that's what happened, any new koi could contract the disease. The tilapia should be immune.

Some of the places that sell more expensive koi put the fish through a special quarantine with temperature changes to induce the diseases if they are present. Infected fish are destroyed. If you want more koi, it would be best to buy from such a merchant. But even then, there is not a 100% guarantee.

As for the test kit, it would be good to get one regardless of what the fish dies from. Part of routine pond maintenance is testing the water once a week. Here is an online source:

If you need anything else. let em know. I wish you success with your pond from now on.