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FAQs on Hole in the Side Disease

Related Articles: Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Furunculosis/Hole in the Side Disease, Goldfish Disease,

Related FAQs: Goldfish Disease,

Acute Furunculosis on a koi's flank.

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Help regarding Ghost Koi  1/20/08 Dear Wet Web Media Crew Great web site, which I often look to for inspiration but this is the first time I've actually tried posting a question. My question is regarding a ghost koi who is about 4" long and has been housed in 40" deep garden pond of around 440 gallons (2,000.00 litres) with twelve other smaller or similar sized fancy goldfish. For a while now I have noticed what I thought appeared to be fungus growing around the ghost Koi's dorsal fin and the base of the tail fin. <I see this... pox> But after catching the fish and re-housing him in a small hospital tank in readiness to treat him with a proprietary anti fungus fin rot treatment I was surprised to find what I thought was fungus doesn't look anything like the woolly mould like growth I was expecting but more like some sort of ulcer. Other than these various "lesions" growing on the Koi's body all else seems fine, i.e. swimming normally, feeding well etc. I have regularly tested the pond water quality where the koi was recently caught from and in the two years the pond has been operational the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate have never been any cause for alarm. <Good, and well-reported> If you could spare a few moments to look at the attached photos of the Koi and any advice you or any one else in the Wet Web Media Crew good give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for a great web site. Yours in anticipation Simon B <Not to be an alarmist... as I could be wrong... this doitsu Ohgon appears to be a bearer of carp pox... Please take a look/read on the Net... Perhaps via Google, Images... and let's chat further. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help regarding Ghost Koi Bob Many thanks for your very prompt reply. After doing a bit more research as you suggested, it would seem that your initial diagnosis of Carp Pox was correct. From what I gather Carp Pox is a viral infection, similar to the Herpes virus in Humans and some people say that it can be brought on by poor water quality and stress. <Yes> The fish was purchased in early September from a well known garden aquatic centre here in Oxfordshire UK. But was caught by a Saturday moron, who franticly chased the fish around the tank with an over sized net, before finally catching it, then roughly manhandling it into a bag after its fin rays became completely stuck in the nets mesh (I don't shop there any more) <I certainly don't blame you> so I guess that could explain the stress part, but like I said my pond water quality is regularly tested and hasn't ever been a cause for alarm. I did read that the Carp Pox lesions can often go down by themselves in the summer months and indeed simply raising the water temperature can apparently sometimes cause the lesions to go down. <Yes, sometimes> If this is correct the fact that the fish is now in a small hospital tank in the heated living room could put this theory to the test, although the fish doesn't particularly seem to be enjoying his new smaller surroundings and seems to rarely venture out of the two flower pots that were put there to give him a bit of a feeling of security. Do you think it would be smart to keep the fish in its new home until late spring now, rather than returning it to the unheated outdoor pond which is currently around 10 or 11 oC (unusually mild British Winter, probably making up for all the flooding of July 2007). And from what I have gathered Carp Pox is incurable but more unsightly than harmless, is this correct? <Mmm, can be... unfortunately this "plague" is often tied/linked to incidences of Furunculosis/Ana aki... Aeromonad infections that can be trouble...> Or do you know of or have any experience of a medication that actually works, <Ah, no> because I don't really want to go needlessly bombarding the fish with chemicals for a condition that I understand wont kill it and may improve by its self, is that correct? <Yes> Well thanks again for your earlier reply and a great web site, I promise I will set up a Pay Pal account and make a small donation for its up keep. Simon B <Simon... I do wish we could quickly communicate... such that your mind might be more at rest. The gist of what you write is so... there is not much to do other than keep the one fish isolated (from the rest of your Nishikigoi), do what you can to provide good water quality, bolster its immune system... and hope. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Help regarding Ghost Koi 1/28/08 Hi Bob Hope this e-mail finds you and the rest of the wet web media crew well. <Thank you my friend, yes> Apologies for being a bit slow with the communications but our e-mail access hasn't been working for a while and besides this whole Internet revolution thing passed me by I bit and I am still a newcomer to it all. <Better late than...> Any way just to keep you up to date on your original diagnosis of Carp Pox affecting my Ghost Koi. Since we did last communicate after I moved the fish from the pond into the small hospital tank in the heated living room all lesions appear to have completely disappeared! Literally to the point where you can now barely even see any trace them. So it looks like that higher water temperature has done the trick. <Mmm, yes... and this "cure" points to another probable root cause here... Aeromonad involvement/Furunculosis/Ana aki...> Am still not quite sure what to do with the Koi because I am thinking that as soon as I return him to the lower water temperatures in the pond, the Pox lesions will return as quickly as they seemed to have disappeared. <Likely so...> But as you can see from the attached pictures his present living quarters can only be considered as temporary but at least he seems to be getting used to all the attention from the cat ( but I think I will keep the aquarium lid gaffer tapped down just to be sure) If I did return the koi to the pond in spring (who knows last April here in the UK was apparently the hottest since records began) are the Pox lesions likely to return each subsequent year as the water temperature drops again in autumn? <Only time, observation can/will tell... but this is what I would do> I did a head count in the pond today and all the other inmates appear to be in fine health but I was wondering is the carp pox virus only contagious amongst other koi or will the other non Koi pond inhabitants (common goldfish, comets, Shubunkins and a couple of seldom seem weather loaches). be at risk each year? <The viral aspect is more universal than Aeromonad outbreaks... which tend to run in "ones", "twos" unless a virulent stage and/or severe "challenge" occurs> Well thanks for all your earlier assistance. Simon <Please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm and the linked, related FAQs file above. Bob Fenner>

Comets Dying in Pond 6/31/05 Hi, <Hello there> For several years we have had problems with goldfish (comets) in a pond which get white fuzzy areas on their sides in the late spring/early summer. <... well, Pondfishes are weaker in the months when temperatures are changing most... but something else is at play here.> There has been some mortality each year but this year it has been worse. We've been losing between 1 and 2 comets per week for the last 3 or 4 weeks. When I found them in the skimmer, one had white fuzzy (hairy) areas on its side, two had open sores (photos attached) and one was completely unmarked. <Furuncular sores... the symptom, disease Furunculosis> In previous years I have used Ich cure with Formalin and another product (Melafix?). Last year medicated food seemed to help more than any the other treatments. It didn't seem to be effective this year. <No... this pandemic is hard to beat with anything other than injected antibiotics> It is a 2500 to 3000 gal pond with a biofilter made of Polyflo mats, a 20 foot stream flowing over rocks and two water falls (one from the filter into the stream and one from the stream into the pond). The flow rate is about 2000 GPH through the filter and down the stream. There are Koi and Goldfish (mostly comets) probably totaling 150" but possibly 200". The pond is about 60% shaded with water lilies and has about 100 bunches of Anacharis in the filter and stream (the Koi eat them if I leave them in the pond). The water is clear and the pond is relatively free of organic material. I have not measure the O2 level but with the stream and falls and observing the behavior of the fish I believe it is OK. Ph is between 7.5 and 8.0. Ammonia is 0 mg/l, nitrates ~ 2.5  mg/l, nitrites < 0.1 mg/l, and the salt level is 0.08%. <Good info., numbers> From articles I've read, I believe I should do a potassium permanganate treatment early in the spring before I establish the bio filter. <Mmm, a bit dangerous... but this oxidizer can do a bunch of good used carefully. Do so on a day when you can watch your livestock, be able to quickly remove it to somewhere else...> Also, I use cement blocks to raise marginal plants off of the bottom and provide more shaded areas for the fish. They have some rough edges which could cause injuries to the fish. I don't see them around the blocks often but that doesn't mean they're not there. <Good speculation, but no... very likely what you have is a persistent, cycling Aeromonad infection in the system, in the fishes themselves> I'd appreciate any comments or treatment suggestions you can make. Thanks, Larry Heine <Thank you for writing so clearly, well... and the useful images... Please see my article on this scourge here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm and the linked files at top. At present there is no definitive cure, but as you will come to understand, a few preventative measures improve ones chances of avoiding hyper-infective states, complete wipe-outs. Bob Fenner>

Re: Comets Dying in Pond 6/31/05 Thanks, Bob, <Larry> I had already read that article and most of the others but didn't see anything that stood out as a cause. <Mmm, there really isn't any real "cause" per se... just that the rod-shaped bacteria are always present... non-emarginated sores... some rapid, some not mortality, mass or individual> I am not able to catch individual fish for isolated treatment unless I drain the pond since they go under the lily pads whenever a net goes into the pond. I'll try to do more in my spring clean-up and see if I can find any way to treat flukes as a possible cause. Larry <... there are the listed things that can be done to stem spreading, effecting actual cures. In practice, most folks do little or nothing... for expensive koi, antibiotic feeding, injections are efficacious. Bob Fenner>

koi (disease) Hi Does carp pox and other non fatal viruses spread? <Yes, you can read more about this here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm  -Steven Pro>

Koi Problem  Bob - Thanks for the info and your site is a winner. Attach a fee for  diagnosis and treatment advice and you'll make a fortune!! Best regards,  Chris.  Bob - I have a friend that has a problem with one of his koi. I'm pretty  sure I know what it is, but thought I might solicit your opinion before  I  start treatment. Any help would be appreciated. I'll check out your new  web site and give you some feedback.  Regards,  Chris Clevers, Hikari USA  <Thanks Chris. See you soon. Bob Fenner>  <Yes Chris, unfortunately this Sanke has the condition called Ana aki in  Japanese, hole in the side or Furunculosis in the English speaking  world... A thorough rundown on the condition, it's treatment is posted.... on the  site! www.wetwebmedia.com, under the pond index.... will/would give the specific  URL but find it more useful to have folks become familiar with what WWM  has to offer by having them scan through.  Bob Fenner, please have your friend contact me directly if I may be of  assistance.><And further, thanks for causing me to look at the materials on the topic on  the site... am taking the time to add the images (feverishly) as we  speak/read. Be seeing you, Bob Fenner> 

Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon
 

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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