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Related FAQs: Pondfish Disease 1, Pondfish Disease 2, Pondfish Disease 3, Pondfish Disease 5, Pondfish Disease 6, & FAQs on Pondfish Disease: Prevention, Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutrition, Genetics, Social, Pathogenic, Mysteries, Medications/Treatments, Goldfish Disease,


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

Golden Orfe with Green Coating 5/3/08 I have an 800 gallon pond with a combination of fish including a number of golden Orfe. I have noticed that a couple of the Orfe seem to have a coating of what looks like green algae. the fish are eating quite happily and no others seem to have any problems I cant find any info on this at all and wondered whether it is a problem. <Am hoping not... Some times (Spring and Fall season) Orfes will "change color" physiologically... if they're feeding, seem okay otherwise, I would not be concerned> Many thanks Darren Coughlan (I grateful recipient of previous advice, my Aiptasia piccie is still on your site) <Ahh! A pond and SW! Bob Fenner>

PLEASE HELP!!! Pond... fish... dis. Reading  5/1/08 I have a medium-sized outdoor pond containing 4 black moors, 1 fish caught in a river, 3 Shubunkins and 6 goldfish. Recently my pond was infested with plants <? You mean algae?> and the fish had an oxygen deficiency. I took out most of the plants and found that some had Finrot. <The fishes...> I treated them <With?> and later saw that on some of my other goldfish there is what appears like red streaks, kind of like veins on them mostly on their heads and near their gills (some of them are only breathing with one gill, the other seems to be shut). They aren't feeding properly and have become in active mostly staying near the plants and never venturing into clearer water like they use to. I have done water changes and cleaned the pond <How?> but the fish don't seem to be getting better. My water also keeps going a murky greenish brown but is still relatively clear, algae is every where but I'm not sure this would have anything to do with this. please help me! Thanks Michelle in Melbourne, Australia <Mmm, a few issues here... Likely your water quality is "out of whack"... and this, along with the "treatment", pond cleaning... are stressing these fish... resulting in the blood-streaking. You don't proffer data on the set up, maintenance, water quality... But, there is likely time to save all here. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm  The areas on pond design, maintenance, water quality... small, frequent water changes are all I'd proscribe here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond fish dis., env.    5/4/08
Hi its Michelle from Australia (Melbourne) again, sorry for not giving enough info. before. Let me start again. I have a medium sized outdoor pond with 4 black moors, 1 fish caught in a river, <Mmm, what is this?> 3 Shubunkin's and 6 goldfish. I got the black moors and two goldfish at a marketplace around January during the school holidays. About 4 days later my dad took me fishing in the Yarra River where we caught our river fish. I'm not sure what breed it is but it looks like the fish that sucks on glass, it eats like the other fish and is a lot more faster and streamlined. <And perhaps a bully... maybe even a carrier of pathogens> A week later we went to a pet shop and bought 4 Shubunkin's, the other goldfish were for free. A few days later the neighbours cat ate one of the Shubunkin's. My fish are still little. In my pond I also have pond snails (I think) well they have bred like rabbits and I have heaps. I don't know how they got into my pond but possibly from the aquatic plants I bought for my fish. <Ah yes, likely so> I don't know the species of plants but some look like furry lettuces, <Maybe Pistia stratiotes...> some are plants that float with air sacks just before the leaves and another is a type of Vietnamese herb kind of like basil. There are also little green plants with small roots all less than 5mm and there are lots of them. <Ahh! Many possibilities... Azolla, Lemna...> I also have a water lily in a pot. The herb thing and another unknown plant are also in a pot. When I started there were only 2 furry lettuces, a plant with air sacks, about 10 little plants, a stem of the herb in a pot with the unknown plant and a small pot of water lilies. There was still a lot of clear space with nothing. <Good> Overall the plants took up a fifth of my pond maybe less. Up till the end of March they had only grew to take up a 3rd of my pond. Then it rained, it was really good rain and was very clear. Within a week or so the plants had thrived and taken over the pond. My fish were left with an oxygen deficiency. It took five days until we got to trim down the plants because my dad was at work when I was home after school and I was too scared to trim them down myself because the snails live on the plants and I didn't want to kill any. Finally I had a curriculum day and my dad was home until 3:00. We trimmed down the plants to their original size well... a bit less but left 3\4 of the little plants, we also cut their roots in half and I spent two hours picking sea snails about 1-10mm big and putting them into jars of pond water. Also after the rain there was algae everywhere but I don't know what to do about it. <Best to be patient here, allow the system to "re-settle"> Well back to the fish. After the plants were removed they were swimming everywhere and seemed happy. Two days later when I was feeding them I noticed 2 black moors had fungus and fin rot so I went to the pet shop and bought an antifungal solution that you mix with water. I separated them from the other fish and put them in a smaller tank with the pond water and solution. <Good> They are still in the tank now and have started eating again. In the tank are also some aquatic plants. <Mmm, these may interfere with the treatment chemicals> When i saw the fungus I thought it would spread to the other fish if it hadn't already so I did a 25% water change as well as removing the fish into buckets while I scooped out the gunk on the bottom with a net. Then two days ago I was looking at my fish when I noticed 3 goldfish had sunken eyes (either that or their heads have gotten bigger). They also have red and white vein like things on their heads. It appears that they are under their scales. One also has a whitish orange blotch in the middle of its head. The affected ones also have white things sticking out on their sides this time on the outside of their scales, they are as big as a grain of sand. It is in a slightly curved line. I haven't looked properly at the Shubunkin's because they are in the corner of the pond where plants are but like most if not all of them only one gill seems to be working the other seems shut. All my fish are acting slow and aren't eating except for my river fish. I think it is immune or something seeing as it lived in the Yarra River which is not exactly the cleanest of rivers. Also my fish aren't going into the clear water like they used to, they just stay near the plants. About three cats go into my backyard at night and a lot of birds. Do you think they might have something to do with this? <Doubtful> Thanks for your help and sorry if I talked too much. <I do think the fish problems are resultant from the rain, plant growth explosion... and perhaps the influx of nutrient with the rain... Do you have a filter of sorts? A bubbler even? Do you test for water quality? Please take a read here when you have time: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm skim over the articles on Pond design... is yours large enough, sufficiently deep, steep sided? Does the temperature vacillate a great deal daily? Read on down the Pond Index on Pond Fish Disease, Environmental... Bob Fenner>

Dying goldfish, Pond  04/26/08 I have had an outdoor goldfish (comets and fantails) pond for four years. Over the last couple of weeks I have lost four fish. These are my oldest fish. When I find them they have large bruise like areas on the abdomen. I examined the gut of the fourth fish and found black stones. Any idea what is the cause of death? How do I save the remaining fish? I greatly appreciate your assistance. <Is there any chance of seeing a photo of these "black stones" and of the dead fish? Normally fish don't swallow stones, but Goldfish are "substrate sifters" and will take in mouthfuls of sediment and sift the stuff for food particles. Under normal circumstances no harm comes from this, even when gravel is used. If your fish are -- for some reason -- swallowing the stones, then the obvious solution is to remove the stones from the pond so that it can't happen again. I appreciate that this would be a lot of work in anything other than the smallest pond. An alternative might be covering the bottom of the pond with a layer of larger stones the fish couldn't possibly swallow. Pebbles 2-3 cm across or bigger would be ideal. But I have to say that I've never seen or heard of a case where a fish has swallowed gravel and died as a result. Not saying it can't happen, I'm sure it can. But not aware of it happening myself. So it may be that the death of the fish and the black objects in the gut are unrelated. Quite possible the fish swallow stones periodically without any harm (many animals will do this deliberately or otherwise). Mysterious bruises on the outside of Goldfish are often caused by cats, herons, or other predators. So you might also consider whether this could be a problem and act accordingly. When several fish diet at once, it's always a good idea to check water quality and chemistry. So whip out the pH kit and nitrite kit and check these are both correct. Goldfish need basic water (pH around 7.5 is ideal) and hate acid water. Nitrite in a pond should of course be zero. Cheers, Neale.> Advice Needed, reading re pond fish dis.   4/24/08 We have a ghost Koi carp of about 6+7 years old approximately 12" in length. It has developed what looks like algae growing over mainly the top part of the head including eyes. We have tried to clean this and it is a gel like substance which comes off easily. The fish is not interested in food or the other fish in the pond. There has been nothing new added and the pond has been established for several years. So far all the other fish seem to be healthy. Any clues please? <... something not right with this system, water quality. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Scroll down to disease... Bob Fenner>

Sick pond Goldfish. Koi ... no useful data or reading 04/22/08 I hope you can help because we have already lost 1 fish to what ever this is. Charlie is 9 inches long and resides in our 10 x14' pond with 7 other fish in approximately 1600 gallons of water. He has started to swim in spirals recently and lies bent over rocks or floating at the top of the water. He also has much more vibrant color on the side of his body that is facing down. His appetite is pretty good but he grows increasingly lethargic. I filled or 10 gallon aquarium with water from the pond & placed an aerator in the tank. He is now inside where we can watch him closer till I know if this could be contagious. I can't find anything like this on the internet. Hope you can figure this out. <Something amiss here... with the environment itself... Need data on the history of water quality, including how much the temperature vacillates here, DO... I suspect it's the largest animals that have died, been mal-affected first... Have you read through the Pond Fish Disease FAQs on WWM? Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Read re others experience to give you an idea of what sorts of info. we're looking for/need to help you. Bob Fenner>

HELP PLEASE... New Koi beh. NO data period  4/9/08 Hi, <Chris> I wonder if you can help. My husband has new ghost carp who seems to be sat on the bottom of the bond a lot. He has an older carp as a previous one had to be put to sleep because he was intaking its own urine we were told. <?> However, we have approximately 30 other fish, mainly gold <Goldfish? Not good to mix with Nishikigoi...> who are thriving and breeding well. We have had frogs and nutes <As in "He turned me into a nute?"> and the pond seems to be doing well as we had had it professionally cleaned last year. So why does the new carp seem to sit at the bottom and look dead. My husband told me that when he checked again, the older one was doing this and the new one started to swim a little. Is it because of the weather? Any advice would be much appreciated. Many thanks. Chris Aitken <My friend... this will be purely a guessing game w/o data presented... the system, maintenance, water quality tests, foods/feeding... Please read through WWM... RMF>

Koi with twisted mouth and cloudy eye  3/26/08 Hi I live in Spain and have an outside pond I have two pumps and a filtration system goin at all times, I have a few Koi and gold fish in the pond, they have all been healthy until recently when the fantails fins suddenly started to curve (it is still feeding ok) this was strange enough but now one of our smaller Koi has developed a curved mouth and has a cloudy eye, it is now having trouble feeding and will swim very fast to the surface then dive back down. Can you help. Thanks Brian <Hello Brian, this is difficult to answer without information about the pond. Specifically, water quality (at minimum: nitrite concentration and pH). When a bunch of fish start developing random ill health symptoms, more often than not water quality is the root cause. Do spend some time perusing the articles on pond management, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish with that sinking feeling - 3/21/08 Hi crew, <Linda> I have an outdoor half-barrel pond (approx. 28 gallons) with three feeder-type goldfish purchased from a megastore. <Mmm, will need more room...> One fish appears to have developed a problem with his swim bladder; the other two are fine. I checked the pond chemistry using a five-in-one dipstick test and levels are all good; I have had the pond for about two years and it has long been stable, and I do water changes (though perhaps not as often as I should, especially in winter). <Okay> The sick fish appears very weak and lays on the bottom of the pond without moving. He has been ailing for several days and getting progressively worse. I have tried shelled peas but he doesn't appear overly interested in eating. He did eat a bite or two of pea yesterday, but has trouble eating since when he does try to swim, he's head down, tail up, and doesn't seem to have much control over his direction. I read that I could try adding Epsom salt to the water, and I believe the recommended ratio was 1 tbsp per 10 gallons. I also read that I could try a more concentrated salty "bath" for a shorter period. Do you think I should try this or would this put him over the edge? <I would add the Epsom to the tub garden at the 1 tsp/10 gal. volume... Should be okay for plants... in the container, outside if the water is dispersed in your garden> Is there anything more I can do for him? I don't have high hopes for him at this point but will do what I can. Thank you. Linda <Hope, like Spring for me, is eternal. Bob Fenner> goldfish with that sinking feeling Forgot to mention that I feed them the dreaded pellets only occasionally (perhaps once a week), and the pond is full of tasty plants for the fish to nibble at their leisure. <And likely all manner of other bits... insect larvae, what have you. No worries. Bob Fenner>

Re: goldfish with that sinking feeling, & stkg. cont. garden ponds f'  03/22/08 Thank you, Bob. I will add the Epsom salts this morning. The fish is still alive but rarely moves at all, though yesterday was the first official day of spring, so... <Ah, yes> I have one question about your response. I thought the rule of thumb for goldfish was 10 gallons per fish. <Mmm, something more than this... perhaps 15-20... and a bit more again for this "variety" (all goldfish are the same dihybrid crossed species)... The Comet gets quite large, even in small volumes...> I had just under that with the half barrel, at 9.3 gallons per fish. I just transferred two fish to a new, full-size wine barrel (with a fish-safe liner) which holds about 60 gallons. (I left the ailing fish in his old habitat, with a partial water change; once he is well or passes, I plan to have only water plants in that barrel due to raccoon problems.) I was going to buy another fish or two, thinking the 60 gallon pond could hold up to 6 fish, though I was planning on only 4, perhaps 5. Am I wrong? Thank you again. Linda <Mmm, not really wrong... to be clear/er here, it's a good idea to switch out such comets as they grow a bit larger... Bob Fenner>

Update and a question, Goldfish cont. garden   3/23/08 Hello again, Sadly, the fish did not make it, despite my efforts. I have a new question. As I wrote below, I moved two fish to a larger container pond, which is a full-size wine barrel with a fish-safe liner. I did so because the raccoons ate some of the fish from the half barrel, and I think they will be safer in the larger one (as it's taller and at least they have some depth to escape to). The habitat is new but I moved rocks, plants, and the old filter (with old media intact) to the new barrel, along with some water from the old pond, to ease the transition. Chemistry is all good per the five in one test strip. The fish are not that big, perhaps 2 1/2 inches long each. <Okay> Today I noticed the two remaining fish hanging out at the surface. Not gasping, but just lingering below the surface, whereas when I put them in a few days ago, they swam all around and spent most of the time about halfway down. I wonder if there is an oxygen problem. <Could be> The barrel diameter at the surface is 23 inches, and it's about 36 inches deep. I have a filter running which has a rate of 185 gph (not sure if that's big enough?); it's at the bottom of the barrel. I do see water moving on the surface. I have two couple of bunches of elodea underwater (suspended midway down) plus water hyacinth floating on top. <Could be some decomposition from the plants as well> I haven't been able to find any info online about whether the surface area/depth ratio may cause oxygen problems. Can you advise if you think this is an issue and what I can do to resolve it (i.e. will more elodea help, should I get an airstone, or a larger filter)? Thank you. Linda <I would add a "bubbler" here... Likely a Tetra Luft pump... tubing, check-valve and large/r bead glass airstone. Bob Fenner>

Koi Dying  3/19/08 I lost a 20" Koi in my 1800 gallon <Mmm, not a terribly large volume for such large Nishikigoi> tank on 11/17/08. My water quality is 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, 0 salt, ph=7.5, plenty of aeration, filter is clean and the UV is on. I treated the tank with Quick Cure AP Pond Pro (formalin and malachite green) <... VERY toxic... am surprised you have not registered a loss of bio-filtration capacity... that is, ammonia, nitrite...> per the directions on 11/17 and 11/18. <... For what reason?> Another of my Koi is having the same symptoms as the one that died, i.e., loss of equilibrium, rolling to side, swimming fast around edge of tank, erratic swimming. <Poisoned...> Please advise as to how I may proceed to have the best chance of saving the remaining 6 fish (20" Koi) from the same fate. Thanks. <... Massive water changes... slowly, drip, refilled... perhaps the addition of water conditioner of use (e.g. StressCoat)... Again, what possessed you to put the biocide Formalin in your pond? Bob Fenner> Frank C. Yanocha

Koi Dilemma  2-05-08 Dear crew, <Holden> A few days ago I walked out to my pond and found the pump had malfunctioned and a 1" layer of ice had formed over the surface. My Koi were floating, as I could see, sideways up under the ice. <Yikes> I broke the ice open with a shovel <Yikes!!! Very dangerous> and grabbed another pump from in the house. I would hold each one in the stream of the pump with their mouths open and most of them were revived over the course of an hour or so, except for one. One of them did not seem to have any gill movement even after this. I decided to move her into my 110g basement aquarium recently vacated, but not yet torn down. No filters had been running in it for days and I expect most of the bacteria has died. I got powerheads running and agitating the surface. About 20 minutes after this the animal started to breath and 6 hours after was swimming normally. My question is, do I leave the fish in the tank until spring and just do a lot of water changes or do I attempt acclimating it back to the frigid waters? If the latter, is the floating bag method acceptable? Thanks Holden <I would leave the fish in the tank for now... is the temperature near the outside water? Do keep the tank screened (to prevent jumping out)... and maybe do the bag acclimation in a few weeks time. Good save. Bob Fenner>

Re: Koi Dilemma  2-05-08 Thanks for the speedy response. I think the water outside is in the mid 30"sF and the aquariums temperature is in the low 60s F. Holden <Yowzah... I do think I'd hold off for the next couple, three months... till the outside warms up a bit... Do be careful re feeding the "indoor" fish much... monitor ammonia... do sparing water changes every week or two. Cheers, BobF>

Pond Goldfish ill health  1/31/08 Hello Crew, One of my Father's goldfish (about 8" ish ) has been ' blowing ' up and looking very bloated. He mentioned this to me and for the first time today I saw the poor thing. I'm almost certain this dropsy. <Mmm, dropsical "conditions" are of a few etiologies... causative mechanisms... Sort of like "colds" in humans, but even more broad in origins> Please could you advise, salt bath ? Being a largish cold water fish could he maybe handle the more aggressive medications like malachite / formaldehyde, if applicable as a last resort. <Mmm, well... salt exposure is/would be the least toxic... But... need more data to make any recommendation here... The system described, water quality tests, maintenance done... perhaps a few photos of the fish itself...> Really do appreciate the help you have given me over the last 18 months / 2 years. Is there a way I could just donate a few quid towards the website just to express my thanks. Warm regards, Steve. <We do have an Amazon "begging bowl" at the bottom of each page. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfshdisfaq3.htm and scan the linked files above... re the sorts of information we're looking for... and write back with same at your earliest convenience. Bob Fenner> Very Sick Koi 1/27/08 We have a 7 year old Koi who last week we thought we had lost her. She was laying on the bottom of our outside pond and when I went to retrieve her I realized she still had some life in her. <That's a start, anyway.> Unfortunately, she just continues to lay on the bottom and she has a curvature in her spine. <Not good... usually indicates severe trauma, typically oxygen starvation, poisoning, sudden (and severe) changes in water chemistry/temperature, etc. Simple lack of buoyancy can be caused by dietary issues or systemic bacterial infections, but when the muscles become locked in a bent-spine modus, that usually implies something rather worse.> She keeps mouthing the bottom trying to feed and twists around every so often like she's trying to get up, but can't. We've had to deal with curved fins before, but caught it so we could make water adjustments. This came on so suddenly and she doesn't have much quality of life at this time. Is there anything we can do for our Koi? <Difficult to say without a diagnosis. The first thing is to tell us about the water chemistry and quality. At the least, check the pH and the nitrite level. Next up is to consider any possible stress factors. Anyone done any spraying in the garden with pesticides or herbicides? Even things like paint and cleaning agents can be deadly poisonous to fish.> Any medication or shots we should be giving her? <Likely not, at least, not without some idea of the immediate problem.> Our water quality is good and the temperature has been between 20-40 the last 4 weeks. So I believe that is keeping her in a hibernated state and she might have gone quickly had it not been for the temperatures. <Are we talking 20-40 Fahrenheit here? Or Celsius? I assume the former, which translates as the air temperature bouncing slightly above and below freezing. How big is your pond? Here in England at least it is generally recommended that fish NOT be wintered in ponds less than 90 cm/3' deep, the reason being that smaller bodies of water are too at risk from freezing and from unstable temperatures in winter as they thaw/freeze too rapidly for the fish to adapt safely. The wild ancestors of Koi naturally live in quite deep canals and lakes where depth gives them some protection against cold weather. If your fish has been stressed by the cold, that might explain some of its symptoms. A photo would help!> Any recommendations you could give us would be much appreciated. Our thanks in advance. Terri <Cheers, Neale.>

Dead pond goldfish  1-22-08 Hi - you were so helpful with a previous issue with my son's goldfish - thanks to you they are still alive and kicking!!! I wonder if you can help me with my problem. <Will try.> I have an outside pond - no filters etc. just a pond with water lilies. I had five goldfish for the past six years. About six months ago one became very bloated and died. It did not look like dropsy and my local fish shop said it could have been because the fish was pregnant and could not get the eggs out?? <Unlikely.> Not sure about that one, but the scales etc were not as indicated for dropsy. The only thing was the mouth look white and gummy. About four weeks ago I noticed that another fish was staying at the bottom of the pond with its mouth to the wall most of the time. The fish does swim about, is not bloated but its mouth looks odd. By that I mean that it looks as though it is slightly deformed, almost caved in. The other three fish are fine, but I am not sure if I should remove this fish. I keep the pond in good order removing dead leaves, cutting back on the water lilies, and at the moment in winter the water is quite clear and I was about to clean out the dead leaves with my pond Hoover. <Water clarity does not equal water quality. So first thing to do is check the water quality. You can use your regular tropical fish test kits for this. At minimum, check the pH and nitrite. Both of these give you a quick "handle" on water conditions in the pond. Goldfish like (need) quite hard water, so if the pH is acidic (i.e., below 7) you have one problem right there. Goldfish (like any other fish) want water that has zero ammonia and nitrite. Just because they're in a pond doesn't make them different. While a big pond with small fish can have excellent water quality, if for some reason the ambient bacteria and plant growth aren't sufficient to keep the water sweet, then the fish will get stressed. More often than not, when a bunch of fish all die at the same time, the fundamental issue is water chemistry or quality. So check these, and then get back to use.> Any advice please would be gratefully accepted. Many thanks Jackie <Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Pond Goldfish (dis., env.) and FW testing f'   1/25/08
Hi <Hello,> I went out and bought a test for ponds so that I would get it right. The results were: PH - low, Total Alkalinity - low, Total Hardness - soft, Nitrate - safe. <Please let me have the NUMBERS, not what you think they mean. I can make more from the numbers than the "words". But this said, low pH, low alkalinity, and low hardness are all bad for Goldfish. Goldfish need a pH of at least 7.0 and ideally 7.5-8, and a hardness of 10 degrees dH upwards. In other words, they like the same sort of conditions as livebearers and Mbuna. You've also not mentioned either ammonia or nitrite -- the two uber-killers in ponds and aquaria. Nitrate is largely irrelevant, as Goldfish have very high tolerant of nitrate.> I also bought Pond Goldfish Treatment which is a broad spectrum treatment for pond goldfish. It says use to treat undiagnosed diseases, bacterial disease, fungus disease and parasite infections. I did not think that this would hurt. <Likely not hurt, may help. The flip side is that jack-of-all-trades medications tend not to be terribly effective against established infections, where you need more tightly focused, microbe-specific medications.> It is a five day course so today is day three - but nothing noticeable with fish. It is sitting almost at the bottom of the pond with his mouth on the wall. <Not so good. I'd be tempted to bring the fish indoors and put it into a hospital tank for a while. That way you can provide warmer water, where the fish's own immune system can kick into gear and help sort things out. At least here in the UK, there's a definite distinction between how regular Goldfish and fancy Goldfish survive over winter -- i.e., regular Goldfish are normally fine, but fancy Goldfish suffer from bacterial infections because their longer fins are more prone to what is essentially frostbite. This is why one never leaves fancy Goldfish outdoors over winter in England.> Many thanks for all your help Best wishes Jackie <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Pond Goldfish (dis., env.) and FW testing f'   1/25/08
Thanks - haven't got a hospital tank so will get one. If I retest water will medication affect it? <No, should be fine.> If not I will do that and let you know figures. <Cool.> Many thanks <You're welcome, Neale.>

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>

Parasites..? in pond fish, Gambusia to be precise -12/14/07 Hello Crew, <Nicole> I am writing this in a bit of a hurry, so my apologies if this sounds disjointed. I'm at work and it's just about time to lock up. <Okay... similarly, please make allowance for my incoherency... am just waking up> I was visiting my friend today, and he pointed out something very odd in his pond. Three fish were covered with what looked like tumors at first. The affected fish were Mosquitofish. Upon netting one and observing it more closely, by putting it in a glass and holding it up to the window, it became apparent that these fleshy growths were not subcutaneous but loosely attached to the skin. Some of them fell right off while the fish was swimming in the glass. I don't know how to describe the growths, except to say that they are light brown gelatinous blobs, slimy and mucus like, oval shaped, and they appear to cover the fish from head to tail, including near the gill area. The affected fish are moving slowly and seem emaciated, perhaps just from being too slow to get food amongst all of the competition. <Good descriptions> This pond is stocked with native FL fish that he's collected from various bodies of water and populated his pond with over the years. Mosquitofish primarily, but it seems some minnows and killifish too. More recently, a few bass and the fry of what appear to be bluegills, have been discovered in there. <I see... possibility of contamination from vectors> This is a very basic round pond, maybe 15-20 feet in diameter, which started as a hole dug in the clay and filled with water with plants of all sorts added over the years. It's about 10 years old, in case that matters. Recently he let it "go wild" and it became overrun with cattails, duck potato, pickerel weed, etc. Finally this winter, he drained it, moved all of the fish to other ponds (he has 3-4 other small ponds, which he digs himself with a backhoe) and removed most of the plants, leaving only a few huge root balls in the mud which will probably take hold again. I just thought I would mention this in case this gives any clue as to why these parasites (I am assuming that's what these are?) would suddenly appear, after 10 years of having small pond fish without any signs of such trouble. <Many possibilities... could even have been "something" brought in via waterfowl...> Incidentally, I don't have any idea what the water quality is like in the pond, except the water does seem very tannic (lots of acorns falling in and such) and is unfiltered, but regularly topped off. Lately the water has turned green sometimes, but it seems to come and go. The clay soil around the pond makes the water rather turbid anyhow. I'm sorry, I wish I could be more scientific, but I know next to nothing about ponds! I'm just trying to help him find out more about this, as he is sort of a backwoods guy and not computer literate. <No worries> I know this is almost impossible to comment upon without a picture ID, and next time I see him I will bring my digital camera. However, in the meantime, is there anything you can recommend? <Mmm, yes... some water changes mostly... perhaps even just water addition; if the system is "percolating" as many such ponds do in FLA... adding a slow running hose pipe to dilute the acorn et al. effects> Any clue as to what this might be? <Likely "just" environmental in cause... the result of "dead sea effect"... cumulative metabolic accumulation... Though could be pathogenic (Trematodes, other possibilities), even idiopathic tumour...> Or perhaps you could point me to a resource, either online or in print (as I work at a library, and could probably have a book interlibrary loaned if need be) that could show me pictures of diseased fish to compare to? <There are several Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment" I especially like...> I have looked a bit online and have found excellent websites with lots of written description, but the pictures, if any, are microscopic images. What I was hoping to find was pictures of diseased fish, or a picture of the parasites as they are seen by the naked eye. If there is anything obvious that I am missing here or failing to see? <Mmm, not likely. There are no good to great works of this kind online as far as I'm aware> Sorry, this email did get a bid wordy after all. In any case, if anyone could help, I would be most grateful! Thanks so much, Nicole <For now, the simple water changes... Is what I would do. Testing for quality next... Bob Fenner>

Help, my comet is acting strangely... Pondfish hlth.  -11/18/07 Hi, I'm Katie <Hello Katie, I'm Bob> I have recently installed a 300 - 400 litre pond, and it currently has a total of ten fish in it, all under 1 month old. I have four fantails, three Shubunkin and three comets. <This is a lot of life for this volume Katie, particularly when it is so new... Do you know about biological filtration, cycling?> All of my fish get along and are healthy and well, all except for 1, my first comet, Deval. Deval lays on one side and stays there. Deval doesn't move, even when I come to feed them, floating goldfish pallets, Deval stays on his/ her side and stays at the bottom. But what worries me most is the black circle around one eye, that used to be the most beautiful gold colour, and the white spots on the gill on his/her left side, which stays directed to the bottom of the pond. I have no idea what could cause this. But this all started happening around the time my dog finally realized that there were fish in the pond that she would sit next too, so my dog, Pawsha, got intrigued and sniffed at the water, though the worst she did to the fish themselves is just touch the water with her nose, as she is terrified of water, and the fish. Please help me, because my fish aren't even single month old. and I will thank you in advance for reading this email, even if there is not much you can do. <There is a good deal you can and should do. Please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Even though this piece is about goldfish in aquariums, the principles apply to your pond. And here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Re aspects of filtration. Do get/use test kits to assay your water quality and write us back with these values. Bob Fenner>

Re: my comet is acting strangely, pond dis.  11/20/07 > Hi, I'm Katie I have recently installed a 300 - 400 litre pond, and it currently has a total of ten fish in it, all under 1 month old. I have four fantails, three Shubunkin and three comets. > All of my fish get along and are healthy and well, all except for 1, my first comet, Deval. Deval lays on one side and stays there. Deval doesn't move, even when I come to feed them, floating goldfish pallets, Deval stays on his/ her side and stays at the bottom. But what worries me most is the black circle around one eye, that used to be the most beautiful gold colour, and the white spots on the gill on his/her left side, which stays directed to the bottom of the pond. > I have no idea what could cause this. But this all started happening around the time my dog finally realized that there were fish in the pond that she would sit next too, so my dog, Pawsha, got intrigued and sniffed at the water, though the worst she did to the fish themselves is just touch the water with her nose, as she is terrified of water, and the fish. > Please help me, because my fish aren't even single month old. > and I will thank you in advance for reading this email, even if there is not much you can do. > http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm > Even though this piece is about goldfish in aquariums, the principles apply to your pond. And here: > http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm > Re aspects of filtration. Do get/use test kits to assay your water quality and write us back with these values. Bob Fenner> Thank you Bob, and I am starting to do all of these things, and we already have a filter in our pond with a cute frog water feature, and hopefully Deval will soon get better, thank you so much, from Katie:) <Ah, good. Thank you for this follow-up Katie. BobF>

Sick pond Koi possible poisoning ???   11/11/07 I have a 12-inch Koi that's not doing well( I don't think he's going to make it). He has been outside in a pond for the last year. A few weeks ago something nasty got into the pond and killed off all the fish except him. <Yikes...> The water smelled like bug spray and was all foamy. <I can tell you some incidents of such "over-spray" here in S. Cal. Does happen> I have no idea what it was. We drained the pond, cleaned it, refilled it, let the water mature and put the Koi back in the pond along with two new three inch Koi. <Mmm, I do hope some of the biological filter capacity was preserved...> Yesterday my dad said the big Koi was hanging around the top. I checked but he was hiding in his flowerpot. When I went to feed them today he was on the top and didn't run when I picked him up. <Not good> All of his fins are bloodshot (hemorrhaging) and very stiff almost rigid. He cant seem to stay upright very well and is gasping. <Good description, bad signs> His slime coat seams not to be almost nonexistent except a small amount around his head. His anus has some hemorrhaging around it as well as some small 1-3 cm patches of hemorrhaging in other various places on his body. He follows me with his eyes so I know he can see me but he just isn't able to react. I have no idea what could have caused an otherwise healthy fish to suddenly turn south like this practically overnight. Unless whatever got into the pond poisoned him as well & he's just taking longer to react to it because of being so much larger than his other pond mates were. <This is likely the case> The two new Koi are doing fine. No signs of whatever is affecting the larger Koi. Any ideas on what could have caused this or if there's anything I can do for the sick Koi?...........(ex-sick Koi I have just been informed that it is dead) <Nothing other than what you have done my young friend. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish problems - Crooked Tail 11/5/07 Hey guys, <Hello Paul,> Sweet website by the way, helped heaps. Problem is I have a goldfish that has a crooked tail that only developed very recently. It is still eating but it is lethargic and not swimming much at all. <Hmm... first do a water quality test, just to make sure that's not a factor. Nine times out of ten, when fish go off their food or show a lack of activity, it's water quality at the root of the problem.> Rather it prefers to spend most of its time just sitting round. At the moment there are three fish that live in the outdoor pond, two are healthy and young and are a cross-breed of a comet and a fantail but the sick one is a pure comet. <OK.> There is a filter that runs into the pond and we feed them fish flakes, the normal type you get from big W. <Is this an abbreviation for a particular chain store or something?> The main problem is, is that one of our former goldfish also died the same way! <Ah, I see.> (The other 4 died from this stupid black cat) <Obviously the cat wasn't at all stupid if it managed to out-wit you and eat four of your pet fish. There are ways to dissuade cats from fishing in your pond, as well as ways to make it easier for the fish to avoid being eaten. Research them. Right now, of the 7 fish I know about, the cat has eaten 4... not a very inspiring track record!> It got a crooked tail became extremely lethargic and eventually we had to let it go. <Goldfish tend to only go into terminal decline if exposed to poor water quality month after month. They're essentially tougher and more durable that any other fish in the hobby. But they do need good water quality to thrive, and appropriate water chemistry too. So check the nitrite at the very least, and also make sure the pH is at or above 7.5.> The two fish aren't related, so that discounts genetics. <Genetics tends not to be an issue wild Goldfish anyway. The average fancy goldfish is a complete train-wreck as far as "Good Genes" goes, and yet they survive perfectly well.> All the fish received the same food, so I thought that would discount vitamin deficiency. <Not necessarily. Do review the articles on feeding Goldfish we have here. Around 50% should be plant food, not flake. Algae, Elodea, spinach, tinned peas, Sushi Nori, Spirulina flake food... whatever. Just not plain vanilla flake. They're herbivores, and expecting them to thrive on pre-packaged flake food is kind of like expecting a sheep to do well on steak and eggs.> Also, the other two fish are fine, so I'm guessing that rules out electric shock from the filter. <I guess.> If you guys have any idea what it could be that would be great. <Without more information on water quality and chemistry, the size of the pond, what sort of filter you use it is difficult to say. But from experience I'd be looking at water quality, water chemistry, and diet as the three prime factors.> thanks, Paul <Hope this helps, Neale>

? fish disease... Pondfish  11/08/07 I have a large gold fish like fish ( 35cm) in my pond. It has developed 2cm dark thick hair like strands on its head and body. Could this be a disease of parasite? Does it need treatment? <Hmm... assuming not simply fungal growths, these sound like leeches or lice. Leeches are wormy-looking things without appendages, while lice are obviously crustaceans with segmented bodies, legs, and eyes. There are various treatments for these. Off-she-shelf chemicals can be used; consult with a vet or aquarium store manager about what's available in your area. Alternatively, 15-30 minute baths in brackish water (20-30 grammes sea salt per litre) will remove leeches. A 30 minute bath in 10-20 mg/l potassium permanganate solution will remove lice. You may need to perform baths once a day until the leeches/lice are all gone. And yes, you do need to remove them. Over time they will expose the fish to infections as well as reduce its overall health. Cheers, Neale>

Hi. Koi... hlth. issues?   11/5/07 Hi. I have a few Koi fish, but I have a question about one in particular, which I think may be a female. At first, she was getting fat and we thought she was pregnant. <Unusual toward the cooler times of the year... You are aware of the role of temperature, link to amounts, protein content of foods...> My mom says that the Koi has gotten skinnier and a few days ago or maybe even a week ago, I notices bubbles at the top. Well on one side of her body, half her scales are missing, from the mid section to the tail, but there are a few scales left before her tail. <Sounds unrelated... as in a predator visit...> Anyways, I was wondering if she's shedding because she might be pregnant, or if the other fish are eating her scales, <What other fish species are present?> if she may be sick, etc. Please E-mail me back and let me know. It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! -Lynda <Please write back with the information above. Bob Fenner>

Possible sick Koi and gold fish 09/19/07 Crew at Wet Web Media, <Hail!> I have a fresh water tank (pond) that is rectangular in shape and built into my deck outside. I have had this pond in my deck for over 11 years. Outside of having to rebuild it 3 years ago because of termites in the wood frame I have had no problems with it at all. I use a biological filter that consists of a bucket with lava rock with water that circulates at 300 gallons per hour. I have water lilies, originating plants and a fountain. <OK.> The total volume of the pond is around 800 gallons. I have 4 Koi and about 12 gold fish in the pond. <All sounds fine.> There is 1 Koi and 3 of the gold fish that exhibit a peculiar curvature to their spine (my main concern). None of the fish swim around like they used to. They mostly stay on the bottom and only come up to feed and are not friendly at all (they used to feed out of my hand). <When a bunch of fish all at the same time show skeletal deformities, and they're not congenital defects, then you have to look at water quality and diet.> I have tested my water and the following are the readings that I'm getting. PH between 7.4 and 7.8 <OK.> Ammonia is less than 0.5 <Unacceptable. Must be zero; there's no "Safe" level of ammonia. It's either zero or dangerous, there's nothing in between.> Nitrate (No3) is between 20-40mg/L <OK.> Nitrite (No2) is >2.0 <3.0 <Dangerously high.> Total Hardness (GH) is around 150 <A bit on the low side for goldfish, but acceptable.> Total Chlorine ppm is < .05 <Again, should really be zero. Are you using dechlorinator when you change the water?> Total Alkalinity (KH) is >120 <Acceptable; with goldfish and Koi, the basic rule is "the harder the water, the better".> I realize that the pH, Nitrite, and hardness are high. However never having a problem before I do not know how to safely bring all the readings down to a ideal level. <The critical issues are the ammonia and nitrite, and to a lesser degree the chlorine. Using dechlorinator and adding something like a fountain should drive off/remove the chlorine quite well, so this is an easy fix. The ammonia and nitrite levels together indicate a pond that is either overfed or underfiltered (or both).> The only thing out of the ordinary is that a snapping turtle found its way into the pond somehow (it was removed immediately upon discovery with no visible harm done to any fish). <Irrelevant. Wildlife moves in and out of ponds whatever you do. Admittedly, big turtles will eat the fish, but that's not the problem here!> Any help in correcting my water to bring it to good readings and an idea of what is going on with my fish and how to help them would greatly be appreciated. <Review filtration. Clearly, your pond doesn't have enough. If the filter is new, then maturation may be an issue, but if the tank is established, then check that the pump is working and that the filter medium is not hopelessly clogged up. If everything seems normal, then you may need to install additional filtration, or else thin out the livestock. Reflect on how much food you're adding, and especially what kinds: both Koi and goldfish are largely herbivorous, and at least 4 meals out of 7 can be plant material. Plant material includes kitchen greens, pondweed, algae-based foods (like Sushi Nori) and so on. The point here is that not only is this healthier for the fish, but also plant material contains less protein while retaining the energy and vitamins the fish need. So less polluting.> Thank you in advance. Sam <Hope this helps, Neale>
Re: Possible sick Koi and gold fish  7/21/07
Neale Thanks for the input. I am currently feeding the boys and girls "Tetra Pond" pond sticks and they usually get fed once in the afternoon when I get home from work. Do you think it is advisable to mix some greens with the pond sticks? I will watch and only feed them what they will eat in five minutes. I will also add another pump, filter, and fountain to the pond and watch the chlorine level to make sure it goes down. Now that I think about it the pump is a new one that doesn't have as much flow as the previous one had I hope that this will take care of the ammonia and nitrite problems. I forgot one of the first things that I was told about ponds, "The more flow and filtration the happier the fish". With great appreciation. I have searched for answers at other places on the Web and you are the first and only one to respond. You guys are great. Sam <Hello Sam. Happy to help! Yes, mix greens with the pond sticks. Do one on one day, and the other the next if you like. If you dump some cheap pond plants (like Elodea) into the pond, you can skip feeding them for a few days entirely, and the fish will eat those instead. This is especially valuable in the cooler seasons, where pond fish are easily overfed (to their detriment). Live plants are an excellent food source at these times. It sounds as if the pond pump might be one factor at work here, so yes, go ahead and check that. Water flow *is* the key in small ponds especially. Good luck, Neale>

Dying fish... English... No useful info. Pond...    9/12/07 Hello, crew Please help me. Over the summer, I put in a fish pond,18' + 28'.Basically it's oval shaped, about 28" deep. <What is your seasonal weather like?> A 3' waterfall, and a 40' stream, into it. It's been up and running for two month's. I have a lot of plant's. I put in 10 gold fish from my old pond, and a few 1''er's.I added 8 smaller Koi, that I bought . <Not a good idea to mix...> A week ago, my trouble started. I found a small gold fish swimming along the shore, gasping for air. He was like this for a day or two, then he died. A day after he died ,I found another small gold fish the same way, <Small goldfish almost invariably have a few parasitic and infectious problems... A very good idea to quarantine...> A day later he was dead. I took a water sample to the pet store for testing. It was fine. <...> All the other fish seem okay. There all eating and swimming normally. This morning, I found a small Koi swimming around the pond, the same way. I have a problem!!!!! There all small fish that are dying. To look at the dead fish, they all look normal. I read on your web site about using salt. Could you explain in detail, how to do this. Is there anything else, I could try? <Need real data... Water chemistry...> Some people would say, there just fish, but they all have name's, and there family. I can see, I have a lot to learn about pond's and fish.----Thank you for your help.---Charlie <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm And run your trains of thought through a grammar/spellchecker before issuing... at least here. Bob Fenner>

Very sick Koi, insufficient data    8/30/07I am really having a problem with a Koi that I have. I've had these fish for almost 2 years now, and they are about 10-12 inches long. They share a 55 gal. tank with 3 other fish. <Need more room than this...> They have all be pretty healthy for quite some time now. That is until, I brought home another Koi from the pet store 2 weeks ago. I put it in my tank, <W/o quarantine...> and noticed that it was acting funny and not really eating. I used "Start Right" because I thought it was stressed with its new environment. Well, it died 3 days later, and I have no clue what was wrong with it. There were no visible signs of an illness. Unfortunately, it infected my whole tank and all my fish started getting sick. One Koi appeared to have ick, while another one had clamped fins. So I went to the pet store and they sold me Melafix, <Am not a fan...> which did absolutely nothing but stink the place up. I went ahead and did a partial water change and then added "Quick Cure". <Very toxic... likely killed off your bio-filter... you are measuring ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? Need to know...> I guess I wasn't quick enough with it though, because one of them died. The other one that had the clamped fins seemed to be doing better. I treated the tank for the recommended time, and then did a 25% water change and added filters with carbon. A couple of days passed and the Koi, which I lovingly call "Big Mouth" because he eats everything that's not tied down, started to act funny again. I realized that he had fungus over his left eye, so he couldn't see very well. I put him in another tank by himself, and treated him with fungus eliminator. <...> Unfortunately, on the way to the other tank he took a flying leap out of the net and landed on the tile floor. <Yikes! Very common> So, I think that caused more problems. Half of his tail broke clean off when he hit the floor, <...?> but besides that he seemed ok. I left him in there and treated him for a few days. He started eating and acting better, so I put him back in the big tank again. <This system is infested/infected...> He acted ok for a day, and now he's back to acting strange again. His skin is peeling off above his eye, he slams himself into the tank top constantly and bumps into the sides of the tank and everything in it. Please help. He's become very special to me, and I can't figure out how to help him. He eats from my hands and lets me pet him and everything. I could really use some advice. Please e-mail be back at XXXX and not this one that I'm writing you from. I would appreciate anything you can tell me. Thank you, Fran <... am sorry for your trials... but need to know much more than you've presented here... To get an idea of the sorts of information we're looking for, please peruse: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfshdisart.htm and the Related FAQs files linked above. Bob Fenner>

Could my fish have a tumor. Pond goldfish  - 08/11/07 Please help...we are very new to keeping fish and didn't realize the implications when we built a garden pond. And on reading your site I now know the advice given to us was wrong and I was very stupid to think it would be easy and I would appreciate your input and help please. Our pond is 10ft round and 3.5ft deep at the deepest section with a water fall (which comes from a second pond with no fish in), plus a fountain and 3 filters in total (one of which has a UV lamp filtration). Plus many frogs. The pond is made of a sheet of pond liner and not the hard plastic molded pond. My problem is we have 15 goldfish approx 6 inches long and one of them has developed what looks like a tumor to the left side of its head. It is approx 4mm round and has a lumpy appearance. <Do occur> Please advise what I can do to help this poor fish (I have considered taking it to the vet for treatment) and I would appreciate your advise and what I could do to help prevent any further problems for him. <Mmm, if it is only the one fish showing thus, I would leave it as is... hope for spontaneous recovery> I adore my fish and even had friends stay at my house to take care of them while I was on holiday (although my husband thought I was crazy) but I would not have gone away otherwise. <Mmmm> I am very worried as I have only noticed this lump this morning. <Such growths can/do occur at times... likely non-pathogenic... No real treatment... some might suggest isolation... but not I> The filters are cleaned and checked everyday and no water samples have been taken as the garden center that gave us the advice when setting up the pond said we need do nothing with the water as long as the correct filtration is used but on reading your site I feel this is most certainly the wrong advice and we were very naive and stupid and would like your help on how to do the water sample. (I no longer trust the center to give us the correct advice). <Actually, I do agree with this advice> Please help my poor little fish. He does not appear any different and feeds well and swims happily with the other fish, it is just this lump that has appeared that is worrying me a great deal. Thank you so much <Please try to not worry... Worrying will not, assuredly, change the future/outcome of such events. There are good reasons to consider that this will work itself out with time. Bob Fenner>

KHV Cleanup 8/7/07 Hello, I am seeking some assistance. I have had my pond, about 1000 gallons, for about 4 years. This has been a most difficult summer with the loss of my Koi along with repopulation efforts. My local supplier finally told me that it was KHV. <Not good> This past weekend I heavily chlorinated my pond with bleach and ran the water through my system for 6 hours. Since then I have rinsed the system and changed the water twice. This evening I got inside and removed the vast majority of mud, sludge, etc. before refilling the pond. <I would... oh, I see you've done this below> I doubled my chlorine treatment and added salt. The water quality is clear but turbid (milky). I can easily see the bottom. My pond is running as I write this. I would like to reintroduce plants. I also have 2 Shubunkins in quarantine that I would like to keep and reintroduce if possible--these 2 little guys have been through a lot! I am located in suburban Pittsburgh. I do not know where to go for solid advice. Can you help me out? Thank you for your considerations. Norm Rish <I would wait a good week here... introduce useful microbes... for nitrification... be careful re feeding for a month or so... I have been to your town and even gave a pitch re Koi/Nishikigoi selection in a retailers setting... but can't remember the name of the outfit... I do encourage you to contact Steven Pro (though mainly known as a marine person... See the Yellow Pages) and ask him for a further reference... He lives there also. Bob Fenner>
Re: KHV Cleanup 8/7/07
This feels like old times. <Oh yes> The place that Bob gave the presentation on Koi was Wet Pets in McMurray, which is a very nice shop. I also like the fish selection at Elmer's in Monroeville as well as the Seahorse on Route 8. <Thank you for this Steven. Hello to Deb and your children. BobF>
Re: Koi hlth., bloated ghost wider than ever 06/26/07
Dear Bob Fenner, <Jules> My large ghost that has been bloated for some time is larger than ever (full of fluid) In our last contact you suggested giving a 'shot' to it. <Yes...> I got in touch with the vets (in UK) and it would seem impossible to get hold of anti-biotics. <Not impossible, but not easy either> They passed me to a specialist vet who gave me telephone advice. The cost of getting a vet to administer anti biotics is ridiculous. Anyway, she seemed sure that it could not be bacterial as given the time scale (10 months) a fish could not live with that problem, and would in any case show other bacterial problems such as ulcers or reddening. She advised that nothing could be done for such a problem. Do you agree? <Mmm, no> The fish seems fine, however if handled at all, even just netted and held still in water, it keels over in the pond, gasping and generally stressed for about a day, after which it's fine again. (hence, I don't do it!). Will it die? Or shall I now finally stop worrying? Julian (wet, depressing, generally miserable England) <I would still "try" the antibiotic... the best would be Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin succinate)... Do call around some of the more near by "Koi", "pond", aquatic garden clubs and ask some of their members who they deal with... Bob Fenner>

Onset of crooked spine, pond, Koi   6/20/07 Dear Crew... Helpppppppppp! <Helloooooooo....> I've tried the entire day, phoning area vets to find answers as medical deformity in seven year old pond Koi. We've had him since he was about 4" long... he is still the runt of the pond at approximately 16 - 18" long... the others are at least 2 feet long. He is the size of our 5 year old Butterfly Koi. <Well, yes, sounds like bad genes.> Yesterday, I thought "Shrimp" looked a little curvy. I've been observing him since sundown yesterday... he ate as usual... as well and as aggressive as the other eight pond dwellers. I observed him at least two hours today... he has a decided "kink" where his tail begins. His swimming appears to be fine... appetite fine... but he wasn't shaped like this three days ago. I've been on line for the past 2-1/2 hours and getting nowhere. We had a storm several nights ago with thunder and lightening... could he have been struck? <Struck, yes. Still alive afterwards, no.> What precautions should I take with medication, etc. I'm so frustrated at NOT being able to get an answer. One website suggested Vitamin B or C deficiency... another a mycobacterium... please help. I have a friend who is a vet but knows nothing about fish... nor does the nursery who sold them to us seven years ago. Apparently no one in the area knows anything about Koi... only how to sell them to you and provide food for them. We purchase all our food and pond supplies through Drs. Foster and Smith out of Wisconsin... and feed several kinds of food... three different ones actually. <Yes, diet can cause deformities in fish. Just as in humans. To be fair though such a problem with Koi carp isn't common, because they are omnivorous fish and their are so many brands of good quality Koi feed on the market. Identifying particular vitamins is a bit of a waste of time; you need to get them all correct. Standard Koi diet, mixed with some greens from the kitchen should give a nice balance. The green foods are often overlooked, but are critically important because fresh foods contain vitamins that dried foods tend to lose gradually after manufacture. A ratio of 50:50 pellets and greens would seem about right to me. At the very least, keeping the pond well stocked with edible aquatic plants, such as pondweed, is a good thing to do, and by skipping some of their meals, you will encourage them to eat these plants plus some algae.> Please help me determine what to do for my little guy. <Likely bad genes. Koi are intensively bred, and quality control is variable. There's a reason Koi aficionados pay $1000s for top-quality fish while your local pet store sells them for $10 a pop -- quality. With Koi (as with everything else) you get what you pay for. This isn't to say "Shrimp" can't be a fun, friendly pet, I'm sure he can. But you have to accept that when you chose that fish, you pulled the short straw, so to speak. He probably always had a kink in the tail, but it's only now become obvious to you for whatever reason. Provided he is otherwise healthy, and the water quality is good, and you're giving the fish a nice balanced diet, then don't worry about it.> I hope he isn't suffering. It is raining now and they are all frolicking in the rain drops. That is what they do when it rains. It seems the rain is their own private little sprinkler system. Thank you, thank you, thank you. <Sounds as if your fish are happy. Please, just enjoy your fish, don't worry about the deformed one, and just love him that little bit more because he's special.> Barbi <Good luck, Neale>
Re: onset of crooked spine  6/20/07
Neale... thank you for your prompt reply regarding Shrimp. <No problems.> Usually when at the pond, and am feeding, I observe that all are eating... getting their share, make sure there are no bulging or protruding eyes, nothing on gills that shouldn't be... swimming... aggressive... etc. I can't believe that Shrimp could have been crooked and I didn't notice it. <Interesting.> Perhaps because it looks as if he is experiencing a growth spurt... now it is more obvious. <Certainly a viable hypothesis. Spine deformities are quite common in fish (I have one peppered catfish with an alarmingly twisted spine and had a baby halfbeak in a recent batch of fry much the same. Doesn't cause any particular problems, but the main thing is not to breed from them, so the faulty gene dies out.> I think perhaps I was lax in more closely observing and became complacent because we've never had a problem of any kind. It also appears that the sides of his body are a little darker. Or can it be my imagination... like humans who think they have maladies that don't exist. <Without seeing the fish, difficult to know. Fish do change colour for a variety of reasons, some normal, others worrying. But provided the fish is otherwise healthy, I'd tend to focus on "observation" rather than "treatment".> Is it possible to be just looking for any little thing that may have changed? I'm becoming paranoid about him despite your reassurances. <Hah! Nothing wrong in being careful, where animals' lives are concerned.> Would you possibly e-mail back if there is anything to the fact that he appears to be darker on his sides than before. <The most common reason in stress. Many fish can change colour to signal to other members of the group they are, for example, not a threat, so please leave me alone. But Koi don't do this (as far as I know) because they're bred to have certain (artificial) colours. Now, they can lose/gain colour over time. This is (again) where breeding comes in -- people pay for show-quality Koi because the parents and grandparents of that fish were known to have consistent, quality colours throughout life. Generic Koi aren't backed up by this sort of breeding. It's basically like buying a pedigree cat versus a moggy. A pedigree cat will exhibit behaviour and colour within very specific boundaries. A moggy is a bit of a pot-luck because you don't know its ancestors -- sometimes you get something as beautiful as any show cat, other times something a bit more ordinary (but still loveable, of course).> I so appreciate your expertise and kindness in replying. Your words have eased my mind somewhat... but still am wondering. <It's good to worry. Look out for accessory signs of infection: Finrot, mouth fungus, pox, lice, etc. that Koi sometimes get. Koi Herpes Virus is another thing to be aware of, and while it's a viral infection the signs are similar to those of Finrot or some other bacterial infection -- blisters, open sores, dead skin patches, and so on. But if your fish is otherwise completely normal and happily swimming about doing his thing, then there doesn't sound (to me) to be anything alarmingly bad here. I hasten to add that this isn't to say something isn't wrong, since I can't see this fish, and if you're really worried, a trip to the vet may be in order. Koi are large enough that treatment by vets is viable, and given the cost of good Koi and how long they live, economically worthwhile. There are also some excellent Koi books on the market, any one of which could be a sound investment. I remember petting a 20-year old giant Koi in a pond at a family friend's house. Really nice animals, and definitely among the very few fish that really seem to enjoy human company.> Shrimp and his pond mates ate as usual last night... in the rain... swimming back and forth in the reeds looking for remnants of food. I will definitely begin the greens today... I always have tons and tons of various types of green in the fridge for my two guinea pigs. <This all sounds great. Greens help a lot, including fish colours, because many of the chemicals used to produce colours come from plant sources (such as carotenes). Shellfish, especially prawns, are also very good for this. But the flip side to prawns is their high Thiaminase content, a chemical that breaks down vitamin B1, so great as a treat, not so good as a staple.> Again, Neale, thank you so very much. Barbi <No problems. And good luck. Neale>
Re: onset of crooked spine, Koi hlth.    6/24/07
Neale... thanks again. Sorry it took several days to get back to you but I was working. 48hours on 48 hours off... etc., etc. Bad night last evening... a storage barn in a rural area supposedly empty but there was a family of goats making their home there and all made it except one baby. Two of us tried CPR... but his lungs were just too small. Anyway... not allowed to do personal e-mailing at work but can surf the web if there is time. I'm still looking... you know... a mom's work is never done... no matter what species her kidders may be. Do you think there is a remote possibility that Shrimp may have TB? Again... I'm obsessing!!!! And... if there is a chance of that, could it only be him that is infected? Could I arbitrarily just treat the entire pond with some kind of antibiotic? I have that time of doctoring... but it seems that I apparently "can't do nothing"? By the by, are you a Brit? I think the word moggy gave you away. If so, I'll tell you about my fantastic adventure and stay there, meeting the Queen Mom... Her Majesty's Irish Guards, their Irish Wolfhound mascot, then named Conor... etc. Again, Neale, thank you so very much for coming to my rescue. Sorry to have gotten personal about your ancestry... I'm just nosey... that's all. And... probably the British are one of the few that don't hate Yanks... not too, too much, that is!!!! Barbi <Hello Barbi! Sorry about the goat. Anyway, I doubt shrimp can have TB. Fish TB is exceedingly rare in freshwater fish -- it is only at all common in marine, Perciform ("advanced") fish and hardly ever seen in non-Perciform, freshwater fishes (carps, tetras, etc.) So the chance of a your Koi getting TB is very small. There is a bigger chance of things like Koi Pox and KHV (Koi Herpes Virus). But neither of these matches the symptoms you are experiencing. Koi Pox is rather distinctive, the external "warts" being likened to melted wax. There's a picture here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm . Now, KHV is something again. It produces pretty generic symptoms, unfortunately. You can only 100% identify the thing with a biopsy, which a vet will do. There's a nice page at the University of Florida that goes into KHV at some length, here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VM113 .
Treatment is unknown, and being viral antibiotics won't do any good at all, but there is a vaccine that your vet may be able to obtain. Realistically, it isn't going to appear in a pond unless you introduce new fish, so it tends to be more of an issue for people with mobile livestock (e.g., retailers) than people who have mature, established ponds. Both Pox and KHV are contagious. Yes, I'm British, though my mother was American and I have lived in the US for a while, which I enjoyed very much. And, as a rule, Brits don't hate the Americans (though my mother used always to say "no-one likes a rich uncle"). We aren't wild about that stuff you call beer, and I personally think Hershey's chocolate smells of vomit, but beyond that, I think the Brits feel closer to the Americans than any other country. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Koi hlth... Shrimp/eating pattern   6/24/07 Neale... I hope you receive this message. First, I heartily apologize for letting any personal conversation seep into the task at hand. Forgive me... it won't happen again. Last night I observed only Shrimp for half an hour. It is certainly willing to eat his pellets but begins to and either another fish flashes by and moves him out of the way or he gets within an inch of a single or pool of pellets, opens his mouth and seems to fall just short of actually getting them. Its as of he is have a little difficulty staying on the surface. Not sinking... but a little labored when he is at the very surface getting pellets -- he is swimming... but not getting near the food the others are getting. <No need for apologies. Sorry I hadn't gotten round to answering. Have just done so.> I e-mailed Dr. Erik Johnson, author of the book "Koi Health and Disease" on his "pond construction site" fat chance that will get read. Phoned him but he is out of the country till July. I don't think it is TB (Shrimp) cause when I looked up the other symptoms they didn't apply, nor did Swim Bladder Disease. <Sounds a very good call. I'm not really a Koi expert -- and let's face it, Koi experts really take their fish VERY SERIOUSLY.> Can you offer any thing else on his condition. I'm afraid he'll worsen and can't eat and I will have to watch him die. I can come to the aid of people and animals, but cannot control my emotions when it comes to my own. Do you know what I mean? You don't think it could be any kind of parasite, bacterial or fungal problem, do you... with the others so healthy and vibrant? Can you please offer something to help Shrimp that wasn't discussed prior? I will appreciate it so very much. <So long as the fish is eating and its body is otherwise sound, I would encourage you not to worry too much. All else being equal fish are very resilient and their powers of healing can be astounding. Spawning piranhas will literally bite each other to the bone, and yet heal up just fine afterwards. I have a Hatchetfish that somehow flew into a sharp metal light fixture and gouged out half her body. I expected her to die... and yet here we are, 3 months on and she's fine. Not fully healed, but she's fine. So to some extent you have to just watch the water quality and keeping putting the right food inside the fish. That way, the fish will have a chance to repair and damage themselves. If you're really concerned, take a photo (maybe netting the fish carefully) and send it along so we can see the symptoms a bit more clearly. Without a photo, figuring out what is wrong with a fish is very difficult unless you have "classic" symptoms to work from, like white spots on fins or holes in the lateral line.> Thank you again, Barbi <Cheers, Neale.>

White blotches on Koi, env. dis.  06/11/07 Hi WWM crew, Thanks for your help in the past. <Welcome> I have a 2,000 gallon Koi pond, established 10 years ago. It's been remarkably problem-free over its life, and a few of my Koi are originals purchased in 1997. <Nice> It has 15 or 16 fish, all Koi except three comets, ranging in size from 5 to about 15 inches. It is filtered with a big Savio trash can-sized filter that feeds a 15 inch waterfall, a 35-gallon bacteriological filter that feeds another small waterfall, and a 6 foot long algae mat. I also have a third circulating pump feeding a 6 inch waterfall, with no filtration mechanisms attached. <Good... and am hoping that all these pumps are on separate electrical circuits...> It is under trees, so the water is mostly shaded, some dappled sunlight. The water is clear but not as clean as it used to be, and has a brownish tinge, probably tannic acid. <Ah, a clue...> With three waterfalls evaporation is rapid, so once a week it gets a generous top off/water change, and a few times a season I remove and change a few hundred gallons. <Better by far to make sure you are removing water regularly... to prevent a sort of "Dead Sea" effect, the accumulation of solids (left behind with water evaporation)... replacing said removed water with new> I noticed that a few of the fish, but one in particular, has white splotches. On the fish most infected there are three, each about the size of a quarter. They are pretty pronounced. On a few other fish there are smaller, less obvious ones. All fish are acting and eating normally. <Mmm... likely environmental in origin> A visit to the water gardening section of my local nursery led to the recommendation of using a treatment with Clout <No!> (filtration stopped during this time) I did this but it had no effect, although in fairness I probably turned the filter back on too soon, as the blue disappeared within an hour or so of turning the filters back on. Any suggestions? Thanks Jeff <Relatively large serial water changes... along with testing... I suspect you have very high TDS, nitrates... And do look into adding a UV or Ozonizer to this system... cheaper to run than one of the pumps... and much improvement in water quality, livestock health. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Jeff Zegas

Re: bloated Koi, fin damage 06/07/07 Hello again Bob Fenner, <Jules> I wrote to you back in November about my large doitsu ghost. Your advice was to do nothing as the temperature was so low. I have monitored her since then and thought I'd update you. She is extremely bloated in the abdomen, failed to spawn again (went through all motions but released no spawn). She feeds well but every so often will go sulky and not feed for a couple of days. I would estimate that she is close to a foot wide towards the rear end! Should I continue to be worried, or not? <Yes... and I would now treat this fish... see below> (she is 23 inches long, so looks pretty ridiculous) Swelling is even, skin colour and condition is absolutely fine, as are all water parameters. On a recent bowling she released water from her vent, lots of it. Even though I'm very careful, she is always weak, can't retain balance etc., after any brief capture. Therefore I'm reluctant to do it. Any ideas or further advice would be very much appreciated. <Yes...> My second concern is a Chagoi with a persistent fungus on just one fin. As it is quite a tame fish, I can see quite clearly without getting the fish out. He has had it for several months. Just the end of one pectoral fin has a few white patches near the end, and the fin looks a little tatty. There is no reddening at all. The rest of the body of the fish is fine, all other fins are perfect. I have read many 'things' on this condition but still have done nothing, as I don't want to do the wrong thing with it being quite a valuable fish. Interestingly, this is the only fish I have that will 'flash' regularly- well, once in any viewing the fish for about 10 minutes. Your expertise on this, again, would be highly valued. Regards, Julian Ward (sunny England) <I would administer a "shot" (intramuscular) of one of the antibiotics listed in this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm
The best being Chloramphenicol... you will very likely need the assistance of a Veterinarian here (as these materials are restricted in your country). Dosage, other input re protocol are stated... But do contact me if you want/need further information. I suspect a (gram negative) bacterial involvement here. Bob Fenner>

Butterfly Koi in Trouble.  5/31/07 Hi we have an established pond approx. 500 gallons with 17 fish. A mix of Koi, Butterflies, Shubunkins. <If these are very small currently... this number of fishes will need much more room... like twice this volume plus> All doing extremely well. We dropped by the pet store and noticed a new shipment in. We have previously bought most of the fish from there and they always seemed great! <Quarantine...> In the tank they had 3 new white butterflies. 2 very active and one kind of sluggish. We chose to purchase the 2 active ones. <The active ones will "have" whatever the sluggish one has...> This was in early afternoon. The next day, the one was noticed resting in the parrots feather and when fed he spit out the pellets. We thought maybe we had accidentally got the sluggish one. We promptly returned him and the other one that was at the store had sold. 2 days later we noticed the one we have starting the same process. (we didn't quarantine them at the start) <You're learning... painfully...> We immediately pulled him and put him into a separate plastic pond. He is constantly laying on his side on the bottom. There are no lesions or ulcers. His condition really looks good. He has been like this for 3 days now. We thought each time he was dead but he does a small rally round. If there is a chance he'd get better, we don't want to get rid of him but I don't want to see him suffer anymore. One Koi specialists thought that if he was shipped sometimes they remove the air from their bladders and it could be an issue there. <Mmmm, no. But there is something to the issue of acclimation post shipping/handling> He recommended adding aquarium salt which we did, <Good> he seems slightly more active but very minimal. Another specialists thought a bacterial infection for sure. Would you have any ideas? Is there something I can do for a preventative measure for my other fish because he was with them for a couple days? Thanks in advance! Lisa <Best to (for now) keep the new fish separated... I do encourage the adoption, use of quarantine for all new incoming livestock. Bob Fenner>
Re: Butterfly Koi in Trouble. 5/31/07
Bob, thank you so much for your reply. I maybe have the gallons wrong because this pond is massive. at least 10'x10' and 4 feet deep. straight down for 2 feet then a ledge and the rest is sloped in to the center. <Let me guess here... Let's interpolate the depth average as 3 feet... and multiply the ten by ten by this three to get some 300 cubic feet... At about 7.5 gal.s per cubic foot, this comes out to some 2000 plus gallons> We have some about 10 -14" . The new ones were about 3-4". <Ahh, should be fine here> My husband did a water change on the sick one today held him upright and he did eat about 8 small pellets. <A very good sign! "A fish that eats is a fish that lives"> He swayed him around for a couple minutes. It seemed like he enjoyed this. We did notice his one eye is a little cloudy. <Again, could very well be incidental damage consequent with the move> As soon as my husband let him go he ended up on the bottom. We always quarantined our fish previous but this time we didn't! <Yikes!> What a mistake! I am fearful for the others and would like to do what I can for the sick one just in case the others end up with what he's got. Any ideas as to what it might be? Or what we could give him? Thank you, Lisa <I would leave this fish as is... or move to the container the other is/was in with a bit of salt... Of course monitoring the water quality, diluting for ammonia, nitrite... Bob Fenner>

Angel ID, and Koi color   - 5/18/07 Just have two quick questions. First one is can you tell me if the pic attached is a Mac or a Passer? <Mmm, perhaps neither... Is an Asfur> <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/maculosus.htm> Second question is how long does it take for a fish to regain it's  color? <Depends on... the species... reason/s for loss> I have a Malaysian Koi that jumped out of its winter stock tank and  after saving its life, it developed a fungal infection. It was treated and is  fully cured but the color and amour plates it used to have are not there and the  color is still white where it used to be a deep golden yellow on a blackish  orange background. Will the color come back and if so how long may it take? <Maybe... in time... months likely> Fish  has been healed from fungus for 5 or so months and is healthy and growing.   Sherry <... See WWM re Koi... is this a tategoi? A small individual... may not change to what you want, but to something else. Bob Fenner>

Re: Angel ID, Koi color resultant from damage/fungal infection     5/20/07 For the Koi question...No this is not a tategoi.  This female is 11"  TL and a cross between a standard and butterfly fin. In my neck of the woods  these are referred to as Malaysian Koi. She is a Hikarimoyo with  Matsuba and Ginrin scale/color pattern. The color loss referred to was due to  the fungal infection referred to above and only resulted due to the infection.  My question is after healing from this infection, how long for color to fully  return? Can I tweak her diet more to assist? <Mmm, perhaps never... the loss of tissue under the scales... the chromatophores, iridophores themselves will/would mean a permanent loss> As for the Angel question.. I have looked at the site and studied the page and checked in your books, which I have and am having a hard time ID'ing fish as  well. So please don't refer me back to the site as I try to answer my questions  before I write in. It is being sold as a Half Moon Angel and dealer is unsure as  to which it is as well. I have a hold on it but would like to know what it  is. You say likely neither. If it is not a Pomacanthus Maculosus or a Pomacanthus asfur then what do you think it is? <It is the latter... An Asfur almost assuredly... by the color of the caudal... Small Maculosus Angels are exceedingly rare in the trade. Bob Fenner>

Very long white thread-like "worm" coming from Koi's anus.    5/15/07 Hi Crew, How are you? <Fine, thanks> I love your site and you helped me save/improve my fish and pond a couple of times last year.   I hope you can this time, too. I've searched the entire site and don't find exactly this issue. Firstly, I have an outdoor irregular shaped approx. 1000 gal. pond, Fishmate 3000 UV filter and pump, with fountain and an extra aerator for plenty of oxygen.  I have three large comets (6-8 inches)  and two 5 inch Koi. <By and large not a good idea to mix these two... reasons stated on WWM...>   The pond is going into its third summer. We started it up a few weeks ago as it was cold here in Upstate NY  <A small volume/size system for an area with such inclement weather... I take it you have means of disallowing the pond/livestock to freeze> for late into April The lily pads are starting up, frogs are back, and the water tests very well: safe for Nitrates, Nitrites, on the softish side.  We top off from a clean underground well.   The Ph is always a about  6.9 but for 3 years they fish have seemed okay with that. <Should be fine> A few days ago I noticed my smallest Koi hanging off to himself on one of the side shelves. He seemed listless and not very hungry.   I didn't know what to do so I waited a day, then decided to start feeding them medicated food, do a partial water change (about 15% dripped slowly over the side) and raised the Ph a tiny bit to 7.2   He perked up and started swimming with the group. Then the next day!  he had a Loooooong white thread-like thing coming from his butt.  It's longer than he is. <Unusual... for sure> About 5-6 inches.   What could this be? <I really think this IS likely a bit of string>   I've seen them with Anchor Worms before, but they always came out of the side of their body after bumps had appeared.  This thing is similar in that it's white, thread-like, but it's coming from the fish's backside.    Is it something he's expelling?  Something I should remove?  Or not?   <I would try catching, giving this bit of material a slight tug> Is a salt bath required?  Is he pregnant? <No> In which case is he a she? Should I treat the entire pond with parasite guard? <I would not>   Should I wait to remove the muck at the bottom, so as not to shock them, or remove it immediately.   <This is also a good idea... I would wait till the water is consistently at least 65 F.>   Any advice would be helpful.    Thank you so much. --Judy T. <Not likely pathogenic, and will likely solve itself. I urge caution, patience at this point. Bob Fenner>

8" Blue Orfe, hlth.    5/13/07 Dear Robert <Ruth> I wonder if you could help me. When I just looked into my fishpond I saw one of my 8" Blue Orfe's acting strangely, Its body is sort of wavy like an 'S' and it was on its side, <Mmm, and all other fish livestock appears fine...> not particularly gasping although in distress because it cannot keep it's balance.  It looks very shiny and healthy, upon examination I can see nothing at all wrong, but it's head seems to be on one side probably due to its sort of 'S' shaped body. I have isolated it just in case it is diseased.  I did a water test only last week and all seemed OK.  We have the pond covered so I don't think a bird etc. has injured it. I would appreciate any help or advice you can give. Best Regards, Ruth Saunders <... Might be a lone individual inflicted with "Whirling Disease". See WWM, the Net re... Could be a case of Mycobacterial infection (do wash your hands if they've been in the pond)... Could be a genetic defect expressing itself at this age, size/stage of growth... You might consider calling about, to see if there is a veterinarian about who specializes in fish diseases... They will require the fish, sacrifice it... Bob Fenner>

Meds, pond, no useful info.   5/10/07 We have a large pond that has Koi and gold fish. <Best not to mix these...>   We have one white gold fish that has moss or something like it growing on him.  He seems healthy and is active like the other fish.  We have treated the pond three times with Melafix. <Not worthwhile>   Should we try that again or something else. <...?> There was an improvement in the fish after the treatment because before he wouldn't swim much and would not eat.   Thanks for your help   Linda Hancock   <... What re water quality testing, maintenance, filtration, foods/feeding? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Bob Fenner>  

Aquatic Gardens

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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