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Friday, June 29, 2007

White Bump On Fin

I have a new koi and he has developed a white bump on his fin - I am wondering if this is a parasite. Also, he has a couple small blue fuzzy dots on his side which I suspect are fungus. How do I treat these two problems? -Betsy

That white bump is probably carp pox. Carp pox is a virus that makes solid waxy lumps appear on Koi. Carp pox usually appears in cold water and then goes away when the water temperature rises. Carp pox is not deadly to Koi, it is mainly a cosmetic issue.

The small blue fuzzy dots could just be color. If it is a fungus, treat it with a fish safe fungicide.

Koi in Dubai

I want to ask if koi fish can survive in middle east particularly in Dubai since the temperature here is rising and up to what degree of temperature does koi fish can tolerate? -Jasmin

Koi can live in water temperatures from 34 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have plenty of shade and good pond depth, I don't think that having Koi in Dubai would be out of the question. You may even want to look into installing a chiller to keep your water cool.

Breeding Koi

I HAVE A LARGE WELL(cistern) AT HOME WITH DIMENSIONS 3*4*2METERS WITH FILLED ALMOST COMPLETELY WITH RAINFALL WATER RIGHT NOW I AM KEEPING ABOUT 60 FISH MOSTLY KOI OF DIFFERENT SIZES AND GOLDFISH. THE WELL IS VERY VENTILATED WITH AN OPENING OF ABOUT60*60 CM. I AM KEEPING THEM FOR TWO MONTHS. THEY ARE DOING VERY WELL. MY INTENTION IS TO MAKE THEM BREED, WILL THEY DO LIVE AND BREED IN SUCH ENVIRONMENT? DO YOU ENCOURAGE ME TO PUT TURTLES INTO WELL?

THANK YOU VERY MUCH - DR KHALID

When the Japanese breeders spawn Koi, they usually put a couple males in a pond with one female. They will allow the Koi to spawn and then they will move the parents out of the pond so that they won't eat the eggs.

They should live in the well, make sure that you have good water quality. You might want to separate them if you want to breed, the other Koi will eat the eggs.

I wouldn't put any turtles in with they Koi, they might hurt the Koi and they might eat the eggs.

Can a high pH cause cloudy water? -Anthony

The most common cause of cloudy water in in Koi pond is poor filtration. If you don't have an adequate amount of filtration in your pond to remove organic and inorganic waste, they will build up and cause the "cloudy water". A little searching around the internet will reveal that high pH will cause cloudy water in swimming pools. A Koi pond is both very different and similar from a swimming pool. Both will have a filter system to remove debris. A pool needs chemicals to keep it clean and sterile. A Pond uses a biological or a chemical filter to keep it toxin free, but it is not sterile. If you have cloudy water, increase the amount of filtration on your pond.

Ogon Not Eating

HELLO HOW ARE YOU, I HAVE A QUESTION. I HAVE A FEMALE GIN RIN OGON,,SHE IS ABOUT 15 INCHES MAYBE LARGER,,,I GOT HER LIKE 3 WEEKS AGO AND SHE IS FINE BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW OGONS ACT, I HAVE ABOUT 8 OTHER KOI IN MY 7000 GALLON POND (THE WORKS)...ALL THE KOI ARE LIKE 10 INCHES AND UNDER ACTUALLY THERE ARE ONLY 2 10INCHERS...KOHAKU,,,,ANYWAY MY QUESTION IS SHE DOESN’T EAT LIKE THE OTHER LITTLE PIGS DUE AND WHEN SHE GETS READY TO COME UP FOR FOOD ITS ALL GONE,,SHE MIGHT BE GETTING ONE OR TWO PELLETS THAT’S IT,,,WHEN I GOT HER SHE WAS VERY HAND TAME BUT SINCE I BEEN TRYING TO GET OUT 3 LITTLE GOLDFISH IN MY POND SHE HASN’T. WELL WHAT SHE IS DOING IS NOT GETTING THE FOOD RIGHT, SHE TRIES TO SUCK IT IN, BUT SHE ISN'T DOING IT HARD ENOUGH, SHE TRIES MORE AROUND THE EDGE OF THE POND BECAUSE ITS EASIER FOR HER TO GRAB IT,,,SHE SWIMS FINE SHES NOT ANTI SOCIABLE,,,, AND SHE ISN'T GASPING,,,SHE DOES HAVE A LITTLE BACTERIA INFECTION THAT IS VERY SMALL THAT I TREATED AND I THINK IT IS UNDER CONTROL,,,,IT WAS A BIG RED SPOT BUT NOW ITS LITTLE SINCE I RAISED MY SALT IN MY POND AND TREATED ONE WITH BIO BANDAGE,,I DON’T THINK THIS IS THE PROBLEM SO I WAS WONDERING CAN TELL ME SOME INFO ON GIN RIN OGON,,,,IS IT BECAUSE SHE MIGHT BE PREGNANT, BUT SHE HAS NO STOMACH SIGN AND I DIDN'T SEE ANY ACTIVITY,,,IS IT BECAUSE SHE IS JUST LAZY OUR WHAT,,CAN YOU PLEASE HELP!

Your Ogon that's shy is probably just got scared from the net that you've been using to try and capture the goldfish with. She also might feel sick from the small ulcer. When you feed your Koi, toss some food around the Ogon when it eventually goes to the surface. You can try to hand tame the Ogon again by putting your hand in the water with the food. Eventually it will get used to your presence and it will eat from your hand.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I KEEP FINDING DEAD GOLDFISH. EITHER FISH ALL INTACT OR WITH THEIR HEAD OR STOMACH MISSING. ALL FEMALE - WE RECENTLY PUT A KOI OF TRIPLE THEIR SIZE. COULD HE BE HURTING OR KILLING THEM? - BUDD

Koi and goldfish are both docile, so they get along good. A predator is probably getting in your pond and hurting your fish.

Sick Koi

I have this Koi fish in my pond at home. I think there's something wrong with him. He just sits there on the bottom and does nothing all day. Can you help? -Daniel

He is probably sick, with parasites or a bacterial infection. The best thing to do is get in contact with a local veterinarian that specializes in Koi health or a local Koi club. They will be able to tell you what is afflicting the Koi and how to fix it.

Scared Koi

I have this Koi in my pond and it seems like every time I walk past it, he is skittish and darts around in the pond like a madman. What in the world is going on?? -Anthony

Something probably scared your Koi in the past, and now it gets scared whenever someone goes by the pond. There's not much you can do other than trying to train it with food.

Do koi eat goldfish? -Daniel

Koi do not usually eat goldfish. The only time that could happen is if you have large Koi in a pond with tiny goldfish that could fit inside a Koi's mouth. Both Koi and goldfish are considered docile, so they get along great and won't fight.

How long does it take Koi to mate? -Anthony

Koi generally start to breed when they are at least two years old and are 12 or more inches long. Some Koi are reach sexual maturity sooner, some later. They generally spawn from spring to early summer. You'll know that your Koi have spawned when you start to see fry swimming in the algae at the sides of your pond.

Spring Fed Pond and Koi

I have a natural pond that is fed by a natural spring. The water runs into the pond at one end and exits at the other end. Do I need a filter? The pond is about 20 ft in diameter and about 2.5 ft. deep. I inherited this pond when I purchased the house. I need advise on how to maintain it and the Koi that are in the pond. The property sat empty for about a year and a half. - Masaie

Since the pond is spring fed, you probably don't need a filter system. The water is being constantly changed. This is also known as a flow-through system. For more information on Koi keeping, refer the the Koi keeping articles.

What gets ride of amonia and nirite? -Alan

There are a few things that you can do to get rid of Ammonia and Nitrite. They fit into two categories:

Short Term
  • Do big water changes
  • Add and Ammonia removing chemical to your water
Long Term
  • Add more filtration on your pond
The best solution is to increase the amount of filtration on your pond. Doing water changes every day can get old and adding chemicals to your pond can get expensive really fast.

Waterfall and Aereation

I now have 6 Koi in my pond. On hot days the water gets warm (80 degrees). I have a waterfall running. Will this be enough oxygen for the fish? -Anthony

The waterfall should provide enough aeration. Six Koi don't require massive amounts of aeration. It would be a different story if you said that you had 30 or 40 large Koi in your pond. If you are concerned about your Koi not getting enough oxygen, then go to a local Koi supply store or pet shop and get a good sized air pump with some good sized air stones. Hook everything up and put it in your pond.

How can I get my 4 Koi and 2 goldfish to eat from my hand? -Anthony

It takes time to train a Koi to hand feed. Start by putting your hand in the water with the Koi when you put food in it. At first they will be nervous and probably won't go anywhere near you. Eventually they will get used to the presence of your hand and will eat near it.

When they are used to your hand being in the water, cup your hand and put some food in it. Lower your hand in the water and hold it near the surface. They Koi will smell the food in your hand and will be curious. Eventually they will build up the nerve to eat from it. Training your Koi to eat from your hand is one of the funnest parts of this hobby.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Koi and Other Fish

I have a large 1/2-acre pond in which I'd like raise Koi. What issues should I address prior to releasing the Koi in the pond? Specifically, will the Koi coexist with the existing species, e.g. perch, bass, and bream? -Chris

Koi are a carp. If those fish get along with carp, then they should get along with Koi. If you are really concerned about the fish getting along with each other, then get rid of the other fish and keep only Koi in the pond.

Raccons and Pond Depth

My pond is only 2 and a half feet at its deepest point. Will my Koi be safe from the raccoon? -Anthony

A great predator proof Koi pond will be four feet deep and will have sheer walls so that animals can't wade into it. Here's a video clip of a Raccoon getting into a pond.

Stressed Koi and Goldfish

I have 4 Koi and 2 Goldfish in my pond. Every time I walk by the pond they quickly dart down to the deepest part of our pond. Am I stressing them out? -Anthony

Something probably scared your fish in your pond. Walking by does stress them a little but don't worry about it. If you want to calm them down, add more fish to your pond.

How many gallons of water does each Koi need to have? -Nick

Each Koi needs about 150 gallons of water. This may seem silly when they are small, but when they get big, 150 gallons seems too little.

Mating Koi

Do male Koi mate multiple times with other female Koi or do they just mate once with one female Koi? -Bethann

Male Koi will mate multiple times with other female Koi. Monogamy is an abstract concept for fish.

Male or Female Koi

I have a bright yellow Koi in my pond (along with 3 other Koi). I suspect he is a male. How can I be sure? -Bethann

Here's an article about Sexing Koi.

I have Koi and they keep flicking. What do I do to treat this? -Alex

Your Koi probably have a parasite that's bugging them. Find a veterinarian or a local Koi club and they should be able to help you out.

Bubbles in Pond

There are bubbles on the top of my pond. They get in the way of seeing my fish. Can you help? -Dale

The bubbles at the top of your pond are caused by the dissolved organics in your water. The dissolved organics bind with oxygen, usually while the water is being agitated from an air stone or a waterfall. When the dissolved organics bind with oxygen, they float at the surface of the water as the "bubbles". Water changes will remove the dissolved organics from the water.

How Many Koi Can Be Put In A Pond

My pond is about 2500 gallons. How many Koi could I put in my pond? -Peter

The general rule of thumb is one Koi for every 150 gallons. Going by this calculation, you can put up to 16 Koi in your pond. Plan for the future and make sure that you will have adequate filtration for when your Koi get big.

Koi Flicking

I have a 10x10x5 pond, six weeks old, and my Koi keep flicking. Is there anything I can do? -Alan

Your Koi probably have some sort of parasitic infestation. Contact a local Koi club or veterinarian that specializes in Koi health so you can figure out what parasite is afflicting your Koi and what to treat it with.

Bubbles Near Waterfall

At the bottom of our waterfall is bubbles like someone put soap in the pond. The bubbles float all around the pond. How can I get rid of the bubbles? -Anthony

A quick short term solution is to take some pure alcohol and put it in a spray bottle. Spray a little on the bubbles and they disappear.

A long term solution is to do more water changes. The bubbles are probably dissolved organics in your pond. When they water thats full of dissolved organics runs over the waterfall, the agitation forces the dissolved organics to bind with the oxygen in the air. This causes the dissolved organics the float at the surface of the water and it looks like soap bubble. Water changes will lower the amount of dissolved organics in your pond, therefore lowering the amount of bubbles.

Do I have to put salt in my pond? -Anthony

There are both pros and cons with adding salt to a Koi pond. No, you do not have to put salt in your pond.

Pros
  • Salt makes Koi secrete a thicker slime coat
  • Salt kills parasites
  • Salt helps Koi with osmoregulation
Cons
  • Salt irritates Koi
  • Salt kills plants
  • Constant salt in ponds is creating salt-resistant parasites
  • Salt is only removed with water changes
Most people have salt in their ponds when they bring in a new Koi. This helps kill parasites and makes them have a thicker slime coat. After a while, they will lower the salt level to nothing with water changes.

Koi Health Problem

Koi not swimming much just huddled together at edges of pond near the top (not gasping for air).

Your Koi probably have a parasitic infection. Contact a local Koi club or veterinarian that specializes in Koi health to:
  • Find out what's afflicting your Koi
  • Plan a treatment to get rid of i

Prevention

I recently asked about worming fish and I understand your answer about Flukes. My Koi swim in salted water, but following on about treatments for parasites, etc. Is there anything that we should be treating on an annual basis with medications as a precaution against the possible infestation of diseases? I now have a nice collection of fish and I want to make sure I am always doing the right thing by them to ensure their health and safety. Thanking You, William.

Koi health and disease is all about prevention, prevention, prevention. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. Adding salt to your water makes a Koi's slime coat thicker, which means that it has a better barrier against parasites and bacteria. There really isn't anything other than salt that you can use to treat on a annual basis to prevent a parasitic infestation or a bacterial infection. The best thing that you can do is make sure that you have spot on water quality and a low stress environment for your Koi. You see, parasites and bacteria are in the water at all times. The only time they really harm a Koi is when their immune system is down.

A Koi's immune system gets knocked down when:
  • There's poor water quality. (i.e. a buildup of Ammonia, Nitrite, or Nitrate)
  • They get stressed out often. (i.e. constantly being netted, animals going into pond, kids throwing rocks in pond, ect.)
If you prevent these things from happening, you should have great success with keeping Koi. If you are buying Koi, make sure you get them from a reputable place too. You don't want to buy a Koi thats loaded with parasites.

Is there such a thing as sunburn for Koi? -Patrick

If a Koi is kept for long periods of time in a indoor tank and then put in an outdoor pond, there is a chance that it could get sunburned. It is always a good idea to provide a place in the pond with shade so that your Koi have some place to go during the peak sunlight hours of the day.

Egg Bound Koi

I have a Koi which is about 10 years old. It has a dark swelling to its abdomen more noticeable to the right hand side of the fish. I've spoken to my local fish supplier who thinks that the fish could be egg bound. Could you suggest how the fish could be treated. Egg stripping was suggested? -Reg

Egg stripping is a preventative measure to keep a Koi from getting egg bound. When a female Koi grows eggs inside of her body, they either have to be expelled while mating or be re-absorbed. Sometimes the re-absorption of the eggs doesn't go so well and a female Koi will get "Egg Bound". Once a Koi gets egg bound, the only treatment is surgery to remove the tumor that grows from the impacted eggs. Contact a local veterinarian that specializes in Koi health and plan a course of action.

Blind Koi

I feel that my Koi is possibly blind. He just sits on the bottom of his tank and does nothing. He
used to be a very active fish trying to bite my fingers when I fed him but know he doesn't seem
to see me.

Can you please help me with any info or treatments
Thank you
Richard

Richard,
It is a possibility that your Koi could be sick. When a Koi gets sick, they tend to isolate themselves. Contact a local Koi club or a veterinarian that specializes in Koi health and see if they will take a look at your Koi to get a better diagnosis.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

String Algae

Our pond is full of string algae, were are putting everything in. Can you help? -Daniel

You can try adding Bentonite to your pond. It forces the string algae to detach itself from the sides of your pond. You can also do large water changes, they will lower the amount of Nitrate in your pond (Nitrate is fertilizer for string algae). Maybe try cutting back a little on the Koi food a little.

If your pond was installed by a landscaper and it has rock on the bottom, remove the rock. Fish waste, uneaten food, ect. gets trapped in between the rock and becomes fertilizer for the string algae.

Algae problems

Our pond is all green. Algae keeps coming back. It's like we have to continue using the Algae substances day after day. How can I get rid of this algae for good? -Anthony

Anthony,
Algae is basically a weed. Most people don't want it in their pond and it can take over a pond if kept unkempt. Unfortunately, it is part of the Nitrogen Cycle. Your filter turns Ammonia into Nitrite and Nitrite into Nitrate. Nitrate is a fertilizer and algae is a plant, so if you have a bunch of Koi, they will produce a bunch of waste, which will then turn into a bunch of fertilizer.

Here are a couple of quick things that you can do to get rid of the algae:
  1. Run the water through massive amounts of vegetation (i.e. water lettuce, lilies, ect.)
  2. Do lots of water changes, (i.e. a 50% water change will remove 50% of the Nitrate in the water)
Two common types of algae found in Koi ponds are string algae and floating algae. String algae is the stuff that looks like huge tuffs of green hair. Floating, or suspended algae is the stuff that makes Koi ponds look like split-pea soup.

One of the simplest ways to get rid of string algae is to pull it out by hand. You can either grab it or use a toilet bowl scrubber to yank it off the sides of your pond.

A permanent way to get rid of the floating algae is to install a UV Light in your filter system. When the water is pumped through the unit, the UV light disrupts the DNA in the algae cells, effectively sterilizing them.