Arggh!! My suicidal koi!


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You guys helped me out a lot last year, when my aquarium koi ate an oto and got it stuck in his mouth. Since then he's been doing just fine and happy. I have a pond outside, but since I'm in Zone 7A I decided to keep him in the aquarium over the winter, and move him when it warms up. I was afraid he didn't have enough fat stored to survive the cold winter.

But that's not why I'm posting today.

His aquarium is in my finished basement, and I usually leave the cover open to let more air flow. Yesterday I went downstairs to get something, and found my koi laying in the floor!!!!! He had apparently jumped 3" out of the water, over the side, and landed 3' below on the carpet!

I don't know how long he had been like that, but he was barely moving his mouth... so alive. I picked him up (he felt pretty dry) and put him back in the tank as fast as I could. He immediately went to the bottom, face down and tail up at a 45 degree-ish angle. I immediately saw a ton of white "threads" on his scales, but since I used to have cats that stayed in the basement (they both passed last year) I couldn't tell if it was leftover hair, lint, dead scales, fungus, or other.

After about an hour he seemed to be moving around normally, and the white threads were mostly off of him but all over the inside of the tank. He still had white on his eyes, but I couldn't tell if it was the threads or if his eyes had dried out and now he was possibly blind. I did a 10% water change to get the white threads out of the tank.

At his usual dinner time I tried to get him to eat, but he didn't come to the top like normal (he's usually very excited to see me and eats out of my hand). I got him to eat one pellet, but he ignored the rest.

When I came in this morning, the other 3 pellets I had left in the tank were still floating. His eyes are still a little filmy, he still has some white threads on his sides and fins, he swims around but much slower than usual, and he didn't come to the surface to eat.

So what do you guys and gals think? I have some fungus clear tabs that I can use, but I guess I would have to remove the filter and plants for a few days if I use it? Or would that possibly make the healing process worse?

More water changes? Or just leave it alone and let him recover for a few days?

I'm attaching several pictures, and one shows the white threads that are caught up in a fake plant so you can judge whether it's fungus or lint.

About the koi...

He's possibly a Diatsu (someone suggested that before). I always assumed he was a goldfish hybrid, though. He's in the neighborhood of 10 years old, about 7" long, and his diet is mostly pond pellets with the occasional blood worm treat. He's usually very fun and playful, and I feed him out of my hand every evening. He's golden yellow with a few red spots that have always been there; at first I worried that they were acid burns, but they never grew or went away so I think they're just markings.

He grew up with 2 little otos, but last year he ate one of them (probably by accident). The other is still in the tank and mostly ignored.

About the tank...

It's a 36G tank, and I replaced the filter about 2 weeks ago. I have a pleco in addition to the small oto in the same tank, and I put in a bunch of parrot feather earlier in the Spring (I had to remove a ton from my pond, and figured it could only help with the water quality). I have quite a bit of algae in the tank, but since 2 of the 3 sides are against a wall it's not easy to clean... that's why I got the pleco, and also hoped the parrot feather would help.

I use all of that as a gauge of water quality, sort of working on the assumption that if the algae and parrot feather are thriving then the water quality must be pretty good for the fish, too.
 

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JRS

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I am thinking the white threads were dried out pieces of his slime coat and other crud like dust. Main thing is to give him tip top water quality, keep up the partial water changes and make sure you don't leave uneaten food in the tank. I would not upset the tank otherwise by removing plants or filters. If not terminal damage, he could recover. Some low grade treatment like stress coat or melafix may be in order, keep a close eye out for actual fungus or infection on his skin.
 
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Will do. I have well water so it's not exactly what I would call "tip top water quality"...

I have a 20 micron whole house filter. I use a 2.5G jug to do water changes, and after each change I fill it up with tap cold so it can sit for a month (I usually do a water change on the 1st of the month), get to room temperature, release any gas bubbles, and let sediment fall to the bottom. Short of buying distilled or purified water, that's my cleanest option.

I don't have an LFS, so I'm ordering Stress Coat and Melafix from Amazon as we speak. Hopefully nothing gets worse while I'm waiting on delivery :-O I'll keep you posted...
 
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I agree it looks like the pieces of the fishes slime coat. I think Stress Coat is a dechlorinator / skin conditioner , while Melafix is an antibacterial treatment. I would go ahead and use the Stress Coat with your water changes, but hold off on using Melafix, unless an infection develops.

Definitely secure the top of your tank, koi jump !
 
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Sorry to hear about your jumper. I've seen some of mine jump. Probably to catch bugs. Luckily non of mine have jumped out of the pond. So, they can and do jump.
 
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Just a quick update...

Last night he took one pellet from my hand, but after a few seconds spit it back out and didn't try again. I did another 10% water change and got all of the white out that I could see.

Today he looks pretty much normal. His eyes have cleared up, I don't see any white threads, and he swims around like he's excited to see me. Maybe not as enthusiastic as usual, but more than before! But he still wouldn't eat anything. So now I'm really just worried about internal injuries from the fall. Hopefully he's just bruised and he'll eat in a day or so.
 
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Sounds like he's (hopefully) recovering.
Here's a sad story:
A few years back I had to replace my liner. I had to capture all my fish. Some were pretty big. I siphoned pond water into several large garbage cans. One of my favorite koi was 14+ inches, not huge, but pretty big. He was a cool pink salmon color. Well, as I was getting him into the garbage can he jumped and landed on the ground. I immediately picked him up and returned him to the water. I guess it was too much of a shock for him because he never recovered. No matter what I did, it didn't help.
So, it sounds like your guy has survived a worse experience and he's doing better already. Good luck to you and him...
 
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I have a much more positive story to share...

Many years ago, I bought a few loaches from PetSmart, for a 10G tank that had a handful of tetras. I put the bag in a bowl and sat it in the bathroom sink, and would bring in a cup of water from the tank every 30 minutes to acclimate them.

Well, at one point when I was dumping out some of the bag water, one of the loaches shot straight up in the air, landed in the sink, and swoop! right down the drain!!

I was sad, but what could I do?

About 4 hours later my girlfriend came home from work and I told her about it. After a few minutes she said, "did you try taking apart the drain to see if it's still in there?" Well, I hadn't, so I put a bucket under the trap and took it apart.

Sure enough, there that loach was hanging out in a bunch of old hair, soap, and toothpaste!! I put him in a cup of water, and he swam around like nothing happened.

I kept him in an unused betta tank for a few days and kept changing the water, to make sure he was clean. Eventually I put him in the tank, and there he lived and thrived for about 4 years!

It's absolutely amazing how tough some of these guys really are. When you think about it, my koi really fell about 4'... he's 2" tall, so that's close to 40' for a human! With no arms or legs to catch him, he just fell flat on his side. Imagine falling 40', landing on your side, not being able to breath for awhile, then just get back up and be fine in a few days! It boggles the mind.
 
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So the reason this fish jumped is that it didn't like being scaled down in the area it can swim. Kois are not meant to be on basement tanks even during the winter.

Unlike loaches, they dont do well outside the water if left for hours but that doesn't mean they don't recover. Think of it as having a heart attack and now the koi is in recovery. (loaches actually have air sacks that allow them to survive in mud).

My advise:

1- Cover your tank.

2- Once the koi is feeling well in 3 weeks put it out again. Hot to cold water sucks but the fish eventually adapt (cold to hot water kills a fish if not done right). Put it in a container outside so it slowly cools down then transfer it to the pond.
 
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A cover sounds like it’s needed. And perhaps a bigger tank if you’re going to keep him in. Even 36 gallons isn’t enough water volume for a goldfish, much less koi/ koi gold. I’m planning a tank build once I can get things in order, and have my sun room set up like I want.
 
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Just to update you guys and gals...

My koi is doing just fine now! It took about a week for him to eat again so I was getting nervous, and I worried that his jaw or throat was broken; he would take a pellet in, then suck on it and spit it out, and not try again. But I put in some crushed up flakes for a few days and he ate them, then eventually ate some pellets again.

There's only one problem left. I think he might have broken his left fin! When I found him he was laying on his left side, so this fin was pinned against him (possibly folded) the whole time.

I attaching some pictures, taken just now. You can see that there's a little white sticking out right where his fin connects to his body, and it is dark red around the joint. He moves it just fine so I don't think that he's in pain, but I can't tell if the dark red is bruise, and I can't tell if the white sticking out is bone, fat, or fungus. Neither the red nor the white have grown any since the 2nd day so I don't think it's an infection or fungus, but I can't be positive.

I've witnessed fin rot before in a betta, so I know that they can grow back after injury. But is there anything else I should do here to help him along? Is his entire fin going to fall off and regrow?!
 

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I would imagine someone already recommended. But if not. I would add a little aquarium salt and some stress coat. To the water.
 
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Just to update you guys and gals...

My koi is doing just fine now! It took about a week for him to eat again so I was getting nervous, and I worried that his jaw or throat was broken; he would take a pellet in, then suck on it and spit it out, and not try again. But I put in some crushed up flakes for a few days and he ate them, then eventually ate some pellets again.

There's only one problem left. I think he might have broken his left fin! When I found him he was laying on his left side, so this fin was pinned against him (possibly folded) the whole time.

I attaching some pictures, taken just now. You can see that there's a little white sticking out right where his fin connects to his body, and it is dark red around the joint. He moves it just fine so I don't think that he's in pain, but I can't tell if the dark red is bruise, and I can't tell if the white sticking out is bone, fat, or fungus. Neither the red nor the white have grown any since the 2nd day so I don't think it's an infection or fungus, but I can't be positive.

I've witnessed fin rot before in a betta, so I know that they can grow back after injury. But is there anything else I should do here to help him along? Is his entire fin going to fall off and regrow?!
It does look like a broken bone, but I don’t have a clue how to set a fin! If you can, try calling around for a vet who can do fish. Some vets could do an online consult if you can’t find one local, I imagine you’ll probably end up sedating him via clove oil, then setting the fin, securing it maybe with superglue on the skin, and possibly giving antibiotics just in case. If that were my koi, that’s what I’d be trying, with no local vets that do fish. But I’m comfortable with medical stuff, and can give shots, sutures, etc easily to my pets.
 

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