Koi laying on his side

Discussion in 'Illness and Disease' started by Jetz1138, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    I live in Northern Illinois and we had a extreme cold start to the fall and winter with daily temps in the teens and nights in single digits. pond froze over.. had big bubbler and ice heater. Today we had a warm snap in the cold up to 50 F. All the ice melted on top of my pond and I noticed my biggest Koi laying on his side at the bottom of the pond. I removed him and was able to place in a container. He looks fine with no ulcer or marks on him. I tested the water and all level seems perfect. Ammonia, nitrites, PH, etc... He stopped laying on his side so I decided to place him back in the pond. All he did was swim off by himself and wedged between two rocks. Any insight to what this might be. Should I remove and quarantine? I didn't expect something like this in the winter. Only my second winter. Rob
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 26, 2016
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  2. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Are your other fish exhibiting any symptoms of issues?
    What were the numeric results of your water test? Did these results vary from earlier tests?
    What size pond? How many fish? Sizes?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 26, 2016
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  3. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    The pond is about 5000 gals and only have around 20-25 fish. I don't have exact count since we had some new goldfish born and never could count them all. This being first year, most are Koi around 8-10 inch size.2-3 are 12-14", this one, Bubba is his name, is the largest about 18". I have some gold fish around 5-6", about 10 of them. PH was about 8, Ammonia was 0 ppm, Nitrites 0 ppm and Phosphate 0 ppm. these are the only test I have. I'm still new so hopefully this information will help. I just went out before dark. He doesn't seem to lay on his side and is just at the bottom now with the other fish near their cave entrance.
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 26, 2016
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  4. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Are all of the other fish symptom free?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 27, 2016
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  5. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    Yes, the rest seem to be fine. It's very strange, he was on his side when I took him out of the pond, I placed him in a 30 gallon Tupperware container and he just rolled right to his side. I had to prop him up or he just rolled. I then placed a bubbler in to give him as much oxygen as possible and left him there for a few hours. He seemed to come around. Since I've put him back in the pond, he's more lethargic compared to the others but doesn't seem to be rolling to his side anymore.
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 27, 2016
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  6. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Very hard to pin down one certain source of the problem with so little information, but based on what you have stated, i would lean towards a temporary swim bladder issue.
    While you had him in the separate container, did you happen to notice the presence on any fish poop? He may have been constipated. This happens sometimes with fish when the temperatures drop.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 27, 2016
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  7. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    Well... a turn for the worse. I found another fish laying on his side this morning and Bubba was back on his side and had floated down stream. Not sure he's going to make it. So looks it is starting to affect others. I've taken them both out and placed in separate bins with aeration. Going to try and reach out to local Koi store but most people are out this week for the holiday break. My concern is it's starting to get cold again.
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 27, 2016
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  8. Jetz1138

    Lisak1

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    @Jetz1138 - I don't think you said whether or not you shut your pond down for the winter? I'm in Northern IL too - we're having us a weird start to winter for sure!
     
    Lisak1, Dec 27, 2016
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  9. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Meyer Jordan, Dec 27, 2016
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  10. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    Hi, Lisak1, I don't shut my pond down for the winter. Now that being said, this is only my second winter with it.

    Hi Meyer, thanks for the article, I'll read it today. I bought a 50 gallon container and placed the 2 koi in there with aeration. The garage stays around 50 degree during winter. They both now have been in there for that last few hours and are starting to perk back up. Actually swimming around versus just rolling over on their side. Still a little lethargic, but moving. When I found the larger one this morning he was completely upside down with extremely little movement.

    I"m keeping an eye on the rest of the pond and all seems good for now. I guess this was a good week to take off work!!
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 27, 2016
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  11. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Are the two fish that have been symptomatic so far larger fish?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 27, 2016
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  12. Jetz1138

    Faebinder

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    What's the water temperature.. it may be fluctuating too fast for the fish. Koi are less prone to swim bladder issues but that's what it seems like you have. My guess the temperatures flipped too fast for them.
     
    Faebinder, Dec 27, 2016
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  13. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    Hi Faebinder... You could be right. the temps went from single digits, and negative, to 50 F in a day. A very fast change. Now temps coming back down. The ice on the top of the pond completely melting in one day and a heavy rain fall as well. I have to assume the water didn't change rapidly, but definitely the outside temps did. The 2 fish I pulled look better then they did, but still not even close to "good". Their outside color look good, not marks and no bloating.
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 27, 2016
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  14. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Pond temperatures rarely experience large, rapid shifts regardless of what atmospheric temperatures do. This is because of the nature of water and also because of the moderating effect of the surrounding soil. Remember, there is more surface area below the water level exposed to soil temperatures than the surface area exposed to air.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 27, 2016
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  15. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    We'll have to see if they make it through the night. Right now water temp is at 52F, I used 60% existing pond water and 40% tap water. Add some stress reducer for tap water and small a mount of microbe-lift broad spectrum control. I read the Swim Bladder article. I'm not ruling that out yet, but not certain that's it. I took a short video and trying to figure out how to take off iPhone and post.
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 27, 2016
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  16. Jetz1138

    Jetz1138

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    They made it through the nigh and look fine now!!! I guess I now have some indoor fish friends to take care of for the rest of the winter. That creates a whole new "process" I have to prep for. I'm going to upgrade the tank a bit. I spoke to a person at the Koi store near me. He asked if I had these Koi last winter. I told him, No, He mentioned that some Koi may not have never been in this type of environment over a winter and they're just not able to handle the quick shock. They've been there most of the summer though. Curious if this is right??? He said, If a Koi came from a breeder that brought the fish in for winter or we never in an extreme cold environment may need a season or so to acclimate to this environment??? I' guess more learning on my part. Rob
     
    Jetz1138, Dec 28, 2016
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  17. Jetz1138

    Lisak1

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    I have never heard that. If they are able to acclimate, then they acclimate. There's no real logic behind getting them used to the cold weather/water. Now if you had taken them from 70 degree water directly to 30 degree weather that would be a different story. But no matter how quickly the weather changes, the water still cools/warms slowly to allow for acclimation.

    Sometimes I think people say things just to have something to say when they don't know the real answer.
     
    Lisak1, Dec 28, 2016
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  18. Jetz1138

    Faebinder

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    Observing my fish, I believe tha's true. New fish that I get sometimes dont do well for the winter and I have to bring them in, especially true for fish brought in end of summer, early fall. The temperature fluctuations really do impact the swim bladder... even though water does not fluctuate as much as air. This is n=1 observation.

    My blue oranda had trouble tolerating the winter last year... this year it's doing it without a problem. The new ranchu is having a problem with fluctuations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
    Faebinder, Dec 28, 2016
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  19. Jetz1138

    Lisak1

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    But if you bring them in for the winter how does that help them acclimate? You don't get used to the cold weather if you stay indoors. You acclimate by, well, acclimating! And honestly - you either acclimate or you die, right?

    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong...
     
    Lisak1, Dec 28, 2016
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  20. Jetz1138

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    There is some scientific data to support this claim. If your fish came from a breeder that is several climate zones away from yours, a certain amount of acclimation (adaption) time is required. The greater the change in zones the longer the acclimation time required.

    It is known that fish that are adapted to high latitudes differ physiologically from fish that are adapted to lower latitudes.....the heart is larger in those fish adapted to higher latitudes and there is more red muscle mass in those fish adapted to lower latitudes....to name a couple.
    This is why I always recommend that fish be purchased from a hatchery (breeder) that is near. Adaption time and the accompanying stress can be eliminated or minimized.

    If this is the case with your fish then by bringing you fish indoors, although it will still need to adapt, at least the temperatures can be kept relatively constant during this period.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 28, 2016
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