Koi laying on his side

Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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
 

Meyer Jordan

Tadpole
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,177
Reaction score
5,676
Location
Pensacola, Florida
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
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?
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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.
 

Meyer Jordan

Tadpole
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,177
Reaction score
5,676
Location
Pensacola, Florida
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
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.

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.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
13,164
Reaction score
13,517
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
@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!
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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!!
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
761
Location
Hershey, PA
Showcase(s):
2
Hardiness Zone
6A
Country
United States
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!!

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.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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.
 

Meyer Jordan

Tadpole
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,177
Reaction score
5,676
Location
Pensacola, Florida
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
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.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
75
Location
Northern Illinois
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
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.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
31,119
Messages
512,625
Members
13,355
Latest member
Silent Sapper

Latest Threads

Top