Sick Koi, not dead (yet)


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We have a small 600 gallon pond. We use a pondmax filter system. There is a waterfall. It has 1 koi and a few goldfish, and 1 catfish. There are a few plants, mostly taro and pennyworth and water lilly. About 8 weeks ago the koi was "flashing". I was advised to get Prazipro. I did that and he stopped flashing. He's had a few spots of missing scales or something, but that hasn't changed in over a year.
Then about 10 (+/-) days ago he started being lethargic. I added more air just in case. I gave him a salt bath about 5 days ago. There was no change. The other fish are acting normally. He was still eating, but just kind of sluggish. I had the water tested it's "perfect" and it is 72 degrees.2 days ago he stopped eating koi pellets, but would still eat super worms.
It looks like one side of his gills might not be moving. He tends to keep one side of his fins tucked into his body more that the other side, but he does use it. I was advised to do a broad spectrum treatment. I did that 2 days ago with a 50% water change, and again 1 day ago with a 25% water change.
He seems worse in the mornings and only a little better late afternoon.
It looks like one side of his gills might not be moving. He tends to keep one side of his fins tucked into his body more that the other side, but he does use it.
Someone suggested adding tetracycline to the pond, but I haven't even started figuring that out yet. I am in the Los Angeles area and can not find a koi vet.
 
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No, I can only tell you the PH was green. I took the water sample to Sunland Water Gardens. They had a bunch of test tubes and drops. They said the water was perfect and showed me the chart for PH. He said the water in our area usually has a really low, dangerous, PH but he was impressed with ours. I think he said 7 something? And he said the rest of the tests were all good too.
 
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It's always good to know exactly what the numbers are for the various parameters that you test for.

How big is this fish? How long has it been in the pond? How many other fish are there?
 
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He has been in the pond since he was about 2 inches. Maybe 5 years or so? there is also a cat fish and a few goldfish.
 

Mmathis

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He has been in the pond since he was about 2 inches. Maybe 5 years or so? there is also a cat fish and a few goldfish.
As they grow, they produce a greater amount of waste (ammonia). You can go for a while and this isn’t a problem, until suddenly it is. There could be any number of problems with your koi, but my guess is that it’s a water quality issue. Your pond is small for koi, and it’s harder to keep a smaller body of water “in balance” than it is for a larger pond.

It sounds like you are doing the right things at this point, but I would like to add for you to get your own water testing supplies and get familiar with doing your own testing. We recommend a liquid, drop test such as API Master Freshwater. Then add the KH, and GH tests to that. Start testing your water and learn about the nitrogen cycle and all of its related factors (such as how pH can be affected, what to watch for with KH, etc.). It sounds complicate, but we can help you interpret your results. You’ll begin to see why we are more interested in the actual results (in numbers) than we are in hearing water tested “OK,” or “perfect,” or “no problems.”

I wouldn’t recommend treating the pond at this point since you don’t know what/or if you are treating. Others may chime in with a different opinion — I am not the most knowledgeable one on here.

Try to catch the fish, examine it, and take some pics if you can. It may have been injured by a predator, or it may have a parasite problem. If your pond gets a lot of direct sunlight, provide shade (and get a thermometer). Smaller ponds will fluctuate faster. Keep adding extra aeration and water movement to improve oxygen levels. This last step is very important!
 
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Thanks for all your great advice and encouragement. I know that they tested the ammonia and showed me the number and colors on the chart. But when he said was "very good" I didn't try to remember the numbers. I will order API Master Freshwater. I wasn't sure if I should get that or the API Master Pond kit. I will look for KH and GH test kits, (what ever that is!)
The pond does get a lot of shade, but also some sun. It is 72 degrees. We have 1 water fall and 3 extra air stones that pump out a lot of air.

Petey is still hanging in there. I have tried all kinds of treats that people suggested that koi love: frozen shrimp, frozen peas, watermelon, some special "koi treat" from the pet store. The only thing he will eat are super worms. And then only a few.

I would love a bigger pond. (who on this forum wouldn't). So maybe I'll nag the Mister.
 
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I finally got the test kit. Here are the results. PH 7.6. AMONIA 0. NITRITE 0. NITRATE 5.O. KH 8 DROPS means 100 -200 ppm. GH 10 drops also means 100 - 200 ppm
 
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