What's with the goldfish dying?

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Hi all! We have a 3000 gal, dual pond and stream system that's been up and running for 1 1/2 years. We've got a mixed bag of goldfish and koi, mostly in the large (2000 gal) lower pond. We've been losing goldfish, one or two a day, lately. I did all the tests- ammonia is fine, nitrate/nitrites are fine, PH is fine, salt level is down a touch. The fish themselves are showing NO sign of stress or illness anywhere. There are no markings, red streaks, clamped fins, bloating, anything. There is no drainage from the lawn, only a little from a flower bed that I tend without chems to keep nasty stuff out of the pond. I called my local pond shop (Ziegler's is tops!), and he suggested a general treatment with Mela and Pimafix. Has anyone had this happen where the goldfish just start to die? The koi seem fine---

Thanks! Chris
 

mrsclem

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ey Chris-
Sorry to hear about your loss. We also had a lot of our goldfish die off this spring while the koi were not affected. We were overstocked and I think that led to the problem. We ended up losing several large koi a month later due to secondary infections. How many fish did you have and how large were they?
 
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According to all I have read, when you local pond guy first suggests melafix as a course of action.........time to get a new pond guy. it's my understanding that it is all but useless in treating disease, but has a place in helping wounded fish heal.
 
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I don't think we're overstocked- they've mostly been the small (1-3") fish of the breeding over the last couple of years, but a couple of the original comets went too- they were about 5-6". My pond guy was baffled too- he only suggested the Melafix as a "just-in-case". (by the way, I've used melafix before, although not quite on such a large scale, and it's always worked for me, you just have to remember to turn the UV filter off for a few days) We had about 20-25 fish (that I could count) in the pond. We're down about 10 now.
 

koiguy1969

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were the goldies sold as feeder fish? feeder fish get no attention at all.. the water quality in a feeder tank can be nasty..they dont care,the fish are destined to die, a meal for a number of other aquarium inhabitants. so if they were feeders theres your problem!!
 

DrDave

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Salt is cheap and should always be considered first. Melafix is good for open wounds. You pondguy doesn't make money off of salt, Melafix on the other hand is not cheap and there is a profit in it.
 
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Hi all! Saga continues- I raised salt levels, it seemed to help for a little (also did the Melafix routine, mixed thoughts there), I'm still getting deaths, although at a rate of every two or three days as opposed to daily, and only one fish then. Water temp is dropping a little, all tests appear normal, fish still show no signs of illness. Koi, including the babies, are unaffected. I'm wondering if a water change is the next step, or if I do another lift on the salt- I could still bring that level up a bit if needed. We had rain today for the first time since the Melafix, and the water is a little foamier (not severe, just extra bubbles that decay rapidly, not soapy) than usual. If a water change is advised, how does one do it for a large pond? I've not done it for several hundred gallons of water before---
 

DrDave

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For what it is worth, it was me. This source should not be used except when in dire straights and be prepared to provide everything the first post. Do not waste his time...
If he has to ask you questions, then you didn't provide him sufficient information on your first post.
 

DrDave

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I can't blame him. Most people expect immediate satisfaction from their emergencies without giving any of the needed facts. He does this free and it takes time. If I was doing his job, I would be no different. I wish I had his knowledge.
 
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It's a great site with a wealth of knowledge. I never emailed him with my problem, just read the site and proceeded from there.
 

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