Why is my koi sick??


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This is my second koi in 4 months who died on me and I’m not sure why. I attached a pic. Bloated body, Popeyes, stop eating, fins look eaten, hiding in the cave. A the rest of the koi seams fine. Water quality perfect, no cold, live in Southern California, 1000gallon pond, 3 feet deep. A lot of oxygen. Please help so I prevent this from happening again.
 

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JRS

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Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your fish. If water quality is good bacteria usually does not get a foothold unless as a secondary infection from some other issue such as parasites.

Some more info might be helpful. How long have all the fish been in the pond? How many fish? New introductions? Filtration? What water tests have you done?

https://usakoi.com/koi-diseases-and-koi-parasites
 
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I'm sorry to hear about your fish. My first questions would also involve water quality - you said "it's perfect". Can you elaborate with test result numbers? What kind of filtration are you running? Bloating, Popeye, and sores that are infected do seem to point to a water quality issue.

1000 gallons is really not big enough for multiple koi - as hard as you try, you may not be able to maintain good water quality in such a small pond with big fish. How many koi do you have in this pond? And this may be seem like a dumb question, but are you sure that's a koi? I don't see the tell-tale barbells, but they may be not as visible on an already deceased fish. Jus want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.
 
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Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your fish. If water quality is good bacteria usually does not get a foothold unless as a secondary infection from some other issue such as parasites.

Some more info might be helpful. How long have all the fish been in the pond? How many fish? New introductions? Filtration? What water tests have you done?

https://usakoi.com/koi-diseases-and-koi-parasites
Thanks for taking time to reply. I built the pond in Juli this year. Only 7 small koi’s in there, the one in the picture was the biggest. Nothing new introduced. Aquascape skimmer with 2K aquascape pump, filter in both skimmer and in waterfall spillway, active carbon in skimmer. Now, maybe my tests needs to be more accurate, I only used those strips that measure the 6 or 7 most common things. I never thought I needed better filtration as the water is crystal clear. Would you recommend taking a water sample to a lab? I’m worried it’s parasites and they all will die! I’m hoping the fish just cut themselves somewhere, and it got infected.
 
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I'm sorry to hear about your fish. My first questions would also involve water quality - you said "it's perfect". Can you elaborate with test result numbers? What kind of filtration are you running? Bloating, Popeye, and sores that are infected do seem to point to a water quality issue.

1000 gallons is really not big enough for multiple koi - as hard as you try, you may not be able to maintain good water quality in such a small pond with big fish. How many koi do you have in this pond? And this may be seem like a dumb question, but are you sure that's a koi? I don't see the tell-tale barbells, but they may be not as visible on an already deceased fish. Jus want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.
Thanks for taking time to reply. Only 7 very small koi’s in there, the one in the picture was the biggest, the smallest isn’t much bigger then my mosquito fishes lol. Nothing new introduced. A too big Aquascape skimmer with 2K aquascape pump, filter in both skimmer and in waterfall spillway, active carbon in skimmer. Now, maybe my tests needs to be more accurate, I only used those strips that measure the 6 or 7 most common things. I know 1000g is not enough for multiple large koi, I’m in the planning process of a much bigger pond, but waiting for permits, which take a long tome where I live. Would you recommend taking a water sample to a lab? I’m worried it’s parasites and they all will die! I’m hoping the fish just cut themselves somewhere, and it got infected. What’s weird to me is that the filtration is so good that it looks like the fishes swimming in air, that’s how clear it is, so maybe it’s something else, some chemical or something that do t show up on those stupid strips. Or maybe it’s too clean?
 
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I wouldn't worry that your water is too clean. You can buy an API Master test kit and test your pond water yourself. Check the kits, as often KH isn't included and it's quite important. Get a note book and record your values to track things for awhile.

Your fish had a bacterial infection....why it had it is the question. Sometimes it's water quality, sometimes a parasite made an opening allowing bacteria to enter, sometimes a fish injures itself and a secondary infection sets it.....although with 2 deaths in four months I think we can tule out an accidental injury.

How long have you had this pond up and running?
 
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I wouldn't worry that your water is too clean. You can buy an API Master test kit and test your pond water yourself. Check the kits, as often KH isn't included and it's quite important. Get a note book and record your values to track things for awhile.

Your fish had a bacterial infection....why it had it is the question. Sometimes it's water quality, sometimes a parasite made an opening allowing bacteria to enter, sometimes a fish injures itself and a secondary infection sets it.....although with 2 deaths in four months I think we can tule out an accidental injury.

How long have you had this pond up and running?
Thank you so much for replying! The pond has been up and running for 2 month only. The fish in the picture died 10days after I bought it, so I figured it was sick to begin with, the second fish is not dead yet, but I noticed exact same symptoms 2 days ago. I will definitely buy a more advanced testing kit! I added medicine in the water yesterday, I’m not sure if I shall quarantine him, because that’s what I did when the first one got sick, and he died a day later. Don’t wanna stress him out more.
 
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Remember, clear water is not necessarily healthy water. You can't see the things - like ammonia - that are most harmful to fish. The clearest water in the world can be deadly to fish.

7 "small" koi will rapidly become 7 REALLY BIG koi - way too many for your size pond.

It could have been that the fish was sick, it could have been the change from where it was to your pond, it could have been the introduction to the other fish... hard to say. Acclimating new fish to a pond can be tricky. Your pond may not have even been fully cycled when you started adding fish. That can take a number of weeks to accomplish.
 
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What "medicine" did you add to the pond? Having a smaller hospital tank has the advantage of only medicating the sick fish and allowing you to observe it and monitor the water perimeters .
 
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Remember, clear water is not necessarily healthy water. You can't see the things - like ammonia - that are most harmful to fish. The clearest water in the world can be deadly to fish.

7 "small" koi will rapidly become 7 REALLY BIG koi - way too many for your size pond.

It could have been that the fish was sick, it could have been the change from where it was to your pond, it could have been the introduction to the other fish... hard to say. Acclimating new fish to a pond can be tricky. Your pond may not have even been fully cycled when you started adding fish. That can take a number of weeks to accomplish.
Thanks for writing! Yeah, I’m aware that fish grow, I’m waiting for permits for a project this spring that would be more considered a small lake rather then a pond, and I would obviously only keep small koi in a small pond. I measured ammonia a bunch of times, but I believe I need better measurement kit. Gonna order one ASAP. I guess it all come back to water quality. Thank you so much for your input.
 
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I would obviously only keep small koi in a small pond
That's the only point I'm going to emphasize again - there is no such thing as "small koi". Young koi that will VERY SOON be full-grown large koi. There are small-ER koi, but they still end up being 14 or 16 inches long.

Read this link to see what the issue is:


Just for comparison sake, check out the difference between four 4 inch koi and one 16 inch koi. A 4 inch koi is like a goldfish when it comes to waste production. But you can see as they grow, the amount of waste they produce does not stay proportionate - it increases by leaps and bounds. Many times you'll hear people quote the "inch of fish per gallon of water" rule - clearly the rules don't apply to koi.

I'm not trying to pick on you - I just think it's crucial to dispel the myth of the "small koi". We hear it over and over here on the GPF : "I have WAY TOO MANY FISH but they're SMALL. " Not for long.
 
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