09 Apr Diagnosing Pathogens in a Koi Pond
If you notice your Koi behaving unusually it is usually a sign that there is something wrong in the pond. They may be ‘Flashing’ or Flicking’ off the pond bottom or some other object, indicating that they have an ‘itch’ or something is bothering them. If we have an itch we tend to scratch it. If it’s a single Koi that seems to be trouble you need to examine that Koi and examine a scape under a microscope with at least 100 x lens. However, if a few Koi are doing this and also jumping out of the pond in an attempt to shake off the parasite – then this is a clear sign that something and some course of action has to be taken.
Another cause for this ‘flashing’ can be changes in the water quality. Large freshwater changes can, as we know, cause flashing as the fishes’ skin adapts to a either slightly higher or lower pH levels. Chlorine or perhaps metals in new tap water can cause flashing, so again I stress how important it is to use a good water purification system on your pond.
But before making any decision as to what it is that is causing your fish to flash or scratch .. you must have the facilities available to take a scrape and to examine that under a high power microscope .. If you don’t have such a microscope then may I suggest that you call us to scape your fish and look under a microscope so you know what you are treating for.
Only treat the fish or the pond when you have identified the parasite. Below are the most common pathogens you may encounter. Some are easier to spot than others. Call us if you need help – thats what we are here for!
Before doing ANY treatments and the remedies etc., ensure that you know the exact volume of your system …i.e. how many gallons of water in your system – not just the actual pond but also the water contained in the filtration system.
Please be aware the dosage rates need to be accurate. A 15% under dose can be ineffective and a 15% overdose can be dangerous! Never try to guess the volume of your system if you do not know it.
Anti-parasite medications are NOT FISH TREATMENTS. They do nothing medically for your Koi. They are used to eradicate the parasite that is irritating your fish.