Koi Doctor

It’s -3 degrees going up to a high of 5 degrees today in Little Siberia. I’m planning to spend some time with my new koi books but I have one koi who appears to have a bacteria infection. So I’m going to play koi doctor – which is kind of fun when the stakes are not so high.

Obviously there are some standard things koi keepers should observe. Number one is checking on the koi regularly, up close. You always see photos of koi that clearly look like they have been sick for weeks, on different social media sites. Maybe the koi was hiding, maybe the problem was the underside – an underwater camera is always handy to check out the crowd. Some koi symptoms might be easy to diagnose just from a visual look but a microscope and scraping is recommended. I have listened to this for years and still have not purchased one. I really should. Maybe later today I’ll order one from Amazon. Maintaining solid water conditions and feeding appropriately should be all that is necessary. I will add that you might jinx the whole health system by stating “all the koi are doing well, no health problems this year.” I think I wrote that on a post and shortly afterwards Billy the Kid was looking like he had diaper rash on his shoulder.

As soon as we saw the rash, we took him out and continued to monitor the pool religiously to see if anyone else was possibly suffering from something. So far, it’s been just over a week and no one else has any issue going on. I’ll put the underwater camera in today or tomorrow. The little red light on the camera can put a tinge on the koi that will make my heart stop for a second but as long as I remember, it’s all good. Last weekend Billy the Kid was administered a shot of antibiotics. You can purchase many supplies online. The needles are 29 gauge, 1 ml volume. Tricaine-S from Western Chemical was used to anesthetize the koi. Many people use clove oil but I have never had any luck with it. Maybe I bought Brand X but it would take forever.

Billy the Kid (L) on 1.6.2018, Billy the Kid (R) on 1.13.2018

Having someone help you is always nice and Mr. Pond Builder is always willing to be the medical assistant. This koi is only 16 inches so very manageable for one. It took about seven and a half minutes to get the koi knocked out, administer the shot and revived in his little quarantine tub. I think the knock out portion took a little longer than usual. However, better to err on the side of too little and and an extra minute or two, than a dead koi. You can also see that where the shot was administered last time left a little injury 🙁 The video starts about three minutes after Billy the Kid was moved into a vat of water laced with Tricaine-S.

During the week, I increased the salinity of the water to a therapeutic .3% (For 12 gallons I put in about 4+ grams of non iodized salt). I used the calculator on Koiphen, very handy. I feel the koi enjoyed the water and looked pretty good when the salt was added. Some people go to salt treatment first. One person recommended a salt dip or PP dip. Have never tried a salt dip so passed on that in favor of just raising the salt level. Billy the Kid has continued to improve over the week but we still have some red left and I believe I can still see some areas on the head that might be a fungal infection. We were going to try a PP dip with this koi but decided the PP dip was not necessary. I will admit I’m a little leery of tackling the PP dip on my own but willing to try (Billy the Kid is nice but not one that I’ll be overly upset if I lose). I watched a few YouTube videos, read some posts and consulted with some trusted koi club members about the PP dip. We still might give it a whirl if the redness persists. So for now, I’m keeping him in some .3% salinity water and we’re going to break out a larger quarantine tank for him. He’s dragging his tail around in the little tub and it’s getting frayed. Plus we’d like to have a filtration system on him for better water quality. Mr. Pond Builder is happy because it’s a little project to mess around with indoors. Maybe I’ll post a photo of it tomorrow…

mnkiolady koi health

a few hours later…

The pond builder is busy making a new quarantine tank. It took us all day (literally) to catch Monroe, the ugly kuchibeni. I think koi know when they’re a target – like a sixth sense. When the nets were in the water, everyone is tooling around the nets, Monroe is way off in a far corner. He’s going to be the pal koi in QT. While not the most attractive, Monroe is a kuchibeni and a very good eater. I am hoping Monroe will encourage Billy the Kid to eat again. Monroe scarfed down five pellets of food within the first two minutes in QT.

gathering up random parts
putting it all together
hoping for good results – sick Billy the Kid and ugly Monroe…

after dinner…

QT so far — he plans to add a rainbar to the system tomorrow.
The pond builder removed some media from the bakki shower on the large pool. Seeded media is darker.
The koi stuff pretty much takes over the garage. Love the pond builder ❤️

1.14.2018 The Pond Builder is making some improvements…

Water now runs over all parts of the media in the mini-bakki shower
mini corner rain bar for the koi