I moved house and acquired a15 year old koi, he's been in the same pond all his life and we added a few smaller koi about 4 months ago. On Monday he was floating upside down on the surface, he's breathing and moving his fins. He is still the same now, we have quarantined him but don't know what to do next? Can anyone help? Is there any treatment for this?
Hi, welcome to FK Sorry to hear the koi isn't doing so well though. Can you give us a bit more detail about the pond; size, filter, any features etc? Is it just him and the new ones in there? Any others looking a bit iffy? Does he have any other symptoms like red streaks in fins/tail, red patches on body, fluffy bits, swollen body etc? What are you feeding and what is the average water temperature where you are at the mo? Do you have a water test kit? If so could you test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, or get your local fish shop to do it for you?
Sorry for all the questions but the more we have the more we can help
Pond size is 7ft x 5ft with a filter and a waterfall. We have the big koi and 4 small young koi. Nothing has changed with the pond in about 4 months.
The local aquarium did a water test yesterday and said it was fine. They also scraped one of the smaller koi for parasites and that was also fine.
Other fish all seem fine. The ill one was lethargic on Sunday and looked a little bit flaky towards his back fins. But no othe marks or signs. He was upside down yesterday and struggles to right himself.
Weather has changed recently here, was about 12 degrees over the last week but dropped to 2 degrees towards the end of the week so water temperature must have gone down but then potentially up again today as it has been warmer again today!
We've stopped feeding as the aquarium advised it was too cold and we should stop for winter. Before we stopped they were having floating pond sticks.
We attempted to isolate him but don't have an isolation tank or spare filter so worried it would harm him overnight so he's back in the pond.
Thanks for the reply, totally new to owning koi so didn't know what to do with him!
We tried to feed him peas in case it was swim bladder but he won't eat them, spits them out!
I'm not really that au fait with pond fish but koi are carp and goldies are carp so there must be some similarities ...
Any chance of getting the ill one scraped? It might be that the younger ones are stronger and are dealing with any parasites etc. better. Sometimes older fish can succumb to problems that younger stronger fish don't If he's upsidedown my first thought would be digestive issues but then koi aren't really prone to these like goldies are. If you've not been feeding them then that also casts doubt on that theory! Other possibilities would be a bacterial infection causing gas internally, or else some internal parasites can cause gas too from what I've read. Bacterial infection would be likely to have other signs such as the red streaking or frayed fins/tail.
If you look at him from the top does he look like a pinecone? Or does he look smooth?
I guess it could be something to do with the sudden drop in temperatures rather than a slight or gradual drop. That's ringing a slight bell with me now, have a read of posts 43 and 44 on page 5 in this thread and see if anything strikes a chord:
Many things could have caused your Koi to behave as he/she is. You need to get a test kit and do the tests yourself as there is no substitute for knowing the readings exactly. You need to know what the parametres of your water are so that you can diagnose and rectify any problems that may occur and keep a check on water quality regularly. Just to say your water is "fine" does not tell you anything.
Do you know what your pH and water hardness is as this is crucial to the health of your koi, anything under pH 7.0 is bad, you need preferably around 7.6 up to 8.5.
A small amount of ammonia is harmful to fish as is Nitrites, a lot of places say water is "fine" when readings show 0.3 of ammonia, but this is totally untrue. No ammount of ammonia is fine. Ammonia and Nitrites must be ZERO.
I advise getting a test kit, and seeing what the results are.
Normally when a koi goes over onto its back it needs urgent dianosis and treatment...
Another thing it could be is early signs of sleeping sickness, this is not really a disease but a syndrome. When water temperatures drop drastically to a few degrees above freezing they drop to the bottom and appear to be asleep (or dead). They are still breathing but very shallow. If the water temperature drops sharply and then raises back up this can make the fish behave strangely, i.e. swimming on its back. But as mentioned, before saying this for sure, we need to know what the other paramters of the water are so we can exclude any other factors. Sleeping sickness is normally but not exclusively found in young fish.