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  1. #1

    Bit of advice please.

    I've only had fish for about 8 months so not gone through a winter. My pond is approx. 18000L with a mixture of koi, sturgeon, and others. I was thinking of going through the winter uncovered and un heated.

    Last week the pond temp dropped to 6 deg.

    I'm going to make some frames and cover them with 1000 gauge clear plastic sheet which hopefully will have a greenhouse effect. I've got a pergola over the pond with a willow screen roof so snow shouldn't be an issue, I hope.

    My 1st question is will the cover be enough.

    My 2nd question is, 3 of my koi picked up a cotton wool virus just before temps dropped, my local shop says they can't be treated in cold water and I don't have a QT or any other place to put them. Any advice please?

    John

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  2. #2
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    The plastic sheeting should be fine - the biggest effect on heat loss is preventing wind chill rather than radiant heating.

    What are your water conditions apart from the cold - The most important thing to help your fish is to make sure the water parameters are good.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

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  4. #3
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    As pip said plastic is fine,but it can collect water or snow and sag,i use the clear corrugated plastic which is more rigid,it is really to keep the wind chill off.

    The cotton wool on your fish sound like a bacterial thing,do you have any photos of them?
    John

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  6. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pip895 View Post
    What are your water conditions apart from the cold - The most important thing to help your fish is to make sure the water parameters are good.
    Water condition has been a battle with high nitrite due to new pond and over feeding, (guilty). I got it down to 0.1 just before the cold hit, now it's 0.2 because I'm still feeding the 4 sturgeon and 2 sterlets. Koi have not been fed in a month due to nitrite and then cold. Although I suspect they might have been picking at the sturgeon food

    John

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  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post

    The cotton wool on your fish sound like a bacterial thing,do you have any photos of them?
    No I can't get a clear shot, it has been identified by our local pond shop. It is cotton wool virus or cotton ball virus. It has a Latin name but can't remember it. It looks like the fish have cotton wool on their gills or body

    John

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  8. #6
    I've been reading and it seems that blue methyline will resolve the issue, but it has a couple of down sides. The main one being the killing of good bacteria.
    Anyone used this stuff on their pond before ?
    I'm considering stopping the nexus while I treat the pond and sacrificing the alfagrog in my shower box. Any thoughts?

    John

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  9. #7
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    I am no expert on sturgeon but I suspect they will survive without food for a while - get on top of your water conditions -without sorting that no chemical addition is going to help. Is there any possibility of catching and dip treating the fish?
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

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  11. #8
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    What i was thinking Pip,maybe a salt bath at 3oz per gal,and if treating the pond dont turn anything off as nasties maybe lurking there.
    John

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  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pip895 View Post
    I am no expert on sturgeon but I suspect they will survive without food for a while - get on top of your water conditions -without sorting that no chemical addition is going to help. Is there any possibility of catching and dip treating the fish?
    The sturgeon only get a small amount of food, once a day just to keep them going.
    I was thinking of catching them but apart from the 3 obviously infected, I don't know how many others might have symptoms.

    John

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  14. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    What i was thinking Pip,maybe a salt bath at 3oz per gal,and if treating the pond dont turn anything off as nasties maybe lurking there.
    Would it be an idea to raise the salt level of the whole pond for a time. If so by how much.
    At least it won't kill the good bacteria, will it ?


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  16. #11
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    They say it isnt a good idea to salt your pond better to do a salt bath at 3oz per gal for 10mins or if they keel over take them out.

    You could treat the pond with some Anti bacteria,but i would salt bath the culprits.
    John

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  18. #12
    are you sure it aint carp pox. with out scrapes and photo s. I am guessing. if carp pox. it comes on in colder weather. and you cannot cure it, goes away when weather warms up. and as they mature they
    grow out of it. I think they build there immune system up.

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  20. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    They say it isnt a good idea to salt your pond better to do a salt bath at 3oz per gal for 10mins or if they keel over take them out.

    You could treat the pond with some Anti bacteria,but i would salt bath the culprits.
    spot on john. salt dip is what I would do. with out knowing what it is. he might have to put some medication in the pond.

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  22. #14
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    OK here is my 2 pennth

    Cotton wool disease is caused by a fungus and the correct treatment for this is malachite green. If temps are too low for a pond wide treatment then I would treat all the effective fish topically by painting on neat MG with them lightly sedated and the area pre-dried out of the pond.

    Salt will be useless for this- if I were you I would not salt dip either because its a massive osmotic stress on the fish. You cannot salt your pond because you have sterlets who dont cope with salt, do not stop feeding your sturgeon ever, it is really bad for them. Just try to target their food infront of them using a drain pipe etc. when you give it. The koi will inevitably pinch some but this is less of an issue than starving the sturgeon.

    If youre fighting the water quality and feel like youre losing the battle the get some Zeolite to mop up the ammonia. A knock on effect of that is also reducing nitrite. The aim is nt to compltely erradicate the ammonia with it but get it down to a very low level such as 0.1 - 0.25 ppm so the filters can still continue to mature but its not harmful to the fish.

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  24. #15
    I agree with feline, cotton like growth is likely a fungus but it's better to net and treat affected fish specifically, in order to not cause too much stress for the other fish, surgeons are also more sensitive towards treatment so double check before adding anything to the pond. You should definitely get the affected fish treated before winter though.

    When it comes to overwintering the pond I have gone 9 years without heating or covering the pond by closing all filtration and only adding an airstone around half depth, usually in December. Snow lying on the ice act to insulate the water and when the ice is thick enough I usually remove some water to form a further insulating layer of air under the ice. That being said covering the pond may aid in your succsess but it is not strictly nessecary.

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    //Kevin

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  26. #16
    Thank you all for your advice. I think it is clear that my only realistic choice is to catch the inflicted and treat them. That is going to be a task, the one black koi I have is a ghost. It just appears then disappears lol.
    I didn't know that about sterlets not handling salt, good to know, thanks.

    As far as the water is concerned I test with a jbl kit.
    Ammonia is 0
    Nitrite has been as high as .6 and with the help of Evolution Aqua Plus it came down to .1 but is now at .2
    Nitrate is hovering between 20 and 40 depending on water changes
    KH is 6
    PH is 7.6

    My Nexus 320 is only 6 to 8 weeks old and is still not properly mature. My big box of Alfagrog, 4 months old is probably what is keeping the water at this level.

    Thanks for the help

    John

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