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  1. #1

    Constipated KOI help

    Some of my smallest koi approx. 3 - 4 " are suffering from what looks like constipation through my mistake of feeding/over feeding in cold water conditions.

    water parameters are all spot on.

    1 effected koi has 2 bumps with raised scales 2/3rd's to end of fish .

    their is no broken skin, redness, algae ect.

    all the fish are skimming fine , other than the ones with bumps are flashing sometimes.

    I haven't fed the fish for 3 days ,

    ive increased oxygen levels and turned on a water heater to get temps up sooner was 8c this morning now 9c..

    ive never heated a pond before , but feel im left with little choice in this situation .

    any advice thanks



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  3. #2
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    Can you get a pic of one?y
    What are your parameters?
    Is your water dechlorinated?
    8 to 9 deg is ok never heard of koi with constipation before.

    Could be dropsy but if you can get a close up picture it would help.
    John

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  5. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Can you get a pic of one?y
    What are your parameters?
    Is your water dechlorinated?
    8 to 9 deg is ok never heard of koi with constipation before.

    Could be dropsy but if you can get a close up picture it would help.
    Hi John,
    parameters all correct... PH 7.5 NITRITE 0 NITRATE 0 AMMONIA 0 KH 8 GH 18

    Water is always dechlorinated using liquid treatments to correct dosage.
    will try and get some pics later when home.
    thanks

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  7. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Can you get a pic of one?y
    What are your parameters?
    Is your water dechlorinated?
    8 to 9 deg is ok never heard of koi with constipation before.

    Could be dropsy but if you can get a close up picture it would help.
    I am concerned it maybe Dropsy as its normally fatal, its my first time dealing with illnesses
    sorry for the bad pictures, focus it buggered on camera
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  9. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Before starting, please beware that I'm no expert in Koi health having only kept Koi seriously for 1 year.

    But, I've kept and bred fancy goldfish for 30 years, dropsy is common with these and I've learned enough to at least have the confidence to comment, but don't take my comments as advice regarding Koi.

    Your right that Dropsy is normally fatal, and even an apparent recovery usually only lasts a matter of months before coming back and eventually killing the fish.

    But Pinecone scales doesn't always mean dropsy.

    With proper dropsy (complete failure of the kidneys) the fish eyes will be bulging (can't tell in your photos), usually all the scales will be standing out uniformly on both sides of the body. You can try keeping the fish in 0.6% salt and raising temps in the hope it recovers, but long term recovery is practically unheard of.

    If the eyes aren't really bulging out (a small level of swelling might be visible), and not all scales are pineconing, then the fish can recover.

    There are 3 situations where a recovery is possible.

    1) Localised dropsy caused by secondary bacterial infection after parasites, an ulcer or an injury (No bulging eyes) This can be fixed by putting in quarantine tank, salting water to 0.6% and gradually raising the temperature over a period of time to 27 - 28C. When I treated this once before I massaged Savlon antiseptic cream into the scales and it worked. Nowadays there are proper medi-kits that will have proper topical antiseptic treatments.

    2) Dropsy caused by hypothermia. Again, eyes shouldn't be bulging. Similar treatment to above, Quarantine tank, add salt over a period of time gradually increasing to 0.6%, gradually increase temperature 2-3 degrees every 24 hours.... Keep increasing heat each day (up to a max of 27.5C) and it should suddenly fix by itself well before you get to those high temperatures.

    3) The 3rd situation is when dropsy has been caused by a bacterial kidney infection but the infection is in early stages and eyes aren't yet bulging. I've read this can be fixed with various antibiotics or medicated food, but I wouldn't know how to diagnose it with any certainty and wouldn't know what antibiotic is required. In this situation my lack of knowledge and the lack of available specialists with knowledge usually ends with my fish dying.


    Based on your photos which appear to show 2 small Koi with pineconing that doesn't cover the entire body and doesn't seem to show bugling eyes, and also 2 fish are affected at the same time, I would say it could well be temperature related and therefore my money would be on number 2 above. If you don't have a quarantine tank you might just get away with gradually increasing heat to a level where their immune systems properly kick in, say 14-16C and they might just recover.
    Last edited by RS2OOO; 16-03-2019 at 02:07 AM.

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  11. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    Before starting, please beware that I'm no expert in Koi health having only kept Koi seriously for 1 year.

    But, I've kept and bred fancy goldfish for 30 years, dropsy is common with these and I've learned enough to at least have the confidence to comment, but don't take my comments as advice regarding Koi.

    Your right that Dropsy is normally fatal, and even an apparent recovery usually only lasts a matter of months before coming back and eventually killing the fish.

    But Pinecone scales doesn't always mean dropsy.

    With proper dropsy (complete failure of the kidneys) the fish eyes will be bulging (can't tell in your photos), usually all the scales will be standing out uniformly on both sides of the body. You can try keeping the fish in 0.6% salt and raising temps in the hope it recovers, but long term recovery is practically unheard of.

    If the eyes aren't really bulging out (a small level of swelling might be visible), and not all scales are pineconing, then the fish can recover.

    There are 3 situations where a recovery is possible.

    1) Localised dropsy caused by secondary bacterial infection after parasites, an ulcer or an injury (No bulging eyes) This can be fixed by putting in quarantine tank, salting water to 0.6% and gradually raising the temperature over a period of time to 27 - 28C. When I treated this once before I massaged Savlon antiseptic cream into the scales and it worked. Nowadays there are proper medi-kits that will have proper topical antiseptic treatments.

    2) Dropsy caused by hypothermia. Again, eyes shouldn't be bulging. Similar treatment to above, Quarantine tank, add salt over a period of time gradually increasing to 0.6%, gradually increase temperature 2-3 degrees every 24 hours.... Keep increasing heat each day (up to a max of 27.5C) and it should suddenly fix by itself well before you get to those high temperatures.

    3) The 3rd situation is when dropsy has been caused by a bacterial kidney infection but the infection is in early stages and eyes aren't yet bulging. I've read this can be fixed with various antibiotics or medicated food, but I wouldn't know how to diagnose it with any certainty and wouldn't know what antibiotic is required. In this situation my lack of knowledge and the lack of available specialists with knowledge usually ends with my fish dying.


    Based on your photos which appear to show 2 small Koi with pineconing that doesn't cover the entire body and doesn't seem to show bugling eyes, and also 2 fish are affected at the same time, I would say it could well be temperature related and therefore my money would be on number 2 above. If you don't have a quarantine tank you might just get away with gradually increasing heat to a level where their immune systems properly kick in, say 14-16C and they might just recover.
    thanks for the advice, ive been struggling to find much info on internal issues, most are external diseases

    I dont have a quarantine tank, and your view on raising temps is what I thought would be best.. I brought a profi 3kw heater, for 2600 gallon pond enclosed it consumed £13 in electric in 1 day alone and barely got 1c increase in temp , I read some where it should take 5 hours to increase by 1c , im having to use a log burner to help.. but this isn't sustainable

    surely this heater is faulty . may just send the thing back , and use the money to finish insulating the pergola thats over the pond then use air heater/and or log burner using house coal which is proving very cheap to run

    temp is now at 10c activity and wanting to feed are increasing which is nice to see

    hyperthermia - lowest temp this winter went to 6c average temp this winter has been 8c

    only 2 fish have a few scales standing out on one side in a remote area

    im looking at treatments but all so far require 11c above to work and not sure which is best.


    no fish has bulging eyes not even slightly, its just mostly localised bulging in the abdomen area
    diagnosis of this condition I guess requires expert testing

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  13. #7
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    Hi Markini, I am not an expert on this so can only go with what Rs has said ie heat and maybe salt.
    As they are in a large pond it will be hard to heat as in expensive.
    Will have a look in Duncans book.
    John

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  15. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Hi Markini, I am not an expert on this so can only go with what Rs has said ie heat and maybe salt.
    As they are in a large pond it will be hard to heat as in expensive.
    Will have a look in Duncans book.
    thanks John, RS gave some good advice ive ordered some salt and a small fish tank bloody weekend though.

    temp is now 10.5c and started feeding yesterday , this morning all but the worst cases are showing signs of reduced swelling and the most ill looking are energetic and happy to feed .
    I will do a water change tomorrow and take it from their , as long as they appear to keep healing I wont move them as it can increase stress ect but its their if I need it.

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  17. #9
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    Cant find anything in Duncans book, could you not put them in a small plastic container with an aquarium heater as they arnt big along with an air stone?
    John

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  19. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Cant find anything in Duncans book, could you not put them in a small plastic container with an aquarium heater as they arnt big along with an air stone?
    I could but awaiting for a heater to be delivered,
    water at 11c fish are slowly healing , no scales sticking out so hopefully from reading that now stops pond water getting through to kidneys, the youngest ones are always more likely to become ill, I read up that it can come back and kill the fish . I dread that happening.
    heater.tank, air pump ect due on Tuesday, if not not continuing to heal I will move them, if they show further signs of healing then I will leave them as I dont really want to stress them if I can help it.
    I tend to not touch the fish except for feeding time, I dont own a microscope as never needed one. and I only own a crappy small net.
    thanks for looking in that book John, ive got 2 books both useless on dropsy and lots of info on other illnesses

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