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  1. #1

    Swim Bladder Treatment

    I have a koi with a swim bladder issue. Originally the problem came about during a ph crash and I thought I would loose the fish.

    After a large water change and re-balancing of the water he was sat on the floor practically being sucked into the drain. Occasionally he would get caught in the air currents from the bottom drain, get thrown out at the surface and dropped like a brick to the floor.

    Over the next few days he slowly recovered to a point, initially where he was able to keep a few inches away from the drain although still at all different angles of upright or not and then slowly improving.

    He is now at the point where he seems back to full activity with the exception that he doesnít have any bouyancy. He swims around on the floor and sits often. At feeding time, he becomes very active and forces his way to the surface for food with a huge swimming effort. Itís such a frantic effort for him Iíve started referring to it as a ďfitĒ to get to the surface.

    Currently all my fish are in a quarantine tank because since I moved to this house Iíve had some setbacks in digging their new pond home in the garden (although this is underway now). The reason for mentioning this is because I wanted to highlight that I am worried about the fish getting sores from sitting on the floor, but so far this hasnít happened which I think is down to the fact that the tank floor is spotless still.

    Iíve seen a couple of videos where fish have been treated and had the water removed from their swim bladder and re-inflated / aspirated with air to bring them back to normal. I was wondering if anyone has ever had this done and the risk / success of the procedure?

    Does anyone know of any of the professionals that might do this? I seem to recall the name ďLee BurrowsĒ but I am looking for recommendations and contact details.

    I am particularly concerned because if I transfer him to the new pond later this year, he will be sat at the bottom which will be 6 feet down and will also likely have the usual growth you get in the walls and floor and he would be a bigger risk of picking up sores and infections on the floor.

    Thanks

    PS: Iím located in Chelmsford, Essex


    Last edited by GadgetBazza; 08-02-2020 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Typoís

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  3. #2
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Gosai RudeDogg1's Avatar
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    Sometimes itís constipation and Epsom salts clears it

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  5. #3
    I did wonder if this was an issue, just that initially he was all over the place so assumed swim bladder.

    Are Epsom salts something readily available? Any info on how to treat with it?

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    My Ochiba had this last winter after temps suddenly dropped shortly after a heavy feed where she'd stuffed her face.

    It lasted around a week at most and somehow she managed to re-inflate herself. She knew the score as she was lunking (a manic struggle to the surface for gulps of air which she'd then blow out through the gills), and eventually rectified herself.

    In this situation shallow water is likely better than deep water, heat may help her get rid of any blockages (constipation) that might be pushing organs against the swim bladder, have a look at her poo to see if its normal. I think most of the recovery depends on the fish itself.

    As for introducing air to swim bladder, I've never seen it done, only seen air being removed from fish with over inflated swim bladders.

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  9. #5
    Thanks.

    Temperature has been fixed as itís heated at 17 degrees in the tank in the garage.

    How long can constipation last, itís been a fair while now?!

    Iíll try to find the videos I watched the other day, Iím sure one was removing water and adding air...

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    That video was an eye opener!

    Would like to know how it got filled with water in the first place, a lot of water at that. Had no idea Koi swim bladders held that much air either.

    Shame there was no follow up video to show the final results.

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  15. #8
    Yeah me too, not something I'm keen on, but not sure what else to do. My thoughts at the moment is that when the pond is ready (hoping around June) that I will move all the koi in (well slowly to allow for NPS) and then keep this one back if the problem is still there as I think putting her in a 6 foot deep pond will be an issue over time.

    Since that's a good few months away and it's been about 4 months already I feel like I should have found a way forward by now. Most people seem to be of the opinion is that once the swim bladders gone it's gone. It's only because I had a workman round at the end of last week who was into fish and saw this one sitting on the bottom who said look up the aspiration on YouTube.

    I will start to research the Epsom salt mentioned above and also skinned frozen peas were also suggested.

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  17. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Would nt like to do that. That was as said an eye opener.
    Would like to have seen what happened to the fish in deeper water

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  18. #10
    Yeah I know what your saying, looks pretty extreme.

    Do you think a period in deeper water would be beneficial?

  19. #11
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Gosai RudeDogg1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetBazza View Post
    Yeah me too, not something I'm keen on, but not sure what else to do. My thoughts at the moment is that when the pond is ready (hoping around June) that I will move all the koi in (well slowly to allow for NPS) and then keep this one back if the problem is still there as I think putting her in a 6 foot deep pond will be an issue over time.

    Since that's a good few months away and it's been about 4 months already I feel like I should have found a way forward by now. Most people seem to be of the opinion is that once the swim bladders gone it's gone. It's only because I had a workman round at the end of last week who was into fish and saw this one sitting on the bottom who said look up the aspiration on YouTube.

    I will start to research the Epsom salt mentioned above and also skinned frozen peas were also suggested.
    Iím not sure on the dosage for Epsom salts you will have to google it. Should be able to pick it up in Tesco etc

  20. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    my pond is 6 feet of water. and it didnt make any difference with one i had with swim bladder problems. even in my qt. it still was the same.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Skinned boiled peas are supposed to relieve constipation. Common in fancy goldfish where the constipation swells and pushes organs against eachother causing swim bladder to go out of shape.

    I think they do help, but only if constipation is the cause.

    No harm in trying if your able to get the peas to the right fish.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Seen people make like a floating frame work to hold the fish up right worked on a couple goldfish that I know of to give them chance to right them selves with a bit of heat

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    Johnathan

  25. #15
    I could certainly put the QT through a couple of heat cycles if you think it will help.

    Getting peas to the right fish might be a bit of an issue, although possibly if I make a floating frame of sorts with the QT this might work.

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    Junior Member Rank = Tosai Selina127's Avatar
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    Bringing some fish over from a friends pond yesterday in a large container. Got home, its only 10 mins away, and one was on its side and rolling onto its back, very unstable, the other 3 were OK.
    I assumed a potential swim bladder - gulping during transit? I put it in some of my own pond water in another container added a half teaspoon of epsom salts, half a cap of Medifin (as I was told it helps with stress) and held it gently upright in the water for about 15 mins. Gently swishing it forward and back to encourage it to breathe in the water and meds. It was left in this solution for another 1hr in a quiet corner and recovered enough to swim OK and return to the pond.
    I seem to have done the right thing as its looking fit and well today. I am really pleased the journey wasn't longer as I am sure it wouldn't have survived.
    This is not scientific approach but emergency measures by a rank amateur Phew I didn't kill it.

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  29. #17
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selina127 View Post
    Bringing some fish over from a friends pond yesterday in a large container. Got home, its only 10 mins away, and one was on its side and rolling onto its back, very unstable, the other 3 were OK.
    I assumed a potential swim bladder - gulping during transit? I put it in some of my own pond water in another container added a half teaspoon of epsom salts, half a cap of Medifin (as I was told it helps with stress) and held it gently upright in the water for about 15 mins. Gently swishing it forward and back to encourage it to breathe in the water and meds. It was left in this solution for another 1hr in a quiet corner and recovered enough to swim OK and return to the pond.
    I seem to have done the right thing as its looking fit and well today. I am really pleased the journey wasn't longer as I am sure it wouldn't have survived.
    This is not scientific approach but emergency measures by a rank amateur Phew I didn't kill it.
    Could it have been a lack of oxygen in the bags . I have just done a 4 hour journey and all was good but about 2 hours in I refilled bags with pure oxygen ?

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selina127 View Post
    Bringing some fish over from a friends pond yesterday in a large container. Got home, its only 10 mins away, and one was on its side and rolling onto its back, very unstable, the other 3 were OK.
    I assumed a potential swim bladder - gulping during transit? I put it in some of my own pond water in another container added a half teaspoon of epsom salts, half a cap of Medifin (as I was told it helps with stress) and held it gently upright in the water for about 15 mins. Gently swishing it forward and back to encourage it to breathe in the water and meds. It was left in this solution for another 1hr in a quiet corner and recovered enough to swim OK and return to the pond.
    I seem to have done the right thing as its looking fit and well today. I am really pleased the journey wasn't longer as I am sure it wouldn't have survived.
    This is not scientific approach but emergency measures by a rank amateur Phew I didn't kill it.
    Well done at least you got it through its ordeal ok.
    John

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  33. #19
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetBazza View Post
    I could certainly put the QT through a couple of heat cycles if you think it will help.

    Getting peas to the right fish might be a bit of an issue, although possibly if I make a floating frame of sorts with the QT this might work.
    Any updates on the treatment Bazza ?
    John

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  35. #20
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selina127 View Post
    Bringing some fish over from a friends pond yesterday in a large container. Got home, its only 10 mins away, and one was on its side and rolling onto its back, very unstable, the other 3 were OK.
    I assumed a potential swim bladder - gulping during transit? I put it in some of my own pond water in another container added a half teaspoon of epsom salts, half a cap of Medifin (as I was told it helps with stress) and held it gently upright in the water for about 15 mins. Gently swishing it forward and back to encourage it to breathe in the water and meds. It was left in this solution for another 1hr in a quiet corner and recovered enough to swim OK and return to the pond.
    I seem to have done the right thing as its looking fit and well today. I am really pleased the journey wasn't longer as I am sure it wouldn't have survived.
    This is not scientific approach but emergency measures by a rank amateur Phew I didn't kill it.
    This could have been lack of oxygen or stress I'd say.

    I was at a Koi Dealer's when he got a delivery and a few of the Koi were on their sides once he add them to the vats. He was not at all concerned and just said it was stress and they'll be fine in a day or 2.

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