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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    A beginners guide to ‘mucus scraping’ by Gazkoi : Aurora Koi Ltd

    A beginners’ guide to ‘mucus scraping’.
    This article is intended to assist Koi keepers through the process of taking a mucus scrape and viewing on a microscope. It does not extend to provide advice in respect of microscope adequacy, parasite diagnosis or any treatment advice.

    OK, so you’ve noticed some unusual behaviour (such as flicking/flashing, sulking, clamping, isolating – Koi should not be ‘self-isolating’ due to COVID-19, jumping, fin twitching and/or not eating) or some ‘physical concerns’ (such as wounds, ulcers, raised scales, bulging eyes etc..) whilst ‘observing’ your Koi.

    Competently, you’ve ‘ruled out’ any water issues (this is always the first step) and it is now time to investigate further via a mucus scrape in order to check for parasites.

    The first thing many inexperienced keepers will do is panic when this situation arises for the first time, shortly followed by calling someone more experienced. Whilst I would always advocate undertaking the second action, it is not a longer-term solution and all keepers should look to become ‘self-sufficient’ in respect of taking mucus scrapes as this is an essential part of successful Koi keeping.

    Here is the Aurora Koi Ltd process to successfully undertaking a mucus scrape:

    Get organised

    As with all Koi procedures it is important to ensure you are organised:


    • Have the appropriate equipment prepared and to hand (Bowls, Air, Nets, Socks, Sedate, Microscope, slides, clean surface etc..)
    • Plan the process so you are clear on what you are about to do – thinking on the spot can lead to costly errors.
    • Identify which Koi you wish to scrape (always do more than one – preferably four to five minimum)
    • NEVER undertake any Koi procedure when you are in a hurry – this will only heighten the stress levels for both you and the Koi.
    • If you are unfamiliar with Koi parasite identification, check YouTube for examples of what they look like before you start
    • If concerned, ensure someone with experience is with you to assist – most Koi keepers are willing to assist as well as reputable Koi Dealers. Try and avoid taking the fish to a dealer – it is preferential for them to visit you as this is less logistical, less stressful, enables more scrapes to be undertaken and gives you 1-2-1 time with a dealer at your pond, which may give rise for some additional advice.


    Catching the Koi

    For many keepers, this may be the first time you have been required to catch the Koi since adding it to the pond. This is not a bad thing, Koi should only be netted when necessary.

    My top tips here are:


    • Use an oversized pan net with appropriate handle length for your pond. This creates much less stress and enables you to catch even the quickest Koi in a matter of seconds without you moving from the spot.
    • Moving the net side to side creates much less ‘drag’ in the water and will enable a faster cornering of the Koi and successful catch. Chasing a Koi around the pond with a small net is very stressful for all involved and can lead to injury for both you and the Koi. It should take seconds to catch the Koi.
    • Once caught, remove the Koi from the net using a koi sock and gently release into a pre-prepared bowl of pond water, where access to the Koi is made easier for the keeper.
    • Depending upon levels of experience and confidence it may be better to add some Koi sedative to the bowl.


    Taking the scrape:
    Now the moment has arrived, taking the scrape… and the nerves may well be jangling again…

    My top tips here are:


    • Don’t panic – the more you panic the more the Koi will stress (unless sedated)
    • Depending upon the level of sedation, you can either lift the Koi slightly out of the water ready for scraping or place it on the pre-prepared soft clean surface (never the lawn) – a baby changing mat is ideal for smaller Koi
    • Using your chosen scraping implement (I use a microscope slide), gently glide it along three parts of the Koi and remove some mucus on to it. This should be a gentle one stroke movement from the front of the Koi to the rear (never in the other direction as this can damage the scales) in order to not damage the Koi, remove any of its colour or interfere with any existing injury or Carp Pox (white waxy lumps). The three parts of the Koi required to scrape are:
      • Along the back (at the base of the Dorsal fin)
      • Behind the pectoral fin (you may need to turn the koi upside down)
      • Behind the Gill

    • When you have a mucus sample ready for viewing, place a droplet of the water on it before attaching the ‘cover slide’ as this will allow for some free swimming of any parasites and will assist you in locating movement.
    • Before taking the slide to the microscope, return the Koi to the pond to ensure its continued safety – it may be a while before you leave the microscope…
    • When the slide is on the microscope, carefully view all the mucus sample starting with the outer parts. Look for movement and consider whether this is a parasite.
    • Some parasites are easier to spot (and identify) than others – for example Flukes are much easier than Costia, so should you find Flukes relatively quickly, continue to check the mucus for other parasites rather than draw an immediate and final diagnosis.
    • Always scrape more than one Koi, even if parasites are identified on the first scrape – it is better to know the full enemy and plan you treatments accordingly


    That concludes the Aurora Koi Ltd safe and approved method of taking a mucus scrape.

    Cheers

    Gaz


    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Eco’s, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

  2. #2
    Thanks Gaz

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    You’re welcome

    cheers

    Gaz

    Quote Originally Posted by jayjt29 View Post
    Thanks Gaz

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Eco’s, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  6. #4
    Nice one Gaz

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  8. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Thanks Gmac

    Cheers

    Gaz

    Quote Originally Posted by g mac View Post
    Nice one Gaz
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Eco’s, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  10. #6
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    I’ve made your thread a sticky Gaz as it should be useful to lots of folk

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  14. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Thank you Feline

    cheers

    Gaz

    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    I’ve made your thread a sticky Gaz as it should be useful to lots of folk
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Eco’s, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  16. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Nice one gaz lots of info.
    Fred

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

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  18. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Cheers Fred - I hope all is well pal.

    Cheers

    Gaz

    Quote Originally Posted by freddyboy View Post
    Nice one gaz lots of info.
    Fred

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Eco’s, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  20. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazkoi View Post
    Cheers Fred - I hope all is well pal.

    Cheers

    Gaz
    good mate. thanks

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  22. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Wain's Avatar
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    Right

    a lot of information there

    Shout HELP and wait for an old hand to come and dig you out hahahahaha

    Got it

    Cheers Gaz
    1000 gal
    2 x Hozelock 6000ltr 9W UV
    Allpond Spin Filter 8000 11W UV
    Blagdon pond oxy 640 ltr/hr

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  24. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Gray's Avatar
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    Ah, a great write up. Exactly the lesson Gaz taught me when he came to take a look at my pond the other month.

    Since that visit, I’ve scraped a couple of mine (nothing found) using this exact approach.

    Cheers for this Gaz.

    And for anyone who, like me, was a bit wary of doing this yourself for the first time, speak to Gaz direct as he might be able to pop round and help you for a very, very sensible fee.

    And you might get a sedating and scraping lesson if you make him tea!!!

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  26. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Thanks Gray much appreciated.

    I hope all is well.

    Cheers

    Gaz
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Eco’s, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  28. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazkoi View Post
    Thanks Gray much appreciated.

    I hope all is well.

    Cheers

    Gaz
    Yeh, all good here. I think it turned out to be the increased Chlorine levels from the tap water. I’m still filtering through a 3-stage on trickle but I also ST when topping up after a big filter clean and water dump now.

    Seems to have settled the flicking and flashing thank god.


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