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  1. #1

    Trichodina again, really?!

    Water parameters are stable and all good.
    Fish are visibly healthy and stiil happily eating wheatgerm food at 10C.
    Only 7 fish in 12.5 m3, but sizes are one at 22", two at 24", two at 26" and one 28"+.

    After noticing a few flashes (long after feeding times) I decided to investigate and all three fish scraped had Trichodina (and not just the odd one on the slide) - must be the 5th or 6th time this year!

    I have tried all the usual meds and all most will reduce but none remove the infestation apart from one. The only way I can erradicate the little buggers for any time is KMnO4. I have a good ORP meter and am able to safely dose the pond at known and consistent concentration for several hours (followed by H2O2 to neutralise) which removes all trace of Trichodina in subsequent scrapes.
    This only works if I use a decent dose about 2.5ppm and at this level I simply have to isolate the filter (one time I forgot and I had big problems with high NO2 for weeks). So yes, there will be Trichodina in the filter which can reinfest the pond, but so far I haven't found a better way.

    So I have carried out four KMnO4 treatments this year.

    Now that they are back, I am inclined to ignore them unless the fish look distressed rather than just irritated. Endless oxidisation agent baths can't be a good way to keep fish happy - surely?

    Is there an expert on here that can advise? Thanks.



  2. #2
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    Trich is not a ‘true parasite’- it lives much of its life cycle off the fish inside filters and nooks and crannies. Treating the pond without the filters is therefore totally pointless.
    You should not need to use more than 1.5ppm PP for trich- but you must make sure that every area of your filters are exposed for the full 4 hours.

    Most other parasite treatments actually kill trich also, so if you genuinely believe you have some PP resistance then you could go for an FMG or Alparex etc. If you’ve got a high enough temperature to do it.

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  4. #3
    Thanks for the comments Feline. I fully confess to being out of my depth on this one.

    Up until recently I have aways treated the full system for the reasons you have outlined.
    I have used FMG and Alparex and PP (at a lower dose) in the full pond/filter system, including emptying the BHM which is not fully sumberged in normal operation into a temporary container to ensure full coverage: a laborious task.
    All reduced the occurence of Trichodina, but the first signs of a comeback could be seen as little as two weeks after treatment ended.
    I should point out that any flukes discovered after scrapes were much more easily dealt with during the same treatments - it is only the Trichodina that laugh in the face of my chemical onslaught!

    You can always find "alternative" advice on the internet and so I tried the higher PP dose minus filter approach (keeping a very close eye on things) which appeared to work for longer - until the filter population recolonised the fish as you rightly point out..

    Of course it is possible that I did something wrong with dose rates, mixing and application but I am very careful and do not take shortcuts.

    I guess where I am heading with this is what to do next.

    My inexpert thought process is this;
    Trichodina occurs in wild fish populations and gets into outdoor ponds whatever we do (as far as I know).
    Do healthy fish with strong immune systems have something in their mucus that controls Tric infestation?
    Do healthy fish have less Tric, or do they have as many, but can cope better?
    If my fish appear healthy other than occasional flashing and yet are sustaining a sizeable Tric population, should I keep throwing chemicals at them (which haven't really provided a solution so far) or do I wait and see?

    I genuinely don't know.

    Perhaps I should mention that as well as all water parameters being very good there is little to no sediment in the pond or filter system.

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    It might not be realistic to have zero of any parasite on your fish, but if they are present in significant enough numbers to be easily findable on scrapes and the fish are being affected by them, then you need to treat them.

    I would leave all media in situ during treatments. Just make sure that pond water level is at its max ever level, or even slightly higher than normal to make sure the waterline is covered. Don’t reduce flow through filters or you could alter the way it tracks through media. Do a thorough filter clean before treating- which should include removing media from bio chambers to clean beneath it particularly if you have a Nexus which is prone to hidden crud. Then put all media back for the treatment itself. Make sure you’re holding 450 mV for the entire 4 hours and top up the PP any time it falls below this. Either simultaneously treat your nets and bowls with PP or put them into the pond during.

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  7. #5
    Thanks very much for the helpful comments and suggestions.

    As I mentioned previously, the one time my filter did take the full dose I suffered with high NO2 for a month until my biofilm recovered, which is why I have been reluctant to repeat the process. I will reconsider.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukzero View Post
    Thanks very much for the helpful comments and suggestions.

    As I mentioned previously, the one time my filter did take the full dose I suffered with high NO2 for a month until my biofilm recovered, which is why I have been reluctant to repeat the process. I will reconsider.
    Usually a biofilm will bounce back quickly from a PP dose so long as it’s not too high a dose. Exceptions to this are when a biofilm is still very young- it actually takes a good year or more to establish a good bomb proof film. There are some people who believe that having too great a surface area of bio media for the biological fish load in a pond can actually cause a thinner less robust film. I’m not sure whether that’s true or not as have never seen a proper scientific study involving an actual koi pond. There’s loads of data on the biofilm on K1 in bio reactors for waste water treatment however. I once spent a few hours reading through a bunch of it- so if you’re ever bored on a rainy day ....

    As a precaution, stop or drastically reduce feeding the fish for a few days when you’re treating to reduce the load on the system. Colder temperatures don’t help biofilm recover unfortunately. Are you heated?

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