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Thread: Egg Bound

  1. #1

    Egg Bound

    I am very worried about my 15 year old koi, who, for the first 13 years I thought was male. She is swollen with eggs and seems to be getting bigger all the time. She's incredibly uncomfortable, cannot swim properly and remains at the surface all the time. She is so swollen that she has visible stretch marks (doitsu), and at the rear eggs are clearly visible through a 3-4cm opening. She's been like this for nearly three months and there's been zero spawning activity from any other koi.
    The same thing happened last year and although the swelling eventually went down over night, it took months and nearly killed her. This year seems so much worse and I don't think she'll survive it. Is there anything I can do to help expel the eggs safely.


    19,000 litres
    Nexus 320 with Dracodrum and submersible UV
    Blue Eco 320
    Eazy Pod on skimmer
    Dura+ 10kW Heat Pump
    12 koi

  2. #2
    One of the courses I teach for Koi Organisation International is an advanced course on nutrition and, coincidentally, I submitted an article for the BKKS National Show programme that was a brief extract from the course module which covered how the feeding regime can promote serious egg binding and how to treat any affected female.

    Did you go or can you obtain a copy?

  3. Thanks Maddog1 Thanked / Liked this Post
  4. #3
    I've not seen it, and I would very interested in reading it. The few articles I have found are more about what causes it rather than how to help fix it. What hasn't helped is that I'm trying to ration the use of the heatpump this year, and so water temperature and feed amount is at the mercy of the British weather, whereas in the past I've let the temperature rise and then use the heatpump to hold it there 23-24C.
    19,000 litres
    Nexus 320 with Dracodrum and submersible UV
    Blue Eco 320
    Eazy Pod on skimmer
    Dura+ 10kW Heat Pump
    12 koi

  5. #4
    I can't republish a 2,250 word article complete with seven drawings that show egg development here. I've just asked the Show Committee if there were any left and there weren't so you might try putting up a post on a few of the threads about the National and ask if anyone can send you their copy.

    I can put you on the waiting list for my next Advanced Nutrition course if you wish and then you can read the whole course module (approx 15,000 words with innumerable drawings, tables and photos over 31 pages).

  6. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Hi balder,
    i think i have a copy if my missus hasn't thrown it.
    Send me your email in a pm and i'll scan it and send it to you if i can.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 06-07-2022 at 02:14 PM.

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  8. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    There are some things you can try to induce spawning and as always with Koi, these things are usually easier said than done:

    Ramp Temperature to 25C then after a few days see if she will hand strip and try this every other day for a week.

    Fill a pool with conditioned tap water with some brushes and while the temperature is a couple of degrees lower than the pond, drop her and a male or 2 in and leave overnight (with air / filter and a cover just in case etc). Temp difference is because being a smaller volume of water it should start to warm up and as the temp rises (combined with the stress of the new surroundings) that can induce spawning.


    If none of that works then next step would be to consider trying to obtain prescription hormone injections such as Carp Pituitary Extract (CPE) or Lutenizing Release Hormone. Would be better if you could find a vet able to mix to the correct dosage and do the injections as I believe they have to be very precise.


    Then in future years try and reduce her food intake early in the season to prevent new egg development.
    Last edited by RS2OOO; 06-07-2022 at 04:03 PM.

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  10. #7
    Thst would be great, thanks Dave,I've sent pm.
    Is it normal for a koi heavy with eggs to actually have an exposed opening for a length of time where they are actually visible, I've not seen it before?
    19,000 litres
    Nexus 320 with Dracodrum and submersible UV
    Blue Eco 320
    Eazy Pod on skimmer
    Dura+ 10kW Heat Pump
    12 koi

  11. #8
    Interesting reading, thanks Dave and Manky. Reading this has highlighted the issues I now face in running a koi pond on a limited budget. To reduce energy usage, some sacrifices had to be made. I am no longer running a separate isolation tank or maintaining higher temperatures with the heatpump, so heat ramping and fasting are not possible. For now, I will watch her closely and hopefully it will be a repeat last year and she will eventually expel them on her own.
    19,000 litres
    Nexus 320 with Dracodrum and submersible UV
    Blue Eco 320
    Eazy Pod on skimmer
    Dura+ 10kW Heat Pump
    12 koi

  12. #9
    If you withdraw food from a female koi with eggs ready to be released as soon as it becomes obvious that she isn't going to release them then her protein requirement will still be high because she will have put so much energy into developing them and that energy will have to be replaced quickly. In the absence of food, the first source available to get protein from will be the eggs so they will be re-absorbed not expelled.

    However, if you wait too long before withdrawing food, she will have already replaced the energy she put into the eggs from the normal feeding regime and her protein requirement will be will be much lower i.e. replacing energy used for swimming and metabolism etc. and for normal maintenance and growth.

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  14. #10
    As a follow-up, the fish became so bloated with a buoyant belly, that I had to take action. Once sedated and on the table the problem became evident, a stream of fluid from the abdomen which, once gentle pressure was applied became a constant flow, and the swelling soon went down. Not wanting to keep it under for too long in its weakened state, I brought it around and I'm now keeping it in a tank with a 0.5% salt content. However, the fish can not right itself and still ends up on its side floating at the surface. If there is no improvement after a few days I may have to call it, the poor fish has suffered for far too long.

    What can cause this fluid buildup, I extracted at least 500 mL and the fluid had a slight yellowish tinge but no strong smell and no eggs were evident. Could it be kidney related?
    Attachment 40307
    19,000 litres
    Nexus 320 with Dracodrum and submersible UV
    Blue Eco 320
    Eazy Pod on skimmer
    Dura+ 10kW Heat Pump
    12 koi

  15. #11
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Hope she comes right for you Balder and cant answer your questions sorry.

    I too have a heavy female which I cant get to spawn but she doesnt seem stressed with it.

    You said you allways thought she was a Male,maybe she is and it's not egg bound but something else.
    Just a thought hope she comes ok for you.
    John

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  17. #12
    Ok, fish has passed now, but I would really like to know how a koi can be so swollen with excess fluid that it can be mistaken for heavy with eggs. I tried testing some of the yellow liquid, and it had a neutral pH, with no detectable odour. Any suggestions?
    19,000 litres
    Nexus 320 with Dracodrum and submersible UV
    Blue Eco 320
    Eazy Pod on skimmer
    Dura+ 10kW Heat Pump
    12 koi

 

 

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