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  1. #1

    koi flashing problem!!

    hello and apologies that my first post is a dilemma!!

    we moved house in late 2018 and the pond was also left to us with some koi, we were not fish lovers but grew fond of the fish and decided to build a new pond to home them as the sunken pond was a danger to children falling in, the new pond was manufactured and sealed and filled late 2019 summer approx 7500 litres

    after a lot of research I found a solution to filtration, I use a large wheelie bin shower filter, this is filled with large baskets of alfragrog and other media with three stage foam filters in the top, this has worked very well and no trouble so far and I added an inline UV light filter.

    over 2020 the pond went green and filled with leaves and rubbish and in spring this year we got blanket weed really bad so I took the opportunity mid may to drain the entire pond clean back to new and install a canopy over the entire pond, re filled while I had my fish in a holding tank over night, I saw no need to do a water test on fresh water? possibly a mistake?

    after a week or so I noticed the fish were flashing on the sides of the pond, after a lot of internet searching it sounded like fluke, and the chemicals advised to use I found in the recommendation from my local koi store and got NT Labs anti parasite 5 day treatment, I also added 6 x 2" koi at this point and 2 x sturgeon from the store.

    I added the new fish and a day later started the treatment which ended on the 26th may, after another week there was no improvement? again possibly a big mistake but I did not do a water test as I assume the chemicals in the treatments will void the test results?

    so back to internet searching for answers, I might add at this point I have searched high and low for a micro scope with x200 or x400 to get an accurate diagnosis but they are rocking horse on internet searches and very expensive new!

    so I read that another treatment chemical for this flashing problem was praziquantel so I sourced some kusuri fluke P treatment, I measured out the treatment and applied this on Saturday 5th June in the evening as per instructions on the bottle.

    as of today the problem is still there, slight flashing from all the fish (no visible abrasions, no gill redness) and some jumping out of the water occasionally? so today I have done a water test (not sure if the treatment will effect the results but they were bad?)

    test results 8th June
    PH 6.6
    Ammonia in-between .25 .50ppm
    nitrite in-between 2.0 to 5.0 ppm
    nitrate in-between 80 - 160 ppm

    fish:
    6 x large 8-12" koi
    6 x small 2" koi
    2 x sturgeon 8-10"

    5 x floating plant baskets with flowering plants (been in the pond since manufacture)
    2 x Lilly buckets (been in pond since manufacture)

    any help really appreciated.

    pond canopy.jpgfish.jpg



  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum,

    Here is your potential issue:
    Ammonia in-between .25 .50ppm
    nitrite in-between 2.0 to 5.0 ppm

    Stop feeding and start doing some water changes. This high ammonia / nitrite shows that your filters are not mature and the pond is likely going through new pond syndrome. It also not advisable to dump chemicals into a pond without knowing what you are treating.

    Are you adding any dechlorinator?

    A good microscope which a lot of us use in the Apex Practitioner, which can be picked up on amazon.

  3. #3
    You are going to need to splash out on the scope or try to find someone who has one and is willing to help you.
    It's a shame that the aquatic store didn't point out the folly of introducing new fish at the same time as carrying out fluke treatment.

    Whereabouts in the country are you?

  4. #4
    thanks for the welcome, the filter media has been used for over 12 month or do you mean the new water and clean pond have stopped the process from filtering? (totally new to this)

    I will stop the feeding and what would you advise for a water change 10-20-30% and would this be a daily thing?

    I have not used a declorinator? and I will try amazon for the telescope thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by g mac View Post
    You are going to need to splash out on the scope or try to find someone who has one and is willing to help you.
    It's a shame that the aquatic store didn't point out the folly of introducing new fish at the same time as carrying out fluke treatment.

    Whereabouts in the country are you?
    im based in leeds West Yorkshire and ive googled my area and beyond for any kind of pond people with experience to come test/help/treat but no luck?

    the store never mentioned any problems with treatments and new fish!! I did think this would be a good idea to clear any problems in one go but that shows what I know about keeping koi?

  6. #6
    So cleaning the whole pond out you have essentially nuked any beneficial bacteria that was in the filters and on all pond surfaces. So you are basically starting again from scratch.

    Chlorine will burn the gills of the fish and cause them irritation, so its essential to use something. If you buy sodium Thiosulphate from amazon you can make your own cheaply. Its just a case of mixing the crystals with water to a set ratio.

    Its a catch 22 with the water changes, as you have no means of declorinating new water. So might be an idea to pop to a local fish shop and pick some up. I would stop feeding completely and start with 20% water changes per day until your readings start to drop. Ammonia and Nitrite and very toxic to the fish.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by youmustcomply View Post
    So cleaning the whole pond out you have essentially nuked any beneficial bacteria that was in the filters and on all pond surfaces. So you are basically starting again from scratch.

    Chlorine will burn the gills of the fish and cause them irritation, so its essential to use something. If you buy sodium Thiosulphate from amazon you can make your own cheaply. Its just a case of mixing the crystals with water to a set ratio.

    Its a catch 22 with the water changes, as you have no means of declorinating new water. So might be an idea to pop to a local fish shop and pick some up. I would stop feeding completely and start with 20% water changes per day until your readings start to drop. Ammonia and Nitrite and very toxic to the fish.
    thanks for the advice I will start this asap, I did wonder about the pond clean and the filter but I assumed the bacteria were established and would remain, I have a starter bacteria gel that came with some media would I be a good idea to drop this in the pond?

    I will get some declorinator locally asap, I have found the microscope https://www.apexmicroscopes.co.uk/apexpractitioner.html is this the correct one? I can't find any on amazon they must be sold out is 130 about the price on amazon?

    thanks again for the help.

  8. #8
    Starter gel may help with the filters, but best to get some water out and declorinator in first.

    The apex is also available from Cuttlebrook:
    https://cuttlebrookkoifarm.co.uk/col...x-practitioner

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    One thing that's not been mentioned is your ph of 6.6 is a crash and needs to be brought up . Get a kh test kit liquid test kits are the the better ones to get . And also get some bicarb to help buffer that kh which will bring you ph up . You want ph 7 ASAP then leave a couple days then bring up to 7.6 to 8 and keep it there for ever really .

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Hi, welcome to the forum.

    Yep it sounds like the perfect storm of pond keeping. We've all been there.

    As mentioned, It sounds like you've killed off the bacteria that naturally breakdown ammonia (which is essentially fish urine) into nitrite and nitrite into harmless nitrate, with the big clean out. It may take quite a while for the bacteria to recolonise, so keep checking your water over the next few months.

    You've also added more fish, which means more ammonia will be secreted into the water at possibly the worst time. And the addition of new fish means parasites may have also been introduced to the pond (which is a risk anytime fish are added).

    And adding chlorinated water will, as said above, irritate and burn the gills and can cause them to act up.

    So it could be anyone of the above, or possibly all of the above that are affecting your fish.

    Follow the above advice and you should be ok.

    But definitely get a bag of sodium thiosulfate to remove chlorine each time you put fresh water into the pond.

    It's cheap as chips, can't really be overdosed and you only need a small amount (a teaspoon or 2 of the crystals dissolved in hot water, and then poured directly into the pond) each time you do a water change or top up will probably do it.

    Good luck.




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    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    One thing that's not been mentioned is your ph of 6.6 is a crash and needs to be brought up . Get a kh test kit liquid test kits are the the better ones to get . And also get some bicarb to help buffer that kh which will bring you ph up . You want ph 7 ASAP then leave a couple days then bring up to 7.6 to 8 and keep it there for ever really .

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    Yup missed the low PH. Definitely the perfect storm.

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  15. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    On the coping stones did you seal the cement as leaching lime in to the water will have Ill effects on the fish .

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    "we are water keepers first"

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  16. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    I think you will benefit from reading though this site mate. Manky sanke is a member on here that is a great help all things water.. I use this site as my bible...
    Home

    As the legend says. We are water keepers fish are just a bonus

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    Last edited by Ajm; 08-06-2021 at 05:00 PM.
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  18. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    One thing that's not been mentioned is your ph of 6.6 is a crash and needs to be brought up . Get a kh test kit liquid test kits are the the better ones to get . And also get some bicarb to help buffer that kh which will bring you ph up . You want ph 7 ASAP then leave a couple days then bring up to 7.6 to 8 and keep it there for ever really .

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    hello AJM this is news to me also my API water test kit says a PH of 6.0 is ideal? what is the effect of a higher PH and why is it beneficial?

  19. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    On the coping stones did you seal the cement as leaching lime in to the water will have Ill effects on the fish .

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    hello again, the coping stones were in place then I pond painted the whole inner, the copings hang over around 2" and I painted the under side also, the water level is normally 2" below the copings

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  21. #16
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by New-to-koi-pond View Post
    hello AJM this is news to me also my API water test kit says a PH of 6.0 is ideal? what is the effect of a higher PH and why is it beneficial?
    No mate 6 is very very bad. I had 13 now down to 3 fish after I was late in spotting a crash.. Ph 6 of far far to acidic for koi it will burn them gill organs the lot. Is it a fresh water / pond master kits? Read that site I put up mate please sort that ph as things will go very bad very quick

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  22. #17
    so last night I went and picked up some declorinator from maiden head aquatics, the instructions said for a part drain and refill add a ratio for the whole contents of the pond so I drained around 25-30% then added the solution and then refilled.

    the fish all seemed to be instantly happier, no flashing!!

    would you all recommend another part drain and refill if so how many times?

    do I need more declorinator to do this?

    and at what point should I do a water test again to see if this is having an effect?

    and finally should I add the filter starter gel at this point or am I wasting this with water changes? should I add the gel to the pond or direct into the filter?

    many thanks for all the advice.

  23. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    In your test kit to you have a kh. Ideally we need a kh test of both pond and tap and if you could do a ph of tap as well but for tap pH you need to fill a glass and leave it over night before testing.. You need to add dechol every time you do a change mate st is a load cheaper. Water changes are governed by your tests but do to many to quick and you will be chasing your tail. Leave it a couple of days test then water change. I personally wouldn't do more than 20 percent at a time but that's me

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  24. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    As for gels that's a whole different story on here some love them some hate them

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  25. #20
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    For the filter starter gel. I'd say chuck it in your filter.

    But don't expect things to change overnight. I think all they do is help the bacteria population to established a bit quicker than they would've done naturally. And it can take months for this to fully mature (although current warm weather/water should help speed things up).

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