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Koi Health and What You as a Koi Owner Need To Do To Keep Your Koi Healthy#021
May 24, 2010

Koi Health

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Koi encounter few traumas in the pond, but they still manage to get a few scrapes. Some injuries are seasonal and relatively minor. In spring when breeding Koi they tend to lose scales as part of the nudging of courtship. The female in particular may lose patches of scales and have a split fin. The only necessary treatment is to remove her from the pond to the hospital tank, away from other fish. A week or two of rest and she should heal just fine.

Butterfly Koi have delicate fins they can get dragging damage from the rough bottom of a pond. The treatment for this is a salt bath. Use three tenths of a percent salt solution (three pounds per 100 gallons of water in your pond) this will help the fins heal. Keep an eye on this though as fungus can take hold on damaged fins or skin.

A kinked spine can also be trauma related, but it can also be the result of a poor diet (very obvious in younger, fast growing Koi), exposure to high levels of insecticides or electrocution. Many times the damage to the spine is permanent and euthanasia is the logical answer.

Electrocution fries the nerve axons, causing some muscles to become permanently contracted and other muscles to become spasmodic. Because muscle control is gone, the electrocuted Koi swim in a jerky fashion. When the fish are challenged or stressed, the swimming motions can become even more erratic until the fish losses the ability to swim altogether. An electrocuted fish drops weight, partly because he uses so much of his energy just trying to swim, but mostly because he can not compete with other Koi for food.

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Parasites are a common problem for all fish. Parasites are always present and are easily passed from one fish to another. The eggs or cysts may remain inactive and undetected until your pond water warms up, then all of a sudden you have a parasite outbreak.

, the problem with a parasitic infection is that the condition sets your fish up for secondary bacterial infections.

Salt treatments will kill many parasites. Sometimes you may need to add a secondary treatment, but salt is your number one choice for Ich, Costia, and Chilodonella. Bacterial infections often occur as secondary to another disease or injury, or when your fish’s immune systems are weakened by stress. When bacteria sets in on the outside of a Koi, the Koi develop open wounds or ulcers that spontaneously appear:

  • On the mouth
  • On the belly
  • As holes in the fins
  • As red streaks on the fins
Unless you provide treatment, the hole gets bigger and deeper.

To Learn More About Koi Diseases Click Here


One of the greatest threats to Koi is chlorine in tap or municipal water sources. Chlorine levels in public water vary from day to day, automatic water fills can fry your fish.

Another common cause of Koi death is when Koi owners leave water hoses running in order to top off their ponds. You must take precautions when using tap water. If you have to have an automatic fill, at least have it pass through a carbon filter. If you are using a water hose get an automatic shut-off valve that you hook up to turn off the water after so many minutes or gallons if case you forget to turn it off it will do it for you.

Power Outages

Power outages represent another threat to your Koi. As a Koi owner you must prepare for power outages. If you live in warmer areas where summer storms are frequent you will need a generator.

If you lose power, getting oxygen to your fish should be your first concern. Without power, the ammonia will build up to lethal levels quickly.

Generators should be a staple in any Koi owners home, especially if you live in a warmer climate. You can cut down on a quick rise in ammonia by having shade sails over your pond (plus they give you the added defense against predators).

Don't feed your fish when your power is out.

Emergency kit in case of power outage:

  • Battery operated air pump
  • Three days worth of batteries (or more)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ageneraton

Hydrogen peroxide will oxygenate the water in an emergency.

Solar power is another option to consider for power outages. You can buy and install solar powered aerators.

You can also used tanks of compressed sir to bubble air into your pond. You can usually rent these, check with your local pond store.

We here at the Koi Pond Guide hope you are enjoying your newsletter. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to your friends or family!

, we would love to hear your comments and questions are welcomed and appreciated! Also, if you have any photos you would like to share of your pond, fish or plants we would love to see them, so send them in.

Happy Ponding!

The Koi Pond now has a great line of products to help you with your Koi and Pond needs. Koi Pond Products

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