Koi Diseases And Treatments
Nothing can strike concern and fear in the heart of any responsible Koi owner than finding out that one of your scaly friends is ill. Such a situation, however, is difficult to avoid entirely. Koi have very long life spans, pushing beyond 60 years of age. It is almost inevitable that at some stage you will have to face Koi disease and perform some Koi treatment. Viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi all contribute to Koi disease.
There are two primary lines of defense to prevent your Koi fish from succumbing to diseases. The first line of defense is the immune system of the Koi fish themselves. Koi fish tend to have very strong and resilient immune systems, making them hearty fish under most circumstances. This, however, can be easily compromised if proper maintenance is not given to the pond in which they live. For this reason, proper Koi pond maintenance is the second line of defense for preventing Koi diseases.
Some of the most common diseases to affect Koi fish are described below, along with their corresponding Koi treatment.
Koi Pox is caused by a viral pathogen. There is no direct treatment for this sort of viral infection. The treatment for Koi pox relies on letting the Koi’s own immune system defeat the viral infection. If an instance of Koi pox is detected, strict adherence to your pond’s maintenance schedule is a must. A more proactive approach against Koi pox is to vaccinate your Koi against it.
Saprolegnia is a type of fungal infection that affects Koi fish. The symptoms manifest themselves with white, wool like growths appearing along the mouth, gills and any open wounds that the Koi might have. This fungal infection is not contagious among the Koi population. To treat it, malachite green, an organic compound, can be added to the pond water to kill the fungus.
Fin rot and other forms of ulcerations can affect Koi, especially if the pond water underwent a sudden chemical imbalance. These conditions are caused by bacterial infections. Being bacterial in nature, this Koi disease is treated with chemical additives to the water. The most common water additives used to combat fin rot and ulcers are acriflavine and Formalin.
Dropsy is another Koi disease that is caused by bacteria. It presents itself in Koi with a swelling of the abdomen. An excessive accumulation of fluids in the tissues brought about by the bacterial infection are the cause for this.
This type of infection requires the introduction of antibiotics. These antibiotics are administered as part of the Koi’s food. They can also be applied in vaccination form.
Fish lice, costia, whitespot, tapeworm, leeches and skin fluke can also plague Koi fish. In mild to moderate infestations treating the water with malachite green can solve the problem. More severe cases can be handled by segregating the affected fish and applying a salt bath in a holding tank.
When it comes to properly diagnosing and treating your Koi, it is best to seek advice from a veterinarian or professional aquarist. Many times water samples or mucous samples from the Koi have to be taken in order to properly diagnose the disease.
Remember to always adhere to all instructions pertaining to individual Koi treatments. You do not want to perform too little treatment, but you do not want to overdo Koi treatment either. Perhaps the best piece of advice for Koi treatment is to follow the proactive route; keep up with maintenance and keep your eyes open for any deviations from normal Koi behavior.