Fish Emergency Part
Let's face it, at some time or another
most pond owners will face an outbreak of some kind, or worse yet -
have an unidentified threat potentially wipe out your entire fish
It happens to the
best of us, and in this article I'm going to talk about a recent 'near
disaster' in my pond, and what I did to quickly get it under control
and save my fish.
It all started
about a month ago, right after the recent KOI Show we exhibited at
here in South Florida. (For pictures and videos of that show,
Even though I KNOW BETTER, I couldn't
help falling in love with two fish in particular that I 'Just Had to
Have' and even though I didn't have a quarantine tank setup, I brought
these two fish home anyway...
Now for those of you who are new, most (if not all) fish experts
recommend setting up a quarantine tank for all new fish before adding
them to the pond. The reason is that a stressed out new fish, with any
type of bacterial or parasitic infection will quickly infect the rest
of your otherwise healthy population of pond fish.
The ideal period for quarantining a new fish is between
2 weeks and one full month. The reason for this is that any infection
in a fish will usually surface within this time period and so if the
fish still looks healthy at the end of this term, they're ready for
the pond. If they do get sick, it's much easier to treat them in this
smaller quarantine tank.
with the story...
around to 'make sure' I was buying from reputable dealers, and then
bringing home two beautiful fish and putting them straight into my
pond -- I soon noticed (within days) that my a couple of my fish were
starting to act very sick.
They were very lethargic,
not eating, and not swimming around like they usually do... just
sitting together, not moving.
So I immediately assumed the worst, that these new fish were somehow
infected and that I had a full blown outbreak on my hands...
introduced by these new fish that I hadn't quarantined.
To make a long story short - this lead me to
immediately test all of my water quality parameters (pH, Ammonia,
Nitrite, and salinity).
found surprised me, and let me to actually discounted the possibility
that I had brought home sick fish, and rather that I had probably been
endangering my fish the previous two weeks by feeding them.
Let me explain,
As the weather began warming up down here in Florida, and as we
emerged from our rather 'mild' winter, I started up my
feeder and started feeding their usual high-protein diet, 4-6 times
per day. The problem was, even though the air temperature had
been much warmer during the day, the water temperature in the pond had
not really risen much because we were still having somewhat chilly
nights. So, the good bacteria in my
Aquabead biological filter had not been able to multiply or keep
up with the new load of fish waste, and as a result -- my Nitrites
were sky high! What most likely was happening was that my fish were
suffering from Nitrite toxicity and a couple of them were starting to
swell up, an early indication of Dropsy which is sometimes brought on
by internal organ damage, and the inability to regulate the osmotic water
Dropsy is almost always fatal, so I
knew I had to act fast!
(Me Injecting my 16" KOI with Antibiotics)
Click Here to Read More About How to Diagnose
and Treat Sick Pond Fish (With Pictures) Cont...
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