August 16, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- BACTERIAL INFECTION

- ALGAE PROBLEM
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Question>

Carolyn, I to was unable to identify the cause of fish deaths! My
pond has been in for almost three years. It is about
2,500-gallons, 40 inches deep in the center and oval shaped. I
have a 3500-gallon an hour pump that splits my water through two
separate devices.

The first is a pressurized bio-filter rated for 2500 gallons an
hour that flows to a rock waterfall and the other is a UV filter
that flows into another bio-filter waterfall. The water clarity
is great and all appears to be doing great accept for the rising
death toll. I had about 15-20 koi, mostly babies, 3 medium size
fish 10-12 inches, 3 med under 6-8 inches and the rest are under
5 inches.

Based on all water tests and routine visual exams I to assumed
all was well in my pond. However, about early June I had a
medium-size fish pass away. I checked for any signs of infection
and found none -so I to assumed it was just his time to go. Then
less than a week later I had one more die. This had me worried,
so I checked all my pond chemical levels and they were fine.
Unable to identify any problems I preceded to do a 75% water
change -added in some more salt to get the salt level back up,
got a second opinion from a local pond store owner who did
scrapings on healthy fish, autopsies on dead fish and found
nothing. I went with her thought on treating as a precaution
until we could find the cause. I purchased an air pump that
releases oxygen in the bottom of the pond to ensure that they
were not suffocating and used a broad spectrum product for the
treatment of parasites, protozoa, fungi and bacteria.

Things were good for almost another week then a few days later I
found two more mid-size fish floating.

So we the pond store owner (I buy all fish through her and
happened to have added 2 new small ones this year) and I bagged 2
fish from her store and 2 from my pond to take to Michigan State
University for further testing. Sure enough hers were given a
clean bill of health and mine had an unknown bacteria that
responded to only one antibiotic that had to be injected in each
fish in my pond for three days. I have no more dead fish. It
seems to have worked. I now know what an unknown bacteria is. I
know that MSU will work to classify it. My question is: where do
people like me go to keep up on what is going on with situations
like this? How are these things tracked? I was told that my
infection could have come from anywhere including bird droppings
to frogs jumping in the pond to something that could have been
growing in the food to you name it. The possibilities are
endless.

Thanks Pat

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Answer>

Hi Pat

Yes, that certainly can be a frustrating situation not knowing
how to protect your fish.

The best thing I can recommend, other than what you are already
doing by contacting others (such as today) would be to join a koi
club in your area, use the Internet, and read the literature
available. Most hobbyists are most eager to spread their
knowledge with others.

Dr. Erik Johnson, DVM, has written a number of books on Koi and
fish Health and has a website. There are a plethora of good books
on the subject.

The one thing I would say to you is that no matter what we do,
unforeseen things will happen. Back in 1998, at a Koi show on
Long Island, NY, there was a terrible outbreak of KHV, previously
not known, and most ponds were wiped out before anyone knew what
had happened.

I must commend you and the pond store owner on your affirmative
action. Just know that we will deal with them together to
minimize our losses.

- Carolyn

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Question>

Pond 8x10x24. Pre-filer, 650 gal per pump, filter with built in
UV, followed by charcoal filter water fall to pond. Water temp up
to 85 degrees.

Every afternoon coating of Algae forms on surface to pond. Using
Eco-Blast but limited result. Algae seem to be suspended in water
all day making it murky.

Have tried emptying half of water, replacing it, but with limited
result. Going nuts, Help. Need for clear water making me ill. Any
ideas?

Dudley

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Answer>

Hi, Dudley,

Generally the algae is increased by nutrients and high
temperatures in the water this time of year.

I would suggest you change the bulb in the UV, or increase the
size of the UV light. Algae Fixx has been working for us in
ridding the pond of algae that doesn't go through the UV.

If you cut down on feeding, shade the pond (in whatever way is
possible, or at least shade the filters) and address the UV, you
should see some results in a few days. Rather than add more
water, try adding oxygen in addition to the other things
previously mentioned.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

Posted by bfogle at August 16, 2005 12:00 PM
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