August 25, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- LILIES FOR LUNCH

- ULCERS
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Question>

Dear Carolyn,

We have a very curious situation going on in our pond recently.
We have an 11 X 16 foot, 1900 gallon pond in our back yard. There
are 2 planted lily's and 3 potted lily's all are hardy. They were
all doing well and flowering regularly.

However today we noticed several leaves on 3 plants are missing.
One looks half chewed away, the rest (about 6) are just chewed
right to the stem.

This is our second year with the pond and our Koi which survived
the New England winter are thriving and have had babies twice
since last summer. Do you have any idea what may be lunching on
our lilies?

Help!

Sincerely, Marty

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Answer>

Well, Marty, it sounds like your koi may be having company you
arenít aware of. You might want to look for a turtle in there
somewhere. When koi spawn they can destroy lilies and any other
plants that are in a pond but what you are describing really
sounds like more than that. I suspect either turtles or even a
visiting raccoon may be coming in at night. The raccoons donít
actually eat the leaves, but they will break and tear them trying
to get the fish.

See if any of the missing leaves are on the bottom of the pond
somewhere. Otherwise, you can look for the turtle.

A word to the wise? Turtles also eat fish and carry a bacterium
that is not healthy in a koi pond.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

I donít have a question for you. I actually have some good news
to share.

Last year was the first year we had our pond. We built in July.
It is approximately 2400 gallons with a nice waterfall and
stream. We lost a total of 3 koi last year to ulcers that we just
couldnít get under control. It started with 2 new koi we
purchased which we did not quarantine as we should have. Small
marks on oneís side and on the top of the other one soon became
ulcers. We tried everything from medicated food to salt to
Melafix to Potassium Permanganate.

I had read on a vet website somewhere about injections and that
was just beyond my ability as a 1st year koi keeper. I then came
across an article about using clove oil to put the fish to sleep
and simply treating the wound directly with iodine, then waking
it up in fresh water and returning it to the pond. One of our
favorite fish was the only one with an ulcer and still alive. I
decided to try it. It worked. It took 4 treatments and she was
completely healed. She does have a scar, but that I can live
with.

This year we had one fish that we believe was scraped along her
back during spawning by a rock. It was beginning to turn into an
ulcer. We pulled her out, treated her twice with the iodine (once
a week for 2 weeks) and the wound has completely healed. I see
questions all of the time about ulcers and I hoped maybe it could
be helpful. By doing it as soon as we noticed something not
right on her, we were able to prevent it from growing as it did
last year. The time it takes for all of those other solutions
(except injections) allowed the ulcers to become so horrendous.

I wanted to share this option since it really was so simple and
worked so well. I know that you must be careful not to put them
too to sleep but I used 5 drops of clove oil to each gallon of
water- mixed first in a small amount of water to emulsify. I
placed the fish in the water and within 5-10 minutes they begin
to fall asleep.

They are very easy to hold at this point. Using gloves I removed
the fish and quickly treated the wound directly with iodine. We
then placed the fish in a container of fresh water to recover for
15 minutes. We covered the buckets each time with a light net
just to be sure they donít jump out.

Thanks for reading my long storyÖ I just hope it can help someone
save a fish in a way that they may be much more comfortable with
then injections.

Melissa Rekos

==

Answer>

Thanks Melissa for the helpful information! I generally tell
people to put 2-3 drops of Oil of Cloves into one gallon of water
to anesthetize fish however, and make sure they never walk away
while the fish are in the solution because the fish can keep
sleeping óand die. This is the same solution we use to euthanize
fish when necessary, very humanely. But your directions are
wonderful and will be very helpful to others.

Also consider using LynnoZyme of KoiZyme to eliminate Aeromonas
(the guilty bacteria that causes ulcer disease in koi) from the
pond as a maintenance regimen.

It only takes one parasite bite or a knocked off scale to open a
fish to infection.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

© MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at August 25, 2005 12:06 PM
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