What Is Wrong With My Fish?
“My fish are jumping,
scratching themselves, not interested in eating! I think they
must be unhappy? Or are they sick?? I don’t know what would
make them act this way. Usually, they are happy to see me,
eager to eat, and swim nicely with each other in the pond.
Could they be fighting?”
Koi do not
fight. They are extremely social fish. Most likely your fish
have either 1) parasites, 2) poor water conditions (possibly
high TDS), or 3) are spawning. It IS NOT normal for koi to
jump. They don’t “jump for joy”—they try to escape an
undesirable situation in their pond. Koi are good jumpers, so
they can jump out and die before you find them. It IS normal
for an occasional fish to scratch itself (flash) against the
side of the pond or a rock. It IS NOT normal for ALL the fish
to do so, however.
because they need to get more oxygen into their gills, if they
have parasites or gill filament damage. So, don’t automatically
assume it is parasites. Koi also jump when the pond has too
high TDS levels, lots of
heavy metals or other irritating
materials in the water that make it undesirable to live in. Koi
copper in their water and will sometimes do a death dance
when levels reach toxic range. Even chlorine will burn the
sensitive gill filaments and tissues, making it difficult for
your fish to breathe.
You can easily
rule out spawning unless this behavior is accompanied by foaming
on top of the water and you can see eggs, if you look closely.
In this case, the reason they are not hungry would be obvious.
They will eat later.
When my fish
began to swim erratically, do some lifting of heads out of water
(not entirely jumping, but looked like an effort to jump), and
flash against the sides and bottom of the pond, after much
research I found the problem to be high levels of Total
Dissolved Solids. This was easily rectified with
Barley Straw Pellets. The Barley Straw Pellets take up more
than algae-feeding nutrients. They tie up heavy metals as
well. Within a day, my fish were back to normal.
Aqua Xtreme is an answer to water problems, and I would use this
before I caught and scraped fish or took gill biopsies. It is
much less invasive and will not further stress your poor fish.
Usually, attention to the water will resolve fish behavioral
problems, the easy way.
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