Pond Q & A - Mysterious KOI Deaths
We had some great new questions the last couple of days, and also
some interesting suggestions to our fire ant question
**Fire Ant Updates**
Here are two suggestions sent in by readers for getting rid of
those pesky fire ants (For you Northerners, they're like bees
with feet - only smaller)
Hello my name is Ana and I have a sugesstion for the fire ants.
Try pouring hot boiling water on them or after you fry some food
hot boiling oil and pour that on the ants. And if that dosen't
work try acid. If you try these let me know if they work.
I read that molasses will get rid of ants, I tried it in one of
my potted plants and it worked!! Is molasses safe around ponds?
Thank you for responding our e-mail. Yes we got 5 new fishes,
approx. 3 weeks later problems started. Kois werw from Japan, not
expensive once, but still. Right now we have 5 left, old, and one
new, but for us they are looking sick.Water quality is good, we
are testing it all the time. what ever is killing them, its still
there. How can we be sure, "bug" is killed, before we tru to put
new fish inn. Thank you in advance Helen and Dominic
Helen (and Joe),
As I mentioned in my previous email, there is a big problem right
now with KOI herpes virus (KHV), that is killing lots of fish
worldwide. There is no 'cure', and the virus is very contagious.
So, it's very important to quarantine any new fish from
'untested' sources, and especially when importing from Japan.
KOI breeders claim to have found a way to immunize their koi from
KHV, by exposing their fish to the virus, then raising the water
temperature to above 85 degrees, which apparently kills the virus
and (hopefully) creates the antibodies to prevent future
For your situation now, there's really not much you can do if
it's KHV, but I would still try to rule out other causes like
poor water quality, contaminants (pesticides), or other disease.
Check your water quality (ammonia, etc), and look for any obvious
signs of infection like redness, bloody sores, fungus, red blood
streaks in the fins, couldy eyes, etc... These are all likely
signs of parasites or bacterial infections.
The best overall disease preventatives are good water quality
(good pond filtration) and we also always recommend using pond
salt. Pond salt dosed at the right levels can be a great disease
preventative for fish, and reduced stress levels.
For more information, see our article on pond salt here: