Troubleshooting Fish Disease
Flashing: If your fish are repetitively turning over sideways under the water or rubbing their bodies against the sides and bottom of the pond, it usually indicates parasitic activity. I.e., fish lice, anchor worm or gill flukes.
Treatment: Treat the pond with pond salt. For every 100 Gallons of water, add 3lbs of salt. Make sure to add the salt gradually to the pond so that you do not stress out the fish. Check your salt levels with a salt pen or take a water sample to your local pond store. Your medicating salt levels should read no more than .30. Once the salt levels reach .30, treat the pond with ProForm-LA.
- White Cottony Spots: If your fish have white, cottony spots on their skin, head, fins and or gills, this usually indicates they have a parasitic disease called Ich (Ichthyophthirius). Ich is transferred between fish so you want to make sure to segregate the infected fish from the healthy fish and then medicate both the pond and the holding tank.
Treatment: Treat entire pond with 3 treatments of Proform-C over a 3 day period. You’ll perform one treatment per day, with a 25% water change before each additional treatment. After the last treatment of ProForm-C, be sure to peform a water change and then add dechlorinator & pond salt. Pond salt will help reestablish the slime coat on the fish.
- Fin/Tail Erosion: If your fish have disintegrating fins and reddened areas on their fins or tail, this is an indication of a bacterial infection known as fin or tail rot. If left untreated, this can cause severe damage leading to their death.
Treatment: Treating the pond with an all natural treatment of Melafix for seven days in a row will easily remedy this minor ailment. Do NOT perform any water changes in between each treatment. Some foaming will occur.
- Skin Rot/Ulcers: If you find that your fish has a small hole on or around its lower abdomen, it’s most likely that your fish has skin rot or an ulcer. Unless caught early on, this is usually a fatal bacterial infection from which most fish do not recover.
Treatment: If you do catch ulcers or skin rot in its early stages, in addition to using Melafix, you can try feeding them a koi antibiotic food like Debride Rx. Debride Rx has a triple antibiotic formula that helps stop bacterial infection. You must feed them for 2-4 weeks depending on how severe the disease is.
- Cotton Mouth: A bacterial infection that leaves white, cotton-like lesions around the lips of the fish.
Treatment: Treat the pond with pond salt. For every 100 Gallons of water, add 3lbs of salt. Make sure to add the salt gradually to the pond so that you do not stress out the fish. Check your salt levels with a salt pen or take a water sample to your local pond store. Your medicating salt levels should read .30. If they need further treatment, perform enough of a water change to get the salt level to 0, then treat with ProForm-C. After the last treatment of ProForm-C, be sure to peform a water change and then add pond salt back into the pond. Pond salt will help reestablish the slime coat on the fish.
- Waxy White/Pink Bumps on Body/Fins: This indicates a viral disease known as Carp Pox which can be fatal if left untreated. Once the fish has contracted Carp Pox, like any virus, they will always have it. It is contagious and can spread to the other fish. When treated, the bumps may go away temporarily (leaving a small scar) but then they may reappear if the fish come under stress in the future.
Treatment: A prescription drug known as Acyclovir is used to treat Carp Pox. Dosage is 2 crushed up tablets (200mg each) for every 1000 gallons of water. Treat the pond every day for 10 days.
- Sever Abdominal Swelling/Eyes bulging: A viral disease known as Dropsy or Pop Eye. It is fatal in most cases, but treatable in its early stages. This is a highly contagious infection in the kidneys.
Treatment: Immediately transfer infected fish into a holding tank and dose pond with Potassium Permanganate. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully as an overdose will be fatal. Once you’re done with the Potassium Permanganate treatment, you can feed the infected fish Debride Rx antibiotic food. If the problem still persists, treat the pond with 3 treatments of ProForm-C (one treatment per day with a 25% water change before each treatment). After the last treatment of ProForm-C, be sure to peform a water change and then add pond salt. Pond salt will help reestablish the slime coat on the fish.
- Grassy White/Green Cottony Tufts: This is a fungal infection known as Saproegnia. This typically occurrs on the body and fins.
Treatment: Perform 3 treatments of Proform-C over 3 days. Dose one treatment per day, performing a 25% water change before each treatment. After the last treatment of ProForm-C, be sure to peform a water change, and then add pond salt. Pond salt will help reestablish the slime coat on the fish.
Notes about medicating your pond:*As with all medications, make sure to read the instructions on the bottle before dosing your pond.
*Be sure to add dechlorinator after every water change.
*Keep in mind that some medications such as; Proform-C and Potassium Permanganate will wipe out the biological bacteria in your filter. Be sure to bypass your filter (if you have a bead filter) so that you don't wipe out the good bacteria. If you have no other option than to wipe out your biological bacteria, you may experience some water quality issues for a while after medicating. No worries, you can always build the bacteria back up with a bottle of Complete Bio Clear.