Fish Health

Posted by Cathy Green on

Summer is here, and almost gone. After a long wet spring we have seen quite a few episodes of fish stress due to fluctuating water temperature.  Stress often leads to episodes of bacteria or fungal infection.

Here are some pointers to get us through the rest of the season.

Fish in pond water above the temperature of 86 are subject to stress.  Hot water is more difficult for the fish to take in the oxygen.  Small water changes in the afternoon to cool over heated ponds are recommended. And additional aeration always reduces stress and makes the fish more active.  

Koi will act healthy as a defensive mechanism. They do not want to show they are vulnerable and will hide any wounds or evidence of slowing down.  There are a few ways to determine a stressed fish. When viewing the fish

Look for fish that want to separate off to themselves, fish that stay on the bottom or at the top.

Look for possible wounds around the tail and fins

Look for red streak in the fins or the body

If you find a fish that is ill, the question is to treat the whole pond or just the infected fish. The pond is the least stressful environment for the healing of the fish. If the volume of water is too large to treat with medication or salt, lowering the water level can reduce the amount of medication necessary.  Moving a fish to quarantine, although cheaper for the cost of medication, will require constant monitoring of water quality and probably water changes and protection of the fish from jumping out or predators .   

Treatments can range from adding products to the water, feeding medicated fish food, or injection of antibiotics to the fish.

  • The most cost effective treatment for many parasites is pure rock salt. The dosage varies.

 1lb /100 gallon, if there are plants,

 1lb / 30 gallons effectively treats many parasites. This dose will not take care of flukes or anchor worms or lice and other medications are necessary. Remove plants to prevent burn  

  • Fish treatment products containing tea tree oils will take care of a lot of fungus and some bacterial infections internal and external. They can be added straight to the pond and are safe and do not hurt plants or bacterial filters.
  • Treating bacterial infections –Prepackaged medicated food is unavailable on the market at this time. So we are back to make your own medicated fish food – The medication is purchased separately and added to the food.
  • Injections of antibiotics require prescription from the vet. Instruction to inject fish can be found on line.