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Medications and Treatments:

PARASITES AND METHODS OF CONTROLLING THEM:
 

Parasites all feed on parts of our Koi, normally in the mucus layer or the dermal layer of the skin, or within the bloodstream and flesh. All parasites need sustenance to enable them to live and reproduce at truly alarming rates. An adult parasite lays many eggs, and many parasites do not need a partner to reproduce, some stay in the mucus membrane of the Koi, others may fall to the bottom of the pond and into the filtration system which of course spreads throughout the filter system and are continually being carried back into the pond with the return water flows ...   So it is always essential that when you are treating your pond for parasites that you leave your system running so that which ever medication you use also passes through the filtration system ..  it is pointless in treating a pond for parasites and shutting off the filtration system - only to open it again several hours later to find that you have reintroduced the parasitic problem again into your pond ..

Signs to watch for:

Even before you have identified the particular parasite you will know from the way your Koi are behaving unusually, that there is something wrong in the pond ... They may be 'Flashing' or Flicking' off the bottom drain top or some other object, indicating that they have an 'itch' or something is bothering them ... If there is just a single Koi that seems to be troubled - then the problem may not be so bad as to warrant treating the whole pond, but you do still need to examine that Koi and take a scrape and examine that under a microscope with at least 100 x lens - if however you have a few Koi doing this and also jumping out of the pond in an attempt to shake off the parasite - then this is a clear sign that something and some course of action has to be taken.

Again, and I cannot stress this point enough, once the parasite has been identified - then and only then, can you treat the pond for that parasite ....

OK.... having identified the parasite - How can you treat for it ?

Before going on to diagnosis, treatments and the remedies etc., the following points are important to your Koi, your system, and your own understanding if the problems are to be kept to a minimum and the treatments, if required at all, are to be effective and safe.

  • Ensure that you know the exact volume of your system ...i.e. how many gallons of water in your system - not just the actual pond but also the water contained in the filtration system.
  • Click Here for a Pond Volume Calculator

Please be aware the dosage rates that we shall be quoting are accurate and whilst a 15% under dose can be ineffective - a 15% overdose can be dangerous ! Never try to guess the volume of your system if you do not know it....

Please note that the anti-parasite medications specified are NOT FISH TREATMENTS they do nothing medically for your Koi ... They are used to eradicate the parasite that is irritating your fish.

Ensure that you understand Parasites, what they are, where they come from and what they can do if left un-checked.

The Parasites, which are Water-borne can be divided into two sections, namely those we can see with our eyes and the ones we can't see without the aid of a microscope. All parasites live on and feed from parts of our Koi, be it just the mucus membrane, the dermal layer of the skin itself or the bloodstream and flesh. All parasites need this sustenance in order to survive and reproduce - which in ideal situations they can do at alarming rates. Each adult parasite lays many eggs, many parasites do not require a partner to reproduce. Many of these eggs stay in the mucus membrane - others are swept into the filtration system where they will hatch and the cycle will continue with an even greater infestation ... that is unless something is done about them... The actual life of these parasites is not very long - probably on a few weeks depending on the water temperature and their dependency of finding a host - (our Koi) - to live off... In the natural pond parasites are kept to an acceptable level because of natural stocking where the majority of newly hatched parasites cannot find a host. In our Koi ponds the stocking level is much greater and there is plenty of Koi around for these parasites to find a host to nibble away at.

Parasites are usually introduced to our ponds by Frogs - Toads and Birds and it is very hard to stop all of these especially the birds who come down to the water to both drink and to bathe - and if you have a waterfall then these make ideal bird baths - no doubt you will have smiled to yourself when you have seen the fun that these parasite carrying birds have when taking a dip in your water ...little realizing the problems that you may encounter later ....Newly purchased Koi can unfortunately be carrying a parasite and even the most careful dealer cannot be sure that his Koi do not carry a single parasite - and also a newly purchased plant may also have a parasite ... and that is all it takes under the right conditions for an infestation to take place ...and it is then that action has to be taken to bring a halt to the breeding cycle of these parasites otherwise if it is left to escalate you could experience heavy losses amongst your Koi. Eventually the infestation will damage the fine mucus membrane in the gills themselves which in turn will reduce the amount of oxygen available for the Koi and this could cause severe damage to the brain itself. Then there is a secondary risk of bacterial gill decay and this usually is followed by death. Other secondary problems resulting from that of a prime parasitic attack can be a bacterial infection which may be come visible by way of ulceration's on the actual body of the Koi. Prime parasites bore holes to enter the body through the protective mucus membrane - this is an ideal place for the parasites to colonizes and infect.

It must be understood that we can never eradicate the problem of parasites on a permanent basis in an outdoor pond - unless you can stop Birds, Frogs, Toads and other insects visiting your pond .. We can only hope to control these within the limitations that are available to us.

The medications and the dosage rates quoted are only intended to be used with an adequate filtration system running as normal although it is recommended that in certain circumstances, depending on the medication being used, that the Ultra Violet Sterilizers be switched off and do not run your return water through a sand pressure filter for a period of no less than 24 hours as these will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

Unfortunately there is not just a single treatment that will eradicate all of the parasites. Different parasites require a different treatment and with some of these treatments the dosage rates can vary somewhat - and this is also affected by the temperature of the water at the time of treatment. If the wrong medication is used if will have no effect on the actual parasite causing the infestation and although no medication is good for the Koi it will allow the parasites to continue its cycle. So it is extremely important that you get it right the first time. Medication treatments are usually effective with 2 to 6 hours following their application, the un-hatched eggs however will not be affected at this stage and although the adult parasites may have been eradicated - these eggs will continue to hatch and therefore the pond should receive a second treatment approximately 10 to 14 days later.

Many of the medications that you may use if coming into contact with some metals can give off a toxic reaction - so it is very important that you do not have your water pumping through or in contact with metals such as copper, cupra-nickel etc .... make sure that your metal fittings are safe such as brass, phosphor bronze or stainless steel.

HANDLING CHEMICALS & MEDICATIONS

WARNING: -   The chemicals and medications that we recommend are safe to use in the dosage rates quoted. However it must be stressed that they are potentially dangerous to humans if abused.

Always store them away safely in a cool, dry place and well out of reach of both children and pets. We recommend that you where rubber gloves when handling these medications and take care not to inhale any of the vapours that may be given off - mix medications where it is required to do so outside in the open atmosphere. Under no circumstances should these medications be taken internally and if accidents do occur then seek medical aid immediately. Always wash your hands after handling medications of all descriptions even though you may have been wearing rubber gloves.

On the next page in this very complex and in-depth subject, we shall discuss some of the parasites you can expect to find on your Koi, and how to treat them, and please bear in mind that all fish have parasites - so finding one would not be the end of the world or be too much of a problem if you can identify the particular parasite that you believe is causing the problem ... go to Parasites and Treatments next:



 
Be Sure to see the New Non Chemical Treatments - Parazoryne and Sabbactisun - these products are totally New and truly amazing products:
 


The East Riding Koi Co Ltd.
 

Please contact us if we can help in any matter <sales@koicarp.net>
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