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Still Being Torchured By Ulcers


Guest jamoko

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hey guys, haven't been on the boards much the past few weeks as have been very busy. You's may remember my shubunkin Blu that had a very nasty ulcer over the summer (turned out it was starting on him when i bought him). Then another shubunkin inka who i bought with a tiny notch of damage on her dorsal fish developed fin rot in that fin which ate down and turned into an ulcer on her back...both fish are now recovered but inca had a very small dorsal fin as it never fully grew back although her back is healed where it was.

All 10 of my fish have been in the pond for 3-4months now and 2 months ago the 3rd Shubunkin Spot took an ulcer on her top lip which was again nasty but i treated her and it cleared up, but at the same time my big comet had a few wee marks on his side and i couldn't figure out if they'd always been there....turns out it was the 4th ulcer of the summer developing, and not long after spots lip cleared up she got another small ulcer on her side (Ulcer 5!!!!)

i have been treating the pond with myaxzin for so long now that the water clarity is terrible as it stains green, i'd salted up to 3% for several weeks then reduced it down to 1% as i was going through so much salt because the pond has still not cycled...several reasons for this....my first filter leaked mid august and had to be replaced which put me back to square one, then after a very hot july the weather has cooled down and i've read that cycling takes much longer in cooler weather

Here's my test results and treatments since the new filter went in.... (300 gal pond)

The reason i change so much water each time is to do with the water clarity due to myaxzin which i have been using pretty much constantly since 10th september and removal of UVC a week later, i also read that changing too much water does not affect the cycle anyway.

14/8 amm 0 rites 0.0 rates 0.0 salted to 1%

21/8 amm 0-0.25 rites 0.0 rates 0.0

29/8 amm 0.25 rites 0.0 rates 0.0

3/9 amm 0.5 rites 0.0 rates 0.0 changed 200gals water added 910g salt to make 1%

10/9 amm 0.5 rites 0.25 rates 0.0 changed 200gals water added 910g salt to make 1%

treated spots lip with hydrogen peroxide

17/9 amm 0.25 rites 0.25 rates 0.0 changed 200gals water added 3640g salt to make 3%

removedUVC, addedMyxazin

treated spots lip with hydrogen peroxide

26/9 amm 0.5 rites 0 rates 0.0 changed 130gals water added 1820g salt to make 3%

addedMyxazin, big comet hydrogen peroxide on his side

2/10 amm 0.5 rites 0.25 rates 0.0 changed 150gals water added 2kg salt to make 3%

big comet % spot hydrogen peroxide on their side's

9/10 amm 0-0.25 rites 0.5 rates 0.0 changed 200gals water twice, added salt to make 1%

15/10 amm 0.5 rites 0.25 rates 0.0 changed 150gals, added 682g salt to make 1%

so i'm due to go out and do another water change now, the big comets ulcer is horrible and not healing and that's a good month now he's had it...although blu and inca did take a long time to heal so maybe i just have to be patient. Spots ulcer on her side has remained small but is still there.

i love my fish and it is killing me that they are suffering from these ulcers, i have had problem after problem since i started the pond and i just which i could get everything sorted out so that i can enjoy my pond and my fish.

Also what on earth am i going to do if my cycle doesn't complete by winter?

Sorry for being so long winded!

Hope Someone can help!

Jude

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With the weather cooling off then the fish are slowing down so the immune system isnt working properly. You are only allowing 30 gallons per fish which for shubies and commons isnt a lot. Bacterial diseases strike fish usually when the weather cools down or heats up so really until you get it sorted then it wont go away.

You need to look at stocking levels and maybe thin them down to half the number. When you change the water are you dredging the bottom as bacteria lives on the rubbish that builds up there.

I would take the sick fish out and treat them seperately as and when it strikes. The readings from the pond may not be accurate as the meds may throw the results off.

I would try and set up a 50 gallon container of some sort in a garage or shed and place the sickest fish in it for the salt and myxazin rather than treating the whole pond. Heat the container as well to around 15c as this will boost the immunity and maybe go as far as 20c. You may need to keep the fish seperate for the winter so a good strong filter will be needed as well.

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Thanks Sandy,

I don't consider my pond to be overstocked as when i was asking questions before i started my pond the general rule stated at that time was 20 gals per fish so if anything they have more than was recommended at that time and certainly a lot more than the 10 gals my comet had when indoors.

As for bringing them indoors...i'm very reluctant to do that....i had tubs in the dining room all summer and was constantly changing water as the tubs had not cycled, and now i simply do not have the time to do that as my other half has taken on another job doing half a weeks work on top of his full time job which has in turn placed a lot more work on my plate too! and i'm away in england next weekend and then again for 4 days the week after so wouldn't be able to keep a check on the water perams in a tub.

yes i dredge the bottom when cleaning...i have a electric pond vac so am able to get everything out.

I am in the process of uping the salt to 2% (all i have left...ordering more later today) and am wondering should i treat again with hydrogen peroxide to see if that helps, although i have done this twice already to the comet!

Jude

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Hey, sorry to hear your having such problems, i had a hard time with ulcers. i used PP and got some meds to use as a bath from the vets.

Potassium permanganate & peroxide, used to treat ulcers in koi & goldfish.

You will need:

Cotton buds

Peroxide (available at chemists)

Potassium Permanganate (available at chemists)

This is better done with 2 people, one to hold the fish above the pond/tank (in case fishy gets dropped) one to administer.

Swab the ulcer (using a cotton bud) with a dab of peroxide, to get rid of the nastiness etc. then (*pre prepared) cover with a thin layer of the PP. be VERY careful not to get the peroxide or PP in or near the gills. This treatment is ONLY used for body wounds. Anything near gills/eyes (not on them) use an iodine swab instead and no PP.

*to prepare PP put a small amount of PP in a clean tub (as I only had 2 fish to do I used a medicine measuring cup) mix with a few drops of water to make a thick paste.

The PP will have a purple tinge to it, and the peroxide WILL fizz when used ? don?t panic. Some of the PP will come of when the fish is put back in the water, but hopefully it should still be okay. It may look an odd brown/black colour for a few days. It?s okay. And remember it takes a long time to heal ? you won?t see over night miracles.

This treatment is only to be done once. PP can do as much harm as it can good.

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I hope you get it cleared up. What are you feeding them? The same food all summer? Do you know why your ammonia and nitrites haven't gone to 0 yet?

Mine were staying above 0, I switched from Aquadine back to Hikari Staple medium pellet and added an airstone to increase the oxygen. Ammonia and Nitrates went to 0, though Nitrates are still elevated a little.

Maybe if you get a big airstone and get some oxygen and more circulation in the water it will help. Anybody else think it will help?

Has anyone else had a change of diet change the water chemistry dramatically?

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Thanks dfernandez!

I've been feeding them Tetra Pond Goldfish Mix, TetraPond Colour Sticks and peas occasionally, i also give them an occasional TetraPond Treat & i also have TetraPond Wheatgerm which i fed them tonight.

i have no idea why the cycle is taking so long apart from the weather cooling down? or as suggested above the meds giving false readings? but nitrates where staring to show tonight so perhaps next weeks reading will be clearer!

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dfernandez - the average temp is 14*C & i have never used fertiliser tabs in the pond

Lozbug - what happens the water then if you don't think ponds cycle?

i got the pp paste today...the guy in the chemist asked "is it for your feet?" and i was like "errr...no, it's for an ulcer on my goldfish" ...he said "you learn something new everyday!" he went on to warn me that it can rapidy remove oxygen in water and it states on the tub "Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long term adverse effects in the aquatic environment" makes me a bit scared to use it now!?

Jude

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I just don't think ponds cycle in the same way a tank does. i tested stats etc and and the don't follow the pattern a tank does, i think they just become naturally stable. i dunno.

I used the PP, i know of others that used it. If your worred add extra air and please remember a think coat and only once. it is commonly avalible to koi world in lfs' NT labs produce it.

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It sounds to me like your temperatures are slowing down the development of your biological filter. And biological activity pretty much shuts down around 50 deg fahrenheit (10 deg celsius). It is promising that you are seeing nitrates though. (BTW, ponds will cycle exactly like aquariums do. Of course, it depends on your filtration etc.)

At these temperatures I would not be feeding. Your fish should get enough food naturally or from eating algae.

Is there any way you could heat your pond to the 75 - 78 deg fahrenheit (24 - 26 deg celsius)? This would help the filter mature a bit and allow the fishes metabolism to step up and combat their bacterial infections. (Providing good water quality should always be the first step in treating sick fish.) Your pond looks like it would be fairly easy to cover which would help keep the heat in if you decide to warm it up.

Just some thoughts... Good luck with your fish.

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Thanks Sonny! my pond temp is currently between 12-14*C. I'd saved these two bits of info below from on here and after reading them again i think you are right about the feeding but perhaps just cutting it down to a couple of times a week for a bit would be better first...

I would put a thermometer in the water and test the temp. of the water. If it is below 45 f/7*C, I wouldn't feed. Over that, I would feed very sparingly, only a bit once per week. Some people say the cut off point for feeding is 50 f/10*C, however, I have found my fish still quite active at 50 f/10*C, so I feed very sparingly, once per week, when the temp. is between 45f/7*C and 50f/10*C. If it is over 50 f/10*C, I feed sparingly, twice per week. Under 45 f/7*C, I don't feed.

******

The reason it is suggested to not feed in winter is that the fish will eat, then because their digestion is very slow, it will rot in their intestines. That is what I have read, anyway.

If your pond if naturally planted, there is probably enough natural food in the pond, if the fish want to graze.

Here is another reason for not feeding your fish in cold water:

The bacteria responsible for the nitrogen cycle become impaired at around 60 degrees. Once we hit around 45 degrees they no longer function so if you keep feeding in cold water you will be poisoning the water.

However if your temps are suitable for feeding you should be giving them a low protein diet. Normally wheatgerm based feeds are recommended. The more protein in the diet = the more ammonia the fish will produce and this is not what we want too do in winter since our good bugs are not functioning optimally, if at all.

Your biofilter will likely slow down in colder temps (I've seen them work wonderfully at temps just under 40* on a pond where the fish were still being fed, not that I'd recommend that), but ammonia is less toxic at colder temps as well and it takes a much higher test reading for the amounts of uniodized ammonia (NH3) to be problematic. Not that this is particularly relevant, since feeding when your biofilter isn't working well is a dangerous practice because ammonia levels will continue to rise - just thought I'd throw it in. smile.gif

Colder temps (<50*) aren't favorable to the production of digestion enzymes and the longer the food stays in the fish, the more chance there is for rot/infeciton. Fish may still eat. Heck, a carp needs to be dead or in torpor (state of inactivity brought on by extremely cold temps) to not want to eat, but personally I would resist the urge, or at the very least feed *very* sparingly.

***********

PROBLEM:

It was autumn when I set up my 200g patio pond/tub. The tub was barely cycled before the temperature started dropping, before long it was down to 10C/50F. Accepted wisdom has this temperature as the cut off point for feeding during cooler weather.

There are two main reasons why most people don't feed their fish in winter. The first is that low water temperatures slow down the digestive system to a point where food may sit and rot in the gut. The second is that the bacterial cycle of the pond also slows down and cannot cope with the usual load.

The downside of a winter fast is that fish emerge in a weaken state in the spring and are more vulnerable to the regular spring outbreaks of disease.

I wanted to maintain a water temperature that would allow winter feeding but could not use heaters in a plastic tub.

SOLUTION:

I cover the tub at night with a sheet of industrial strength polystyrene foam, approximately 3cm (1&1/2)" thick. An example of the insulating properties of polystyrene is a 5cm/2" thick sheet of poly has the same insulating properties as a 12cm (10") thick concrete slab.

After a couple of sunny days the water temp rose to 14C/60F and by covering the tub at night I would usually maintain that temp or perhaps drop by 1C. The result in the middle of winter is an average temperature of 13-14C and very little variation. Thus I am able to feed my fish, albiet sparingly.

If one cannot obtain a thick sheet of polystyrene, a good thick tarpoline should also be effective. A tarp would also have the benefit of covering larger water surfaces.

**************

This second bit of info might me a good idea for me to consider as a way of heating the pond slightly.

I applied the hydrogen peroxide & then a thin coating of pp paste...my other half couldn't believe how calm the fish kept whilst doing it....they knew i was trying to help them :exactly

here's a pic of the comets ulcer before i applied the meds :( it looks so nasty

bigfishulcer.jpg

fingers crossed the begin to heal now!

Jude

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I'm sorry to see you are having troubles again. Your biggest problem now (next to of course this ulcer trouble) is the temps. The fish immune system shuts down when the temps get below 70 degrees. The healing process isn't really going to get much of a chance in these temps. I wish there was some way you could heat your water up to around 25*C.

The PP will work, you said you got a paste? I've only seen the paste when you mix a little water in it and put it on an ulcer. If you do this you'll get a permanent black mark on that spot, like a tatoo. If you are planning on using this as a paste I think I would suggest you use hydrogen peroxide on the ulcer instead. If you are going to put the PP in the pond to treat everything remember to follow the directions word for word. koivet.com has very good directions. MAKE SURE you know exactly how much water you have in your pond. If you over treat you'll kill your fish. Remember this while using PP;

1. Do not leave your pond while the PP is in the pond. You have to keep an eye on it at all times for the safety of the fish.

2. NEVER do a PP treatment without having a LOT of hydrogen peroxide on hand. IF the fish start gasping immediately spray and dump hydrogen peroxide in the pond to nutralize the reaction. YES put the hydrogen peroxide in spray bottles.

3. If your fish are really sick the PP may push them over the edge and then there is no turning back (I learned from experience and it was a very hard lesson).

Just be careful, this stuff can wipe out your pond.

You may want to up your salt to 6% and see how that goes. 3% is good but I'll tell you I've had my water up over 6% (on accident) and it didn't harm the fish at all. This may be an option to see how it goes before you use the PP? PP scares me but that's because two of my fish were pushed over the edge by it and it really does break ones heart when something like that happens.

This is the worst time of year to get sick fish I feel for you. Is there anyway you can get koizyme there? It is some great stuff and it kills all the bad bacteria that cause ulcers. If it's used as directed you should never have this problem again.

Scott

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lozbug, that's a rough ulcer perry had...poor wee thing!

scott, i treated the fish two nights ago, and all fine so far, no signs of gasping as the surface and all fish still active, so hopefully we'll be ok! i will keep a close eye on them of course!

that's annoying it'll stain the fish, and it was wee granules that i added water to by the way!

as for heating the pond, i'm going to try covering with polystrene sheets at night as suggested earlier in the thread. the only other way of heating available to me at present would be to bring the two fish indoors into a tub but as it wouldn't be cycled either i'd be doing constant water changes therefore cooling the water anyway and a heater wouldn't work in a plastic tub. then cause i'm away in london next two wkends (1night this week, 3 nights the next) i wouln't be able to keep the tub right over that time.

i will search for koizyme online today

thanks

Jude

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Your going to love the koizyme/genesyz. The koi dealer that I used to get my koi food and koizyme from said he'd been using it for 3 years and has NEVER had an ulcer on any of his fish. Before it he said he did have some problems with ulcers no matter how much he kept up with the cleaning of the pond and filter. He adds it once a week, he told me if I keep it up I would have the same success. Of course now that I no longer have a pond I don't have worries but while I did have it I used koizyme and there were no troubles.

On the PP, I thought you stated you had gotten a paste and thats why I said they'd be stained like gettting a tattoo. You see the paste is applied right on the ulcer, not in the water. What this does is carterizes the wound plus kills anything that is in it. Thus helping the fish heal faster. And of course the only problem is the fish will have a permanent dark spot were the PP is applied. By just adding PP to the pond water you'll not get the darkening on the fish, you'll just have water that looks like tea for awhile. I'm sure you know what I mean by now as your water should be a brownish color.

Good luck with the fish. Oh, and have fun in London (I wish I could go there :( )

Scott

Edited by Scott
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hey Scott, if you ever get the chance to go to london you must go...it is fantastic. i'm away with work as our family business has got through to the finals of the top butchers shop in the uk (we actually won this before in 1999) so fingers crossed! so hoping to get some shoping and a few nice meals out squeezed in as well!!

anyhow's....

i followed lozbugs instructions for the pp

***********

Potassium permanganate & peroxide, used to treat ulcers in koi & goldfish.

You will need:

Cotton buds

Peroxide (available at chemists)

Potassium Permanganate (available at chemists)

This is better done with 2 people, one to hold the fish above the pond/tank (in case fishy gets dropped) one to administer.

Swab the ulcer (using a cotton bud) with a dab of peroxide, to get rid of the nastiness etc. then (*pre prepared) cover with a thin layer of the PP. be VERY careful not to get the peroxide or PP in or near the gills. This treatment is ONLY used for body wounds. Anything near gills/eyes (not on them) use an iodine swab instead and no PP.

*to prepare PP put a small amount of PP in a clean tub (as I only had 2 fish to do I used a medicine measuring cup) mix with a few drops of water to make a thick paste.

The PP will have a purple tinge to it, and the peroxide WILL fizz when used ? don?t panic. Some of the PP will come of when the fish is put back in the water, but hopefully it should still be okay. It may look an odd brown/black colour for a few days. It?s okay. And remember it takes a long time to heal ? you won?t see over night miracles.

This treatment is only to be done once. PP can do as much harm as it can good.

***********

the pp was kinda like wee granules, and as lozbug said i added a little water and made it into a paste and i applied it directly onto the ulcer after swabbing with hydrogen peroxide, i did not add the pp to the water.

When the koizyme/genesyz arrived should i stop using myxazin in the water and just use it instead?

Thanks

Jude

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