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Sick Goldfish In Goldfish Pond


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I need some advice for a work colleague of mine. He has an outdoor pond that housed 75 goldfish - the pond holds 100 gallons which I know is way too small for 75 goldfish. He now only has 15 left as 60 of them have died - they had open sores like ulcers on their bodies. The remaining 15 are showing early signs of these ulcers but only very early signs. I told him to do an 80% water change and add some salt to the pond however I wasn't sure of dosage so told him to add one tablespoon per 10 gallons which I know is probably way too little.

Can you tell me what the recommended dosage would be for the salt? He really wants to save these fish. The pond has been up and running for around 2 years and to date he had no problems. The ammonia and nitrite are at zero. He does weekly water changes. He has tried medicated treatments but they didn't really work so I suggested the salt as it worked for me before with my Goldie.

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I wouldn't salt a pond. it's way to hard to control. He needs to get the fish out of the pond and clean it up. He can get some plastic bins or a kiddie wading pool (on sale cheap at this time of year), and whatever treatment the experts here recommend should be done in those.

Then he needs to empty the pond, removing everything in it and washing it until the wash water is clear. If he has rocks or gravel in the bottom of the pond, it needs to be removed and left out. Two years is about the time at which sickness often results from the crud that collects between the rocks. Plants should be removed, washed, repotted and held in buckets of water while the pond is cleaned.

With all those fish, he's going to need the filter in his temporary "pond." So he should remove the biomedia and soak and rinse it in several changes of dechlorinated water. The rest of the filter needs to be scrubbed thoroughly. Then he'll just have to use it in the temporary pond.

He should put water and plants back in the pond as soon as it is cleaned, but the fish shouldn't be returned until they are completely healthy. Before he returns any fish to the pond he should do another 100% water change. They may well have bacterial or parasitic infections, but basically he's dealing with nature's way of telling him he's way overstocked. He needs to get/build another pond, preferably a lot bigger and get down to one fish per 20 gallons.

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