Category Archives: Pathogens

Bigger Batch Issues w/ Medicated Food

Making a big batch is a little bit more difficult because mixing the confectioners glaze/medicine mix have to be done evenly so it really kind of takes two people. One person to drizzle and one person to stir.

*Note: this document is intended to convey “how I do it“ and has nothing to do with recommendations, prescriptions, or instructions to you. If you think so, you are mistaken.

This batch called for roughly 700 mg of medicine per pound of food based on a 3% feeding rate and I put in 1500 total. It’s 2 pounds of food. If I had it to do over again, I would have made this with 2000 mg to account for some of the loss of medication during the crushing process. Continue reading Bigger Batch Issues w/ Medicated Food

How and What To Use To Make a Medicated Food For Fish Part 4

How and What To Use To Make a Medicated Food For Fish Part 4

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Now you know a new way to bind medicine to Koi and goldfish pellets in order to get medicines into the fish orally. It’s pineapple flavored, safe, easy to make and not oily. You don’t have to make paste foods, and the food stores well. The fish take it very well, it can be made on a base-pellet of your choosing and it’s very flexible limited only by what you can obtain to mix in it. Continue reading How and What To Use To Make a Medicated Food For Fish Part 4

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish (Part 2)

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

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So now we can take advantage of all the legal workarounds available to us by choosing especially privileged vets (the ones somehow above the regulatory restrictions that brick-and-mortar vets face), and “pet” pharmacies with enough lee-way to sell is what we want without regulation. Continue reading New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish (Part 2)

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

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FDA has downregulated medicated food to be available only by prescription. The manufactured food “of choice” is made with “Aquaflor” which is Florfenicol. It’s good, but the only Vet that can legitimately prescribe it will have been directly-and-in-person to your pond.

Continue reading New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

Koi and Goldfish and KHV Cross Contamination

Dr Johnson,

I got your address from my friend Jason who you recently helped with a pecan nut problem.

I may or may not have a KHV problem. If I can give you the story I hope you can tell me if there is anything I should do.

I dug a pond last fall and have 2, 5 inch koi doing fine in it. I have 5, 4 inch koi inside doing very well.

I have a lotus in a whiskey barrel that I’ve had for sometime and put cheap goldfish in for mosquitoes. They usually die quickly and I never thought much about it until I started reading about KHV and saw pics of Koi with KHV. I remember one of the gold fish having a dark patch on its gill cover that looked like a post mortem shot of a koi with KHV.

I have wintered umbrella palms in the lotus barrel.

So my questions.

1. Should I be concerned

2. Is there a nucleic acid test that can test water

3. Is there a non-invasive nucleic acid test for fish

4. At what point should I bring the outdoor fish to you before I move the indoor fish out.

5. Should I throw out the plants or is it safe to put them in the pond

If there are any products I need to purchase from you, please let me know.

Thank you

My Answer:

Koi Herpes Virus is not a legitimate liability to goldfish owners.
Testing is a mixed bag – – because if you test and it’s positive, you have to (by law) go on record with the Federal Government. It’s a “legally reportable” disease so the testing agency has to ‘tell on you’ and that COULD POTENTIALLY mean that you have to surrender your fish to the Fed and the pond gets drained and closed.

Any Koi that carries KHV in cold water will “break” with it when it’s warmed to 70-78 DF
Any Koi that is infected with KHV will ‘get over it’ when it’s warmed to 84 DF.
They’re not considered ”cured”. By anyone but me, and also everyone in Israel.

The plants (left without fish for a week or two) will bring no diseases with them to a receiving facility. I can say that with even more certainty if the plants are in the seventies DF when you quarantine them.

So if you think the Koi outdoors are harboring KHV all you have to do is bring one up to 75 degrees and give it a week to break.

And if it doesn’t, you’re golden, on the KHV issue.

Besides a few recommendations on Amazon.com about heaters and air pumps, I don’t officially “sell” anything so you’re good there 🙂

Doc

Sterilizing The Tank

“I’m going to break down, and sterilize the tank, gravel and plants.”

It’s promised often and it’s USUALLY unnecessary.

Sterilization of Environments is suggested as “The Way” to prevent diseases. This is widely advocated at the retail and wholesale level. They logically feel that a sterile environment is preferable to one that might harbor a pathogen from “the last batch” of fish. This is perfectly logical and actually works for some people.

On the other hand, it also means that your system (unless you use an existing filtration system which defeats the point of sterilization anyway) is starting from ‘scratch’ and will have to go through the entire nitrogen cycle again. This means that the incoming fish will have to bear up under Ammonia, then Nitrite, and then Nitrate, only then being rewarded by some algal growth and stability. I wager that the nitrogen ‘roller coaster’ is worse for the fish than anything (parasitic or bacterial) they could bring in with them.

Sterilization is usually unnecessary. It costs the system its entire ‘balance’ and you lose the beneficial bacteria and algae.

Besides, after you sterilize a system you’re only going to Bioseed it again, so it’s unsterile again.

After you’ve sterilized the tank and gravel, when the fish come back in, they will soon defecate in the tank, and will thereby (in most instances) inoculate the tank with the same pathogens that you’ve just tried to annihilate.

Most of the time, when you’re sterilizing a tank to “get rid of whatever killed the last batch” you’re actually trying to ‘sterilize’ a water quality problem that you didn’t know you had.

When the fish come in, you would observe the rules we laid out for Quarantine, especially observation (or the use of a microscope and diagnose any parasitic burden as early as possible). The earlier you diagnose and treat the fish, the better off you will be.

If you DO sterilize a tank, gravel and ornaments, set it up as new and do the following:

  1. Seachem Neutral 7.0 Buffer
  2. Plants for cover, live or plastic
  3. 78 DF temperature
  4. Sponge filter suitable to tank size
  5. Air pump to push sponge filter and aerate water
  6. Dechlorinate
  7. Bioseed

You won’t fail with the ‘new’ system.

Let’s just say, for the sake of argument that you’re not persuaded, and you want to be sure that there are no “leftover” pathogens in the tanks when your new fish come in. Here are some ideas you could employ with good success.

  1. Double dose Potassium permanganate with peroxide reversal. See formulary.
  2. Leave tank unoccupied for 14 days at seventy-five o This will eliminate parasitic pathogens, which require a host to survive for that long at that temperature.
  3. You could apply Formalin at 50 PPM with water change in four hours. This would also annihilate any parasite that might have been left behind. If you were concerned that flukes may have been there, you would repeat this treatment in 4 days.
  4. You can accomplish, against my advice, 100% annihilation of all viruses, bacteria and parasites with a 1:30 Clorox bleach dilution with water. Simply spray down tank or aquarium surfaces and wring out the sponges [or other filter media] with this dilute solution. Rinse with freshwater and refill, then you must de-chlorinate. Beneficial nitrifers are also annihilated.

A Topical For Bacterial Sores or Ulcer Disease in Koi

A Topical For Bacterial Sores or Ulcer Disease in Koi

With bacterial sores, one of the key elements is killing ALL the germs in the area. removing as much dead tissue and grossness as possible in ONE PASS and leaving something disinfectant in the vicinity as long as the water will let it stay. That seems to require a “stain” like Mercurochrome or similar.

Except Mercurochrome is pretty much straight-up mercury and good luck getting that (You can, lol – just click here).

An old standby for me is Iodine. But you need an aggressive staining iodine and you need to be able to get it ON a wound while getting dead-stuff OFF the wound.

Enter, Tincture of Iodine, 7% – 10% very strong.

And WOVEN gauze sponges. (See below) Most of what you find these days are “non woven” because they are considerably softer and MORE ABSORBENT. Finding “woven” gauze is kind of hard these days.

Ulcer disease in Koi debridement wounds iodine
^ Where to buy: WOVEN gauze sponges.

But when you’re debriding a Koi or other fish wound, you don’t care about absorbent, you need a “gentle roughness” for scrubbing. Not scrubbing, more like, rubbing. Kind of rubbing, but mainly “removing” dead stuff and “stopping while you’re ahead”.

You get the idea from the above that it’s a “finesse” sort of “experience” thing.

A Topical For Bacterial Sores or Ulcer Disease in Koi

Tincture of Iodine is available in several strengths. I used to buy the two-percent solution off the shelf at the drug store, but I felt like I needed something stronger. So I inquired of my local pharmacist and he supplied me with a seven-percent solution, which is fabulous for wound cleaning. Care must be taken to avoid using it near the gill. It may run under the gill cover and damage gill tissue. Fish hate that. ‘Really.

Tincture of Iodine will stain you severely, but does not ‘hurt’ the skin. It could do serious eye damage and so I must recommend that you wear protective eyewear. If this compound gets on the cornea of the fish, it will be of no consequence, as the cornea of the fish seems able to withstand this compound easily.

Use of this and almost any other topical should be limited to a single use. Once the wound has stopped bleeding, seems less red, and the edges seem to be ‘organizing’ into a thick white rim, do NOT re-apply any topical. You will disrupt the necessary migration of epithelial cells across the wound. This is the only way that large sores will heal. If you’re doing daily scrubs on the wounds, they cannot heal. A vicious cycle is propagated.

Epistylis

Epistylis in Koi and Pond Fish Ponds

Epistylis is a relatively uncommon parasite of Koi, goldfish and pond fish. Indeed, it is so uncommon, that I do not have any good graphics of it. What you would see clinically is a tuft of whitish fluff coming out from under a scale, or from some other wound on the Koi, goldfish and pond fish. It gives the impression of a fungal infection but looks radically different under the microscope. Usually, fish with Epistylis are rather hale, considering they are parasitized. Epistylis does not occur in tanks or environments which are clean, and which have a low organic load. You would normally expect to find Epistylis in unfiltered ponds and lakes on common pond fish. I have not recovered Epistylis from any of the finer, aquarium raised Koi, goldfish and pond fish. I have cleared the few cases I have seen in ponds with massive water changes, removal of the organic load in the system, and the application of 0.3% saline.

The organism is clinically relevant because many people treat these cases as if they were funguses; eventually killing the fish with useless treatments and arriving at the conclusion that fungus is hard to cure. Indeed, they were treating Epistylis with anti fungal remedies and not addressing the true cause of the Epistylis infection = Filth!

The condition of Epistylis is prevalent, but not very common in the typically cleaner environments encountered with Koi, goldfish and pond fish keepers.

Epistylis in Koi and Pond Fish Ponds

control of epistylis

Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas

Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas

Finrot and mouthrot are bacterial or fungal infections that occur to Bettas or Siamese Fighting Fish when they’re worn down by chilling, poor water quality and, or parasites.

By themselves without parasites, in good warm water, Bettas don’t get finrot or mouthrot. (Although you can BUY stressed fish that soon break with it.)

Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas
Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas

So, what to know when Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas?

This video protocol steps you through Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas with specifics and it’s successful.