Koi Herpes Virus – Disease Course

It’s not ‘all the time’ that someone documents a KHV outbreak this thoroughly. I’m moticing things like the onset of disease, the source of the fish, the commencement of heating the fish to 82+ DF and the cessation of mass mortality after that.

Koi Herpes Virus – Disease Course

Written by Dr Erik Johnson and
by KEITH & LINDA KINNEY – DAYTON KOI CLUB

May 24, 2003 – Purchased beni kumonryu from Bill Jones at Louisville koi show. The fish had been purchased 1 hour before from Ray Abell (And had been in quarantine for 7 weeks.) This fish had been in pond with Bill’s infected fish for that 1 hr. – then the beni kumonryu was bagged and floated in that pond water for rest of day until 7:00pm when it was introduced directly into my 10,000 gal. Koi pond @ 71-72 degrees.
May 30, 2003 – Still eating, but not swimming with other fish.
June 1, 2003 – (8 days later) Kumonryo staying at top of pond – quit eating.
June 7, 2003 – Put kumonryo in quarantine.
June 9, 2003 – Main pond: 4 koi gulping air and forcing out gills.
June 10, 2003 – Large kohaku (22”) had red blotches, a scraping showed costia.

Koi Herpes Virus - Disease Course
Koi Herpes Virus – Disease Course

– Started Proform C treatment
June 11, 2003 – 30% water change, 2nd Proform C.
June 12, 2003 – 30% water change, ProformC + Prazi.
June 13, 2003 – Kumonryu died in quarantine. We had to leave for business trip, returned late Sunday night, June 15.
June 16, 2003 – First view of fish – they looked terrible. We thought it was some sort of chemical burn from the Proform C. We did a 40-45% water change. The fish had no slime coat.
June 17, 2003 – 35% water change. – Salt at .18%. First of our fish died – 17” showa. I called Bill Jones and he reluctantly told me that a batch of his fish had been diagnosed with KHV.
June 18, 2003 – Sent 2nd dead fish to Georgia (KHV Positive), started raising temperature from 71 degrees, reached 75 degrees. (Why?) Added extra aeration.
June 19, 2003 – Temperature at 82 degrees, salt at .3%, two more fish died.
June 20, 2003 – Four more fish died.

June 21, 2003 – Our annual club auction. Thank goodness I knew what I had. Started using KoiZyme twice a week instead of once a week. Ordered antibiotic food from Pond RX. Lost 9th fish.
June 24, 2003 – Started on antibiotic food for 11 days, but they ate very little, for 3 weeks. Four required further treatment with Baytril, but all remaining fish survived (29 out of 38 + 2 small 6”fish & kumonryo) – Heated to 83 degrees for 11 days, starting the 19th.

Now Aug.12, 2003 – 9 weeks after outbreak, all are eating well and acting normal. Several lost some color and several still have sunken eyes. No more infections.

I should mention that I did a scraping of two fish 7 or 10 days before introducing the new fish just to be cautious – I didn’t see any parasites. However, the very first indications I got of the problem was the obvious presence of costia and the scraping showed them to be heavily infested. This was before any “disease-like” symptoms, but 16 days after I introduced the KHV fish.
June 17 (24 days after introducing fish and 18 days after it appeared ill) was when a friend called me and told me about three other ponds already wiped out from the same purchases at Louisville. It really appears as if treating for costia, either before or during the heating process might make a big difference in survival rates. My first mortality, other than the initially infected fish was not until this date. And Proform C does seem ideal as it is so quick.
Linda: Something I really want to know and forgot to ask, do the sunken eyes come back to normal?
Doc: Answer: Yes, they do as the fish recover their strength. heat seems to make a big difference in how fast this recovery is.
Linda Kinney

President, Dayton Koi Club

Enter your email address for a free PDF of this article including its images.

Enter your Email Address

My Favorite Amazon Recommendations

Items and content will not show in "Reader View" check your browser.

This is The LCD Screen Scope
We Did The Tutorial With. I did a twenty page tutorial (Here's the tutorial) with video, audio, images and even little parasite movies to show you how to use a microscope. 

This Filter is Good For BIG Dirty Tanks
I've been wrestling with water quality with the turtles. The sponges work GREAT, but in THOSE turtle systems where they eat MICE the poops are bulky. This filter can handle it. In "Tortu's" tank, it's got an 800 gph pump and it rocks. 

PraziPro for Flukes
They nailed it. Figured out the solubility and worked out the dosing. It works. 

Buy Some Good Koi?
No, this isn't really for the 'high end' collector y'all. But for someone who isn't near a decent garden center, here are "good-to-quite-good" Koi you will like at a very good price. I know these guys personally.

Best Food, Ever
It's made for (and I discovered it for) my Blood Parrots but the small size, intense color enhancers and excellent formulation make it superb young-Koi food. Oh, and it's AMAZING on color-cichlids like Flowerhorn and Blood Parrots. 

Pro Air 60 Aerator is a VERY high output air pump pushing my whole fish room (17+ drops), and I have one at home driving everything there, and I have one as a back up. 

Formalin Malachite (Not dilute)
There are formalin malachite preparations at 10%, 22% and 37%. There's economy in the concentrates. Hard to get Prime shipping because air transport is curtailed. This is a good value on 32 ounces. 

Topical For Koi and Pond Fish Ulcers
I like 7% tincture of iodine because it stains but it's hard to hurt anything with it. Used with a WOVEN gauze, this works well to clean and disinfect a wound. Only use ONCE. Do not 'repeatedly' scrub wounds. 

Confectioner's Glaze 
Is the way to bind a medication to fish food. Gone are the days of paste food and oil. The write up is done, it's RIGHT HERE.

Koi Health & Disease
Hopefully this link takes you to the newest edition by PRIME to get it to your house the fastest. 

I have over ten of these Titanium Heaters in my fish room and at home. They're a paradigm shift in aquarium heating. They're titanium and 400W for under $30! Whaaaaaaaaat?

CyroPro by Hikari is safe and easy for Anchor Worms and Fish Lice.

Whatever heaters you use, back yourself up with a temperature controller, it'll turn on, and off your heaters. If your heater seizes "on" at least the thermostat will stop a tragedy. 

LifeGuard by Tetra is a tablet version of a tame 'chloramine-t' or 'halamid' compound that's easy to get and good on bacterial infections, in baths. 

Antimicrobial
If you're making medicated feed for a larger group of fish, this will come in handy. Dosing is available in the site. 

For me, filtration-of-choice
For aquariums, even small Koi holding facilities or small ponds. These sponge filters are cheap, easy to clean, and they clear hazes very well when used with some Accuclear or similar.

Rubber sided, round, nettable tanks
Make great hospital or quarantine facilities. They SHOULD cost about $200-300 depending on size, but this, lower quality unit (while panned in some reviews) may be good. Don't overfill and make sure it's propped up.

1200 Watt heater, on a thermostat held securely above the waterline, works GREAT as a large tank heater. That's all I'll say because there's risk of electrocution and all that. But then, even in a bucket you could get killed. Sound like fun?
I have several of these ALLIED PRECISION stainless ones that are a couple years old. Working still. 

Potassium Permanganate 
500 grams could be a lifetime supply but it's 50% more than the 100g cost wise, for 500% more amount. Dosing is in the site and the book.

What Does Ajax Eat?
I looked for something well formulated, with meat as the first ingredient. Something UNDER $2/lb and something they could deliver for free. And this was it. He looks and feels great on it.