Any fish breeder knows the importance of being knowledgeable about the different types of fish diseases, as well as the appropriate treatments. This is especially true for koi fish owners and breeders. Here is a short review of the most common koi fish diseases and the treatment options:
- Ich. This is among the most common diseases both for tropical and cold water fish. The Ich is a protozoan that can grow and multiply in an outdoor pond. The protozoan attach itself to the gills of the koi. Ich appears as white spots on the body of the koi fish and feeds on the koi’s tissue. For smaller koi fish, the infection of Ich can be fatal.
Treatment: to treat Ich, increasing the concentration of salt in the water to 0.5% for a couple days has been known to kill Ich. Increasing the temperature to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit while at the same time increasing aeration can also help in killing this protozoan. Another method would be using malachite green and formalin, which should be mixed in the water with a ratio of 1.5 mg malachite green for every liter of water.
- Costia. This is a type of flagellate that multiplies rapidly is considered a parasite. Koi fish infected with costia will seem lethargic. They will also try to rid themselves of the costia by rubbing on the sides and bottom of the pond. The infestation will also make the skin of your koi fish appear white or gray. The infection could even be observed in the gills of the koi fish.
Treatment: like in treating Ich, malachite green and formalin can also be used in treating Costia. Potassium permanganate is also effective as well as a salt bath with 3 per cent concentration. Likewise, trypaflavine and copper are effective treatments. Trypaflavine should be used with a 1 ml to 1 liter ratio while copper should be used with a 2 ml to 1 liter ratio. Overdose must be avoided.
- Anchor worm. This is a parasite that also digs into the skin of the fish. The anchor worm is a crustacean and only the female anchor worms attach to koi fish. The damage it inflicts on the fish can cause irritation and further lead to bacterial and fungal infection.
Treatment: anchor worm can be manually removed by using tweezers. After the anchor worm has been removed, the infected area should be rubbed with Neosporin. Make sure to treat the pond with Dimilin or Dylox before releasing the koi fish back to the pond.
These are just a few of the common diseases that infect koi fish and the corresponding treatments. There are many other diseases that may infect your koi fish overtime and, as such, it is important to be very observant. At the first sign of symptoms, you must consult with experts or identify all the signs to determine the disease.