It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for the new pond and its residents since my last update a week ago – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/03/21/my-new-pond-build-part-5/.

As I detailed in that previous post, the pond had elevated nitrite levels and salt had been added to assist the Koi.  I also mentioned the downside trickling water through diluting the heated and salted water, a continual balancing act.

On Friday last week, the 22nd March, with the salt elevated, the nitrites still where they were 48 hours before, the heater seemingly on constantly to maintain temperature, and more so the fish flashing still, another plan started to form in my mind – dump the water, and nitrite, and give the fish a ‘chill’ cycle.  Nothing had been found on skin scrapes under the microscope.

KHV is of course a very hot, and evocative, topic at the moment.  What should be done and who should be doing it, to protect from KHV, is an equally hot topic.  The Koi that  I detailed in this post – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/03/19/my-new-pond-build-part-4/ – hadn’t been subjected to any rigorous quarantine process, I’d made the choice to take them from Koi Water Barn earlier than they were generally available to the public.  My intention had been to keep them in the KHV active zone of 23c for a couple of weeks and then assess how I felt.  The reality of the situation was/is that I have no reason to think there might even be a problem with the Koi, at this stage of the year many thousands of Koi have shipped from the 3 breeders from where mine had originated, with no fingers pointed by anyone that I am aware of.

With the Koi having been subjected to pre shipping cold water in Japan, they’d arrived in the UK on the 26th February into ‘cool’ water of around 16c.  At the point when I collected them on 11th March they had been subjected to the stress of elevated ammonia and nitrite in the new systems, on top of their shipping stress.  They came into water of 19c, and were raised over a couple of days to 23c, i.e. in the KHV active range of 18-25c.

Step forward again to last Friday and the plan that was forming in my mind to drop the water to remove the nitrites.  I was in Manor Koi getting another bag of salt and chatting with Martin as we loaded it in the car.  I mentioned my idea to just dump the water and nitrites and give them a chill at the same time.  Martin concurred with the rationale, so that was my plan set, heater off and flush fresh purified water through the pond whilst running the Nexus manual clean cycle and get the water temperature down.


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By Saturday morning the pond was down to around 13.5c, nitrites well reduced, and salt had been kept at around 0.5%.  I performed some more scrapes and lo and behold, white spot.

Apex Practitioner microscope

Apex Practitioner microscope

Apologies for the very blurry iPhone snap shot taken through the eyepiece of the microscope.

White spot found 23rd March

White spot found 23rd March

Through Sunday I continued to run the water through, the temperature set at 12c, and now also to wash some of the salt out of the system – rueing the decision to keep it topped up.

There are lots of schools of thought on using salt with Malachite Green and Formalin.  An excellent and reliable resource on all things Koi health is Duncan Griffith’s website – http://www.koiquest.co.uk – and if you don’t already have a copy, the excellent ‘Step by Step Advanced Koi Diagnosis and Treatments’ book is an excellent and worthy addition to every Koi keepers’ library.  Whilst the book takes the stock line of not using Formalin with salt, on the website Duncan states he does and has used 0.18% solution, and in a forum discussion stated he had in fact used at 0.36% solution without adverse affects.

Malachite Green and Formalin

Malachite Green and Formalin

At Monday lunchtime, with the water temperature rising, and the salt below 0.2% solution, Malachite Green and Formalin were duly administered.  The NT Labs Malachite is 1% solution, not the ‘standard’ 2% solution, so was dosed at double the bottle dose.

Extra air was added to the pond via a newly purchased 20lpm airpump and a 20cm ceramic air disc.  I have to say the little air pump, recommended by Martin at Manor Koi, pushes a good amount of air through the disc and is pleasingly quiet.  All too often people hook up too large air pumps to those ceramic discs which results in either the disc being damaged, or damage to the air pump from excessive back pressure.  At £45 handy little air pumps to have around rather than putting a couple of air stones on a larger pump to a bowl or small temporary pool.


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Boyu SES-20 airpump

Boyu SES-20 airpump

As we stand today, the nitrite is down to more bearable levels, the ammonia doesn’t register.

Ammonia levels - 7.30am 28th March

Ammonia levels – 7.30am 28th March

Nitrite levels - 7.30am 28th March

Nitrite levels – 7.30am 28th March

Salt continues to dilute through the constant trickle of water (0.3lpm) which runs through.

Salt levels - 7.30am 28th March

Salt levels – 7.30am 28th March

Temperatures continue to go up and will stop at 23c by the weekend and stay there for a week.

Temperature - 7.30am 28th March

Temperature – 7.30am 28th March

Second dose of malachite and formalin will go into Saturday morning however, as you can see from the 2 pictures above, as salt and temperature readings were being taken there was only one thing on the Koi’s minds…….breakfast.


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