Question on dead koi

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

I bought a large koi from a reputable dealer in October. He kept it until last week when I picked it up on Friday along with another large koi. The asagi acted very lethargic and within a few days had fin rot. Per the dealer's instruction, I put pp directly on the fins on Wednesday. This morning he told me to do an antibiotic injection. By the time I got home with the Baytril, the fish was dead, exactly one week after I got him. The other fish is fine.
Is it proper to ask for a replacement? The fish was several hundred dollars, and was the most expensive I ever purchased. All the koi in the pond are from this same dealer, so he's had plenty of business from me over the years.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Holy cow. I would have returned it ASAP when it got sick. You bet ask for a replacement or your money back. he should have no problem with that.

Diane

Is there any type of guarantee with your dealer? A lot of times, they will tell you when you are buying the fish. Myself, I would ask. The worst thing they will tell you is no, they won't give you a refund or another fish.

Now - here is my first issue - I have never dealt with PP myself, I know some others on this forum have so they can better help you with that, however -and I could be wrong, but I dont think it is supposed to be applied directly to the fish. It is supposed to be disolved in the pond and my understanding is that measurements of PP are crucial.

My second issue - the other fish you have has been exposed to fin rot. How is he acting? I have had finrot before. We had it coming out of the spring one year. I treated with Melafix and antibiotic food. It cleared it right up.

Did you quarantine these fish when you got them home?

Let us know.

Carolyn

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Ahhhh, Carolyn our cool head for facts. lol. Sorry Carolyn, you are just so good at this and I am such a shoot from the hip. You address the issues at hand very logically and intelligently. I guess my bad experience is showing.

Mary

Don't know if I have a cool head.... and there was nothing wrong with your response.

I am hoping Merry Mary stops by, because I think she has used PP before and I think she can give us a lot more information on that than I can. I have to be honest with you - from everything I have read on it, I kind of scares me.

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

I have always used pp dissolved at either 2 or 4 ppm. The dealer wanted me to apply directly, using a qtip dipped in a small amount of pp. The other fish is fine - no sign of disease. I didn't quarantine because the dealer did - for months. This guy goes to Japan every year, buys and sells multithousand dollar koi on a regular basis. I have never had a problem before. he scopes, he quarantines, he watches and overwinters. I waited 3 years for this fish = needed room in the cheap seats for a 14" instead of the usual 20 and 30" he imports. I'm hopeful that this fish is so cheap by his standards that he'll either give me a replacement, or buy another on his next trip to Japan.
I just don't get what happened to the fish. The pond is clear, changed half and then some about a month ago (10.000+ gallons change), and I haven't had a fish die from disease in years. I know they stress, but he left the dealer at 4 and was in my pond by 10.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

PP? Prazi Plus?? Or permanganate? If the latter, then I would be really worried about applying it directly to a fish also.

I did the same as you. Bought 7 koi (very very cheap seats) from a reputable dealer who had his fish for months; goes to Japan every year and hand picks his fish. All 7 died starting within 2 weeks. I didn't quarantine as he was reputable. I also didn't treat my pond with proform or prazi because I had never lost a fish to illness - winter cold and duration, yes - illness, no.

But it was a learning experience - mostly from Carolyn. She was with me every step of the way trying to save to save the ones that didn't just die outright. Of rotten fins and gaping ulcers. I wouldn't have had the information much less the courage to attempt what we did without her advice. In the end it didn't work out for the fish, but I value the education.

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

permanganate. If I had followed my goldfish procedures, I would have immediately quarantined him and started antibiotic injections and food. But this guy knows his stuff. I'm still waiting for a reply to my email or facebook message.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

If you're comfortable asking for a refund....do it! He may agree to only a "new" fish, and not cash back, but that's still better than nothing.
Fin Rot usually is caused by poor water quality. I would have to assume, that it was already sick when you picked it up, if it had fin rot only a few days after you brought him home.
Depending on the severity of the rot, you can take several different paths for healing. Antibiotic food if it's still eating. Antibiotic injections if you can handle the fish (although a sick fish should not be handled too much, they stress out and die. They are already weakened by the infection) Salt baths can also help, because it puts a nice slime coat on the fish. Melafix does the same thing, and has an antiseptic quality to it.
There are also antibiotic ointments, that are vasoline like, so again, if your fish isn't already overly stressed, you can wipe down the area and apply the ointment directly to the wound.
And now the haunting PP conversation.....
PP is an extremely caustic material. It burns every single living thing in sight. Even your finger tips and lungs. Knowing that's how it operates, is crucial. Use it with a careful eye, no matter what you're using it for! I have used it many times, and still sweat it out, every single time I do. Remember, if it can cauterize a wound, it certainly will burn all of the gills small hair like fibers in an instant, and choke your fish to death. It can be used on wounds, bearing in mind that it will kill whatever it touches...not HEAL whatever it touches. If there is healthy tissue around it, apply it carefully! I use a q-tip and barely touch the area needing cauterization. Then I apply the antibiotic ointment. If you wash down the entire body or fin, ALL it touches will be burned. I don't want to sound dramatic, but on this topic, you need to be. Tons of people have lost all of their fish because if one PP water treatment gone bad!

Check YOUR water quality, as well. Warm summers are the perfect time for clear water to still grow bad bugs. Enzymatic/good Bacteria treatments can eat all the bad bacteria in the water. If your water quality is good, I still place blame on the vendor. Many times, when ready to sell a fish, they pull them aside and have them in a smaller holding tank for a while. The water quality of their main pond may be great, but the smaller holding tanks sometimes only have air, not good filtration.
Again, it was a very short time from pick-up until death. Unless you have a mud bowl in your yard, several days is a very short time for a fish to develop severe fin rot, and die. It had to be weak before your picked it up.

Just my 2 cents worth... :)

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

that is really interesting Mary. Makes me think that I wasn't to blame when I lost all my new koi last year.

Diane

I was thinking your fish had to be ill previously as well. Too short a time in between the time you picked up the fish and the time he developed symptoms and died.

I too have dealt with a dealer that is 'reputatable' and gets her fish from Japan. She quarantines her fish for a month before she opens for business, so I too felt I did not have to quarantine. I have koi pox in my pond and I know I got it from this dealer - she is the only one I was buying my fish from at the time. The only time the koi pox is an issue is in the colder water - but it is what is. So, I am of the mind that quarantining has to happen anyway, although given the time of year I purchased my fish, I would not have picked up on the koi pox until the following Spring.

Diane - I would definitely ask for some type of gesture from your dealer, be it another fish or a refund. As I said, the worst they can tell you is no.

I would keep an eye on the other fish you bought. He has been exposed and so have the other fish. I would think the fish you just bought with the one that died would have symptoms first, but I suppose that is not always the case. The other thing you could do is treat the pond now for some type of preventative measure - but that can be pricey. I know it is pricey for me to treat my pond at 5000 gallons and your pond is a lot bigger than mine.

So sorry to hear you are having problems. Your pond is so beautiful and I know it is hard when we have pond problems.

MM - thanks so much for the info on the PP. I think we all learned something from that. Like I said, the stuff scares me.

Diane - let us know what you decide and how it goes for your other fish.

Carolyn

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

The kohaku is fine. She comes up with the others to be fed and there is no sign of disease. The asagi was lethargic from the time he went in the pond. He began breaching within minutes of being put in the pond, but my pH is the same as always - and the water is fresh from the same source as always. I've never had any issues with his koi coming into my pond.

The odd thing was, when I went to pick the fish up, the kohaku was already pulled (we called in advance to let him know when we would arrive and I emailed a week before to let him know we were coming). I had seen pix, and he was as pictured. I bought the asagi sight unseen in October, based on the dealer's assurance that it was a nice 14" fish. So, I asked where the asagi was when I realized that there was only a kohaku in the bowl. He said it's in the other tank. I'd already looked in that tank (2,000 gallon holding tanks) and there was no asagi. He walks over and says there it is - and points to a 2" fish. I said very loudly - I paid you hundreds of dollars for a 14" fish in October - and that is not it. He searched through other tanks (his inventory was practically non-existant, which is very unusual, maybe 1/10 of what we are accustomed to seeing). He found the fish I brought home in another tank and said "oh, that must be why I still have that one". Side by side with the kohaku, it was the same length, but much skinnier.

There was definitely something off in the visit. At first, he told us that he would not be there and his wife would help us. When we arrived, he was there, but he was not that friendly, didn't offer to show me other fish ( I pushed and got 3 small ones in addition to the ones I had already purchased), he had multiple drained tanks and no equipment on the shelves. His lawn wasn't mowed, the paint on the house is peeling (and it's a ritzy area outside of NYC), his alpacas are gone and the pastures are overgrown. I checked and his website is gone.

He has not responded to my message on facebook, my emails or the message I left on his cell phone. We photographed the fish so he could see the extent of the fin damage, and I said I wanted to talk to him about the fish. I have my fingers crossed that he will do the right thing given my purchases over the years. I doubt he'll return the money, and I'd almost rather have another fish anyway. I can ask him get me an asagi if/when he goes to Japan in the fall and pay when I pick it up. Bird in the hand....

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Scary.....if he goes to Japan in the fall

Quote from Oberon46 :
Scary.....if he goes to Japan in the fall


Ditto.

Diane - it doesn't sound right to me either. Let us know. I am sorry. I also know it isn't easy to get a nice asagi either as we have tried as well.



Deer Park, IL(Zone 5b)

pp directly is v painful applied directly to fish (so I heard...) Extremely stressful to fish. A fish with fin rot or anything else showing up so quickly is a quick return to shop-tell them to heal them and you will re purchase in the mean time give me my money back. All fish no matter the reputation of dealer should be pp and prazi for three days WITH one of the fish from your existing pond in an isolated tank. The new fish could have very easily picked up a strain of something in your pond from your existing fish (it's just like families-we are all exposed to one another's germs and tend not to catch the same illnesses from one another but add in an outsider that has never been exposed to our germs and they may get sick)> New fish exposed to existing fish (and their germs) combined with the stress of fin rot and the traveling between shop and home can be very difficult to overcome.

BTW: How did you get the batril injections? I have to go to a vet who knows me and trusts me to get them. I haven't needed them in years but was just wondering if they are more readily available now.

Personally, i wouldn't buy again from this guy. Everything you wrote about him and the visit is more than enough to "just say no". I learned the hard way my first year and had fish dying all the time and I believe it was because of one dealer. I usually follow my "gut feelings" but didn't because I was inexperienced in koi fish. I'm sorry to read about your experience and I personally would treat the rest of my fish with prazi and pp for three days just to be on the safe side. Especially if you live in a cold climate-hibernation with a possible infection might prove to be a very bad spring. I like to be on the safe side with the weather here in Chicago.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

From your descpription of his enviroment, it sounds like he's strapped for cash and shutting down his animal establishment. Low finances would most likely result in poorer quality conditions for the remainder of his stock. It would have been much cheaper for you to fly down here and buy one from a reputable vendor! That would have even included your trip! You certainly don't have to wait for him to go to Japan to get an asagi. They are readily available, and most can be shipped overnight to your door! Check on ebay for koi.....as well as bonniesplants.com . Both will ship them directly to you. And you won't have to wait months...you can get them the day after you pay.

Virginia Beach, VA

I am sorry for all your trouble and hope you get a refund. I was fascinated with the discussion and knowledgeable people opinions is interesting.
I will follow this thread and to find out the outcome.

Belle

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

I'm still waiting for a reply. I sent another message on Facebook and asked about his policy - let's see if he answers a direct question.
Regarding the baytril - my dog vet prescribes it for me. He came to the house to teach me how to do the injections and now he prescribes if I need it. The goldfish are the ones that get sick - and the ones I quarantine with prazi, pp, salt.... for 3 months.
No sign of illness in the other fish.

My vet told me if I told him what I needed, he would be more than happy to supply it for my koi. My vet handles smaller animals like dogs and cats, but also handles horses and cows. I have not had to use any type of injections yet, but it is comforting to know I can get it if need be.

Good luck Diane - I hope you get an answer from him soon.

Carolyn

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Sounds to me like this dealer is ready to skip town. Doubt you will ever hear from him again but certainly hope you do.
I bought my asagi for $15.00 from the fish farm I go to and haven't had any problems with it and its growing fine. Of course for that price it was only about 8" but I don't mind growing them out.
Someone told me koi grow an inch per year. Well not mine. Must be steroids in my feed cause it is already near 10 inches and bought it last year. My 3 1/2 yr. old goldies (butterflies) are over 1 1/2 feet. Thats not including long tails.
I am very sorry you have problems with dealer. I go to fish farm and just pick out ones I like and have had very good luck. Merry Mary has added many to my pond over time and due to sickness from buying one from a show I had miserable time with loosing lots of fish. Now I quaranteen all new comers.
Don't know anything about using potassium permg. on fish and don't intend to learn. Sounds too drastic for me. Melefix, salt and proform-C have served me well.
Here there are many fish farms plus hobby breeders so getting fish sure hasn't been a problem for me. Don't think I have actually bought more than 4 fish and now the pond has about 30 and old pond has about 10 mostly goldfish.
Take care and if you come down to Fl. Mary and I can load you up with fish I'm sure.
Bonnie

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

Still waiting........

Virginia Beach, VA

dbsmith,
I hate to be pessimistic but I agree with Bonnie that he is gone!! Is there a legal recourse you can do?

Bonnie,
I had never heard of butterfly gold fish!! This fish farm that you go to do they mail? Would you mind emailing me there telephone number? Thanks.

Belle

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

Well, I had another fish with rot last night. I caught and injected with baytril. I called the dealer and posted on facebook (not just messaged). Immediate call back, unfortunately to my cell which I had turned off. I'll call this am as soon as it is a reasonable hour. I think I'm going to have to pp the entire pond. Luckily the Medusa has a medical bypass so I won't sterilize my filter. But I have to make sure I have hydrogen peroxide on hand. I cleaned off the air stones, so I should have plenty of oxygen.

Crap. Quarantine from now on. But the kohaku that came in with the asagi is fine.

When researching the pp dose for my pond, I came across interesting articles. People really use pp to control algae? Are they nuts?

I too agree with Bonnie and truthfully, Diane - I was thinking it and did not say it because I was hoping you would hear something. The guy took you for a ride.

How many fish do you have? I do think you will need to treat the entire pond - especially before getting ready for fall. You don't want to go into it with the possibility of illness for the winter. I know your pond is quite large - how many gallons?

Best of luck.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Definitely have peroxide on hand! It comes in quart sizes at most pharmacies. Also follow through with some additional "good" bacteria and enzymes...as it will eat all life forms and organics in the water. Once you finish with pp (and it only takes a day) the water may turn brown from everything it killed. Make sure to clean your filter often, it will be doing double duty trying to clear the water. After it really starts to clear up, add the bacteria/enzyme to get the water balanced again, very quickly. If your fish are already weakened from the rot, you don't want to stress them for very long.

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

Interesting - he didn't want me to use pp. He wanted a large water change - uh, no, I just had a total of 16,000 gallons delivered in June- July. He had me check my parameters - 0 on ammonia, nitrates, nitrates, pH between 8 and 8.2 (just where it always is - water trucked in from the same artesian well twice a year). He insists my water is the culprit. I have to check the pH again this afternoon and call him. So he's in the picture, but he doesn't want to blame his fish. We'll see.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Yeah, that is what they said about my pond. It was my water. Funny no one else ever got sick and mine were all growing well. course, I also didn't lose any but their fish so maybe the idea that they were susceptible to something that my fish weren't was a possibility. No worries. DH says no more koi.

It isn't your water Diane. Your parameters sound good.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I'd be cautious about PP'ing your entire pond if everything seems fine with your water quality.

I know it is a lot of gallons for Melafix, but I would use the Melax or perhaps a salt bath. Antibacterial food might be a good idea.

Best of luck, Diane. Let us know what you do and how it goes.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I also agree with antibiotic food....that will be a double whammy if you are already injecting them.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Belle,
Sent info. in D-mail. Good luck. So far Sandy Acres has been a good source for fish.
Bonnie

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

OK, I have been officially informed that the fish was fine when he left the dealer, and he just didn't take the move well, so no credit/refund/replacement. And that was after I proved that my water parameters were fine. The fish wasn't even shipped - his tank to my pond in a few hours - he would have been dead if mailed. So, no more expensive fish from him. All he has to do is give me another fish, which doesn't cost him anywhere near what he charged me for the asagi, I'm happy and keep buying. Now I'm unhappy with my purse snapped shut. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

He also said that sometimes the addition of one fish throws off the whole balance of the pond and all hell breaks loose. So does that mean he is advising me not to buy any more fish? And that he is never to blame if there is an outbreak after someone adds a fish purchased from him?

I just sent him the info on the pH - it went from 8.2 to 8.4 over the course of the day. And I couldn't catch the sanke for the second injection, so two people are going in swimming tomorrow to corner him so I can inject. He hangs just outside my reach. Jerk fish (I called him worse today, but I can't repeat those names in polite company)

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

LOL. That is not in reference to the terrible situation, only to your writing style. You truly have my sympathy. Don't forget your goggles. Have been there yelling at the fish "Bleep Bleep, I am trying to save your bleeping life. So stop dodging the net!"

What has happened to customer service? I am talking customer service on the whole. It is always the customers fault anymore. I am so tired of it, aren't you?

Diane - you know as well as I do that it takes more than a couple of hours for a fish to come down with something. The guy you bought from is a jerk.

I am hoping you catch the sanke.

So sorry you have to go through this. Of course you can buy more fish - just quarantine them.



Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

Sanke died. Now I'm sorry I called him all those names. He had an ulcer on his underside. I pp'd the pond following the dealer's instructions. I started out my conversation with "what the hell did that asagi have?" Nothing - he was perfectly healthy here. So, one 20" fish down, the rest look healthy. Now he says I should have introduced the new fish slowly to avoid this. Really? I specifically asked about quarantining and he said to just put them in the pond. I said "i have a 300 gallon quarantine tank in the basement" and he said "no need". I shouted on the phone today.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Oh, I wish I could have heard you. It would have made me feel better. My dealer also said "do what you want" but I have very savy customers that don't bother to quarantine my fish. I am sure he saw me coming....I mean, really. Some dumb female in Alaska?

Diane -

What about your other fish? Ulcer disease is very contagious (sp?). I would order definitely order the antibiotic food. Have you thought about salt baths? I know when we were having problems with ulcer disease a number of years ago, that seemed to be the turning point.

Also - I am going to ask - whom were you dealing with? I noticed you are only 83 miles from the koi dealer I have dealt with in the past - although I will tell you, we haven't bought fish in a while as we felt we were being taken on the pricing of fish.

Let us know what happens and best of luck.

Carolyn

Amsterdam, NY(Zone 5a)

I sent a dmail Carolyn.

I'm hoping to avoid salting the pond- I would have to order a tanker truck for the water change and grab out all the plants. But, I'll do what's necessary to save the rest of the fish.

So, the dealer said something today that has me thinking. I told him the water parameters were perfect, but he claimed that my filtration might still be to blame and that we have to think about upgrading it. Huh? What else do I need to be testing for if I have 0 ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and my pH only varies by .2 from 8.2 to 8.4? Is there some bacteria or other test that I'm missing?

And my new favorite word is quarantine.

Diane

Unfortunately I think the test should be for dealers. Not sure how you test for dealers, but my dealer was unscrupulous as well.

I would salt bath each fish, not the entire pond - although I do salt in the late part of fall to give the fish a slime coat before going into winter. It is awful to have to catch them but a salt bath works. I don't enough experience to know if PP will work on this as I have always shied away from PP - it might work.

Carolyn

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