Saturday, July 17, 2010

Black Day at the pond

We had two important tasks to accomplish:  Watch and help Patty through the treatment plan; and making sure the rest of the pond did not go the same path as with Patty. 

Patty initially appeared to respond well to the Malachite Green, but it was a short-lived victory.  Applying medicine to a hospital tank is tough.  The medicines need to be applied to a small space, so the correct calculations must be made.  Also since the medicines are so strong and the fish is so weakened by disease, the fish may not be able to survive the treatment.  And that is what happened to Patty.  After a short time in the hospital tank, Patty succumbed to the disease.  The disease had progressed too far.  Despite direct intervention of moving the fish forward and backward to keep water flowing through the gills, I was not able to revive Patty and keep the fish alive. 

No time to grieve.  Losing Patty was terrible, but there is no time to waste.  The rest of the fish we exposed to Patty for a few days before I found and moved the fish into the hospital tank.  This means that the pond and the fish that live there are at risk and must be treated very quickly.

While Patty’s treatment was progressing, I took some time to get a good look at the rest of the fish in the pond.  Things to look for include fish color, movement, feeding, anything out of the ordinary that hints that the fish might be ailing.  In the Koi garden pond, the rest of the fish were doing fine with the exception of Tawney, the long fined Tancho Showa.  Tawney was sulking on one side of the pond, not swimming with the rest of the fish.  There was no visible fin rot, but when fish do not fight for food with the other fish, there is a problem; and judging from what happened to Patty, Tawney had a BIG problem. 

Since the pond needed to be treated, I decided to treat the whole pond with the fish inside it.  I removed the plants to make sure they did not interact with the medicines.  This could be a problem for both the plants and the fish.  Plus, once the treatment plan is completed, we will place the plants back in the pond again.  I applied the Malachite Green to the pond (with 1 ounce per 500 gallons, dosed daily).  I also turned the heater way up in the pond, almost to the maximum.  Normally, I would never need to heat the pond in July, but this summer has not been normal.  I had turned the temperature off because I had thought summer had arrived.  But when the problems arrived, the temperature had dropped to 55 degrees.  At that temperature, the fish’s immune system is working, but not as well as it would be at 75 degrees.  These items seemed to help; there was a visible reaction within a half hour.  They all started being more active, looking for food and swimming around more.  Based on this outcome, I will keep the temperature slowly increasing until it gets over at least 70 degrees.

All fingers and extremities crossed!!!!


Coyote from Sisters said...

Wow, moving a fish back and forth to help their breathing is like mouth to mouth for a fish.

Hope they survive the disease.

Pond Liners said...

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