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Joan
Joan, Internet Researcher
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Our fish (Koi about 24ins) has been floating upside down for

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Our fish (Koi about 24ins) has been floating upside down for several days in our large outside pond. Occasionally it tries to swim down to the bottom of the pond but after a minute or so floats back up to the surface on its back. The fish was badly/incorrectly transported to us and has obviously suffered some type of shock and maybe oxygen deprivation. It looks as though its underside is swollen, perhaps full of air? Everyone seems to be advising us just to leave the fish alone, however we wonder if there's anything else that can be done? Hope you can help! Many thanks. Alison
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 11 months ago.
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Expert:  Joan replied 11 months ago.
Hello,My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years and a fish keeper for over 40 Years.Can you tell me if you have checked the water Parameters?What is the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate readings?What is the PH?Can you tell me what Test kit you use?Joan
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Joan,We haven't tested the water. This is a very large natural outdoor pond and there are a number of other large Koi living quite happily. The fish in trouble is still floating on its back and breathing. Occasionally it tries to swim off in a downwards direction but after a minute or so just floats back to the surface and lies there motionless on its back. Any suggestions would be very welcome.Thanks
Alison
Expert:  Joan replied 11 months ago.
Hello,I suspect that you are seeing Swim Bladder Disease which affects a fish's swim bladder. This is the organ that helps in maintaining a fish's ability to balance and swim in a normal position. When it becomes blocked up or too full of air it stops functioning properly.This can be a result of water quality, over feeding dry foods or a Bacterial infection. Poor water quality can play a major issue contributing to the Swim Bladder problem. The first step to helping is to check your water quality. The Ammonia should be 0, Nitrites 0 and the Nitrates 20 ppm or less. You should have an API test kit to check the levels. Some pet shops will do it for a small fee.We can try some first aid to help the fish. 1) Please separate the fish and place in a Rubbe rmade tub or a hospital tank. You will have to add some aireation and check the water Parameters do partial water changes to control the cycling of Ammonia, Nirtites and Nitrates 2) Next please feed a couple of frozen peas in which the shell has been removed. You will need to be sure you crush the peas for the fish. This helps the stool to pass and will sometimes help to relieve the problem. 3) I also suggest using aquarium salt at 1 teaspoon of the salt per gallon of water. The Salt helps to draw out fluids that can cause swelling in the swim bladder disease. Since no other fish are affected we can treat the one rather than the whole pond. This could be due to constipation a bacterial infection or Kidney Disease. I suggest checking water parameters in the Pond. Please use an API Master test kit. The water should be Ammonia 0, Nitites 0, Nitrates 0 and PH 7.0. Anything higher then a partial water change is needed. If the fish is in too bad a shape, I can gie instructions on Euthanizing.. I can also try to find you an Aquatic Vet that may be able to drain the swim bladder. Joan
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your comprehensive answer. We don't think it is swim bladder disease but could be a problem with the swim bladder brought on by a traumatic journey to our pond. The person who sold us the fish brought it sloshing about in a tank (not bagged) and apparently his oxygen feed ran out during the 3 hour journey; prior to this the fish was apparently fine. Given this information would your advice still be to tank the fish and feed the peas? If you can give us contact details of an acquatic vet that would be brilliant. Many thanks for your help. Kind regards, Alison
Expert:  Joan replied 11 months ago.
I would still separate the fish, at this point because being in a weaken condition make it vulnerable to the other fish picking on it. You can try medicated food if you can locate some at the Pet store. The Aquarium salt will not hurt as it acts as a tonic. It may be when splashing around bruised the swim bladder and has caused the problem. Trauma can do that. This is a list of Aquatic Vets: http://www.fishvetsociety.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102:list-of-vets-willing-to-treat-pet-fish&catid=40:ornamentals&Itemid=79If I have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate or accept my answer.Joan
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