Laguna Koi Ponds

(949) 494-5107

Library Applying Medication

Laguna Koi Ponds
20452 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA. 92651
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri 9-5 Sat 9-5 Sun 10-5
949-494-5107
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Parasitic Crustaceans and Monogenetic Flukes

Argulus, Lernea, Ergasilus, Dactylogyrus, Gyrodactylus

SYMPTOMS
Early warning signs include scratching or flashing on pond walls or other objects. The fish may jump from the water to try to dislodge these large parasites. Some or all fish will show decreased activity and huddling together and then appear to swim in an irritated manner accompanied with scratching. The fish will continue to eat until the advanced stages of infestation. Red veins in the skin are often observed. Sores can develop in scattered patches as the parasites erode skin tissue; secondary bacterial infection may follow. Always test your pond water for ammonia, nitrite and dissolved oxygen levels as similar symptoms may be confusing. Argulus and Lernea are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Argulus (fish lice) may be seen on the skin and fins as a clear gelatinous disc-shaped bug measuring up to 0.4in (10mm). The legs and eye spots can often be observed. Lernea (anchor worm) are elongate parasites easily seen on the skin measuring up to 0.8in (20mm) long with two egg sacs at the posterior end. Gyrodactylus (skin flukes) are not easily identified being a very small parasite only 0.02-0.04in (0.5-1mm) long and will cause a greyish-white film of mucus on the body. This can be confused with a protozoan infection, microscope examination may be necessary. Ergasilus (gill maggots) will appear as grayish black and white parasites several millimeters long infesting the gills. Dactylogyrus (gill flukes) will appear on the gill filaments as tiny dark spots 0.04-0.08in (1-2mm) long.

With trematode/crustacean type infestations, the fish continue to feed but will actively scratch themselves and swim in an irritated manner. With protozoan type infestations the fish will become lethargic, refuse food, and appear to have a white sliminess to the body and fins. Determine the difference between trematode/crustacean infestations and protozoan infestations; medications are specific.

ENVIRONMENT
Crustaceans and flukes can be introduced with new fish and plants. Quarantine is suggested for 3-4 weeks. The life cycle of these parasites is temperature dependent. Temperatures below 10º Celsius (50º F) do not generally produce epizootics since the life cycle may last longer than 100 days. Between 60º and 70º F the life cycles may take 3 to 4 weeks. Temperatures between 70º and 80º F may last 2 to 3 weeks. The eggs of these parasites will accumulate in organic debris in the pond and also within the filter media. Keep the entire pond system clean and backwash your filter to reduce eggs. Poor water quality or stress will weaken the fishes immune system and promote proliferation of parasites. However, the crustaceans and flukes can be eradicated completely with proper pond treatment and quarantine procedures.

TREATMENT
Trichlorfon is the treatment of choice for crustaceans. Synonyms for Trichlorfon are Dylox, Dipterex, Masoten, Mertrifonate, Lifebearer. A complete treatment program will require 5 applications of the correct dose of Trichlorfon. The therapeutic dose is between 0.25 PPM to 0.75 PPM. Ponds with pH of 7 to 7.5 will use the 0.25ppm dose. Use a treatment level of 0.50 PPM with pH between 7.5 and 8.0. When the pH is above 8.0 Trichlorfon will break down more quickly and require a dose closer to 0.75ppm. Sunlight and warmer water may also break down the medication more quickly.

Treatment is temperature dependent
When temperatures are above 80º F (27º C), treat once every 3 to 4 days for a total treatment time of 20 days. When temperatures are between 70º and 80º F (21º and 27º C), treat once every 4 to 5 days for a total treatment time of 25 days. Between 60º and 70º F (15º and 21º C), treatments will be 7 days apart for 35 days total. Between 50º and 60º F (10º and 15º C), the life cycle may last up to 2 months and will require treatment every 10 to 14 days. Below 50º the life cycle will be so long that treatment is not practical. Keep the pond and filter clean and wait for temperatures to warm up since the fish are not likely to be in danger with a slight infestation. Trichlorfon will kill most of the adult stages of fish lice and so give relief to your fish within a few days. The adult stage of anchorworm must be removed manually with tweezers and a dab of mercurochrome. Trichlorfon does not kill any parasite eggs but will kill the free swimming infective stage of all these crustaceans.

Fish which are obviously weak and heavily parasitized may not survive, however a FORMALIN BATH may help kill the infective adult stage more quickly. Use Formalin 3 (Kordon) at a concentration of 200 PPM for 50 min. as a bath in a separate container. Aerate this bath for 15 min. prior to immersing the fish and during treatment. Successive treatments may be necessary. Remove fish at first signs of distress. Do not use a Formalin bath on any fish with open sores as the Formalin could enter the body of the fish and kill it. Potassium permanganate has been used for crustaceans and flukes as a bath at the dose of 5 to 10 PPM for 1 hour; in the pond treatment of 1 to 5 PPM for an indefinite period. Dosage of Potassium permanganate is dependent on the organic load in the pond. Clean ponds use a low dose, dirty ponds and water gardens require a high dose. Always be cautious using any medication in your pond.

A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT MONOGENETIC FLUKES
Skin and gill flukes are acquiring immunity to the standard treatments. A 200 PPM Formalin bath for 50 minutes may be of assistance. Alternatively, a salt bath at 2.0% (5 tablespoons per gallon) for 10 to 15 minutes can also work. However, depending on the severity of infestation and the number of fish affected, Fluke Tabs may be the best drug to use.

If you are using the correct method and dose of Trichlorfon and the fish do not respond within 3 to 5 days you may have misdiagnosed the parasite. Try the Paracide Green treatment for protozoan infestations.


Protozoan Infestations

Ich; Costia; Chilodonella; Epistylus; Trichodina

SYMPTOMS
Early warning signs include loss of appetite and listlessness. Fish will scratch or flash on the sides of pond or other objects. As the disease progresses the fish may congregate near the waterfall or appear to gasp for air. The protozoan usually invades the gills first and then spreads to the rest of the body. Look closely on the lens of the eye or clear parts of the fins for cloudiness and/or white pin head size spots.

The fish may produce extra mucous in an attempt to protect itself; don?t confuse this with columnaris bacterial infection. Red blood shot veins may also be evident as the fish?s system tries to deal with the disease. Determine difference between protozoan infestations and crustacean/fluke infections, medications are specific.

ENVIRONMENT
Poor water quality, temperature fluctuations and excessive handling all contribute to protozoan epizootics. The life cycles of protozoans are temperature dependent. A life cycle may last 2 months in cold winter weather or 2 days in 80º summer water temperatures. These pathogens are most prevalent during spring and summer but can occur any time stress weakens the fish. Protozoans are ubiquitous in the pond environment and are kept under control with clean conditions and stable temperatures. Frequent backwashing can reduce population. All new fish are a potential source for an outbreak of disease and should be quarantined or keenly scrutinized.

TREATMENT
A complete treatment program will require four applications of the correct dose of PARACIDE GREEN. When temperature is around 22° Celsius (72° F), treat once every three days for a total treatment time of twelve days. When temperatures are near 18 ° Celsius (64° F), treatments will be about five days apart and take 20 days total. Below 10° Celsius (50° F), the life cycle will be so long that treatment is not practical. Keep the pond and filter clean and wait for the temperatures to warm up since the fish are not likely to be in danger with a slight infestation.

ONLY THE FREE SWIMMING STAGE
OF THE PARASITE IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO TREATMENT.
This is the reason for 4 successive treatments. If the fish is heavily parasitized you may not see any remission of the disease until after the second or third treatment simply because the medication does not kill the infectious stage on the fish. If you use the correct method and dose of malachite/formalin and the fish do not respond within 3 to 5 days, you may have misdiagnosed the parasite. Try the Trichlorfon treatment for crustaceans and flukes.

Early treatment is important. Fish which are obviously weak and heavily parasitized may not survive. However, a FORMALIN BATH may help to kill the infectious stage. Use 37% formaldehyde (formalin) at a concentration of 200ppm for 50 mins. as a bath in a separate container. Aerate this bath water vigorously for 10-15 mins. prior to immersing the fish and aerate during treatment. Remove the fish if he shows signs of distress. More than one daily treatment may be necessary.

A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT TRICHODINA
This spherical protozoan is acquiring immunity to the standard treatments. Your fish may be infected with Trichodina if they do not respond to standard treatments. Confirm that it is Trichodina using a microscope and a scraping from your fish. Try using Clout or Maracide as these are effective. A 200 PPM Formalin bath for 45 minutes may be effective. Alternatively a 2.0% (5 tablespoons per gallon) salt bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Salt in the pond up to a 0.5% (4# per 100 gallons) will help your fish feel stronger but may not eradicate the disease. Do not exceed a 0.25% solution of salt in the pond if you have plants in your pond.