I noticed a fairly common but disturbing post on a pond forum today and I wanted to share this with you here in the hopes that it will help you avoid this with your Koi in particular.
Here’s the post
This is a story that would usually start with “A friend of mine…” but I’ll fess up. I made a major bone-head mistake and fed my koi while the water was still too cold. The weather was warm and they were obviously very hungry, but I didn’t think to check the water temperature. Now I have some very sick koi, including two that are near dead. They’re behaving strangly, some are losing scales, and a few even have blood streaks in their fins.
They’ve always been very healthy, and all of my goldfish appear unaffected, so I was baffled. After testing the water (all normal levels) and some serious googling I think it’s septicemia caused by the food rotting in their digestive tracts. I’m now trying to warm up the pond and running to the store for some salt. Any other recommendations for this emergency case? As always, thanks in advance!
You can read the follow up here.
The real lesson here is that you simply don’t want to feed your fish, and particularly Koi in water temperatures that are below 50 degrees F. It’s not that they won’t eat, because as you can see, they’ll consume food voraciously, but whether they’ll be able to successfully digest this food is another thing altogether. And if they cannot, you’ll probably run into some major problems.
I’m not sure if there is a good answer for a solution here. Warming the water may help with a bit of time, but whether that’s enough to curb the losses and suffering is still questionable to me. If you see skin problems and wounds, it might make sense to add salt but this isn’t always the answer to skin issues in every case.
As I’ve often said, I don’t consider myself to be an expert on fish health but I do know people that are. Whenever you run into problems with your fish, be sure to stop by Koivet.com and there’s a good chance you’ll get some useful advice that will help your fish.
And it probably goes without saying that prevention is the best remedy in almost every case. We do certainly learn from our mistakes and those can’t always be avoided, but sharing experiences just might help someone else avoid the same fate.