Reasons your Fish are Dying or are Sick

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Reasons Your Fish Could be Dying

By Dalton Quigley of Quigley’s Landscaping of Nashville TN August 5, 2013

Koi Fish under a waterfall in Nashville TN

Koi Fish under a waterfall in Nashville TN

If your fish are dying

it could be something simple. Take a look at your fishes overall shape, if the fish is plump right behind the gills you have a well fed fish but if the fish looks lean and sloping inward in the same spot you may have a starving fish.

Water quality is one of the biggest factors in why a fish dies in a pond. All fish need oxygen and when some popular chemicals are added to clean water it also may temporarily drop oxygen levels leaving your fish dying of oxygen starvation. If you have applied chemicals and your fish is swimming in circles on it’s side you should move them to another pond where the oxygen levels are appropriate.

There can also be diseases that fish get but troubleshooting through oxygen and feeding can help you on the path to figuring out the problem. Call your local aquatic supplier to get more details as to how to figure out what problem you are having.

Here is information submitted to me by some of my followers on social media:

On   Carolyn Weise • Feeding old food, moldy food, or the cheap catfish chow will lead to nutritional deficiencies in koi that will mimic many other disease symptoms… before they die. Overdosing with algaecides is a #1 cause of fish death, simply because the owner does not know the correct pond volume. You cannot guess with chemical applications. You need to know. Over-reacting to perceived problems is the #2 cause of fish death (owners are probably the fish’s worst enemy, killing their fish in the name of love.) Forgetting to turn off the hose, not using dechlorinator, is a big fish kill waiting to happen. Treating for parasites without a diagnosis leads to making a chemical soup out of the pond. Extended cold spells with no opening in the ice cover for gas exchange (in the north) creates stress and CO2 toxicity/O2 deprivation to fish in torpor. Leaving the pond/fish in the care of neighbors, friends and family who overfeed them while you are gone. That leads to poor water quality and fish will die. That’s a good start, right?

And Carolyn also added this to the conversation when I requested to use the info:

Sure, Dalton. You might add poorly designed ponds: too shallow to withstand rapid temperature changes, temperature extremes (highs &/or lows), and inability to prevent easy predation. We need to educate people on what & when to clean. If it can be seen, it’s dirt, not beneficial bacteria. Clean it out. Fish need clean water more than they need “more” food.

On  Jennifer Wiese Plants can do it- make sure they aren’t toxic plants. Also a common thing called ick, can be spotted by looking at fish, small white spots on fins- treatment used for that that at local pet shops . Also oxygen deprivation, make sure water flowing creates bubbles at the top of the water for oxygen to be created by the simple flow of water falling from top- too many fish also can deprive oxygen. Some plants come with fertilizer in the soil- time released pellets or granular. You will have to study the dead fish to see what you should be looking for- most fish also need a particular amount of algae in the water, good luck- heaters will do it to- they need plenty of shade

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