Koi Carp - Stress - The Invisible Killer
Threat Level - Very High - Possibly The Highest Cause Of Koi Deaths & Severe Illness.
Common Causes Of Stress In Koi Carp
Stress Symptoms - Koi Carp
When exposed to stress, koi can become listless, sluggish and un-interested. They may show signs of being frightened and scatter away frantically when you approach the pond.
Stressed koi can also show signs of red veins across the body or fins, ragged edges to their fin edges, swim erratically or even lose their appetite and become very thin over time. They may also clamp their fins close to the body and try to hide all the time. The koi's colours may fade or seem less vibrant and they may even show some underlying darker shades. They may even sit motionless just below the waters surface.
When koi carp are exposed to long term stress factors, the carp's ability to ward off parasites and illnesses is severely debilitated, leaving the koi open to attack from all dangers including, parasites, bacteria, shock etc.
The trouble with identifying stress in koi carp is two-fold. Firstly, by the time you notice the symptoms the "stressing" factor has already been present for too long, and secondly, the symptoms shown by the koi carp when under stressful conditions are almost exactly the same as the symptoms shown by koi when they are infested with some parasites.
Treatment For Stress - Koi Carp
Identify the "stressing factors" and resolve the problems. Remembering at all times that ANY SUDDEN changes will in effect create more stress for the koi carp.
This is not a time for knee jerk reactions looking for that miracle stress cure which could easily add to the stress problem.
It is far better to spend time finding the "stress factor" and addressing the problem, rather than treating the symptoms of stress. If after finding and alleviating the stress factor, SALT can be added to the pond at a dose of 0.3% (zero POINT three percent) to calm the fish and help with the recovery from stress. Please bear in mind that koi carp that have been exposed to long term stress may have come under attack from parasites which need to be treated for, so be sure to check for this BEFORE adding the salt, as some parasite treatments and medications cannot be used with the salt levels above 0.1% (zero POINT one percent).
Koi Carp Stress - Summary
The trouble with dealing with stressed fish is that the recovery is fairly slow, which leaves the carp with a lowered immune system and lowered parasitic defence during the recovery period. It is absolutely necessary to monitor the koi carp and the pond water quality during this time and in the future to ensure that the koi stay stress free, resulting an healthy koi.
As with many koi carp problems, many of the symptoms are the same or very similar to parasite attacks and bacterial infections. It is vital that the koi keeper monitors and manages the koi carp pond and its environment, so as to be able to accurately diagnose any problems and then be able to treat the correct problem in the correct manner.
Koi carp stress = Koi carp health issues & Koi carp health issues = Koi carp stress