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You walk out to feed the koi and goldfish. Many of them are floating on top, dead. Many more are in distress. If your fish are dying — don’t panic. Follow these steps immediately: • • • • Test kits for Salt, Ammonia and PH levels Antibiotic fish food Treatment for parasites, flukes, fungus Aeration pumps and accessories
Perform water tests for ammonia, nitrites, pH, oxygen levels. It is very important to run water tests. The ammonia should be 0. So should the nitrites. pH should be between 6.8 and 8.0 though the ideal range is 7.0 to 7.5. Make notes of live fish behavior: Are they gulping for air? Are they swimming properly? Spiraling? Is there any film on the water or does the water feel strange? Causes: Not enough aeration; parasites; gill infestation. Add aeration. Check gills for damage & disease. Check water parameters. Treat for parasites. Perform a Water Change: Chances are something is wrong with the pond environment even if all water tests indicate no problem exists. It could be run-off or over-spray from insecticides or low dissolved oxygen levels in the pond. Either way, it does no harm to perform a water change. Do NOT forget to add de-chlorinator if you are using tap water which is most often treated with chlorine. Perform a Salt Treatment: Non-iodized, pure salt is inexpensive and very effective. Once you have changed your water out put in 3 lbs. of non-iodized, mineral-free salt per 100 gallons of water. This will encourage the production of the fish’s protective slime layer by natural means. We do not recommend using any product that artificially produces a slime coat, especially during an emergency. It will coat the fish gills, taxing its ability to breathe. Dispose of Dead Fish: Unless you’re willing to take the fish to a university for an autopsy, there’s nothing we can draw from a dead fish. Do note if the eyes look sunken, if there are any apparent ulcers, if the skin is peeling or if the fins are ragged. Get them out quickly. They will trash the water quality.