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Heron fishing

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Red Spot Disease

red spot diseaseWarning on fish disease reported in Australia - this may come our way - I will keep this updated.

The disease strips the slimy layer on the fish, allowing a fungus to develop and red lesions and deep ulcers to appear. Heavy rainfall after a long dry spell is responsible for the disease.

Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) is considered to be an infection with an oomycete [fungus] known as Aphanomyces invadans or A. piscicida.

It is a seasonal epizootic condition of great importance in wild and farmed freshwater and estuarine fish; it has a complex infectious aetiology and is clinically characterised by the presence of invasive _Aphanomyces_ infection and necrotising ulcerative lesions typically leading to a granulomatous response.

EUS is also known as red spot disease (RSD), mycotic granulomatosis (MG), and ulcerative mycosis (UM).

Recently, scientists proposed that EUS should be re-named as epizootic granulomatous aphanomycosis or EGA. At present, RSD, MG, UM, and EGA are synonyms for EUS

Viral-Hemorrhagic-Septicemia found in Carp

Viral-Hemorrhagic-Septicemia is a very contagious disease, more so than K.H.V. and kills just as fast.

It's been known in trout and salmon for many years and has now been found in koi in the U.S.A. has never caused much concern with carp.

This is a isolated case but that's not the point - most of us assumed carp were immune and exempt from infection. This throws a completely new light on this deadly disease, which spreads like a hot knife through butter.

It has just about kill 2/3s of the trout in one of the great lakes in the U.S.A. As a result, the O.I.E., the world organization for animal health, have officially listed koi as a susceptible species. This means all countries who export koi will require a declaration included in their health certificates for V.H.S. And should the disease be found, a 2 year testing program will be imposed as for both S.V.C. and K.H.V.

This is just how K.H.V. started, with one isolated case. The problem was K.H.V. was not known, and it was put down to a aeromonas sub-species and treated as such. The rest is history.

I will update you when my contacts in the states update me.

K.H.V. Outbreak in November

K.H.V. has been reported and tested positive in Berkshire. I've never know this diseases so late in the year. It makes you think this is a fishery not a domestic pond.

This outbreak is thought to have been brought about by a introduction of illegally dump pet fish, which is a problem with many fisheries, lakes and rivers. This practice is totally illegal, with a heavy fine if proved. Misguided pet fish owners seem to think they are doing their unwanted pets a favour. This could not be further from the truth. They bring alien diseases into our waterways with devastating consequences, as this case shows.

In my opinion the public do not seem to be aware of the trauma these action bring about, and the law which prohibits this action should be more publicly advertised with notices on canals, lakes, rivers and fresh water boating and pleasure parks. The lack of the awareness is half the problem. You ask any member of the public about dumping pet fish into our waterways and 99% have no idea its illegal or the problems it brings about.

Releasing or dumping fish, or moving fish from waterway to waterway only is totally illegal in the UK. Movements from one domestic pond to another is not.

Outbreak kills 250 000 fish at hatchery

Date: 9th May 2007
ProMED-mail. ICHTHYOPHTHIRIUS MULTIFILIS, FISH - USA (IDAHO) . ProMED-mail 2007; 9 May: 20070509.1489.

Outbreak kills 250 000 fish at hatchery
About 250 000 rainbow trout died in a sudden disease outbreak at a south western Idaho fish hatchery, a loss of about 8 per cent of Idaho's annual output of catchable-sized trout. It was the second such outbreak of _Ichthyophthirius multifilis_ in as many years at the state Department of Fish and Game hatchery in Nampa.

Officials say it probably arose when stress from overcrowding weakened the fish, making them more susceptible to the parasite. The outbreak happened in January [2007], but became public this week [5-7 May 2007] because the state agency is trying to manage remaining stocks of 6 to 8 inch fish at its 5 other hatcheries to make certain lakes and streams still get enough fish to satisfy anglers.

Tom Frew, who manages the Nampa [ID] site, said careful manipulation of stocks at other facilities should make up for the losses. He said scientists are assessing just what went wrong. One possible change to avoid future outbreaks, he said, might be to reduce the number of fish raised at the Nampa hatchery and increase it elsewhere. "The parasite multiplies very rapidly," said Frew, who estimated the cost of the die-off at US $40 000, including fish food and labour. "By the time we see signs, the disease has a pretty strong hold on the animal."

In all, the state produces about 3 million catchable-sized trout every year, among some 26 million total fish produced. The parasites, commonly referred to as "ich," are visible as white spots on a fish's gills and skin. As their attack intensifies, fish "flash,", or turn on their sides, as they try to scrape off the bugs. The fish become lethargic and eventually die. In the end, the parasites become so numerous on an infected fish's gills that it simply smothers.

In addition to the outbreaks in Nampa, a sudden thunderstorm last year washed debris-laden runoff into Idaho's Sawtooth hatchery near Stanley, weakening chinook salmon and making them more susceptible to the parasite, Frew said. "Normally, they're capable of sloughing off the parasite," Frew said. "Any time fish are in captivity, in the aquarium industry, or where the fish are in a closed system" there's a danger of an outbreak.

Nampa's hatchery has 10 raceways, all fed by artesian wells. The disease was found in all the raceways. Due to the hatchery's design, it's not possible to empty the raceways of water to sterilize them, leaving the parasite present year after year. Though hatchery officials haven't changed their fish-raising regimen in a dozen years, Frew said, the disease appears to have gained a more lethal toehold in 2006 and 2007. "For some reason, the last couple of years, we've had some problems with ich at the Nampa hatchery," Frew said. "There's not really a lot we could do, without a complete rebuild of the Nampa hatchery."

[byline: John Miller]

-- communicated by: ProMED-mail Rapporteur Joseph Dudley

[This species of parasitic ciliate is commonly referred to as "ick," or "ich", a disease infecting and damaging the skin, gills, and/or eyes of many species of fish. It often occurs in aquariums and wild fresh water fish. The parasite's life cycle is direct and simple. The trophozoites are found in pustules on the fish and escape when the pustules rupture. The trophozoites settle to the substrate, form a "cyst," and then reproduce asexually. The cyst, now containing hundreds of "swarmers" (or tomites), breaks open, and the swarmers search for a new host. Upon contacting a new host, the swarmer or tomite burrows into the host's tissue and grows into a new pustule.

This parasite is found on many different species of fish under natural conditions, but it is a particularly serious parasite under conditions of confinement and high population density (such as aqua-culture ponds, aquariums, etc).

Usually white spots and pustules are obvious by visual inspection throughout the skin of a fish infected with ick. In addition, a gill biopsy may be used to determine infection. These parasites are large (1 mm in diameter).

There are a number of commercially available treatments for the parasite. These parasites may be treated by adding diluted formaldehyde, malachite green, or methylene blue to the water. - Mod.TG]


Do not feed plain washed lettuce to your koi. It will either lodge in their throats or damage their digestive tract. Koi cannot digest plain lettuce - far better is broccoli top.

Pumps Bought on e-Bay

Be wary about pumps being sold on e-Bay, in markets and so called discount places with names that sound like (Oase), or waterfall pumps 3.000 gph etc. A lot of these pumps are electrically unsafe, they have fancy cases like aquamax, and some resemble Blagdons or fish-mate, but when you open the case its a tiny plastic pump in moulded resin which looks nothing like the real thing.

Some pumps say for ponds and waterfalls - a pump that says it will do 3000 gph for £40 - you should know it's not a POND PUMP!. They are NOT meant for continual running - 5 hours at the most. They are for cellars or sumps to work for short periods of time on and off, not to drive a pond 24 hours a day.

The look-alike ones with black plastic cases like a aquamax - if you have one, and your fish huddle at bottom of pond when turned on, it because in most cases a small electrical current is passing through the water - too small to flip your trip switch but enough to slowly kill your fish. In other words they are counterfeit products, costing pence to produce - in fact the casing probably cost more to produce than the pump.

If you need a pump then use a pump supplier, garden centre or koi dealer. If you need to pump footings out then you will see pumps for £40 to pump now and then - use a building merchant!

The latest on the KHV vaccine from CEFAS

- you can read it on our KHV page...

Copper and K.H.V.

I don't know where this so called treatment, or the idea has started, but its very recent. When watching TV the other night , the BBC news regarding a hospital talking about using copper to control MRSA. Somebody somewhere has thought well "that's a water born air and contact virus - if it can kill MRSA it must kill KHV"

Copper sulphate will kill your fish

Alright, I have been mucking about with copper for many years now, and made very little progress. Its main use is to control alga. Cupric copper sulphate is less toxin to fish that plain copper sulphate. Copper has to be blended with citric acid and (meth blue if used in salt water) to protect fishes gills (dieter untergasser) translated by axelrod 1989.

So just a word to the wise - I have been in touch with E.U. ISRAEL AND THE U.S.A, and nobody has a copper treatment to cure KHV and they all state that no press release has been issued, or is about to be, so we have a idiot somewhere that's out-done every aquatic research facility round the world. KHV is their main research topic at all of these places, with fish keeping and angling, it earns more than tourism now, and if KHV is not stopped, keeping fish and catching fish will be just a memory.

March 2007 - KHV Update

Many professional and ministry officials believe that it is still uncertain if the live attenuated virus will remain non-pathogenic in "immunized" fish for long periods of time. Also, and more importantly the spread of fish vaccinated or "immunized" with attenuated virus might introduce large numbers of virus carriers that will seriously hamper future efforts to monitor or eradicate the disease. It should also be noted that since it's outbreak and spread, there is a growing certainty amongst researchers and veterinarians that other forms of KHV already exist, exhibiting slightly different symptoms and pathology. This may mean that the original strain of virus has mutated and that any so-called immunization process or tested vaccine may prove in future to be ineffective with regards to new and developing strains of the virus.

July 2006 - KHV Update

Bad news - the first strain of K.H.V. which infects goldfish has been found in Korea. It will be here soon.

K.H.V. has broken out in over 100 sites now, including native fisheries - read more on our K.H.V. page...

July 2006 White Spot

A new treatment for white spot has completed its trials for use only in quarantine ponds. It works very fast and WILL kill all forms of the disease, including when it's in in cysts - penetrates the cyst cover and destroys the embryos when they are forming.

This treatment kills COSTIA dead in 24 hours, and I mean dead - there is no trace at half dose. It also rids fish of trichodina and chilodinella.

Once I am happy with the dose levels, the treatment will be on the product page under a new new name: Without A Trace.

A new bacteria treatment for bacterial infections including columnaris is at the same stage. It is not to be used when ulcers are open into the body muscle though. It does kill the infection but prolongs the healing tissue - the white hue you see when antibiotics are starting to do there job. New name: Columnaris Rubout.

A possible new treatment for bacteria infections.

All tests have now been completed.

16th June
Many Japanese fish seem to suffering from a bacterial infection with symptoms of K.H.V. but when D.A tests are done the result is negative. I have known of this drug for 1 year now, but never tried it's uses. It is meant to clean up after a unknown infection. So I tried this product on a collection of koi ranging from 3" to 14" where nothing was found, as nothing else worked. However, they just kept dying - the bacterial loading was of that of a corpse that had been dead for say 5 hours. After scrapes and excursive pm etc., all I could find was massive bacterial infection. K.H.V. was negative, and most of their internal organs were in good condition, apart from there intestines. My first thoughts were enteritis, but if this was the case then all the fish would not be showing the same symptoms, also they would not eat, but these fish ate well, then go back on the bottom, show symptoms of a costia infection which they did not have. Then these fish started to recover after having been in with this treatment after 3 days, and are now back with the client in a quarantine pond seeming to recovering well.

I have since found another pond of 17 fresh imported fish around the same size grouping with the same symptoms as the last batch. I carried out the same tests and got the same same results as before, so I decided to try and find out whether this treatment was the reason the other fish recovered, or whether they had recovered from import stress by being in good water and care and not any treatment. This batch are currently in my treatment pool - 400 gallons unheated and are eating and showing signs of massive costia infection which they don't have.
17th June
All filters and UVs are off, and two large air stones are in place. The fish are on the bottom, their fins are tight, with massive sleuthing of body slime as with multifinnis (white spot) infection.

8.30am. 0.4g into 400 gals mixed prior with 5 gals water. Two of the smallest fish were dead within 20 minutes.

19th June
18.30pm All the fish are off the bottom, the shaking/scratching has stopped and sleuthing of body slime is down by 80%. The fish can now swim without resting on bottom. Three of the smaller fish are only showing 20% in comparison to the larger fish which are showing 60% recovery.

28th June
All of the fish have recovered, but for four small 3-4" koi died. This infection seems more virulent with small fish as with most infections. I will run four more trails, but so far I'm very pleased with results. I also noticed some fish had white spot with the stress involved, and along with this infection, the white spot has gone completely - I think it was with the use of this new treatment, but I will run tests on first real infection I come across, where the fish are about dead (with owners consent), as m/f at this stage does nothing. Salt some times brings them back. It would be nice if this treatment works, as only two doses are needed, with the second half the strength of the first. Still we shall see.


See our decking page (under ponds).

White Spot and Salt treatment

Please see our White Spot page for test results for salt treatment for this disease.

Columnaris Bactericide

I have found and developed a bactericide which I hope will render columnaris inactive/dead. Tests have 6 more months still to run in this country, but have already past in Asia with shrimps and have worked fantastically well. The bactericide also controls virus spores present in water, which is the shrimp farmers' biggest problem.

Results of tests as follows. Control of columnaris under control conditions, using quarantine pond or hospital pond, found that when used at the correct dosage, complete removal of all bacterial pathogens was archived, including columnaris.

Fish bought off eBay the Internet auction site.

These fish are bringing problems with them, mainly anchor worm, which Japan has a problem with, trichodina costia and (I hope not) K.H.V.

I have already heard of two wipe-outs. At these low prices I cannot see how they have been quarantined. Some fish are coming out of owners ponds or bought in for straight resale with no time to acclimatize. So far I am aware of 25 infected ponds and these are just the ones I know about.

Buying off eBay - you must NOT introduce these fish to your stock without 1 months quarantine. Some are good fish many are complete junk. Before you buy, ask, ask and ask and hold the seller down regarding the fishes' condition and that they have been in quarantine for at least 28 days at a minimum temperature of 20oC.


KHV has now been confirmed in Japan ( October 2003 ), thousands of Koi and common carp ( for eating ) have been killed , while we have always thought that it was present in Japan , this now confirms it . Be very careful when buying koi or fancy goldfish that are from Japan.

KHV = dead fishWhile the Japanese are very easy people to deal with they are very honourable and this virus has made a number slip from the path and they have carried on selling koi with the virus, so any new imports this autumn are a potential risk.

KHV is not a notifiable disease in the UK. so there is no chance any dealers who get caught out will tell you the truth !

( SVC is notifiable and as such CEFAS would come and destroy the infected stock - disinfect the whole shop/site )

For more about this disease go to our KHV page.

The Fish Helpline runs a full comprehensive maintenance scheme for Koi ponds, which can include water changes and supply of food. We can also source your Koi.