Piscine Chemical Treatments

KOI Chemotherapy

Duncan Griffiths

All the dosages, measurements and recommendations given on this board come with no guarantees. Since the use or interpretation of any information garnered from, or suggested on this site is beyond our control, and all relevant data concerning symptoms, water parameters, pond volumes etc are not gathered by us, and as such
are not verifiable by us. Neither I, Koi-unleashed, or anyone else connected with the board can accept any
liability or responsibility for the condition of your pond, filters and or fish, should you carry out any treatments
mentioned on the this site or discussed in the forum.
The treatment of fish, while hopefully successful, can have unexpected side effects and a fish weakened by
illness, stress or parasites can die even though the treatment was within reasonable parameters. Repeat
dosing, dosing with more than one treatment, concurrently or consecutively, and /or an erroneous pond volume calculation can impact negatively on both fish and filter.

If you are not certain of the potential results of your treatments, you should seek professional advice.

If you have a morale issue with the use of chemicals in your hobby please do yourself a favour and do not read
any further into this paper. These are proven protocols that work for my friends and I, you are in no way being forced to either read or practice these protocols.

The following is a list of common piscine ailments and what will stand a very good chance of a cure, for koi carp and koi carp ONLY! Before commencement of the Data a few words of caution.

Chemotherapy of koi can never be entirely safe and as always is a last resort. Having made that statement, we
all live in the real world where this has to take place from time to time because of the limitations placed on us by keeping koi in a closed circuit limited volume environment. Chemotherapy, despite what some would have you believe is far from a walk in the park with regards to the adverse effects chemicals have on fish and its environment. The introduction of a toxic chemical to a living organism will have far reaching effects not least because tolerances to chemical treatments will vary in individual koi, also chemicals will impact negatively on
the bio filter, on which your koi depend for life support. The severity of the negative influence chemicals will
have on the filter will vary greatly dependent on, the maturity and overall efficiency and size of the filter and of course on the chemical used. The reason for this variation of cause and effect are obvious. What we are trying
to achieve is a high kill ratio on pathogens. This will invariably involve the use of as high a dose as possible, without effecting the well being of what we are about to cure * the koi*. Such dose rates, will, in many cases
be close to the koi's absolute tolerance while obtaining a high kill ratio of pathogens. Its has to be said, we do
sail close to the wind on many occasions when practising chemotherapy. I'm sure its appreciated, that chemotherapy, some times is not an easy task and is probable *THE* major cause of deaths in ornamental koi and fish in general. I.E. the inappropriate use of a chemical when a problem/symptom was either environmental
or nutritional, or merely that the koi was so sick or stressed it just could not withstand the treatment.

All the above may seem a harsh statement but it's a fact that the majority of koi deaths are by overdose by the
well intending hobbyists and professional alike, killing the koi with kindness and the very best of intentions


Rule 1
Know your pond volume I cannot emphasise this enough, most chemicals will not allow for much if any margin of error. At best, an underestimated pond volume will lead to under dosing the pond with little or no effect but it
further helps to stress the koi and makes a bad situation much worst At worst an over estimated pond volume results in a chemical overdose, result either burnt damaged or very DEAD koi The above is a very real threat if you do not accurately know your pond volume. You have been warned!

Rule 2
When measuring chemicals, use something with some accuracy. Either a measuring jug marked in ml or cc
and if powder, leave this task to a gram scales, really quite cheap these days, do not measure with spoons
these are strictly for tea and coffee and baking.

Rule 3
Always use PPE (personal protective equipment) eye protection, gloves, and in some cases respiratory masks. The bottom line is you only have two eyes and two lungs, either of which will succumb to Potassium Permanganate and alike.

Rule 4
Almost all chemicals with the exception of hydrogen peroxide will lower the oxygen saturation point of pond
water so always use extra air stones whilst a chemical is active in the pond * especially in warm weather.

Rule 5
Never administer a pond treatment and just simply walk off and leave the fish to deal with what ever may or may not go wrong. Always stay on hand and look over them and be ready to either neutralize the chemical or be
ready to do water changes if this is not possible, You take this responsibility on the moment you decide to
apply a chemical to your pets.

Rule 6
Know your enemy! Never apply shotgun medicines in the hope you may get something, diagnose and treat
always !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rule 7
All chemicals have a limited shelf life of one kind or another some degrade to become ineffective whilst other become dangerous and toxic, if in doubt sling it out.

Formaldehyde over time degrades to become Paraformaldehyde which is extremely toxic to fish and *will* kill. Formalin is Formaldehyde dissolved into methanol, the purpose of which is to inhibit the formation of Paraformaldehyde. Again the bottom line is if the Formalin is aged check it out in a clear glass, if you see a
white precipitate in the solution, disposal is far cheaper.

Masoten is a light blue powder and is an organophosphate, but acts as a Neurotoxin that is toxic enough in its fresh made up state, but over time will absorb moisture and it will go dark blue and clump together, in this
state it is very toxic to both the user and the fish and should not be used.

Supaverm can be kept for quite while but eventually it breaks down into a white precipitate in suspension and might as well be discarded, as it is of little use. In short old chemicals and medications should be discarded

Rule 8
start at rule 1 and check

So if I have not put you off we will get right into it. The following is in no specific order.

Potassium Permanganate, at 1.5 gm per 220 imperial gallons one or two treatments a week apart. Making
sure no dechlorinator or hydrogen peroxide is present in the water, as this will neutralise potassium permanganate rendering its oxidising effects on Trichodina ineffective
Alternative treatments, with a spectrum of action against Trichodina
Chloramine T

Supaverm at 1 ml/cc per 100 imperial gallons one dose, followed by a 20% water change on day three or four. Add total dose over three hours around the edge of the pond. Make sure the bottle of supaverm is shook well before measuring the dose out, as the active ingredient is in suspension.
Alternative treatments, with a spectrum of action against flukes.
Levacide (levamisole hydrochloride)
Potassium Permanganate

White spot
Malachite green and formalin together Malachite green 2% at 10 m/cc per 176 imperial gallons Formalin 30%
at 10 ml/cc per 145 imperial gallons used on days 1/ 7 /13 with a 20% partial water change between each
dose No other effective treatment

Malachite green and formalin together Dosage as for white spot but two treatments
Alternative treatments with a spectrum of action against Chilodonella
Potassium permanganate
Chloramine T
Salt .

Potassium permanganate at 1.5 gm per 220 imperial gallons two doses five days apart.
Alternative treatments with a spectrum of action against Costia

Formalin and malachite green
Chloramine T

Lernaea and Argulus
Masoten at 1 GM per 87 imperial gallons over the temperature of 65 deg Four doses weekly Below 65 deg Masoten at 6/8 gm per 1000 imp gallons four doses weekly.
Alternative treatments with a spectrum of action against Lernaea and Argulus
Salt (Lernaea only)
Bacterial gill disease and viral gill disease Chloramine T, see home page for viral gill disease for dosage and protocol

Oxidisation of wounds or ulcers after topical treatments
Potassium permanganate @ 1.5 gm per 220 imperial gallons one treatment Or, Chloramine T, @ 2 gm per 100 imperial gallons one treatment. Never oxidise a wound / ulcer twice in one day, topically treat day one then
oxidise if needed day two.

Bacterial dropsy
Salt a q-tank to 0.6% salinity in four ascending increments at 12 hour intervals with fish in situ e.g. one quarter ounce then another till 0.6% is reached and add proflavine hemesuphate at the equivalent of 4.5 gm per 1000 imperial gallons, and heat to 23/25 deg c adding extra O2

For USA doses reduce by 20%