EADING Stewart Bennett’s very moving
articles in the Koi Times led my fingers
towards the keyboard once again. But before
diving into the subject, I think it is important to
applaud Stewart for baring his koi keeping soul. It
takes a brave koi keeper to ‘talk’ personal koi
keeping health problems for the benefit of others.
In one article I warned fellow koi keepers that the
effects of metals on koi is my pet hobby-horse.
Hobby-horse riding begins now! Many years ago, as
an amateur koi keeper, I wrote for the B.K.K.S.
Magazine explaining why I have such deep rooted
concern about the effects of substances in water on
koi. With pond Mark four, we lost over 23 koi due to
high levels (for fish) of copper and zinc in the water.
Decimated pond Mark four. Hardly any koi left
and no algae or blanketweed.
Our fish went through the same horrendous
journey as Stewart’s. The simpler health problems
were such things as tatty fins, raised scales and
lethargy. It took approximately three months for
the more serious indications to start showing. Small
wounds started appearing, they were difficult to
heal. Some wounds failed to heal and ulcers
developed. Bacterial invasion occurred as bacteria
found a lovely open door through the kois’ wounds
and ulcers. “Goldie’s” gills were so damaged that
she suffocated to death. We went to an Essex
Fish test kits do not show metals in pond water
Section barbecue and when we got home we found
four fish had died during the evening. By this stage
I felt I was a murderess and was very close to giving
away our few surviving koi and filling-in the pond.
The hardest part was that no-one knew what
was happening to our fish. Pond water was
independently tested for the fishkeepers
parameters (ammonia etc.) - they were spot on. Fish
scrapes were taken for parasites, a few were found
A L U R K I N G P R O B L E M
By Ann Telford