koidoktor Maarten Lammens

Malamix – the miracle cure

Malamix – We are convinced of the product.

But, that you know already.

For people who do not yet know the product, here is a brief description: Malamix17 is a liquid of 17 natural ingredients (eg ginger, calendula, aloe vera, echinacea etc.) developed by the Belgian veterinarian – specialized in koi – Maarten Lammens. This liquid (I call it “herbal liqueur” 😉) helps the koi to increase their own defenses and thus improve their immune system. That means that they become more resistant and strong against bacteria and parasites.

Healthy koi thanks to prevention.

We already know that “prevention is worth more than cure” but Malamix17 can also cure. We use it when we see that the koi are stressed. Stress is very obvious in white koi since they become “pink” (because the veins become more obvious). With a simple treatment of Malamix17 (1 liter of product is good for 10,000 liters of pondwater) and the koi are cured.

We call “stress” to “undefined” situations such as:

  • introduction of new koi in an existing hierarchy
  • drastic temperature changes
  • after a chemical treatment of the pond water
  • etc.

Healthy Koi thanks to an efficient and natural product.

By the way: As I am so convinced of the product, I asked Maarten if I could use it, too. His answer was “in principle yes, if it were not for the substances that I have incorporated to increase the biological bacteria in the filter” 😉

And since there was so much positive reaction, Maarten worked to incorporate these ingredients into koi feed.

Talking colloquially: the feed is like the “Actimel” – it works from inside.

And – to return to the original reason for writing this article – to show that it is not only us who is happy with the product, here are some voices of our clients:

The food is great. The koi like to eat it and the water does not turn turbid. However, I only give them as much as they eat in about 5 minutes. In winter little and in summer more. The other feed that I had previously used, was always leftover.

Axel (Alicante)

 

The Malamix feed goes well, I at least see them healthy, beautiful and with a good growth.

(Miguel, Balearic Islands)

 

Since I use Malamix I see my fish calmer and with less stress, therefore, its use is totally advisable.

(Antonio, Málaga)

 

I have been using Malamix mixed with Ichi summer or winter according to season for more than three years now and I am very happy because I have never had a sick koi so far, so I will follow the same diet at the moment.

(Luis, La Coruña)

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Koi in winter

Koi in winter behave differently. Here we talk about what is normal and what is not normal. If you have any further doubts after reading this article, please contact us. 

Koi belong to the carp family (cyprinus carpio) and are cold water fish, that means that their body temperature depends on the temperature of their surroundings. They can live in waters with temperatures between 2º to 35º.

If the temperature change is carried out progressively, there is no problem. But a change of temperature of more than 5º in a same day can cause serious problems. In large ponds, especially with sufficient depth, temperature changes are less stressful, while in small, flat ponds, koi are exposed to living the changes more drastically.

Koi can easily survive 2 months to 2º.

Taking into account that the temperature of the body of the koi usually varies half a degree with the temperature of its environment, it is understandable that the metabolism of the fish is very reduced during the winter season.

Generally the koi in winter are usually “parked” at the bottom of the pond.

Koi are hibernating. 

At these water temperatures it is imperative to leave them in peace.

Why?

Because they are with a reduced metabolism resting in the pond and if suddenly you approach and make some sudden movement you frighten them and cause them to flee intuitively. Then they have to make a huge effort that causes them a lot of stress.

When the metabolism decreases, the defences also decrease and the koi are more susceptible to diseases such as Saprolegnia (a type of fungus that can live between 3º-33º) and to lie sidewards (usually a problem of the swim bladder).

Attention: Make sure the surface of the pond is not completely frozen. You need at least a good open hole so that toxic gases can escape and oxygen can enter. NEVER – I repeat NEVER – break the ice in case the surface is frozen. The reason is explained above (not to scare). You can get a hole by pouring hot water. To maintain it you can use a heater or special elements of styrofoam.

Do you feed koi in winter?

I just got a call from a client: “Thekla, my koi do not eat. For 2 weeks now they no longer eat. The water temperature is 8º. How long can they be without food?”

koi en invierno

Koi Hacienda: Do you feed koi in winter?

Nature is very wise. Normally, koi stop “asking for food” at around 8º of water temperature. From this temperature on, it is advisable not to feed at all. They can easily survive 2 months without eating (or even more).

Between 8º and 12º we recommend to give them special winter food. This is prepared for easier digestion and thus does not cause too much work for the metabolism.

Can I buy koi in winter?

You can always buy koi 😀

The most accurate question should be: Can I introduce new koi in winter?

When the water temperature of your pond is 12º and less, we will not send the koi. The koi has to withstand the stress of the trip (although we try to put it as comfortable as possible, it will always be stressful) and on top low temperature, would be too much for the organism of the koi. Introducing it when there are high temperatures is easier, but introducing it with cold is very delicate and you have to calculate a long time of adaptation (30-40 minutes).

If a koi is introduced into too cold water, 2 things can happen:

  • the koi lives a heart attack and dies right away
  • the koi lives a “shock” whose consequences may appear days later: behave “weird”, swim “crazy”, float but still breathe and finally die

Good to know

  • Our koi come from the Niigata area of ​​Japan, where year after year there is a hard winter with a lot of cold and lots of snow.
  • A koi kept only in hot water DOES NOT grow more than a koi that lives its rest period in winter.
  • An appropriate rest period is 2 months at 8 degrees.
  • The rest period is absolutely healthy: it reduces the risk of accumulation of eggs, tumors and other metabolic diseases.
  • In areas where the water temperature does not reach 8º, it is advisable to take 2 weeks in the coldest period of the year and put them to fast (for the reason explained above).

And then?

When the temperature rises again, the problems in the pond explode.

Why?

Because the metabolism of the koi has to “light up” little by little. While the metabolism of parasites and bacteria reacts much faster. So the “attackers” are ready while our koi begin to “wake up.”

For your koi to survive the winter well and be strong in spring, we recommend the natural product Malamix17  with 17 natural ingredients to increase the immune system of the koi itself.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:  

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Carp pox removal by surgery

Carp pox removal by surgery

In February 2017 we published an article on carp pox. In that text we explained that carp pox is a benign external viral disease, which appears mostly in cold times in cyprinus carpio type fish.

Koi Hacienda eliminar viruela de carpa

Carp pox on the dorsal fin of a koi 

One of the measures to combat that cutaneous disease, is the operative elimination of that tissue.

Here’s how to do it.

How to carry out carp pox removal by surgery?

That is what you will need: 

  • surgical knife
  • alcohol
  • gauze
  • propolis
  • Orahesive powder
  • large towel moistened with pond water
  • anesthetic
Koi Hacienda viruela de carpa

products and materials 

Steps for carp pox removal:

  1. Prepare all the necessary objects to have them at hand
  2. Wet the towel in the pond water to wrap the anesthetized koi
  3. Anesthetize the koi (read article “How to anesthezize a koi”
  4. Once anesthetized, wrap the koi in the wet towel and leave only the part to be treated
  5. With the knife cut the benign tissue
  6. Dry the part with the gauze
  7. Apply propolis
  8. Apply Orahesive Powder
  9. Introduce the koi in a floating net in the pond until it has regained consciousness
Koi Hacienda viruela de carpa eliminar

Cutting away the tissue … 

Koi Hacienda eliminar viruela de carpa

… and “sealing” the wound with Orahesive powder 

After an intervention like that, it is always advisable to help the koi increase their own defenses. However much you try to close with Orahesive powder, it will end up being an open wound which is always a number one target for bacteria. Therefore we have great interest in strengthening the own immune system with Malamix17 (see complete product sheet).
koi prevencion enfermedades

 

This video was taken on September 14, 2017.

I will blog the evolution of carp pox of this koi.

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Carp pox – typical koi winter desease

 Carp pox is an external benign viral disease, which appears mostly in cold times in cyprinus carpio type fish.

Since several clients have sent us pictures of their affected koi, I thought it would be a good idea to write an article about this disease called carp smallpox.

Carp pox is expressed through a gray, white layer on the skin and fins. It looks like candle wax that has spilled over the body of the koi. Carp pox usually arises at low temperatures and usually disappears spontaneously in summer. The fish are not sick and the danger of contagion is low. The vulnerability of the disease is genetic.

 

enfermedad koi

Carp pox (photo by Dr. Maarten Lammens)

The recommended treatment is to increase the resistance of the fish. This is done by increasing the water temperature to 20 ° C. Other methods to help koi to become stronger is the addition of vitamin C, propolis or immun stimulants in water and food.

Koi Hacienda

Carp pox (photo by Dr. Maarten Lammens)

Our own experience with products to increase self-defense of the koi has led us to the products of specialized koi veterinarian Dr. Maarten Lammens. Thanks to his long experience with koi, he has realized that preventing is still the best remedy. That was the reason why he invested a lot of time in developing a product called Malamix17. A liquid composed of 17 natural ingredients such as ginger, marigold, aloe vera and a long etc. (see product sheet). All those ingredients have the ultimate goal of increasing the koi’s own defenses. The liquid (I call it “herbal liqueur” ?) is thrown into the pond (1 liter of Malamix17 is suitable for 10,000 liters of pond water) and is absorbed by the koi through the gills.

To improve the impact of the liquid, Maarten has subsequently investigated how to introduce these natural ingredients into the koi feed and developed the Malamix feed.

In Spanish it may have a negative connotation due to “MALA-mix”, but it refers only to the first letters of its name MAarten LAmmens.

 

koi sistema imunitario prevencion

Malamix17 to increase the self defenses

In cases of excessive growth, carp pox can be removed surgically, but it may return after some time.

Carp pox is also called “koi herpes virus I” (NOTHING to do with the deadly koi herpes virus KHV). In Spanish literature can be found under the name “viruela de carpa”.

 

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koi salt

Salt for koi … the perfect remedy for any koi disease ?

Salt for koi appears to be a “natural” and “universal” remedy to treat any koi disease.

This at least many koi lover told us.

Like any product, salt has its advantages and disadvantages.

And it is not “universal” – it does NOT fit for everything.

Again – and I am aware that I repeat myself – I would like to emphasize an essential and basic issue: Before applying ANY remedy, you must find out the reason for the discomfort of the koi.

Aspirin will serve you when you have a hangover, but not if you have a headache because you banged your head against the door or because you have a tumor.

This article will explain how salt works and what for (and what not) it serves.

Starting from scratch: A koi is NOT a saltwater fish.

Salt is a traditional method used by breeders when there were still not special products for certain diseases. Due to this fact, there are bacteria that are already immune to salt treatment.

From breeders this traditional method has passed to koi dealers and now all koi fans think they have the perfect antidote to any discomfort.

 

Salt for koi … Why should you put salt in a koi pond ?

We start from the beginning: What causes the salt in the koi pond?

Do you remember the term “osmosis”? Maybe some do not know, others vaguely associate this word with the era of high school during “Physics and Chemistry” classes …

The simplest definition I found is: Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a semi-permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.

Example: 

salt for koi treatment in koi pond

Salt for koi: the process of osmosis

A container with a semipermeable membrane in the middle. One side with concentrated sugar solution and the other side with dilute sugar solution. 

 

The process of osmosis is that the liquid of lower concentration “goes” to the more concentrated liquid. In the case of the drawing, it would be from right to left. As sugar is too large it can not pass the membrane, so that the water particles have to go across to produce an isotonic (balanced) fluid.

The high concentration liquid is called hypertonic.

The low concentration liquid is called hypotonic.

A balanced liquid is called isotonic.

Why do I explain the term of osmosis when we talk about salt in the koi pond?

Because the koi is continuously doing osmosis:

  • Generally tap water has a salinity of 0.05%.
  • The koi usually has a salinity of 0.9% on its body.
  • And its body and gill represent the “semipermeable membrane.”

As the salinity of the koi is higher (0.9%) to the pond water (0.05%) the koi constantly works to reach the isotonic state.

If we add salt for koi to reach a salinity of 0.9% then the koi does not have to strive for osmosis. Less work for the koi – specifically to its kidneys. So it can use this energy in another way such as recovering from an illness.

ATTENTION: IT SHOULD NOT BE A CONSTANT REMEDY. 

If your koi are continually stressed, you must find out the cause (not enough oxygen, ammonia and other parameters of water imbalanced, poor filtration, too many koi etc.)

Adding salt to the whole pond should be the last choice you have left, because it is an awfully long process to remove salt.

The salt is not removed – the salt is diluted.

For a better comprehension, I leave you a table which shows this long process:

salt for koi tratamiento de sal para koi

Salt for koi: Dilution of salt after several 10% and 15% water changes

On the left side of the table the amount of salt shown in the water while carrying out constantly a change water of 10%. The last line shows that after 10 water changes of 10% there is still 34.87% of the added salt. The left side of the table shows the same calculations with 15% water change.

For this reason, as I said above, adding salt to the complete pond is something that should be very well thought (a total water change would be a too big contrast for the koi).

Another very important aspect to consider: Adding salt for koi is interpreted as an irritation against which the koi will produce more mucus. This mucus layer contains antibodies and protects them against parasites and therefore is considered positive. But … if the koi continues to consistently produce mucus – in excess – the gills  will be blocked (by the mucus) and less oxygen can enter the koi, which results in weakening the koi and thus salt becomes counter-productive method.

Salt for koi … where it really helps

Immune system

As we have seen, an increase of salinity is considered as an irritation, which the koi “answers” with increased production of mucus, which helps to protect. If it is a sporadic and short-lived remedy it is useful.

Parasites

As explained above, the increased production of mucus helps to protect. If the parasite can reproduce quickly (because humans do not interfere with proper medication)  the koi can produce too much mucus, which is counter-productive (see above).

ATTENTION: parasites such as Trichodina and Costia reproduce more easily with salt !!! It is efficient against Chilodonella.

So again, if you do not know what parasite is attacking your koi (only the microscope can tell), adding salt presents a great danger.

 

Bacteria

Bacteria are a very sensitive issue. They are very difficult to see (only with electromicroscope and some only with contrasting liquid), difficult to define and more difficult to combat. If you do not know what you are up against, you should not add salt.

ATTENTION: let’s not forget that we also have bacteria in our filtration system. Therefore, if we kill with salt “bad bacteria” in our pond, also we kill “good bacteria” in our filter (with all the consequences).

 

Virus

Against virus there is not much to do. We can try to help to increase their self-defense, but most of the time we can not do more.

 

Wounds

A large wound is a water inlet into the body of the koi. This means even more osmosis effort for the fish. Here salt can help. A quarantine pond with 0.9-1% salinity may be favorable for wound healing.

 

Ammonia

If you have a peak of ammonia (by too much food, too many koi etc.), salt can help increase the mucus and protect themselves from “burning” of ammonia.

ATTENTION: a CONSTANT increased value ammonia is toxic to koi and should not be remedied with CONSTANT salt.

 

Nitrites

Nitrites reduce the hemoglobin in the koi’s blood. Hemoglobin transports oxygen in the body. An increase of nitrite is extremely dangerous, because the koi can suffocate. The chlorite anions of the  salt compete with the anions of nitrite and neutralize the toxic effect. Here salt is an appropriate remedy (1 to 3 kg for 1000 liters of pond water).

 

Color

Salt water damage the pigments and therefore fade the colors of your koi.

 

Salt and other products

There are very controversial discussions when it comes up to using salt in combination with other products such as permanganate, formalin and anesthetics.

Koi Hacienda always defends the process: First determine the cause of any discomfort and act on time with the right and specific product – not widely. For this reason we think it is better not to mix salt with any other product.

 

Salt for koi

Salt for koi: any kind of salt is appropriated – but without iodine

If you decide to apply salt for a particular koi with a salt bath, you should use 15 grams of salt per liter of water and bath the koi 10-15 minutes. If the koi begins to lose balance, take it out immediately and re-enter it in the pond. Remember that a salt bath for koi is an irritation – a lot of stress. Stay during this time with koi – do not go away. It may also be advantageous to cover the tank, so that the koi can not jump out.

Summing up: There are only two very specific situation for using salt:

  • when a koi has a large wound => salt bath in a quarantine tank
  • when nitrite values are alarming

In other cases, salt has few or even reverse effects.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with using salt for koi. Simply login to write your comment.

References: 

Osmosi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmosis

Tonicity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonicity

Salt dilution: http://www.koiquest.co.uk/Diminished%20returns.pdf

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