Diseases, parasites and infections can cause major problems for pond owners, to say nothing of the problems they can cause fish. Fortunately, most pond fish ailments are treatable. Salt, potassium permanganate and Dimilin can treat most problems in a fish pond, including fungus, fin rot, white spot disease, anchor worm, fish lice, and the Costia parasite.
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Salt is used as a treatment for various skin diseases, infections and parasites in fish, including fungus, white spot, and Costia parasites. Salt can be applied in two ways. For a "salt dip," add 10 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water to an aquarium. Dip fish in this solution for 3 to 5 minutes and repeat twice, with a 12 hour interval between dips. For a "salt bath," add 3 to 6 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water to the pond itself to reach a saline level of 0.3 to 0.6 per cent. Remove the salt by water changes once the treated disease has run its course. Table salt and rock salt can be used.
Potassium permanganate can be used to treat most microscopic parasites. It is very important to carefully measure your pond's capacity before applying potassium permanganate. Add 6 grams (1 level teaspoon) per 800 gallons of water. A 25 to 50 per cent water change is recommended before you begin treatment. Potassium permanganate will turn pond water pink or purple when you first add it, and will eventually turn brown. Pay close attention to the colour. When the water turns brown, add more potassium at 1/2 teaspoon per 800 gallons of water. Maintain a pink colour in the water for 10 hours. Afterward, do another 50 per cent water change and add de-chlorinators or hydrogen peroxide to neutralise the potassium.
Dimilin is an insect growth regulator. To treat anchor worms and fish lice, apply Dimilin to pond water at a rate of 1 teaspoon per 2,000 gallons of water. Reapply every 30 to 60 days to continually control parasites. Anchor worms and fish lice will not disappear immediately, but may take a few days to a few weeks to be eradicated. Dimilin does not discolour water and can be used at any temperature.
Some pond treatment chemicals can be harmful to humans. Potassium permanganate can cause blindness with eye contact. To minimise these risks, always wear face masks, gloves, and safety goggles.
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