Koi pond season is an exciting time for all of us in the hobby!
It is wonderful to see our lovely Koi waking up from a long winter or swimming up in the Summer to eat out of our hands.
Koi medication is often the last thing on our minds…
We find Spring is a nervous season and the time to really pay attention since we see our Koi get sick and we panic.
At Kodama Koi Farm, we use several medications to treat parasites, bacteria, fungus etc. but now you have to make medicated koi food…
What is now missing on the market are medicated foods such as Medi Koi and Debride Rx. These food were pre-blended with antibiotics which was highly effective because it delivered the medicine straight into the body and also was very convenient.
Sadly, production and sale of medicated Koi food has been banned by the FDA since 2017 to reduce the overuse of antibiotics. Medicated koi food is no longer available in our hobby world and requires a veterinarian to decide how to treat the disease of the fish.
So what should we do?
We now need to make our own medicated food at home!
Koi Medication Table of Contents
- How do you know when your Koi need medicine?
- 3 Ways to Treat your Koi with Bacterial Issues
- How to Make Medicated Koi Food
- What you need to know about storage before proceeding
- How often do I feed medicated food?
- What ingredients do I prepare?
- Let’s put it all together!
- Recommended supplements to help koi recover quicker.
Read more in this article and learn how to make your own medicated koi food at home. We have also put together this special package of everything you need to make medicated koi food, on sale through our online koi supplies store.
For more koi food info, read our other koi food guide for tips maximizing color and growth. Remember to have the medicated koi materials ready before you have an outbreak so you are ready!
How do you know when your Koi need medicine?
Spring is the most dangerous time of the year. Water is warmer. Recovering from long winter, Koi are still week. Parasites and bacteria will get active quicker and will start attacking your Koi.
In case of parasites, Koi will start flashing, jumping and / or they will sit at the bottom.
In the case of bacterial issues, you can see symptoms such as:
- Popped eyes
- Raised scales
- Open wounds
- Rotten mouth and fins
Photos of koi with bacterial infections
These photos are from our farm or customers who are treating koi for bacterial infections. Unfortunately this will happen and it is important to have the koi medication supplies on hand so that no time is wasted after noticing the issue. Don’t wait, prepared to medicate!
3 Ways to Treat your Koi with Bacterial Issues
If unsure of bacteria vs. parasite, it is still recommended to treat your pond for potential parasite issues with products such as Prazi (used for the treatment of a worm called flukes.), Proform C, Ich-X (for the treatment of ich, with a less toxic form of malachite green) or Extreme.
These med are ALL for worms. Proform C, Ich-X and Extreme all come from the same materials, they just have 3 different labels. It is a combination of malachite green and Formalin. They are for the treatments of other type of worms other than flukes.
Once you confirm the cause is bacterial, you now have three options:
- Inject your koi
- Put medicine in your pond
- Feed medicated food
Option 1. Inject your koi
This is probably the most effective method if it is done properly.
Antibiotics will go right into their system and combat with bacteria. We can also treat only Koi that need to be treated.
It is the most expensive way, however. You need to hire a vet who diagnoses the issue and give proper antibiotics injections, if needed. Finding a vet locally who is knowledgeable pond fish may be a challenge too. Click to search for a vet in your area
Option 2. Put medicine in your pond
This is the easiest method. There are already several products you can easily obtain.
All you have to do is to add them to your pond. This is like bathing your koi in medicated water. Depending on medications, several water change and continuous addition of medicines are required. It would be ideal if you can do this in a separate koi quarantine tank. ( http://www.kodamakoisupply.com/300-gal-quarantine-tank/ ) This way, you get to treat only Koi in need.
You can save money on medicine by treating only the small quarantine tank instead of the entire pond.
*Please note there may be a case when it is better to treat the whole pond. I must stay, for most of us, this will be the first step if we suspect a sign of bacterial infection.
Option 3. Feed medicated food
This is probably the best method for most of us.
Just like injections, medicated food will go right into their system. Because it is in food form, we feed them every day and can make sure they can maintain enough dosage of antibiotics in their bodies for the needed time. You can feed medicated food to only the Koi in need if you have a separate quarantine tank. Or you can choose to feed the entire school of Koi in your pond.
It is unfortunate that such useful medicated food products are no longer available on the market.
Medicated food was very useful for Koi lovers…luckily we can teach you how to make medicated koi food at home!
How to Make Medicated Koi Food at Home
Now that koi medicated food is harder to find, we have to create it at home. Use this guide to learn how you can make it yourself, how you can store it at home, and the ingredients used to make medicated koi food.
Medicated food will take care of only bacterial issues. This will not take care of parasite issue. If your Koi has parasite issues, this will prevent secondary infection, but will not take care of the true cause. To determine which medicine to use, consult with professionals. You can rely on experiences of your friends or your koi dealers, but you do it at your own risk.
What you need to know about storage before proceeding:
Handmade food can get mold easily if it is not prepared and stored properly. Molded food do more harm than good to your Koi, obviously if you do not feel comfortable, please make a smaller portion at a time.
1 to 2 lb at a time is probably a good idea.
Shelf life is an estimated 1-2 weeks depending on how you make and store it.
Storing food in the refrigerator is a great idea. If you keep the food in refrigerator, I recommend you keep a daily portion in a separate ziploc bag. Every time you feed, take one bag out and leave the bag outside for a bit to make the pellets adjust to room temperature.
You do not want to feed COLD food to your Koi. You do not want to personally eat frozen food when it is frozen either, right?
How often do I feed medicated food?
I usually recommend feeding only medicated food once per day. It is important Koi eat the medicated food. Just like human medicine, medicated food does not taste good.
We want to make sure they stay hungry enough to eat. We give no other choice. If you feed other kinds of food together or some other time of the day, your Koi may choose not to eat the medicated food.
What ingredients do I prepare?
Prepare these items:
- Koi food
- Aquaculture antibiotics
- A cup of water
- A bowl
- Ziplock bag
Koi food – Feeding practice is usually once a day for 2 weeks. Calculate how many lb of koi food you need to prepare based on the program. Or for the ease of preparing and storing the food, it may be a good idea to make the food 1lb at a time. When it runs out, you make another 1lb. Kodama Koi Food is conveniently packed in 1/2lb bags to maintain the freshness of the food longer. You can prepare 4 bags, which will be 1lb (1/2lb x 2).
Aquaculture antibiotics – There are several antibiotics available. Which medicine to use depends on what bacteria we are fighting with. For the best recommendation, you should talk to your vets. You can talk to your experienced Koi friends or your local Koi dealers for their advice. But remember they are not vets. You use any medicine at your own risk. National Fish Pharm ( http://nationalfishpharm.com/ ) is also a good place to check. They sell medicines and you can even call them for questions and advice.
In this example, I will use Oxolinic acid powder, because this is what I would use first when I treat our Koi at our farm. You can also use Neomycin Sulfate Power which works well in freshwater or saltwater aquariums. Talk to your vet about using both oxolinic acid powder AND neomycin sulfate powder at the same time, it may be too much medication.
Now, let’s put it all together to create medicated food!
Here is an example of how we make 1 lb of medicated Koi food. Images to follow these steps.
Step 1 – Put Food in Bowl
Put 1lb of Koi food in a bowl.
Step 2 – Dissolve powder in bowl
Dissolve 10 gram (2 teaspoonful) Oxolinic acid power in a cup of water. First use 1/2 cup of water to dissolve. Then, you can add more water little by little as needed. We do not want the solution too watery nor too pasty.
Step 3 – Pour solution and mix
Pour Oxolinic acid solution over the food in a bowl. Mix it well and thoroughly so that every pellet is covered with medicine.
Step 4 – Shake / mix well
Mix koi food well with your hands or use my favorite method, which is to put the food and the solution in a container with the lid. Shake it well. It will not get your hands dirty.
Step 5 – Lay food on newspaper
Lay the food over newspaper at a cool and dry place. The food should get dry after 30 – 60 min.
Step 6 – Put in cool and dry place
Put the food in a large zip lock bag. Store the food in a cool and dry place. You can store the food in refrigerator.
Recommended supplements to help koi recover quicker.
In making medicated foods, you can also add some supplements to help Koi recover quicker.
Billion Pro Original is my favorite additive whenever we make the medicated food. These medicines are usually bitter and usually strong for their internal system. If you think of taking medicines yourself, I think you can relate to that.
Billion Pro Original contains honey, propolis and silymarin as the main ingredients. Honey will make the food sweet and makes it easier for Koi to eat. Propolis is considered as natural antibiotics. It will heal your Koi inside out. Silymarin protects livers. Medicines are always hard on their internal system and silymarin will help protect them. I strongly recommend you use Billion Pro Original when you make medicated food.
Billion Pro Original will increase a Koi’s resistance to disease. Propolis is a natural antibiotic found used to make Billion Pro Original. It helps to protect Koi from virus and bacteria.
Recommend you add 1 oz of Billion Pro for 1 lb of koi food.
Here are the links / products mentioned in this article –
Let us know more about how we can help you create medicated koi food in the comments.