Aquaponics Farm – an haven for committed Dreamers

White gills of dead fish


How we spotted it

On Sunday 1st July we spotted this unfamiliar fungi infection known as Branchiomycosis or gill rot in one of our aquaponics systems. The third one in our first greenhouse.

We figured it out merely because besides two Sarasa Goldfish we found dead with one of our Koi carps.


As a matter of fact, I reported in the previous blog posts the high mortality rate of the Sarasa Goldfish we’ve just received. But we attributed the lack of blood in the gills to a nitrite poisoning. Diagnosis that made sense, especially considered the improper conditions of dispatch of these fish. Indeed, we weren’t completely wrong. That is to say that the trigger to the development of this fungi infection was actually the nitrite poisoning of the new entry. After all, we lost just the aforementioned Koi carp during the outbreak. (Unfortunately my father’s favorite one!) While the good health of the other Koi carps, Goldfish and Turkish crayfish – we have been raising for one year – prevented the infection to rapidly spread inside the tank.

In other words, it allowed us to identify it and take the steps necessary to eradicate it on time.  And here comes the fun part. Since this specific fungi infection – that actually is a fungal infection – is commonly found in the Eastern European commercial fish production.

Therefore, with my usual stubbornness I looked for some answers on the net and I compared several fish illnesses with the same symptomatology. Then, I checked the suitable conditions for the disease onset and I saw if they matched with our aquaponics system’s.  Like for instance the high levels of nutrients in the water (mainly due to the organic waste produced by crayfish). And also the water temperature above 20°C (68°F). Most noteworthy it was the geographical demarcation of the Branchiomycosis (gill rot). In fact, we bought this stock of fish from our usual dealer from Czech Republic.

Nevertheless, the first step consisted in isolating the Sarasa Goldfish from the other fish and crayfish. Then we treated them with an anti-fungal drug for fish. We changed the water of the aquaponics system and we treated it with a DIY solution we prepared personally.

Our formula was:

Basic solution: 1 gr. of pure copper sulphate (blue crystals)  and 0.25 gr. of citric acid in 1 litre of distilled water.

Dose: 12.5 ml per 10 liters of water in the tank for a duration of 10 days, half is reduced on the third, fifth and seventh day.

During the period of drug treatment we lost only other four Sarasa Goldfish and finally we were able to stop the epidemic.


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