One parasite that is sometimes found in Koi ponds is the Leech. They will grow to around 5 cm. and have a sucker at each end of their body. This allows them to move around on the fish, until it finds a good spot to attach the mouth end sucker, then feeds on the blood of the fish.
They will attack the weaker fish first and ones that are heavily infested will be extremely lethargic. These nasty critters may also carry parasites and diseases, that will also infect your Koi. This happens because these pathogens find access to the fish by going into the wounds made by the Leech.
The female Leech will lay her eggs, which are in a hard cocoon, on plants and other objects in the pond. Once they hatch, they swim until they find a fish to latch onto and feed. These smaller Leeches are very hard to see as they can infest the gills and along fin rays.
Although Leeches can be controlled, it is extremely difficult to eliminate them because the hard cocoons are not affected by most pond treatments. Usually, you will need to take all your fishes out of the pond, empty the pond, clean it very well and leave it to dry out for several weeks. as per www.articlealley.com
You will have to get rid of any plants that were in the pond as well. It is much easier to prevent Leeches than it is to cure the problem. Don`t stock your pond with fish from rivers or other such sources and always purchase your plants from a reputable business.
Leeches are usually found on the Golden Orfe, but they can be on your Koi as well and young and fully grown Leeches can be seen, so inspect your fish closely, on a regular basis! The wounds they leave on the fish causes patches of discoloration along the body and secondary infections are visible.
Image source en.wikipedia.org used with permission
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