In the Koi industry we are blessed with some of the most creative and innovative minds in the world. Over the years some of our most farsighted prime movers have been responsible for the development of some of the most exciting products anywhere. The bottom line is that in 2000 the wherewithal to keep Koi properly has never been more accessible, available or affordable. In this context we are indeed fortunate if once in a generation along comes a product that really induces a step change in our ability to keep Koi - this is an introduction to one such product as it finally gives us the power to control one of our oldest adversaries - Aeromonas!
Whatever we do as Koi enthusiasts to push the limits of our water keeping ability, because of the nature of the aquatic environment that is our Koi pond, the potential risks of pathogenic bacterial are ever present. Of all the pathogens that create havoc in Koi ponds Aeromonas and Pseudomonas are perhaps our biggest adversaries. Conventional measures to control or reduce the levels of bacteria in our Koi ponds involve chemical agents of one form or another. Not only are these chemicals indiscriminate in that they will affect vital nitrifying as well as undesirable pathogenic bacteria and thus risk impacting negatively on our filter systems, but the long term effect on Koi of some of these chemicals are at best unknown. So what would you give to have a totally natural non chemical organic method of reducing the levels of pathogenic bacteria in your system with ZERO negative impact on Koi or the vital life giving nitrifying bacteria in your filter and ... a product that not only works, but can be given to work and in fact has been working for almost 2 years?
Everyone who keeps Koi is well acquainted with the dangers posed by bacteria. The very utterance of the word Aeromonas is enough to make most self respecting Koi keepers break into a cold sweat! Even in the best Koi systems Aeromonas is a real threat. In its most benign form its predatory nature as an opportunist bacteria can result in a small problem escalating into a big and potentially life threatening problem with terrifying speed. In poor environments the truth is Koi keepers are simply playing Russian roulette with their Koi and as we all know the house (in this case Aeromonas) always wins in the end. The fact is that Aeromonas in their many forms take a heavy toll each year and in the Spring time especially the head count is even more depressing. The dreaded Aeromonas in its many incarnations is also credited with countless guerrilla raids endured by hundreds of unsuspecting Koi enthusiasts each and every year which by their nature, often come and go before any real diagnosis is made by the trade mark dead Koi represents real if anecdotal evidence of their passing. How many subsistence Koi keepers do you know keep Koi for several seasons albeit at a relatively unsophisticated level, get nailed by Aeromonas lose all their Koi and simply pack it in? For serious Koi Keepers the problems are potentially even worse - what price a surviving but ruined best tategoi? Whatever the level of Koi keeping the degree of the potential threat is the same. Effective treatment of serious Aeromonas infections are at best inconsistent and in anything other than early treatment, the very best it gets is survival and even then often with extremely defacing scarring.
The principles of competitive exclusion (CE) are well understood throughout a wide spectrum of livestock industries and various methods of application are widely deployed to access the well understood and proven benefits. At the core of the principle of CE is the established fact that species with similar life sustaining requirements, such as food and habitat, will compete with each other for these available life sustaining resources. In circumstances where two species become ‘perfect competitors' one of the species will survive and one will become extinct. The principle of competitive exclusion applies to all life forms and in the case of the aquatic environment that is our Koi pond it also applies specifically to bacteria. By removing the Aeromonas and Pseudomonas food source it is possible to deplete the numbers and best of all this process has zero impact on the vital nitrifiers. Further research and extensive development resulted in the creation of a precise and specific combination of micro nutrients, enzymes and naturally occurring bacteria completely harmless to fish that when introduced to a pond seeks out the vital food source, because they outnumber the opposition they competitively exclude the Aeromonas which starved of their food source simply die! It is this product that has already taken the US aquaculture and Koi sectors by storm, it’s called Koizyme (the UK version is called Genesyz) and is now available.
Competition can be a powerful force affecting the growth, distribution and abundance of populations throughout nature, so, what exactly is Competitive Exclusion (CE)? The basic tenet is that similar, but not identical, species compete or have competed in the past. That is, species with similar requirements, such as habitat and food requirements, are in competition with each other for those requirements. If two species are perfect competitors, if they have the same competition coefficients, one of the two will become extinct. Because species coexist even in the face of competition, they must not be perfect competitors. Competition theory states that perfect competitors cannot coexist and that in order to coexist species must utilize resources differently and have different competitive abilities. Species may utilize different food sources, habitats, or times of activity to avoid competition. Species may become specialized to be best at utilizing a particular resource, or they may be generalists and be only marginally good at exploiting a wide variety of resources to avoid competition. Competitive displacement occurs when competition leads to the evolution of different resource utilization or competitive abilities of species exploiting similar resources. Invasive species often drive native species to extinction through their superior competitive ability and this, plus superior numbers, is the essence of how Koizyme prevails over Aeromonas and Pseudomonas.
The concept of reducing pathogens in a natural way is not particularly new, but the ability to perform the task only recently been possible. The natural way to reduce pathogens is to "competitively exclude" them from the vital elements they require to survive, grow and multiply. This requires a vibrant community of nonpathogenic bacteria that utilize the same elements and are better able to compete for them than the pathogens. When the populations of the nonpathogens become dominant the concept of competitive exclusion become viable. When Koizyme is deployed in a pond with a high level of pathogenic bacteria count and used in accordance with the recommended dosing protocol which includes regular maintenance dosages, the beneficial bacteria, in this case Koizyme bacteria, become the most populous, they are the ones most likely to be successful in the highly competitive battle for the elements of survival specifically nutrition and in this success they deny the pathogenic bacteria of these elements and so they simply die! Only in the last few years have these concepts been developed to the point where commercial deployment of CE is available for commercial applications and they are now widely used in the poultry and aquaculture industries. Competitive Exclusion products are sometimes known as "probiotics" direct-fed microbial or CE cultures but they are all non chemical contain NO antibiotics and are totally natural.
One of the difficulties encountered when trying to eliminate Aeromonas/Pseudomonas bacteria with conventional means is that success depends to a high degree on the host (in our case the Koi) having a higher tolerance to the substance selected to eradicate the pathogen, than the target i.e. the Aeromonas. As we have all discovered to our cost, this premise is not always the case. A wide range of methods have been employed over the years to try and eliminate or control the dreaded Aeromonas in particular, these include: Potassium Permanganate, Formalin, Malachite, Chloramine T, UV, Ozone and of course the entire spectrum of antibiotics. As we are all now aware, the widespread and indiscriminate use of antibiotics has resulted in increasingly robust bacteria many with equally robust resistance to our antibiotic arsenal. As this problem accelerated so we move to ever more powerful antibiotics and as we pursue this route the balance of success and risk swings further away from our Koi - the operation was a success but the patient is dead! All conventional methods aim to reduce or eliminate bacteria in the water but always seem to fall short of the intended goal. A new product that has already changed this imbalance in Koizyme. Unimpeachable evidence from the koi keepers throughout the US, indicates that Koizyme could dramatically change the way we go about keeping our Koi healthier. Koizyme for the first time delivers Koi Keepers the means of deploying the principles of competitive exclusion in our Koi ponds. Koizyme is a proprietary mixture made of naturally occurring non pathogenic beneficial bacteria, micro nutrients and enzymes which are perfect competitors for Aeromonas and Pseudomonas and when introduced to Koi ponds completely eliminate or significantly reduce them. In this case Koizyme, when introduced to a new habitat (your pond) where they have not previously existed and because they are both superior competitors and present in superior numbers they simply consume all the available nutrients and literally starve Aeromonas and Pseudomonas into extinction! Because bacteria have specific nutritional requirements and because Koizyme consume the same food source as pathogens such as Aeromonas/Pseudomonas and NOT the nitrifying bacteria vital to our filters the nitrifiers specifically Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas are simply not competitors for the same food source as either Aeromonas or Koizyme, so are totally unaffected and coexist by contrast the Aeromonas and Pseudomonas are and so they're starved to death!! If you subscribe to the theory of CE and is tough not to, Koizyme is a truly remarkable product as it's completely safe for both fish and filters.
The essence of the challenge to Koi Keepers is that our only previous weapon to reduce levels of bacteria in our pond were chemical bactericides. Products like Chloramine ‘T', Potassium Permanganate and others, while being effective at reducing levels of bacteria, are totally indiscriminate and kill all bacteria! Including the vital nitrifiers, this often results in a reduction in filter performance, but given the alternative was certainly better than nothing. Now there is not only an alternative - but a real solution.
Perhaps the most exciting element of this story is that not only do all the trials undertaken everywhere deliver compelling anecdotal evidence that Koizyme does exactly what it claims, but almost uniquely in our experience of the Koi sector Koizyme can definitively prove it's claims. The level of bacteria present in any aquatic environment can be measured. These levels are expressed in CFU/ml, this means colony forming units per milliliter similar to the way chemical concentrations are also expressed, these are industry standards common to both the USA, UK and Japan. In basic terms the higher the CFU/ml level the higher the concentration of bacteria. Water samples taken from any Koi pond can be analyzed by any independent laboratory and a precise measurement taken of the levels of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas that are present in the sample. By repeating this analysis following treatments with Genesyz it is possible to track and definitively measure the reduction in the levels of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas that remain. This elevates Koizyme beyond the albeit value reports of real Koi Keepers into the realms of demonstrable proof! The results detailed in this feature are the results generated by certified laboratories from different parts of the USA and UK - the results are compelling. Scrutiny of the data indicates that levels of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria are significantly reduced and or eliminated. The consequences of this for us as Koi Keepers is that we now have the ultimate power to eradicate one of the single biggest threats to our Koi. Consider also that Koi professionals, breeders and everyone who keeps fish now has access to a product that not only works but that can prove it works.
Koizyme has been in use in the aquatic industry since 1997 and in the Koi sector since 1999 and increasing reports from Koi Keepers has also revealed another series of benefits. It is emerging that pathogenic bacteria in general and Aeromonas and Pseudomonas in particular not only have a detrimental effect on Koi but also do nitrifying bacteria no favors either. By removing them from a Koi pond the performance of the nitrifiers also appears to improve which in turn has an indirect benefit in terms of improved filter performance and ultimately better water quality. Jim Keeton specifically makes no claims in this area simply because it's impossible to prove whereas by total contrast the depletion of the real problem - Aeromonas and Pseudomonas can and is proven.
Koizyme is potentially one of the most exciting products we have come across in a generation. In addition to offering serious Koi enthusiasts a genuine golden bullet in their quest to extract the last few percentage points out of their great systems, consider the benefits for the thousands of pond keepers who while they have Koi they often don't enjoy the same level of filtration, husbandry and maintenance as their more serious Koi Keeping colleagues. Their fate is often sealed by a dose of Aeromonas - now this need not be the case. In addition to providing Koi Keepers a major solution, Koizyme offers all aquarists the same. Whether you keep Koi, Marine, Trops, Coldwater Green Tench or Orfe Koizyme will nail the Aeromonas and Pseudomonas in your water.
This data was produced by independent water testing laboratories in different parts of the USA and the UK. The test protocol was to take a water sample before dosing the pond with an initial does, then again after subsequent doses and different stages of the dosing protocol. These independent lab results are conclusive and compelling and offer definitive proof that Genesyz actually excluded Aeromonas and Pseudomonas from Koi ponds. There is also lots of information on the Internet detailing user results with the US product Koizyme Erik Johnson has done exhaustive tests and his views are posted on his web site www.koivet.com.
My personal experience with the product was similar to many others who have been testing Koizyme. I had water samples taken from both my ponds and submitted them to a microbiology lab where Aeromonas and Pseudomonas were cultured for baseline CFU/ml numbers (note the standard measure for bacteria is CFU/ml CFU = colony forming units). In my case neither of my ponds had detectable Pseudomonas and the Aeromonads CFU's were 2,000cfu in Pond A and 1000 CFU in pond B, both very low numbers to begin with. I followed the manufacturers recommendations for dosing which include an initial dose three treatments three days apart a consolidation dose two more doses every week for two weeks and then a maintenance dose (half the initial and consolidation doses). At the three week mark I had my water tested again and now both ponds have undetectable levels of Aeromonas or Pseudomonas - pretty compelling stuff! The price of Koizyme is inexpensive and if you factor in the potential cost not to mention the heartache of losing a good and treasured Koi, the price of the product is irrelevant!
The two most important conclusions that these results determine is:
1/ When introduced to Koi systems Koizyme is 100% successful in excluding Aeromonas and Pseudomonas.
2/ Koizyme is a totally natural organic product that contains ZERO chemicals or antibiotics.
The implications of this are far reaching and it's no exaggeration to say that Koizyme really can change Koi Keeping at every level.