Every animal owner’s worst nightmare is their pet falling ill.
There is something so awful about feeling helpless and unable to communicate effectively when your pet is obviously feeling ill.
Fish owners have an extra layer of stress, as fish illnesses can be quite hard to detect, especially ones brought on by parasites.
Fortunately, you can easily find and treat most parasites with the help of modern scientific advancements.
Let’s explore how to use and where to find a microscope for koi parasites.
How Do You Use a Microscope for Koi Parasites?
Since koi are fish, most parasites are not easily seen with the naked eye, especially in the earlier stages of the infestation, which is typically when you want to find them.
Due to this, it can be very difficult to find and treat infestations, allowing parasites to spread between fish and to other parts of a single fish’s body.
Science has an answer to this issue, though.
First, you will need to perform a skin scrape.
This is the process in which you use a microscope’s slide to scrape off a small amount of the mucus that coats your koi’s skin.
Do not actually remove any scales or skin from the fish, as this could pose an infection risk and could be very painful and stressful for your koi.
Sandwich the mucus coated slide between a second slide and use a microscope with at least four hundred times magnification and a built-in light to view the mucus cells up close.
Depending on what appears within the mucus sample, you have your diagnosis and can begin seeking treatment options.
If you are uncomfortable doing this, do try to contact a reputable koi breeder or a veterinarian with experience servicing aquatic animals for a second opinion.
Our Top Microscope Picks
Let’s take a look at four of our favorite microscopes that could serve you well in detecting any parasites and in maintaining your pond well.
Each was chosen based on a host of criteria, including price, customer reviews, features, quality, and several other different facets.
If you want something compact and affordable, this Carson MicroBrite Plus is the way to go.
It has all of the features you need to effectively and efficiently check for parasitic presence in koi mucus samples without any cost-increasing extra frills.
The petite design makes it easy to store and for the incredibly low comparative price, you really cannot go wrong in seeking out larger parasites.
This one does not have the magnification capabilities of some larger, more powerful microscopes but if you are suspecting specific parasites this one will get the job done.
A much fancier model than the Carson MicroBrite, this AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X is a fantastic option for those who really want a lot of power.
This is actually a popular mid-range priced tool for some professional koi breeders and is great if you want something simple to use but still very high quality.
This AmScope product produces a magnification of up to one thousand times and provides a very crisp, clear image.
This means you can find virtually any parasite your koi may have before you even reach the highest level of magnification, allowing you peace of mind and certainty in your ability to help your koi in defense against any parasitic foe.
Another lower-end model, this National Geographic Microscope is a good fit for those looking to learn how to read microscopic data before investing in something more high tech.
Testing for parasites can be tricky and is definitely not for everyone so if you want to test the waters and see if your stomach and skill level can handle it, this is a good way to go.
It actually includes several pre-loaded tester slides to teach you how to properly use the microscope and several blank medical slides for you to fill as needed.
Once you get the hang of this simple model and feel comfortable, moving up to one of the more expensive and complex pieces will be a breeze!
Many schools actually use this model since it is such a good transitional piece.
If you want to run a larger scale breeding facility, this would be a great teaching tool to have for employees who need a little extra help getting started before moving on to more expensive, complicated tools that require more skill.
All in all, this is a solid microscope that is a great learning tool, even if it does not provide a massive amount of magnification.
If you are serious about managing parasites and other components of your koi’s care, this OMAX Microscope is a top of the line and high-quality piece that will deliver all of the power you need at a very fair price considering the special features.
It magnifies up to two thousand times and is crisp, clear, and provides a clean, fluid view of your sample that is unmatched by similarly priced magnifying tools.
You can easily switch between magnifications to zoom in on specific problem areas and maintenance on the piece is surprisingly easy for the number of moving parts and small pieces there are.
If you are going to be keeping koi long term and really want the peace of mind and ability to check on anything at any time, this is a fantastic piece to have on hand.
Awarded the 2018 Best Microscope award, this is truly a special piece of equipment that is worth investing in to assist in keeping your koi safe and parasite free.
A Little Easier With A Microscope for Koi Parasites
Parasites are an unfortunate potential facet of koi care that you may have to face.
Koi are prone to a host of different animal and waterborne illnesses, including some that are very serious and potentially life-threatening.
These microscopes can assist in keeping your koi healthy and happy by ensuring you can catch parasites early and easily and promptly treat and remove any offenders.