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    Thread: QT is maxed out - I need advice and ideas

    1. #1
      ademink's Avatar
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      QT is maxed out - I need advice and ideas

      This winter is killing me...or more specifically trying to kill my koi. Pond temps are currently 47.5 at the bottom and although it will be 60F today, it is plummeting to 15F in the next 24 hrs.

      I'm going to give as much info as I can think of and then ask specific questions.

      I have 2 koi that are laying on their sides in the pond and 3 others that clearly are unhappy - lying still on the bottom with fins fully clamped. All move when I make my big head visible over the edge but then quickly settle back down to their miserable state. All other koi are grazing randomly on algae.

      Currently I have 9 koi in a 300g rubbermaid QT in my basement varying from 3" to massive. There are 2 more in queue to join them, in a 100g rubbermaid. One had a penny sized ulcer and the other had sap on its fin that looked like a giant alien baby attached to it. They have been treated and are in Proform-C before going into the larger tank.

      To explain the parasite treatment: QT tank was flashing, did proform treatment and prazi per Koivalley's advice and there is no more flashing (3 days proform, prazi on 3rd day...re-dose on day 5 and 9 per Bunyip's advice...it is day 6 now). This confirms parasites in QT...and I'm 99% sure they are in the main pond also so incoming wounded are getting Proform-C before joining Gen Pop.

      Ergo, I will have 11 koi in a 300g QT.

      The setup:

      • 300g rubbermaid
      • Medo air pump and 12" airdisk (I could literally do a reenactment of Old Faithful if I put it on full blast lol)
      • Tetra 4000puv filter - jammed full of beads from the outdoor bead filter and pvc ribbon from bags in the biofalls...praying that seeded media will take hold
      • Water temp - 70


      Using Seachem Pond Prime every 24 hrs
      Salt .15%
      Ammonia - 0..occasionally a touch higher in the AM before redosing w/ Prime...(Using Ammonia Alert disk since API test won't work)
      pH - 8.2
      Nitrates - 20ppm (my TAP water is 10+ppm so I essentially have NO nitrates )
      Nitrites - 5ppm (yes...5)
      kh - 180 (always high in pond too)
      gh - 300 (always high in pond too)

      There is so much chlorine and chloramine in our water supply right now, I have to at least double the dose of Prime to reduce the ammonia levels to yellow on the disc - even when adding fresh water (ie the 100g QT...2.5 times amt). I was doing 30% WCs daily until I added Prazi. I have done a few smaller WCs since adding, mostly just making sure I am doing Prime consistently

      I will go on vacation for a week at the end of this month. Although I will have a housesitter, I pray to all that is sacred I will not have to ask them to do daily WCs for a week.

      Questions:
      1. Pond is approx 12K gallons. I obviously cannot bring in any more koi from the main pond, as I am maxed out in my 300g inside. I dosed the main pond w/ Prazi yesterday after a very large WC. Some fish acted remarkably better a few hours later. I cannot dose w/ Proform-C due to water temps. What can I do for the outside pond, if anything?
      2. My QT is 300g. My filter is for up to 4000g pond. Is it realistic that I can sustain 11 koi inside until it gets warm enough to put them back outside?
      3. I am raising the temp to 75F slowly. How can I get the biofilter going more - or can I?
      4. Are my high nitrites inhibiting nitrAte production? My new idea is to go back to 30% WCs and redo$e w/ Pra$i daily....lol
      5. If I get another QT, is there a way to "daisy chain" it into the current system? (ie Get another 300g and somehow have it connected to the existing 300g w/ the same filter serving both. I know I have seen it done but I don't know how to do it.)
      6. The way I have the filter filled, the beads aren't spinning b/c there is also ribbon jammed in there. The water comes in via the bottom and comes up through the media, exiting back into the QT. Should I remove some/all of the ribbon and get more "seeded" beads from the pond and let there be movement?



      Ok, that's all. Thanks for taking the time to read and for any answers you can provide.

      Andrea

    2. #2
      inazuma28 is offline Senior Member
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      Honestly, you are in a bad spot but i only see two options... 1, leave them where they are and hope for the best or #2, get more or a bigger inside qt system set up asap so it can cycle. I would look into getting a cheap intex pool. I think there is a 1,500 gallon one at Walmart for $100.00 (you can order it online to be delivered at the local wallmart) and use your 300 gal stock tank as your filter. Fill that bad boy up with all of the bio media from you pond.

    3. #3
      ademink's Avatar
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      I still have a lot of fish in the pond so I can't take all of the biomedia. I think the filter I have could handle the load (it's for 4000 gallons) once it actually comes online. I will have to check dimensions on an intex to see if I can fit it in the basement. I guess that would be less complicated than daisy-chaining. lol

    4. #4
      ademink's Avatar
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      Nope..too big.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by ademink View Post
      Nope..too big.
      Not even this one?
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intex-Recrea...item1c3b183c66
      I could fit the 8' in my basement easily when I had this model for years. And we have support beams all over the place so it's a lil tricky to arrange stuff.

    6. #6
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      Hi Andrea, can you buy a hose end carbon filter? It might not eliminate all the chlorine and chloramines but it would help. I would add additional filtration if possible. A quick and easy addition is here: http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...=Simple+Filter post#1. The lava rock seems to cycle pretty quickly. The key to keeping large amounts of fish in small amounts of water is filtration and turnover time. If you can get a higher gph pump that will help. If you can't find a way to position the filter over the tank you could sit one of those plastic/rubber sink drainboards on a table and let it waterfall off into your pond. Any chance you could fit an Intex into your basement?
      GloriaL
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    7. #7
      inazuma28 is offline Senior Member
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      This is the one i was talking about.... sorry intex pool is quite a large category. It is a 10 foot circle at 30 inches high. It is also collapsible so you don't have to fit it through doorways and hallways. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Intex-10-x...-Pool/22066744

    8. #8
      GloriaL's Avatar
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      You could also check with Zac Penn. He used to have some very deep QT's with a smaller diameter. From your pictures it looks like you could fit a six foot tank in there. I think his tanks were ? 4' deep. That would be nearly 800 gallons if that is right, which would put you in a lot better shape.
      GloriaL
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    9. #9
      ademink's Avatar
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      I *can* fit an 8'-er down there! Inazuma...it's literally about the floor space...not getting it down there. I'm kind of freaked out about using something that is blow up though b/c we have cats and they all have claws.......and they love to use them. :O I'm scared I will wake up to all of the fish on the floor. There is no door to keep them out.

      Going to look into the hose end.

      Question: QT is 70. Outdoor pond is currently almost 60. Should I take a few that are thriving right now...put them one at a time in a huge fish bag..put them in the pond to bring them DOWN to temp and return them to the pond?

      My window is small. A cold front moves in overnight.

      Edit: forgot to add that the pump I have now is 3900 gph and the filter is for a 4000 gallon pond. It seems like it should be adequate for the tank..? No?
      Last edited by ademink; 03-11-2014 at 04:03 PM.

    10. #10
      ademink's Avatar
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      Ok, I did it. I ordered the 8' pool. Hail Mary and clip the cat nails.

    11. #11
      inazuma28 is offline Senior Member
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      The filtration seems adequate as long as the ratings on the box are accurate and you dont feed or feed very little. As for the first question, i would leave them in the pond until the intex arrives. My reason for this is that 1, the pond water temp will not move 10 degrees in two days unless it is shallow with tons of surface area and 2, unless they are about to keel over, introducing them to your qt with imperfect conditions could be worse than the cold weather, not only for the newly added koi but also for your indoor gang. I am about to purchase the 10' model so my fish have a place to swim during my rebuild.

    12. #12
      ademink's Avatar
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      Thank you inazuma28....I will hold off on moving any outdoor ones inside unless they are nearly drop-dead. My prior question was in regard to moving some of the ones currently inside, back outside right now to the main pond to make room. I'm going to just leave them in though since the big pool is a-comin'.

      I called Tom Holder w/ Koicare Kennel b/c the outdoor guys were flashing like mad and clamped on the bottom in the main pond (confirming that yes...parasites are still there..omg...that's another thread for another day ). Anyhooo, I asked him if one application would at least knock the parasites back - I have enough time to do one round of Proform-C before temps are too low.

      He said that, obviously, I would still need to do a full regimen when it gets warmer (or PP, which is where I am leaning toward at this point) but that this would at least kill the live parasites that are giving them grief now.

      I dumped it in and fin-flicking and mad-dashing commenced like we were doing the Macarena. I know it won't resolve the issue but at least they'll get a reprieve for now and perhaps reduce the changes of ulcers.

    13. #13
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      Your readings for Nitrites are the big concern. It appears that the bio conversion bacteria that handle this are nowhere in sight! That's why your Nitrates aren't any higher than you report at 20ppm. Raising the temp to 75 will help with this as the Nitrobacter bacteria develop after hitting around 70-72f. When you mention the size of the fish that are in the 300gal qtank, you say they range from 3" to massive. What does massive equate to in your terms? To me, massive would be somewhere over 26-28". I don't remember you having any truly massive fish of that size. But, getting that Intex pool will certainly help volume wise and help stabilize things in regards to fish load. I agree that moving more fish inside at this time may not be the wisest thing to do. I think your pond is really causing some heath issues that are being exacerbated when the fish are brought inside, introducing whatever is in the pond back into the qtank population. BTW, how often are you cleaning/flushing that bio filter with the bead/ribbon combo? And, if you removed it from the pond's filtration, you may have, again, added to the parasitic/bacterial issues in the qtank.

      When you get the Intex pool, I would suggest setting up some sort of shower filter, set up on a table or such, allowing the water to return back to the pool with a 3" pipe directed at allowing the flow to return in a counterclockwise manner. Set up a retrofit bottom drain in the center to remove all the sediment as the water will circulate it out in that area.
      Mike

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    14. #14
      rainblood's Avatar
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      You can set up the shower filters now. Stack some milk crates together...it doesn't have to be anything fancy.

      Are your issues related to weather or water quality?
      Last edited by rainblood; 03-11-2014 at 05:44 PM.
      -Rain

      :I CAN'T BRING THIS SHIP INTO TRTUGA ALL BY ME ONESIES, SAVVY?:

    15. #15
      ademink's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      Your readings for Nitrites are the big concern. It appears that the bio conversion bacteria that handle this are nowhere in sight! That's why your Nitrates aren't any higher than you report at 20ppm. Raising the temp to 75 will help with this as the Nitrobacter bacteria develop after hitting around 70-72f.

      Yes..and I didn't know that and have kept the tank at 60 degrees to keep ammonia low. I pretty much have screwed the biofilter this whole time


      When you mention the size of the fish that are in the 300gal qtank, you say they range from 3" to massive. What does massive equate to in your terms? To me, massive would be somewhere over 26-28". I don't remember you having any truly massive fish of that size.

      Well, the fish that died was 16" with tail (I had guesstimated 10"...errrr...). Using him as my barometer, I would guessimate:

      (1) 3"
      (1) 6"
      (3) 9"
      (1) 11"
      (1) 14"
      (3) 16"
      (1) 25"



      But, getting that Intex pool will certainly help volume wise and help stabilize things in regards to fish load. I agree that moving more fish inside at this time may not be the wisest thing to do. I think your pond is really causing some heath issues that are being exacerbated when the fish are brought inside, introducing whatever is in the pond back into the qtank population.

      (FYI - I am giving all incoming the same regimen as the main QT has had: Proform-C and Prazi in the 100g before putting in the 300g)

      BTW, how often are you cleaning/flushing that bio filter with the bead/ribbon combo? And, if you removed it from the pond's filtration, you may have, again, added to the parasitic/bacterial issues in the qtank.

      I haven't flushed it yet or anything b/c it has only had seeded media for 1.5-2 wks. My QT tank seems to be doing ok in general. I just know I'm going to have too many fish for 300g.

      When you get the Intex pool, I would suggest setting up some sort of shower filter, set up on a table or such, allowing the water to return back to the pool with a 3" pipe directed at allowing the flow to return in a counterclockwise manner. Set up a retrofit bottom drain in the center to remove all the sediment as the water will circulate it out in that area.

      I'm not going to be able to do purchase a BD and everything right now due to financial restraints (hubby laid off for 3 months). I understand that a homemade shower filter would be ideal and I could probably rig something like that. I just figured that the filter I have should be adequate...?
      ..

    16. #16
      ademink's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by rainblood View Post
      You can set up the shower filters now. Stack some milk crates together...it doesn't have to be anything fancy.

      Are your issues related to weather or water quality?
      Rain, initially weather-related. To #$@#($* cold and they couldn't take it for such a long stretch. I can now tell w/ everything warming up that I also have parasites....again...and I don't see how it's even possible after the aggressive attack I did on them last year. I could weep.

      (Edited to add that I am not ignoring your milk crate idea...I'm Googling )
      Last edited by ademink; 03-11-2014 at 06:17 PM.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by ademink View Post
      Rain, initially weather-related. To #$@#($* cold and they couldn't take it for such a long stretch. I can now tell w/ everything warming up that I also have parasites....again...and I don't see how it's even possible after the aggressive attack I did on them last year. I could weep.

      (Edited to add that I am not ignoring your milk crate idea...I'm Googling )
      Try searching here in the "construction" and "DIY" forum areas. I've seen folks post many of these over the years. I would suggest using feather rock in them as the best/cheapest bio media available for them. You should need that much for a pool that size either. It's the turnover rate that really makes these things "go"!

      A 2" Tetra retro bottom drain was what I had in mind, and they're not that expensive. But, again, do a search here for diy bottom drains. Maybe you could make something out of a piece of pvc and kitchen collander or something.
      Mike

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    18. #18
      ademink's Avatar
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      Hey Mike...I have a Zakki half shower filter. Maybe I should just haul that inside since I can't use it outside yet anyway?

    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by ademink View Post
      Hey Mike...I have a Zakki half shower filter. Maybe I should just haul that inside since I can't use it outside yet anyway?
      What do you mean by a Zakki "half shower"?
      Mike

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