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    Thread: 3 koi died since weather change

    1. #1
      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      3 koi died since weather change

      We have about a 1500gal pond with 2 heaters and 2 aeraters going. Everyone was doing great until weather became 40f. Found 1 dead yesterday in perfect condition and 2 today. Testing came back 0.25 ammonia the only abnormal. Pond is 3ft deep, 810. During the coldest weather we didn't realize the heaters were off and couldn't understand why the pond was frozen over so we added a trough heater from farm and fleet. Since we turned them on there were at least to pond heaters with opening for gas escape. One day we did find one of the fish in the shallow part of pond with almost a box of ice surrounding him. Do we do water changes? Add solar cover? Move inside?At a loss considering this pond has never had a death and it's over a year old and very stable

    2. #2
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      Sorry to hear about your koi dying. Can you tell us how many koi are in your pond and their size / age? Also where do your koi originate from? Are they local / Japanese / Israeli ?

      What type of heaters do you have, Im assuming electric - what wattage?
      Last edited by Essex Koi; 01-22-2018 at 07:40 PM.
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

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      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      We got them locally. There were 9 koi. They are 1-2 yrs old.1 12in, 1 8in, 1 5in, the rest were between 6-8inches. We have 10 2inch goldfish as well. The 3 that died were about 7-8 inches

    4. #4
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      I think I am way off with the sizing. Also, the weather has been changing so fast and drastically in Chicago. We were planning on expanding the pond bit ran out of time before winter.

    5. #5
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      Do you have the ability to take them indoors - garage with a tank? A bit of warmth (gradually) should help enormously. The raised ammonia levels won’t be helping matters, a change to a heated tank to 60f would be good.
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

    6. #6
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      Or alternatively covering the pond / keeping the heating on would also work, as it’s not too big. Can you confirm what size heaters you have?
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

    7. #7
      nmtsaki's Avatar
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      Are you sure the fish were alive when the pond was frozen over, and you just found them dead when it warmed up?

      As for testing, what other tests did you do? pH?, nitrIte? nitrAte? KH (A very important parameter that not many people are aware of). We would actually like the numbers that you have not but they were good or OK. A zero, for pH of 7.5 etc.

      If you can move them inside a heated garage or basement, that would be the best. Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide can build up underneath the ice and cause rapid the fish loss. Without knowing exactly what type of gases you had trapped under the ice, you won't really know what killed them. A stock tank, an intex pool, snapset pool, etc., with filtration media (preferably from the pond) can be easily set up. You will want to bring the fish inside in their cold pond water, and let it warm up gradually to whatever temp. The new one is. If you can transfer some of the pond water also, that would be cool too, to avoid stress. Just don't stir up the bottom.

      How many koi are you talking about? If you can get a solar pool cover, or thick plastic sheeting over the pond, that might work too. Just make sure it's not sitting on top of the water, because you need gas exchange to occur.



      Ask more questions, others will chime in.


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    8. #8
      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      The 2 fish were definatly alive when ice melted. 1 fish got boxed in with ice when the weather was 45f then dropped to 6f. We got him out and he did well for 5 days then died today. One of the koi that has lived through many atrocities and was thought to be immortal died yesterday. Then 1 definatly was dead for a while.
      Water parameters are ph=9,phosphate=0,nitrite=0,nitrate=0, ammonia=0.25-0.5. We have their 150gal tank they were in before they were moved to pond this year and it has been up and running since with some goldfish. We are just so afraid to move them and stress them out while they are already stressed. We know that there has been only 1 week with pond completely frozen over, otherwise there has been adequate gas exchange. We did however hit the ice with a pry bar 3 weeks ago to get opening which I read can kill them.

      At this point, do we bring inside or leave out and keep warm? So scared to loose our babies. I will also order the kh test now

    9. #9
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      The ammonia is more toxic at high ph levels. This will need to be addressed, but youd be best to take the fish in, set up your filter on the indoor tank / pool or whatever you have and then deal with it.
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

    10. #10
      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Essex Koi View Post
      The ammonia is more toxic at high ph levels. This will need to be addressed, but youd be best to take the fish in, set up your filter on the indoor tank / pool or whatever you have and then deal with it.
      Do you think water changes are not an option? Alot of what I have read says ammonia builds up over winter and you cant address until spring.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by nmtsaki View Post
      Are you sure the fish were alive when the pond was frozen over, and you just found them dead when it warmed up?

      As for testing, what other tests did you do? pH?, nitrIte? nitrAte? KH (A very important parameter that not many people are aware of). We would actually like the numbers that you have not but they were good or OK. A zero, for pH of 7.5 etc.

      If you can move them inside a heated garage or basement, that would be the best. Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide can build up underneath the ice and cause rapid the fish loss. Without knowing exactly what type of gases you had trapped under the ice, you won't really know what killed them. A stock tank, an intex pool, snapset pool, etc., with filtration media (preferably from the pond) can be easily set up. You will want to bring the fish inside in their cold pond water, and let it warm up gradually to whatever temp. The new one is. If you can transfer some of the pond water also, that would be cool too, to avoid stress. Just don't stir up the bottom.

      How many koi are you talking about? If you can get a solar pool cover, or thick plastic sheeting over the pond, that might work too. Just make sure it's not sitting on top of the water, because you need gas exchange to occur.



      Ask more questions, others will chime in.


      The 2 fish were definatly alive when ice melted. 1 fish got boxed in with ice when the weather was 45f then dropped to 6f. We got him out and he did well for 5 days then died today. One of the koi that has lived through many atrocities and was thought to be immortal died yesterday. Then 1 definatly was dead for a while.
      Water parameters are ph=9,phosphate=0,nitrite=0,nitrate=0, ammonia=0.25-0.5. We have their 150gal tank they were in before they were moved to pond this year and it has been up and running since with some goldfish. We are just so afraid to move them and stress them out while they are already stressed. We know that there has been only 1 week with pond completely frozen over, otherwise there has been adequate gas exchange. We did however hit the ice with a pry bar 3 weeks ago to get opening which I read can kill them.

      At this point, do we bring inside or leave out and keep warm? Also are water changes an option? Is it normal to have ammonia levels increase over winter?
      So scared to loose our babies. I will also order the kh test now

    12. #12
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      Whether you bring them indoors or heat them outside is your choice. Either will work, especially if you cover up outside to retain the heat.

      Whatever you decide, Id do it quickly and then fire up your filter and change water in 5-10% amounts daily so as not to lose too much heat. Your ammonia levels combined with your ph level of 9 is a toxic combo. Bear in mind that ph is is in a logarithmic scale, so a ph of 8 is 10x what it is at a ph of 7 and a ph of 9 is 1000x as much as a ph of 7.

      Personally Id get an intex pool asap, put it in my garage, add 25% of the water from the pond and add decholrinated water to top up. Then check the temp vs pond temp and with cold tap water, it should hopefully be similar - put the fish in, add filter, then heat the pond gradually 3f a day to my desired temp to get the Kois immune systems going again.

      Id also monitor water parameters daily and change water daily around 10-15%.

      There are products you can use to lower ph, USA members can hopefully advise you as to whats best. High ph can be caused by various reasons, so this will need to be figured out too.
      Last edited by Essex Koi; 01-23-2018 at 05:48 PM.
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

    13. #13
      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Essex Koi View Post
      Whether you bring them indoors or heat them outside is your choice. Either will work, especially if you cover up outside to retain the heat.

      Whatever you decide, Id do it quickly and then fire up your filter and change water in 5-10% amounts daily so as not to lose too much heat. Your ammonia levels combined with your ph level of 9 is a toxic combo. Bear in mind that ph is is in a logarithmic scale, so a ph of 8 is 10x what it is at a ph of 7 and a ph of 9 is 1000x as much as a ph of 7.

      Personally Id get an intex pool asap, put it in my garage, add 25% of the water from the pond and add decholrinated water to top up. Then check the temp vs pond temp and with cold tap water, it should hopefully be similar - put the fish in, add filter, then heat the pond gradually 3f a day to my desired temp to get the Kois immune systems going again.

      Id also monitor water parameters daily and change water daily around 10-15%.

      There are products you can use to lower ph, USA members can hopefully advise you as to whats best. High ph can be caused by various reasons, so this will need to be figured out too.
      I was told that a water temp of 40f with an ammonia 0.25 make the ammonia more like 0.009ppm. Also, the ph is always high where we live and many experts said not to worry and it's better to have a high ph then low.

    14. #14
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      The higher your ph, the more toxic the ammonia, a ph of 9 is far too high on its own in any case.

      http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/ammonia.html
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

    15. #15
      audioenvy is online now Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Essex Koi View Post
      The higher your ph, the more toxic the ammonia, a ph of 9 is far too high on its own in any case.

      http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/ammonia.html
      In the US, many states (like California) have a very high pH in their normal source water. It's generally not recommended for hobbyists to try to monkey with this as stability is more important (unless you are willing to use very sophisticated means like reverse osmosis to keep it low) and my understanding is that even dealers in California typically keep the water at that very high source water pH level due to the challenge of keeping it stable during water changes if the source water is at 9.0.

      As you say, ammonia is more toxic at higher pH than at lower pH so in those cases it's all the more important to keep ammonia levels down--but fortunately at colder temperatures it's less toxic for a given pH. The fear of moving fish indoors where it's warm is that the indoor tank has to have the proper filtration and bioconversion in place to handle the increased toxicity of the ammonia due to the warmer water.

    16. #16
      Essex Koi is online now Senior Member
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      That’s abnormal here in the UK and sends alarm bells ringing. Given that the koi are dying, I’d be inclined to think it’s The low temps and I’d want to eliminate the ammonia also just to be safe - by using filtration / water changes / heating.
      Main pond 4000 US Gallon, 22 Koi. Oase Proficlear Premium + Bio Module, Bitron 120 w UVC, Bakki Shower, Dura 7+ ashp. Grow on tank 600 Gallons with Eazypod Automatic and 70 litre K1 biochamber.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Schermerkoi View Post
      I was told that a water temp of 40f with an ammonia 0.25 make the ammonia more like 0.009ppm. Also, the ph is always high where we live and many experts said not to worry and it's better to have a high ph then low.
      Just put 1 in salinity. And do the math.

      https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...reeAmmonia.php

    18. #18
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      It is my opinion that the ammonia can be bound with a product like Prime, or the dry version, "Safe", Cloram-X or similar treatment for use with Chloramine. The amount of these products and the effectiveness of the treatment can be monitored using the SeaChem Ammoina Alert Card, which can be gotten at most pet stores. I would also look into a pH pen, many are in the less than $20 range, and get the calibration solutions for pH 7 and pH 10 to assure yourself that the pen is correct. They will drift over time, but even pretty badly out of calibration, they are still closer than the eye on a color evaluation.

      As for moving the fish in, if the inside tank is up and running as I think you said, with goldfish, then I would think the temperature would be too warm for a stress free move. If the fish are really stressed, the move could be the best, but it could also be the killer. Covering the pond and allowing the temperature to rise slowly and prevent the refreeze, would be the least stressful. Also if the cover covers the filters and pumps, I would start the filtration. The only worry with running the filtration outside the cover would be the potential for a power outage during a heavy freeze. Under the cover there would be little to worry about.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

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    19. #19
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      A nitrAte value of 0 is almost unheard of; how old are your tests? I have still in-date test kits that have been opened for over a year, and my ammonia is reading about 0.25, even for my tap water. I just ordered new kits to be on the safe side. You also need to get a KH kit, that may indicate why your pH is apparently so high. Test your source water too. As for doing water changes in the winter, I do them several times per year. I have a faucet it the basement that I can hook a hose to (so the hose doesn't freeze, I keep it in the basement, and I can add some warmer water, also). If you have this possibility, I would do a couple of 25% water changes a couple of days apart, to bring the ammonia level down.

      I always buy the large size of SAFE, the powdered form of Prime, that Rich recommends, because you can add a tablespoons (or less, depending on need) every 48-72 hours, to control ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, chloramine, chlorine, and heavy metals. It's a great all-around water conditioner. Amazon can get it to you fast if you have a prime account.

      I buy the 8 pound container, that's about $100, but it lasts a couple of years. Here's a smaller size, for your reference:
      https://smile.amazon.com/Seachem-116...fe+seachem%27s


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    20. #20
      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by kdh View Post
      Just put 1 in salinity. And do the math.

      https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...reeAmmonia.php
      Thank you so much. Definatly saved this to my desk top!

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