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    Thread: 3 koi died since weather change

    1. #21
      Schermerkoi is offline Junior Member
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      Dec 2016
      Quote Originally Posted by nmtsaki View Post
      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:
      Thank you so much for the advise. The remaining fish are doing well. We have since made a slanted cover like shed over pond. Water temp is 42.6 about 6 inches from bottom(couldn't get all the way down there).

      Noticed there are tons of leaves in the bottom though despite our leaf net that was up during fall(yikes)-definitely have some work to do today.

      As for the testing, Our Nitrate test kit was ordered within the last year so fairly new. I just tested it twice and it was 0 both times. Not sure what that means to you. Got the KH test kit and that came up as 7.

      I feel just awful that we lost those 3. We should have been more prepared with the negative degree weather. Not a mistake we will ever make again. Thank you for all the advise. I have learned so much from Koiphen and would be lost without you all.

    2. #22
      nmtsaki's Avatar
      nmtsaki is offline Moderator ~ WWKC Secretary ~
      Koi Health Care Committee Member
      is is freezing her buns off
      Join Date
      May 2007
      Oak Park, MI
      Do not disturb the leaves too much, by stirring them up, you may release potentially harmful gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S)which can be trapped below the leaves. That's the rotten egg smell you get when disturb muck. This can kill fish immediately. If you see little bubbles of gas when you're scooping them up, and then smell rotten eggs, then you definitely have an issue and that could have caused the fish deaths. Your best bet, when doing this type of job is to add an appropriate amount of potassium permanganate (you will need strict guidance from someone on here to do this, if you've never used PP before) to neutralize the toxic H2. You should also vacuum up the leaves, rather than netting them out. If possible, if you're going to net the leaves out, you must remove the fish so as not to expose them to the H2, which can kill them fairly quickly. I'm not meaning to scare you, just give you a heads up about the possibilities. You may or may not have H2 present.

      Your KH is "ok" -- I like it up a little higher at between 8 to 10 drops. You can adjust the KH by adding 1/2 of a cup of baking soda, then retesting. KH is a value that correlates with ammonia and the biofiltration that is going on. Granted in the wintertime there is very little Bio activity, but KH is used up by the organisms in the filter, to help in the nitrification process. Also, KH relates to pH; if youR KH is between 8 to 10 drops your pH should be stabile and shouldn't move. Having a pH value of nine seems a bit high too. However, I've never had a pH test not work from getting too old, it may just be the eyesight thing. Test your tap water's pH and KH, and if they are lower than that of the water in the pond, something bizarre is going on. Something could be leaching into the pond to increase the pH. My tap water pH is 6; when I add water from my tap to my pond, for every 500 gallons I add a quarter cup of baking soda to increase the KH value to between 8 to 10 drops. From this, I get a pH of 8.2 and that stabilizes it at that point. I routinely add baking soda to keep my pH stable as that is one of the parameters that if it drops will also rapidly kill fish.

      Keep asking questions, and keep posting about how everything is going, we really do care. I truly don't mean to scare you, just to educate you a little bit about some of the issues that could be going on with your water quality during the winter.

      "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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