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    Thread: 9.0 PH Help! am I reading it wrong? Ammonia 1.0 fish laying on bottom

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      foothill999 is offline Senior Member
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      9.0 PH Help! am I reading it wrong? Ammonia 1.0 fish laying on bottom

      New 3400 gallon pond on day 6. Using api drop tester and the 630g is blue if I am reading it correct it seems like wide range on is between 8.5 or 9. The ammonia level is reading 1.0. Salt level is 375x10 on my meter so I think .375 . A couple of the large koi seem to be laying on the bottom of the pond this morning and not moving alot.also all seem less interested in food.what should I do?

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      I don't have a "wide range", but a "high range" pH test kit is more accurate around the pH
      levels we normally see. I wouldn't worry too much about the pH as it's more about stability
      of the pH as opposed to the specific number. 8.5-9.0 isn't dangerous but at that level it makes
      the ammonia more toxic.
      And if the ammonia is reading 1ppm you can get some Prime or Safe (same stuff, different name)
      that will ionize the ammonia (convert NH3 to NH4) and make it not toxic. Your test kit will still show
      ammonia because it's not removing the ammonia, but converting it to be less toxic. It needs to
      be dosed again in 48-72 hours per the instructions on the bottle. As your bio filters catch up you should
      see the ammonia level drop. As the ammonia level drops you'll probably see the nitrite level rise, so have
      salt on hand to keep the nitrite from harming the fish until your filters can convert it to nitrate.
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

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      foothill999 is offline Senior Member
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      Ok nitrite is testing at .5, my pond builder is saying no water change and to add ammo lock.... local koi and pond store saying dump all my water or I will kill my fish.

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      Marilyn's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by foothill999 View Post
      Ok nitrite is testing at .5, my pond builder is saying no water change and to add ammo lock.... local koi and pond store saying dump all my water or I will kill my fish.

      First, relax. You are getting good advice here and I would strongly suggest you stop listening to three different sources of advice as that will drive you crazy.

      Ammonia converts to nitrite which converts to nitrate. It is the nature of the biological cycle. Once you hit nitrates, your pond has cycled. You are part of the way into this and it usually takes weeks to complete to establish a pond.

      Read the bottle on Ammo Lock and see how often it says you can dose for ammonia control. Hopefully it does say.
      Be ready to test your water once a day. As the nitrification cycle progresses, your ammonia and nitrite levels will be changing you will have to adapt to the current readings. The nitrification cycle can take weeks so the more you rein in the stress, the happier you will be coming out of it in a few weeks. You need to find a pH test that is for high range pH which is what we use for ponds.

      Steve/icu2 is absolutely correct about having some salt on hand. The salt protects them from the nitrItes as the cycle makes the final trip into nitrAtes.
      From the Koiphen main page, you will see a koi calculators section. Click on that and you will see a salinity section. To protect from nitrItes, enter your gallons and then enter .1-.15. This will tell you how many pounds you need of salt. This is pure solar salt, 99+% solar salt. You can get it at Ace, Home Depot and Lowe's for roughly $5 for a 50lb bag.

      Keep track of the water you remove and maintain at least a .1 reading of salt until you are getting a zero for the nitrIte reading.
      Depending on how often you can dose for ammonia, make sure you are addressing that with your Ammo Lock. We generally use Cloram-x, Safe or Prime on Koiphen. Don't use Stress Coat.
      Don't feed your fish very much, if at all, until the ammonia reading with your test is zero.

      Hope that helps!
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      foothill999 is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      I don't have a "wide range", but a "high range" pH test kit is more accurate around the pH
      levels we normally see. I wouldn't worry too much about the pH as it's more about stability
      of the pH as opposed to the specific number. 8.5-9.0 isn't dangerous but at that level it makes
      the ammonia more toxic.
      And if the ammonia is reading 1ppm you can get some Prime or Safe (same stuff, different name)
      that will ionize the ammonia (convert NH3 to NH4) and make it not toxic. Your test kit will still show
      ammonia because it's not removing the ammonia, but converting it to be less toxic. It needs to
      be dosed again in 48-72 hours per the instructions on the bottle. As your bio filters catch up you should
      see the ammonia level drop. As the ammonia level drops you'll probably see the nitrite level rise, so have
      salt on hand to keep the nitrite from harming the fish until your filters can convert it to nitrate.

      Would a large water change hurt? I can't get prime or ammo lock until Monday (local store doesn't have) so I would have to order from Amazon. Can I change water and if so how much? If I can get it down for now I will have the stuff on hand to add in a couple days. At 1.0 ammonia will my koi die over the weekend?

    6. #6
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      Test your tap water for ammonia. I suspect it has either chlorine or chloramines in it. You can call your water supplier to find out which or maybe find it on their website.
      You should be treating any tap water you add to your pond for this. Find out which it is please as that will affect a product recommendation. In a pinch, I’m sure there are local options we can help you with.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

    7. #7
      Marilyn's Avatar
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      There is a Petsmart in Merced that has Prime.

      Name:  Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 4.56.59 PM.png
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      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      Just tested water from hose that we filled pond with and ammonia tested 0ppm, I see now that added too many big koi too quickly and feed them too much too

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      Quote Originally Posted by foothill999 View Post
      Just tested water from hose that we filled pond with and ammonia tested 0ppm, I see now that added too many big koi too quickly and feed them too much too
      It’s okay, it’s part of the learning process. Take a deep breath.
      So, it appears you are one of the lucky ones in CA without tap water additives. Check it on the inside tap too. Verify it with your water company please. I’d hate to make it worse with a big water change.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      Marilyn's Avatar
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      Are you on a well?
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

    11. #11
      foothill999 is offline Senior Member
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      Thsnk you all so much! Inside water is all on a water softer and filter so dont think that would be accurate to test. My pond builder has told me multiple times that we have very good city water so I know he has tested it as well. I sent my husband to get prime they come in 16oz bottles only at my store. How much would I need to add to 3400 gallons?

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      City.... here is the 2016 water report
      Attached Images Attached Images  
      Last edited by foothill999; 05-05-2018 at 05:17 PM.

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      Marilyn's Avatar
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      Thank you for checking, yes, your water has chlorine which would not be good to add without adding something like Prime to it. You can damage their gills by adding untreated water.

      Can you get to the Petsmart I included above?
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      Marilyn's Avatar
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      I just went back and read you asking for a dosing amount. When your husband gets back, it will be on the bottle. I haven't used liquid Prime in a long time so don't want to misguide you so I'm checking Seachem's site.

      From the Seachem site:

      Name:  Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 5.25.28 PM.png
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      By my calculations, that would be 340ml. Do you have a measuring cup that does ml as well as cups? Most glass and plastic ones do these days.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      foothill999 is offline Senior Member
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      Yes husband is on way back now with the last bottle of prime they had. I will read the bottle and treat accordingly without a water change and see how that goes. Thank you! With adding the prime will I be able to see the ammonia level drop on my test?

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      Great. Yes I do

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      Marilyn's Avatar
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      No, you will still see ammonia. The main thing is that if you see the ammonia increase, you add more to accommodate that. You will be seeing ammonia and nitrites until the pond is cycled.
      The Prime will protect them from the ammonia being in there, the salt will protect them from the nitrites until you get to nitrAtes. It just has to run its course to get there.
      Don't use aquarium salt, you will go broke and the salt I suggested above is what almost all of us use. Save your money for something else.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      foothill999 is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Marilyn View Post
      I just went back and read you asking for a dosing amount. When your husband gets back, it will be on the bottle. I haven't used liquid Prime in a long time so don't want to misguide you so I'm checking Seachem's site.

      From the Seachem site:

      Name:  Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 5.25.28 PM.png
Views: 302
Size:  50.3 KB

      By my calculations, that would be 340ml. Do you have a measuring cup that does ml as well as cups? Most glass and plastic ones do these days.
      Great, Yes I do. I will add to the area of the water fall where there is no fish and let it run down and mix slowly.

    19. #19
      Marilyn's Avatar
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      So, while you're waiting (and worrying ) this is normal. All ponds have to go through it.
      While the pond is cycling, we don't recommend really large water changes because it can set back the process. It's fine to do smaller ones, binding the ammonia to treat for chlorine, but don't do really big ones. The pond is trying to find its balance. It is fine to do water changes and filter cleanings, ust don't overdo them.

      One thing, are you familiar with the importance of KH/alkalinity to the nitrification process?
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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      Quote Originally Posted by foothill999 View Post
      Great, Yes I do. I will add to the area of the water fall where there is no fish and let it run down and mix slowly.
      You won't hurt them with this product, just add it all at once. At the waterfall will likely spread it quickly in the water.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

      I'll say something when I feel I have something worth saying. I'm not a fan of flapping my lips just because they are there.

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