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Susan Day
08-24-2005, 10:15 PM
I just finished my pond a few months ago, and added koi and filtration about 6 weeks ago. My pond is 2000 gallons with a Challenger 40 (? rated for 2500 gallons) bead filter, UV and vortex prefilter. I have been testing the water regularly and have had consistent PH at 7.6, ammonia at .25 - .5, and nitrite at .25. These are all Pondcare brand tests with drops and test tubes. I just purchased a Jungle Quick Dip pond test strip kit for the kh and gh; the gh was "soft" at 75 ppm and the kh was 300 ppm (but I'm doubting myself with the kh after tonight's readings).

I have 8 koi, all small: 2 10", 2 4", the rest somewhere around 6".

I have been doing water changes weekly or more often when the ammonia was at .5 (usually has been .25). My other additives have been as follows: Stress Coat when adding water until someone on this forum pointed out stress coat replaced the natural slime coat, now Amquel for the past week or so, and I just received my shipment of koi clay a week or so ago and have been adding a couple tablespoonfuls (ok small handfuls) every few days. I also have been adding Microbe-Lift PL (the starter stuff) weekly, but failed to read the bit about turning off the UV light for 24 hours after adding it, so I don't know how much it has helped.

Last weekend ammonia and nitrite were higher than usual, I forget how high, I think .5, so I added a big dose of amquel and did an additional water change.

Tonight the fish didn't seem as hungry as usual. I tested the water and the ammonia is at .25 but the nitrite is off the charts - 5 by the drop test; the dip test had the following readings: Nitrate 20, Nitrite 10, GH 75, kh 0, and ph 6.2. I did a big water change (approx. 20%), added about 4 tablespoons of baking soda, and amquel dosed for the chloramines. I tested the water afterwards and didn't see any change at all. I tested the ph again with the drop test and had a more normal reading of 7.5.

Tomorrow I'm going to do another water change, and add more baking soda. What else can I do? How do I know if my water tests are affected by the amquel?

I just tested the tap water with the strip and it appears to be 75 ppm GH and 80 kh, though I'm having trouble reading the stupid strip.

Any suggestions? Thanks for your help. I don't want to lose these guys.

Oh, and I usually do water changes by backwashing the vortex prefilter. I did a backwash of the bead filter two weeks ago but was advised not to do any more backwashes until the biofiltration was established. I did a short one tonight (before testing the water) because this weekend the water cleared remarkably. It had been murky (tea-colored, not green) until this weekend. The pond is in almost full shade, though it gets a few hours of morning sun. It has been about 76 degrees.

I have been doing lots of reading on this forum since I started seriously designing the pond this spring, just no posting.

Oh, the pond has a bottom drain with aerator, and it has a skimmer which has not been in operation for about 2-3 weeks so I could finish the edging.

Thanks again, sorry for the length of the post.

Susan

Noahsnana
08-24-2005, 10:29 PM
I would say you are cycling but your numbers are high and the kh does not sound good. Need a water change, this will bump for others.

KoiValley
08-24-2005, 10:42 PM
Good post. Good information. Do normal backwashes on the filter. The cycling will take care of itself and the filter won't get blinded in the meantime.

The microbelift can be sent to the round file.

Add an ammonia binder and consider some salt to knock out the effects of Nitrite.

Your pond is cycling, Give it some help with lots of aeration.

Change the water in your pond by 20-25% weekly.

auntiesue
08-24-2005, 10:50 PM
The pond seems to be struggling with cycling. What is the temperatures now in your area? Is it starting to cool down there yet?

You're lucky in that your GH is on the low side. Wish mine was. That KH reading is a big problem. The filter seems to be eating it up pretty quickly if you recently did a water change and the reading in the pond now is zero. This is a bad thing.

You need to get the ammonia detoxified (amquil-latency is about 2-3 days) then slowly bring up the KH by first doing water changes (tap water has some bicarbs in it), then I would start adding some baking soda to get the KH slowly up to around 100ppm. Get a good KH test kit though. I'm not convinced those dip strips are all that accurate. If you can't find one locally, order online. Tetra makes a good one.

Once you have the ammonia bound out and the kh rising, dose the heck out of the pond with Clay. It may be that 1) you are low on KH and 2) you need the trace minerals contained in the clay to boose that filter efficiency.

Salt will protect the fish as you pass through the nitrite part of the cycle. I usually recommend .15% to be safe. But bind up that ammonia first, then get that kh up slowly. Leave the UV off completely until your filter has settled down. You need every bit of viable bacteria that this pond can muster right now. That UV is just killing it off.

EDIT: Just reread your post. You have a bead filter!! Beads need the KH levels to be very high...around 200++ ppm.

Koin-Onia
08-24-2005, 10:52 PM
I would personally reccomend using chloramx,ultimate or serenity as a ammonia binder. I like the ultimate its good stuff. Your system will come around with time but you will have to treat chemically until it does. Keep monitoring the water. Feed lightly as well. Do your water changes religiously.

Noahsnana
08-24-2005, 10:54 PM
Sue don't the beadfilters need a higher or consistantly higher KH to cyle the filter???

auntiesue
08-24-2005, 10:59 PM
Sue don't the beadfilters need a higher or consistantly higher KH to cyle the filter???

Yep, went back and reread-see Edit please. Got that on the second read. This pond has had fish in it for 6 weeks if I read the post correctly. Obviously temperature plays a large role in the length of time it takes to cycle a pond, but 6 weeks should have done it that is why I think it needs a bit of a nudge. Boost the KH High, salt for NitrItes and a good ammonia binder to get through the ammonia spikes. Lots of clay will help if there are missing trace minerals that the filter requires. Seems his source water has been softened with that GH reading so I have to assume lots of good stuff is missing from his tap water therefore the recommendation to add lots of Clay.

Susan Day
08-24-2005, 11:20 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the quick response! Can you clarify dosages with baking soda and koi clay? Would another dose like I used tonight (4 tbs, roughly) per day be sufficient until I get a higher kh reading? I will order a better test tomorrow for kh - but until then, what are the consequences of too much baking soda if I'm reading my test strip wrong?

What would be a good heavy dose of koi clay?

Will Amquel (not amquel plus) detoxify the nitrite if I do a heavy dose tomorrow? Otherwise I'll look in petco for chloramx or other ammo-lock stuff.

I was going to order more MicrobeLift, crushed coral to put in the skimmer, and calcium chloride, in addition to the kh test and Prime. Skip the Microbelift? But its so smelly, it must be doing something right? Any other suggestions?

Have to go to bed now, thanks again.

Susan Day
08-24-2005, 11:26 PM
Hi Sue,
(I'm a girl!) Temps have gone down a bit here lately but I'm not sure that the pond has cooled off much. I'll look tomorrow. The temps were 76 through that heat wave.

As I understand it, I should do the following (along with regular water changes, etc.):
1) Add a good ammonia/nitrite detoxifier
2) Stabilize ph with baking soda
3) Then add big dose of clay
4) Then salt if necessary

Do I have it right?

Now I really do have to go to bed.

-Susan

auntiesue
08-24-2005, 11:41 PM
Hi Sue,
(I'm a girl!) Temps have gone down a bit here lately but I'm not sure that the pond has cooled off much. I'll look tomorrow. The temps were 76 through that heat wave.

As I understand it, I should do the following (along with regular water changes, etc.):
1) Add a good ammonia/nitrite detoxifier
2) Stabilize ph with baking soda
3) Then add big dose of clay
4) Then salt if necessary

Do I have it right?

Now I really do have to go to bed.

-Susan

Sorry SUSAN :D: Just as I hit the "send" key I realized that you're a girl!!!

Yep, you got most of this right. A word of caution, don't use Stress Coat as your dechlorinator. Most are good that are on the market. Amquil Plus, Prime or any of the others mentioned above are good also. Some are just harder to find. Amnio-Lok (sp) is also a good one. Keep in mind that which ever dechlor you use, it most likely will throw off your ammonia test reading. Most conflict with the test kits so you'll have to trust that the dechlorinator is working. Just redose every 3rd day and continue with water changes and very very gently flush the filter. Reduce feeding for the time being also. You can't really overdose with baking soda (within reason of course). Dose at the level you have been using and then let it sit overnight and test again. Keep adding slowly until you get that KH up. Once the KH is where it should be experiment with a maintenance dose to keep it there. Your PH will be around 8.4 no matter how much you add. Every pond is different so you'll have to play with it a bit to stay on top of it.

Recommended dose for the Clay is around 1 tbls per 1,000 gallons. I would start with 10 tbls per 1,000 every few days to start with. Can't overdose with this at all.

If there is any reading of Nitrites at all, add salt. 1 pound per 1,000 gallons (roughly) will get you to .1%. You will need a salt test kit also if you don't have one. Also hard to find. Order online.

Cowiche Ponder
08-24-2005, 11:41 PM
Hi Susan, you are up late lol.

Baking soda is more to get your KH up, but it should also stabilize your ph as well. Bead filters need high KH to function well and I think the idea posted above was that that could be what is keeping the filter from cycling and bringing those parameters down on it's own

auntiesue
08-24-2005, 11:45 PM
Hi Susan, you are up late lol.

Baking soda is more to get your KH up, but it should also stabilize your ph as well. Bead filters need high KH to function well and I think the idea posted above was that that could be what is keeping the filter from cycling and bringing those parameters down on it's own

Up to my usual nightime routine...LOL!!!

Yep, you are so right on!! Getting the KH up is paramount!!! PH will follow.

Koin-Onia
08-24-2005, 11:50 PM
Response to your ?
Thanks, everyone, for the quick response! Can you clarify dosages with baking soda and koi clay? Would another dose like I used tonight (4 tbs, roughly) per day be sufficient until I get a higher kh reading? I will order a better test tomorrow for kh - but until then, what are the consequences of too much baking soda if I'm reading my test strip wrong?

What would be a good heavy dose of koi clay?
Pm Roddy or Roark and ask them there start up reccomendations on this.

Will Amquel (not amquel plus) detoxify the nitrite if I do a heavy dose tomorrow? Otherwise I'll look in petco for chloramx or other ammo-lock stuff.

Amquel will not bind nitrites Amquel + claims to be able to. Ammo lock is ok if it is all you can get. Petsmart has Amquel + They also have KH and GH test kits.

I was going to order more MicrobeLift, crushed coral to put in the skimmer, and calcium chloride, in addition to the kh test and Prime. Skip the Microbelift? But its so smelly, it must be doing something right? Any other suggestions?
Microbe lift is not your solution. Your solution is to chemically treat the water with binders and do your water changes keep the ph,kh and gh at acceptable levels. I would not use salt for the nitrites but buy Ultimate it will take care of the nitrites. If you salt it limits your ability to use meds if needed. If you can not find ultimate then use salt.

Have to go to bed now, thanks again.

No you are not allowed to go to bed you have to wait for us to respond.

Just kidding :D:
N

Lee B
08-25-2005, 07:15 AM
Due to the lack of KH, the filter crashed, followed by the pH. It may be too late, but the baking soda should be added in increments, morning/noon/night so you don't raise the pH too rapidly and shock the fish.

With nitrItes that high - I'd really take the salt to .15 instead of just .1 You can try doing a water change, but I think the nitrites will go right back up.

You need an ammonia binder (as mentioned above)

So, that takes care of your ammonia, the nitrites have been "handled", and the KH will go back up, taking the pH with it. The filter NEEDS the KH to replace the carbonates that are used up by the nitrifying bacteria.

The KoiClay will help with the trace minerals.

Now, you stand a good chance of getting the ammonia back under control before winter, but the nitrIte will be a long term problem, probably lasting until Spring in your location. That's BAD, because it gets cold in Boston!

Dose the clay on the high side - it can't hurt and it may help adsorb the nitrItes. I've had it work before, but can't duplicate the conditions on a regular basis, so I don't know why.

Good luck
Lee

KoiValley
08-25-2005, 08:23 AM
One area which seems a bit foggy. Good advice but two directions going:

Salt or a chemical dechlorinator and ammonia and nitrite remover.

Either one or both will work. But:

Prime and Amquel+ have very good labels which explains their abilities to remove ammonia and nitrite. Whether they really do this seems to be up for discussion. I've used Prime in extreme cases of nitrite buildup and the fish came through completely oblivious of the problem. However an ammonia binder and .1 salt will work very well.

There are no label claims on salt that I've ever seen which make such claims as these: Removes Chlorine, Chloramine, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. In addition the directions are not sketchy as they are with salt. Still salt will definitely help reduce the uptake of nitrite in fish.

These products are available on line through Drs. Foster and Smith, or at your local pet stores. Aquatic Ecosystems sells Prime in gallon containers at nearly wholesale cost.

Susan Day
08-25-2005, 08:30 AM
That's bad news, Lee. I'll hope for a really warm September and October, then.

I'll go to Petco for emergency Amquel +, then order the rest of the stuff I need. I tested this morning and the nitrite was still very high. So this morning I am changing some water, adding baking soda and koi clay, then I'll get the Amquel+ during the day and repeat the baking soda and koi clay tonight.

I'll post updates. Wish me luck!

Susan Day
08-25-2005, 08:39 AM
We crossed posts, Karl. I agree there seems to be two opinions about salt. Since salt seems to be such a good all purpose medicine it seems like a good idea to reserve it for other problems, and try amquel+ first, especially since I am so new to this. I'm ordering Prime from Aquatic Ecosystems today.

I really appreciate everyone's help. My fish thank you!

DarleneD
08-25-2005, 08:47 AM
I have had excellent results with Prime also. My filter had to recycle since the pond was empty for a couple of months. It took only 4 weeks because I think I had some biobugs that survived, but I did have a couple of weeks of nitrIte elevations. The Prime handled it beautifully, and one extra bonus is not having to use salt. To me it's just one more thing to add and test and I'd rather save it for an emergency.

Good luck Susan :)

Lee B
08-25-2005, 09:22 AM
Susan, Amquel+ will not help your nitrItes at this time - please take my word on this. I don't know if Prime will or won't, but the Amquel+ won't.

Karl and I have agreed to disagree regarding the use of salt ;) . Salt has its uses - and it can be overused and misused, I agree. The chloride ions in salt become more numerous than the nitrite's ions; chloride is easier for the gills to take up; if they get saturated with chloride, they don't take up nitrIte. Salt is cheap and readily available: you have a problem NOW, not next Tuesday, which is when your products from AES will be delivered.

Salt as a medicine is useless; salt for its chloride ions can be invaluable. This comes from a child of the 60's/70's: "Better Living Through Chemistry" was my mantra :rolleyes: . I use chemicals when needed; choride is a chemical.

Maybe this will explain it better: http://www.koiquest.co.uk/nitrite.htm

It's your pond and your decision. We're only here to advise.

Lee

Oh, BTW: if you can rig up a BIG TT quickly, you may be able to gas off the problem in a few weeks.

Noahsnana
08-25-2005, 12:05 PM
TT.... now that's an idea :yes:

auntiesue
08-25-2005, 01:37 PM
Susan, Amquel+ will not help your nitrItes at this time - please take my word on this. I don't know if Prime will or won't, but the Amquel+ won't.

Karl and I have agreed to disagree regarding the use of salt ;) . Salt has its uses - and it can be overused and misused, I agree. The chloride ions in salt become more numerous than the nitrite's ions; chloride is easier for the gills to take up; if they get saturated with chloride, they don't take up nitrIte. Salt is cheap and readily available: you have a problem NOW, not next Tuesday, which is when your products from AES will be delivered.

Salt as a medicine is useless; salt for its chloride ions can be invaluable. This comes from a child of the 60's/70's: "Better Living Through Chemistry" was my mantra :rolleyes: . I use chemicals when needed; choride is a chemical.

Maybe this will explain it better: http://www.koiquest.co.uk/nitrite.htm

It's your pond and your decision. We're only here to advise.

Lee

Oh, BTW: if you can rig up a BIG TT quickly, you may be able to gas off the problem in a few weeks.

I agree with Lee and Karl on this one. Salt is cheaper and it works. Prime also did well for me while cycling my new pond. Haven't had good luck using Amquil for NitrIte control either Lee. Wonder what that's all about????

Lee B
08-25-2005, 01:56 PM
The product is new. Anomalies were noted during its formulation. Further research needs to be conducted to support its claims. There are vagaries and inconsistencies. They're working on it. What works with marine water doesn't necessarily follow with fresh water.

I liked it because it didn't drop DO so much/rapidly as my experience with Prime. To be honest and cut Prime a "fair break", the time I used it, it was not yet claiming to neutralize nitrItes/nitrAtes. Maybe the new formulation is different.

Were you able to support with tests that "now there's nitrItes/now there's not" with Prime?

I hope something works. It would be nice to be able to negate nitrIte without the salt so that if further "chemical assistance" is needed :rolleyes: , the salt won't be interferring with the treatment of choice.

Meanwhile, a big honkin' TT will degas the stuff outta there. Or it should. :thinking:

Lee

auntiesue
08-25-2005, 04:36 PM
Good info Lee!!! Thanks!!! I assume you are talking about Prime????? Do you know what issues were seen using this product???

Lee B
08-25-2005, 04:58 PM
Good info Lee!!! Thanks!!! I assume you are talking about Prime????? Do you know what issues were seen using this product???

No, I'm referring to the Amquel+. I don't know about Prime because I've always had a bias against it (once it killed my babies one time :( ) That's why I asked if you could verify tests with Prime. Like I got nitrItes at .5, then I added the stuff and Lo and Behold! no nitrItes registering anymore :eek:

Yes?

Lee

Susan Day
08-25-2005, 06:09 PM
Success! (Partial anyway...) Just got home and did second water change of the day, plus addition of 2nd dose of baking soda and clay, and added two 16 oz. bottles amquel+. Ammonia 0, Nitrite .5, ph 7 and kh still low, around 40. I will buy some salt tomorrow and continue twice daily monitoring, and add salt if needed. The article at koiquest made alot of sense, and I have read about the koi need for salt.

Doesn't baking soda contain sodium? Does this help at all? Or is it a different kind of salt? I didn't order a salt test kit with my order today, so I hope Petco has one.

I added 10 tbsp clay this morning and tonight. Should I add more? I was doing reading about clay for human use online and it said the clay takes poisons out of the body (and medicines) such as mercury, so it seems a clay-murky pond is a good pond.

Is the baking soda at 4 tbsp twice a day sufficient? I don't want to shock them, but I want to get the kh up.

Oh, here are some pics of the pond construction in progress. The latest photos are under "Edging".

http://photobucket.com/albums/b142/SKDay/

Susan Day
08-25-2005, 06:14 PM
I've been trying to figure out how to add a TT. I was thinking that when the stream is built (hopefully this year) I could locate it at the head of the stream. If I put it with the filter and pump I would need a second pump to push the water to the head of the stream, but that might be a lot less distracting than a big TT at the head of the stream. Hmmmm.....

Koin-Onia
08-25-2005, 06:19 PM
When you add salt make sure it is solar salt or its equal.

Lee B
08-25-2005, 06:43 PM
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is different. You need to add more: your KH is up to 40, but it should be over 200 to help your filter.

Here's one of the Catch 22's: under normal circumstances, lower pH means ammonia is less toxic. But you need the KH to feed the filter, which will raise the pH, which makes the ammonia more toxic. So make sure you have a lot of binder available. Watch your ammonia like a hawk.

A TT at the head of the stream is a very good location. But if you could get one jerry-rigged NOW, it will get your parameters under control before winter sets in. You can permanently place it later.

Lee

Noahsnana
08-25-2005, 07:52 PM
I've been trying to figure out how to add a TT. I was thinking that when the stream is built (hopefully this year) I could locate it at the head of the stream. If I put it with the filter and pump I would need a second pump to push the water to the head of the stream, but that might be a lot less distracting than a big TT at the head of the stream. Hmmmm.....

Susan remember the TT can be temporary it doesn't matter what it looks like... the kh needs to come up a great deal...you are crashing the fish will die if left unchecked or something done.

auntiesue
08-25-2005, 09:11 PM
No, I'm referring to the Amquel+. I don't know about Prime because I've always had a bias against it (once it killed my babies one time :( ) That's why I asked if you could verify tests with Prime. Like I got nitrItes at .5, then I added the stuff and Lo and Behold! no nitrItes registering anymore :eek:

Yes?

Lee

Yes, the only way I knew how to verify was with a test kit for Nitrites. I assumed there was no conflict with the regent and the reading was zero after the first dose of Prime. From that point on I dosed the pond one more time 3 days later then waited to see if the nitrites would climb. Just so happened that the pond finished cycling by then so all was well and I didn't need to use it any further. I was very fortunate in that the new pond cycled in less than 2 weeks. It's been steady ever since.

Susan Day
08-25-2005, 10:16 PM
The TT is a necessity, then. I'll have to get creative with a DIY rig. And I thought everything was getting better and I could relax a bit. Any recommendations for a cheap and easy set-up?

This is so complicated. I had read about kh and baking soda, but I didn't realize it would be such a quick turnaround; I kind of thought I could get my filter cycled and then worry about stuff like kh.....

auntiesue
08-26-2005, 12:58 AM
When a filter is new it consumes great quantities of bicarbs (kh) so watching this is very important. Add to that you have a bead filter in the system. Once my ponds settle down for the season after spring start up, all I test for is KH. I keep a very close eye on it. I test for the others if I see signs of trouble. But my ponds are matured and have been running for many years now (except for the new pond).

Lee B
08-26-2005, 06:32 AM
OK Sue, you were able to test and verify (Now you see it/now you don't). I'll pick up some Prime today and see what happens. I'll also check my DO pre/post and see how that does, too.

Being as it appears the storm will miss us completely and I don't have to worry about being inundated with rain, I'll do a healthy water change and then do the Prime to see what I can see!

(Karl - I may have to eat my words about Prime ;) )

Lee

Susan Day
08-26-2005, 06:47 PM
Just an update: I've started a new thread asking for advice about constructing a TT on the main board.
Tonight my readings are 0 ammonia, .5 nitrite, 7.5 ph and 40 kh. I put in another 4 tbsp baking soda this morning, 10 handfuls clay, and will repeat tonight.

Eluned
08-26-2005, 08:28 PM
Susan - your KH is very low. Why are you only adding 4 tablespoons of baking soda at a time? I think you are off by a factor of 10.

You should be running around 200 ppm with a bead filter. Raising by 50 ppm at a time is about the max recomended. Register at click2roark.com to read some of the best info about water chemistry for pond keepers. Roark takes copyright seriously (which is why registration is required). Anyway - he also has some fabulous tools, including a KH calculator. (Pick the units you prefer.)

Carbonate Calculator Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Compound: Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
US Gallons: 2000
Raise KH by PPM (mg/L): 50.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Add the following amounts of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda):
Weight
Pounds: 1.407 lb

Volume
Tablespoons: 39.383 tbsp
Cups: 2.461 cup

Susan Day
08-26-2005, 09:23 PM
Hi Lynne,
I was adding bit by bit because I wasn't sure how much I could add at one time. It certainly isn't going up at all with what I'm adding. I will go to Roark's site.

Thank you!

Susan Day
08-26-2005, 11:10 PM
Okay, according to Roark's site I'm in an emergency situation and should add 3 cups baking soda immediately. I will do tomorrow, not tonight, just in case O2 is lower at night; there is some concern with lowered O2 with high doses of baking soda, from what I gather. Also I need to make sure ammonia is zero before I add a big dose.

Thanks Lynne, I will keep adding updates.

Susan Day
08-27-2005, 10:35 AM
Test results this morning: 0 ammonia, .5 nitrite, kh still 40.
Added 3 cups baking soda + 10 handfuls koi clay
Waited half hour and tested for kh, up to 80.

Going now to get salt to protect against the nitrite, and to get materials for trickle tower.

Noahsnana
08-27-2005, 12:58 PM
kh is going in the right direction :wtg:

Eluned
08-27-2005, 01:00 PM
Sounds like things are going well. :) Just a quick note on trickle filters - taller is better and the water needs to be mechanically pre-filtered.

68bruin
08-27-2005, 01:37 PM
What worked for me with new pond syndrome: some or all of return water SPLASHING down piled up lava rock (red kind)

cookc
08-27-2005, 07:30 PM
What worked for me with new pond syndrome: some or all of return water SPLASHING down piled up lava rock (red kind)

Wow! Beautiful pond and fish. Can we see more?

Cathy

Susan Day
08-29-2005, 09:36 PM
Thank you Noahsnana, Karl, Sue, Koin-Onia, Mary, Lee, Darlene, Lynne!!!! I am so very grateful, I would have been stuck in a ammonia-binder cycle until spring without your help. Thanks for kicking my butt into gear re. the TT. I built a 4-level TT this weekend with lava rock based on Mary's design. It works great; at least it is "showering" very well at every level.

Ammonia and nitrite were both 0 tonight, but I think that might be due to constant water changes, amquel+, etc. ph is 7.5, kh is up to 80 and has been for a couple of days. Still working on getting the kh up higher.

68bruin, what a great idea! Your koi are beautiful. I'll try to design something similar for the permanent head-of-stream TT.

I hope everyone down south is doing okay, and everyone in hurricane's current path.

-Susan

auntiesue
08-30-2005, 12:04 AM
Susan, adding that amount of baking soda, watch that the PH doesn't go too high to quickly!!! You're heading in the right direction. Now that the ammonia is under control raising the PH won't be such an issue, just go slowly please.

EDIT: Lee, I will be very interested in seeing what you find when using the Prime!!! I know your test kits are more accurate.

Susan Day
08-30-2005, 08:20 AM
I'm hoping to get my good kh tester today or tomorrow. My strip tester has been stuck at 80 for the past few days, but I'll go slow, thanks.

Lee B
08-30-2005, 09:17 AM
Susan, adding that amount of baking soda, watch that the PH doesn't go too high to quickly!!! You're heading in the right direction. Now that the ammonia is under control raising the PH won't be such an issue, just go slowly please.

EDIT: Lee, I will be very interested in seeing what you find when using the Prime!!! I know your test kits are more accurate.

It doesn't work. Even as suggested, you'd need 5X the "normal" dose to begin to affect nitrItes. There is a warning on the bottle that says, and I quote:

"To detoxify nitrite in an emergency up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is >30C (86 F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose."

Essentially, they're telling you that if your water is warm and your ammonia levels are LOW, use a half dose for ammonia/chlorine - which kinda supports my claim that it sucks the O2 out of the water. So, if you used 5X the amount to try to control the nitrItes, your oxygen levels have been reduced to, well, nada.

Prime is expensive; having to use 5X to control nitrItes at the cost of removing all oxygen in the water - is ludicrous. Salt is cheap and readily available. Try finding a couple of gallons of Prime on a holiday weekend in an emergency situation at $60-some-odd dollars a gallon, versus a 40 lb. bag of salt at the local store for $4.00 . . . Tell me which one you'll be able to get your hands on, and which one is cheaper, and (essentially) - which one is ultimately better for your fish?

JMHO
Lee

Susan Day
09-02-2005, 11:33 AM
The readings are holding steady at zero ammonia and nitrite, 80 kh, and 7.5 ph. My only additions since the pond stabilized (aside from a little prime when I add water) are baking soda and koi clay, but kh is not going up.

I received my new kh tester but don't know how to read it. I'll do a search after this post. The instructions helpfully say: if color changes after 4 drops, your kh is .4, after 5, .5. Gee thanks.

Any recommendations for when I can turn the UV light back on? It is after the bead filter and before the TT. The TT went online Sunday, 8/28. I'm thinking it should be off for at least 2 weeks; maybe I'll just leave it off until next year.

-Susan

auntiesue
09-02-2005, 11:55 AM
If you are using the "drop by drop" test kit, each drop is multiplied by 7.9 which will give you ppm. 80ppm kh isn't bad!! You're getting there, but still have a long way to go. I would wait a while longer on the uv until you know that the filter is stable.

Lee B
09-02-2005, 01:59 PM
Keep adding the baking soda . . . you need to get the KH up. Check your directions: if your test kit uses dGH measures, you would multiply the drops by 17.9 to get ppm.

If you don't get the KH up, the filter won't get to proper function. You're facing winter, so you don't have much time. But it's nice to see that the clay and TT have gotten the nitrItes down!

Lee

Noahsnana
09-02-2005, 02:18 PM
Ditto LeeB
ASue has a typo

Susan Day
09-06-2005, 09:13 AM
Hi all, kh is still 70-80, though I've been adding baking soda almost every day. Water temp is down to 66 degrees. ph is 7.5, ammonia and nitrite are still zero.

Lee, when you say I don't have much time, do you mean that my filter should be cycled before winter? I was planning to shut it down for the winter, so wouldn't it be okay as is, since my ammonia and nitrite are at zero? I thought the trickle tower was taking over bio-filtration.

I'm a little confused.
Thanks,
Susan

Lee B
09-06-2005, 10:23 AM
Well, it is . . . but I don't know if it will be enough to be your *total* bio, although many do use it as such.

Please forgive the rantings of someone who's considered sub-tropical; getting ready for winter for you is entirely different from getting ready for me. I think in terms of reduced function and you think in terms of total ceasation! :eek:

Keep adding banking soda - ya gotta get that KH up. If you're still adding it and it's not going up any, you're apparently only addressing the daily needs of the biobugs, and not building a "reserve" for it.

Lee

Susan Day
09-06-2005, 12:25 PM
Ok, thanks Lee, I'll resume twice daily dosing with baking soda. Will try 1 cup per dose, with test before each dose.

I was hoping it would stay warm longer up here, but we've had a couple weeks of cool nights that will probably prevent any major improvements. I was considering a heater last week but after Katrina and the spike in energy costs, I don't know if we can swing it.

Thanks,
Susan

Noahsnana
09-06-2005, 02:44 PM
Susan are you still adding KoiClay too?

Susan Day
09-07-2005, 09:46 AM
Yes, just a little less than I was, about two small handfuls with every addition of baking soda.

Carolkoi
07-06-2006, 01:07 PM
The TT is a necessity, then. I'll have to get creative with a DIY rig. And I thought everything was getting better and I could relax a bit. Any recommendations for a cheap and easy set-up?

This is so complicated. I had read about kh and baking soda, but I didn't realize it would be such a quick turnaround; I kind of thought I could get my filter cycled and then worry about stuff like kh.....
What is a TT??

gonecadd
07-06-2006, 01:23 PM
What is a TT??
Trickle Tower
It's used to help release gases found in the pond water and is also a bio filter.

I think. :D: