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  • Results 1 to 14 of 14

    Thread: What are the "ideal" water parameters

    1. #1
      McKTX's Avatar
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      What are the "ideal" water parameters

      I have been reading with great interest the discussions on water parameters and testing. I did a search on Google for ideal water parameter for koi ponds, and didn't get results like I wanted.

      My question(s). Is there a complete chart somewhere that will tell me what the "ideal" ranges are for a koi pond. I know that NH4, NO2, should be zero. How about all the other things you talk about here in the forum. KH, ORP etc. ??? What do these initials stand for and how did they concern the koi. I see there is a test for O2, what is the goal (saturated???). I would sure like something I can post in my pumphouse. If not already made, I would take the information gleaned from everyone here and make my own!

      Thanks in advance!!!!

    2. #2
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      In a prefect world
      • pH..................7.5
      • NH3/NH4..........0.0
      • NO2.................0.0
      • NO3....... .........<10ppm
      • KH/carbonate hardness............100ppm
      • GH ..................60ppm
      • ORP/Oxygen Reduction Potential..........380+
      • salinity.............. 0.05%
      • O2.....................8mg/l+


      Now having posted all those don't drive yourself or the fish nuts trying to achieve them.

      Set up a good filter both mechanical and bio, do regular water changes, check KH regularly, have a good waterfall running 24/7, and don't over stock and all those numbers will fall into place.

      BTW I've never own an ORP meter for the pond...who cares

      Graham

    3. #3
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      Thank you Graham!

    4. #4
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      Whoops! forgot to ask what the GH stands for, what kind of hardness is it?

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      GH is General Hardness....and is a measuement of calcium and magnesium. This type of hardness builds.

      KH is Carbonate Hardness and is a temporary hardness. This continually drops as it being used up by the chemical processes in the pond. Everything in the pond produces acids/hydrogen as one of it's end products ....that uses up Carbonate hardness

      G

    6. #6
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      That begs the question, is the KH affected at all by the GH? My well water is high in calcium as shown in a boiling pot of water, calcium precipitates out, or used to. We installed a water softener 25 years ago to make the water more acceptable for human use. I however did bypass the system to fill my pond and bypass for water changes. Does one affect the other?

    7. #7
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      My KH?

      I have a tetra test kit. The Kh from my tap is 3 ºdH using the kh test.
      is my kh 54 ppm?

      Other Sites Sale prices are our everyday prices.
      Vice President Oregon Koi and Watergarden Society


    8. #8
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      There's no relationship between them.......GH has no ability to buffer the water and that's what KH is... the buffer.

      Billy. dHº or degrees of hardness is multiplied by 17.9 to get ppm...so you have 3 x 17.9 = 53.7ppm or mg/l This is kind of low but if you do sufficient water changes and monitor it ...it's fine. If not then you'll need to use a buffer like baking soda to maintain that level or higher.

      G

      BTW how did you get the degree character to show up

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Graham
      There's no relationship between them.......GH has no ability to buffer the water and that's what KH is... the buffer.

      Billy. dHº or degrees of hardness is multiplied by 17.9 to get ppm...so you have 3 x 17.9 = 53.7ppm or mg/l This is kind of low but if you do sufficient water changes and monitor it ...it's fine. If not then you'll need to use a buffer like baking soda to maintain that level or higher.

      G

      BTW how did you get the degree character to show up
      My water source is from the North Umpqua river here in Oregon. The water is from snow melt and rain. So I guess I'll have to buffer it .
      I copied and pasted the degrees º. :D

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    10. #10
      Roddy Conrad's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by McKTX
      I have been reading with great interest the discussions on water parameters and testing. I did a search on Google for ideal water parameter for koi ponds, and didn't get results like I wanted.

      My question(s). Is there a complete chart somewhere that will tell me what the "ideal" ranges are for a koi pond. I know that NH4, NO2, should be zero. How about all the other things you talk about here in the forum. KH, ORP etc. ??? What do these initials stand for and how did they concern the koi. I see there is a test for O2, what is the goal (saturated???). I would sure like something I can post in my pumphouse. If not already made, I would take the information gleaned from everyone here and make my own!

      Thanks in advance!!!!
      Ammonia (NH4+ or NH3) should not be detectable on a normal test kit, but even very good koi ponds with excellent water quality may test at ammonia levels in the 0.02 to 0.2 ppm range with advanced tests procedures that can measure those levels. These levels are not harmful to the koi even at a pH value of 8.2.

      Nitrite (NO2-) levels, when measured by advanced tests, also run in the 0.05 ppm to 0.1 ppm ranges in very well designed and maintained koi ponds. This also does not hurt the koi, but if nitrite is measurable with a normal test kit, it is probably too high for long term koi keeping.

      The KH or alkalinity must be high enough for the biofilter to keep the water quality within desired limits at the stocking density of the pond. For some biofilters at some stocking densities, an alkalinity in the 60 to 100 ppm range and a pH range of 7.5 to 7.8 is adequate, for other filter systems or with higher stocking densities the alkalinity requirement may be in the 150 to 250 ppm range, at a pH value of 8.2.

      The ORP range is an entirely different discussion. ORP depends on many parameters, including water temperature, pH, water pollution, and so on. Higher ORP is generally desirable for good fish health, high growth rates, and high fish activity. Koi in lower ORP water will be sluggish, have poor appetites, and get sick much more often. An ORP value in excess of 300 is excellent, an ORP value below 150 is generally poor, an ORP value of less than 125 will lead to frequent ulcers and dropsy. ORP is improved by mechanical filtration, biofiltration, aeration, and excellent maintenance procedures. Chemical intervention can also be used to improve ORP readings for the technically inclined hobbyist, but that is generally rejected by most of the koi hobby world.

      Oxygen levels are generally tough to measure accurately. I have done so myself to understand the effects of filtration devices. I find the oxygen is never at saturation unless I run either a large shower filter or a large open sided trickle tower at high flow rates. Air pumps cannot saturate the water with oxygen as effectively as shower or trickle tower filters, I have run enough tests of my own to see that clearly.
      Started as a full time graduate student in Environmental Science in Jan 2019 at age 77 now to start a new career. Still using potassium permanganate to regularly clean up the pond and the koi. Have developed a package of age regression technology to become younger instead of older. Doing great!

    11. #11
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      Sorry, just need to clarify in my mind that I understand the differences in KH & GH. My hard water (GH)can be any pH, all that is measuring is the amount the minerals of calcium and mag. The KH is dependent on the pH, my well being 8.3, is high in carbonate (as in calcium carbonate?), making it alkaline, due to the carbonate. So as long as I do regular water changes the biofilter should have plenty of what it needs to keep the water quality where it needs to be. After reading what I think I understand, the question surfaces, why is GH measured or important in koi keeping. Sorry sometimes I can sure confuse myself in trying to understand the importance, not to mention the whys and wherefores, of all the factors that are considered in koi water testing.

    12. #12
      Roddy Conrad's Avatar
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      Assumptions about water chemistry and all that jazz......

      Quote Originally Posted by McKTX
      Sorry, just need to clarify in my mind that I understand the differences in KH & GH. My hard water (GH)can be any pH, all that is measuring is the amount the minerals of calcium and mag. The KH is dependent on the pH, my well being 8.3, is high in carbonate (as in calcium carbonate?), making it alkaline, due to the carbonate. So as long as I do regular water changes the biofilter should have plenty of what it needs to keep the water quality where it needs to be. After reading what I think I understand, the question surfaces, why is GH measured or important in koi keeping. Sorry sometimes I can sure confuse myself in trying to understand the importance, not to mention the whys and wherefores, of all the factors that are considered in koi water testing.
      At a pH of 8.3, there is basically no carbonate present, only bicarbonate. So that assumption is incorrect. Carbonate can be present only at pH values in excess of 9, it is only an accident of chemical history that the alkalinity of normal water is expressed in units of calcium carbonate, since any normal water at pH less than 9 has practically no carbonate present.

      Another implied assumption is also chemically incorrect, there is NOT a direct relation of total alkalinity or KH to pH. For example, if the pond water is pH 7 and enough baking soda is added to increase the alkalinity by 50 ppm units, the new pH will probably be around 7.8. But if enough sodium hydroxide is added to increase the alkalinity by 50 ppm, the new pH value will be 11 and all the fish will be dead. So the relationship between total alkalinity and pH of the pond water is extremely dependent on what form of alkalinity is added, and there are MANY forms added in real ponds in real backyards here and there.

      However, your general conclusion is "usually" good, meaning if you have supply water with an alkalinity above 100 ppm, the best approach to maintaining alkalinity is probably just enough water exchange to keep the alkalinity well above 75 ppm. But if your water supply is like mine, which is usually an acid pH (around 6 usually), with no measurable alkalinity, then some form or alkalinity must be added or the fish will surely die. I find baking soda in 12 pound bags from Sam's in the baking section my best choice, your choice may be different depending on your local situation.
      Started as a full time graduate student in Environmental Science in Jan 2019 at age 77 now to start a new career. Still using potassium permanganate to regularly clean up the pond and the koi. Have developed a package of age regression technology to become younger instead of older. Doing great!

    13. #13
      auntiesue is offline Koiphen Koi Health Advisor
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      Roddy, so true!! I think some of "us" get a bit lazy when speaking about bicarbonates and carbonates. Not a good thing I have to agree. It is bicarbs that is needed. I will do better
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    14. #14
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      Thank you so much, I do believe I've got it! I think for once I am glad I have a well with such "good" water for this new hobby!

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