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  • Results 1 to 14 of 14

    Thread: Pond Parameters... high ammonia and low kH

    1. #1
      Phamkq is offline Member
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      Pond Parameters... high ammonia and low kH

      My pond is about 5000 gallons.

      Ammonia: 1ppm
      Nitrite: 0ppm
      Nitrate: 30ppm
      pH: 7.8-8
      kh: 5 drops on the API Kit, so i am suspecting this is 50-100ppm aka 3-6 (correct me if i am wrong)...

      i stopped feeding the entire week. My water from the hose gives off 1ppm ammonia as well. I treat with Prime/Safe. Whats going on here..?

      I have read into kH but wow it is one confusing topic! I cannot find a definitive answer on how much to put. I was told 1lb baking Arm & Hammer baking soda per 1000 gallons then someone else told me 1/4 cup per gallon. I now its not good to raise more than 25-50ppm a day for kH?

      Then i see something else call calcium chloride..?



      1) How do i get my ammonia as close to 0 as possible?
      2) 5 drops to turn yellow in the API kH test kit = 89.300 ppm correct?
      3) Lets round that up to 90ppm... if i want to raise my kH to 150ppm (i think that is what people want for their Koi ponds), i would need to raise it 60ppm... which is equivalent to 3.5pounds according to the kh calculator (https://www.koiphen.com/forums/koica...?do=calckh)???
      4) As previous, is it safe to really dump 3.5 pounds of baking soda to raise it from 90ppm to 150ppm in a day? or gradually..?
      Last edited by Phamkq; 05-15-2019 at 10:55 AM.

    2. #2
      OCkoiFan's Avatar
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      Above the forum there all kind of cool calculators

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/koicalcs.php?do=calckh

      I would just simply use baking soda
      Figure out the amount and just try to add smaller amount once a day
      I have my indoor tank @3 drops with soft water and monitor it daily basic
      Don’t be panic keep it above 80ppm should be ideal for prevent ph crash
      Try use Safe seachem for waterchange it’s also bind ammonia
      M.Nguyen


    3. #3
      RickF's Avatar
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      I will get to KH in a minute, but to get a better idea about the ammonia situation, how long has your pond been running? What do you have for biological filtration? How many fish do you have? It takes anywhere from 6 to 18 weeks for a new biological filter to become established. Initially during that time, ammonia will rise, but nitrite will stay at zero and nitrate will be whatever it is in the source water. After some time, ammonia will quit rising, but nitrite will start to rise. As the filter matures, ammonia will drop to zero, and a few days to weeks later, nitrite will drop to zero, and nitrate will start to rise.

      If the source water has 1 ppm of ammonia, that is likely due to chloramine that is used to treat the water. With a mature biofilter, sodium thiosulfate will break the ammonia-chlorine bond in chloramine and bind the chlorine, and the biofilter will convert the residual ammonia to nitrite and the nitrite to nitrate. In a new pond or a pond with an inadequate biofilter, it is necessary to use SAFE, Prime, or Cloram-X to break the ammonia-chlorine bond, bind the chlorine, and keep the ammonia in the less toxic ammonium (NH4+) form. The API ammonia test kit measures both free ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4+). The Seachem Ammonia Alert card will only measure free ammonia. If there is free ammonia, then it is time to add more SAFE, Prime, or Cloram-X. These products will not change the total ammonia, but will convert the free ammonia to ammonium.

      As far as the KH is concerned, 5 drops means that the KH is more than 71 ppm (4 x 17.85) but not more than 89 ppm (5 x 17.85). In San Jose, you might be able to get away with a KH that low, but if you live in the east where we get more rain in an hour than you get in a year and where the rain is usually acidic, that would be too low. I would prefer to have the KH in the 8 to 10 drop range. Even in San Jose, I would try to target 6 to 7 drops.

      Raising the KH quickly is not a problem if the pH is already at 8.3, but if the pH is less than 8.3, you would want to raise the KH over several days. Use the alkalinity calculator that is linked to the top of the page to determine the amount (by weight) of baking soda to add. You enter the volume of your pond in US gallons and the change in KH (not the total KH) that you want. In your case, you would want to raise the KH by about 2 degrees. For your 5000 gallon pond, that would be about 2 pounds of baking soda. Your pH is close enough to 8.3 that I would add one pound per day for two days. Usually, the pH of the pond is highest in the evening, so if you add the baking soda in the evening, you would be affecting the pH the least. Baking soda will not raise the pH above 8.3.

      While baking soda will not raise the pH above 8.3, baking soda by itself will not prevent the pH from rising above 8.3. In a mature pond, that is usually not a concern. The biological activity in the pond is usually enough to prevent the pH from going high. In a new pond, or in a pond with a lot of algae (green water or heavy string algae), the pH can rise during the day. Baking soda will prevent the morning pH from going below 8.3, but if the afternoon pH is above 8.6, then calcium chloride might be indicated. At this point, that does not seem to be a concern for your pond, but it is important to measure the pH early in the morning (preferably right before sunrise) and again in the late afternoon. As long as those two points are within 0.3 units from each other, it is not a problem.

      To get a better understanding of pH and KH and when to use baking soda or calcium chloride, read pH for Laypersons and Newbies, KH for Laypersons and Newbies, and pH, KH, and GH in Depth.

      "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."

    4. #4
      Phamkq is offline Member
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      Thank you so much. That is very well written and informative.

      very cool that you know about San Jose! its usually a forgotten city.

      My pond is established but im not sure why it dropped. My main suspect might be when i did a 50% water change? My pond has no strain of string algae whatsoever nor any signs of green water.

      Is it safe for me to push my current kH at 90 to 150, according to the calculator it said i need to put in 3.5 pounds of baking soda if i want it to jump from 90 to 150? If doing this, would you say its best to put about 2 pounds a day in a course of two days to be safe?

      Would i also need to continue to add PRIME/SAFE every two days as well?

    5. #5
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      If the pH this afternoon is above 8.0, then there is no problem adding all of the baking soda at one time. If the pH is below 8.0, then I would add 1 pound tonight and check the pH tomorrow afternoon. Again, if the pH is above 8.0, add the remaining baking soda. If not, add another pound and check again the next day.

      Remember that acid is constantly being produced in the pond, so you will need to add more baking soda from time to time to keep the KH 6 and 7 degrees.

      If you have an Ammonia Safe card, add the Prime/SAFE when there is a measurable amount of free ammonia. If you do not have the Ammonia Safe card, then I would continue to add Prime/SAFE every two days until the total ammonia is less than 0.25 ppm.

      If nitrite becomes measurable, add salt to a concentration between 0.10% and 0.15% and keep it there until the nitrite is less than 0.25 ppm.

      "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."

    6. #6
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      There was a few times tap water source in socal is low in KH
      So test your tap water to double check
      M.Nguyen


    7. #7
      Phamkq is offline Member
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      Do you reconmend any water changes? i stopped feeding overall

    8. #8
      OCkoiFan's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Phamkq View Post
      Do you reconmend any water changes? i stopped feeding overall
      1ppm is not going to kill your koi
      No WC necessary weekly normal maintenance is recommend
      Yes stop feeding add prime safe powder
      Re test water twice a day until ammo read 0
      Good filtration should converting in jiffy
      M.Nguyen


    9. #9
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      With a PH of 8 and a total ammonia reading of 1ppm, you're still mostly in the safe range unless your water temps are above 80 degrees. As you can see from the ammonia toxicity chart below, worst-case scenario is your 1.0ppm reading = 0.07ppm of NH3 ammonia (the toxic ammonia). The recommended safe levels are less than 0.05ppm so you'd just barely be above that range.


    10. #10
      RickF's Avatar
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      Water changes are futile when it comes to controlling ammonia. The fish are constantly producing ammonia, and your source water contains ammonia.

      Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

      "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."

    11. #11
      Phamkq is offline Member
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      So this morning I added 1lb of baking soda.

      I checked my KH level Just now it was went from 5 drops this morning to 11 drops right now. My ph level has gone up to 8.2 ish, 6am versus 5pm (11 hours later)

      I also checked my tap water and the KH for the tap water is 4 drops
      Last edited by Phamkq; 05-15-2019 at 09:54 PM.

    12. #12
      OCkoiFan's Avatar
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      Weird couldn’t be that much offset
      Make sure shake the solution well
      It make sense tap water is low KH thus reduced pond KH as huge waterchange
      Anyway keep around 8-10 drops is ideal
      Do an over all tests weekly to keep number balance just like what you’re done now that prevent an ugly PH crash
      M.Nguyen


    13. #13
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      If 1 pound of baking soda raised the KH by 6 drops the possibilities are:

      You have overestimated the volume of your pond. How did you come up with 5000 gallons? I think it is unlikely you have overestimated by that much, though, because for one pound of baking soda to raise the KH by 6 degrees, the volume would only be 800 gallons. I have seen people overestimate the volume by half, and rarely by as much as two-thirds, but to be off as much as you would have to be for that to explain the difference in KH does not seem to be possible. If your pond is truly 5000 gallons it should have taken between 5 and 6 pounds of baking soda to get that large of a KH change.

      The baking soda has not had time to equilibrate. The rule of thumb is that you need to wait at least the time that it takes for your pumps to circulate the entire volume of the pond 3 times to get to about 87.5%, 5 times to get to 96.9%, 7 times to get to 99.2% of equilibration. Depending on the design of the pond, there could be areas that have not mixed completely, even if you have waited 7 times the time that it takes for the pumps to circulate the entire volume of the pond 7 times. Try measuring the KH from different locations within the pond to see how uniform it is.

      Your aeration is not adequate. It is easy to get oxygen into the water, but it is not as easy to get carbon dioxide out. The carbon dioxide concentration in the morning is normally higher than it is in the afternoon, and carbon dioxide combined with water creates carbonic acid. The KH would drop in an effort to prevent the pH from dropping. When the carbon dioxide is removed, the KH will rebound somewhat. If the initial KH was high enough, the pH would stay around 8.3 and the KH would drop, but if the KH is not high enough, the pH would drop, too. One way to tell if there is high carbon dioxide is to measure the KH and pH of the pond water in the morning. Then, aerate a morning sample of the pond water and re-test the pH and KH. If the pH or KH goes up when you aerate the water sample, there is too much carbon dioxide in the water.

      Your source water could be high in carbon dioxide. Try measuring the pH and KH of the source water right out of the tap, then aerate a sample and measure the pH and KH of the aerated sample. If the pH or KH of the aerated sample is higher than that of the sample straight out of the tap, there is CO2 in the tap water.

      The pH of 8.2 is within the error of measurement of the expected pH (8.3) when baking soda is used to raise the KH and the KH is above 8 drops. Higher KH will not raise the pH above 8.3 (although other factors could, but the baking soda by itself will not).

      It is common to see the KH rise less than expected (or not at all) when baking soda is added. The main reason for this is that the initial pH was below 8.3 and the baking soda was used up raising the pH before any change in KH could happen. The other reason is that the initial KH is due to something other than bicarbonate, and the baking soda is used up breaking the original buffer before the bicarbonate buffer can be established. For baking soda to raise the KH more than expected is unusual.

      "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."

    14. #14
      Phamkq is offline Member
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      My pond is fairly odd shape, it’s like a triangle with rounded corners. The gallons were measured with the gallon meter thing that connects to the hose, it calculates as it pours. It is my mistake, I meant to say 2lbs because I used two of the smaller 14-16oz boxes since that’s all I hadn’t laying around. One box went directly into the biofukter and the other box, around the pond.

      Tap water:
      Ammonia: 1ppm
      KH: 4 drops
      Ph: 7.6

      My water:
      ammonia: .50-1ppm ish
      KH: 11 drops
      Ph: 8.2

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