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  • Results 1 to 6 of 6

    Thread: Really would like input on koi loss

    1. #1
      Melinda1102 is offline Senior Member
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      Really would like input on koi loss

      I have seen quite a few people recently losing their fish koi and goldfish over loss of power. I am just trying to figure out why this is happening so much to others. Last year I lost power for 9 days and only thing I did was dump water from a bucket every few hours. Not one loss. This year lost power for a full 23 hours and didn't not even put in battery powered aerator until the 14 hour mark and not one loss. This time I am severely over stocked 25 koi from 4 to 16 inches in only 800 gallons. What causes such losses with only a short loss of power to others? Someone fill me in.
      And I have heard all the its because of oxygen already in water arguments and it does not make sense. I am going to give the reasons it makes no sense to me at all by describing my situation. Its a 800 gallon liner pond with only a 15 gallon barrel filter and a large plant pot turned diy filter. I have no water fall, no bakki shower, no trickle tower, and no aerator to put extra oxygen in my pond. MY water returns to the pond via a 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe only. I have no plants because my fish eat them unless you count the blanket/carpet algae. And then you see people losing fish with larger ponds with more surface area for oxygen and have all the fancy stuff to go in the pond to make it perfect for the koi to begin with and to add all the extra air and such. So why is my simple little over stocked under oxygenated pond fine with no power ( I can go out and shut of the power to it with no issues even in the hottest part of the day and the fish after 6 hours are not even coming to surface to gasp yet) able to keep koi alive with no issues and the bigger better ponds with better equipment having major losses. And it can't be temperature I live in coastal NC the temps here are really high so much I even do small water changes on the worse days to bring the temp down from feeling like bath water, my pond is in full sun also. I want any input you want to throw at me kind of looking for answers so I will know what not to do or to help others.
      Learn by experience.................Preferably other peoples

    2. #2
      Spartan is offline Senior Member
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      There are a lot of variables but I think in your case the size of the fish is most likely why you haven’t lost any. I researched this topic quite a bit after losing my largest koi this year. There is actually a good amount of data to look at, but be aware that a few studies came out with what are now considered erroneous conclusions so should you research it yourself, be sure to be thorough. When I posted about my loss,a couple replies from folks here while well intended were incorrect.
      Below is an easy to understand excerpt from U of New Mexico a biology dept. one of the key statements is about size and oxygen requirements. Smaller fish breath faster than larger. So in theory they do more work to get oxygen, BUT they have less overall demand for it so they will fare better in low oxygen situations. If you have larger koi say of greater than 24 inches, and certainly over 30, your risk of loss will be much higher. Anything less than 6ppm O2 will threaten any size fish. The dissolved oxygen in warmer water is lower so you are correct that there is more risk in hot weather.
      ‘The most common cause of fish kills is suffocation due to lack of dissolved oxygen. Most dissolved oxygen is produced by algae and aquatic plants through photosynthesis. A lesser but also important source of oxygen in water is diffusion from the atmosphere, which is enhanced by wind-induced surface water turbulence. During the night, oxygen is consumed for respiration by plants and animals, and by bacteria during decomposition of organic material. When more oxygen is consumed than is produced, oxygen levels can be depleted, which can lead to fish kills. Ponds suitable for supporting fish should have a minimum pre-dawn oxygen level that is close to optimal levels required by the fish. Warmwater fish require oxygen levels of 5 ppm (parts per million) and coldwater require levels of around 6.5 ppm to maintain good health. A sign of oxygen stress is fish gulping for air at the surface, particularly in early morning. Large fish will die first since they have greater oxygen demands.”
      Obviously at some point no matter what size of the oxygen gets too low any size fish will die. Many other variables can influence what plays out in any individual pond,for example, the ratio of surface area to volume, wind, plant material, and many others.
      Last edited by Spartan; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:02 AM.

    3. #3
      Melinda1102 is offline Senior Member
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      [QUOTE=Spartan;2728824]There are a lot of variables but I think in your case the size of the fish is most likely why you haven’t lost any. I researched this topic quite a bit after losing my largest koi this year.

      My fish are 2 at 4 inches, 3 at 16 inches, 3 at 14, the rest are the 6 to 12 inch range most being about 8 to 9. So it could be I have smaller fish I know I am over loaded most of these came as a grow out from someone elses spawn and I cant decide which are staying yet. I have a bigger pond in the works its just too hot to work on it much atm. Being even at that I see people losing alot of smalls also. With the hurricane that just pasted and the ones from previous years its always people saying the loss of power will cause you to lose all your koi. I am not seeing that with my pond I am not even seeing the piping. Just want to make sure when I upgrade I have the same results. So trying to figure out what to avoid.
      Learn by experience.................Preferably other peoples

    4. #4
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      danzcool is offline Senior Member
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      Think about more as pounds of fish rather than numbers of fish... you get a 24" koi and it weights as much as say 6 - 12" koi or 100 - 4" koi. Also feeding levels matter, loss of power means less circulation through the biofilter, the ammonia levels will go up creating it's own toxic environment... Ammonia binders tend to lower oxygen levels, so they are not an option if you have no power to add oxygen to the pond. the temperature of the pond water is one of the most important factors... water in the upper 80's and they will be gasping in short order where with water in the 60's they go much longer.

      So with a bigger pond, depth adds to keeping the water cooler, where surface area gives more oxygen exchange area, it's a trade-off usually, and people base their stocking levels off of total gallons rather than considering surface area and pounds of fish.
      I would guess your existing pond is fairly shallow with a lot of surface area, that combined with the relatively low pounds of fish you have (plus the carpet algae which oxygenates when exposed to sunlight) gave you the results you saw.
      Going forward as the fish grow, you have to make some decisions, lower stocking density so that the pond will support the pounds of fish in a power outage, or do some agitation or battery powered air pumps, or get a small generator to run the pond in an emergency.
      Koiphen member since 05-13-2004
      This one time, at band camp....

    5. #5
      Melinda1102 is offline Senior Member
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      My pond is 5 by 7 and about 3 1/2 deep. It was originally a goldfish pond and will be that again when I get my pond finished. I have a 25 by 30 ft liner waiting on the weather to cool off some to finish working on it. The ammonia thing makes sense but I always when preparing for a storm stop feeding about 2 days before and will not feed the water piglets til power is back. Also should be very little organic stuff I have nothing in the pond bottom but the piping for a retro bottom drain. And if anything falls in like leaves I make sure to clean it out. Hoping my luck continues when I go larger scale.
      Learn by experience.................Preferably other peoples

    6. #6
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      abuchi123 is online now Senior Member
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      My airpump is connected to an UPS designed for computer. In the event of power outage, the pump will run for a few hours. It is a cheap insurance.

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