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  • Results 1 to 17 of 17

    Thread: Stabilizing Temporary Holding Tank for Koi

    1. #1
      RJL350 is offline Junior Member
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      Stabilizing Temporary Holding Tank for Koi

      Hello, I am new to the group and having issues with a temporary Koi holding tank (320 gallons) while I expand my old pond from 1000-6000 gallons.
      Here is my current tank chemisty: pH=6 in morning, KH=0, GH=0 due to soft city water. Ammonia=2, Nitrite=2, Nitrate=20. Using Beckett Biofilter with FR400 Pump and aerator. We have 5 Koi from 6"-24" (72" of total fish length).
      Fish seem ok: hungry, no flashing, but a bit skittish today. I typically do 25% water change weekly. Added 50mL baking soda 6 days ago which brought pH up from 6.6 to 7.0. pH dropped to 6.0 five days ago so added 1/2 cup crushed oyster shells. Today pH still at 6.0. What else should I be doing?

    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
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      Welcome to Koiphen!
      I'm going to move your thread to the ER section as it might get missed in Welcome.
      I'd go and get some Prime, Safe, or API Ammo-Lock. They all do pretty much the same thing and detoxify ammonia and
      some will also treat for nitrite. Your pH is too low but raising it will make the ammonia that is in the water more toxic if it's not
      treated first. A 50% water change (taking for granted that your source water has 0 ammonia... test it if you haven't already)
      may drop it too but 2 ppm ammonia is very dangerous. I'd also stop any feeding. Once the ammonia is detoxified then you
      can add BS to try and bring the pH up by raising the KH and stabilizing it.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


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      Thank you Steve, I appreciate the help. Right after I saw your post I did a 50% water change, added AquaSafe dechlorinator and AmmoLock, and a slow refill from hose which took ~2 hours. For ref, it's close to 90 here in Oregon so water temp dropped from 74 to 70 during refill. (Holding tank is in my garage). Also for ref, I rinsed the 5 sponge prefilters, but not the bio-balls.
      I checked the chemistry tonight ~5PM and here's the before/after water change: pH 6.0/6.8, Amm 2.0/1.0, Nitrite 2.0/5.0, Nitrate 20/20. I'll test again ~9AM so we have morning readings for apple-apple pH comparison. How low should ammonia be before I add BS to raise pH? Do you think my biofilter is still working?

    4. #4
      icu2's Avatar
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      In western WA our temps are suppose to cool the next couple of days so hopefully where you are in OR will do the same...

      Did you test the water source you use for water changes? This lets you know what you're adding to the holding tank.
      Are you using a drip type test kit or strips?

      When using ammonia detox like AmmoLock, your test will likely still show ammonia. They don't remove the ammonia
      but ionize it to make it less toxic. I haven't used AmmoLock so read the instructions, but others require re-dosing every
      48 hours.

      Unlike Prime, AmmoLock won't detoxify nitrite so I'd add about .08%-.1% of salt to protect the fish from the nitrite. If you can,
      I would get a digital salinity tester because it can be hard to know what level of salt you have when adding it in conjunction
      with water changes. To start, if your tank is 320 gallons, I'd add 2 1/2 lbs. of salt. Just use plain salt. It's used in water softeners
      and is cheap:

      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ultraviol...ll&athena=true

      Salt calculator:

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

      So, with AmmoLock and salt added, next I'd start adding plain baking soda. (Oyster shells can work but they take forever to
      dissolve and make any meaningful difference.) Here's a calculator to help (the calculators are up at the top of the forum in the
      dark blue navigation bar under "Koi Calculators"):

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

      I'd add about 2 oz. every few hours till you reach 8 oz. A 1/2 lb. should bring your KH up to about 140. Since the fish aren't
      in distress there's no need to dump it in all at one time... I'd keep an eye on things as you bring it up as the pH should rise too.

      With a pH of 6 and KH of 0, I'd guess your bio filtration pretty much stopped working at all. I'd keep adding AmmoLock on
      schedule to keep it detoxified, get a salinity meter to know your percentage of salt and keep it at .08%-1.0%, should read 0.08 to 0.1%, as long as your
      nitrites are high.

      Edited to correct max salinity.
      Last edited by RichToyBox; 6 Days Ago at 07:25 PM.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


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      RJL350 is offline Junior Member
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      We live in Beaverton and have some cooling over the next few days.
      The holding tank with fish in it showed zero ammonia for the first 3-4 weeks using API Test Strips. The tap water test showed zero ammonia as well. I switched to the API Master Test (drops) in late June and started seeing ammonia go up, so all tests now use drops.
      I just added the salt and full dose of AmmoLock. I'll start adding BS shortly after I take another baseline test. Any recommendations which salinity meter to buy?

    6. #6
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      This is the one that I use and has worked well... (Billy at Cascade is just south of you I think)

      http://www.cascade-pond-supply.com/D...ter-p-271.html
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    7. #7
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      Thank you, however Cascade Pond Supply is in Roseburg, too far to drive so I ordered "eSeasonGear SALT-3050" for Koi ponds and will have it from Amazon tomorrow. I also ordered some Seachem Prime so that maybe I can phase out using salt to neutralize the nitrites.
      Here are the before/after pond readings as of 9 AM: Amm=1.0/1.0, Nitrite=5.0/2.0, Nitrate=20/160, pH=6.8/6.8.
      Should I be concerned about the high nitrates now?
      I also have a lot of Calcium Chloride left over from our original pond built 15yrs ago. Would that work in place of baking soda, or would CaCl not be advised with the NaCl I added this morning?
      Last edited by RJL350; 6 Days Ago at 01:57 PM.

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      Sorry, I didn't mean he was within driving distance. But as long as you got something that'll work.

      I wouldn't worry about the nitrates and if they are 0 in your source water it would tell me that the bio filter
      is still trying to work if they are increasing. Water changes will keep them under control.

      I'd personally just use baking soda because I don't know the answer to the CaCl question.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    9. #9
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      I'll start the baking soda after lunch, 2oz every few hrs, up to 8oz and check KH and pH as I go.
      Sounds like I should do daily water changes for awhile too, and supplement the water change with additional BS if needed.
      The new pond should be ready in about 4-6 weeks. I have an Aqua UV Ultima II, 10,000gal biofilter cycling now with pond 1/2 full. When the crew finishes the creek I can get the Savio skimmer and UV setup running. My largest Koi has been with me for 15 years and he was about 10 when we got him, so I want to do everything I can to keep their stress level low. Thank you for the quick reply yesterday and the sage advice! I am a retired engineer with a mechanical and electro-optical background, and pond chemistry is something I definitely need help on!

    10. #10
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      Salt is easy to measure and monitor and will definitely block the intake of nitrites. I do not know the mechanism or of a means of measuring the effective dose for the Seachem Prime. Seachem Prime is good for ammonia, and the best way to assure adequate dosages is the use of Seachem Ammonia Alert Card which measures only the toxic ammonia which indicates a need for more Seachem Prime. It does not measure the ammonium ions which are also measured with the drop type test kits.

      Calcium chloride is used to provide the necessary calcium ions if the pH is going very high. The bicarb ions try to hold the pH at 8.3/8.4, assuming good aeration to drive off carbon dioxide, which makes carbonic acid in water as the pH tries to go down, but if the pH tries to go above the 8.3/8.4 level, then the bicarbonate gives off hydrogen ions to try to acidify the water and gives off carbonates which are high pH, but in the presence of calcium become calcium carbonate precipitate which does not contribute to the acid or alkali ions in the water. I would not add calcium chloride unless the pH is going toward a pH of 9. Concrete ponds often have a high pH that needs the calcium chloride since the bi-product of the cement hydration is calcium hydroxide which is very alkaline and for every hydroxide to be consumed by the bicarb, uses up one ion of bicarb. Calcium hydroxide has 2 hydroxyl ions, so calcium is consumed at twice the rate, making the system calcium starved. RO or distilled water or other sources of extremely soft water are also calcium deprived causing a need for the calcium chloride.
      Last edited by RichToyBox; 6 Days Ago at 07:43 PM.

      "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."

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      Thanks for the info RichToyBox! I ordered the Seachem Ammonia & pH alert cards. It's great to know that we can monitor toxic ammonia (Seachem), and overall ammonia level (API drops).
      I appreciate the calcium chloride explanation and the chemical processes associated with it and will stick with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to be safe.
      This morning I did another 50% water change, and tonight I retested. Here are the readings before water change (9AM) and after water change (6PM). Amm=1.0/2.0, Nitrite=5.0/5.0, Nitrate=40/40, pH=7.6/7.6, KH=4/4, Salinity=na/.05%. For ref, our tap water pH is 7.6, and we didn't feed the fish yesterday or today. Ammonia may appear higher, but it may just be me reading the color chart. I added 1/3 cup AmmoLock this morning, and 2lbs NaCl tonight. Since pH is 7.6 I didn't add any baking soda.
      Should I do another 50% water change tomorrow morning? Is it typical to see high ammonia and nitrite ~9hrs after a 50% water change? The water surface has many bubbles on it, is this expected? Anything else I should be doing?
      Thank you for the support guys!

    12. #12
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      If you have a filter on the isolation tank, I would just worry about the toxic ammonia levels always being in the safe zone and the salinity being around 0.1% to protect from the nitrites. Do 50% water changes when the nitrates get at or above 80ppm as water changes are the only means of controlling nitrates. If the filter cycles, the total ammonia and nitrites will come down and then the system will be easier to maintain.

      "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."

      Zone 7 A/B
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      Richard

    13. #13
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      Excellent! It's great to have these metrics to guide me over the next several weeks until the big pond is ready to go.
      I am running out of AmmoLock so will start using Seachem Prime as needed for toxic ammonia. The Seachem ammonia/pH alert cards should arrive today which will simplify the daily monitoring.
      Since I will start using Seachem Prime, which also neutralizes toxic nitrite, should I also keep the salinity level at 0.1%. I don't mind being extra safe and using both if that is advised.
      When is it ok to start feeding the Koi again? For ref, the water temp is ranging from 70-74F due to water changes with cold tap water.

    14. #14
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      I would just hold off on feeding until the filter cycles or the fish go to the new pond. It is customary for show fish to be fasted for 2 weeks before a show to lessen the water quality issues at the show, so they will not starve. If you won't hold off that long, then a small feeding every other day is better than full feeding every day.

      "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."

      Zone 7 A/B
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      Richard

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      Wow, good to know they won’t starve. Thank you!!

      I am using Seachem Prime now. Should I also keep adding salt to the 0.1% level?
      Another question, API pH is 7.2, but Seachem Alert is 5.8. Which one should I believe?

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      I think I would go with the API, but being a materials testing engineer, I believed in duplication. All my tests were done in threes and if there was a problem, a different method was used. I have seen API tests not perform as they should, and I have seen more times that it did perform correctly. If you believe there may be a problem, it doesn't cost that much to get another API High Range pH test kit, which should be the one you are using if you get the KH up.

      "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."

      Zone 7 A/B
      Keep your words sweet. You never know when you may have to eat them.
      Richard

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      Seachem Alert Cards are not as accurate as API test kits or their Ammonia MultiTest Kits (https://www.amazon.com/Seachem-Multi...upplies&sr=1-2)

      When I was having conflicting readings between the Alert Cards and the MultiTest, I contacted Seachem and they said that the alert cards are used to tell you when there may be a problem and that you should then use a more precise test. The benefit of the Alert Cards are that they are always "on" and you don't have to test every day once the tank has cycled. While cycling I liked the precision I got from the MultiTest.

      When using Prime, make sure you are using the correct dose. There is one dose for de-chlorination and one for Ammonia and Nitrite detox. I used salt as well as Safe (powdered form of Prime) when I was cycling.

      It sounds like you have everything under control and your getting good advice.

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