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  • Results 1 to 15 of 15

    Thread: Water Changes and possible low Oxygen levels

    1. #1
      blackde is online now Junior Member
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      Water Changes and possible low Oxygen levels

      Hello,

      This weekend I installed a Sand and Gravel filter system and a couple hours later I noticed most of my fish at the surface gulping for air. This morning I found one 12inch koi dead and a softball size fancy goldfish about to be the same. I'm trying to piece together what I did wrong and would appreciate anyone's help. Below is the run down of my system and the changes I made over the weekend.

      2000 gallon pond
      Sequence pump
      Bottom drain with air diffuser
      Settling barrel
      Strapping filter barrel
      small 5 foot stream
      Waterfall
      Bog 5 X 10
      Skimmer connected to settling barrel
      3 Koi 18 inch
      3 koi 12 inch
      2 fancy tail goldfish
      1 Oranda goldfish

      I started a watergarden/goldfish pond about 7 years ago. About 3 years ago I started to get the koi itch so I slowly began transforming the pond to be able to handle them. Deeper/ filteration upgrade ect. For two of those years I basically only used rain water collected in a 300 gallon tote. Or I would pump city water into the tote and let it sit a few days before use. I wouldn't preform water changes. After more research I learned that I must do partial water changes weekly. As most know this can get expensive using declorinator so I bought a 10lb bag of Sodium Thiosulfate from Amazon. For about 2 months now each weekend I preform a 600 gallon water change and use 4 grams of ST. I have a cheap aquarium net hooked up to the end of the hose where I place the ST to dissolve while pumping in the new water. The water is agitating the pond surface doing this. Attached is a picture of the ST I have. Please look and see if this type is ok.

      This weekend I added a Sand and Gravel filter to the system as a sorta temporary end of the season type thing until next year I can do a replumb and add a moving bed filter. I wanted to see it in action LOL. So atm its BD -> Settling Barrel -> Pump -> Bog/Sand and Gravel -> Strapping Bio Filter -> Waterfall. So here is the steps to achieve this. I turned off the pumps but left the bottom drains diffuser run the whole time. I cut a 3 inch hole in the bottom side of the strapping barrel as the input for S&G. Each layer of rock I washed in buckets over and over until clear. After hooking up everything I flushed/Shop vac air the S&G many times until the water was clear coming out of the discharge. I would estimate 400 gallons used. Here is the part I could have created an issue..... I removed the 3 soccer bags that hold the strapping so I could drill the 3 inch hole and install a uniseal. As you all imagine it was horrible. *I lightly sprayed each bag with chlorinated hose water*. I shop vacced out all the gunk left in strapping barrel. This is when I began filling the pond back up with the above method and ST.

      A couple hours later I saw most of the fish all close to the pond surface. One fish in particular was gulping for air. Each time it submerged you could see air bubbles coming out of its gills. I took a water sample and attached are the findings. My oxygen level seems low, it usually is between 8-12. I added a small pump to help splash water at the surface. This morning I came out to one dead Koi and one upside down Fancy Goldfish not looking well.

      It seems like the more I try to do to better the fishes health the more it gets screwed up. Please any and all suggestions of things I should check ect would be appriciated.

      Thank you

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    2. #2
      Orlando is online now Senior Member
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      I have read your procedures and I can't find anything wrong, rinsing with chlorinated water it's such a small amount that I say no also to that, the only two items that have me thinking it's either the barrel used or some of the material being used inside the barrel could have been tainted with something I don't think it's DO 4 could be low at high water temperature shure hope another pair of eyes is more helpful than me. Have you considered moving the fish to a separate body of water temporarily just to see if they improve.

    3. #3
      blackde is online now Junior Member
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      Thank you for the response. The barrel was used for food grade material. I even used non toxic soap to scrub them and left them sit outside with the lids cut off, collecting rain in them for a month. This crap just baffles me. The oxygen tester I have you use drops, I may need to invest in a better digital tester. I seriously can't justify to the oldlady that I need an expensive tester for everything this pond is throwing at me I went home for lunch and the goldfish is alive but swimming upside down and kinda just floating. From internet searches it could be swim bladder disorder which has many different causes. Atm I do not have the ability to isolate fish except in 55 gallon barrel sitting outside without a filtration system.

    4. #4
      perniciousviper's Avatar
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      Hi Blackde, sorry for your stress. How often have you cleaned out the strapping in the nets, and the barrel they're in? I've read here and elsewhere that disturbing waste and mulm that has been allowed to build up over a period of time (eg multiple months, years even) can release some pretty toxic, fish unfriendly stuff. When you removed the net bags, perhaps some of this found its way into the pond, unless that container was isolated/cleaning to waste? Like Orlando, I can't see anything that jumps out at me.

      Looks like bog standard ST to me, btw

    5. #5
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by perniciousviper View Post
      Hi Blackde, sorry for your stress. How often have you cleaned out the strapping in the nets, and the barrel they're in? I've read here and elsewhere that disturbing waste and mulm that has been allowed to build up over a period of time (eg multiple months, years even) can release some pretty toxic, fish unfriendly stuff. When you removed the net bags, perhaps some of this found its way into the pond, unless that container was isolated/cleaning to waste? Like Orlando, I can't see anything that jumps out at me.

      Looks like bog standard ST to me, btw
      I wondered about the same but thinking more of the bog filter and stopping the flow through it and then starting it up
      again. I know if I do a pump start up with a dirty s/g filter, all kinds of debris will get dislodged and end up in the pond.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    6. #6
      Orlando is online now Senior Member
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      I see in the direction you guys are headed but I don't think it could have something to do with the situation if the bog remained flodded the ammonia reading would have shown if it had an issue that developed due to the temporary shut down. Just thinking here this one is a doosey.

    7. #7
      icu2's Avatar
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      Would it have shown it though if it was hydrogen sulfide that got released?
      I'm just guessing...
      --Steve
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    8. #8
      Orlando is online now Senior Member
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      Question for Blackde, during the shutdown was the bog drained or did it remained flooded?

    9. #9
      KingstonKoi is offline Supporting Member
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      Blackde,

      How are the remaining fish doing? It sounds like two fish were hit harder by whatever phenomenon caused them all to need more air. Have the rest of the fish settled back down?

      Perhaps if it was hydrogen sulfide that was released in a batch, one fish absorbed more of it. Or one fish initially was more stressed out and a little weaker than the others, and this tipped him or her over the edge. Two months ago when I had my pond professionally cleaned, it was the second time I took my fish out of the water in six weeks. One 12 inch Kohaku keeled over in less than 30 minutes. She might have run into the side of the temporary tank, had a heart attack, or just been weaker. Iím sorry for your loss. It sounds like you are doing everything possible with lots of advanced research. This may be one of those mystery losses. Just know you are not alone, and many of us have been there.
      Last edited by KingstonKoi; 09-14-2021 at 01:25 AM.

    10. #10
      blackde is online now Junior Member
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      Thank you everyone for the advise. The Bog line has a ball valve that I shut off when not pumping through it. The only time the Bog gets drained is the winter shut down. When I shut down for the winter I also drain the strapping barrel. Basically I have it so I shut off the Bottom drain, remove the pump, use fernco and pipe where the pump and check valve were. After that I can open ball valves that go to Strap barrel plus Bog and let them both or one at a time drain back into the settling barrel to pump out and shop vac whats left. Thats what I did here. I left the bog water alone but back flowed the strapping barrel. I removed the strapping and lightly sprained the outside of the bags removing any visible sludge. I rinsed the barrel and shop vacced it before replacing the bags of strapping. Upon restart of pump I did not observe any color change in the pond water, it stayed clear.

      All remaining fish seem to be doing well again and are swimming at different depths and feeding normally. I run a Sequence 750 pump. It pumps thru the bog at a slow pace and the remainder out the waterfall. Maybe the waterfall just doesn't add as much oxygen to the water as I'm figuring? I run the bottom drain air diffuser from 10:30pm till 7:00am. Then it turns on again from 8:00am till 12 noon. Also the air pump is split so some of the air goes to airstones at the bottom of the strapping barrel. I'm wondering if I need 24/7 aeration somehow.

      I have been doing weekly water changes with ST for about a month and a half now. It seems like the fish are a bit slugish and just not the same for about a day after.

      Again thank you everyone

    11. #11
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      I'm wondering if a toxin came and went. My guess is that chlorine was to toxin in this case and that you did not add enough ST upon the water change. This is more likely if the water is not going through a 'dirty' filter for certain amount of time that would otherwise neutralize the chlorine. It would have been handy to have an instrument like a Hanna Total Chlorine Checker ULR (ultra low reading) at the time when the fish were showing distress. If you do get one please post what your reading is here after your routine water changes.
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin

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      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmiHmpbWEOY&t=170s


    12. #12
      blackde is online now Junior Member
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      Amazon sells Hanna Total Chlorine Checker but not the URL one so I need to order that from Hanna. I took my tap water to a local pool store and the chlorine level is 2.1 ppm. I researched my water company in the past and that is the number I had when calculating how much ST to use. After searching more I'm now doubting the exact amount I should be using of ST. Some websites say 22 grams of ST to treat 1k water at 2ppm others say 4 - 29 grams. There's just to many opinions out there. Any help would be appreciated.

      How much ST in grams to treat 1k water change at 2ppm of chlorine?

      Thank you

    13. #13
      Orlando is online now Senior Member
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      The numbers in my area are at 2ppm also I use the calculator that on the main page and it's always worked for me, it's user friendly it will help. Glad to see things are going forward.

    14. #14
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
      The numbers in my area are at 2ppm also I use the calculator that on the main page and it's always worked for me, it's user friendly it will help. Glad to see things are going forward.


      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/koicalcs.php?do=calcst
      --Steve
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    15. #15
      blackde is online now Junior Member
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      This is what your referring too? https://www.koiphen.com/forums/koicalcs.php?do=calcst

      1,000 gallons or 3785 liters at 2.0 ppm = 26.524 grams of ST

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