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Thread: General Hardness

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    Pt. Pleasant, NJ
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    General Hardness

    What is the best way to raise GH? I heard Epson Salt was one way. I have very soft water and I've had problems losing fish. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Soft is a relative term and specifics matter.

    What are your overall water parameters. Kh, gh, ph, Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate at a minimum. Soft water is not generally associated with fish death unless there are other serious contributing factors involved as well. What specifically were the symptoms of the fish that died?

  3. #3
    Tosai
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    I will get the results later today.

  4. #4
    Tosai
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    Okay the fish that died had different symptoms. 2 had droppsy not much I could do there. They died mid to late fall. I've had several die from ulcers. Mid to late summer. Than I had 2 die for no reason. I checked the gills and body everything looked good. I'm wondering if that was caused by stress from the bad water quality. I noticed the fish were flashing and ocasionally jumping. I still see them do it but not as often.

    Here are the test results:

    PH 7.6 @5:30am
    PH 8 @5:55pm had light rain today

    German degrees of hardness
    GH 10
    KH 3

    Nitrite <0.3
    Amonia 0 mg/l

    It looks like i have all my parameters are correct. My KH is borderline is that a problem? I've added coral and just starting using Calcium Montmorillonite Clay. Will this help?

    I think my biggest problem was that I was using well water. I tested my well water. It is very soft and the PH is way low. I did a partial water change using tap water. It seemed to have helped.

    Thanks
    Jim. V

  5. #5
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Sorry to have been so slow to respond but I just got back from a "non computer" vacation and I hoped someone else would pick this thread up for you...

    Your water isn't really all that hard and while your kh is rather borderline the coral should help somewhat and the clay won't hurt either. But back to your water tests for a moment.

    Well water can play games with you on tests but it can also be good for the fish so lets look a little closer. Let the well run for 5 minutes and pull a 5 gallon sample. Test for ph, gh, kh, immediately. Let the rest of the water in the bucket breath (preferably aerated) for 24 hours, then re-test. Chances are very good the kh and especially the ph will be different than the 1st test. Do the same with your tap water. Then you'll have a more accurate picuture of your true water supply.

    The fish deaths are too distant to determine the root cause but keeping your pond water chemistry healthy is the first priority in keeping the fish that way so getting a good picture of the water is always a good place to start.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Morning Jim, the water is fine. The problem is disease related and that is specifically from infection- maybe bacterial or maybe parasitic followed by a secondary bacterial infection. Are you a member of MAKC? ( Mid Atlantic Koi Club) there are several members in your area of New Jersey. Meanwhile avoid the urge to change water parameters as that is very stressful to the fish and every time you change the water, the fish will have to adjust again and again. This is not a good time of year to be stressing fish.

    You need to have these fish checked for parasites- specifically flukes and trichodina. The sores are from what is called 'hole in the side' disease. That is caused by a bacteria known as aeromonas. And the aeromonas infection gets started by parasites that crawl over the fish and cause damage to the skin, allowing the always present bacteria to infect the lower layers once an opening is available to them.
    There are other ways infection can start however. And that involves general stress caused by general water quality. And that can be related to your pond's design- filter types, water turnover, stocking levels etc.
    So you would really beenfit from another, more advanced keeper's review of your total system.
    Do a search for MAKC and contact the central chapter president and see if they can send someone in your area over.
    Meanwhile, you can also contact your dealer and see if they can scope ( look for parasites under a microscope) and then give you a compound to eradicate them and help get the sores under control.

    If you are really into your koi and want to protect them in the future, I would suggest you consider quarantining them for several weeks before introducing them into your collection.
    And remember, even with small fish, no more than one per 250 gallons will make keeping koi much easier- they grow fast and will fill up the pond with time by growing to two feet long each. You can break this rule and stock babies at one per 50-100 gallons but you will have to remove some of them over time.
    Best of luck. JR

    PS if you have no luck with MAKC contacts come back on and we will walk you thru things-

  7. #7
    Tosai
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    Thanks guys I will look into both of your suggestions. I will do the well water test tomorrow and I'll post the results from the morning test. I will look into the MAKC I wouldn't mind if someone came to look at my pond and give me some suggestions. I will keep you guys posted and thanks again.

  8. #8
    Tosai
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    Okay I tested the well water today.

    PH 7.5
    KH 0
    GH 4

    I will test the same water tomorrow and compare.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
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    also how many fish and gallons per fish ( including filter volume) Best, JR

  10. #10
    Tosai
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    It's @ 2000 gal. I have 2 koi @ 18-20 inches and I have 6 koi @4-6 inches.

    I have a skimmer and a bottom drain with a waterfall bio filter. That pump pumps @ 5500gph. Also have a Laguna 2100 filter for the small waterfall. That pumps @ 2500gph. Does this give you enough ifo?

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