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Thread: help ammonia!

  1. #21
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine1008 View Post
    In the article, this is the part I think is related to the hot weather, since the hot weather causing lower oxygen level....Certainly, there are other ways to raise KH level. "Other important points to mention about the nitrogen cycle are that both groups of nitrifying bacteria need oxygen and alkalinity to function. If oxygen levels are not sufficient, the process can break down, and ammonia and nitrite levels will increase. Alkalinity (bicarbonate and carbonate) is also used by the nitrifying bacteria. If alkalinity is less than 20 mg/L, the nitrifying bacteria will not be able to function."
    Like we said. Good article.
    Most of us didn't need to read it to know that as we've known it for years. That doesn't change the fact that throwing B.S. in a pond suffering from high ammonia readings without knowing the ph FIRST can result in a toxicity spike and accelerate the damage to the Koi before the bacteria have time to catch up. PH increases raise ammonia toxicity IMMEDIATELY while bacterial colonies recover over a period of hours, days, and weeks depending on the damage done.
    Water changes in such a scenario provide a far safer approach to reducing ammonia toxicity by diluting the ammonia levels. In the vast majority of cases it will also replenish the kh content of the water to an acceptable level as well. If and ONLY if the kh of your raw water is low is adding B.S. advisable UNLESS your ph is too HIGH to begin with.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  2. #22
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    My tap water is 5.5 to 6.0 with a kH of zero. For several years, I only adding BS when it was raining. I have since done something more permanent...I keep oyster shells in the shower filter. But for those first several years, the kH in the pond ran less than 20 and my bio filter worked just fine. So the statement "If alkalinity is less than 20 mg/L, the nitrifying bacteria will not be able to function." is not necessarly true. My pond was more prone to pH crashes due to the low alkalinity, but the bio-filter worked just fine and believe me....my pond had a heavy load on it (40 pounds of food every 5 weeks). The point remains....you NEVER add baking soda to a pond where there is an ammonia problem or you will quickly accelerate the problem from a bad problem to a much worse problem. Fix the ammonia first, then deal with the kH if that was the reason for the ammonia problem, which I seriously doubt.

  3. #23
    Honmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine1008 View Post
    In the article, this is the part I think is related to the hot weather, since the hot weather causing lower oxygen level....Certainly, there are other ways to raise KH level. "Other important points to mention about the nitrogen cycle are that both groups of nitrifying bacteria need oxygen and alkalinity to function. If oxygen levels are not sufficient, the process can break down, and ammonia and nitrite levels will increase. Alkalinity (bicarbonate and carbonate) is also used by the nitrifying bacteria. If alkalinity is less than 20 mg/L, the nitrifying bacteria will not be able to function."
    Forest for the trees

    Joker is in Texas where most water sources are "hard". Ths is typically due to limestone/coral based substrata, both of which would supply an ample amount of carbonate hardness for the nitrifying bacteria.....typically. The exception would tend to be due to lack of water changes to maintain such. To recommend BS be dumped in without knowing the KH is not exactly what I would call sound advice. With an existing Ph of 8.5 it is kind of a no harm no foul kinda thing since it is not likely to increase the Ph and make the ammonia anymore toxic to the fish.

    Back to the ammonia problem. In actuality, using a fault tree approach, there are basically three factors to look at.

    Ammonia rose to a level or is still rising, why?

    Either:
    1) there is not an ample amount of bio film to process the ammonia present

    or

    2) The rate at which the ammonia is delivered to the biofilm is inadequate.

    Either of the above (or combination of both) will yield an ammonia spike.

    So, What to do? First of all, there may be an outside influence as well.....chloramines from a municiple water supply. Massive water changes could compound the issue. A Carbon/zeolite source water filter can eliminate that issue.

    In dealing with point #1:
    Stop feeding. Clean the bio chambers. Evaluate whether there is enough surface area that is kept clean to support enough biofilm for at least 1.5 times the fish load at a full/heavy feeding regime. If not, modify filtration system for added bio media and/or reduce stocking levels.

    I know the next question will be: "How do I evaluate that?" The manufacturers/distributor of K1 as an example will actually say how many sq ft of surface area there is for a given volume of K1. They also say how much food being fed as a percentage of fish wieght that will be supported by a given volume of K1. With that information one can extrapleate (sp?) and figure out their filter capacity. Unfortunately not many people do.

    In dealing with point #2: At 9000 gph ( that is 1.5 times the 6000 gallon pond) being pumped to bio filtration, the turn over rate seems more than adequate, excellent in fact so based on the information provided, re-evaluate point 1.

    One other point, is the O2 at saturation for the given water temperauture?
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  4. #24
    Oyagoi
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    still hoping to hear about filtration.
    and as stated on your test in first post.something happened what say 2-3 weeks ago as Steve said filtration should be in full swing in filtration up to par.do a treatment?did the pump unplug and no circulation through the filter media?Clean the media?
    so something say 2 weeks +/- happened to have ammonia that high and nitrite that low sounds like starting over the cycle.

  5. #25
    Tosai
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    for more information on the filtration. they are two eric like filters with four 20" by 20" by 20". filter carterages in each chanber with two air stones inbetween each one. also found out my dad cleaned the filters out 5 or 6 weeks ago in which they where out of water for 30 min but he said they were damp the entire time could this have killed the bacteria?

    also ph went down to 6.5 after being at 8.5 three days ago so i put a ph buffer in was this a bad thing to do?

  6. #26
    Honmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOKER24 View Post
    for more information on the filtration. they are two eric like filters with four 20" by 20" by 20". filter carterages in each chanber with two air stones inbetween each one. also found out my dad cleaned the filters out 5 or 6 weeks ago in which they where out of water for 30 min but he said they were damp the entire time could this have killed the bacteria?

    also ph went down to 6.5 after being at 8.5 three days ago so i put a ph buffer in was this a bad thing to do?
    LOL..Yes, the cleaning could have killed the bacteria, especially if chlorinated tap water was used. Was the "buffer" a bad thing? yes and no, In the midst oif a ph rash, a buffering agent such as BS can be a life saver for the koi, That being said, going from 6.5 back to 8.5 almost instaniously is a very bad thing. That is a 200X increase in Ph, not easy on the koi and can be very stressful. Please test your Kh of your tap water. Odds are that it is 300ppm (give or take) and if so, would indicate that you probably have not been doing water changes and thus the Ph drop.

    If you Kh from the tap is less than 80ppm then consider buffering with a less stressful method such as crushed oyster shell in ladies fine washable bags in your airated chambers.

    Chalk up a day delay due to lack of complete and accurate info.
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  7. #27
    Tosai
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    ya i know about the bad info. my dad and me where talking and he just told me.

  8. #28
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Detail matter so we need to know "what" he told you specifically.
    Were the filters washed with pond water or with chlorinated tap water. Those two things produce radically different results so the answer matters.

  9. #29
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Back to the ph buffering.
    Plenty of good advice given on that, but a good way to think of how to respond to a crashing ph is to "Never Jump". Just take "small steps". Your ph dropping from 8.5 to 6.5 could have happened quickly or over a period of time. We still don't know how often you do routine water tests, filter maintenance or water changes. 6.5 is not a "bad" ph per-se, but it leaves you on the edge if you don't perform regular water changes to maintain stability.
    With your ammonia from the tap running at 1.0 your biofilter is doing extra duty just to deal with that. Amquel only "binds" the ammonia thereby rendering it relatively harmless, but it is still in the water and your biofilter still has to process it.

    So, lets backtrack on the information flow a bit.
    How often do you do water changes and how much at a time?
    How often do you service your filter?
    Explain your filter maintenance routine.
    How often do you test your water and what are your usual results?
    We need to establish a working baseline to see the picture clearly.

    P.S. words like "good" and "fine" are not "test results". Words like "ppm" and "degrees hardness" are

  10. #30
    Tosai
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    they wernt cleaned they where just taken out so what they where is cleaned.
    we have a brush cartirage and this is cleaned once a week or more if needed and this gives about a 5-10% water change. he only sprayed the cartiages down once during the cleaning with pond water and they where not in water for about 30 min.

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