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Thread: High Nitrite and High Nitrate in new pond

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    High Nitrite and High Nitrate in new pond

    I have tested my water on friday and it show high nitrite and high nitrate with the sera test kit. All show red on the test chart.

    I have salted the water at 0.3 percent and on saturday I done a major water change of about 20% ie drain 3 chamber dry and refill it with water.

    Today, the nitrite and nitrate test show it is on the high side. Salt level is at 0.24%. pH is at 8.0.

    How long on this condition should I expected it to last. Some of the koi started to flash. Can I say my pond is going to be mature and I should not be overly concern about it.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    It takes around 6 weeks under optimal conditions for a new pond to cycle. How long has yours been running? Can you give us some details about size (gallons) and fish load....as well as the type of filtration you have?

  3. #3
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
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    Salt can also kill Nitrifying bacteria.

  4. #4
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    It takes around 6 weeks under optimal conditions for a new pond to cycle. How long has yours been running? Can you give us some details about size (gallons) and fish load....as well as the type of filtration you have?
    The pond have been running 2 week since the koi is back into the pond.

    The pond size is 33 tons or around 8,000 US gallon (included 8 ton filter). The filter is up/down filter chamber which have about 8 chamber. 1 settlement chamber, 3 chamber with Jap Matt and 1 chamber with oyster shell, and 1 chamber contain about 60 kg of Bacteria House, 1 chamber is the pump chamber and 1 chamber is the dry chamber.

    Only on fri the nitrite and nitrate spike happen. Before that, a slight detection of nitrite and nitrate.

    There are about 12 koi, the biggest is 70cm and most is around 50 cm. Refresh powder was put into the pond over the 2 week period.

    So I have to wait about 4 to 6 weeks before the filter is mature.

  5. #5
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkong View Post
    Salt can also kill Nitrifying bacteria.
    Didn't know that.

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Salt can damage nitrifying bacteria, but only at higher levels. You must maintain a low salinity level right now to protect the fish from the nitrites. Keep the salt level around .15% to .2% to protect them. The filter bacteria won't be damaged by this. Just keep on doing what you are doing. There are two types of beneficial bacteria in the filter. One converts ammonia to nitrites, the second converts nitrites to nitrates. The first one establishes pretty quick, which is why you are seeing a nitrite reading now. The second takes longer to fully establish. Your pond sounds like it has great filtration, so all you can do is wait this out and control things until the filters are up to speed.

  7. #7
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    Salt can damage nitrifying bacteria, but only at higher levels. You must maintain a low salinity level right now to protect the fish from the nitrites. Keep the salt level around .15% to .2% to protect them. The filter bacteria won't be damaged by this. Just keep on doing what you are doing. There are two types of beneficial bacteria in the filter. One converts ammonia to nitrites, the second converts nitrites to nitrates. The first one establishes pretty quick, which is why you are seeing a nitrite reading now. The second takes longer to fully establish. Your pond sounds like it has great filtration, so all you can do is wait this out and control things until the filters are up to speed.
    Thank you, now I feel more at ease.

    I have google and search on high nitrite and high nitrate but most of it show only high nitrite and low nitrate which is what I am not experiencing at the moment. Whew.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Also, keep up with the water changes. That's really the only way to remove nitrates. Nitrates really aren't harmful to fish unless they get above 200ppm. Below 100ppm is preferable though.

  9. #9
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    Also, keep up with the water changes. That's really the only way to remove nitrates. Nitrates really aren't harmful to fish unless they get above 200ppm. Below 100ppm is preferable though.
    Hmm.,....I think I better do a retest on the nitrate level in my pond water. I use a test strip to test and the nitrate level show 250. I better use the sera test kit to retest it.

    Thank you.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Two weeks in with a fully stocked pond what you are seeing isn't really a surprise. The Nitrifer's are at their 2nd tipping point, where Ammonia conversion to Nitrite is well established and Nitrite conversion to Nitrate is only halfway established. The moderate salinity and water changes are your best friend at this stage and a few weeks time should take you the rest of the way.

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