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Thread: I want to stop adding BS to my pond.

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    I want to stop adding BS to my pond.

    Hello! Every other water change is my larger, end of week water change, and that is when I usually add a quarter cup to a half cup of baking soda to my 1800 gallon pond. I do this to keep my kh up because I use a bead filter, and to keep ph swings at bay.

    Parameters:
    Pond PH 8.2
    Pond KH 150
    Tap PH 8.0 (should climb if I let it sit)
    Tap KH 150

    I think the pond kh is the same as the tap at the moment because it's already used some of the kh that was from the last dose of baking soda. I don't put a whole lot in at once, and I only put it in when the ph is similar to what it would be when the bs mixes with the pond water.

    Is there any other way to keep my kh up? Oyster-shells aren't very affective in theory because my water isn't below a ph of 7, or even near. Is this correct? Maybe just more water changes per week..

    Thanks to everyone!

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    I do this to keep my kh up because I use a bead filter, and to keep ph swings at bay.
    If you have to routinely add baking soda, your source water is too low in KH (carbonates). You can address that problem by adding carbonates in the water column in the form of crushed oyster shells (which are cheap at the local feed and seed store), crushed coral, crushed limestone (not burned limestone), crushed marble....etc.

    Not sure why you would think why the use of a bead filter makes for different KH requirements than say the use of a fluidized bed, shower, or other filtration design.

  3. #3
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    KH Levels for Bead Filters


    David Jones 24 May 29, 2007
    http://members4.boardhost.com/koimag/msg/1179978904.html

    Hi Ron, I had the same question and posted my findings here a little while ago.

    For a long time, I’ve heard that while systems with open filters should have a KH of 80 – 100ppm, those ponds with Bubble Bead filters need a KH of 200 or so to work properly.

    As a KHA, I’ve gone along with and even spread this myth even though it didn’t make any sense. During a discussion with a friend about filtration, we looked at every conceivable reason why this should be true – and determined that nitrification in a biofilter was NOT likely to be dependent on the container in which the biomass was contained, and assuming all other parameters are equal, then every system should have the same alkalinity requirements.

    I decided to ask Dr Ronald Malone from Louisiana State University. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he invented and is the “father” of modern BB filter technology, and his designs are widely used in recirculating high density aquaculture systems. I figured if there was some obscure reason why BBs needed more KH – he would know.

    The answer it seems is based on application. He states that most hobbyist systems are quite low density, and so a “normal” KH of 80 or so works fine with any filter system as long as it is appropriately sized for the load. However, in aquaculture applications where fish per gallon are multiple times denser, and where feeding is maximized to increase production, the increase in CO2 production/carbonic acid levels uses up alkaline reserve so quickly that BS is added to keep KH levels up around 200. As some of our Koi husbandry practices have trickled down from aquaculture, it must have seemed right to keep KH at a high level when using a BB just like the fish producers.

    Looking at this from another viewpoint, we can overcome some of the carbonic acid load from our systems by “off gassing” or “CO2 stripping” in aquaculture terms. CO2 is loosely bound with water to make carbonic acid, so running high volumes of aeration or using trickle towers or showers will off gas the CO2 to the atmosphere and relieve some of the alkalinity use and required reserve so we can safely keep the KH at a more normal level.
    _____

    So: What's your KH level out of the tap, Sunny? And if that's a 'safe' level, can you keep it there with twice a week water changes? If so, there's no need to add all that 'BS' BS.

    Best wishes,
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  4. #4
    MCA
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    So in high loads, lots of carbonic acid is being formed with a corresponding greater demand on the water's KH to keep pH stable. OK. No problem with that.

    But the filter being a bead filter simply does not make special requirements. Indeed, if you want to help offgas CO2....put in a shower or TT. That will to some extent reduce the acidic load.

  5. #5
    Tategoi Yamato's Avatar
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    I have a high KH 170ppm and high PH 8.5 in my tap water...
    U say bakki reduces the co2 and acidity of the water...
    For me with such a high PH is it not better some what more acid in the water in order to reduce the PH?
    If it is better then my bakki is not good for me? , since it removes the CO2
    Advise please...

  6. #6
    Sansai
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    KH doesn't need to be that high

    I run a ridiculously overstocked pond with large bead filter. I maintain my KH at 17-34. The filter works fine as people posted above, it is a biological process. I like to keep my tds at 60-80 so need low KH. How much BS you add (or tap water) to keep it at that level depends entirely on how much you feed. Now I'm only feeding 0.5% body weight I need to add a lot less than when feeding 2%.

    You do however need to check it regularly (every 2 days for me) as it will drop each day.

    Hope this helps. Don't believe all of the hype from manufacturers.

  7. #7
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    I have a high KH 170ppm and high PH 8.5 in my tap water...
    U say bakki reduces the co2 and acidity of the water...
    For me with such a high PH is it not better some what more acid in the water in order to reduce the PH?
    If it is better then my bakki is not good for me? , since it removes the CO2
    Advise please...

    Stability is FAR more important than the measured values. Aereation is a good thing on any pond system. If you use showers and trickle towers you give the water the max chances to let out CO2 and take on O2...both very positiive. You should NEVER be adding acid to drop the KH and pH. Far better stable high values than bouncing between high and medium values all the time.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    I think I wanta scream! Only kidding-- but it is frustrating to see myths, folk lore and snippets of scientific facts taken out of context to come to conclusions about koi keeping!

    I won't bore everyone with the big picture understanding of what a koi pond is, how it really works or why we have problems over and over again when we spend our time with trivia and wander into the weeds.

    But I will add ( for my own mental health as much as anything) that types of biofilters do not have requirements that other filters do not have. And secondly, there is nothing wrong with water per sae, it is how you use water of different parameters and how you stock it.

    Think big picture folks. And a merry Christmas to all, JR

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    SunnyFl: Your KH is fine. There should be no problem with pH shifts if your pond is not overstocked and you are doing sufficient water changes on a weekly basis. I'd suggest you test water parameters weekly (always around the same time of day). If the KH drops notably or the pH shifts more than 0.5, then you need to determine how much of a water change you can/should perform on a weekly or twice weekly basis to keep the pH stable and the KH close to the source water. When a person's source water is suitable for koikeeping, I think the goal should be to maintain pond parameters to be very close to the source parameters. After that is mastered, then the koikeeper might consider such things as water softening, etc. to obtain theoretically ideal conditions. For most, however, maintaining parameters to be like the source water using only water changes will give the results desired.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    It is a controversial topic, and always seems to produce a lot of misunderstanding. I've known a number of people over the years who've never been able to keep their BB filtered pond well balanced without the higher kH oft touted as the remedy. To me the issue really revolves around understanding the details of your own pond, which includes the filter, the source water, the bioload, etc... All of these things must be taken together to form a "complete picture" rather than following a cookie cutter formula.

    If your system is "tight" (little off-gassing beyond the pond surface itself) you will naturally produce a higher % of loosely bound acids in the water column which will consume kH at a proportionately higher rate. Since a BB filter is inherently "tight" as a stand-alone system, and the vast majority of the acids are produced within this contained space, the filter environment itself can easily become more acidic than the rest of the pond. In such a scenario, while the added kH may be "high" in the pond, it would be merely "adequate" within the acidic environment of the "tight BB" itself.

    If I had a BB it would either be feeding a well aerated TT or Bakki. Failing that I would have strong air injection into the return water line to the pond to promote heavy off-gassing as soon as it hit the pond.

    Just an opinion.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

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