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Thread: DOC a bad sign?

  1. #11
    MCA
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    JR,

    If I put food into the pond system and the koi generate X amount of ammonia from it, I would think we want that nitrogen to get to less toxic nitrate form ASAP. It strikes me that if you have high nitrates in the pond....it is an indicator that the pond system is being overfed relative to the amount of water changes. The solution could be an mixture of: koi food with less nitrogen, less koi food, lower koi stocking levels, larger and/or more frequent water changes.

    I can't see blaming the filters and their bacteria of being overactive when the bacteria should simply be responding to the available food (nitrogen) levels. To me....don't blame the filters and their bacteria for high nitrates. Look to the koi keeper for a better balance of food, stocking levels and water changes.

    ========



    As Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree waiting for enlightenment, two musicians, arguing about the sound they were trying to get from their stringed instrument, distracted him. He was weak and tired from not eating or taking care of his body, but he wanted to see what was causing the commotion, and so he dragged himself closer to hear them. One musician would tighten the strings, and the other would cry, "Not too tight because you will break the string." The other would counter by saying, "Not too loose because the string will only buzz and rattle- in the middle is just right."

    The Master heard the wisdom contained in their argument and declared, "That's it! That's the key . . . perfect balance!" Not too tight yet not too loose, not too high yet not too low, not too in yet not too out. The middle path is the way! Of course, an entire teaching has evolved from this idea of a middle pathway, one that has affected millions of lives in a very positive way.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  2. #12
    Daihonmei
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    But that is because you, like most people keeping fish as pets of any kind, see ammonia as the evil and nitrAte as a confirmation that the filter is working. And as every TFH book ever printed has written- NitrAte is much less toxic than ammonia or nitrIte. True enough.
    This simple biology lession takes little consideration however, as to how long it takes for NitrAte to build. And in that sense, an overactive filter is 'overactive' relative to the limits of the pond.

    So the fuel can be too much food for the limits of the pond
    or too many fish for the limits of the pond

    The filter them becomes overactive relative to the ponds ability to dilute ( cope with) the final byproduct.

  3. #13
    MCA
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    The filter them becomes overactive relative to the ponds ability to dilute ( cope with) the final byproduct.

    But the problem starts first and formost with the koi keeper overfeeding, relative to the water changes (polution reduction). So to me this is not the filter being overactive....it is the koi keeper being a too active feeder relative to being a too inactive polution diluter. The filter and bacteria are just devices reacting to stimulus they can not limit.

  4. #14
    Sansai
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    Can I give an example?
    My pond is overstocked (what am I to do with them when they grow too big!) and I feed fairly heavily. My filter isn't over or under active, it simply changes pretty much all the ammonia to nitrate. So before long as Jaspr says, my nitrate had built up. Water changes were pretty useless because my replacement water is crammed with Nitrate from all the local farming.

    Now I mainly do water changes with RO water. This obviously has zero nitrate. End result, my nitrate is now very low (lower than my drop method can reliably measure).

    But my fish, feeding method and above all filter are all the same as before. So it wasn't my filter that changed but one of the two factors that affect the nitrate, feeding amount and water changes.
    Does that make sense?
    Last edited by pondlife; 02-20-2012 at 05:26 PM. Reason: missed out info

  5. #15
    Daihonmei
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    Yipes! be careful with RO water and koi! They will pull your alkalinity down big time in RO water and you will have a pond crash.

    MCA I have a smile on my face reading your responses. Its kinda like that picture that turns into two faces or a rabbits profile the more you look at it! Keep thinking out side the box and the light bulb will go on.

    The odd man out is the biofilter. The dynamic starts with a closed system of any size. The ingredients are the fish or the food, which ever you prefer ( a version of pick your poison). NitrAte is also a poison but much less toxic.
    the factor is dilution. Form purity to pollution, the only solution to pollution in a closed system is dilution! I think I feel a rap song coming on!

    So the filter is normal like a six foot man is normal, unless he is put in a 4 foot bed. He is then overly tall.

  6. #16
    Daihonmei
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    orientation: most often we consider everything from the perspective of the koi! Its presence, its feeding and its welfare.
    But the environment is WHERE the koi must live. And the enviroment means the pond-- its size, design, turn over and filter design.

    So we need to fit the mass to its environment-- that could be ONE 40 pound koi or ten 4 pound koi. It is still 40 pounds of waste potential. And of course, inches and size to fit the pond's design dimensions is another consideration.

    OK, if the pond is fixed in size, lets say 10,000 gallons. And the turn over rate is fixed at three times an hour and the filtration surface is fixed at 350 sq inches per cubic yard, then the only variables are ;

    1) pounds of fish
    2) amount of ammonia waste based on feeding at different temperatures/seasons

    So if we add more fish ( or they gain size and weight) or increase feeding ( or keep feeding the same in cooler water) we put more demand on the filter to perform at a higher rate.

    the filter will process more ammonia and put out more nitrAte.

    the stocking and growing rate level can't be fixed and the output of food can't be constant ( due to seasons and temperature changes effecting metabolic efficiency) so the heart of the issue is the biofilter. It must EXPAND in cell count to compensation for more ammonia and also in size of each cell as it goes into 'over time'. The constants again- the water volume of the entire system being the same, the water turnover is the same. The filter then becomes more active in the sense that it is pouring out MORE NitrAte at a faster rate ( per fixed turn over). It is 'over active' for the fixed volume of the pond and NitrAte builds faster between water changes or put another way, moves the base line higher between changes.
    this focus on the filter's growth rather than the fish's growth, will help one to envision what is really going on in a koi pond. If a biofilter is 'over active' it means that the fish have outgrown the system or that the feeding is out of hand. The solution to an over active filter is to reduce load and increase water changes. JR

  7. #17
    Nisai
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    thanks jr, very informative, i have this occurring with my greenhouse fry ponds, i built two foam fractionators thinking it would help with the tea colored water, yes it has reduced most of the foam and some of the coloring, i need to do more frequent water changes instead of larger ones once a week. i normally do 25% water changes once a week, 900gal, maybe i will try 10% water changes three times a week, i will keep you posted over the next few weeks as to how much the quality has changed. thanks for starting this post and helping me realize what i need to do.
    ben

  8. #18
    Daihonmei
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    hey Ben, how you doing? If you have tea colored water I would look to the feed and the temperature you are feeding at. If a koi feeds at cooler temperatures there will be a some dumping of high protein food. Or a partial digesting leading to DOCs. JR

  9. #19
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    hey Ben, how you doing? If you have tea colored water I would look to the feed and the temperature you are feeding at. If a koi feeds at cooler temperatures there will be a some dumping of high protein food. Or a partial digesting leading to DOCs. JR
    hi jr,
    you are 100% accurate, the temps are on the lower side, mid 50- low 60, i have been searching for a lower protein floating pellet for the babies but i have not had any success, there is a ton of waste in the s/c and the bead filter backwashes are nasty, i am trying to figure out the best ratio of feed/ fish but haven't been able to find the perfect ratio with the food i have, i really would love to have a low protein wheat germ type food for these cooler temps but i am not having any luck in my earch for a small floating pellet, everyone says feed babies high protein food, i think its b.s. that babies need high protein food in the temp ranges i am working with, when they were tiny fry i understand that higher protein is necessary, but now they are 6-10'', lower protein food would be digested instead of mostly wasted in these temps which would result in better water quality as well as improved growth rates, am i correct with this thought? any suggestions on a food manufacturer that makes a small flowing low protein pellet?
    thanks
    ben

  10. #20
    Daihonmei
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    So if you want to clean up the water in the mean time, just put some activated carbon on the system or some chemi pure or polyfilter-- all will take the stain out of the water.
    You really only need to feed high protein when the water is above 70F ( ideal is 70-74). otherwise they dump most of it into the water column. You can crush pellets if you want. I think zeigler has a baby protein pellet. JR

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