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Thread: DOC a bad sign?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    DOC a bad sign?

    All our koi live their entire lives in a closed system or a semi-open system. This means that they spend all their lives in some level of pollution. The degree of that pollution then is only controlled in one of three ways;

    1) how often you dilute the pollution with water changes

    2) How quickly you allow the pollution to build based on number of koi

    2) how quickly you allow the pollution to build based on your feeding skills ( more on feeding skills in another thread)


    The results of over stocking are easy:
    1) too much ammonia producing too much nitrAte in the system ( the over active filter syndrome covered in another thread and misunderstood by 90% of all koi keepers)
    2) too much bacteria of the wrong form common in the system. We think of our water as good yet MOST koi pond water couldn't pass a normal potable water test. Now that IS for drinking water requirements but our koi LIVE in it so what does that say?
    3) massive amounts of Dissolved organic compounds

    The results of over feeding the right amount of stock, ironically results in the same as too many fish, but the pathway leading up to the same result is different. Meanings, water changes work much better with this dynamc and it is less stressful for the fish.

    One of the key visuals in detecting pollution levels building to an extreme is the water surface.
    Over feeding for instance ( the macho side of koi) often shows ponds with 'dust' on the surface. This 'dust' can be pollen or dust bit more often it is a slick of oil.
    In the case of DOCS we are looking at a different kind of surface pollution. This foamy, bubble and yellowing look is the byproduct of feeding and the koi's metabolic system. These invisible waste byproducts are actually not the same! They are made up of amino acids, partial digested protein, carbohydrates/starches, fatty acids, dyes, sugars and hormones.

    When we see this we also will KNOW that are nitrAte is high. We can assume that our bacteria count ( heterotrophic wolf packs) is alive and growing in our water column and making for that slightly cloudy look. And the yellow of the water is part of that DOC/dye/bacteria dynamic.

    The remedy? Well most hobbyists resist the real solutions of lower stocking rates and less feeding. So the best second remedy is the water change- small frequent changes being better than large infrequent ones. JR

  2. #2
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    An additional part of this pollution dynamic is the physical removal of solids. If you wait too long to clean your pond/filters you will be reminded by the odor of the solids which will be rank and similar to a septic tank smell.

    When proper pond/filter maintenance is performed the smell of the collected sediments will be more like freshly tilled garden soil. Please do not waste this precious fertilizer as it will do wonders for your garden or lawn.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Absolutely, and another source of heterotrophic bacteria species to live ON. As they oxidize this substrait they reproduce. And a percentage of these bacteria are disease producing species like aeromonas an pseudomonas. They live on your fish's body as well, so it is wise to keep their numbers low. JR

  4. #4
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    Can anyone point me to the topic that covers "over active filter syndrome".

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    haha, That would be me.

    Its a simple concept and one that is well know in the 'more sensitive' sister hobbies like reef keeping and marine keeping in general.


    In those hobbies with their more delicate species, the rapid build of NitrAte was seen as a problem in that the movement away from what I call the 'base parameters' was so disruptive to normal metabolic function of these delicate species, that a new reality arose.
    and that is- in a closed box like an aquarium, the more active your nitrifiers, the more rapid your water quality deterioration.And today in most reef systems biological filtration to a great degree is discouraged.

    this sounds very weird I know, to a koi keeper, as biofiltration is seen as a good thing and the difference between life and death. And that much is true. But when a pond is overstocked or when fish are fed too often and too much ( that macho end of the hobby) we come to understand that closed systems are limited. And that a well running biofilter can easilt become to 'helpful' and pile up NitrAte like crazy in short periods of time.

    One of the reasons I encourage beginners to have too big a filter for the system is NOT to remove ammonia. That is an easy task and biofilters are pretty efficient and therefore don't need to be gigantic. But gigantic filters provide another benefit-- the law of unintended consequences- they create a larger system and therefore a greater dilution factor for things like nitrAte.
    So in short, an over active filter is one that is too efficient in the presents of excess stocking and/or feeding and quickly outstrips the limitations of a particular closed system. JR

  6. #6
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    over active filter, is it harmfull?

    I have plenty of filtration...well i think so in any case but I ask cause my pond water has had a tea colour the last few weeks. I do have foam on the surface and my foam fractionator (eathanator) is removing foam daily. I have also noticed that my water is loosing its buffer very rapidly. I had a Total Alkalinity of 10 or even less 2 weeks ago with a PH of 6. I have compensated by adding Bicarbonate and doing bigger water changes. With source water has a Total alkalinity of 30.

    I do feed heavy at the moment. I feed 10 times a day every 2 hours. Roughly 5kg a week.

    The pond has 32000l of water and i have 400l of aerated K1. I also have 3x25l bio filters filled with bio balls and also a trickle tower with 75l of bio balls in it. My pond has a turn over rate of every 45minutes.

    Does my description sound like what you call "over active filter"?

  7. #7
    Daihonmei
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    What is your nitrAte level? JR

  8. #8
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    That is a good question. Ill have to check in the morning.

  9. #9
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    What are they symptoms of a "over active filter "?

  10. #10
    Sansai
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    overactive filter

    Thanks for sharing Jaspr but I'm a little confused.
    Obviously the more you feed and that is directly affected by stocking levels then the more ammonia there will be to nitrify to nitrate. What I don't understand is how that law of chemistry can change according to your filter. Surely for every molecule of ammonia produced by your fish that will end up as a molecule of nitrate, presuming your filter does it's job?

    Factors that will reduce nitrate are percentage water changes per week and the measure of nitrate in your source water (a particular problem here in UK).

    So it would be great if you could explain how a filter can be overactive rather than a pond can just simply be over stocked or the fish over fed.
    thanks in advance.

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