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Thread: biofilter establishment

  1. #21
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    But if totally depend on the fish, how does bioflim kick off with dechorinated tap water, a good O2 supply, and some ammonia food? I don't doubt the fish can provide a different set of bacteria.

  2. #22
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    But if totally depend on the fish, how does bioflim kick off with dechorinated tap water, a good O2 supply, and some ammonia food? I don't doubt the fish can provide a different set of bacteria.

    Hi Mike, well that was my only point- that bacteria comes in on the fish themselves and they alone can seed a tank. Adding mature water and some live biomedia being really the best ways to support this.
    A pond does not have to cycle. It can simply grow matrue colonies based on its size and how much it is in equlibrium with the ammonia source.
    So if were to add six sheets of mature Jmat to a brand new system and just three fish, It would likely not cycle. Instead it would just grow to demand as a complete nitrifying bed.
    But if I added the same and 20 fish -or- added only a bucket of mature water from another pond and three fish, I'd likely need to seed that system.
    The reason is, the water adds a certain phase of nitrifier than is wandering and looking to set up a colony. The media however carries with it an established, mature colony read to oxidize.

    The artifical method, invented by marine biologists in the 1950s, 60s is to try and avoid contamination and get a 'clean' cycle free of other species, disease and parasites. It was a sound idea in its day and very 'chemistry kid' in its thinking. But unfortunately, they soon learned that this science porjects could have a 'retarding' effect when put into rich organic situations- and koi ponds ARE the poster child for RICH ORGANIC settings!

    So what happens is at some point you will go through a delayed 'new pond syndrome experience. This is because the nitrifers with struggle and adjust to new sources of ammonia and competition from fast producing heterotrophic species.
    Remember, on one hand autotrophs can make their own energy and carbon. Heterotrophic species need organic material ( live or dead) to gain both energy and carb. Some can use inorganic ammonia for energy but they still need that organic carbon source. So heterotrophic 'digest' the surface they live on, and Autotrophs can live on plastic quite nicely. But I'm moving away from our conversation so I'll end the ramble. JR

  3. #23
    MCA
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    Thanks. Good to know that we are better off with fresh water and just the fish to start a new pond system. I would have never guess that doing the chermical head start would end up with a delay new pond syndrome. I would have thought that any head start would help protect the fish from new pond syndrome.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Thanks. Good to know that we are better off with fresh water and just the fish to start a new pond system. I would have never guess that doing the chermical head start would end up with a delay new pond syndrome. I would have thought that any head start would help protect the fish from new pond syndrome.
    As it turns out, no. The reason is the sequence of nutrient - inorganic ammonia followed by organic Eutrophication. And the microbes match and develop under that sequence. So if you create an 'illusion' of the nutrients to come, you create a sequence in the microbe establishment that must be realigned as the reality sets in.
    Interestingly enough, these techniques of artifical source cycling work much better when species don't lead to mass eutrophication. In that setting, organic building is so slow that normal water changes will keep its ambirnt presence low, low low. The classic system for this would be a invert or reef tank. The amount of organic added and produced by such closed systems is tiny. And circulation and water changes are huge. And that biomass in mass is not equal to a koi's fin! Same hobby- keeping living creatures in an enclosed body of water. But completely different from beginning to end. JR

  5. #25
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    And since this is the year of the local ZNA chapter, I'll add this as another advantage to being in a local community of ZNA hobbyists- the ability to use other members established filter media to seed you pond!

    Paranoid about KHV? heat treat your gifted media and isolate it. The media will die back and stress, but will revive over a short period of time. Use the water of members who have tested their stock. Use the run off from their biological filters- including the murky stuff-- its good for the new pond and is every bit the same as the bottled product you pay a fortune for. JR

  6. #26
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    If able to do so, I would do what I did when my pond was completed nearly 7 years ago. Have some mature media for the filters and add some green water to the pond. Then add fish. Full establishment of the nitrifier community was somewhat delayed by the competition with the greenwater algae, but no ammonia was detected and nitrite was barely registrable for a day or so. Using some mature media and adding some 'mature water' gives a chance of speeding things up a little, which I consider a good thing. Nonetheless, I really believe it takes a full year for a pond to get established, and perhaps longer in colder climes.

    CFKS is this coming week, so, of course, my pond turned greenish over the past couple of days, as oak pollen has begun coating everything. (The water is not murky. Just greenish.) Since there is someone coming who has asked to visit the pond if I can get away from show chores for a while, I almost started to turn on the UV. But, I stopped myself. I'd rather the fish be protected by the greenwater during the seasonal shift than have a pretty picture to take.

  7. #27
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    Question

    So Is it ok that I seed my pond with microbes from fresh water creeks that are around Missouri?

  8. #28
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pondkid23 View Post
    So Is it ok that I seed my pond with microbes from fresh water creeks that are around Missouri?
    Well, how would you do that without also introducing parasites and such to which the fish are not adapted?

    The microbes will show up on their own. There is no need to do anything. My approach and approaches others have suggested may (emphasize... may) help avoid or minimize the 'new pond syndrome' period, but after about 6 weeks with pond temperatures of 65F or above, things will be taking care of themselves. During this sensitive period, stock very lightly and feed lightly. Monitor the water. The big problems arise because folks who have built their new pond are excited to stock it full of every koi they want and feed in abundance, enjoying the fish. It's too much, too soon. Start with a few koi. You can add more after a couple of months. Do it right and those koi will be with you for maybe 20 years. Do it too quickly, and they'll be belly up in a matter of weeks.

  9. #29
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    Kid, I don't think that is a great idea as you don't know whats in that water and where its been. secondly you are not going to find the concentration of bacteria you need for a pond.

    There are many ways to go and a lot depends on how you are going to stock ( numbers, sizes and timing).
    The best is filter media and dirty water from a healthy koi ponds filter ( run off water or dunking their media in a bucket of water until the water is dirty).
    the second best is transfer or indoor water from winter facilities to the outdoor pond. That is a great kick start.
    The third is to know that a koi added to a new pond will slowly seed a filter and the levels of nitrification will rise with each additional fish added ( say two weeks apart). the fish will bring in the bacteria and you might see ammonia and nitrite choppy for a time ( 3-6 weeks), This is why you don't want to do this with expensive show fish! You could even use cheap comets for this at first but make sure they are parasite free. If you know a local breeder ask for his culls for this purpose.
    many many ways to go about this naturally. JR

  10. #30
    Nisai
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    Ok I see your point, but frogs and small birds and other bugs bring parasites ,how do You guys avoid this? The only way I see a how to avoid this, is put each one of my koi in a giant koi bubble,like bubble boy.

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