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Thread: Chemical Treatment Impact On Nitrifiers

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Chemical Treatment Impact On Nitrifiers

    I often make comments about medications setting back bio-filtration, and oppose the use of potassium permanganate as a water treatment for that (among other) reasons. As often as not, my comment draws a response from someone saying they do 'such and such' all the time and never had an impact on their bio-filter. I disagree with their conclusion, but it does no good. I can see the consequence in my water even when there is no change in water test results. Since ceasing to use UV, I see slight changes in the color of the water when most anything of a chemical nature is added to the pond. A visitor would say the water is clear, but I can see it is ever so slightly more greenish than it had been. The same occurs when a period of hot days results in high water temperatures, or a power outage cuts off oxygen flow to the filters for more than an hour or so. The nitrifiers are set back, with the greenwater algae taking advantage of the reduced competition. The barely discernible greenish tint may last just a couple of days, or a couple of weeks. I used to challenge comments that there was no impact, but have given up making the effort.

    All of this came to the fore with a recent post on another board. The hobbyist had used a Seneye continuous monitoring system which detected the impact of a low dose PP treatment. His posting is worth noting:

    "... and I've always said that I never saw any effect of the low level PP treatments on my bio... until I started using the Seneye system. The ammonia levels
    drop like clockwork at about 10pm every day. When I did the PP treatment the level spiked at 6:45pm at .024 ppm which is higher
    than it's ever been normally... and by the next day it was back to it's normal routine cycle, but you could see that there was clearly
    an effect on the measurement from the PP."

    This observation can be categorized as a 'mild impact' perhaps, but obviously there was an adverse impact. The degree of impact and how long it endures will be influenced by innumerable factors... water temperature, oxygen levels, numbers of fish, feeding levels, degree of algae present, debris levels, thickness of bio-film, etc., etc., etc.

    I can only hope the importance of this observation is fully appreciated by those inclined to pour one chemical or another into their ponds. But, I've learned not to use up my energy arguing with anyone who has already made up their mind.
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    MCA
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    I have never be able to local or purchased trained oxidizers (chlorine, PP, O3) that knew which organic material to to oxidize and which to leave alone. So putting PP into a pond system subjects all organic matter to being oxidized. There is no PP to just go after fish slime and the underlying parasites, and not go after gill lamella or beneficial bacteria on the pond walls, insides of pipe, and on filter media. The only way to at protect bacteria in the filters is to bypass the filters doing a PP treatment.

    if someone is using PP to try to make up for poor pond system design, over feeding, overstocking and other man-made problems......they need to rebuild the pond system or move on to another hobby.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

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    Sansai
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    Would you gentleman be good enough discuss the do's and don'ts of a malachite and formalin mix please.

    Garfield

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    MCA
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    Both components can be toxic and/or carcinogenic. So always purchase an over the counter commercial product....don't try to make your own.

    Last time I did FMG I purchased Microbe Lift's Broad Spectrum Disease Treatment. Broad Spectrum Disease Treatment | Fish Health & Care

    One gallon treats 12,000 gallons 3 times. I treat my 10,000 pond 3 times with it. On the third day I mix in 100g or praziquantel. I purchase praziquantel by the kilo and that greatly reduces the cost.

    I never salt a koi pond so there is no problem with FMG vs. salt.

    I think the use of FMG is well covered in the many koi health books available.


    But what does this topic have to do with potentially knocking back the bacteria population?

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    FMG use impacts nitrifiers. In my experience the effects are mild and the biofilm recovers fairly quickly in a mature pond. It can really prolong getting nitrification established in a new pond, but it's got to be done if the fish are suffering an infestation. The benefit of eliminating the target parasites far outweighs the temporary adverse effect. My issue with FMG use is those who treat a pond to prevent an outbreak. It is a serious chemical combo. I have seen postings by folks who use it multiple times per year 'just to be safe'. Not good. FMG should only be used when there is an infestation by parasites susceptible to it. Although that is about everything commonly found in hobby pond, there are exceptions. FMG has little impact on flukes, anchor worm and fish lice. (Used with Prazi as MCA suggests, the effectiveness in treating flukes is enhanced over Prazi alone, but FMG alone does little to get rid of flukes.) The primary alternative to FMG is PP, which is very effective when properly used but also more harsh on the nitrifiers. The mild impact detected in the quote copied above was from a low dose PP treatment. A full dosage necessary to kill parasites really attacks the biofilm.
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    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    MikeM, What are you suggesting is a mild & full dosage of PP?

    1, 2, 3, 4 ppm?

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    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    I know of a hobbyist who used to do regular FMG monthly treatment to make his water quality superb and what he says "sparkling" afterwards. After 3 yrs he noticed all his koi died for different reasons after a 2 year stint in his pond.

    According to a Japanese breeder I talked to, he does not recommend using PP during summer when temperatures are high and very seldom use PP on older koi unless there is really no choice. He did not however elaborated on the dosage.

    I analyzed the seneye data of the OP. I was wondering why he needed to put a low dose PP when hia readings of ammonia was perfect, his PH was stable and his maintenance was quite good. While low dose PP will probably removed some DOC, it does setback bacteria population both good and bad. It is my understanding if you have a good system where the good bacteria outcompetes the bad bacteria then what is the logic in pushing back the good bacteria population?
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    MCA
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    MikeM, What are you suggesting is a mild & full dosage of PP?

    1, 2, 3, 4 ppm?
    How does any ppm does equal weak, mild or full? The impact of any dose of an oxidizer depends on the baseline organic pollution level, measured in ORP mV. 1ppm in dirty water won't matter a fig. 1ppm in extremely clear water, say in the 375mV range, could drive the ORP level into being too oxidative for the koi and start to burn off slime coats and lamella.

    Mesure oxidizer impacts, never guesstimate.

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    How does any ppm does equal weak, mild or full? The impact of any dose of an oxidizer depends on the baseline organic pollution level, measured in ORP mV. 1ppm in dirty water won't matter a fig. 1ppm in extremely clear water, say in the 375mV range, could drive the ORP level into being too oxidative for the koi and start to burn off slime coats and lamella.

    Mesure oxidizer impacts, never guesstimate.

    Agreed, but not many do it.

    I was referring to the 'low dose' used by those who use PP frequently to lower organics in lieu of larger water changes, compared to recommended 'full dosage' for treatment of parasites, which is often done on the basis of keeping the water purple for some period of time rather than a specific ppm. .....The idea of hovering around the pond with hydrogen peroxide in hand to neutralize the PP in case a dosing is too strong or lasts too long should be warning enough that PP is not something to be used without true good cause.

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    MCA
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    Not to mention using peroxide, another oxidizer, after PP is you got the pond overheated with PP. MUCH better to stop oxidizers with ST. And better still, watch what the oxidizers are doing in real time with a calibrated ORP meter. The cost of a good meter like American Marine's Pinpoint meter is in the $120 range. That is far cheaper than a 40 pound bag of good food.


    Aquarium Controllers & Monitors: Pinpoint ORP Monitor

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