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Thread: Bringing koi into show condition

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thank's for the explanation Mike.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Clay does act as a flocculent. Many have observed that after the mud settles, their water is clearer than before.

    Clay does not 'absorb' it adsorbs. There is a difference. Because of the difference in electrical charges, ions attach to the surface of the tiny clay particles. Some ions attach more strongly than others. Weakly attached ions will be released back into the water when another ion comes along with a stronger affinity. Clay is like the various resins used for water purification, just not as effective as ones manufactured for specific purposes.... but a lot cheaper. Many aquarists are familiar with zeolite being used for ammonia removal. Naturally occurring zeolite forms from clay subjected to certain conditions. They are geologically related.

    I think the way most folks use clay, you are correct in saying it is "a pacifier for the well-meaning nervous caring hobbyist. " It does not hurt anything, but in the context of a koi pond a weekly addition of a cup or so of clay has minimal, temporary impact. Still, in Quenton's situation where people are being limited to only a few gallons of water per day, some beneficial effect could be a big deal.
    Could clay with the right water parameters induce shimmies as suggested by a keeper on KP?


  3. #13
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    Nobody is really sure what causes shimmies. It seems that the tendency is greater in hard water than in soft water, but there are many instances of hobbyists with hard water not getting shimmies on their Kohaku. Since the preferred clay is a calcium bentonite, at first thought it may seem logical that it might increase water hardness. When I was using clay I did not detect an increase in hardness, but my water is on the high side of 'moderately hard'. Arguably, someone with soft water might see an increase simply because any added calcium in the water would make a notable difference. However, if the calcium in clay readily dissolved into the water column, there wouldn't be any clay. I think I only ever saw one or two Kohaku at Quality Koi (NJ) come out of the mudponds with a shimmy, although the ponds with larger koi were always cloudy with disturbed clay suspended in the water. There were many thousands harvested over the years with no sign of shimmies whatsoever. The mudponds in Japan are mostly clay and Kohaku come out of the mud without shimmies. So, altogether, I tend to think clay is not going to cause shimmies. In some particular water, perhaps the chemistry is such that a tendency to shimmies is triggered, but I think I would look for other contributing factors before jumping to a conclusion that clay had anything to do with it. ....Recall that the mudponds in Japan tend to have soft water despite being made of clay. Any dissolving of calcium into the water is so slight it is difficult to imagine that a cup or two in a koi pond matters when many tons of it has no impact in the mudpond.
    coolwon likes this.

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