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Thread: High pH water source JR?

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    Sep 2007
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    High pH water source JR?

    Hi, I am new to this forum. Thanks for being here!
    I friend of mine, Joel, recommended this site for my question - he said JR (or someone else) might be able to help.

    We've just moved our soft water Washington State koi to Oklahoma. My water quality is fine, zero on all the toxins and about 170ppm for KH. My problem is my water supply. I've just spoken with the water company and he says that they are fairly stable at pH 8.5 to 9.2. Currently the water is measuring at 9.0. I've already managed to kill a nice midorigoi by making a 20 percent water change. 4 of the remaining fish seem to be ok with it, but the ochiba has lost all of its brown (not a big deal in itself) but also seems more sensitive. I dont know if it will eventually 'come around' or continue to do only 'so so' until he is weak enough to catch something.

    From the internet, there are more failure stories than positive stories re chemically adjusting the pH.

    There are just as many places that advise water changes or 'leave it alone'.

    Most tell me to find and correct the source. Pretty hard to correct in this case.

    And most sites tell me that pH that high is really detrimental to koi health.

    No place seems to give me detailed procedures on how to manage the pH using an acid....there was one place that went into detail as HOW to do it - but failed to mention what sized pond one was adding a cup of acid to...or by how much the pH would be expected to change.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling.

    Any advice or ideas?

    I am coming close to having some old pool water tested (we havent added any chemicals since moving in) and using it for supplemental water. It's pH is 7.5 - probably due to heavy rain dilution from about a month back.

    Thanks! Kim

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum

    Most fallen leaves' patterning was developed from a kohaku parent. beni is always vulerbable to high PH so I would rather doubt that the pattern would return when you get your water stabilized.

    There are many reasons why you wouldn't want to keep your PH in the range the water company delivers it, so you'll have to be comitted to adjusting it
    prior to it's introduction into the pond.

    Probably one of the safest products to use is vinegar. Some may suggest Muratic acid but there is a danger in handling it. So please be aware of that.

    I always feel quilty answering something that is directed to a specific person so I'll cut my banter short. Glad Joel directed you this way.

    Being now from Oklahoma "the sooner" you get your problem solved the better.....

  3. #3
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    So give us a hint at where in Oklahoma you landed. There are quite a few Koi Kichi around here who may be able to give you some true "local" advice as they likely face some of the same issues.

  4. #4
    Tosai
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    Sep 2007
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    Hi Dick!

    Except for this water issue, and missing you guys (It's Kim Nikodym), things out here are going good. Especially concerning though, is getting this fixed before the rest of our fish come out - Gil will be bringing them to the show this weekend. I've looked at vinegar vs acid on the internet and for as many folks that recommend it, that many say its a poor acid and leaves a bunch of organic load for the filters to contend with. I have no problems handling (myself) more hazardous materials - but there seems to be no guidance as to how to administer to a pond.

    No problem with putting your two cents in! One of the wonders of the internet is the ability to access a wide range of experiences.

    "sooner" hee hee!
    Kim

  5. #5
    Tosai
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    Location

    We are in Newcastle Ok, south of OK City, across the river from Norman. Apparently the 'city' of Newcastle (gee whiz - we have 2 stoplights!) gets the water from a large well, and has to do some softening of its own already. We will be joining the OKC club, just our schedules havent quite lined up yet. Local advice would be much appreciated. As you all may likely to have run into the same problem.

    Kim

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    the nw's loss is OK's gain...

    My experience with any type of water exchange is a 24/7 drip that consistantly administer's the new water. If I were in your shoes I would build a holding tank that could gravity feed a trickle into my pond for maintenance.

    What i would do is get a 5 gallon bucket and test the PH out of the spicket. Then 24 hrs later I would test it again. ( I suspect it may furthur soften)
    then I would add the acid of choice to that 5 gallon bucket and see what % of acid it takes to bring down the PH to where you want it. I would apply that % to my holding tank that I intend to create my drip from.

    I think Larry's advice is very sage, nothing like a club member who's been there done that to give you the best information going. all the best.....

  7. #7
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    You have 2 stoplights!!!

    Wow. Here in the metropolis of Davenport we have a few stop signs... but no need for lights I've been through Newcastle a few times, but it has been years.

    We do have some members in the Norman area who I think have similar water. I'll see if I can get someone to chime in on this for you. Sorry to hear about the Midorigoi. The hard water conditions probably would have been tough on its color as it is, but it is a shame to lose one. One word of comfort though. We have several members who manage to keep some outstanding Koi in Okie water, so it CAN be done.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  8. #8
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    at least you never have to worry about ph crash!!!

    Here in Atlanta I miss that calcium rich water we had in Dallas.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
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    Hi, I'm JR. Please send Joel my regards.

    You really have a two part problem/issue here.

    The first one is about abrupt change. Koi are gifted by their ancestors, the wild carp, to be highly adaptable.. But koi are also different and quite inbred so they donlt have the survival range and adaptability of the wild carp. So carp can swim from salty conditions to pure rain runoff and flooded plains in Spring and not suffer too much. Koi will also adapt but the stress of change will , for a time, put demands on the metabolic system. This often can mean that the skin and the color cells will suffer from high levels of hormones/steroids. I suspect that is what you are seeing. And once the color cells are destroyed they typically do not come back in some colors. The chagoi and other 'self colored' fish will come back as these color cells are more natural and enduring.

    The second issue, is one of range of optimal water conditions. This is within the survival range but in a narrow band within the survival range. It is accepted that the Japanese water parameters are the water parameters that koi are generated in and look best in by virtue of the fact that the world's best Grand Champions come from this water. It is of neutral to slightly alkaline pH and is soft to moderately hard in nature.
    The other detail of this issue is the fact that koi are kept in closed systems. Ammonia at these levels is highly stressful and potentially damaging so a good filter system and good maintenance is mandatory.

    You will need a reliable method to keep water in the 7.4 to 8.0 range. I use a neutralizer that gives a constant 7.4 but I am raising my pH. You will need another resin. I'm sure you can find a competent water treatment company that can sell you a neutralizer to adjust pH downward on a constant basis. It will likely remove calcium so you need to keep and eye on that. I would also get an analysis of your water done to see what minerals are in your water source. You might find that your water's pH is driven by just one or two suspects. They would be easier to remove if known. Before doing any of this, do aerate your water for a while and then test it. You might get lucky and the pH will drop after contact with air. You can also try a polyfilter pad to see if it turns blue with mineral content. Blue is the indicator so if the polyfilter pad turns blue you have some excess mineral/metal.
    The alternative is to live with your water, but high quality specimens would be a waste so you will be forced to keep pond fish as a hobby. It lessens the depth of the hobby but can still make a colorful display. JR

  10. #10
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
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    Here is a photo of a dosing tank like Dick describes....
    http://www.koi-bito.com/forum/attach...thingy.....jpg

    You will need about 2 ounces of muriatic acid (31% HCl) per 100 gallons. Sodium bisulfite is usually cheaper than muriatic acid, but there is more chance of some weird side effect.

    You have some funky water if the pH is 9.0 and KH is 170 ppm. There may be a lot of potassium chloride or magnesium chloride. When you send off a water sample, ask them to quantify the different bases. Also get them to do a heavy metal profile because when you fix the pH the heavy metal toxicity may become an issue.

    If pond-grade koi is not an option, then there is probably a reverse osmosis filter in your future.

    -steve

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