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Thread: inherited pond/koi - guidance needed before our koi fall on hard times...

  1. #11
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    In the mean time, get an ammonia test kit ASAP and also some ammonia binder (pond prime, amequel, chloram-X) to get the ammonia under control. If you have a nitrite problem, you probably also have an ammonia problem. Also get that salt up to .3% to protect them from brown blood disease. 8 1/2 lbs of rock salt or aquarium salt will bring your salt up to .3%. Do not use salt with added iodine or any other additives.

  2. #12
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    In the mean time, get an ammonia test kit ASAP and also some ammonia binder (pond prime, amequel, chloram-X) to get the ammonia under control. If you have a nitrite problem, you probably also have an ammonia problem. Also get that salt up to .3% to protect them from brown blood disease. 8 1/2 lbs of rock salt or aquarium salt will bring your salt up to .3%. Do not use salt with added iodine or any other additives.
    Thanks - just added 6 oz of pond Amquel and the rest of the aquarium salt I had on hand, not enough but a start. Time for a trip to the exotic fish store. Will get the ammonia test kit and kick up the salt once I have the stuff in hand.

    Koi condition: Guarded

  3. #13
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenpicker View Post
    Thanks - just added 6 oz of pond Amquel and the rest of the aquarium salt I had on hand, not enough but a start. Time for a trip to the exotic fish store. Will get the ammonia test kit and kick up the salt once I have the stuff in hand.

    Koi condition: Guarded
    that's too bad. They will feel much better with the ammonia all bound up and the salt levels up a bit. Ammonia is really hard on them. Do you have an aerator going?? If not, see if you can get a couple nice sized air stones in there to get some air for them. Ammonia burns the gills, making it much harder for them to breath. Aeration will help a lot.

  4. #14
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    Do you have an aerator going??
    I don't - just the waterfall. Hence my question earlier about oxygen. Wasn't really sure what was sufficient but it appears the prior owner didn't have any separate aerator.

  5. #15
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    The first thing I want to say is congratulations. You got here armed with better information than most people in your situation and it sounds like you've got a realistic attitude about things.
    You've already been given good advice so I won't add anything but a little background information for you. Koi are very adaptable, and these you inherited likely came to the pond at a very small size, outlived some prior pondmates who expired long ago, and have slowly adapted to their conditions as best they can. Smallish, overcrowded ponds have a way of weeding out weak sisters one by one in search of a survivable level of fish, and as they grow the self-culling process continues.
    The main reasons yours are still alive are twofold.
    #1 You have been working at educating yourself and trying to maintain the water as best you know how. The advice you've been given will improve that.
    #2 Your ph and water temperatures are modest. Ammonia toxicity is reduced by low ph and cool water which has worked in your favor thus far. Temperatures will start working against you soon enough and in such a small volume of water as it will be prone to wide swings from day to night as things heat up where you live.

    The only bit of short term advice I would add would be to consider a constant trickle overflow of fresh (dechlorinated) water. As little as 10-20 gallons per day would be helpful in such a small pond. Your kh (alkalinity) is on the low end of comfortable and the biofilter will consume it easily. By having a constant trickle of fresh water going in you will maintain the stability of the ph/kh of the water and dilute/flush toxins out without creating wide swings in water temps, kh, or ph, which will make the pond easier to maintain and improve the conditions for your fish.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  6. #16
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    The first thing I want to say is congratulations. You got here armed with better information than most people in your situation and it sounds like you've got a realistic attitude about things.
    You've already been given good advice so I won't add anything but a little background information for you. Koi are very adaptable, and these you inherited likely came to the pond at a very small size, outlived some prior pondmates who expired long ago, and have slowly adapted to their conditions as best they can. Smallish, overcrowded ponds have a way of weeding out weak sisters one by one in search of a survivable level of fish, and as they grow the self-culling process continues.
    The main reasons yours are still alive are twofold.
    #1 You have been working at educating yourself and trying to maintain the water as best you know how. The advice you've been given will improve that.
    #2 Your ph and water temperatures are modest. Ammonia toxicity is reduced by low ph and cool water which has worked in your favor thus far. Temperatures will start working against you soon enough and in such a small volume of water as it will be prone to wide swings from day to night as things heat up where you live.

    The only bit of short term advice I would add would be to consider a constant trickle overflow of fresh (dechlorinated) water. As little as 10-20 gallons per day would be helpful in such a small pond. Your kh (alkalinity) is on the low end of comfortable and the biofilter will consume it easily. By having a constant trickle of fresh water going in you will maintain the stability of the ph/kh of the water and dilute/flush toxins out without creating wide swings in water temps, kh, or ph, which will make the pond easier to maintain and improve the conditions for your fish.
    Thanks, Larry! I will look into the trickle arrangement...there's actually a perfect place to offload small amounts of water (nearby downspout) so I would just need to handle the input, which I assume would require purchase of some kind of dechlorinator. I'll look into it.

    My wife and I are up in the air as to keeping the koi, though. It just seems cruel to the fish to keep them in an adverse environment...so we may give away two or three of the four and start to evolve the pond more toward a small-fish environment, as some have suggested. Right-sizing seems like a smart move. I am going to post a separate thread with a query about one option for letting them go...

    Many thanks for your encouragement and advice in the mean time.

  7. #17
    Tosai
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    Zenpicker, I am like you...I have learned more in the last 3 weeks than I have ever learned in the 12 years with my Koi pond. I never had one single problem, then all of a sudden a horrible algae bloom and things went from bad to worse...no matter what I did, which wasn't enough I know now, didn't work and I lost 2 of wonderful Koi. I shipped off the third to a friend with a much larger facility and he is doing fine. So...for me, I am enlarging mine and am much more informed in case of an emergency or anything else that might arise. I was too late for mine, but sounds like you are doing all the right things. I keep thinking of what I should have done, and have grieved tremendously...and I did do the right things to a certain extent, but needed to really go the extra mile. Good luck...it can be a great responsibility and work, but can be worth it...not for everyone, only for those who are willing to go the way extra mile. Now I know...

  8. #18
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christie210 View Post
    Zenpicker, I am like you...I have learned more in the last 3 weeks than I have ever learned in the 12 years with my Koi pond. I never had one single problem, then all of a sudden a horrible algae bloom and things went from bad to worse...no matter what I did, which wasn't enough I know now, didn't work and I lost 2 of wonderful Koi. I shipped off the third to a friend with a much larger facility and he is doing fine. So...for me, I am enlarging mine and am much more informed in case of an emergency or anything else that might arise. I was too late for mine, but sounds like you are doing all the right things. I keep thinking of what I should have done, and have grieved tremendously...and I did do the right things to a certain extent, but needed to really go the extra mile. Good luck...it can be a great responsibility and work, but can be worth it...not for everyone, only for those who are willing to go the way extra mile. Now I know...
    Sorry to hear about your fish! We are doing our best but are still not sure we're up to the challenge. I guess it's been so much anxiety and work that we haven't really had time to relax and just enjoy the pleasures of the hobby, so it's not feeling quite worth it. But we will see. Unfortunately there is no way to expand the pond and really do it right. ):

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