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Thread: Removing Nitrate? advice pleaassse! :)

  1. #41
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    Mmmmmmmm........soup's on!

    Meg,

    Thanks so much for going to the trouble of posting those photos. Those pictures truly are -- as they say -- worth a thousand words. Your real-world experience is extremely valuable to someone (such as myself) still mired in the planning stage. I am thinking twice about this plant pond idea.

    I very much appreciate your efforts.

    Paul

  2. #42
    Meg
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    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    your welcome Paul,
    but I do love my lily pond, I must have liked to make mud pies as a kid!

    but my koi live elsewhere.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Removing Nitrate? advice pleaassse! :)-img_8999.jpg  

  3. #43
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    There are a million ways to skin a cat, but only a few that will yield a useful pelt

    Meg's stream has a very familiar look to it... only mine was longer... much longer

    We likewise tried the "stream filter" approach utilizing several small "pools" for settlement and plants along the way with lava rock and pea gravel in the stream bed to act as somewhat of a horizontal "trickle tower/shower" filter.

    It was lovely The water rippling over and through the rocky stream was well aerated to say the least and the hyacinth, papyrus, etc... enjoyed good growth in their little pools.

    Of course fall eventually came and with it the need to shut the stream down due to cold weather, which meant removing the plants and inspecting the pools/gravel...

    Now you would think that with all that lovely pre-filtered water running along those shallow rocks that it would all be aerobic wouldn't you You'd be as full of shit as the rocks were, but it made for some happy thoughts all summer long anyway Pulling the plants from their small pools (less than 1' deep) stirred up the wretched black anaerobic mulm that had accumulated on the roots and settled in the bottom. This is when I said "note to self. Install bottom drains on the plant pools before next spring".

    Then came time to rake the gravel and lava rock around to rinse it, just in case any crud "might" be caught in there. As it turned out "just in case" became "it is the case", as the supposedly "aerobic" gravel was likewise loaded with mulm with literally thousands of worms living in the muck My "aerobic horizontal trickle tower" was actually functioning more like a compost heap We harvested a LOT of worms, many of which became late season snacks for the feesh, with the rest being re-located to the gardens and the real compost heap

    The decision was made to do away with the "settlement/plant pools" in the stream as they weren't worth the trouble. The lava rock layer was reduced from 1-2" to only 1 layer of loosely scattered LR to prevent so much mulm. It still trapped a lot of crap and was done away with altogether the following year.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  4. #44
    Sansai KoiKisses's Avatar
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    Update on nitrate readings.....

    As I stated last week in this thread, my nitrates have normally read 20-40 per reading. Even though I'm an addict when it comes to testing, I generally don't test for nitrates except maybe twice a month. Of course, the best readings (of 10) would come after water changes --- but soon get back to 20 or 40.

    Well, I have to thank PapaBear and the other koi keepers here on KB for all of their postings regarding keeping water. For the last six weeks, I have been doing more frequent backflushes/and small water changes and last night while reading my pond diary I realized that for the past 4 weeks my nitrates have not exceeded 5 !!!!!!!!!!! I'm fired up! Maybe they'll eventually get to undetectible, but 5 is fabulous!

    Thanks again to all,

    Koi Kisses
    "...no matter how you look at it, Mother Nature still makes the rules."

  5. #45
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    They say, “the solution to pollution is dilution”. If your nitrate is 5 when it was 40 then you have done a 87.5% water change (if no new nitrate was introduced). Such large % regular water changes are generally considered inadvisable.

    Anyone interested in pond filtration owes it to themselves to understand Novak’s anoxic filtration concept. He provides this on a CD for free, he even pays the postage! I have read the CD. I have read discussions going back years on his anoxic filtration technique. There are basically two viewpoints. One is the viewpoint of those who have actually read the CD or website. As I say I have read the forum comments and I don’t find anyone who has read the CD that long remains a detractor or even a skeptic. The other group is made of those who don’t bother to get his CD. Their ‘discussion’ centers around mulm, even though that is very effectively explained on the CD. Or sometimes the discussion is about supposed anaerobic hazards, which once again he completely explains. Or maybe the knock is “kitty litter”, read the CD and realize that you are criticizing something you don’t understand. The pages of discussion never begins to rise to the level of science that Novak presents, except when he gets involved in the discussion. If you think that the plants in the anoxic technique distort the end result you simply aren’t up to speed.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    Anyone interested in pond filtration owes it to themselves to understand Novak’s anoxic filtration concept.

    I have read discussions going back years on his anoxic filtration technique. There are basically two viewpoints. One is the viewpoint of those who have actually read the CD or website. As I say I have read the forum comments and I don’t find anyone who has read the CD that long remains a detractor or even a skeptic. The other group is made of those who don’t bother to get his CD. Their ‘discussion’ centers around mulm, even though that is very effectively explained on the CD. Or sometimes the discussion is about supposed anaerobic hazards, which once again he completely explains. Or maybe the knock is “kitty litter”, read the CD and realize that you are criticizing something you don’t understand. The pages of discussion never begins to rise to the level of science that Novak presents, except when he gets involved in the discussion. If you think that the plants in the anoxic technique distort the end result you simply aren’t up to speed.
    Hey Rob,

    First of all, welcome to the discussion thread.

    Let me point out that -- in my opinion -- there is just a touch of indignation in your post. You mention that there are basically two viewpoints: those that have read Kevin Novak's CD (and are presumably convinced of all the merits of this system) vs. those that have not bothered to read the CD contents, and have some sort of an agenda to discredit the "anoxic filtration" strategy. Let me introduce a third viewpoint: some folks have read the CD book, and are intrigued, but also want to understand and ask probing questions, comparing ideas and results with past knowledge and experiences. This -- in essence -- is applied science. I would say that interest and curiousity (as opposed to "belief/disbelief") have predominated the posts in this thread thus far.

    Rob, I suggest you go back to the very beginning of this very thread, and really re-read back up to this point. I do not see anyone going out of their way to discredit Kevin Novak's system, but rather, to really discuss what may/may not be happening in ponds of various strategies. Yes, this thread talked a lot about plant-generated mulm, but since Novak's system is not plant dependent, I do not see how a mulm-discussion is even argumentative. At issue was a reduction in nitrate experienced by DKoinut, in a pond that uses the (anoxic filtration) biocenesis baskets, but also has really significnt plant growth. The question arose: to what extent are the biocenesis baskets themselves responsible for denitrification vs. the actions of the plants (irrespective of the baskets)? This is a fair and valid question. As far as me being "not up to speed" -- are you sure about that? Would it surprise you to know that I have worked professionally as a research scientist, and I am reasonably well-published? No one, Rob, should be offended by focused, stringent, probing questions of scientific principles. Science is about truth, and truth will hold up even in under the highest power of magnification.

    Plants DO incorporate nitrogenous wastes from the water -- significantly -- and this fact would need to be considered in any stringent experiment to evaluate the denitrification potential of the biocenesis baskets. The discussion regarding plant mulm -- for those who may chose to incorporate plants in their filtration design -- is certainly not a slight to anyone.

    Again, Rob, most of us are here to talk about the science, and to learn from each other's experiences. Sometimes we will discover that we understood something wrong, or that there was a better way to do something. Sometimes we will come to the conclusion that we have a pretty good grasp on an issue. Please take read through the beginning of this thread, and see if you cannot agree with me that this is a pretty open-minded discussion thus far.

    Many of us would be delighted to learn of your pond system if you have implemented an "anoxic filtration" strategy.

    Best regards,

    Paul

  7. #47
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Well said Paul. Discussing the science of any mechanism on its own merits and looking for accurate and unbiased "peer review" of "new" ideas is productive and educational.
    The massive hydroponic influence in DKoinut's filter bay introduces more variable than anyone can account for which renders it useless for measuring the effectiveness of the anoxic baskets buried within. That doesn't mean it isn't capable of working as advertised, only that most examples are heavily planted which ruins the scientific measure.

  8. #48
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    No my pond is more of the “classic” garden type pump driven with bead filter and UV. It is a nice little pond, clear water ,healthy fish, nitrates about 40. I’ll build a second pond next spring and either incorporate Novak’s anoxic system or Waddington’s ERIC (maybe I’ll build two and do one of each). For my modest requirements either method would be sufficient.

    I apologize if my post is taken as offensive, I don’t mean to be impatient. Koi Keeping is a hobby. Koi Keepers are hobbyists. We aren’t necessarily the most rational group (fish lover). And I know that web forums are more about affiliation than information. So sometimes I expect too much, I expect that if someone detracts or defends a concept or point of view that they have some kind of factual basis. In the world of web forums that is the exception. And in this internet world of written words these words are easily misinterpreted into emotional terms. I have read and re-read Novak’s CD and emailed with him on occasion. The ongoing discussion at KP regarding anoxic filtration, which includes Novak himself, is over 50 pages long. I don’t participate in the acrimonious discussion there or elsewhere, the facts interest me the politics not so much.

    And I meant no offence when I say essentially that “plants are covered in the cd”. They are, and their benefits are described (such as removing ammonium not nitrates). What I should have said was: Plants are completely unnecessary for Novak’s anoxic technique. Novak has always been very responsive to my emails, so if you are actually considering scientific comparisons between system types and implementations you would do well to get his feedback on what has already been done. In this regard I would say (that it seems to me) from scientific perspective the bigger question is: what affect nitrate levels have on koi (which from what I can tell remains anecdotal).

  9. #49
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    Hey Larry, Rob,

    Good points made all around.

    I think we may be experiencing a bit of the "growing pains" associated with learning and with considering new ideas. From what I have read, bottom drains were very rare in ponds 30 years ago, today they have become commonplace. The marine aquarium hobby was pretty enamoured with denitrification chambers in years past -- while this idea didn't gain wide-spread acceptance -- the fact remains that the concept can work. It was only a couple of decades ago that the "anammox reaction" -- a biological process involved in denitrification under anoxic conditions (and without the requirement for a carbon source getting oxidzed) was discovered. Point is: there is still quite a bit more being sorted out, and I think there is yet a lot we can expect to learn as we continue to participate in fish-keeping. Kevin's system may well be under-appreciated for its' merits, but I do know of two folks over on KP that are building ponds using the "anoxic filtration system," and plan to do some pretty solid water chemistry analysis. I therefore believe that more information regarding this system will be forth-coming.

    It is really interesting stuff, don't cha' think?

  10. #50
    Fry
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    hi there sorry im new at this but what is Anoxic filtration ????

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