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Thread: Water Quality Help

  1. #1
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Water Quality Help

    Looking for help with a new 800 gallon QT in the process of maturing. We currently have two token 15"-17" koi and four 5" koi in the QT (kamakazi). I know it takes time (months) for the new filter to mature but would like to use this time to monitor water quality

    I did my first test and took down these results...(3 pm)
    Nitrate - 20
    Nitrite - .5
    Hardness - 120
    Alkalinity - 80
    pH - 6.4
    Ammonia - in between .6 (scale = 0-7.3)


    After a small waterchange and introduction of some ammonia absorbers, the next day my test results are...(4 pm)

    Nitrate - 20
    Nitrite - .5
    Hardness - 100-120
    Alkalinity - 80
    pH - 6.4/6.8
    Ammonia - in between less than .6 (scale = 0-7.3)

    The test kit recommends to buffer up. What is the best way to slowly provide this buffer? Limestone in the filter? Where can you find limestone?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Your alkalinity and hardness are fine like they are.

    Your pH is kinda low. Do you have well water? Is the water aerated?

    Continue to do daily water changes to keep the nitrates down.

    If the Nitrites go up as the pond cycles, raise salt level to .1% to help with brown blood disease.

    What is your water temp?

  3. #3
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Hawaii is mostly underground well water. I do have aeration in the pond water via stones and the pipe feed back to the pond breaking water very heavily. I have also added salt to the water little by little, but not at that concentration.

    For a 800 gallon QT, .1% salt sounds like a lot of pounds. Is it approximately .8 pounds per 100 gallons to achieve this .1%?

    The pond water is a nice 65-69 degrees right now.

    Will the introduction of limestone into the filters help buffer/bring up the pH in the pond gradually? I hear of people using baking soda to boost pH, is this safe? At what concentration? Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Limestone may give you a slow buffer, but what the availability is on the Islands I have no idea. Garden centers and building supply stores would be your best bet. I'd try to get my hands on some and do a shake test first just to get an idea of how much boost you get from it. (Where the heck is Steve Hopkins when you need him for Hawaii Koi Keeping advice...)
    Baking soda is fine and safe so long as you don't get carried away. Raising it too quickly with BS or Limestone will become a problem if you have an ammonia spike so hovering around 6.8-7.0 while you break in the new filter is a safe bet.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  5. #5
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    I use chicken scratch in my sand filter. It's pure, 100% crushed limestone and very cheap.

  6. #6
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    Limestone may give you a slow buffer, but what the availability is on the Islands I have no idea. Garden centers and building supply stores would be your best bet. I'd try to get my hands on some and do a shake test first just to get an idea of how much boost you get from it. (Where the heck is Steve Hopkins when you need him for Hawaii Koi Keeping advice...)
    Baking soda is fine and safe so long as you don't get carried away. Raising it too quickly with BS or Limestone will become a problem if you have an ammonia spike so hovering around 6.8-7.0 while you break in the new filter is a safe bet.
    Hawaii has a lot of crushed white coral. Can this be used in place of limestone? Not sure of the scientific make-up of coral. Guess I'll do more research. I can check with nurseries and gradens around town.

  7. #7
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    powdered coral should be an excellent carbonate source.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    What MCA said. Crushed coral ought to work great for you.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  9. #9
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Water from tap

    Decided to check the source water. I was somewhat surprised at the results.

    Nitrate 0-20
    Nitrite .5
    Hardness 120-150
    Alkalinity 80
    pH 6.4

    So I guess my source water pH is coming in low already. I added a basket of oyster shells in the last filter chamber in hopes of adding some buffer. Still on the fence with the crushed coral. I'll monitor the pH over the next week or so to see if its enough.

    Checked the pond, ammonia was up to 1.2 (scale = 0-7.3). Did a filter drain and water change.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Try aerating a bucket of water over night and see what the pH does.

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