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Biological Diversity In A Koi Pond

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  • #16

    yep Brett is " the man" when it comes to these things. In fact I think he knows a lot about Byro species.

    All these primitive inverts are very interesting and they filter water so they are harmless and helpful. The do pose a potential problem however.
    1) if they die that is a problem and a source of pollution and decay
    2) as much as I want to see bio-diversity on the micro level in a pond and believe it adds strength and balance to an outdoor pond, I would avoid too complex an ecosystem if you don't have the time or inclination to monitor their health. It simply creates too many things to go wrong for the casual keeper. I guess we are talking about degree of complexity?
    3) as Tosho Sakai once taught me, too much biomass in a closed system is not great for the koi. I once remarked how impressed with Shintaro's super tategoi tosai pond I was. Sakai asked why. I told him that when we pulled the pond, the net was filled with tiny frogs, walking sticks and other aquatic life proving the water was healthy and alive. He said No, that it was not a good thing as the biomass of the pond was too great and competed with the needs of the fish for nutrient, oxygen and reduced water quality for the koi.

    So in the filter, there are many tiny creatures ( lots of protozoa, leeches , red worms, larvae and tiny 'crusties' for instance). Fun to study and a suggestion that water must be good. In the case of sponges they do not like polluted water and for Bryo to survive they must have plankton and their presence is a sign of non polluted water. But if these species die off they can affect water quality the other way. Personally, I'd keep and encourage the diversification but one must realize that it comes with a requirement of greater vigilance. -JR

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    • #17

      In my second year of University, we did a biodiversity study of a Lake on the Campus grounds. The study focused on invertabrate diversity as a measure of the health of the system, with a timeline comparitive. This approach is a standard indicator of health, an early indicator of decline and measure system recovery after pollution.

      You really do not need to be a scientist to know that greater diversity equals better health.

      What does help, is knowing which oragnisms do best in what conditions. Some are more sensitive to oxygen depletion for example. I would have to go back and pull out the research, but largely they were alot inverts we do not see in koi ponds as they would eat them. We can equally identify which filter organisms are equivalent indicators from such a list as JR has posted.

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      • #18

        Well, I suppose it is nice to have this invertebrate confirm my water is not too polluted, but.... guess I have to wait for Brett to learn how to eliminate it from the plumbing if the need arises. I'll see if I can find a colony I can photograph more closely.

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        • #19

          You know sometimes the enviromental nut strikes me as someone who has never actually studied wildlife! In Marine aquariums, newbies are always delighted when a certain type of anemone or a certain type of feather duster ( a worm in a casing) breed in their aquariums. It means they 'like' their water-- no let me rephrase that-- it means they LOVE their water conditions. And therein lies the problem! They breed to the extreme!!! I have an ehiem running on one of these systems and upon cleaning it after about six months I found it teeming with tiny white hard tubes with worms inside- I mean these little beasts must have covered 50% of the inside surface!
          A clever guy named 'joe' figured out how to kill the invasive anemone with a product called aptly enough- "Joe's juice". It must be squirted right into the area of the mouth of each of these tiny curly cue anemone's just to keep them in check!
          Zebra snails, barnacles etc it is all the same, give'm an inch and they'll take over a mile!

          So Mike, keep an eye on these inverts and make sure they don't invade and reduce your flow! JR

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          • #20

            Originally posted by JasPR View Post
            yep Brett is " the man" when it comes to these things. In fact I think he knows a lot about Byro species.

            All these primitive inverts are very interesting and they filter water so they are harmless and helpful. The do pose a potential problem however.
            1) if they die that is a problem and a source of pollution and decay
            2) as much as I want to see bio-diversity on the micro level in a pond and believe it adds strength and balance to an outdoor pond, I would avoid too complex an ecosystem if you don't have the time or inclination to monitor their health. It simply creates too many things to go wrong for the casual keeper. I guess we are talking about degree of complexity?
            3) as Tosho Sakai once taught me, too much biomass in a closed system is not great for the koi. I once remarked how impressed with Shintaro's super tategoi tosai pond I was. Sakai asked why. I told him that when we pulled the pond, the net was filled with tiny frogs, walking sticks and other aquatic life proving the water was healthy and alive. He said No, that it was not a good thing as the biomass of the pond was too great and competed with the needs of the fish for nutrient, oxygen and reduced water quality for the koi.

            So in the filter, there are many tiny creatures ( lots of protozoa, leeches , red worms, larvae and tiny 'crusties' for instance). Fun to study and a suggestion that water must be good. In the case of sponges they do not like polluted water and for Bryo to survive they must have plankton and their presence is a sign of non polluted water. But if these species die off they can affect water quality the other way. Personally, I'd keep and encourage the diversification but one must realize that it comes with a requirement of greater vigilance. -JR

            How simple the answer, yet sometimes the wisdom isn't there for those who are still learning....




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

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            • #21

              Well, the freshwater sponge is thriving right now and seems to be impeding the flow in one line from a bottom drain. Has anyone learned a way to get rid of it?

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              • #22

                Mike I had FW sponges growing in a dark filter box, but also in my waterfall in strong light. Have you tried PP?

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                • #23

                  Originally posted by MikeM View Post
                  Well, the freshwater sponge is thriving right now and seems to be impeding the flow in one line from a bottom drain. Has anyone learned a way to get rid of it?
                  Physical removal, is about the only way to get rid of it. Are you familiar with what the oil industry calls a "pipe Pig".

                  A bunch of stainless steel scrubbing pads tied in a bunch and pulled through the pipe would work.
                  Matt Sklar

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                  • #24

                    sponges????

                    inside my laguna 550 box filter i have the same spongy whitish stuff growing....the box is on the bottom....gets 950gph water thru it..it is also in pondmaster box filter with 350gph water flow..It dosent seem to do any harm.Is it a sponge?I havent found any in my little 160 gal pond..powered by pondmaster 190 pump and filter...only 2 small koi and a bullhead cat in it.

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                    • #25

                      Originally posted by MikeM View Post
                      Well, the freshwater sponge is thriving right now and seems to be impeding the flow in one line from a bottom drain. Has anyone learned a way to get rid of it?
                      If you can pour a bag of salt on that drain area it should kill most of the fresh water sponge. You still might need to use a plumbers snake to clean the line.
                      Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

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                      • #26

                        Originally posted by Edith Fleischman View Post
                        inside my laguna 550 box filter i have the same spongy whitish stuff growing....the box is on the bottom....gets 950gph water thru it..it is also in pondmaster box filter with 350gph water flow..It dosent seem to do any harm.Is it a sponge?
                        Without a photo, I can't say. Could be. If it looks like what is in the photo I posted all those years ago, yes, it is a sponge. I have had freshwater sponge growing in my pond and predecessor ponds for many years. It disintegrates on some seasonal basis I have not figured out. This is the first year that it seems to have caused an issue.

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                        • #27

                          Thanks to all for the suggestions. There would have to be a real catastrophe about to occur for me to use PP. The salt approach suggested by Ray fits my approach better.

                          In the event, I have not done anything. The problem seems to be resolving itself on its own. Several large chunks of sponge washed out with the drain flushing yesterday, so I flushed it several times. The flow is not quite what it should be, but is much improved. The sponge that came through had many of the little round 'cysts' that form as it matures. I'm guessing it is breaking apart naturally.

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                          • #28

                            Originally posted by MikeM View Post
                            Thanks to all for the suggestions. There would have to be a real catastrophe about to occur for me to use PP. The salt approach suggested by Ray fits my approach better.

                            In the event, I have not done anything. The problem seems to be resolving itself on its own. Several large chunks of sponge washed out with the drain flushing yesterday, so I flushed it several times. The flow is not quite what it should be, but is much improved. The sponge that came through had many of the little round 'cysts' that form as it matures. I'm guessing it is breaking apart naturally.
                            Mike, one thing that I have done to clear a bottom drain line, usually gravity fed four inch... is to use some plumbing parts (I use electrical tape and don't glue anything) and reduce the pipe to a 2" in the vortex and with a one way valve, so the pump can be primed... hook up a pump and direct suction the bottom drain.. if algae or pine needles or something has caused a partial blockage the direct suction method should dislodge it and help get it out of there better than just doing the big flush into an empty vortex to clean the line the normal way... don't know if this would work on your sponges or not, but if they are breaking up anyway it might be worth a try...
                            Note, doesn't work on string algae that is still attached to the pond floor... but works with dislodged string algae .. my bottom drain pipes are free flowing and I get a good rush of water into the empty vortex every time I do filters, but last year when I had a string algae bloom, I had to fight things a bit... and I had a friend with a pine tree over his pond and slow flowing bottom drains and I suggested he try this and he got everything cleared up (big globs of tree debris) and now he is thinking real hard about taking out that tree.

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                            • #29

                              Bumping up for discussion with Maruzo.

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