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Using mud pond water to do water changes

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  • Using mud pond water to do water changes

    I was wondering if I can use my mud pond water to do water changes in my main concrete pond. I realise the water will become cloudy from doing this , but if done weekly it should clear quite quickly.
    I also realise that the PH and other water parameters should not differ too much from the one pond to the other.
    My aim is to add that something special from the mud pond to my concrete pond.
    Is this wishfull thinking or is it possible?. :?: :?:
    Jaco Vorster
    South Africa
  • #2

    Just thinking out loud here....most mud ponds are used to grow koi. the extra minerals help the younger koi who get most of thier body building needs from the water as opposed to the older koi who do the same with thier food.

    These same koi come in to an indoor facility in the fall and are then finished for the show.

    Are you hopeful to grow the koi or finish them? Also once koi are treated for paracites and are indoors they are alot easier to keep healthy then the ones kept outside. by influxing this outside water inside wouldn't you hasten the development of paracites which you would again have to deal with as an ongoing struggle.

    If money were not an object, i would build a pond in a greenhouse and raise my koi there were I had control of water quality and temperature, predation and disease. I would have three different filters/media set up and lots of fresh RO( reverse osmosis) water and current, really aireated!
    I would understock the pond and feed every two hours at 27 C.

    Quess we could conjecture all this theory wise...but you won't know till you try it yourself to find out what works in theory and what works in application. PLEASE share what you learn!
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      is there any kind of mineral additive that can make the water in a concrete or liner display pond simmilar to the mud ponds?

      something that would help young koi grow when we do not have a mud pond to put them in?

      nothing that would make the water


      • #4

        Thanks Dick and Matt.

        What I noticed when dragging the mudpond and seeing some of my older koi that were put into the mudpond was a skin quality I could never achieve in my main pond. Even adding clay did not even come close.
        The koi glow and every single edge of every single scale had a shine and lustre I never seen in any of these koi before.
        Dick you said if you had a choice you would raise them inside, well I for one do not think you can get the same or even close to the results gained from a mud pond.
        Did you ever move some of you're older koi to a mud pond even for one month?
        The growth of these big koi also surprised me , they grew in length but also in gridth.
        The pic below is of a Hasagawa Kohaku that turned Shiro after one month of being shipped to me from Infiltration. The koi grew in length and being female never had a good body shape. The pic was taken after 4 months in the mud pond. The koi increased in length from 66 to 71cm in this time.

        Jaco Vorster
        South Africa


        • #5

          Jaco, do you have a before picture of this shiromuji? And if so can I use this fish photo in a local lecture I am giving? Call me nuts ( lots do!) but I can definitely appreciate that shiromuji for its skin quality and luster! JR


          • #6

            Hi JR,

            You're welcome to my pics anytime.
            When I drag the pond again in October I will take a high resolution closeup of this koi just for you.
            The pics below were taken when I bought it.

            Jaco Vorster
            South Africa


            • #7


              I've been experimenting with such a system for close to 4 Years now. My mud pond is actually a series of lakes totaling 155 Acres with a few natural aquifer springs, but I have no control over the runoff from storm drains. Water is piped from the pond to my inground pond and then allowed to return by natural sand percolation. Interestingly enough, I've found no parasites except those imported with the fish from the breeder. The fish are healthy, breed consistantly and show improved colors and luster from my store fish. The small amount of turbidity dissapears in one day.

              From a standpoint of a controllable water source, such as a pond whose inflow can be controlled, when I lived in MD I was fortunate enough to have a mountain spring on the property. I fed this directly and constantly into the pond via a stream made from the local clay. No turbidity problems water was always crystal clear, fish in excellent health and appearance, but because of the constant low temp. of the water, the growth rate suffered.

              Hope this answers some of your questions.

              Pond-On (tm)


              • #8

                jaco, the koi in my avitar spent two years in the mud ponds. I know what your saying about when the koi first come out of the ponds. Sakai of isawa has goshiki/goromos that are to die for when just out. words fail to discribe the subtlties of each scale but within a week inside this is gone.
                I quess I have had lots of parasite problems outside to where i don't want to let them in to an inside pond where i do have better control
                I like werner's idea of a disease problems and if the water quality was not compromised a great way to go. I would think some heating would be in order depending on the volumn of replacement water one required.
                Let us know what your up to and what your planning if it works.
                Dick Benbow


                • #9

                  All my koi live in mud ponds or alternatively in tanks irrigated from an earthen reservoir. The reservoir is filled with well water which is then aged prior to pumping to the fish house.

                  Problems that might arise from using mud pond water in your pond...

                  Parasites. Always a risk when adding "live" water to your system.

                  Virus. KHV (and otyher virus and bacteria) can be spread by mud pond and creek water.

                  Bad water, even mud ponds can get funky water in them.

                  Silt. You can filter out silt, or just let it in your pond and let the filters there get it. Silt can stop up filters.

                  Suspended colloids. Filters won't capture colloidal suspensions and they can make your water very cloudy. Yoiu would have to use a flocculant.

                  If'n I had my druthers and was using mud pond water in my concrete pond...

                  I'd want that water filtered for solids then treated with enough UV to kill anything that might be lurking therein before putting it in my pond. By then, you'd probly removed any magic "mud pond juice" from the water.


                  P.S. I've gotta a really good bottled "Gin-U-Wine Mud Pond Extract" for use in koi ponds to bring the fish into show form. Just $25 a bottle and all you need is one bottle a week. Oh, I also gotta really good bride for sale, Fred Hartman bridge from Houston to Baytown.


                  • #10

                    Thanks Guys,

                    I see what you mean , the cons outweighs the pros by far. That is why I asked.
                    Werner you're idea seems to be the best option. Unfortunatly I live in South Africa where water from the ground is a very scarce resource, aspecially where I live.
                    Dick I see where you are comming from about retaining the tsuya and teri after the koi is removed from the mud pond is impossible. Then again Mr Maeda grows koi indoors that looks like a million dollars when inspected upclose, yoiu can always dream can't you. :P
                    Brett send me 10 bottles ASAP. :twisted:
                    If Brett says it won't work it won't .
                    Thanks again.
                    Jaco Vorster
                    South Africa


                    • #11

                      Don't get me wrong, it'll work if you make it. If that is your only choice, well, make it work.

                      You just have to keep the potential problems in mind.

                      For many years all I had to work with was creek water. Raised a lot of fish in it, too. Hwever, I have engineered my own eventual demise by bringing the koi keeping hobby to all my neighbors. Now they purchase koi not only from me, but off the internet, at shows, and in town. My watershed is now peppered with koi from all over the world and I have shut down my creek pumps. I now use exclusively ground water from my wells. It costs over ten times as much as creek water.

                      A really big koi and goldfih farm on the East Coast uses exclusively surface water that has been sterilized for its operations, and it works quite well. After the initial cost of installation of sterilization gear, the water becomes very cheap indeed.

                      What I'd like to know is more about the chemistry and makeup of your mud pond water. Also what its source is and how often it is replenished.

                      Betya dollars to donuts I can figure a way to make that water useful.



                      • #12

                        Hi Brett,

                        Thanks for the help.
                        I filled the pond with mains water and do a 30% change once a month. The pond bottom is solid yellow clay and I do not have a problem with loosing water through the bottom.
                        I also change 30% of my concrete pond water once a week using tap water. I just thought if I use raw mud pond water I could get the same results in my concrete pond and just add tapwater to the mud pond to fill it up again.
                        We do not have any limits on the amount of water we can use it is just a bit expensive. I cannot complain really since it has a hardness of 60ppm and a Ph of 7.8. Kh of 30ppm and no detectable Nitrite. :P

                        Thanks again
                        Jaco Vorster
                        South Africa


                        • #13

                          If the only water coming into your mud pond would be city water and rainfall, you can just about eliminate worries about viral contamination as long as you aren't buying and putting new koi in that pond. Parasites and bacteria also become less of an issue.

                          I've seen many fish holding systems that worked from a mud pond water source. Basically a small mud pond serves as the "filter" for the system. You pump pond water to the tanks and drain the water from the tanks back to the pond. This works OK as long as its always the same fish in the tank and your mud pond is large enough to support the fish population in the tanks. Fish coming ang going (as in a holding facility) allows the mud pond part of the system to become contaminated with pathogens that then can spread back to the tanks with the water.

                          As long as the tanks (or koi pools) aren't getting fish coming and going through them to bring in pathogens, then the biggest problem becomes the muddy water. A settling tank might be all that would be required to address that. Pump your water change water to a big tank and let it set for a day or two, then put it in your pond. Do this by decanting the water from the top down and leaving the dregs to be washed away when you've finished.

                          Now, having done all that, I do not think you will be able to bring the benefits of the mud pond into the concrete one. I beleive you could not bring these benefits by pumping unfiltered water either. You might get some beneficial impact if the water chemistry of the mud pond is enhanced over that of the tapwater.



                          • #14

                            Isn't it more not so much the mud pond water but what they find to eat in it?


                            • #15

                              I think its both.

                              The koi "work the bottom" constantly seiving mud to get the "good stuff" out of it. I beleive they iingest lots of minerals like this. They also like to stick thier snouts into crawfish holes and pump the crawfish out with thier gills. Watching this behavior is quite interesting.

                              I beleive the koi smells a crawfish that has recently molted, they like softshells just like I do, but I want mine fried.Sometimes several koi will work one area, each with its head in the side of the pond. A big plume of really muddy water will be all around them. Unfortunately this behavior is really hard on the pond banks, undermining them and causing the tractor to fall into the pond on many occasions. The ponds must be reshaped every few years (as is done in Japan).

                              My koi get an amazing diversity of live foods, these change with the seasons and they feed heavily upon whatever is in abundance at the time. One favorite is mayflies. On the mornig after a big hatch, the yellow mayflies will be all over he pond's surface with the koi slurping them up, gorging until they are all gone.

                              On a windy summer's day they'll be right at the upwind edge waiting for a tasty morsel to blow in. A grasshopper is a favorite, but grass seeds, and other stuff is also eaten as it blows in.

                              A blustery early spring day finds the koi at the other end of the pond as the wind is now from the North and blowing in caterpillars from the trees. They eat the caterpillars as they hit the water.

                              A big rainstorm in late summer washes earthworms into the ponds by the thousands, koi there waiting as they wash in.

                              In most of my ponds, only about half of what the fish get to eat comes out of the feed bag.

                              Both the mud pond environment with its minerals and water quality as well as its natural foods contributes to the development of the koi.

                              However, koi do not finish up good in the mud. They need the closed environemtn in order to be brought fully into show form. Hence the need for both environments.


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