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  • MikeM
    replied

    dhooiks: There are test kits commercially available for nitrate. Unless a person is very particular about precision, the kits at any aquarium shop are fine. Just get one using liquid reagents, not the paper 'test strips'. The 'test strips' are too often unreliable.

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  • dhooiks
    replied
    I think over time it only gets worse. Now the level of chemicals is shockingly high everywhere. People may think differently before they really test it. I am based in https://postcodefinder.net/england/london. Very few people here really test the water for the level of pollution. I myself just recently arrived at the point of its importance. Re nitrates – can you tell how exactly you are checking the level?

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  • MCA
    replied
    Well said. Wishing all koi keepers a safe and properous New Year! See everyone at CFKS this coming spring!!!!

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  • MikeM
    replied
    Originally posted by dhooiks View Post
    Nitrate is relatively harmless. However, for the best development, the lower the better. Nitrate contributes to yellowing of shiroji, reduces lustre, prematurely ages the skin and does nothing good. It simply is not life threatening like nitrite.
    It is often said that nitrate is "relatively harmless". Nearly all new hobbyists and many long-time hobbyists read and hear those words to mean "Nitrate is harmless." The emphasis should always be on "relatively". Yes, that 20 year-old koi has been in 100pppm nitrate water its whole life, etc., etc. and is still alive.... which is a testament to the hardiness of carp, not to the skill or care of its keeper.

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  • dhooiks
    replied
    Nitrate is relatively harmless. However, for the best development, the lower the better. Nitrate contributes to yellowing of shiroji, reduces lustre, prematurely ages the skin and does nothing good. It simply is not life threatening like nitrite.

    In my old pond I often had nitrate levels at 25ppm or higher. After trees in the vicinity were removed by hurricanes in 2004, nitrate levels dropped considerably. In my current pond nitrate is typically well under 10ppm, and usually at or below 5ppm.

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  • MCA
    replied
    Excellent post Mike. Bottom line...nitrates are toxic too.

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  • MikeM
    replied
    Links to articles on the effects of nitrate on aquatic life were recently posted on another board. Seems appropriate to re-post the links here.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15667845

    Another for carp: https://www.bzu.edu.pk/jrscience/vol15no4/9.pdf

    Another:
    https://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/defaul...species%20.pdf


    The first study concerns invertebrates, but I found it particularly interesting because of the indication that nitrate interferes with oxygen carrying pigments. If this is true in carp, it would lend some support to the “old wives tales” about high nitrate levels contributing to loss of Beni. Nothing in the study is sufficient to support any such conclusion, but it lends some credence to the anecdotal observations. There have been studies concerning nutrient assimilation that suggest delivery of oxygen to the red pigment of carp may increase red pigment cells. Again, not enough done in anything I have read to reach a conclusion, but there is an implication that Beni thickness and loss might be affected to some extent. ...The stories of the old breeders of yesteryear usually have some truth in them, even if their ideas about cause and effect don't always hold up.

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  • jmoran
    replied
    Originally posted by Eugeneg View Post
    I read in Rinko about a Japanese koi keeper that had the water from his pond go through a canal and there he grew tomatoes . I made a 2ft deep x 2ft wide and 20ft long channel which is fed from my skimmer and filled with bare root grasses . I took one test about 10 years ago and never bothered since .
    It works for nitrate removal and works better than any difractunator
    Regards
    Eugene
    I just thought that this article is a good read, knowing all about nitrates.

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  • ricshaw
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeM View Post
    So very true. But, water clarity does not necessarily equate to water quality.

    As MCA and Ricshaw emphasize, it is best to design to minimize the labor of maintenance and keep in mind the differences between mechanical filtration and the bio-reactor nitrification. Turn the clock back 20 years and much of the accepted practices of the day concerned mechanical filtration and water clarity. There was a failure to appreciate the nitrification aspects of the overall filtration system. Then the pendulum shifted and the focus was on nitrification with mechanical filtration getting short shrift. Some folks got so focused on nitrification that mechanical filtration was minimized. Today, a more balanced discussion is taking hold with advances in making mechanical filtration effective and easy to maintain.... sieves and RDFs are the hot topics.

    The sooner solid wastes can be removed from the system the better the water quality will be. But, if the mechanical filtration is not thorough (such as relying on mats that allow particles to pass), waste can build up in the bio-media with negative consequences. Additional mechanical filtration may be needed so that does not occur, or an increase in water changes may compensate for the deficiency, or an over-abundance of bio-media could be used to compensate. However the individual hobbyist may set-up their system and maintain it, the goal remains the same: good, clean water for the koi. That goal can be reached in many ways, with different efficiencies, amounts of labor and levels of cost. ....It is not even necessary to have bottom drains, but the amount of labor required to compensate quickly teaches that bottom drains are best.
    It has been my experience that most Koi hobbyist's focus on mechanical filtration. That was the case 25 years ago and still the case today (Sieves & RDFs are hot topics). Water changes and biological filtration are secondary (and inadequate on most ponds IMO).

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  • MikeM
    replied
    Bumping up since talk of nitrate and ammonia is in the air.

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  • MikeM
    replied
    Originally posted by nivek View Post
    Contrary to belief those who flush their mechanical filter daily might not have clearer water than those who flush weekly. I was one of those who flushed daily till I realized that the accumulated trapped solid waste actually helps to trap fines especially in the filter brush section. So now its just weekly washing and daily 30% trickle 24/7.
    So very true. But, water clarity does not necessarily equate to water quality.

    As MCA and Ricshaw emphasize, it is best to design to minimize the labor of maintenance and keep in mind the differences between mechanical filtration and the bio-reactor nitrification. Turn the clock back 20 years and much of the accepted practices of the day concerned mechanical filtration and water clarity. There was a failure to appreciate the nitrification aspects of the overall filtration system. Then the pendulum shifted and the focus was on nitrification with mechanical filtration getting short shrift. Some folks got so focused on nitrification that mechanical filtration was minimized. Today, a more balanced discussion is taking hold with advances in making mechanical filtration effective and easy to maintain.... sieves and RDFs are the hot topics.

    The sooner solid wastes can be removed from the system the better the water quality will be. But, if the mechanical filtration is not thorough (such as relying on mats that allow particles to pass), waste can build up in the bio-media with negative consequences. Additional mechanical filtration may be needed so that does not occur, or an increase in water changes may compensate for the deficiency, or an over-abundance of bio-media could be used to compensate. However the individual hobbyist may set-up their system and maintain it, the goal remains the same: good, clean water for the koi. That goal can be reached in many ways, with different efficiencies, amounts of labor and levels of cost. ....It is not even necessary to have bottom drains, but the amount of labor required to compensate quickly teaches that bottom drains are best.

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  • cookcpu
    replied
    Daily flushing is to change water for the pond. Maintenance of the filter (washing each chamber) is to be done weekly or bi-weekly. IMHO.

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  • nivek
    replied
    Originally posted by sacicu View Post
    30% daily trickle is only needed if one is overstocked. I remember experimenting with TDS before in a 3ton smallpond with lots of turnover and multiple submerged and open trickle filters. In order for me to grow 8koi as fast as the japanese, I tried feeding 12x a day and monitored water parameters closely(TDS, nitrates). I reckon to achieve almost same water quality and instead of progressive pollution of it, I had to clean all mechanical filters daily and have a water change rate of 100 to 120% daily. I learned a lot with regards to how easily water quality can deteriorate in a close system and the necessity to build an entire system in order to solve the pollution problem in a close system over a long term period. There is of course a correlation of the faster waste are removed from the system the lesser the need for water change provided the remaining waste are in the form of just ammonia.
    Yup I'm definitely overstocked at 16 kois in my 12 ton pond with 6 feedings a day lol. TDS is at 49.

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  • sacicu
    replied
    Originally posted by nivek View Post
    Contrary to belief those who flush their mechanical filter daily might not have clearer water than those who flush weekly. I was one of those who flushed daily till I realized that the accumulated trapped solid waste actually helps to trap fines especially in the filter brush section. So now its just weekly washing and daily 30% trickle 24/7.
    30% daily trickle is only needed if one is overstocked. I remember experimenting with TDS before in a 3ton smallpond with lots of turnover and multiple submerged and open trickle filters. In order for me to grow 8koi as fast as the japanese, I tried feeding 12x a day and monitored water parameters closely(TDS, nitrates). I reckon to achieve almost same water quality and instead of progressive pollution of it, I had to clean all mechanical filters daily and have a water change rate of 100 to 120% daily. I learned a lot with regards to how easily water quality can deteriorate in a close system and the necessity to build an entire system in order to solve the pollution problem in a close system over a long term period. There is of course a correlation of the faster waste are removed from the system the lesser the need for water change provided the remaining waste are in the form of just ammonia.

    Leave a comment:


  • nivek
    replied
    Originally posted by yerrag View Post
    By flushing, do you mean ridding the filter. bottom of waste only or does it also include cleaning the mechanical filter? I think you mean the latter, as I have a hard time believing bottom waste will trap fines better.
    Sorry just meant the brushes.

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