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New Pond Break-in And Getting Too Eager?

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  • New Pond Break-in And Getting Too Eager?

    This is the 7th day that I have had fish in my new pond, but so far I cannot get any reading of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. I've used the test kits on my aquaria and got a clear nitrate reading. So, that test kit works. The ammonia test kit is new. The pond is very green, approaching pea soup, but not there yet. I plan to turn on the UV this evening. (That way I can be around over the weekend in case killing off the algae causes a problem.) I'm guessing that the relatively small amount of nitrogen for the volume of the system is getting bound in the algae. The fish have been on full feed for 3 days and all are greedy eaters. Of the 9 koi, 2 are no more than 12". The remaining 7 are in the 22"-27+" range. A mature bead filter is on the pond, together with 5 gal. of mature kaldnes. The Bakki Shower has new media, but would have some degassing effect.

    I am eager to get the 5 showa being held for me, but do not want to be too eager.

    Has anyone dealt with not being able to get a reading like this? If so, what happened?
  • #2


    the only part of the filter that was "mature" ws the bead filter? I have had a similar (somewhat) experience in the moving of our koi to our new home and quarantine pond while we try and get the big one finished. But the BS, 2 nexus', and bead filter on the 2400 were all "mature". No readings of any kind on tests over the last 3 months. But that is what I expected too. With only the bead filter you may still have a "spike" soon, but probably not. Wait another month IMHO to be completely sure you are safe. If you can.
    Best regards,

    Bob Winkler

    My opinions are my best interpretation of my experiences. They are not set in stone as I intend to always be a student of life. And Koi.



    • #3

      sorry wrong thread ... please ignore
      Last edited by mike; 05-13-2005, 11:15 AM. Reason: oops wrong thread


      • #4


        When we set our new 1700 gal. pond up I had a new Aquabead filter feeding a three blue Tray Bakki Shower with 3 kilos of Bac House Media (BHM)...

        Two Kilos of the BHM was transferred from a mature Bakki Shower which was installed on our existing pond for about a year...

        Placed 5 koi, 21", 16", 15", 12", 8" into the pond immediately, in December 04, followed by three more 15", 8" and 5" a month later... Have never had ammonia or nitrite readings, Nitrates are at 14... Water has never turned green although it went through various gyrations of algae growth including string algae...Pond finally settled down at the 3 month mark, string algae went away with introduction of Anacharis in the spillway skimmer...UV light has been on since pond startup... Pond is in direct sunlight covered with 50% maize shade cloth...Should have used Black.

        Aloha! Mike


        • #5

          Only time will tell Mike, its like rolling a quater down the table- which way will it fall? Will you have a traditional cycle or simple an expansion of the existing colonies across the board. Techincally, if you had a BB with the same koi load and both fish and media are transferred, the filter can still be in equilibrium and no ammonia is detected. But that will change slightly when your water volume matures, harbors organic and challenges the existing balance. So if no ammonia soon still keep an eye peeled for new pond syndrome.

          I may have told you about this? I set up two marine systems at the same time- early January of this year. One was with virgin media and the tank was stocked with damsels. The tank went through a classic cycle with nitrite peaking on day 17 and lasting five days- 22 days in all at 78 F. The second tank seemed identical but I used old crushed coral ( at least five years in a sealed bucket) and I shifted two very mature ehiem canaster filters from a FRESHwater system to the marine one- without cleaning or anything. This second tank NEVER cycled and ran without ever producing a measurable ammonia or nitrite reading. and as confirmation of active nitrification, I can now pick up some nitrAte 5 months later. Interesting!



          • #6

            Mike M, ammonia is taken up immediately by the green water. Eventually, the algae begins to shade itself out and becomes light-limited instead of nutrient-limited. At this point, the mass of algae can no longer increase. Algae cells will be dying at the same rate they are being produced and you will start to see free ammonia.

            As you know, you want to watch your color closely. If the algae crashes (all starts to die at once), you could see a huge ammonia spike overnight. All the nitrogen being "stored" in the algae will be released quickly as the algae cells deteriorate. Even a mature filter can not keep up with the sudden rapid ammonia increase so water change or Amquel is the remedial action.

            Depending on how your UV is sized, you may be able to use it to slowly reduce the algae density, generating a controlled amount of ammonia as you go. You can use a simple secchi disk to monitor algae concentration and know if it is increasing or decreasing.

            Nutrients are funny in that we tend to think of them as being static - an ammonia molecule is produced, we measure the concentration, and then it is finally consumed by nitrifying bacteria or algae. In reality, the process is very dynamic and ammonia is constantly being produced and consumed at an alarming rate. The life of an ammonia molecule may only be a matter of minutes or hours. While the life of a single molecule may be short, a steady-state is reached and it is the average number of molecules present at some particular moment that we are measuring.

            -steve hopkins


            • #7

              you know what Hoppie, your right- I missed the comments about how green Mike said his water was. Good post. JR


              • #8

                Thanks to all. I've decided to go ahead and turn on the UV before the algae gets any thicker. I'll have the weekend to dump settlement frequently etc & will see what happens. ... on look out for signs of starved bacteria.


                • #9

                  Well, the UV is slowly clearing the green water. Settlement is being dumped once or twice per day. A 20% water change was done on Saturday. This morning it was readily possible to see the outline of the fish at the bottom. Before, you could tell something was moving at the bottom, but not what it was. Still no measurable ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. I've never experienced having nothing detectable ... certainly not after 9 days. A combination of algae absorbing nitrogen, large volume per fish and degassing by the Bakki Shower ...??? Don't know.

                  I get nervous when things do not happen as anticipated.


                  • #10

                    Mike--thanks for posting on your progress. I am filing this thread for when my new pond is ready. Hope you get some nitrate soon (just a little) and can relax.


                    • #11

                      Mike, your so spoiled LOL Everything went so smooth with your pond now you dont have pateince? LOL Just kidding. I know how it feels.. Joe
                      It's a living creature (chit happens)


                      • #12

                        Well, this is day 10 and still nothing measurable. The UV has cleared the water to the point that it is cloudy, but I can recognize each fish at the bottom. The color is now more blue than green.

                        BTW, I now understand the griping about the sponge inserts on Nexus units. (I'm still waiting for the EAzy to get to me ... I understand it is now in dock and going through all the hands that play a part in importing.) The sponges are difficult to handle, messy to handle, clog too easily and are impossible to get truly clean w/o spending nearly 30 minutes on each. Definitely not appropriate for anyone who cannot be present with time on their hands every day.... and I don't have any filamentous algae whatsoever. If I did, I think both Nexus units would have become highly degraded in functionality.


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