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Thread: Water Changes

  1. #201
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Indeed there is no substitute for water changes. Dilution is the solution to pollution. All we do with filtration is buy time until the next water change.

    But.....the water change is only as effective as the quality of the water being introduced. That can vary tremendously in public supplies, private wells, springs and creeks...etc. One of our friends in Helspruit said he parents in Hoedspruit were have a problem with their water. Something to do with dead animals. When we go to Kruger we usually fly in to Hoedspruit, so I can fully understand that.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  2. #202
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    That [quality of source water] can vary tremendously in public supplies, private wells, springs and creeks...etc.
    Now if I can just find a way to explain to the old ladies why the water is not what it should be ...

  3. #203
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    Does anyone know at what point we are adding too much fresh water? Many routinely do up to 35% water changes per week. I think water changes should be a function of the season (temps, feeding, etc) and stocking levels. As MCA pointed out above, the quality of the source water is an important consideration. The rate of inflow is important (constant trickle or once-off) and so are parameter differentials (pH, temp, hardness, ORP of source water vs that of the pond).

    I am considering some changes to the pond and like the idea of a constant daytime trickle of makeup water into the pond which will have the pond overflow into an irrigation reservoir. It is nothing new – simply routing the irrigation water via the pond. It means investing in a submersible pump for the irrigation system as I can no longer rely on the water pressure in the supply line. But this way I could be adding 10% fresh water to the pond daily during the driest part of summer. That is 70% per week! It will obviously be much less in winter or during our rain season and at times I will be dumping water because I must do water changes even if there is no need for irrigation.

    I can of course add some utility water directly to the irrigation reservoir – it does not all have to come from the pond overflow. This way I can reduce the peak 70% per week to a lower number.

    My concern is that water from the Water Utility is sterile. And even with chlorine neutralized, our fish cannot live in it. So at what point do water changes become a bad thing …

  4. #204
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Absent special circumstances (such as needing to eliminate a pesticide from the pond water), I think it best for a water change not to be more than 50% of pond volume at a time. With some source water, it could be better for the maximum water change to be much lower. The fresh water will have a different composition due to having been under pressure (such as tap water) or lacking any oxygen (such as some well water)... and in other respects. After the fresh water is exposed to the atmosphere, various dissolved matter may precipitate, etc. It is not until the new water is in the pond and has 'settled in' for a while that the composition is stable... and all water is different, so one has to determine for themselves whether their source water presents any special concerns. For some people, it can be best for water to be held in a separate reservoir for a period of time before being released into the pond. I am aware of some aquaculture operations where new well water is held and aerated heavily before use.

    Absent these sorts of considerations, I see no limit on the amount of total water use over the course of a week. However, if the constant in-flow approach gives you pond water with the same parameters as your source water, there is no discernible benefit in doing more. (By 'source water' I mean the fresh water placed in the pond, whether direct from the tap or pre-treated in some fashion.) While we can dream up some perfect pond water parameters, the practical reality is that we cannot do better than the source water we have.

    I do not understand your statement that "water from the Water Utility is sterile. And even with chlorine neutralized, our fish cannot live in it." If it is 100% RO water, that may well be true for carp. (It is not true for Discus.) Otherwise, I likely disagree. Koi will thrive in very soft water as long as there is enough of it to eliminate any need to rely on nitrification to handle ammonia waste.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I do not understand your statement that "water from the Water Utility is sterile. And even with chlorine neutralized, our fish cannot live in it."
    I was under the impression that many symbiotic relationships (other than those relating to nitrification) exist between Koi and microorganisms and that adding too much sterile tap water (made so by chlorine and other disinfectants) dilutes the microorganism count to the point where it is detrimental to our Koi.

    I suspect too much flow-though would add significantly to the cost of added trace elements and salts. And getting this wrong would lead to osmotic stresses.

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I am aware of some aquaculture operations where new well water is held and aerated heavily before use.
    Are we talking 20 - 30 minutes or several hours. Or days?

  7. #207
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Ditto what Mike said. I am not about to trench across the entire backyard to put a water supply in the filter pit. I stick with weekly water changes via a hose.
    I'm going with your activated carbon idea, with a twist. Instead of a carbon block, which is easily used up, I'll go with activated carbon pellets that I can put in a drum. Fresh water flows into the drum and goes thru the AC pellets, and out comes dechlorinated water. Still figuring out what size pellets, but I'm told at my usage rate, I need only change every 6 months the pellets. Since the Philippines has so much coconut charcoal, which is the raw material for AC, I figure I would have no problem finding a good source once I set about doing it. Now to set aside other more important things to do for this.

    I can save my Mazzei injector for other uses, like organic fertilizers for some fruit trees and flowering shrubs. Thanks MCA for the idea.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    I'm going with your [MCA's] activated carbon idea, with a twist. Instead of a carbon block, which is easily used up, I'll go with activated carbon pellets that I can put in a drum. Fresh water flows into the drum and goes thru the AC pellets, and out comes dechlorinated water. Still figuring out what size pellets
    Some put activated carbon (AC) in areas of high water flow, as is your suggestion yerrag. But AC is a molecular sieve (as is zeolite) and I have always thought water has to pass through the AC under pressure. Many aquarists do the same - AC in a filter bag placed in an area of high flow. But molecular sieves are not 'magnets', they are sieves. They trap molecules of certain sizes the same way a sand filter traps debris. Or maybe AC just works better in a pressurized system, but still works okay otherwise. Any experts in the area ...?

    As for granule size, I believe the key is surface area. Fine granules have a larger total surface area given a fixed volume of AC is used. But the trick is in containing the AC in your drum, yerrag. I have found that small granules are more likely to float to the surface and escape the container (drum in your case), unless the flow rate is really slow.

    I believe channeling is better managed with carbon blocks, compared to granular AC. AC Reactors (in addition to being pressurized canisters) incorporate baffles that counter the problem of channeling. AC is not a floating media, so the tried and tested aeration technique is not going to help with channeling. You could end up with a screen at the top of the drum with small enough mesh to keep the AC in the drum and then use water flow rate to mix up the AC so you do not have channeling issues.

  9. #209
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
    I was under the impression that many symbiotic relationships (other than those relating to nitrification) exist between Koi and microorganisms and that adding too much sterile tap water (made so by chlorine and other disinfectants) dilutes the microorganism count to the point where it is detrimental to our Koi.

    I suspect too much flow-though would add significantly to the cost of added trace elements and salts. And getting this wrong would lead to osmotic stresses.
    There are certainly many interactions between fish and the microbial world, both positive and negative. There is reason to believe that one aspect of the benefits of mudpond rearing is the presence of greenwater algae, just as one example. In our ponds the populations of microbes are far greater than what is found in un-polluted natural waterbodies, excepting eutrophic waters with quantities of rotting vegetation. Even lightly stocked, lightly fed ponds are far removed from the natural condition. The comparatively high level level of microbes in our ponds can actually be viewed as a stressor. Our fish deal with it by having their immune systems, slime coat, etc. working a bit more than would be necessary otherwise, and developing their own microbiome attuned to the microbes encountered. Having water conditions like those of a pure mountain stream is not a bad thing.

    I do not believe there is any need to add trace elements or salts to water unless the source water is very close to distilled/RO water in composition. I have read a lot of talk about using powdered clay additives to add minerals, but think that is a lot of silliness for all but very rare situations. The benefit of clay comes from the adsorption of ammonia ions. (There is thread about clay on this forum.) Otherwise, clay is just increasing TDS to some extent. Keep in mind that the source water for many Niigata mudponds is melted snow. That does not mean that KH is unimportant in our ponds. It is important because we rely on bacterial nitrification, which has an acidifying effect. When we move away from reliance on bacteria toward an open or quasi-open system, the relative importance of much that we focus on changes. The more nearly open a system, the more dramatic the difference. ...I'd love to have a system where my koi had a continual in-flow equal to twice the pond volume per day (with good source water). That would get a lot closer to what carp in natural rivers experience their entire lives. And, filtration needs would be pretty much limited to solid waste removal.

  10. #210
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
    Are we talking 20 - 30 minutes or several hours. Or days?
    The ones I have observed continually stored water. My impression is that the well water was held and aerated for many hours at minimum.

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