I'm so upset! Two dead Koi! l

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by AngelaM, Feb 27, 2018.

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  1. AngelaM

    MitchM

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    A mature biofilm takes 4 to 6 weeks to develop after an ammonia source is added.
    What size was the stock tank and how many fish were kept in it?
     
    MitchM, Mar 1, 2018
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  2. AngelaM

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    I seen that "the Pond Guy" had a winter special that popped up on my facebook yesterday. His recommendations were to use a green 1250 watt pond heater with an accelerator {air pump} and to save energy he had a device that you would plug into the electrical socket before you plug in the heater, and it would turn heater on when air temperatures fell too low and turn off when weather was nice automatically. I think that option would work best for you as the pond breather failed badly. The trouble with low watts and extreme temperature lows, the pond froze way to hard. People that have extreme winters should not use that pond breather for KOI or large fish, or at least have a pond heater as back up when weather is very cold. That pond breather should only be rated to minus 10 Celsius. Way too many people complained and now even the Pond guy is not recommending it,
     
    callingcolleen1, Mar 1, 2018
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  3. AngelaM

    Tula

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    For a couple of reasons. Cold water holds more O2 then warm water and secondly, I don't want too much disturbance of the water in the cold weather. 40 LPM is quite a bit of air for my 1700 gallon pond, but my 4 koi love it in the summer, swimming through it !
     
    Tula, Mar 1, 2018
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  4. AngelaM

    MitchM

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    How would a higher wattage improve the pond breather?
    How did you determine -10C was a limit for the pond breather? Mine have worked fine down to -40C temperature, -52 windchill and 2 feet of ice.
     
    MitchM, Mar 1, 2018
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  5. AngelaM

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Hey Mitch, didn't you have to dig out your pond breather one year cause it was completely covered with snow and ice?? while you walked on your frozen solid pond with two feet or more of ice?? Ya, that is exactly why I would not use that thing. Maybe my fish are still alive and well after 27 years cause I never let my 3 or 4 foot ponds freeze over with more that two feet of ice! Now that's scary!!
    Your fish are small minnows, and not large koi or goldfish. You should really should read all the negative comments online about that pond breather this year....
    My new top pond is five feet deep and I still would not let that pond freeze that hard either as the koi are VERY large these days...
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
    callingcolleen1, Mar 1, 2018
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  6. AngelaM

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    a higher wattage with more pump flow, better filter, and that would keep a small pond from freezing solid.

    Minus 10 Celsius and no more for people with big koi and goldfish. That is all it really is good for
     
    callingcolleen1, Mar 1, 2018
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  7. AngelaM

    MitchM

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    The pond breather does not have a filter.
    You didn't explain how a higher wattage would help the performance.
    Stating a -10C limit over and over again does not explain why you chose that temperature as it's limit.

    After one snowstorm I left the breathers alone and found that they would clear their own hole in the snow.

    .
     
    MitchM, Mar 1, 2018
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  8. AngelaM

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    look at all the thick ice you had with that thing. Most people only have a 3 or 4 foot pond and if the first two feet freeze then there is not much room for large fish. Pond breathers do not work for exteme cold and people down south were having trouble with that breather who don't have extreme cold or as long of winter as we do. The breather failed horribly for others in milder climates. Its been a complete failure and now widespread reports on Internet as well. I gave it -10 Celsius at best cause last similar device sold by Laguna way back in early 2000's was only rated to -5 Celsius and written in very small letters ... Lots of people lost their fish here in Medicine Hat using that device and I had to deal with very angry people that year I worked at SunTec Garden Center.

    Some day the big companies will improve their technologies and hopefully something better will be created
     
    callingcolleen1, Mar 1, 2018
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  9. AngelaM

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Angela; there's nothing wrong with using an aerator (at the proper height) AND a breather AND a cattle trough heater AND a pump near the surface AND a heater AND a cover; they all can be used and will give you better odds for fish survival. I just don't think they're all necessary in lower Michigan, as some TOP EXPERTS think. If you have enough volume and depth, have a balanced pond (re the water parameters and established biofilm) have a fish load commensurate with your pond size, keep the surface open so light can penetrate (one major component you didn't have this winter), have a hole open for any toxic gases (from ongoing decay) to escape, and don't have a lot of decaying matter during winter months, you'll be fine here in MICHIGAN; I won't speak for Canada--that's for top experts. Any of the above can derail success AS WELL AS some fish are just more sensitive to extremes; be it O2 level, CO2, temperatures, disease, etc.


    Since I have the same weather, more or less, as you, and have lost maybe 5 fish in 7 years during the winter, seems I might have an insight.


    If your fish are at least 10 years old (as you state in an earlier post), I’m surprised the largest is ONLY 12”? Thought koi got a lot larger than that (I have 12” goldfish!)? So your case is NOT one of large koi in the dead of Siberia, and not even close to what I have (100 gf, most over 6”, 10 or so at 12”) in 2700 gallons. I had an aerator ‘Fail’ one year and possibly lost 1-2 fish that year. That’s not why I got the breather though, I just felt it would ‘fail’ less than another aerator. I’d still use one if my breather went out, but would have to melt a hole in the ice. A dual system is a good thing, but I don’t think your fish died because of lack of oxygen DUE TO THE BREATHER; a breather does NOT add oxygen, nor does an aerator, but an aerator does facilitate the process better than a breather because of the turbulence. But this turbulence goes down as ice closes the aeration hole with slush. In the dead of winter, unless you have a large air pump and can maintain healthy turbulence, an aerator will only do what a breather does; keep a hole open to release any buildup of toxic gas.


    btw, did we establish exactly how much volume you have at the 4.5' mark? I actually think you have more than 2100 gallons. I think you mentioned your deep part begins half the length of your pond, so that would make it 10' x 10' x 4.5' (7.48) and give you at least 3300 gallons. Which is a lot better than thinking you have half your 2100 per the counter. I'd get some sort of better estimate, just because you might need it one day for possible dosing (disease, pond conditioning, etc).


    I think it would help knowing exactly how much volume you have at the deepest depth because as noted before, the more you have, the more capacity for holding O2. And it looks like the lack of is what probably did in your two koi. From the data you’ve already given though, I don’t see depth nor volume per your fish load as being problematic. You had (4) 12” koi, a gf at 8” and the black molly (I’m assuming another koi?(not the tropical variety). That’s not a heavy fish load unless your koi are a lot larger than 12”.


    Michael
     
    brokensword, Mar 2, 2018
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  10. AngelaM

    Lisak1

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    I also think part of the equation here is that this was essentially a new pond - even though the parts were used previously, it was rebuilt and re-established just last summer. Who knows how much stress the fish were under from being moved out of an existing pond, into a holding tank, and then into a new pond. And then winter hits. More stress. Many possibilities to consider.
     
    Lisak1, Mar 2, 2018
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  11. AngelaM

    Tula

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    I have to chuckle reading Michael's post, as it pretty much describes me...throwing everything but the kitchen sink at my pond for the winter - ha ha!

    I've read here many times that aerators do NOT add O2 to water. Is there anything that does? Or does it increase O2 due to the disturbance at the water's surface.
     
    Tula, Mar 2, 2018
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  12. AngelaM

    MitchM

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    I agree with everyone saying it's a good idea to have some redundancy when it comes to making sure you provide good gas exchange during ice cover.

    At this point, I'm wondering if the koi were exposed to a high level of ammonia between the time that they were moved from the original owner to the time you had a mature biofilm that could properly process the waste they produce.
    In that case, the koi's gills could have become damaged (not reversible) and they just happened to die while you had ice cover. No amount of gas exchange would have prevented their deaths.
    My concern now would be that the other surviving koi also have gill damage so you would be best to ensure you have the best water quality possible from here on.

    For the record, pond breathers are not designed to reduce ice cover, they are designed to provide gas exchange.

    .
     
    MitchM, Mar 2, 2018
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  13. AngelaM

    Lisak1

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    That kind of lines up with my thought - something happened (or a series of things even) prior to winter and the cold became just the final straw. Knowing the condition of the remaining fish would definitely be helpful.
     
    Lisak1, Mar 2, 2018
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  14. AngelaM

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Yeppa, Tula, that's the idea. I know I grew up with the myth/idea that the bubbles going up my aquarium wall provided the aeration. It wasn't until Meyer showed through the science that very little (almost immeasurable) O2 is transferred to the water column this way. Because you have agitation at the surface, you have much more contact and surface area for the water and air to interact. Hence, you need turbulence to help with aeration. Otherwise, you need a really large surface area to make up for that (or waterfall, stream, etc), that's why inland lakes and ponds don't need aerators. Still, they DO experience fish kills sometimes, when the above factors collide. Thankfully, it doesn't happen very often to our natural ponds and lakes.

    Glad you chuckled!

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Mar 2, 2018
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  15. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    It was a 100 gallon stock tank with 5 fish in it.
     
    AngelaM, Mar 2, 2018
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  16. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    AngelaM, Mar 2, 2018
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  17. AngelaM

    MitchM

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    Yes, I think that could be the problem. That many large fish in a small container could get some high ammonia readings in a short amount of time.
    In addition to the GH/KH test kit, I would also purchase a dissolved oxygen kit and observe the measurements over the year at different times and temperatures. Make notes about how much algae there is at the same time.
    https://www.marinedepot.com/Salifer...ter_Aquariums-Salifert-SF1131-FITKSI-vi.html#

    You'll need a more substantial air pump than the one in the link you posted.
    Make sure you choose a pump that is rated for proper depth and use weighted hose.
     
    MitchM, Mar 2, 2018
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  18. AngelaM

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I quit using a aerator in the winter when a neighbor/friend lost every fish one winter using one. Had nice open water, dead floating fish. Best guess, super chilled the water. Large pond now filled in.

    I only use the pond breather now for the last 4 years, never have any floating fish.
     
    addy1, Mar 2, 2018
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  19. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

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    I guess it comes down to what old man winter throws at you for winter weather .I don't really get harsh winters here except for the 2 weeks last year and made records here .I was also amazed that your fish being 10 years old were only a foot long as mine are well over 2 feet long .Could they be a mixture of other fish .I know mine are mutts so maybe hardier .I keep all my air stones at different heights ,but then again I do not get as cold here in the winter .I am not sure i could take those cold temps .anymore .I just know when it comes to winter I always prepare for the worst and hope for the best .I know up north right now it is severe and hope the best for every one in the line of Riley .
     
    sissy, Mar 2, 2018
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  20. AngelaM

    MitchM

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    I don't think this had anything to do with winter but had everything to do with fish being exposed to high ammonia levels, which can happen anytime fish are moved from one environment to another.
     
    MitchM, Mar 2, 2018
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