koi died after water change- &wintertize


Koiguyjoe

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i HAD 11 pond fish. 8 koi 4 goldfish. i have maintained a healthy pond all summer. with winter coming and i didnt think about it before, i needed to figure out what i wanted to do about either moving them inside or i had to deepen the pond some to reach the depth safe enough for winter. so after the rebuild i replaced the fish along with some pre existing pond water, but definitely not enough, some quick start, cold weather bacteria, aeration stones, & the deicer i didnt put in yet bcuz it wasnt needed yet. i woke up to 5 fish dead and the rest didnt look good...as im writting this i now only have 2 fish left.. they had a white slim coming off them almost looked like peeling skin, so i researced a little about that and read the ph could be low.. so thats what i start to try to treat the water for.. i added some baking soda and then some api ph up product. now i tested the water and its a little high. j wish i knew how to save the last 2 fish but im sure its pretty irreversible for the fish.. the best i feel i can do is take care of the water for any fish i may add...WHEN ITS SAFE! ammonia levels are low. i was so frantic in the beginning i didn't text the water before i treated for the ph. I'm lost as what to do. these weren't tiny fish they were good size for me. idk about the remaining two fish.. but i need to get that water safe! do i need to replace it completely now before any new fish? how should i go about this? i know it's vague but im new regardless to how well i thought i took care of them because I've had them about 7months.. basically I've now got to start fresh..

please any feedback is appreciated
 
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sissy

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thing you did not mention was did you check water temps .Big change in water temps. can really harm a fish .i rebuilt my pond last year and kept as much of the original pond water as I could and main thing was I kept a close eye on the temps. of the water they were coming from and what they were going into .I added as much from the original pond as I could even pieces of the orignal liner with the back rinsed off was put in the pond to help build up bacteria
 

Koiguyjoe

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i did use declorinator and some quick start. i also added the cold water bacteria. i just think i was too quick to put them back and didn't save enough of the old pond water. it was hard because i didn't just do a water change, i replaced the whole thing all the way up to a new liner... i constantly check the temp and this morning it was low at 42° . i was so careful up until i put them back in the pond... huge mistake
 

Smaug

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PH doest do that,ammonia does. Sorry about that loss,ammonia levels should be zero at all times,never just low. Along with the temp difference it made a bad situation worse.
 
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Sorry for your loss.
You really need to get some test kits and make sure that the water is safe for your fish before you add them to the pond.
 
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sissy

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I replaced my whole liner last March because moles chewed through my old liner and I had no choice but to put them back fast .I used a pond heater to get the water temps. to match I used every thing I could find to save my pond water ,.PH I worry less about because messing with that can make things worse as long as it is stable I leave it alone .Other things I worry about .But best thing I use is winter and fall prep from microbe lift .Smells like rotten eggs but works great .
 
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It sounds like you removed the fish and stored them somewhere whole you rebuilt. Is this so? And if so what did you store them in and for how long.
 

Mmathis

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As already mentioned, you will need to test your water with a test kit that measures ammonia levels which are toxic if not removed (and nitrite, nitrate, pH....). Knowing your water parameters is very important.

This is what I think happened... When you "started over," you were without any of the already established bacteria that break these compounds down (ammonia to nitrite to nitrate). These bacteria are found on SURFACES rather than in the water. With a new pond (which is basically what you had), frequent monitoring is essential so you can intervene when these levels rise. It sounds like you put ALL of the fish back in the pond which would have caused an ammonia over load, with inadequate bacteria to break it down. Even adding bacteria-in-a-bottle wouldn't help, as the bacteria still take time to become established (and, different bacteria have different jobs in the cycle). (Assuming bacteria-in-a-bottle works -- I personally would not depend on it as a primary source)

But ponding is a hobby of many learning curves. And as you'll find out, it's also a hobby of many opinions. As bad as this (and other) situations are, you WILL learn from this, I promise! And when you share with a community (like GPF), you help us learn, as well!

So sorry this happened to you -- some people say "they're only fish...." but we all know how attached we become -- any loss is devastating!
 

Meyer Jordan

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Without concrete test results on all pond parameters, any analysis of your problem is speculation. Until these results can be obtained, any action taken could only worsen your problem. Your remaining fish, unfortunately, are left to deal with their current environment.
Get a test kit...ASAP.
 

Smaug

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As already mentioned, you will need to test your water with a test kit that measures ammonia levels which are toxic if not removed (and nitrite, nitrate, pH....). Knowing your water parameters is very important.

This is what I think happened... When you "started over," you were without any of the already established bacteria that break these compounds down (ammonia to nitrite to nitrate). These bacteria are found on SURFACES rather than in the water. With a new pond (which is basically what you had), frequent monitoring is essential so you can intervene when these levels rise. It sounds like you put ALL of the fish back in the pond which would have caused an ammonia over load, with inadequate bacteria to break it down. Even adding bacteria-in-a-bottle wouldn't help, as the bacteria still take time to become established (and, different bacteria have different jobs in the cycle). (Assuming bacteria-in-a-bottle works -- I personally would not depend on it as a primary source)

But ponding is a hobby of many learning curves. And as you'll find out, it's also a hobby of many opinions. As bad as this (and other) situations are, you WILL learn from this, I promise! And when you share with a community (like GPF), you help us learn, as well!

So sorry this happened to you -- some people say "they're only fish...." but we all know how attached we become -- any loss is devastating!
If the biofilter material was not messed with then there should have been plenty of nitrifying bacteria left. I hear the op saying the ammonia was "low" before hand and that tells me they already had too much ammonia in the first place. Seeing as how any ammonia number higher then zero is too much then I do believe that ammonia HAD to be the culprit.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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The idea of Zero Ammonia in a pond is unrealistic. As long as Ammonia is being produced by fish and decomp, there will always be a certain amount of Ammonia (and Nitrite) in solution. pH and temperature also need to be taken into consideration in determining the level of un-ionized Ammonia present. Since it is already known that the temperature was low ( 42F), the pH would need to be extremely high( >8.5) for Ammonia to be moderately toxic..
Abrupt change in several parameters is the likely culprit, inducing severe acute stress in the fish.
 

Smaug

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The idea of Zero Ammonia in a pond is unrealistic. As long as Ammonia is being produced by fish and decomp, there will always be a certain amount of Ammonia (and Nitrite) in solution. pH and temperature also need to be taken into consideration in determining the level of un-ionized Ammonia present. Since it is already known that the temperature was low ( 42F), the pH would need to be extremely high( >8.5) for Ammonia to be moderately toxic..
Abrupt change in several parameters is the likely culprit, inducing severe acute stress in the fish.
Not unrealistic at all. I test a few times a year,never had even a trace amount of ammonia in my pond or few hundred gallons worth of aquarium I keep. Granted that is with common hobbies grade water testers. Ammonia is a horrible irritant to fish and in worse case stress scenarios it is a killer. Of course ammonia is expected to be scene when a small body of water is cycling but after that it should never be seen again. If it is then the body is overstocked and or under filtered.
 
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Not unrealistic at all. I test a few times a year,never had even a trace amount of ammonia in my pond or few hundred gallons worth of aquarium I keep. Granted that is with common hobbies grade water testers. Ammonia is a horrible irritant to fish and in worse case stress scenarios it is a killer. Of course ammonia is expected to be scene when a small body of water is cycling but after that it should never be seen again. If it is then the body is overstocked and or under filtered.

Once you have an established biofilm, the bacteria in that biofilm will consume the ammonia that your fish and decaying organic matter produce, and keep the measurable ammonia below what your test kit can detect.
 

Smaug

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Once you have an established biofilm, the bacteria in that biofilm will consume the ammonia that your fish and decaying organic matter produce, and keep the measurable ammonia below what your test kit can detect.
Yup,as I said,no ammonia reading. Any reading is too high.
 
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Smaug

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Any natural water way wouldn't have any ammonia at all,even trace. If it was moving water the turn over alone would keep the very small fish load of natural water ways to nil. In a lake or well kept farm pond it's the same thing . If you have measurable ammonia in your garden pond your doing something wrong. Been keeping aquariums for years with very high stocking densitys,no ammonia reading ever.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Any natural water way wouldn't have any ammonia at all,even trace. If it was moving water the turn over alone would keep the very small fish load of natural water ways to nil. In a lake or well kept farm pond it's the same thing . If you have measurable ammonia in your garden pond your doing something wrong. Been keeping aquariums for years with very high stocking densitys,no ammonia reading ever.
Not going to debate the natural waterway aspect here as it would take up entirely to much space in someone else's thread. Suffice it to say that Low Ammonia levels are common place in natural ponds and lakes. I might suggest a little research on your part.
Yes, zero Ammonia levels are attainable, but the issue here is when is Ammonia at a level that may cause irreversible damage to fish. Any level of un-ionized Ammonia <2% of TAN, is considered acceptable. see this calculator-
http://www.koiphen.com/forums/koicalcs.php?do=calcnh3c
and
"Free ammonia is highly toxic to aquatic life. It kills in aquariums at very low amounts. Any level above 0.02 mg/l (ppm) is considered harmful."
http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Ammonia
As applies to the scenario presented in this thread, I state again, with the given temperature of 42F for the un-ionized Ammonia to exceed the 2% safe limit, the pH would have to be higher than 8.5 (assuming a TAN of 1.0).
 

Mmathis

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@Meyer Jordan Regarding ammonia readings -- those of us who use a liquid test kit are relying on a visual comparison between what's colored in a test tube and a square of color on a chart. So, when I say my ammonia reading is "0 ppm," I'm looking at yellow water..... My eyes can't detect the fine variations in the "yellow" until the color is closer to the next color on the chart. And then there are the differences in ink on the color card.... If I had a more sophisticated measuring device, it would be able to tell those fine (huh? spell-check turned fine into feline, LOL!) variations. I agree with you, but just saying.....
 
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Meyer Jordan

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@Meyer Jordan Regarding ammonia readings -- those of us who use a liquid test kit are relying on a visual comparison between what's colored in a test tube and a square of color on a chart. So, when I say my ammonia reading is "0 ppm," I'm looking at yellow water..... My eyes can't detect the fine variations in the "yellow" until the color is closer to the next color on the chart. And then there are the differences in ink on the color card.... If I had a more sophisticated measuring device, it would be able to tell those fine (huh? spell-check turned fine into feline, LOL!) variations. I agree with you, but just saying.....
This is the drawback to liquid test kits. They are accurate, but because a determination of color must be made visually, the final reading is based on a judgement call of color hue. The average pondkeeper can not afford them, but photometers/colorimeters eliminate this human judgement. The color is read by a computer which in turn returns accurate results within two (2) decimal places down to levels below those detected by liquid test kits. This is why I was excited to see the new photometer offered by eXact that was mentioned in another thread. It can perform tests on 35 different parameters with a base price of $299.00. This is 1/3 of the cost of other photometers of similar ability. This is getting into the price range that is comfortable for a greater number of pondkeepers.
 
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