New koi pond - first water test.


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Hello all, This forum has been very helpful in my construction, so thanks! My pond is quite new and has not cycled, I am fairly sure. 5000 gallons with 4 4-6 inch koi and 3 small goldfish. The fish have been in for about a week. I have a bog with plants that has about a third of the surface area of the pond and a bio falls. I just did a water test and I expect I need to just wait, but want to make sure I should not do anything. Ph is really high - 8-9, ammonia is high - 2.0, nitrite is .25. I don't think I got the right testing kit as it had phosphate test and no nitrate test. The Phosphate is pretty much 0. So, do I just wait? Should I add beneficial bacteria? How often should I feed? I have some water hyacinths in the pond. Thanks for any advice.
 
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Do you have Prime or Safe? That will bind the ammonia and nitrite so that it won't harm the fish. It will last for 48 hours at which time you will need to dose it again.
 

brokensword

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stop feeding the fish, add more floating plants. Hard to believe ammonia so high with that much water and so few fish unless you've got a ton of rotting plant material and/or are overfeeding. Don't worry re the pH; doesn't really matter the number as long as it's stable. Get yourself a GH and KH kit as it'll help you understand if your pond can buffer against pH crashes, which IS what you want to avoid. Are you getting algae growing on underwater surfaces yet? Any algal blooms (GPS)?

Also, only use fresh liquid drop test kits (API is a good brand) as the test stripes are known to be inaccurate.
 
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stop feeding the fish, add more floating plants. Hard to believe ammonia so high with that much water and so few fish unless you've got a ton of rotting plant material and/or are overfeeding. Don't worry re the pH; doesn't really matter the number as long as it's stable. Get yourself a GH and KH kit as it'll help you understand if your pond can buffer against pH crashes, which IS what you want to avoid. Are you getting algae growing on underwater surfaces yet? Any algal blooms (GPS)?

Also, only use fresh liquid drop test kits (API is a good brand) as the test stripes are known to be inaccurate.
I was surprised at the high Ammonia also. Not much plant matter in there. Maybe I have overfed. I will stop for a while.
I used API. Ordered the Gh Kh test kit today.
 
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stop feeding the fish, add more floating plants. Hard to believe ammonia so high with that much water and so few fish unless you've got a ton of rotting plant material and/or are overfeeding. Don't worry re the pH; doesn't really matter the number as long as it's stable. Get yourself a GH and KH kit as it'll help you understand if your pond can buffer against pH crashes, which IS what you want to avoid. Are you getting algae growing on underwater surfaces yet? Any algal blooms (GPS)?

Also, only use fresh liquid drop test kits (API is a good brand) as the test stripes are known to be inaccurate.
Not sure if algae has started growing on the underwater surfaces. We had a big rain storm, so there is a lot of dirt on the bottom. No floating algae.
 
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brokensword

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I'd redo the tests for ammonia and were it my pond, keep a close eye on the fish behavior. The two chems noted above will bind the free ammonia and buy you time, in case it IS that high. But I'd expect you'd see bad fish behavior already. Do you have floating pond plants? If not, get some--they'll help. Don't know what filtration you have but consider a bog as it'll cure a lot of the ills of ponding.

Keep us in the loop but if your fish act fine, it all should balance out given some time and patience. Btw, getting some floaters will also give your fish something to eat, should they can't find surface algae to graze on. Sort of a 'don't feed but know they're still okay' kind of thing.
 
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Prime is a product made by Seachem that dechlorinates the water and will bind ammonia and nitrite. Safe is the powdered version, also made by Seachem.
 
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Welcome to the GPF! You got some good advice here, so I'll just add the usual request for photos! We love to see other ponds!
 
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Sorry for the repeated images. Can't figure out how to remove them.

Still working on the aesthetics - hiding the liner, etc...




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brokensword

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Awesome. Assume I should still use Prime for the high ammonia level?
We're it mine, I'd monitor fish behavior and test daily for ammonia and nitrites. I'd wait on any chems until I saw some signs. If you stop feeding and let the good bacteria build, your numbers should come down. You can still use it, though, just follow all the directions.
 
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I would keep using the Prime. It will bind the ammonia and nitrate for 48 hours so it would need to be dosed again after that time frame.

Your tests will still show the ammonia, since it is still present in the water. But it will be bound and not available to harm the fish.
 
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