We changed our mind.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by msal4090, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. msal4090

    msal4090

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    Hello from the Central Coast of CA.
    A week before Mothers day my son and I built our very first water feature for my wife. The pond is 9x9 in a semi heart shape in the corner of our yard with 3 levels 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 ft deep. I am guessing at 750 gallons. We put in a cinder block fountain and lined it with slate. We used mortar to build everything and the fountain stands over 5 ft high.

    We went to Lowe's and got a 550 gallon pump which came in a foam filter box and 6 bio balls. We then lined everything with lg river rock. It came out great (so we thought).

    A week later we had our water checked at our local pet store and it looked great so we added 6 feeder goldfish along with 6 plants from Lowe's. The plants and fish are doing great. The next week we took another water sample to our pet store and the water looked great (PH 7.8, and the rest were 0) so they recommended 3 Koi 6/8 inches long.

    That night, I found your forum and have spent most of my evenings learning about my mistakes and getting educated. I have since added a Laguna Pressure-Flo UV 700 Filter & Max-Flo 600 Pump. Everything is working great and looks good too. A week later, the water showed Ammonia up to .25 so we started 20% water changes every other day until it came down to 0. I then added a Bio filter I made out of a 25 gallon planter box 24" tall filled with green scrub pads and a venturi.

    Well since my life has now been taking over by this new hobby, I took all the rocks out two days ago. I could not believe the waste after one month. The blood worms drove my wife crazy. Removing the rocks was the best thing we ever did. The fish went nuts and it double the amount of water. Yesterday we decided to take out the fountain we built since we have been enjoying the fish more than the fountain. We dropped it and tore the liner. I removed everything, drained and patched the liner then vacuumed everything out. Refilled the pond and put the plants and fish back in (I used a dechlorinate every time I add water). They seemed to be doing good.

    Well today, my son shows up with 3 more Koi of the same size for fathers day. I am sure we have way to many since everything is new and the pond has not cycled. Water in now testing at PH 8.0, Ammonia .25 Nitrate and Nitrite 0. I am enjoying the daily maintenance and will do what I need to do to keep everyone healthy. Any advise would be helpful and Thanks for such a great site. Best thing we have done in many years.
     
    msal4090, Jun 20, 2011
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  2. msal4090

    CometKeith

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    Hi Msal4090. Welcome and nice introduction. It seems like you are aware of the potential problems with adding so many fish so quickly. Will the store he bought them from give you credit for other items if you return them? I don't know how old your son is, but if you explain the issues then maybe it would make it go better.
     
    CometKeith, Jun 20, 2011
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  3. msal4090

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the group

    Cometkeith, he might be ok with really good monitoring of the pond, water changes, maybe even add some bacteria. Would be better to take them back, but bet the son was so happy to get his dad something he would love.

    Your koi will grow big, filtration will be your friend and your test kit.

    Glad you joined, everybody will help you as best as they can.
     
    addy1, Jun 20, 2011
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  4. msal4090

    HTH Howard

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    If you have to cycle a pond again do not use feeder goldfish.

    To cycle the pond needs ammonia and .25 is fairly low for a cycling pond. The bacteria that converts ammonia has to have enough ammonia present to reproduce. If you starve it you slow or stop the cycling process. See http://www.aquaworldaquarium.com/Articles/TonyGriffitts/Ammonia.htm for more about ammonia.

    Six feeder goldfish is almost no bio load for a 750 gallon pond. You now have six 6" koi. It would have been easier with 3 but I think you can manage to go through cycling with 6. You may have to do a few water changes. Light feedings will help.

    What is your water temperature peaking at ?

    In time the koi will produce young and you will have too many fish. At that point you give them away or build a larger pond. If you six grow to be monsters you may need a larger pond. (loading depends on how the pond is kept/filtered)

    Whey you have to do water changes do large ones unless you have well water with compressed gases in the water. I like to do about 50% as it reduces everything by 1/2 unless your water source has some of what you are trying to reduce. Use your de-chlore. I run my water over a flat surface to spread the water out into a sheet to help some of the chlorine escape prior to entering the water. Not sure how well it works but if you run the hose in the pond the fish can tend to gather around the hose.

    HTH
     
    HTH, Jun 20, 2011
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  5. msal4090

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

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    Whey you have to do water changes do large ones unless you have well water with compressed gases in the water. I like to do about 50% as it reduces everything by 1/2 unless your water source has some of what you are trying to reduce. Use your de-chlore. I run my water over a flat surface to spread the water out into a sheet to help some of the chlorine escape prior to entering the water. Not sure how well it works but if you run the hose in the pond the fish can tend to gather around the hose.

    HTH[/QUOTE]

    I agree that 50% water changes removes 50% of the nitrates, ammonia, etc. But doing 50% water changes on ponds also can be dangerous if your water isn't 100% correct to start with. For instance you have chloimine instead of chlorine. Now your adding 50% additional ammonia along with the chlorine, if the chlorine isn't dissipating quick enough this could cause serious stress to the fish. also if you dealing with large ponds, 50% changes are a lot of water! This also take quite a bit of time and it's going to happen that someone walks away while it takes a hour or two to refill and they forget and leave the water running, then that's even more bad added. Ponds need stability, for a spring or fall clean out 10-20% is not going to do much good, but for regular maintance, 50% IMO is taking it too extreme. I kept discus for several years, 50% water changes daily were needed. That's why I got away from them, to time consuming, water bills got ridiculous, and it got to the point I didn't enjoy the hobby nearly as much. Each person must find a balance that works for their pond. Not saying your not correct because I understand what you mean and what you accomplish by larger water changes but it also needs to be pointed out that there are also pro's and con's to large water changes as well.
     
    fishin4cars, Jun 20, 2011
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  6. msal4090

    taherrmann4 Tmann

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    Welcome
     
    taherrmann4, Jun 20, 2011
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  7. msal4090

    CountryPond

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    :lol: Welcome to the forum, I'm new to this too. Trying to learn what to do and what not to do:fish:
     
    CountryPond, Jun 20, 2011
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  8. msal4090

    sissy sissy

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    welcome and sorry your act of love turned into heartbreak and then an obsession .I cannot understand why pet places just sell things and don't let you understand what you are doing first .They just want money and don't care these are living things .That is way to many fish .My biggest koi is now 7 years old well almost 7 and she is getting around 2 feet long and her partner Bert is getting close to that also .She and her partner were only a couple of inches long when I got them .Koi are also harder to take care of .
     
    sissy, Jun 20, 2011
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  9. msal4090

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forum!

    Water changes and daily monitoring, 6 koi is a lot for this size when it has not been cycled. Once you get it stabilized and have a good bio filter, you will be ok.
     
    DrDave, Jun 20, 2011
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  10. msal4090

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] msal4090
    Sounds like you are keeping on top of everything w/ testing and so it seems like all will be ok and what a nice thoughtful gift from your son :regular_waving_emot
     
    j.w, Jun 21, 2011
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  11. msal4090

    HTH Howard

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    That is the rub. Any water change small enough to not be dangerous is next to useless as indicated by the math. You have to know what you are doing and get it right. You have to know both the pond water and the water you are replacing it with.

    I am not advocating daily, weekly, or monthly water changes of any size! But if you want to effect a reduction in anything in the water larger changes will do the job with LESS water. Sure 50% of a large pond is a lot of water. It is the cost of keeping a large pond! On the other hand a 10% change may make the owner feel like they are doing something but is mostly wasted time and water.

    I ran the same route with fancy goldfish as you did with the discus.
    I agree that things seem to work just a bit different depending on the person and their pond. But the laws of chemistry and nature apply the same to everyone. Wanting something to work does not make it so.

    On the other hand I fully agree that I need to be more careful and it is a point well taken. Do we have a good sticky on this subject ? It would save a lot of typing and the concerns could be outlined in detail.

    HTH
     
    HTH, Jun 21, 2011
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  12. msal4090

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

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    There isn't a sticky on this at this time but one could be made.
    I see where your coming from but it's not just the math. I agree with this concept if there is a issue that needs to be addressed. but for regular maintance I still think regular 10-20% water changes are far less drastic and cause less stress in the eco-system of the pond as a whole. Plants use up a good percentage of Nitrates and nitrites, Bio-filter breaks down the ammonia so smaller water changes help remove pheromones, take out some of the unused nitrates and replenishes aged water with new water.
    I'm not going to sit here and say what you practice is wrong because the fast is it is correct but at the same time it's one workable option, I've been doing smaller water changes for years, My present 2500 gallon pond reads as follows from testing this morning.
    PH 7.8
    Ammonia 0 on the drop bottle test kit. My digital ammonia meter is down for right now, battery died and I have to recalibrate.
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0-20 very light reading
    GH 80
    KH 120
    Temp 88.
    salinity .11%
    Plant coverage 80-90%
    fish load, 250" of koi and goldfish mix
    I do a back-flush in the bio filter and change about 250-500 gallons weekly
    water is crystal clear except for some slight brownish tint due to water lily and plant die off, (I guess? No dead fallen leaves in the pond)
    I feed 2-3 times daily, No bottom drain, no high tech sieves, cetus filters, separators etc. I have never taken a pond of my own and cleaned a 50% water change and I only clean out from under the rocks on the bottom about once every two months during the warm months however I do 1/2 the rocks one month and the other half the next so as not to allow for to much build up but also not to over stir up and remove to much. I believe in pond balance, and stability. This is a practice I have been doing for over 15 years with excellent results. When I go to a Koi only pond, I am sure this will change dramatically and at that point larger water changes and different practices will have to be adjusted and I'm willing to make those changes in order to keep the water correct for the fish.
     
    fishin4cars, Jun 21, 2011
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  13. msal4090

    HTH Howard

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    A Koi only pond is mostly a huge aquarium.

    I never suggested 50% changes as part of regular maintenance. Only in the case where you need to reduce the concentration of some agent in the water. That should not be a regular thing.
     
    HTH, Jun 21, 2011
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  14. msal4090

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    if it were me...i would do frequent small water changes, its easier on the fishes stress levels. large waterchanges like 50% can swing all parameters, including temp and ph, and big fluccuations can really stress fish. not to mention prolong the ponds cycling process. a 50 gal waterchange very few days should be more than adequate for keeping your parameters in a safe range.75 gals would be 10% .i rarely iof ever do more than a 10%er...my 1200 gal gets a 55 gal change every 3 days. adding the bacterial suppliment will help speed the process as well!...i also tricle tyhe water into my ponds...a 10%er takes 5 minutes to take it out; 1&1/2 hours putting it back. i have it trickle into my falls.
    OH...WELCOME TO THE GROUP!
     
    koiguy1969, Jun 21, 2011
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  15. msal4090

    msal4090

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    Thanks for all the advise. Yesterday the water tested at PH 8.0, Ammonia .25, Nitrite and Nitrate at 0. I did a 10% water change. We are in the middle of a heat wave here so the water temp is 88 and the air temp hit 102 today.
    Tonight the water was; PH the same, Ammonia .50, Nitrite .25 and Nitrate 0. I did a 25% water change and added good bacteria. My water clover is going crazy and so are the Lilly's. The iris is browning along with the hyacinths, some of the hyacinths seems to be doing better.
    None of the fish show any bad signs, they do like it under the water fall most of the time and the gold fish are out in the open much more than the koi.
    On the good side, I hooked up a hose to the drain and shut off the drip system. Now when I do a water change, my wife waters the plants.
    Thanks again, and I will keep everyone updated.
     
    msal4090, Jun 22, 2011
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  16. msal4090

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    You plants will sure love that! Keep up the good work.
     
    addy1, Jun 22, 2011
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