Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nitrate in Koi Pond

Nitrate is produced by aerobic oxidation of nitrite by chemoautotrophic bacteria. The nitrifying bacteria oxidize the nitrite to nitrate to produce energy, unlike photosyntesis, this can occur even in the dark, as long as oxygen is present.
Nitrate is relative nontoxic, and koi can survive at levels up to  200 mg/L, but do the best if nitrate is kept below 20 mg/L.  The accumulation of nitrate will reduce the buffering capacity (alkalinity) of the water over time, wich will allow the pH to decrease (become acidic). Nitrate acts as fertilizer for algae, and high levels will stimulate alga blooms. Also high nitrate levels will interfere with salicylate method  ammonia testing. Keep the level low by periodic water changes and removal of dead plant material from pond.
Some water test kits give the results of nitrate test as nitrate-nitrogen, wich is the measure of only the nitrogen component of the nitrate molecule. To obtain the total nitrate level with these test kits, multiply the value of nitrate-nitrogen (in mg/L, or PPM) by 4.4 to equal the total nitrate level.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nitrite in Koi pond

The aerobic oxidation of ammonia in water by chemoautrophic bacteria produces nitrite.
High levels of nitrite in water will be absorbed by the fish's gills. In the blood, it oxidizes the iron on hemoglobin producing methemoglobin that prevents the red blood cells from carying oxygen. Methemoglobinemia causes the blood and gills to turn brown. Death in the fish occurs from hypoxia. Toxic conditions occur when the nitrite level is above 0.10 mg/L in soft water or 0.20 mg/L in hard water.
Some kits used fro water analysis test for nitrite-oxigen, rather than total nitrite. With these test kits, multiply the nitrite-nitrogen value 9in mg/L or PPM) by 3.3 to get the total value of nitrite present.
Treat nitrite toxicity by partial water changes, increasing the oxigen concentration in the water, increasing the aerobic biological filtration, and by adding salt to the water. The chloride ions from sodium chloride complete with nitrite ions for absorption by the gilld, reducing the toxicity. There should be 6mg/L of chloride ion present for every 1 mg/L of nitrite ion to prevent toxicity. Add salt at a rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water, or one pond per one hunderd gallons, to achieve 0.12%  salinity (1200mg/L). This dose is very safe for koi and enough to reduce nitrite toxicity. Salinity tests are available to monitor salt levels in pond water. Chloride test kits can also be used, with 1mg/L of chloride ion equivalent to 1.67 mg/L of sodium chloride.

Need help with your pond testing call Chuck 770 359 9927 for  a Consultation
or visit Splendor Koi and Pond and let us help you!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ammonia in Koi Pond

Ammonia is the end product of microbial descomposition of nitrogenous organic material (amino acids) in dacaying plant and animal tissues, or uneaten fish food. Is also excreted by fish via kidney waste and throught the gills.
Increased ammonia in water irritates the gill tissues causing hyperplasis, wish reduces the oxigen absortion and waste excretion ability.
Depending on water pH and temperature, some ammonia is ionized into ammonium, wish is nontoxic.  Low pH and low temperature, as well as increases in salinity, will increase the ionization to ammonium.
When toxic levels of un-ionized ammonia are encountered, rapid mesures must be taken to lower the ammonia level. Make water changes of 25-50% an s daily basis until levels are normal. Add salt to the water at the rate of 1 pound for 100 Galloons (0.1%) to increase ionization of ammonia. Slowly decrease the water temperature and pH if possible, also. Increasing biological filtration will gradually lower ammonia, but this may not be rapid enough without other measures. Decrease feeding to reduce added protein and fish waste. Remove any decaying organic material in the pond. Ensure adequate oxygenation of the water is present because ammonia irritates the gill epithelicum causing hyperplasia that reduces oxygen absorption, and it also reduces the hemoglobin's oxigen-carrying capacity in the blood. The breakdown of ammonia by bacteria also requires oxygen. There are also commercial water treatments available (e. g., AmQuel, AmmoLock) that can be added to the pond water and will bind ammonia in to a nontoxic form.
Chlorine, chloramine, formalin and certain other medications such as the ammonia binders that are added to the pond can interfere with accurate ammonia testing when using the Nessler method ammonia test. In these case, use the salicylate method ammonia test, however nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and sulfate at high levels will interfere with the accuracy of this test mathod. Check the nitrite and nitrate levels fisrt, then the ammonia level. In ponds with low levels of nitrite and nitrate, the salicylate method ammonia test will be accurate.
Call or text Chuck 770 359 9927 for more information.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Water pH ( Acid/Base Balance)

The pH (power of Hydrogen) of a neutral solution is 7. An acid solution has a pH less than 7, and a basic solution has a pH above 7 up to 14. Because the pH is a logarithmic, a change of 0.3 units approximately doubles the Hydrogen or hydroxyl activity! This is why pH changes should be made slowly in a pond or aquiarium.
Koi are relatively tolerant of pH changes as long as they are gradual. They will survive in pH ranges from 6 to 10, although the optimum is about 7-7.5. The use of chemicals to adjust the pH is not recomended because the resulting pH changes are usually temporary, so the koi become subjected to frequent fluctuations of the pH. It is safer for a koi to adjust to a pH of the local water of 8.2, for example, than to be constantly stressed from the pond owner's changing of the pH with chemical treatments to get it to the 7-7.5 range.
 Be aware that the higher the pH, the more toxic any ammonia in the water becomes. Hard water tends to be more basic and resists changes in pH, whereas soft water is usually acidic and the pH will fluctuate more easily.
Sings of low pH toxicity includes increased mucus and chronic stress. Treat by doing a partial water change with water of appropiate pH, and removing organic debris from the pond that can lower the pH as it decays. Buffers (calcium carbonate) can be added to soft water to prevent pH changes. Do not raise pH in water with elevated ammonia nitrogen levels, as increasing the pH will convert ionized ammonium into toxic ammonia. Any changes in pH should be made slowly if possible, not more than about 0.3-o.5 units per day.
For more information call Chuck 770 359 997 or email him at chuck@splendorkoi.com

Friday, March 15, 2013

Water Temperature for Koi

Koi will survive in water temperatures from 35-95ºF / 2-35ºC, although they prefer cool water temperatures of 65-77º / 18-25ºC. Gradual changes in water temperature within a fish's optimun range seldom cause healt problems. Ideally, water temperature differences should be no more than 5ºF / 3ºC change per day.
Temperature shock can occur with rapid changes, especially from warmer water to cooler water.
Increasing the water temperature will lower the saturation point of dissolved oxigen ( warmer water holds less oxigen than cooler water). It will also increase the toxicity of disolved substances such as amonia, chlorine, and heavy metals. Most pathogens' activity will increase as the water warms as well.

Do you have a question in regard moving koi to a new envioroment you can call Chuck at 770-359-9927
or visit our Pond Store in Marietta. click on logo below to visit our web-site.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Water Quality In The Koi Pond

It is difficult to control or prevent infectious and parasitic diseases of koi fish without considering the quality of the pond water in which they live.
Many diseases are fatal to fish populations only when water quality is less than optimun.

By improving water quality, stress on the fish is reduced and its immune system can keep many other diseases in check.

Water quality can be mesured with test kits.

The most important parameters to measure are:
  • Temperature
  • PH
  • Ammonia
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrate
  • and Dissolved Oxigen.
Other elements that can be tested are:
  • Hardness
  • Alkalinity
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Chloride
  • Chlorine
  • Salinity
  • and other heavy metals (e.g., copper, iron).
If you have questions about water quality contact;
Chuck Crisp at (770) 359 9927 for a Koi pond consultation.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pond Seminars - 1st Sat of Each Month - 10 am!

Starting April 6th, Chuck will be giving Pond Seminars on the first Saturday of each month at 10 am!
If you want some extra tips or information about being a better pond and Koi owner, come to Splendor Koi on the first Saturday of each month at 10am!
Chuck will personally give helpful classes on different topics that will benefit the every day pond owner.
What better way to touch up your pond skills by getting free advice from the expert!
There will also be a light breakfast for everyone who attends.
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
We’ll see you there!