Helpful Advice For Koi and Pond Enthusiasts
Hello and welcome to our blog about pond creation and maintenance.
This series of blog features are aimed at helping to answer many of the commonly asked questions and challenges faced by fish pond enthusiasts and how the products we manufacture, can help in various situations and circumstances.
As a UK Supplier of a wide range of pond equipment, we receive a lot of questions from people and we are aiming to make this blog a valuable resource of general advice or help for anyone interested in starting or maintaining their pond environment, in particular, the wellbeing of fish in ponds.
We plan to have in-depth information addressing the fundamentals of fish keeping, offer advice and explain how our pond products can help.
If you have any questions or enquiries you would like us to focus on and feature in our blog please contact Sam.
- What does an Ozoneair unit do?
The Aquasure Ozonair Purifier unit will cure and most importantly help prevent common ailments such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, low immune system, ulcers, mouth sores, fin rot and parasite infestations. Up until now the only way to treat such problems was to use additives in the water or apply them directly to the wound. Additives can be detrimental to the koi’s health or in some cases life-threatening if added in the wrong quantities or situation.
The oxidation process has a huge effect on not only the quality of the water but also the visual aspect. The link between them both is surprisingly similar. The food that we feed our koi is extremely high in protein. Koi do not need and cannot process/utilize much more than 25-30% of protein the rest is pure waste; and in return ends up as mulma. The mulma will pass through your filter system but not all will be collected/trapped and will return back to your pond.
The mulma is dissolved into the water, making dissolved organic carbons (DOCs). Bacteria thrive feeding on the high proteins in DOCs. The bacteria will cause ailments such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, low immune system, ulcers, mouth sores, fin rot, parasite infestations. These are all extremely detrimental to the fish’s health.
Algae is caused by the presence of too much organic material from DOCs. If the amount of organic material is too high, the water loses the ability to maintain adequate oxygen levels. This is because the DOCs produce Carbon dioxide (CO2). The absence of oxygen provided by organic material allows algae and different kinds of “weed” to thrive. This will also affect the clarity of the water, causing a yellowy/brown tinge and in some cases a green film to appear on the surface.
The Ozonair Purifier Unit produces ozone; ozone is created naturally in the world around us by the combination of oxygen in the air and ultraviolet rays or by the electrical discharge during a lightning storm. On some occasions, you can smell the pungent odour after an electrical storm. Ozone is a natural purifier, meaning no harmful chemical by-products are created. The only by product is pure oxygen. Ozone is composed of three oxygen atoms. One of the atoms is connected to the others weakly and will transfer itself to other substances such as bacteria (DOCs) or in this case carbon dioxide (CO2) causing them to oxidize by binding itself onto them. Once the oxidation process has happened the only molecule left is pure oxygen.
- How to cure and prevent dangerously high nitrate & nitrite levels in a fish pond
I was recently contacted by a customer in desperate need of advice and help regarding a reading he took from their pond’s nitrite level, the nitrite level was dangerously high. In fact, the worse I have seen, the nitrite level was + 5.0ppm.
From having further discussions with the customer it was apparent that if this was not treated ASAP his fish could be in a whole world of trouble.
One product we stock and sell is the Ozonair unit. This little unit is remarkable and surprises all our customers when I recommend it for numerous problems that arise in a pond environment.
The Ozoneair unit works by a process of oxidation, once the oxidation process has happened the only molecule left is pure oxygen. Removing any unwanted gas such as nitrate & nitrite
I was contacted by our customer only 12 hours after the Ozonair Unit was installed and running. The Ozonair unit dramatically dropped the nitrite level to a safe level of 0.15ppm.
The pond was not subjected to any partial/water change before the unit was connected, the Ozonair unit really is a versatile product that solves so many common problems faced in a pond environment
If you are experiencing or want to prevent high nitrate and nitrite levels, we couldn’t recommend the Ozonair unit highly enough.
Understanding Nitrites and Nitrates in a Koi Pond
Although nitrite is not as toxic as ammonia, even at low concentrations in the pond, it can be harmful to your pet fish. High nitrite and nitrate levels can cause irreversible damage to your fish’s liver, spleen, nervous system and kidney damage. Nitrite poisoning may even result in the death of your fish.
Ammonia is converted into nitrites by good bacteria called Nitrosomonas. Nitrite is then converted to nitrate. Nitrates are the final product in the reduction of ammonia. Nitrates are generally removed from the pond environment by plants.
When Nitrobacteria break down nitrites in the pond environment nitrates are produced. Nitrates are a natural by-product of the bacterial reduction or removal of ammonia and nitrites in the koi pond ecosystem. Nitrites and Nitrates can become harmful to pond fish if they become abundant and are not removed from pond water. Both can lead to fish mortality if not kept in check.
What are the symptoms of high nitrite in the koi pond?
You may notice fish gasping at the pond surface or hanging near air stones if nitrite becomes problematic. High nitrite concentrations can result in a condition known as ‘brown-blood disease’. Brown-blood disease occurs in fish when their pond water contains high nitrite levels. Nitrite enters the fish’s bloodstream through the gills and prevents the red blood cells from absorbing vital oxygen from the water. It turns the fish’s blood to a chocolate-brown color. Hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood, combines with nitrite to form methemoglobin, which is incapable of oxygen transport. Brown blood cannot carry sufficient amounts of oxygen through the fish’s system; therefore the affected fish can suffocate regardless of adequate oxygen concentration in the pond water. This accounts for the gasping behavior often observed in fish with a brown blood disease, even when oxygen levels are relatively high.
What is a safe nitrite level for koi?
The ideal range for nitrite is 0.00 parts per million. A reading of 0.25 ppm or higher is dangerous to your fish and indicates that you need to take immediate action to reduce the nitrite level in your koi pond.
Every koi keeper should own a simple test kit to test the water quality of their pond water. Toxic chemicals such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and others are not apparent visually. Perfectly clean clear pond water can contain dangerous, even lethal levels of toxic chemicals.
What are the symptoms of high nitrate in my koi pond?
Accumulation of nitrates can cause problems such as damage to the veins in koi fins and skin, depressed immune system, and even reproductive problems. Koi in high nitrate conditions may act dull or lethargic but perk up and become energetic for a feeding then quickly return to the prior state of lethargy. Often, fish that are subjected to high nitrate accumulations over time will experience slowed growth, delayed wound healing and will become extremely susceptible to illness and parasitic infestations.
What is a safe nitrate level for koi and goldfish?
The ideal range for nitrate is 20-60 ppm, parts per million. If your pond reaches 80 ppm you should begin a regiment of partial water changes to reduce nitrates to a safe level. Nitrate becomes extremely toxic above 120 ppm.
What is the best way to reduce high nitrite levels in a koi pond?
If you encounter a situation where the ammonia, nitrite or nitrate are rising to toxic or lethal levels you should do an immediate water change of at least 1/3 – ½ of the total system. The newly added freshwater will not resolve problems associated with high or toxic chemical pollutants, it only dilutes them to a level acceptable to your fish. Alternatively, in the unfortunate event that your koi are becoming very ill due to extreme deterioration of water quality, you could increase the amount of water exchanged to 20-30% daily for a short period of time.
Increased nitrite levels usually mean the necessary good bacteria in your pond that turn nitrite into nitrate have not developed in sufficient numbers. For the time being, the best things you can do is to increase the aeration and perform partial water changes. Additionally, there are several good bacteria products on the market that you can add to the pond. These should help increase the bacteria colonies quicker than they will colonize naturally.