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PostPosted: Aug 22nd, '09, 20:45 
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So I did my first lot of test today (5 weeks after filling pond, and 3 weeks after Koi in water).
Results were:
Ammonia 0.0
Nitrite 0.0
Ph: In the range of 7.5 - 8.0

Given I haven't been testing I can't tell whether I am cycled - however I am beggining to think The 4 medium and 5 small Koi I have in 20,000 litres simply aren't enough to get things going (or probably to feed plants once growing) - anyone have an opinion on that? I did through my old filter pads in the pond to try and kickstart, and I am running a small pond filter too. I have only had 1 BYAP grow bed in place for a week (seeds planted), a second one is hooked up but no gravel at this stage.

I have one of those floating pots with coriander (cilantro for the US guys) planted - and the seedlings are growing, but leaves are pretty yellow - not looking particularly lush and healthy.

Pictures to follow tomorrow hopefully - but your opinions much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Aug 22nd, '09, 21:37 
You're probably right Mike... in that volume of water, the ammonia probably hasn't built to a level to be discernable ... given time, and continued feeding, it probably will... but even then you might not really see it as the growbed nitrification will probably cycle/convert it...


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PostPosted: Aug 23rd, '09, 00:56 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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ya might put a teaspoon full of urea granules where the water enters your grow bed. Or if you are like me, just have a pee in the pond every once in a while till you start to see some numbers. Just some ideas to help get some ammonia showing with such a large amount of water. Do you have a Nitrate test? Might test for that just to know what the water already has in it.

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PostPosted: Sep 1st, '09, 21:06 
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Tested again on the weekend.
ph 7.5
Nitrites 0.0
Amonnia 0.0 I think - maybe a reading - but looked closer to 0 than 0.25.
Nitrates - couldn't measure, bought a test kit from BYAP, but didn't get a colour chart - so no idea what the reading is showing - duh!

Both BYAP beds up and running now (although I am one bag of clay short), and seeds and some old garlic I found in the pantry starting to sprout. Also added more fish - now up to 14 Koi, but 10 are pretty small so still not really expecting to see too much ammonia being generated in 20,000 litres - I'll keep going on the seasol for now, and if still no readings in the next few weeks I will track down some urea and give that a go.


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PostPosted: Sep 12th, '09, 20:19 
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Readings from today, very boring:
ph 7.4
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0.0

Some change though, the pond has gone a bit green this week. The guys at BYAP told me today it is likely the algae is finding some nutrients in the pond, so bought some seedlings for my second bed (can't be bothered waiting for seeds to come up anmore anyway!). Hopefully pond will clear in the next week or two.

Some pics of the grow beds and pond below:


Attachments:
File comment: Bit green for my liking.
Pond (GB Background).jpg
Pond (GB Background).jpg [ 52.82 KiB | Viewed 1579 times ]
File comment: Where GB's and pond meet.
GB - Pond.jpg
GB - Pond.jpg [ 82.53 KiB | Viewed 1578 times ]
File comment: Aren't seedlings attractive!
GB.jpg
GB.jpg [ 62.02 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
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PostPosted: Oct 2nd, '09, 20:45 
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More tests show no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. I am having trouble with the whole cycling question and wouldn't mind opinions! Given the size of my pond (20,000 litres) and only 4 large and 10 small koi am I simply unable to cycle? It has been 11 weeks and no readings at all, feeding fish initially a couple of times a week but now daily for the past couple of weeks (a small handful).

Is it possible to cycle without a large spike in ammonia / nitrites if it is done really slowly over time??

Help appreciated!


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PostPosted: Oct 2nd, '09, 22:05 
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I believe you have understocked Mike. We advise 20 -25 fish per growbed. That would require 50 fish and would normally be in far less water. Can you get some more fish for that volume of water?

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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 20:56 
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Thanks Faye - I think I'll pick up a bunch more fish on the weekend, bring me up to 30 or 40 at least. I was taking the softly softly approach so as to minimise any chance of harm to my koi that I have grown attached to!

I think I'll come by and pick up an air pump with battery backup if I am getting more fish, though not sure if one little pump would be enough for the pond, but I guess the required O2 is more related to number of fish than size of pond?


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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '09, 01:58 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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The amount of air required is more related to the bio-load on the pond, not just the fish themselves but any and all organic matter that might be in the pond system will demand some oxygen. You would probably be better off long term getting a bigger air pump and a deep cycle battery with proper charger and inverter to really pump a good amount of air into the pond in case of power failure. If you set up a DPDT relay it can switch from mains power to battery power automatically.

But back to the cycling note. How are the plants doing? It is possible to cycle up a very small balanced load without ever seeing any levels, I believe a few people on the forum have reported never seeing any levels but their systems produce fish and plants anyway. Then again, I've noticed that in nice balanced Ornamental ponds, adding a grow bed and veggies often doesn't provide enough nutrients for the veggies if all else is left the same. See the pond plants tend to use up the ammonia before it turns into anything else and the system was already balanced so there was no excess for the veggies, gotta up the production of nutrients to add veggies like that. But that is all kinda aside from your situation though.

As Fay said, you probably need more fish.

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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '09, 20:05 
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Thanks for the info on cycling and nutrient levels - helps and makes sense, will definately increase stocking.

You kind of lost me on the air pump information - sounds hard core - looks like more research required!! My wife may divorve me if I spend more time reading on my laptop though.


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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '09, 20:27 
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The time on the laptop will only get worse as the obsession grows Mike :D

What was you final aim with the system Mike ? Did you ultimately intend to have edible fish stocked or were you going to maintain it with ornimentals like the Koi.
The reason I ask is that if you were to throw a load of Barra in as they grow your existing small Koi would be under threat.

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PostPosted: Oct 7th, '09, 19:48 
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Vegetarian, so definately sticking with the ornamental fish, but not stuck on Koi only - anyone have any suggestions of long lived fish that would like my pond in the hills of Perth that might like to live with the Koi?

Was thinking some algae eaters of some description might be good to clean up the pond a little - any suggestions??


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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '09, 06:01 
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Softly softly is good Mike, it just takes longer but you avoid other problems like numbers spiking and partial water changes. I go along with TCL - just take a pee in the pond every night while you're waiting for your numbers and fish stock to come up.
As for fish, I suggest rainbow trout. The look great, and are exciting to feed. You dont have to eat them yourself, but if there are any kids in the neighbourhood or family they will love coming over to go fishing - you will become their favoriate uncle! Trout should go well with large koi but they might eat the small ones.

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PostPosted: Nov 1st, '09, 12:31 
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People's thoughts for best way to repair rubber liner?

My stupid dog was digging to get a lizard and split the liner down to just below water level in 2 places (50cm long splits). I'm not sure best way to repair that is fish safe - the guys at Clark Rubber gave me this ugly looking sticky tar stuff, but not convinced it is safe - anone have thoughts on safest/best option?


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PostPosted: Nov 1st, '09, 15:47 
What's it called Mike?


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