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 Post subject: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 7th, '20, 10:10 
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Hi everyone,I lost all 22 adult tilapias about a month ago. That was a tough pill to swallow after I had nurtured them from juvenile to adulthood to close to 2 years.

3.5 weeks after I decided to reintroduce kois as I read that they are tough fish and more resistant to sudden temperature changes. Alas, I lost 3 four days ago, and now this: Could someone help please? I thought fish death were a lot more minimized in aquaponics compared to raising in aquariums. I havent been having much luck

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 7th, '20, 14:53 
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Sorry about your fish!

Were the tilapia raised exclusively in the system, or were they overwintered inside prior to the system water warming enough to sustain them?

How long did the tilapia last in the system? I think I remember that you may have had a cold snap that killed the tilapia.

I wonder what the conditions for the koi were like prior to adding them, and what the water temps of the system are.
From the looks of previous pictures, it looks like the system is on a patio outdoors.

I would guess that your outdoor temps have been pretty cold by now. I know koi are hardy, but I believe temp changes still have to be gradual with them.

What did you do to acclimate the fish to the system?
Were the koi kept inside prior to being moved outside? Do you heat the AP water?

I would guess that acclimating most indoor fish to outdoor culture in your area at this time of the year, might prove to be difficult if the water isn't heated.

How long did the koi last before they died?

I am no fish expert, but might it be possible that they experienced shock from temp change or very cold water temps?

The biofilter might not be very active if the water and outdoor temps are low, and it hasn't had ammonia inputs for a while.
It might not have been ready for the fish load, especially if they were being fed right away.

How was the ammonia level?
What is the ph?

I know it's a lot of questions, but it's where my brain went.....I have been battling with ph crash, and reduced ammonia conversion for a few weeks myself. I gradually raised the ph, and the ammonia has dropped to a more acceptable range.

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 7th, '20, 16:48 
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Thank you for your reply. Those are all good questions so you dont have to apologize. I ran out the door this morning and I've lost three more fishes since creating the post. As I was speaking to the pet store owner where I bought my kois, I remember that I had seen some rat excrements in my growbed prior to my tilapias dying. The water parameters when the tilapias died were 15Celsius,pH 6.0, Nitrate 80ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, ammonia 0.5 ppm

The rat poop may have had something to do with it, and I reckon that it may stay in the system?

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 7th, '20, 22:16 
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You have got to learn about fish.I don't mean to sound harsh.They are still living things that can suffer.

If your PH was at 6 & you used the API test,it could have been much lower.When you get fish from a shop,the PH is probably between 7-8.I doubt it would be as low as 6 or as high as 6.PH shock could be a factor.

If the PH is below 6 & the water is fairly cold,like LA will said,the bio filter might not be working.

Los Angeles Will wrote:
I would guess that your outdoor temps have been pretty cold by now. I know koi are hardy, but I believe temp changes still have to be gradual with them.

What did you do to acclimate the fish to the system?
Were the koi kept inside prior to being moved outside? Do you heat the AP water?

The temperature change is also an issue.

Notice some of their eyes are popping out.

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 7th, '20, 22:38 
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Hello

I had a problem with some tilapia dying in one of my systems and every thing seemed OK all levels were good. What I did find in the end was a heavy metal problem. In one of my filter system I was using a galvanized mesh and this was leaching zinc into the system and that was killing my fish... I replaced it with a stainless steel mesh and problem was solved. hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 8th, '20, 02:46 
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Hold on a minute...my fish tank and sump tank are sheltered to prevent algae by what I believe are galvanized metal sheets. Zinc toxicity?

https://zipgrow.com/worried-that-a-galv ... your-fish/

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 8th, '20, 09:16 
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Los Angeles Will wrote:
Sorry about your fish!

Were the tilapia raised exclusively in the system, or were they overwintered inside prior to the system water warming enough to sustain them?

They were tilapia from a large outdoor reservoir.

How long did the tilapia last in the system? I think I remember that you may have had a cold snap that killed the tilapia.
The tilapias lasted 2 years. Correct, there was a cold snap and a much more experienced pet shop owner lost all his tilapias around the same time also.


I wonder what the conditions for the koi were like prior to adding them, and what the water temps of the system are.
From the looks of previous pictures, it looks like the system is on a patio outdoors.

The system is fully outdoors. Temperatures were warm but water still cool to the touch. It didn't cross my mind to record the temperature.

I would guess that your outdoor temps have been pretty cold by now. I know koi are hardy, but I believe temp changes still have to be gradual with them.

What did you do to acclimate the fish to the system?
Were the koi kept inside prior to being moved outside? Do you heat the AP water?

The kois were from a good pet shop that gave me a good deal. So they were indoors in an aquarium. In order to acclimatise the fish, I made a water drip siphon from the aquaponics fish tank into the aquarium fish bag until the bag was half full together with adding an air stone in. I then dumped half of that water and repeated the same process. I then added them to my system.

I would guess that acclimating most indoor fish to outdoor culture in your area at this time of the year, might prove to be difficult if the water isn't heated.

How long did the koi last before they died?

The kois lasted 27 days.


I am no fish expert, but might it be possible that they experienced shock from temp change or very cold water temps?

Maybe. I think that temperature changes are likely more sudden in a small barrel system like mine. Two petstore owners were telling me that I shouldn't have lost the tilapias and kois that way as they have seen them in way worse conditions like algae infested ponds with broken filters.

The biofilter might not be very active if the water and outdoor temps are low, and it hasn't had ammonia inputs for a while.
It might not have been ready for the fish load, especially if they were being fed right away.

How was the ammonia level?
What is the ph?

Water parameters were ammonia 0.5ppm,Nitrite 0ppm,pH 6.4 and Nitrate 0ppm

I know it's a lot of questions, but it's where my brain went.....I have been battling with ph crash, and reduced ammonia conversion for a few weeks myself. I gradually raised the ph, and the ammonia has dropped to a more acceptable range.


Thanks again for all your input. True to say that I have to learn about how to better take care of my fish while I was busier taking care of the plants.

After reading about heavy metal toxicity from one of the recent posts, I realized that I thought I was doing well by placing a left over 3ft x 2ft galvanized metal sheet to cover and direct rain water into my sump tank. I'm not sure how long it takes for something like this to build up zinc levels but that may have something to do with it as well.

Do you think it would be a good idea to paint my fish IBC tank black to absorb heat from the sun during the day? I'm going to take into consideration all that was shared and expand to ibc tanks system in hope that the temperature changes wont be as drastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 9th, '20, 08:09 
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I found it take 3 to 4 months depending on the amounts of galvanized metal you have in the system. Also once you remove it you have to do a 100% water change. As far as out side temps I have one system that is outside and am using a a heater system made out of a 230v water Heater probe running at 110v in a 2 in PVC system with a cheap china temp controller. If you look online for aquaponics heaters you will find several ver of this heater. I have used it for two years now and it has worked down to -10 deg and it has maintained 78 to 80 Degs.


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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 9th, '20, 08:52 
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+1 on the water change.

I just read through your last post, and was thinking the same thing as Terry.
If they survived for 27 days, it does' seem like an acclimatization issue.

The metal panels could have done it for sure. The age of the panels could influence how much zinc comes off of them.
You could set the same thing up with polycarbonate panels and use the galvanized panels to clad the new IBC! :)

It is true that a larger water volume will change temp more slowly, but insulating might help as well.

I just looked up your temps, and Vancouver is a lot milder in winter than I had imagined. Still, being outdoors, insulating might be helpful in temp regulation. Especially on keeping heat in if you are heating the water. Check out my IBC thread for pics of how I went about insulating an IBC. Lots of people insulate in different ways. There's a lot of examples on the forum.

I found a site a few years ago that explores extreme insulation in aquaponics, it might give you a few ideas. I think the guy is a member here as well. He uses old non working chest freezers with a liner as a fish tank. The freezer is already insulated. I thought it was pretty cool. I believe it's called Frosty Fish aquaponics.

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 10th, '20, 22:24 
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Purpledino wrote:
Hold on a minute...my fish tank and sump tank are sheltered to prevent algae by what I believe are galvanized metal sheets. Zinc toxicity?


I warned you about that on your last post!


Also, what is the total volume of your system?

and is your rainwater top up system automatic, ie., when its raining rainwater constantly enters the system?

If this is the case, parameters (pH, temperature, nitrate) might swing quite suddenly with heavy rain, which would be bad for your fish health as it causes stress even if values are within the tolerance rage. This would be specially bad if the system is relatively small.


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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 11th, '20, 12:22 
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Terryaquaponics wrote:
I found it take 3 to 4 months depending on the amounts of galvanized metal you have in the system. Also once you remove it you have to do a 100% water change. As far as out side temps I have one system that is outside and am using a a heater system made out of a 230v water Heater probe running at 110v in a 2 in PVC system with a cheap china temp controller. If you look online for aquaponics heaters you will find several ver of this heater. I have used it for two years now and it has worked down to -10 deg and it has maintained 78 to 80 Degs.
Thank you for sharing Terry. How much do you think it costs to run the water heater? I'm also trying to keep running costs minimal

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 11th, '20, 12:31 
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Thank you for taking the time to share LA Will. Insulation is something I need to look into. At the same time it baffles me that some koi breeders have there fish living in ponds with ice at the surface? [ASTONISHED FACE]

Terry: the galvanized steel comment slipped my mind. I think you are right about things happening quicker in small systems. My pH would drop and i would have to buffer weekly.

I am going to start over and upscale in hopes of less drastic temperature and pH changes. Also how often do you guys clean your Radial flow filters and bird net filters?

Again, thanks for all your input guys. I'm learning lots

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 11th, '20, 12:32 
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danny wrote:
Purpledino wrote:
Hold on a minute...my fish tank and sump tank are sheltered to prevent algae by what I believe are galvanized metal sheets. Zinc toxicity?


I warned you about that on your last post!


Also, what is the total volume of your system?

and is your rainwater top up system automatic, ie., when its raining rainwater constantly enters the system?

If this is the case, parameters (pH, temperature, nitrate) might swing quite suddenly with heavy rain, which would be bad for your fish health as it causes stress even if values are within the tolerance rage. This would be specially bad if the system is relatively small.
Thanks danny...I missed the ball on that one :/

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 11th, '20, 12:34 
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Los Angeles Will wrote:
+1 on the water change.

I just read through your last post, and was thinking the same thing as Terry.
If they survived for 27 days, it does' seem like an acclimatization issue.

The metal panels could have done it for sure. The age of the panels could influence how much zinc comes off of them.
You could set the same thing up with polycarbonate panels and use the galvanized panels to clad the new IBC! :)

It is true that a larger water volume will change temp more slowly, but insulating might help as well.

I just looked up your temps, and Vancouver is a lot milder in winter than I had imagined. Still, being outdoors, insulating might be helpful in temp regulation. Especially on keeping heat in if you are heating the water. Check out my IBC thread for pics of how I went about insulating an IBC. Lots of people insulate in different ways. There's a lot of examples on the forum.

I found a site a few years ago that explores extreme insulation in aquaponics, it might give you a few ideas. I think the guy is a member here as well. He uses old non working chest freezers with a liner as a fish tank. The freezer is already insulated. I thought it was pretty cool. I believe it's called Frosty Fish aquaponics.
Should growbed, dwc and sump tank be insulated too? I imagine that they would also transfer the cold to fish tank?

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 Post subject: Re: Kois dying
PostPosted: Nov 28th, '20, 23:09 
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Would you believe it? I found slug poison pellets close to where rainfall can wash it down into my sump tank

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