Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Water changes...Only two times a year!

Koi-Vet Forum Question:

Q: How can two major water changes per year (coupled with replacing losses due to evaporation) possibly deal with the obvious shortcoming of declining water quality -- other than by simply denying that it exists?


A: This is a very good question and deserves an astute answer. I also hope that everyone on Koi-Vet reads this and takes note of this response, especially any of the newer hobbyists in ponding. 

You yourself know about water stability, decline, and the parameters that must be held in order to keep our animals alive and healthy along with water changes. Water quality is always a problem because as time passes, various physical, chemical, and biological processes working in and around the pond alters the initial tabula rasa characteristics of the water. However, not all hobbyists are so inclined to do so, water changes that is, and a number of these people will only do as much or as little, as they humanly possibly can; “getaway with!”   

 With that said; all water changes are dictated by PE (Pollutant Equilibrium). This is the amount of pollutants being made by the system, its animals, plants, the filter, and the amount the water that is exchanged from periodic water changes, will reach what is called a steady state. This also includes the amount of foodstuffs that are being added to the system on a daily bases. The fish food itself, will add nitrogen and phosphates to the system, as you know. The filtration system will be the limiting factor here because of its capabilities or its incapability to process such pollutants on hourly or daily bases. If more pollutants are being made/added to the water body proper than what the execution of a water change can eliminate or lessen to a greater degree, for the safe keeping of our animals, then a larger filtration system is needed. Therefore, larger portion of the water mass must be exchange with clean water, until a PE is then reached. 

 The only reason we execute such water changes is because: No matter what kind of filtration system we use, even a state-of-the-art filtration system, we are still dealing with a closed system. Therefore, a filtration system will not stop the decline of pollution in our ponds, but will only slow it down to some degree, and the degree of degradation is determined by so many factors that it would be anyone’s deduction as to what the causes of the insults are and what the outcome would be on the system parameters. Therefore this judgment on water changes will be based on an “individual’s decision,” on when, and how much and why such will be conducted. 

I will also quote right from my free iTunes Book if I may: “Even with the Anoxic Filtration System, as good as it is, still needs to have at least two partial water changes made each year. Generally, the greater proportion of water that is changed during the filter clean-out, the lower the stabilizing pollutant level in the pond would be. Because of this filtration systems capability, the Pollutant Equilibrium levels are reached within a short time-span of weeks instead of months, without all the frustrating water changes and the cost of doing them.” I believe that the hobbyist is reading this one section of my free iTunes Book and taking it to the bank, as to say.  

You must read my whole book and then one can determined that if Nitrates are eradicated and /or diluted to a greater degree by the filter, then water changes for Nitrates (N03) sake, is not a prerequisite for keeping our pond healthy. In fact, I give this as an example in my free iTunes Book: “For example, lets say you have a pond, for the sake of argument will say this pond is 3000 gallons, that is producing 8-ppm (ppm = parts per million) of nitrogen (NO3) every month, this now becomes a constant.” As we all know, Nitrates; are only a small constituent of the amount of pollutants that our ponds have to deal with. In no way did I ever say or advocate in my book, that if you use my system, water changes can be eliminated or that only two water changes a year will suffice, no matter what the pollution equilibrium is or is not! I myself cannot, and will not, second-guess what a ponds pollution mass is. In fact I will quote from my book once again:There is little argument whether or not a periodic partial water change is necessary in order to maintain a healthy pond that fish can live in without undue stress. I also think that all hobbyists would agree that all ponds would benefit from more frequent water changes, and generally this would be “the more frequent the better.” Does this sound like a person that only advocates two water changes a year?  

However, I also must add that there are several hobbyist using the Anoxic System that only do one too two large water changes a year with excellent results in fish growth, heath, ect., ect., for many years now. Because this is a repeatable constant, there must be some legitimacy into what I say in my book about me only executing two large water changes a year in my testing pond. 

As you have already stated there is more to the pollution picture in a pond than just one end-byproduct of a specific bacterium. Any hobbyist can supersede the filtration capabilities and you and I have no control over that. However, if the pollution constants are, let say, too much food or over stocked pond, no filtration system made for the hobbyist will overcome these insults. Not even the Anoxic Filtration System for that matter. I see this with people using the Nexus system, were they add on supplementary filtration to an already expensive filtration system, just to handle what the filtration system cannot. 

 Too many hobbyists that read my free iTunes Book only read the words “still needs to have at least two partial water changes made each year” thinking only; “two partial water changes a year, great!” Of course, that is not what I say at all. As you can see this is the bare minimum that I recommend, and even at the bare minimum, hobbyist that uses this system will not even do that much, believe it or not! My system is good, but it can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. However, I must interject here with an observation that a 10% water change a week would be useless, if the hobbyist does not know what their PE is to begin with. 

I also stated in my book: “That is excellent for an 18-year-old pond, which has never had a complete water change”. This testimonial was made to let the hobbyist know that a complete teardown (like some system require) of the system has never been executed, in other words; a 100% of its water mass has never been replaced at one time or another.  

I also say in my iTunes Book: “Now let us take for example the Anoxic Filtration System. In the 18 years that I have been experimenting/studying and researching this system, I only clean the filter system twice a year, once in March and another time in late autumn at the end of October. This is the only water change my pond has ever received in 18 years.” Some hobbyists that use this system can and have done the same thing as myself, and some have done even better using this system than I. All I am telling you is what “I have done under controlled conditions in an experimental pond.” I just give you the results that the Beta-testing pond and I have had. After all, I do not know your animals feeding habits, stocking levels, geographical location, or your pond husbandry. Nevertheless, I do say in my iTunes Book to clean the filtration system out at lest twice a year. No filtration manufacture can predetermine what a person will do with their filtration systems 100% of the time, and neither can I for that matter.  

In fact in my iTunes Book, I give an example of one hobbyist that only does two water changes a year and has crystal clear water that will impress the most hardcore hobbyist into acquiescence. However, he does not “over feed” his Koi nor does he “overstock” his pond. The relationship between filter and animal load is in equilibrium with each other. Not all hobbyist fall into this category. 

I also must take 100% of the blameworthiness for my iTunes Book not coming across very clearly to the hobbyist and for that, I make an apology.  



G Day Dr Kevin

I am from Sydney Australia and this year I acquired you Anoxic filtration system from a club member who was getting out of Koi due to ill health.
I placed the baskets in my breeding set up which normally we have high ammonia levels and have to do lots of water changes ,this year no water changes and the fry grew quicker and I was able to double the amount of fish I spawned so am very impressed I would like to acquire your video ( Cd-Book) so as I can share the knowledge, could you please let me know what the cost are including the shipping and if you are down this nick of the woods please let me know yes we are all Koi mad here in Australia.

Regards Gerard,
Chairperson of the northern branch in Australia

ED: As we all know now the Anoxic Filtration System book is free from iTunes book store.

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