Friday, September 13, 2013

An update on Yogas’s pond in Indonesia and the adding of an Anoxic filter using Zeolite clay instead of the traditional cat litter clay.

An update on Yogas’s pond in Indonesia and the adding of an Anoxic filter using Zeolite clay instead of the traditional cat litter clay. I would also like to thank Yogas for all the info and photos he has sent me on his Anoxic filter so others can have a photographic history of his progress.

I also wanted to make clear that the pipe work and walls of Yogas’s pond should have algae on them at all times and should not be spick-and-span clean either. This is a natural process that things are going well in ones pond. The algae will consume ammonia just like higher order plants do as a food source. The Koi love to nibble on it because it will give then bacteria in their intestines that is badly needed. Things that we as hobbyist might find to be a nuisance, really have a purpose in the natural order of things balancing act that stabilizes water quality in a closed system like our ponds. It’s only when that balancing act gets out-of-kilter does that system then become Ethiopic in nature and man must intervene.

To me Yogas’s last photo-11 of his pond shows a stabilize environment now compared to what he use to have in the first photo-1. Protein is low and turbidity of his water is much higher than before. He also made a comment to me that his Nitrates in his Anoxic filter were 10-ppm and in the main pond itself was 10-25-ppm. This is very strange! Maybe he needs to add a higher output pump to his pond so as to unify the two systems better. I think then he will see his Nitrates in his main pond go down and match more like that of his Anoxic filters Nitrates. 

Yogas also said his pH is dropping slowly and is @ 6.7 with a TDS @ 67ppm, ammonia @ 0, and Nitrites @ 0, too. His pH can be lower now than before because of his total Hardness (GH - it should be about 150ppm) is too low along with his total Alkalinity (KH- it should be 120ppm) also being too low. I don’t think that CO2 is the problem but carbon to feed the bacteria can be. By adding Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) this will work or I have even heard of Oyster shells or clamshells but they are questionable in there legitimacy to work at all to his water, this should elevate his pH to once again expectable levels even if he has soft water or low KH. He will just have to monitor all parameters of his water and add the Sodium bicarbonate as needed. This is a very common problem with Koi ponds here in the USA.

Photo 1: Taken on July 31st. I was a losing the battle against nitrates here! Did backwashes and 25-50% water changes daily. Was already corresponding with Dr. Novak about the Anoxic filter and searching for materials needed to make the Biocenosis baskets.
Photo 2: Taken on July 31st. This is what my skimmer looks like when I feel its time for another total pond scrub of cyanobacteria. [Ed: The skimmer is full of complex protein foamed from food that’s rich in protein and Koi metabolic waste.  If a protein is animal derived and not plant then that is bad.]
Photo 3: Taken on August 4th. Did a total clean out of cyanobacteria. The Laterite has yet to arrive, but it did the next day and immediately put the baskets in. So baskets were put in on August 5th.
Photo 4
Photo 4 & 5: Taken on August 6th. What my pond looks like after a total scrubbing. Notice the PVC work on the skimmer in picture 5 is clean and free from cyanobacteria.
 Photo 6: Taken on August 9th. Foam was already starting to return. Just 4 days after total water change and scrubbing cyanobacteria.

Photo 7: Taken on August 21st.  Decided to do another total water change and again scrubbing cyanobacteria. Usually I would do this every two weeks at the longest. It has been prolonged to 3 weeks. Did the water change on Sunday, August 25th. Here the Biocenosis baskets were already being covered by cyanobacteria.
Photo 8
Photo 8 and 9: Taken on August 25th and 27th. Taken to show that 20-days after the Biocenosis Baskets were introduced to my new Anoxic filter foam doesn’t return as quickly.
Photo 10: Taken on August 31st. Still very little signs of foam, and the pipe work of the skimmer is remaining cleaner longer now from cyanobacteria.
 Photo 11   Now it looks prefect !

Photo 11 & 12: Taken on September 11th. Now the pond is covered with cyanobacteria again, but other than the floating dead cyanobacteria, the water is still clear. The skimmer pipe work though covered with cyanobacteria, is still clearly visible. Foam is also hardly negligible any longer and water quality now can be verifiably seen. Photo-12 is the small waterfall pool that now has become my Anoxic filter in which I put the Biocenosis baskets.[Ed: Also I wanted to add that that cyanobacteria you see on the Biocenosis baskets is normal when the baskets are new, are after a long winter when temperatures get colder than 50° F.]

 Pardon the different kinds of baskets used. I just make do with what I can get closest by instead of the black open cell baskets that are recommended. The 3 round baskets are the same baskets that Ardy found. The water here is exceptionally clear. [Ed: When I first started experimenting with the Biocenosis baskets the black open cell baskets were not that plentiful here in the USA so I improvised and like that of Yogas and Ardy from Indonesia, used what was available at the time.]

So, as of today it has been exactly five weeks since the Biocenosis baskets have been introduced into my makeshift Anoxic filter. Hopefully this can help show the stages despite my interference with total water changes on August 25th, not to mention my giving the pond a regular dosing of Bentonite clay once a week. Though I have forsaken to do this for the moment now because I want the cyanobacteria to die-off because of the Biocenosis baskets, not because of Bentonite clay. [Ed: The Bentonite clay could be adding to Yogas’s problems and the only way to tell is eliminated from the equation of possible insults.]
 Hopefully there will be another major development in which I can show you when I get back from my business trip.
Best regards,

I have enlarged the last photo-11 skimmer to show that all protein bubbles are now gone compared to what was the norm in photo-2.

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