Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ardy's update on his Anoxic filter...Day 31

Hi Dr. Kevin,

Latest update.... day 31

Last week I decided to change my DIY Blue barrel filters because I cannot put the Biocenosis baskets into a 150-cm high barrel (about 55- US gallons), it just will not work because it is too troublesome to put then in and take them out again or do maintenance. So I started searching for some replacement containers and found some 150-liter plastic box containers that are a perfect fit for 3 X 2 BB in one row. Plus the BB’s can be stacked for future expansion of the Anoxic filter if needed and still keeping maintenance easy. 

I had planned to do the switchover today and get the 150-liter containers in place but alas Murphy’s Law set in [Ed: Murphy's Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong"]... last night something bad happened. All my Koi are now at the surface looking for oxygen under the fountain/waterfall. I quickly went into action and started doing a large water change in hopes that the Koi will survive through another night.  

 I believe this is due to: 

1) A bad mechanical filter (Using Bio-balls in the first barrel; bad decision... detritus trapped in Bio-balls which then overtime kept building up to unacceptable levels and probably adding more Ammonia to the system and  on top of all that, cannot readily backwash the Bio-balls using pressurized water so it never really got cleaned like it should.) 

2) Using only 8 small BB for 13 Koi was really stretching it. (I wanted to add more BB but it was not feasible using the Blue barrels.) This was the only Biofilter I had because Bio-balls were washed every day. 

3) The last 2 days I change my Koi food to Hi growth food, which I normally use a balance diet food but was out of stock when I tried to buy more and overfeeding the Koi.  With the food change and also the overfeeding, suddenly an algae bloom was the outcome. [Ed: Algae blooms are a sign that Ammonia/ammonium is now in abundance because algae like higher order of plants use ammonia/ammonium as a foodsource. Cyanobacteria are a nitrogen loving bacteria and are not to be confused with plants or algae and can make their own foodsource at their base or take Nitrogen from the air. ] 

Anyway, this morning after the water change all of my Koi are fine now so I quickly took them out of the pond and put them in holding tanks and proceeded to wash and clean the pond to get rid of the algae (100% water change). Then I proceeded to install my new DIY Anoxic filter from the containers I bought and put in 19 BBs (8 old and 11 new, want to do 24 BB but ran out of JBL). In the meantime I’m using a canister filter with sponge for my prefilter, but in the near future I’m planning to add a DIY sieve, and will add some more BB a.s.a.p. that will then add up to 24-BB in all. 




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