Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Yogas Anoxic filter build part-2

In Yogas’s write-up he will give you step by step details on his filter modifications and what improvements he’s beginning to see in his pond parameter and Koi heath. He also makes mention of his water clarity finally being what he expected from his old filter but did not get.

In this second part of Yogas’s pond conversion build, his Anoxic filter add-on is now taking over his filtering needs and things are  starting to look better now with cleaner water and his metabolic waste and protein buildup is now far less to completely disappear now than before his filter changeover.  He had a typical Biofalls filter but bigger, but like all filters that clog he ran into troubles. Water parameters are improving with the typical filtrations startup cyanobacterium problems in the filter. Having cyanobacteria in the Anoxic filter during its early stages is not a problem because it is easy to scoop out until things settle in and it dies off on its own. The main pond should have algae in it but not the long stringy cyanobacteria type that so many hobbyist hate or the greening of the ponds mass into Split Pea soup.

He also has concerns about his UV light before the Biocenosis baskets and will it do any harm. A UV sterilizer should only be a concern for free floating bacteria and not fixed bacteria.  UV’s have no effect on the Biocenosis baskets but only on the improvement of water quality. 
 However, it will not take long before unforeseen turn of events happens and Yogas new Anoxic filter and Koi will be put to the test. His Koi get spooked and stressed out with an eight hours power outage.  Eight hours of no oxygenated water going to his Anoxic filter or Koi. Here in Chicago that has happed to me and with our heat and humidity the Koi will begin to gasp for air at the ponds surface in no time at all. 

I have always tried to tell hobbyist that unforeseen circumstances will change the playing field for filtrations systems that depend on high amounts of oxygenated water for their bacteria to complete the nitrogen cycle. A small backup aerator for the main pond and animals is all that’s needed. The Anoxic filter will survive for weeks without the aid of the hobbyist. Please take heed to what has happed to Yogas and myself included, things happen to ponds that if you do not have enough foresight to protect your Koi you may lose them all.

Once again I cannot thank Yogas enough for his taking the timeout of his busy work schedule and away from his family to do this write-up for my blog.

Quote from Yogas from Indonesia:
“Anything for the good of the process of learning even though meaning exposure of my mistakes is not a problem for me‎. I have learned a lot from other people and sharing their mistakes enabling me to avoid them; I don't mind doing the same in return. So please, if possible and if it is not too much trouble for you, expose everything I did wrong and what I should have done.”

[Ed: As always I will give my editors comments.]

Yogas Anoxic filter build part-2
I got back from my business trip on September 29thand immediately took some photos of the existing condition of the Anoxic filter and pond. The main pond was crystal clear, but the Anoxic Filter was full of mulm/sedimentation.1 The Biocenosis baskets were also full of long cyanobacteria.2 I know my mechanical filters were still doing a poor job, so I decided to take out the Lava rock 3 and the Crystal-bio bags out of chamber 3 and replace them with grey Matalla Japmats. Before doing that, I wanted to clean the Biocenosis baskets from the long stringy cyanobacteria by just pulling them out with my bare hands. It was quite easy, though (and please excuse me), it did give out a very faint odor similar to dirty socks/athletes foot. 4 Afterwards I drained the Anoxic filter through its side drain and rinsed out all the sedimentation and refilled it. Confident that I could already rely on my BB’s, I did a total clean out of the Japmats in chamber 2 and took out all the bags of Crystal-bio and Lava rock out of chamber 3. After the Japmats of chamber 2 were hosed clean and new grey Japmats of chamber 3 were installed, a black out occurred, this was a very unusual one because it lasted about 8 hours. So the condition when the blackout happened:
      · Anoxic Filter cleaned from sedimentation and refilled with new water.

      · Chamber 1, backwashed and brushes were hosed clean but not yet put back in
      · Chamber 2, backwashed and Japmats were hosed clean but not yet put back in
      · Chamber 3, backwashed and new Japmats were put in
      · Chamber 1-4 were not yet filled with water

     1:[Ed: This is an indication that your prefilter is not adequate enough and too much detritus is getting through into the Anoxic filter. I didn’t clean my filter out in over a year and had very little detritus and mulm to even worry about when I cleaned it out at the end of September.]

     2:[Ed: This is common and for new or restarted filters, it will do this but the pond should remain free of the stringy bacteria.]

     3: [Ed: Lava-rock is a very poor filter media because of the pores in the rock get clogged up and assimilatory denitrification will take place. This is one media that hobbyist should avoid using.]

     4:[Ed: Yes it does smell but only when the chlorophyll is compressed; unsightly but harmless to the fish.]

So there you have it, my old Biofilter were all back to zero. While waiting helplessly for the electricity, I made three more Biocenosis basket, 2 of them were put in chamber 3 on top of the new Japmats and 1 in chamber 4. Please note that even though I have installed an Evo aqua clarifier before the water fall pool, I still have a submerged UV lamp in chamber 4. Could the bacteria in the BB’s in chamber 4 still develop with a submerged UV lamp of 35 watts in it? 5 The electricity kicked in at around 9 O’clock in the evening and immediately put everything back in, brushes, Japmats and refilled the water. Turned everything back on and hoped that the BB’s were ready to take over the entire process of nitrification. The next day, Monday September 30thafter giving the Koi their first meal I checked my water parameters and the results were as follow:

     · Ammonia: 0
     · Nitrite: 0
     · Nitrate: 25 mg/L
     · TDS: 85
     · pH: 6.9

     5:[Ed: The UV light will do no harm to the bacteria in the Biocenosis baskets only on the free floating bacteria.]

Feeling everything was fine, I left for work, and it was a pretty busy week for me, got home late at night every day, but I still checked on the pond visually before retiring to bed. On Wednesday I noticed a lot of my Koi were behaving like they were being irritated by some sort of parasite. One also showed signs of white spot or cotton disease on the mouth and near the tail. I guess this was due to stress from what happened on Sunday, so I gave them the appropriate medication. The signs of irritations stopped but the Koi still seemed to be stressed out. Checked the parameters again on Friday October 4thand 2 parameters were different. My TDS was 105 and my nitrates were 50mg/L. The TDS I figured was due to administering medication to the pond, and nitrates also probably were due to this, guessing that the Facultative bacterium has been disturbed by the medication. 6

Today I decided to give a rather large water change to dilute the residual medication and hopefully the dead parasites from the pond. Refilled the water and giving a dosage of Bentonite to help give the Koi a feeling of their natural environment and hopefully reduce their stress. When the water started to clear up, the Koi seemed to be acting a bit better so I tried to give them some Koi food and they consumed it aggressively. They are still a bit jumpy, but no longer idle on the bottom of the pond.

One more thing, I added 2 more Biocenosis baskets in chamber 4 so there are 3 BB’s in chamber 4 now but I still haven’t taken out the submersible UV lamp. Should I? 7 In total now I have 17 BB’s. 12 in the waterfall pool, 2 in chamber 3 and 3 in chamber 4.

The water is very clear and I believe there is significant improvement in my redox potential. The reason I believe so is because the bubbles from my aeration tubes seem to have reduced significantly. At first I thought that there was something wrong with my aeration pump, but nothing was wrong, the bubbles are just popping immediately when they reach the surface, and the ones that don’t will break just about a foot away. Previously the bubbles could reach the other end of the pond (2 meters) before breaking.

I apologize for this already lengthy email, but please allow me to complete it the photos explaining the chronology:     

This photo shows the pond is crystal clear with no bubble foam like I used to have: photo taken September 29th. [Ed:The pond is so clear now I bet you could see a penny at the bottom of it and read the date too.]

· Anoxic filter with cyanobacteria growing on the Biocenosis baskets; this is common for a newly started up Anoxic filter but will soon correct itself and magically disappear. Taken on September 29th. This is what it was like when I first got back.

Anoxic filter after a good cleaning… The little bit of Zeolite clay that has spilled out into the filter is okay and is nothing to worry about. It can be pick up at next cleaning time.    

Take on October 5th before the huge water change and dosage of bentonite
I couldn’t get a photo of the pond after the water change due to rain. It’s been mostly cloudy here since I got back thus making it difficult to get a photo that can show the clarity level of the pond. Tomorrow I’ll try and get some more photos showing the latest condition and also check my water parameters again.

6: [Ed: The medication would have a negative effect on all bacteria because most meds can’t distinguish between good bacteria or bad bacteria.

7:[Ed: UV units are good and will not hinder biological activities in the Biocenosis baskets in any way.

Coming up soon: Ardy’s Anoxic build from Indonesia, so keep looking in from time to time!

No comments: