Saturday, November 30, 2013

Can’t agree with you more strongly my friend, most setups are big money nowadays ...

Letter from Dave in the UK:

Can’t agree with you more strongly my friend, most setups are big money nowadays but what we have does us proud and it’s for the love of keeping Koi, not the price of the more expensive ones that we do it.

The big money Koi however are part and parcel of the Koi world you'll have to agree. They are the ones that keep the hobby moving forwards by generating major interest, the ones people go to see at shows like the National (when we next have one that is).

Yes the lesser cost Koi are good and they in turn at local level play their own part mainly in bringing people in to the hobby at their own shows. Our own show normally sees around 300 visitors throughout the day and we do generate new members because of this but the average ‘Joe’ will go with the Koi he can afford and no more. Personally for us its buying them in small and working solely with what we have to bring them on, that’s our own enjoyment and it gives us great delight.

There's nothing more satisfying as to grow them on to 22-24" then for a figure of £100 nothing more nothing less to sell them on again. From this we buy more Koi, equipment, food or books making our hobby self-perpetuating or almost so simply a great way to do things. However in the same breath these mega expensive Koi have a downward side as well, that’s in Koi theft as those that steal them think that all Koi are expensive when they are in actual fact not.

The same can be said for the equipment we use, ours didn’t cost the earth but more and more of these thefts are also equipment led because of the price they can get for them. [Ed: That’s one thing you will not have to worry about with the AFS, no one will steal it.] At least we can be safe in the knowledge that we didn't pay the earth. Nor you in that you are using the anoxic system, which you have proven time and again, that it works.

An AFS built into a garage because there was not enough room in the yard to build it. Chicago yards are very small in comparison to most suburban yards.



The cost of Koi are on the rise too Dave here in the USA. One breeder that came to the MPKS show to sell fish/Koi lost thousands of dollars of sales because his prices jumped up and quality didn’t. Koi and goldfish alike should not cost hundreds of dollars like a pedigree dog would. Inflation… or is it just greed on the breeders part?

Hobbyists’ incomes are not keeping up with the price of filters or the Koi that we keep. Every year less and less new people are coming into the hobby or a show because of the price of ownership of such is too steep. The fact that a US hobbyists is going to pay a hundred dollars and/or more for a 12” Koi when they can get a puppy and/or cat that has less risk factor involved just doesn’t make people want to get into this hobby. Then you have everyone trying to tell you that you need all this very expensive equipment is a real turnoff!

That same Koi breeder complained he didn’t make as much money as last year, DUH! Others and I will not buy Koi from him any longer because his prices are too rich for my/their blood. I’m sorry Dave but I don’t get pay raises at the same inflationary rate this hobby is growing. When will we say: Enough is enough, or are we too gullible for that? I love fish but I’m getting priced right out of the market with greed from over priced goods, example: Koi food costing $250 US dollars a bag!

My koi are fine and growing like "Hogs" using the AFS.


Hi Kevin. good hearing from you. My koi are fine and growing like "Hogs". I'm feeding 2X daily now too. I love the anoxic system and I've intentionally abused it just to see how well it stands the stresses of high fish load and absolutely minimal pond top offs other than the volume of the AFP and settling chamber. I'm extermely happy with my results and will do more frequent larger warer changes monthly. Since I'm thru testing your methods. I'm very pleased with my results. Thanks again.

 Your friend, 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Info on KHV and GHV & How the size of the Biocenosis basket affect the filtration?

Dave, from my understanding KHV was around long before GHV and one was derived from the other. The GHV virus is just a little different than what infects Koi.  It all started in Japan and then spread to the Israeli Koi farms years ago. This was long before Dr. Axelrod even came up with the long finned Koi as we know today as the Butterfly Koi.

Hey, this would make a good question on Koi Keepers Unleashed … The first to develop the Butterfly Koi? Dr Axelrod (ichthyologist) of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine was the first.

To say the KHV came from frogs…well it’s more likely to be tubifex worms (AKA: sludge worms, or sewage worms) or tadpoles that are a relished food for Koi and Goldfish and was a common practice on fish farms. However, even that is debatable and some think waterfowl or birds that plague ponds may have been the carriers of the virus. This sounds to me to be the best explanation of how the virus could have spread from pond to pond without Koi coming into contact with each other.






I have found cat litter finally in a new shop. What type it is I don’t know, but looks like 5-10mm grayish looking stone. No information what so ever on the bag. I bought 4 very big bags. So now my question is:
I will go and dig the laterite my self. It will be in the form of little granules, up to 1cm radius.

Do I crush it or put it like that?

45 cm water over the baskets will be detrimental to plants like Arum lilies that are shorter than that. They need to be at least partially above water. Since mine are shorter than 45cm can I not put the baskets with less water above them? If yes how much less? Minimum???

How the size of the basket does affect the filtration?
Is it better (possible) one big basket instead of two small ones?
What is the maximum size of baskets recommended?
Maybe If not possible less water over the baskets then I will plant water lilies.





I would take the Laterite and crush it up to about 1-2mm in size, if you’re a little bigger don’t worry about it. 45-cm is about 17” of water above the biocenosis baskets sound good but if you have plants that require a shallower depth then just raise that basket to the optimum depth for that plant. I show a photo of a basket (page 24) right at the waters surface because that’s the deepest it can go for the White Grass that’s in that particular basket.

The size of the biocenosis basket is optimum at 11”X11”X7” but some use a little small 9”X9”X7”and larger baskets will become very heavy once water impregnates it. Remember, the more baskets, the more filtration you will have.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shelly’s pond Build From Oregon…The Making of The New Anoxic Filter Design and Build. November 21st, 2013 Update.

Shelly’s pond Build From Oregon…The Making of The New Anoxic Filter Design and Build.

If you wish to read more of Shelly’s pond build click the links below.

Shelly’s dream pond now a reality and after years in the making, at least in theory that is it was years in the making. Whenever a hobbyist makes the plunge to build a new pond they are bombarded with advertisements on filtration systems and even pond builder will try and convince them that only their products are the best and stick with what they have to offer. Trying to get through what others are saying and what you feel is right is not as easy as one thinks. Some think that if you don’t have a carbon footprint that will dim the streetlights in your neighborhood, then your system is no good and you should stay out of the hobby. However, this could not be farther from the truth with what is known today by science.  Having Koi does not mean that you need or have to have the most expensive equipment out there, it just means you have educate yourself a little more to get the right kind of filtration system to do the job you want it to.

Don’t over spend or under spend to achieve your goals. A good energy efficient water pump, aerator, UV Light/Sterilizer and prefilter will have a very small impact on your budget but a very large impact on your animals if you use the AFS. Like I have said before I have never seen a Nexus filter as a standalone filtration system in anyone’s pond, it was always backed up with other filtration systems to aid in the ponds filtration needs. But the cost of a Nexus alone could break the budget of your pond build. Keep it simple, clean and neat and you should have years of happy Koi ponding.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Letter sent to Mike Nowak’s Sunday Radio Show @ WCPT 820 AM and 92.5FM, 92.7FM, and 99.9FM Chicago’s Progressive Talk.

Letter sent to Mike Nowak’s Sunday Radio Show @ WCPT 820 AM and 92.5FM, 92.7FM, and 99.9FM  Chicago’s Progressive Talk.

Hello Mike Nowak,

I have been listening to your radio show on Sundays now for a long time and I think you’re missing a great opportunity to lessen the carbon footprints in our back yards. Your probably thinking to yourself right now: How can homeowners lessen their carbon footprints and go Green in their yards?

One big fad right now is the owning of a pond or water garden for homeowners and that hobby of keeping Goldfish or Koi is now a Billion dollar industry in the US alone. The problem is this hobby is now using up more water and not to mention using more electricity to run all that equipment than lets say 40 years ago.  The wastefulness of water and the further added electrical consumption to feed this hobby is now getting out of hand.

As new homeowners come into this hobby every year not much has been done to conserve water or electrical consumption. Yes, pumps have become more energy efficient but still the larger amount of electrical consumption is on the equipment that hobbyist must buy to maintain their Koi and/or Goldfish in a healthy state. It seem as though fish are treated as lesser animals on this earth more so than all others, and hundreds of thousands die each year in our back yards because of the lack of understanding their environmental needs and the exuberant cost of keeping them alive and healthy for the next 30 years plus.

Okay, I’ll get to my point! There is a greener way and a heather way of keeping fish healthy and alive without all the über expensive equipment that is now dominating the hobby. It’s being used throughout the world and in some parts to clean Gray water, too. It’s all-natural with less of a carbon footprint than any filter out there, does not clog and works much like a natural systems does by making N2 (78% of our atmosphere in nitrogen) as a byproduct just like natural aquatic systems do. However, it works better or as good as the most expensive filtration systems out there, but at a faction of the cost. Not to mention that it uses far less in electrical pumps and motors than other systems use without all the water changes that are so prolifically carried out buy hobbyist. And it uses the best way on this earth to grow aquatic plants known to man without wastewater with excessive amounts of nitrates and phosphates to go back into our waterways by water changes.

Saving water, saving electrical consumption, not adding more pollution to our waterways and last but not least saving the live of fish. You can’t get mush “greener” or eco savvy than that. If people insist on keeping fish out of their natural environment then don’t you think they have a given responsibility to their animals to give then the best chance of survival?


Saturday, November 16, 2013



[Ed: I found this article on the internet several years ago and think that the information may help explain in more detail about the AFS and its Facultative anaerobic bacteria and ORP-redox values. There are organisms that can adjust their metabolism to their environment, such as facultative anaerobes. Facultative anaerobes can be active at positive Eh values, and at negative Eh values in the presence of oxygen bearing inorganic compounds, such as nitrates and sulfates, too.]




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This article is based on studies about the Redox Potential as it corresponds to humans and all fish and animals. I have found from practical experience and research that a lot more can be learned from medical studies than from many anecdotal aquarium articles, this is not to say that this research then has to be properly applied and a good aquatic article helps here.

I do not believe this is a subject that many aquarists should stress over, but a lot has been learned about this subject since I first started researching this in the 1980s. However the more I have studied this subject the more I feel that ANY serious aquarist should understand this subject as it has major implications for fish and aquatic health that often go against commonly held anecdotal aquarium keeping beliefs.

I have also had to change my opinions about this subject based on newer evidence. One was should you have a positive or reducing Redox. I based my earlier opinion on a higher Redox of 300 mV based on many studies of ocean waters, but newer human research and my own tests over the last 10 years have lead me to the opposite of -200 to -300. There are some ongoing studies up here in Oregon about BG algae and where a Reducing Redox may help or hinder. All this said, maintaining a good Reducing Redox (for both saltwater and Freshwater) can be as simple as good aquatic husbandry: water changes, proper electrolytes and minor elements in the water, and simple reducers such as Sodium Thiosulfate and Magnesium.

Put another way, maintaining a proper Redox Potential is a lot like having an anti-oxidant vitamin in the aquarium water. The Aquarium Redox is also just one more parameter towards good disease prevention and long term fish health and growth. Please see this article about Aquarium Disease prevention; “Aquarium Disease Prevention” .
Or to be even more blunt; Bleach and Potassium Permanganate are oxidizers (Potassium Permanganate is often used for disease treatment an water clarification is ponds and aquariums), however you would not want your fish living in an oxidizing environment for long term fish health, rather you would want your fish in a Reducing environment where free radicals are not damaging the cells of your fish and causing problems with Osmoregulation. An oxidizing environment is what you get with a positive Redox.

What got me started researching this was I have noticed and documented differences with aquariums (I mostly used goldfish for these tests) with UV sterilizers, added minor elements (such as Wonder Shells) and electrolytes maintaining a Redox Potential around -300-350 mV, but was not sure why health, vitality and especially disease resistance were improved. The goldfish had less incidence of such infestations as anchor worms which UV sterilizers cannot truly eradicate due to difficulty killing them in the UV itself and that Anchor Worms do not get readily caught up in the water column. The Redox Potential explains a lot of the results I was getting.

This pertains to the Redox potential of -300-350 mV that I have found a properly installed and constructed UV aids in maintaining (assuming proper dissolved oxygen levels, and proper mineral levels too, such as kH ). A proper Redox Potential improves the health of humans AND fish. A Redox Potential in the -200-400 mV range in human studies has been shown to have the same affect as anti-oxidant preparations such Vitamin C (and many others). This shows that the health of aquarium fish can be maintained by a UV Sterilizer not just by the killing of potential disease pathogens, but by the maintenance of a proper Redox Potential. I have been observing many aquariums of such "ordinary" fish as goldfish, both with and without UV Sterilizers (keep in mind that some UVs are useless by design and installation), and the goldfish with every other factor equal that had a UV Sterilizer installed, were generally much healthier.

Another interesting aspect of Redox potential is the correlation of a certain Redox level and the growth of Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) in Aquariums and lakes. This is an on-going study however Redox does SEEM to play some role in the aquarium and lake “plague”. For more information about this, I recommend reading this article:
Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) in Aquariums; what it is and how to control it. Currently this is just an opinion though.

I will also note that the aquariums with the proper Redox had the electrolytes present as tested via GH & KH (salt, SeaChem Buffer, & Wonder Shells are a good source), and regular water changes which also resulted in lower nitrate levels (40 ppm or less for FW, 20 ppm or less for SW). I will note that GH is not always a good indicator of Redox as some procedures an products can make your GH test higher than desired (such as in Calcium, Magnesium), but it is in actuality fine as per Redox Reduction

That all said, please read the rest of the article before I over sell any one on a UV Sterilizer or Wonder Shells. As often good aquatic husbandry is all that is necessary for a good Redox Reducing environment.


Redox Potential (oxidation potential) describes the ability for the loss of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion to the gain of an electron by another molecule, atom or ion. Without this positive Redox Potential many minerals cannot be absorbed and properly assimilated. So it is very important to keep a proper Redox Potential (-300 to -350mV) via proper dissolved oxygen levels, UV Sterilization, and proper electrolyte levels (such as magnesium).

Oxidation describes the loss of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion
Reduction describes the gain of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion
The above is a simplification of the process, and much more needs to be considered, please read on.

Oxidized Water:
Oxidized water with its Redox potential of +700 to +800 mV is an oxidizing agent that can withdraw electrons from bacteria and kill them. The oxidized water can be used to clean hands, sterilize utensils, and treat minor wounds.

Here are a few oxidizers: ozone (O3), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), chlorine (Cl2) and chloramines (NH2Cl).

Reduced Water:

Reduced Ionized with a Redox Potential of -250 to -350 mV readily donates its electrons to unusual oxygen radicals and blocks the interaction of the active oxygen with normal molecules. Substances which have the ability to counteract active oxygen by supplying electrons are called scavengers. Reduced water, therefore, can be called scavenging water. Reduced water inhibits excessive fermentation by reducing indirectly metabolites.

Here are a few reducers, in other words, elements or processes that transfer electrons to another substance;
Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and the process of Photosynthesis involves both oxidation and reducing.

As one can see from the graph that elements such as most metals, as well as essential elements for aquatic life: Calcium and Magnesium are major reducers however because of this they are also most easily depleted (the elements at the top and the bottom of the graph are most easily depleted in their oxidation or reducing properties).


Over geologic time abiogenic (not biological in origin), biogenic (produced by living organisms) and anthropogenic (processes are those that are derived from human activities, as opposed to effects or processes that occur in the natural environment without human influences) deposits were accumulated in rivers, lakes and seas. Simultaneously there proceeded the self-purification of natural water on the basis of the chemical reactions of oxidation and reduction. Living organisms such as fish are adapted not to "perfectly clean water", such as distillated water, but to ecologically clean water with definite content of organic and inorganic compounds, micro-admixtures, ions and even bacteria or saprophyte (any plant that depends on dead plant or animal tissue for a source of nutrition and metabolic energy, e.g., most fungi). The range of mentioned components of ecologically clean water is the integral result of oxidation and reduction self-purification of water.

At the initial stages of this cycle toxic hydrophobic organic compounds (molecules that are repelled from a mass of water) are oxidized to the hydrophilic forms (a molecule or portion of a molecule is one that is typically charge-polarized and capable of hydrogen bonding, enabling it to dissolve more readily in water than in oil or other hydrophobic solvents), which are characterized by the better biological compatibility. Energy of oxidation of degrading organic compounds is absorbed during reduction chemical transformations. Excess of ions of the heavy elements transforms into insoluble, inert, nontoxic forms. Concentration of ions of light elements is stabilized. Just in such water live the water organisms, and land animals drink such water.

Spring waters, which are considered to be the most clean according to the ecological criteria, are filtered through the rocks and subjected to the oxidation and reduction, sorption and catalytic influence. As rule, they are mineralized and include non-volatile organic substances, which are detected by the permanganate oxidability (expressed by oxidability by potassium permanganate and potassium dichromate).

After electrochemical purification water keeps its initial neutral values of pH, but ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) of water shifts toward the negative (electrode or reduction) values. The resulting purified water obtains the antioxidant properties with characteristics of pharmacological activity close to the properties of the antioxidant preparations (a -tocopherol, b -carotene, vitamin C etc.). In case of dilution of polyvitamin preparations in electrochemically purified water ORP of mixtures is decreased approximately by 200 - 400 mV in relation to the control solutions with non-treated drinking water.

This partially explains how a proper Redox Potential improves the health of the fish or other aquatic organisms as I have observed. Bringing this back to my observations of goldfish aquariums; All aquariums with the same filtration (canister filter with sponge filter), the same feeding schedule and food, even the same basic goldfish (a mix of ryukins and orandas); The aquariums with the quality, properly installed UV Sterilizers (again assuming proper dissolved oxygen levels) not only had less incidence of disease, but general health, appetite, vigor, growth, and water clarity were all improved.

Here is a Quote about pH vs. Redox:

Traditionally we have judged the properties of water from the standpoint of pH, in other words whether water is acidic or alkaline. According to Dr. Yoshiaki Matsuo PhD., the inventor of the Ionized Water unit, "In my opinion, Redox potential is more important than pH. The importance of pH is over emphasized. For example, the average pH of blood is 7.4 and acidosis or alkalosis is defined according to deviation within the range of 7.4 +- 0.005. But nothing has been discussed about ORP, or oxidation-reduction potential."



Another way to look at the Redox Potential in aquariums is to the relation of waste particles and acid production, as well as dissolved oxygen and most importantly depletion of key important elements. The more waste, the less Redox Potential due to more nitric acid production and the depletion of key elements, but this is an over simplification as there is much more to it than this.

You really need to look at the electrolyte balance in your aquarium. Calcium as well as Magnesium are both important reducers, however they are both easily oxidized as well (see the graph in the Redox Potential Basics section). So for proper reduction, these elements need to be replaced.

As stated earlier, Redox is often more important than pH, there are definitely correlations to pH and the Redox effect on pH. But you cannot make the assumption that if you have a pH of 8.0, that you have good reduction. Just like with GH, where your GH is high, you can still have low pH. The bottom line is that there are relations between Redox, GH, pH, and even kH, but these are still individual water parameters.

Also as noted in the beginning of this article, this is not a parameter to stress over, HOWEVER, Redox reduction should NOT be blown off as many anecdotal/uninformed commentators do in many aquatic forums. The more I have studied and observed in this subject, the more I feel it should not be ignored.

Active oxygen molecules, or free radicals, are produced in the water and the fish’ body. They are extremely reactive and can also attach themselves to normal, healthy cells and damage them genetically. These active oxygen radicals steal electrons from normal, healthy biological molecules. This electron theft by active oxygen oxidizes tissue and can cause disease, these are proven facts! This why the constant hammering by some uninformed aquarists against UVs, too high a GH (which is not always a good indicator of electrolyte balance anyway), and even Wonder Shells is ludicrous. Your GH may test higher than desired but in actuality is maintaining a healthy Reducing Redox via Calcium (Facts about Calcium, an essential reducer), Magnesium, ect.

One final note about the Redox Potential; Before it seems that you must rush out and buy a UV Sterilizer to maintain your Redox Potential (this is just one aid that I found to be the easiest and most sure fire, but even UV Sterilization is not enough if the other parameters for proper Redox are out of balance). You can maintain your aquarium’s Redox Potential through these methods:

[1] Proper water changes with ion balanced clean water (electrolytes) with a GH of at least 100- 200 (GH will supply many important reducers such as Magnesium) and with a kH of at least 50-100 ppm. A proper Reducing Redox is another reason for water changes and is also a major reason to not use drinking water drinking water intended for human consumption unless it is properly re-mineralized.

[2] Good aquarium circulation

[3] Or simply an reasonable supply of dissolved oxygen provides by diffusers on power heads or internal filter, air stones, spray bars on the returns of canister filters, ECT. Just make sure you are doing a good job of breaking the surface tension of the water, as this is where gasses, including oxygen are exchanged!

[4] Proper Calcium, Magnesium, sodium, and general electrolyte levels, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! (Wonder Shells help here)
I have a good article dealing with kH, Calcium, and Magnesium here:
CALCIUM, KH, AND MAGNESIUM IN AQUARIUMS; How to maintain a Proper KH, why is calcium important

[5] Also ponds with “flow through” or spring fed water sources will maintain a good Redox Potential.

[6] The a UV Sterilizer is one more predictable and proven tool here (when properly installed), but also not a cure all to otherwise poor conditions. UVs work two ways in my research; [1] they morph oxygen (O2) molecules into Ozone (O3), the O3 quickly degrades, the UV then [2] transfers electrons to substances, thus reducing.
As a side note it is the Ozone layer that blocks many harmful UV rays from reaching the Earth, this is due to the reaction of UVC and Ozone high in our atmosphere, so by using a UV Sterilizer (which has safely contained UVC radiation), you break down radicals such as Ozone in your aquarium

For Redox problems, possible problems:

* Driftwood; make sure you soak all Mango Wood or Drift wood for several days in a solution of 2 tablespoons pure salt to 2-5 gallons of water to leach our impurities. Even then if you continue to have problems, remove the wood. Over use of peat can also cause similar problems.

* CO2 generators if not kept at a balance can also cause problems with the Redox Reduction abilities, this is rare, but worth considering. A good link to help here is:
Measuring CO2 levels in a Planted Tank

* An abundance of organic mulm in filters or substrate. Check your cleaning procedures.

* A lack of electrolytes, as mentioned earlier, Wonder Shells can help here, BUT they are not a cure all for other problems.

* A tank with high nitrites and nitrates (nitrates are a mild oxidant) will also tend to be high in nitric acid (but not always); a properly cycled tank is important!

A simple test of Redox can be performed using Methylene Blue and any reducer such as powdered Wonder Shell. Simply add about ½ teaspoon powdered Wonder Shell to 8 oz. of water, stir, then add one drop of Methylene Blue to the solution and stir. The Methylene Blue will dissipate due to the reducer.
Taking this test a step further into the real world, if you add Methylene Blue according to standard dosage to your aquarium water (remove the water for this test), and it stays a brilliant blue, you probably have a positive Redox. If the color dissipates at all (even the slightest) you probably have a reducing number. This test in no way replaces the accuracy of Redox meter, but it is a simple way to get a handle on your aquariums Redox health.


Also this is a relatively unexplored are of fish keeping, and there is still a lot to be learned here and I have to admit having to change my opinions based on newer evidence.

For further information about WHY YOU SHOULD USE A UV STERILIZER

Credit for some of this information:

Another good article about this subject that I found is this: ORP and the Reef Aquarium

Here is a quote from this article” Many aquarists have been lead to believe that ORP is a measure of water quality or purity. Manufacturers selling ozonizers and other oxidizers (like permanganate) have been especially keen to present that idea. But is it really true? Is a higher Redox indicative of "purer water" even when that Redox is manipulated artificially by adding strong oxidizers? Or is such an addition analogous to an air freshener that masks odors? I don't know the answer, but I think that aquarists and pond hobbyist should ask the question, and hope to hear useful answers before adding such materials to their aquaria or ponds.”

This statement is where many aquarists and pond hobbyist have gone wrong in my opinion, A positive Redox is NOT a measure of water quality, but at least a Reducing Redox has more potential for a healthy aquarium.

More references:
Redox and Electrochemistry








Well, I cleaned the anoxic filter pond today.

Hi Kevin,


 Well, I cleaned the anoxic filter pond today. Wow, what a job. I could not have guessed that my plants would have grown so much in 1 year. I planted 1 fan of Yellow Flag iris per pot in 4 pots and all were completely filled and overflowing, almost too heavy to lift. Next year I'll only have 1 basket of that plant. Also the water lilies have bloomed non-stop and were still trying, but I cut them off in prep for winter. All this with no fertilizer and cat litter with a little laterite mixed in. All the pots had a layer of mulm on them and some of the gravel was dark, but there was no bad odor and no noticeable hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg) smell. Still a bit of string algae, but only in the filter pond and not much there. I had 52 pots in my anoxic pond, so the job took most of the day to clean and refill. Water quality has remained very stable with very minimal water changes. Ph 7.9 to 8.1; 0.0 Ammonia and nitrite; <5 ppm nitrates, Kh stable w/o additions 107.4; Gh 179. The Koi are healthy and growing. And I am very happy.




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Syd has been a pioneer in getting the word out about the Anoxic Filtration System in so many ways...

After several years of my CD-Book being on Syd’s Internet site I have decided to retire that information source once and for all. My blog now carries all of my Anoxic book but it has been updated and corrections made to its contents. My blog also makes it better for the hobbyist to print and copy at will a lot easier than what was on his site.

Syd has been a pioneer in getting the word out about the Anoxic Filtration System in so many ways that I just can’t begin to thank him enough for all the hard work he has done for free. Though he lives in the UK and I in the USA we have a common bond with the same interest, and that is saving Koi’s lives and getting people to understand that science keeps plunging forward with progress and we only live in the scientist world that they have create for us.

Some may think or still think that the Anoxic Filter is nothing more than the Emperors New Clothes and no matter how much science teaches them they will never yield to the new ideals of progress. Syd Mitchell on the other hand never felt that way from his first article he wrote in Koi Magazine, in the Instant Experts - how to section in the UK, November of 2008 on Reducing Nitrates. I still remember his article and some of his lines stated: “The way these baskets work is too complicated to explain in detail but relies on the fact that, according to Dr. Novak’s research, although nitrate is an excellent plant food, ammonia is a better one.” And “On top of that, facultative anaerobic bugs ensure that any nitrate in the water is stripped of its oxygen and the nitrogen bubbles in the same way as in denitrifying media in figure two. And that’s just the simple explanation – the full details are mind-numbing!” I think the words mind-numbing and the Anoxic filtrations definition gets to be too much for some hobbyist and they immediately get and easier explanation on conventional filters nitrogen cycle that will satisfy them better.

As Syd and I know, the fight to get the word out is not an easy one and the word is getting out but very slowly, only because I’m not a big manufacture of pond goods and do not advertise in ever periodical that hobbyist can get their hands on. I think that everyone should understand that the AFS is not a replacement for all filters out there but just one of many choices hobbyists has in the filtration world to choose from.

To read some of Syd’s articles click on the links below:


Hi Kevin,

As I have said many times before, when I first saw your system, I was impressed by the beautiful simplicity of the concept.  The science was very much harder of course but, when I first contacted you and you sent me your first CD FOC, I was impressed by your generous nature.  You weren't trying to make a profit from your research, you were giving it away for free complete with as much explanation as people were asking for and all at considerable cost of time and expense to yourself.

Since then it has been my pleasure to help rebut some of the negativity that was going around at the time and to help promote your idea.  I will still keep promoting Anoxic Filtration as usual when I give club talks and seminars.

The page on my site has been altered.  The PDF’s of your book have now been removed and replaced with links to your iTunes download and your BlogSpot.

If there is anything else I can do please ask.

Best regards

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Yogas’s pond modifications and the Anoxic filter with a pond ORP of 300-350.WOW!

Yogas and I have been communicating on his pond and water quality for some time now. If you remember his old filtration system was not doing the job he expected it to do and it was only at its precipice of his ponds poor water quality that he decided to switch everything over to an Anoxic Filtration System instead of buying an out-of-the-box-filter.

Yogas realized that water quality has many stories to tell and test kits (Ones that tell you ammonia, nitrite, pH, and nitrate.) will only tell you a small portion of that story. After reading my blog he soon new that TDS, ORP and CE will also tell us more about water parameters than just test kits alone.

His mission was to use the best filter he could, add oxygen to his pond properly and make other small improvements to his pond to give him über clean water. Well he has done it! Once again the AFS that has low cost with high yield now buts him at the top of his game in Indonesia.  I don’t think at any cost he could come out with better water quality unless he spends thousand of dollars more. Those increments of water quality would be very small indeed and in the long run would not justify the extra expenditure.

As I have said before: You can spend more money on filtration systems that are available to this hobby, but you really don’t have to. If you want a filter with bells and whistles on it and don’t mind the price them go far it! However, if you want a filter that works just as good or better for a fraction of the price, then AFS is your forte.

To read more about Yogas’s pond and Anoxic Filter click on the links below:

[Ed: I just wanted to add that an ORP of 300-375 is saltwater Mini Reef territory and is considered to be Barr None the best of its class as for as redox goes. To see this in a pond, only the über expensive filters can do this and most of the time only with Ozone added.]
E-mail November 10th, 2013:

Hi Dr. Novak,

Nice to hear from you. I hope everything is going smoothly for you. The chiller was installed yesterday and begun cooling down my pond, not so much though. Right now its just set to chill to 28 C. My pond ORP now varies between 300-350. I did the comparison towards my water source. The ORP of my water source was between 350-370 while at that time the pond ORP was around 300. Next week I'll try to further lower the temperature to 26-27 C. My target eventually will be to maintain pond temperature between 25-27 C. I'm quite excited about the effect 28 C has on ORP, can't wait to see the ORP value at 25 C. I'm also very excited with what I can know from this ORP monitor. In fact, I plan to use the ORP value to determine when it is time for a mechanical filter backwash. Again, thank you very much for all the enlightenment you have given to me, may God Bless you always.

Best regards,