Friday, December 13, 2013

A natural foodsource for a natural system, information from Ardy’s pond and his AFS in Indonesia.

Ardy from Indonesia sent me some info on his pond and news of his AFS with photos. However, one thing that caught my attention was the photo of the bloodworms he has growing on his biocenosis baskets in his Anoxic filter. For a Limnologist the bloodworms tell many stories of how good or even how bad water quality can be in a given system. He has a small 1.2-ton pond (1 ton = 264 US gals of water or 220 Imperial gallons of water) with 18 Koi averaging 30-40 cm long in size.  All his parameters look good with a NO3 of ˂ 0-10ppm. pH is 7.2 and GH and KH are in the normal range. Feeding is being implemented 3 times a day @ 250-mls with a fasting every seventh day and a 20% water change is done every week or fortnight.

Now getting back to the bloodworms that are in his filter that can be an excellent indicator of water quality. Some species of bloodworm can indicate poor water quality because they can live in chemically rich and oxygen poor conditions. They, like Algae, will be a good indication of the condition of the system if one dominates all other species in that system. If water quality is in par with the EPA standards and has lots of oxygen then many different types of algae’s will prevail and many different types of aquatic insects species with the lesser being in the worst conditions. Bloodworms AKA: insect larva called Midge, feed on microorganisms and organic material and in Ardy’s case it is not an indication or a sign of troubles in his pond that most associate with bloodworms. Some species, like Hellgrammite and some dragonfly types are examples of Midge’s that will only live in exceptionally clean water and require waters to be at saturation point in oxygen.

Here is what we know: The AFS does not place a burden on the oxygen demands of the eco-system because testing has shown that the oxygen in the AFS is the same as that of the main pond. So we now know that oxygen must be being made or taken into the Biocenosis baskets by other means than the water body itself or the bacteria are using it from other resources too. With that said we know that Ardy’s water flowing over and around the biocenosis basket has to be the same oxygen level as his main pond and if that is the case then only the oxygen rich loving species of aquatic insects will be present.

The icing on the cake is that Ardy is using the same filter as Yogas is, and Yogas’s redox is at 400-420 mV readings, which is a good sign of excellent water quality. If Yogas’s water quality doesn’t make the most jaded hobbyist jealous then nothing will! Oh, Yes! Back to Ardy’s bloodworms [Ed: Bloodworm is an ambiguous term and can be use for many definitions of similar larva, worms and species of parasites so being green in color means they are lacking hemoglobin. This then means it is not 100% confirmed that they are not Blackworms or as we call them in the US Green Glass worms they sell in pet shops.] and the proliferation of them are a good indication that his AFS is working. Bloodworms are sold in the US as a food for tropical fish in pet stores. Don’t confuse bloodworms with Tubifex worms also called sludge worms, or sewage worms, and are a species of tubificid segmented worms sold in pet stores too. Bloodworms are cleaner and since Ardy knows their food source he can now use them as a nourishing staple for his Koi. In Asia they have been proven to add weight on fish and growth rate is more uniform when added to the diet. Chemical analysis shows that bloodworms contain about 9% dry matter and of that, about 65% is crude protein, 10% is crude fat and about 10% is ash and is a good source of iron. I have grown Blackworms in my AFS for years now and the Goldfish fry and fingerlings love them.

 Quote from Ardy's letter: “I am happy with the result of my water quality using the AFS, judging from my pond and filter construction which is far from standard recommendations and with feeding regime and minimal water changes. Hopefully it will be better after the rest of 16BB matured (30 days to go).”

Open container of a tropical water Lillie with 1BB potted. The leaves are growing like crazy but no flowers as of yet (it should be blue). 

 Fully outdoor pond, algae been reduced to under 1cm long but still cover all the wall.  

Closed container fed directly from Mech Filter, the green layer on top of BB's are bloodworms colonies. Living in Indonesia and with the insect fauna that they must have, this doesn’t surprise me one bit.

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