Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Every year I set up a 1-gal circa 1920 fish tank for my wife in a southern facing kitchen window, this year was no excepting to the rule.

Every year I set up a 1-gal circa 1920 fish tank for my wife in a southern facing kitchen window, this year was no excepting to the rule. The plants are Ceratophyllum demersum AKA: Hornwort, a coldwater species of plant that really doesn’t do as well as it should in warmer water unless natural sunlight is added like that, that’s in a pond. Cooler temperatures of 60-70˚F are ideal for this plant species.

The small air bubbles you see in the photo coming from the plants are because it is photosynthesizing and the water temp to oxygen saturation point has been reached. Whenever you see these small air bubbles coming from a plant you know that plant is cleaning your water and taking ions out of it. Without those small air bubbles then they are not working as hard as they should be, cleaning your aquarium water.

The fishes in the tank are another coldwater species called Tanichthys albonubes AKA: White Cloud Mountain Minnow from China. At this time of year when American’s (especially in the Northern States) face colder temperatures outside, their homes are usually cooler inside too. My home will dip as low as 65˚F at nighttime and warm back up again to 73˚F during the day. They require oxygen to be at saturation point like all minnows do, so a small pump and/or aeration device is needed for their tank. However, a heater can be forgone because they like their water cold.

One problem hobbyist have is the availability of fish that can tolerate a cooler home environment without the aid of heating the aquarium to the fishes requirements.

Betta brederi/splendens always seem to be the desire fish for small containers but they do not do as well if water temps dip too low blow 76˚F. The hobbyists always wonder why their Betta’s dies in the winter months and in the summer months thrive. The distribution of heat transformation is always faster in smaller aquariums than larger ones. So the fluctuation of these faster up and down temps always plays havoc on Betta’s metabolism and they begin to stop eating. Once that happens death is not far behind.

Another good coldwater species of fish that can live for several years in a small container or small aquarium (that’s not a Goldfish) is the Macropodus opercularis AKA: Paradisefish.  This was the first tropical fish outside of Goldfish or coldwater pond fish that actually thrived in the colder Victorian homes of yore.

They are sometimes not very friendly with other of there own kind and may fight constantly if kept with more than one per small container. The size of container they need be no bigger than that you normally would keep a Betta in. Oxygen is taken from the atmosphere so filtration and aeration is not needed. Plants are always welcome if you can provide them.



Dr. Novak is an Ichthyologist and Limnologist and researches in aquatic microbiology. Read more on his blog @



  

1-gal circa 1920 fish tank 

Tanichthys albonubes AKA: White Cloud Mountain Minnow from China. 

The small air bubbles you see in the photo coming from the plants are because it is photosynthesizing and the water temp to oxygen saturation point has been reached. 

Just my two cents worth.

Here is a little bit of information that most hobbyists do not know. If you have a 24" (61cm) Koi, that Koi is now equal to over 8, 12" (30.5cm) Koi. Most people think that it would be a two to one proportional rate but the weight of a Koi change so dramatically from smaller to larger. It would take more than 66, 6" (15.25cm) Koi to equal that one big 24" (61cm) Koi.

Think about it for a second! If you stocked a small pond with 132 small 6" (15.25cm) Koi that would look ridiculously overcrowded. It would look like you where trying to sell Koi out of your home pond. However, that is exactly what hobbyist do when they have just 2 large 24" (61cm) Koi in the same size pond.

Hobbyist really don’t give it a second thought of what the filter now has to contend with in the form of waste, oxygen requirements, bacteria population and last but not least, the degradation of the entire ecosystem as a whole and not just one entity of that system.

So the next time you build a filtration system for your pond, think just how big that little Koi is going to get and the burden it will place on water quality parameters. If you think this never happens, think again, it happens all the time, more than you know.

This constant game of changing filters and adding onto already existing filters is never ending for some hobbyist. As long as the money holds out, then they will keep poring more of it into their existing system if they can. The worst part of this entire scenario is: Once they do reach a happy medium between Koi, filter and ponds water mass, they start adding more fish once again.

I see this all the time with over crowded ponds and inadequate filtration for fish to water mass. When I try and explain to them they just have too many Koi for their ponds volume, they don’t want to hear it! Well, they can’t get rid of any of their Koi; they love each and every one of them…do they? If there were such a law as animal cruelty for fish, pond owners would be on top of that list as the number one offenders of that law. After all, what kind of shame would we place on a person that had 24 cats living in their house? Wouldn’t we all say that is a little excessive and that this individual needs some kind of help mentally? The smell and filth would overwhelm anyone stepping into that home. So why is it we except Koi ponds to become the exception to the rule? Just my two cents worth.









Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Some photos for your enjoyment.

For you aquarium lovers. The first two photos are of Albino Cory’s that just finished spawning in a 25-gal brass fish aquarium. One BCB is being used in a sump underneath the tank to help biological filtrating and to keep phosphates and nitrates down below 5-ppm. The BCB under the tank has been there far the past 15-years now and the Cory’s are still alive today but much bigger in size than 10-years ago.

[ED: I still have one small Bumblebee catfish still alive in this tank far 15-years.]



The next photo shows a very crowded but clean pond using an AFS of about 4000-gals. This pond is use as a grow-out pond for the fry that are born in early spring. About four years ago a child fell into this pond during the Midwest Pond and Koi Societies pond tour and the owners determined that showing their pond(s) was not a good idea any longer. That’s one reason my pond is an above ground pond because of safety reasons and the simplicity of maintenance.



The last photos are of a planted large ceramic half moon container that was planted up at the end of my pond for the summer. To water the container all I used was old pond water and it seem to do just fine for the plants to flourish.





This morning it was 11˚ F [-11.67˚C] but the pond is still at 44˚ F [6.67˚C] because of the plastic cover over it. A lot of hobbyists here in Illinois cover their ponds because of the extremely cold weather we have here to keep their ponds from freezing over. The B&W photo shows just how bad it can get; there is an above ground pond somewhere under all that snow.




This last photo shows the plastic 6-mil cover that I place on the pond in October every year. The PVC pipes are bent and fasten in with brass 3/8 screw holes in top cap. PVC bent fittings with S/S screws glued into them holed the bent 1/2" PVC pipes that you can get at any hardware store. Because my pond is above ground it’s easy to cover with just one person doing it. The cover will come off in late spring after the trees are done flowering. Without this cover the pond would become a big mess with fall foliage and spring flowers and stamens.

The AFS runs all year long with never getting shut down in winter because of this setup. Five years ago the AFS was shutdown far the winter months and allowed to freeze up then restarted in early spring with no problems to the inhabitants of the pond because the filter would never really die off like conventional filters do. The Facultative bacteria just use other food sources or go dormant until food availability is there once again.



I hope everyone has a good 2015 New Year.

Cheers,

Kevin











Thursday, December 25, 2014

This E-mail is the reason why I try and teach others about the AFS for free.

This E-mail is the reason why I try and teach others about the AFS for free. Making people pay for something that would help others save the lives of their Koi/Goldfish, to me, would not be very professional.

QUOTE: From Shelly

“Thanks for the heads up, Kevin -- I'll read up!

[ED: Click on the link to find out what she is talking about.] http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/anoxic_filtration.html


BTW, the neighbors with the big beautiful deep pond full of algae and the big algaecide chemical bill added an AFS: clear as a bell now, of course. She is SO happy and grateful!

The other neighbor's pea-soup pond makeover is on pause due to the weather, but she is also adding an AFS after hearing about neighbor #1. I'm sure she'll be as pleased as we are. My pond remains clear as a bell, of course, despite the pine needles, pine cones, and little sticks the surrounding trees and windy rainy weather constantly add to the pond this time of year.

I do net out the big stuff when the weather breaks, and I'm still very glad I splurged on that Pond Vac... does a great job --especially on those 1" needles -- and facilitates a water change at the same time.

Thanks for all you do, Kevin -- learning about AFS made the dream of having a pond a reality for us.”



Thanks so much Shelly; this means so much to me when someone takes the time out in their hectic lives to just drop me a message and/or update on how they are doing with their AFS.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from Chicago Illinois.


Merry Christmas to all those who have been reading my blog and I hope the following New Year  brings happiness and joy into your lives.


Once again thanks for reading my blog, Kevin

Well the long anticipated informative article that Manky Sanke was commissioned to do for Koi Organization International Koi (KOIK) is now completed and is on his web page.

Well the long anticipated informative article that Manky Sanke was commissioned to do for Koi Organization International, Koi (KOI) is now completed and is on his web page. Just click on the link below to read this educational article on the Anoxic Filtration System and the scientific workings of the Biocenosis Clarification Baskets.

This article will not only benefit pond enthusiast but also those that have fresh water aquariums. This new article will be used by the KOI as part of a new advanced up-to-date filtration course they are planning.

Its been a long time since anything new came out (as far as filtration system go) into the aquarium & pond hobby that can be said to be revolutionary in its makings since the Wet-Dry Filter, circa 1984; when Smith introduced it to U.S. hobbyist. Moreover, the U.S. has brought nothing to light of significant value and only Holland, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom dominating this market with new innovated ideas.

The Anoxic Filter is a game changer for the United States; in that it uses innovated science and bacteria colonization like that of natural systems in a different way to clean water and make it safe and habitable for aquatic life. Dr. Franco in Italy proved that aquariums did better with the reduction of Phosphates from an Anoxic Filtration System that other filtration system couldn’t perform this reduction chemical transformation. 

 No longer are we looking at Nitrates and Phosphates in the same way as we did thirty plus years ago. We now look at positive and negative ions in a better understanding of their chemical complexity as groups of linked molecules instead of just thinking only as them in terms of Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates as the only insults that plague our fresh water systems.



Best regards,
Kevin












Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hello from Stockholm, Sweden.

Hello! Inga from Stockholm, Sweden, here! Just finished (more or less) the makeover of our old pond, built in 1959 (of course without any filtration or bottom drains ect) - 6x3 meters and originally 80 cm deep. Now, after the makeover, 1,40 meter deep and with 4 extra pools, of which 3 have BCB - a total of 48 ones. Can't wait for spring when I can plant them! Some pics:


Take a look at Inga’s pond pictures in Google+ using an anoxic filtration system.

https://plus.google.com/communities/113515464017212364360

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The new Google community is already showing its advantages with others and me communicating on an easier level, example shown below.

The new Google community is already showing its advantages with others and me communicating on an easier level, example shown below. Please take a look-see at Michael Lim’s pond. However, if you have a jealous bone in your body then don’t look.


Example:

Michael, to say your photos are impressive would be an understatement. Your pond and its layout look as though they belong in a public conservatory somewhere. Very clean and crystal clear water.

 I think your methods of applying the BCB’s into your system in the old none working veggie filter is spot on! Season the BCB’s before you wean off of your existing system is a prudent move.

Your aquarium photo looks as though it is a breeder’s tank much like Dr. Franco did in Italy. Maybe some tropical fish lovers out there will employ this same method of filtration as you have.

Did you use clay or Zeolite as your medium choice? What were your Nitrates before the introducing of the BCB(s) in you aquarium?


Google communities… why not join?



Cheers,

Kevin



Friday, November 21, 2014

Google community...

Hello everyone, I have started a Google community so those of you that have something to ask or show others, can participate easier now than ever before.

Just click on the link below to join.

Thanks,
Kevin



Anoxic Filtration by: Manky Sanke ,explanatory article comming soon.



If you can wait a couple of weeks I'm trying to complete a fairly long and explanatory article for Koi Organization International and, as soon as they convert it to eBook format and upload it onto their website, I'll put it on mine as well.

It will explain the system, mainly in understandable language but with all the technical stuff in separate Science Panels so the main body of the text will be simple to read but with the Science Panels also available for anyone mad enough to want to know the technical details.

Information from the thread on that other forum will be included, along with a section on the complete build by Brian Woodcȯck. It will be on, or accessible from, the webpage on the link below.

Disadvantages? There are three:

1. Obtaining the correct cat litter isn't just a case of popping to Tesco's and picking up the nearest. You need to check that it's suitable but that's explained on the link below.

2. An effective filter that will provide complete stand alone filtration will need about one basket per adult fish so they need suitable space to be available.

3. Expect bricks through your windows from other hobbyists who have spent a fortune on other systems but which cannot get near zero ammonia, absolute zero nitrite and near zero nitrate .

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Monday, November 10, 2014

For the gardener Anoxic filters are probably the best filters one could have if you like aquatic plants with lush growth.

For the gardener Anoxic filters are probably the best filters one could have if you like aquatic plants with lush growth. However, as the photo shows cation must be exercised because aquatic plants can get a little out-of-hand and will outgrow most aquatic baskets with what seems like an infinite root system.

Achieving such growth without fertilizers several years ago was unheard-of by pond hobbyist and only those that dabbled in high nitrogen plant tabs could achieve such good growth. But the downside was nitrated laden water that really was not fish compatible. Because plants need to use seven times the energy to convert nitrogen back into ammonia once again, this processes was omitted at night when peak photosynthesis was stopped. I say peak photosynthesis, because only at that time do plants do the conversion processes because of the energy they must use.

So what happens to all that excessive nitrogen in the plant baskets when the plants can’t use it; it goes right back into solution once again!  The AFS BCB’s allows plants the right amount of trace elements along with ammonia/ammonium so they can now proliferate in root hair growth. The upside is plants will take in ammonia/ammonium 24-7 night and day. Because it takes very little energy to do this, the plants now can concentrate on root hair growth along with flowering and reproduction of its species.



Photo taken from internet from owner of an AFS.


The vigorous and profuse plant growth of some plants may overwhelm hobbyists into a stupor that, that particular plant species will never be used again and with rightful causes. Bursting the BCB’s with their roots to the point that their usefulness is compromised for the next years filter and will have to be thrown away after one season is a little too expensive for a one time use!

Veggie and Bog filters only show such growth rate of their plants when the substrate is compromised with detritus and all kinds of smuts. Under these conditions they are really hindered on how much and proficient they can and will clean the ponds water. AFS will outperform these filter ten to one because these insults stated above are not a needed foundation of foodstuff for the plants in a BCB only ammonia/ammonium is. AFS keep water at a higher redox than the Veggie and Bog filters will because all detritus and smuts are eliminated before the filter and is not “part of the filters matrix” like the other two filtration methods.

Anytime a filter keeps insults far too long in solution is not a well-designed filter and will give inadequate protection to its aquatic animals. Some of the ways of telling this is by sores on the fish, fish growth being stunted, sicken fish or anemic looking fish or the hobbyists making up excuses on why they need a prophylactic added to their ponds every year.

You also get the hobbyist that without ascertainment of their findings that they have done nothing to their ponds with these filters for years and their fish are doing just fine. But under closer examination their good fortune is not repeatable for everyone that uses them and they become the exception to the rule but not the rule itself.


As each year goes by hobbyist are finding out that Veggie and Bog filters are not natural filter at all, but ports for all kinds of water deteriorating bugs (bacteria) that if not taken out of the system eventually, they will win in the battle in making your pond uninhabitable. I have had BCB’s as long as 25–years now without being broken down and are still going strong on cleaning and protection the inhabitance of the pond. Is there any other filter out there that can make the same claim and still keep their pond inhabitance healthy and longed lived as my Koi? Okay, you got me…natural system will go on for hundreds of years without intervention from man too.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Anoxic Filters Vs all conventional filters in cold weather.

Well…The weather is now in the lower 40˚F (4.44˚C) in Chicagoland and it will be dipping into the upper 30˚F (-1.11˚C) next week and for conventional filters this is that time of year that most pond owners once again worry about their nitrogen cycle.

QUOTE:
“Temperatures like this are very bacteria unfriendly and the temperature for optimum growth of nitrifying bacteria is between 77-86° F (25-30° C) seldom is this temperature reached in the springtime and at this time of the year it will only get worse not better.

On top of that, this temperature is considered too high for Koi and Goldfish and is not consider optimal for such. Growth rate is decreased by 50% at 64° F (18° C) and will decrease even more by 75% at 46-50° F. The worst part of this is that at 39° F (4° C) no activity will occur at all and nitrifying bacteria will die at 32° F (0° C). Nitrobacter is less tolerant of low temperatures than Nitrosomonas. In cold water systems, which our ponds are in late winter and early spring, care must be taken to monitor the accumulation of nitrites. Not so with the Anoxic system.”


QUOTE: From Dave Collins in France.

"Hi Brian,

As you know I only have an Anoxic filter with a drum before it. It’s been running for three and a half years and depending on feeding levels the nitrate hovers around 6mg/l. 

So you'll no doubt be surprised with my answer but I would keep the bead filter. As you say, if it’s not broken ……… The bead does work against the Anoxic but your Anoxic is large enough to cope and gives you peace of mind.


What I say is, sit back and enjoy a glass of whatever takes your fancy and watch your Koi swimming in clean clear water."


Nitrobacter and cold weather:

  One of the most important and least understood, aspects of successful pond keeping is biological filtration and its function in the nitrogen cycle. Species of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter nitrifying bacteria are classified as obligate chemolithotrophs and are gram-negative microbes. This means if you use a gram-negative inhibitory chemical to treat an infection on your Koi, so will it also kill off the beneficial bacteria in the process. They are obligate aerobes and cannot multiply or convert ammonia or nitrites in the absence of oxygen, unlike facultative anaerobic bacteria that can.

  Nitrifying bacteria have extensive generation times due to the low energy yield from their oxidation reactions. Since little energy is produced from these reactions they have evolved to become extremely efficient at converting ammonia into nitrite and then again into nitrate. Most of their energy production, which is over seventy-five percent, is devoted to fixing CO2 via the Calvin cycle and very small amounts of that energy remain for reproduction and growth. Nitrifying bacteria reproduce by binary division and as a consequence, they have a very slow reproductive rate.

  Under optimal conditions (which by the way would be in a lab and not in our ponds), Nitrobacter may double every 13 hours. More reasonably speaking though, they will double every 24 hours in our ponds. This is an extremely long time, considering that heterotrophic bacteria can double in as short of a time as 20-minutes, exceeding 35-trillion cells in that time. Now you see why in natural systems and waterways they use and depend on heterotrophs over autotrophs because of faster reproductive times and less stress on the entire eco-system.

  They have a complex cytomembrane that is surrounded by a slime matrix (also known as a polymeric adhesive) and therefore they (Nitrobacteraceae) are unable to form spores.  All species have a limited tolerance range and are individually sensitive to pH, dissolved oxygen levels, salt levels, temperature, and chemical insults. In our ponds, which are closed systems; they can survive short periods of adverse conditions by utilizing stored materials within the cell. When these materials are depleted, the bacteria die. They do not have the ability to use other sources for their carbon needs. They can be as sort lived, as 24-48 hours, and if conditions are impertinently unsound this timeframe can be shorten by those veritable insults. However, the Nitrobacter bacteria strain may have specific tolerances to environmental factors and nutriment preferences not shared by other, very closely related strains, which there are several species and many strains among those species.

  The temperature for optimum growth of nitrifying bacteria is between 77-86° F (25-30° C) seldom is this temperature reached in the springtime. On top of that, this temperature is considered too high for Koi and Goldfish and is not consider optimal for such. Growth rate is decreased by 50% at 64° F (18° C) and will decrease even more by 75% at 46-50° F. The worst part of this is that at 39° F (4° C) no activity will occur at all and nitrifying bacteria will die at 32° F (0° C). Nitrobacter is less tolerant of low temperatures than Nitrosomonas. In cold water systems, which our ponds are in late winter and early spring, care must be taken to monitor the accumulation of nitrites. Not so with the Anoxic system.

  Nitrobacter will grow more slowly at high pH levels (7.8-8.0 most of our ponds in the US fall in this range do to hard-water) and optimum range is between 7.3-7.5. Care must be taken to monitor ammonia if the pH begins to drop close to 6.5. At this pH range, almost all of the ammonia present in the water will be in the mildly toxic, ionized NH3+ state. Maximum nitrification rates will exist if dissolved oxygen (DO) levels exceed 80% saturation. This would explain why hobbyist must oxygenate their ponds too the maximum, not only for the fish sake, but also for the bacteria as well. Nitrification will not occur if dissolved oxygen concentrations drop to 2.0 mg/l or ppm (Anoxic conditions,) or less. Nitrobacter is affected more by low dissolved oxygen than Nitrosomonas.

  Also for those hobbyists that like to add salt to their pond as a prophylactic; adaptation to such salinities may involve a lag time of 1-3 days before exponential growth begins. Nitrifying bacteria are also photosensitive, especially to blue (750k) and ultraviolet light. After they have colonized a surface this UV light poses very little problems for them afterwards. During the first 3 or 4 days many of the cells will be suspended in the water column especially after reinoculation of the pond after a cold winter. Therefore, UV light/germicide lamps should remain off during this time. Once again this is a very decisive time for our Koi, in as too eradicate pathogens and germs, and we have our hands tide because of the bacteria that we are using, not so with my system.

  Now let’s take the Anoxic filtration system and the bacteria that it uses, and compare what has just been said above. Hobbyist that use this kind of filtration system should start their filters when temperatures reach 32o F (0o C) or above and the pond water has become stabilized so as not too incur freezing of pipes or waterfalls.  The Anoxic Filter is already working without the reinoculation of such chemicals, bacteria cultures or heterotrophic bacteria spores. This is a very crucial time for our fish; because of their weaken state from such a long winters rest. As you can see Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter are not of much help to us until water temperatures have risen to a more ideal rang that suits them and not our animals. I have written quite extensively on this subject on the Internet and in my Cd-book about bacteria staying active during winter months.

 This is why most hobbyists in the colder parts of the U.S.A. will not even attempt to get their filters online until latter in the spring while the ones with the Anoxic Filter have started their filters in late winter. In fact Koi and pond clubs throughout the Midwest are telling them not to. After the initial water change and filter cleanout you will notice that your Koi will become more active earlier than in previous years. This activity of our Koi happens two to three days after cleanout. They will actually begin to forage for Algae and worms far earlier in the year (39° F (4° C) than when using conventional filtration methods. The Algae and worms will not only give our animals beneficial bacteria that is so badly needed at this time, but will also act as a laxative from the worms they eat. These natural foods will not only strengthen the Koi’s immune systems to fight off primary and secondary infection should they acquire such help. It is not unusual to find Koi swimming around like it’s a warm summer’s day when pond temperatures are in the low 40o F range.

  Yes, you can keep testing your water until the cows come home but you won’t find any ammonia/ammonium or Nitrites. Even though the Koi have become active enough to take processed foods, still all parameters will stay stable without incurring any undue cost or stress to the animals or the hobbyist.

Cheers,

Kevin