Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here is a photo of Bob Mucerino’s new larger pond of 10,000 USG.

Here is a photo of Bob Mucerino’s new larger pond of 10,000 USG. Making several improvements on his third try that was overlooked in his first and seconded pond builds. A 4" bottom drain was added that will aid with aerating the pond too, alone with two skimmers instead of the one they originally had with the adding of a Clarity protein skimmer, the 800-gal AFS is still in place in the background.

The AFS he has would have handled everything without the added equipment, but Bob felt the need for more and part of the fun of being in this hobby is to customize your pond if wherewithal’s exist. Unlike Brian in the UK that got rid of some of his equipment, Bob on the other hand felt he needed more. Let’s hope it is money well-spent and not just “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and he will be satisfied that it is money well spent.

Maybe I should clarify my last statement that I made above. Sometimes hobbyists think that by adding more equipment that water parameters will become better without thinking that each new filtration technique that’s added may or may not necessarily be a good thing. What is the byproduct of that new filtering device you just added? Will it also take out needed chemical compounds like trace elements, buffers or add more Nitrates to the system or even worse have a reduction of Nitrates into ammonia? Even the very microfauna of our ponds can become unnaturally lessen by some equipment with negative outcomes.

Making a completely sterile environment like a swimming pool for our Koi’s is not necessarily a good thing because fish, like humans, need to build up a resistant to such insults to keep them healthy in the event something unforeseen happens. Everything in our ponds must reach an equilibrium state with bacteria, fauna, and algae and so on. Other whys: Why not keep your fish in distilled water and leave it at that? If redox is high and TDS is low then why spend money unnecessarily?
 I also notice the main pond is void of all plants, unlike last year’s pond that incorporated some for cosmetic reasons. To read more about Bob’s pond in my blog click on the link below.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Update from UK’s Brian Woodcock about his AFS and his thoughts about how it’s doing.

Hi guys...bit of an update regarding how my Anoxic is doing. Well as you can see its doing fine my water quality has been fantastic since I installed it and it seems to be going from strength to strength and my fish are happy and healthy with no parasites for over 2 years now.

Growth has been remarkable feeding 400g a day over 6 feeds so much so I will have to move some fish on I think.



Some others from the UK add their two cents worth:

VINCE: thank you for the update. I so love that filter look. I am still very happy with mine and it’s doing a find job for me even unplanted. But I am going to change things around so I can plant it now I seen how nice yours has come out.

Darren’s Koi: Brian filter looks great and plants are thriving I have just planted a Lilly in mine as well and it's remarkably how quickly it's taking and new leaves are growing my reeds are about 4 ft tall in mine will be happy if my Lilly gets any growers this yr

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shelly’s update on her pond from Oregon's beautiful Willamette Valley....

Hello Dr Novak,

Having my first pond (3500-gallons) has led to meeting other local pond owners, and the topic of filtration always comes up. It should be no surprise that I am an advocate of AFS. Three couples have come to see my pond, finding it difficult to believe that a 'newbie' pond owner with only AFS, a UV light, and a skimmer can have such remarkably clear water. Seeing is believing, however!

Two couples I have met continue to struggle with 'pea soup' algae. One couple just ignores it (poor fish), the other couple dumps large amount$ of algae-control chemical$ into theirs. This couple (7500 gallon pond) made 18 BCB’s after seeing mine, but state that the algae persists (of course). So they are going to have their UV checked.

QUESTION: Before I respond to them, advising more BCB’s and more patience thru the cycling stage, I would like to know if there is a guideline as to the minimum number of BCB’s as it relates to pond size. More specifically: how many Biocenosis Baskets would their 7500-gallon pond require, as a minimum and/or a 12,000-gallon pond, etc?

This information will be very helpful for my other 'pea-soup' neighbor. I hope to get them started with AFS, too, and demonstrate the usefulness of having a standard water test kit, etc.

My own pond -- now 9 months old -- is flourishing and maturing. When the warm weather finally arrived, I experienced my string-algae! I re-read your blog, and learned I need to do partial water changes occasionally (yes, I am a NEWBIE). Then, learning from another poster on your blog, I resisted panic and just waited: it soon turned brown and disintegrated! My pond remains 100% chemical-free, is clear as a bell, and provides hours of enjoyment! I have been working on the landscaping since you last saw my brand new pond in October, wanting to eventually hide the driveway. I am attaching two photo ‘updates’ Photo#1) is in early morning, with the waterfall and aeration turned off for a moment while the goldfish wait for their breakfast, and Photo#2) is in the afternoon, showing the 4' deep aeration bottom drain. 
Photo # 1

Photo #2

I hope all is well with you, Dr Novak. Thanks again for all you've done and for all you do!

Best regards from Oregon's beautiful Willamette Valley....


Q & A time:

I would like to know if there is a guideline as to the minimum number of BCB’s as it relates to pond size. The BCB’s really do their best in an AFS and not just placed in a pond willy-nilly because your whole pond then can become the filter and you don’t want that. Like Brian Woodcock’s AFS has 35 BCB’s in it and his pond looks great like yours does.

Your friends with the 7500-gal pond need to let Mother Nature take her time, but then again you don’t know what really is happening with their pond and did they do everything right?

As the years go by I have fond-out that Husbandry, feeding regime, number of animals to water mass, and how big the Koi are will really dictate on how many BCB’s one should have. The best way to go about it is two BCB’s per Koi. Example: If you have ten Koi then twenty BCB’s should do the trick. It does not matter how big the Koi are at the time they are introduced to the ponds mass because you are compensating for future growth and food consumption. However, this is not written in stone because pond volume may supersede the number of animals living in the pond or vice versa. Geographic location of the pond and how much sun does it get in a day. Then more BCB’s will be needed because of over stocking the pond beyond reasonable limits. This always happens when using an AFS because hobbyists see how great it works and then buy more Koi.