Thursday, April 30, 2015

Update on Brian’s MKII Anoxic Filtration build. 5-1-2015

Update on Brian’s MKII Anoxic Filtration build.

 Instead of the Butyl Rubber lining we all use in the US for our ponds, he instead is applying a black coat of pond coating inside the filter box to make it watertight.

I thought I would share this e-mail from Rachel, a nice lady in the UK with my readers.

I thought I would share this e-mail from Rachel, a nice lady in the UK with my readers. In time she will provide us with photos of her pond and how she made up her BCB’s for the UK hobbyist. Any an all information people are willing to share with others is always a good learning tool, don’t you think?

Thank you Rachel for the helping hand and valuable information you can provide to other hobbyists in the USA and UK.

This is the cat litter that Rachel chose as the best for her BCB’s out of some of the brands she tested in the UK.

Hi Kevin,

Yes the replacement litter I purchased is obviously hard baked clay pellets (its orange when wet). So “Sophisticat Pink” is ok (£10 for 30l). pH was still 8.5 24hrs after a water change with 7.5 pH water. Wonder if the tap water conditioner affects it? I haven’t got any algae to photosynthesize, as of yet, GH is 9. I’m not going to try to mess with it further.

Still have the existing black box filter going with UV and so far added 7 Biocenosis Clarification baskets with plants on a plenum. I know that is far more in excess than I need but I thought, as I needed to repot my lilies anyway I may as well do it in the cat litter. It’s cheaper than Aquatic Compost anyway. This will make repotting next time so much easier as I can just pull them out, split and push back into the basket with extra JBL Aquabasis plus. I wasn’t able to get hold of any Laterite here in the UK.

At the moment I just have two, side by side 360l metal stock tanks. One has the BCB’s and plants in it; the other has the Goldies in it. We are hoping to start the big pond build in a couple of weeks but this way I can get my BCB’s seeded and ready to go straight into the newly finished pond. It will have a bottom drain pumped to the black box with UV as a prefilter, overflow into a higher Anoxic Filtration pond with plants and plenum, and then overflow back to the main pond.

I will photograph our progress for you.

Best Wishes to you,


Thursday, April 23, 2015

More photos from Brian Woodcock in the UK and his MKII Anoxic Filtration System updates. 4-23-2015

My wife is moaning that I have taken the entire garden but if you look closely you can just see some garden...Duh women.  

Done a bit more today, drilled the wall to take the water supply and cutting and laying the copingstones till my grinder blew up

 I'm just happy to get this part done as my brother is a busy man and had to wait for his shift pattern (18 days off) but everything else I can do myself, jobs to do are fit my diffuser which is about the only thing apart from the baskets I am re-using and then paint the inside, I have gone for P1 pond paint after some research.

Also managed to get some strong plastic grid/tiles which 4 make 1m2 to use to sit my baskets on.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Brian’s MKII Anoxic Filter rebuild…just in time before the warm weather sets in. Also find out what he is using in his BCB’s, replacing the Laterite that is now so hard to get in the UK.

Brian’s MKII Anoxic Filter rebuild…just in time before the warm weather sets in. Also find out what he is using in his BCB’s, replacing the Laterite that is now so hard to get in the UK.

Today is the day I have been waiting for, I finally managed to get my brother around to do the block work ... here is a few pictures.

It looks quite a bit bigger than I thought it would and it comes in at 3200 liters or 700 gallon without any displacement (baskets).

I have also managed to match the coping stones so that's a bit of luck now I'm going to leave it for a few days and let everything go off properly before I start drilling.

Well after trying to source some Laterite and having no joy it looks like it's been well and truly discontinued so I ordered some AquaBasis Plus from Germany and with post worked out at less than half the price of Laterite
This is the bag I got from Germany and it's less than half the price for us Brits.

Brian Woodcock

Saturday, April 11, 2015

3000 Reasons Not To Dump Unwanted Goldfish Into A Lake...PART 2

3,000 Reasons Not To Dump Unwanted Goldfish Into A Lake
By Lottie Richard on April 7, 2015

Part 2
If you haven’t read part one of my post then you may want to read it right now; click on the link below so you can get up to speed on this delicate subject.

Right now there is a young lady in the New England state of Maine fighting legislation so that hobbyists in that state can have Koi and Goldfish as pets for outdoor ponds. I know this sounds ridiculous to most of us, but it’s true. That state-which is probably the only one in the union- will not allow hobbyists to have Koi or Goldfish unless they have a licenses to do so and not in a pond. The hobbyist also has to account for all living fish fry from a spawning of their pets or face stiff fines of thousands of dollars. The reasoning is: That koi and/or Goldfish are an invasive species of fish and will outcompete with the indigenes species and bring in unwanted diseases. Note: Lernaea crustaceans AKA: Anchor Worms were one of the diseases mentioned in a Maine article but they are a parasite of freshwater fishes not a disease.

It’s editorials like the one I posted in part one that brings horror stores to the public’s eye on why Goldfish and Koi should be banned from this great hobby of ours. Hardcore proof is not needed for sectors of our government to implement laws governing hobbyists into submission and relinquishing our rights to own fish that have been around for thousands of years as pets. Of course they will say we are not picking on the whole hobby, just some of the more aggressive species kept in the hobby like Maine is doing.

Today it will be Goldfish and Koi and tomorrow it will be saltwater fish. After all we must stop the rape and pillaging of our treasured oceans to get these exotic fish because they are not an endless resource for the greedy hobbyist. As history has thought us: Give then an inch and they then will take a foot instead!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) recognizes the fact that two years ago five Goldfish were released into Boulder Counties, Boulder Lake and within two years 3 to 4 thousand Goldfish now have invasively taken over the lake. Does anyone see a Red flag here are is it just me? I mean; when you first notice the “five Goldfish” two years ago, why didn’t you just catch them then and get rid of them? After all, if you had the time to count their numbers; didn’t you have time to catch them too? I’m sure one big large fishnet would have done the trick.  So why did the CPW let this get out of hand, and now the blameworthiness falls on the hobbyist shoulders?

The next question is: Where are all the indigenes species of fish they talk about in this lake and why didn’t they see these easy orange targets of food?  I mean road workers have bright Safety Orange Vest tops on so we can see them on the roadways a mile away, and our eyesight isn’t nearly as acute as a fish’s eye sight. Anyone that has kept fish long enough knows that a predator fish like the Oscar cichlid (Astonotus ocellatus) for example makes a quick meal of our feeder Goldfish because speed is everything to a predator and Goldfish are very easy to spot. Goldfish are fast, but did you ever notice that they are not really that hard to catch like some other species of fish are? Speed is really not their forte for these animals. Add a few Channel Catfish into a pond and they will make short work of overpopulated ponds with Goldfish or Koi.

I understand that articles like the one in part one does make people aware of what is going on in their community, but do they really have any hard core evidence that what they are predicting will become a reality? Yet, carp have been released into our lakes and rivers ever since the European immigrants came to this country and brought carp with them for game fishing and I have yet to see the common carp completely take over any body of water here in the US. Even in public ponds (Example: St. Louis Mo. Tower Grove Park and Reservoir Park all part of Shaw’s Gardens) that Goldfish were present for many years have I ever seen such a proliferation of Goldfish as this article states in just two years, but then again those ponds also had Sunfish and stockier fish like Bullhead Catfish (Ameriurus catfishes in the family of Ictaluridae), frogs in them too and all are consider to be the birth control of Goldfish.

In closing I would like to say:
The responsibility of keeping our pet fish in our aquariums and ponds is the hobbyist, and only the hobbyist. Carelessness and our throwaway attitude has no place in this hobby if we are to keep it safely in the hands of the hobbyist and not the government legislators. We as hobbyist have a responsibility to our government to keep our waterways free and clear of unwanted exotic and/or invasive animal life if we in turn wish them to respect our rights as hobbyist. One is as important as the other and all must concede to the fact that accidents do happen from time to time and our government is not infallible to making mistakes themselves.

A Dedication To Kevin

When I gaze upon this hobby of his, I
lose myself,
For I know this is a miniature reef of
extraordinary wealth.
There are mountains of mushrooms
and fields of clams,
And the one-cell animals over the
horizon expand.
The water is salty, the fish are few,
The dedication to his fish tank, Oh, if
you only knew.
I love this man who cares so much
For the ocean creatures that are in his
The moral of this story, is you must
consult and read.
If you take some of God’s ocean, you’d
better then succeed.

Terri M. Novak

Library of Congress
Cataloging in Publication Data
ISBN 1-57553-153-4

The National Library of Poetry

Photos are of Chinese ponds with Goldfish in them taken on sabbatical.

As you can see the Chinese love the Goldfish and dedicate whole ponds to them for their enjoyment.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

3,000 Reasons Not To Dump Unwanted Goldfish Into A Lake...

3,000 Reasons Not To Dump Unwanted Goldfish Into A Lake
By Lottie Richard on April 7, 2015

Who would have thought that a few tiny yellow fish could cause so much trouble? Well, when they are a hearty invasive species like goldfish, the trouble spreads like wildfire.

Wildlife officials in Colorado believe that someone dumped five unwanted goldfish into a Boulder lake about two years ago, and the population has since exploded to more than 3,000.
Because the goldfish are invasive, non-native species, they are wreaking havoc on the entire aquatic ecosystem. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill explains:

“Dumping your pets into a lake could bring diseases to native animals and plants as well as out-compete them for resources. Everything can be affected. Non-native species can potentially wipe out the fishery as we’ve put it together.”

The invasive goldfish are threatening native species of fish such as channel catfish, blue gill fish, and sunfish, and brainstorming is underway as the state looks to remove the goldfish.

Currently, options include either draining the lake and collecting the goldfish, or something called “electroshocking.” Churchill says that both methods could be employed to remove the fish, and neither would kill any fish.

“With electroshocking, you go in the boat and stun the fish to paralyze and collect them. The fish could also be collected if the lake is drained.”

Once collected, the fish will be sent to a raptor rehabilitation center to be used as food. While some residents have expressed an interest in keeping some of the fish as pets, Churchill does not think it is such a good idea.

“I’m going to talk to Boulder County, who owns the lake to see what they think, but I don’t want to send the message that collecting fish for personal fun is okay”

CPW officials are asking anyone with information about who might have released the goldfish to come forward, and want to remind the public that releasing invasive species into the ecosystem is never a good idea.

About Lottie Richard:

Lottie Richard holds a BA in History and is currently working towards her graduate degree. She's been described as a bleeding heart liberal and a crunchy granola, and also as "oddly passionate" about a wide variety of topics. Lottie lives in the northeast with her husband, three-year-old daughter, and 6 pets: 3 dogs and 3 cats. In her free time she enjoys listening to jam bands and reggae music, and exploring the wilderness. Click here to buy Lottie a much-needed margarita!

 We all know the story of Chicken Little and how the sky was falling; this is a classic fable of being overly paranoid over much to due about nothing. Whenever someone that knows very little about fish or Ichthyology for that matter and then writes about assumptions of a species of fish what it will do or will not do, example: Such as being invasive and will disrupt the ecosystem of a particular body of water. Then we have a person wearing the emperors’ new clothes.

I thought I would give some insight into this story that is now making its rounds on Google Blogs and how the information given to the public can become distorted and nonfactual information. This is done so some can rule (put into law) to others into believing that the sword of Damocles is over their heads if invasive action isn’t taken immediately to rectify a problem.

The author apparently does not know the difference from the colors Yellow and Orange. Yellow Goldfish are an uncommon color in Goldfish and are seldom seen. (Genus Carassius Nilson / Carassius auratus [How to say: Kar-a´-shus: derived from the name Karass of Gesner & the word au-ra´-tus: auratus = overlaid with gold] is the correct way of saying the name in Latin.

Though this may be a trivial fact to some, it does give the ambiguity that if you can’t get this simple fact right: What makes anyone think the rest of the article has any merit or the correct information in it and is trustworthy?

The next line that Goldfish/carp are none native to North America and can become “invasive” is not altogether true. If given the right circumstances any fish can become invasive species and Goldfish are no exception to this rule. However, the Goldfishes’ colors of Bright Orange and White is not quite the best camouflaging colors for other predatorily species of fish not to notice as a foodsource. If the ecosystem is in unison with foodstuff and animal life, then the Goldfish will not become the invasive or dominating species of fish and will not upset the balancing act of the ecological habitat of the other species or animal life in that ecosystem. If this were true and they were that invasive, then our entire waterways would be flooded with these carp because they are native to North America but just not in this domesticated form of coloration that they are so well known in the hobby. They are usually Silver or Green in color and may have a very light tinge of Orange on their tails.

Also, it is not well know that the Comet Goldfishes country of origin is the good old USA and came from the common goldfish and was bred by the U.S. Government Fish Commission in Washington, D.C.. As time goes on the bright Orange coloring of these carp will leave the fish through interbreeding and they will revert back to their ancestral origins once again if left to become undomesticated just like Koi (Koi means carp in Japan.) will.

The article also makes mentioned that the five Goldfish were dumped in the Boulder Colorado Lake by no less than hobbyist two years ago. WOW! That is amazing that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill knows this exactly. I mean how does she know it was just five and not six or seven Goldfish? I also wonder how she knows it was a persons pet Goldfish that did this and not some waterfowl or animal migrating from one lake to another carrying eggs of the fish from a pond, lake or stream? If they can predict this with such accurate numbers, then why not the numbers in the Lottery?

Quote: “The invasive goldfish are threatening native species of fish such as channel catfish, blue gill fish, and sunfish…” Now this is the biggest joke of them all. Okay, Channel catfish will eat anything that will fit into their cavum oris. Does anyone know how big a Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) can get? I will leave that one up to you Internet surfers to find out. We are talking about a fish that can reach a monstrous 58 lbs or bigger here!

Then we have the next species of fish in question that are known as the carps “ birth control pill” of fishes, from the Centrarchidae family, which are the Sunfishes and Basses. Any of the Lepomis Sunfishes will devour the eggs of Goldfish like caviar. The fact is if the foodstuffs are in plentiful supply then the Sunfishes and Basses will definitely dominate the waterways very quickly. It is not unusual for anglers here to go fishing in small lakes a pull up 75-100 Lepomis in one sitting (Because I have done just that!) and you wouldn’t see one Goldfish or carp insight. And with all the ponds we have full of Goldfish and Koi around here it is highly unlikely that these invasive Koi and/or Goldfish at one time or another were not introduced into these waterways.

When the ecosystem of a lake or pond is in unanimity with all species and the predominating game fish are those mentioned above; then Goldfish will not have a chance to disrupt that ecosystem because they will be at the bottom of the food chain and they now become other species “resources” instead of the so called invasive species as the article makes them out to be. It’s called continued existence of the most aggressive species and Goldfish are nonaggressive. That’s why they are used as feeder fish because of their convivial nature.

Goldfish go back 1,350 years now to the T’ang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) in China and they haven’t “out-competed” the native species in that country yet; so why do we think they would in ours? That’s because we Americans have over fished our lakes and ponds to death and do not place a cap on native species like the Lepomis. So when a Goldfish gets into our lakes and ponds without competition, guess what…they win native species lose.

There are many different types of Goldfish and some will grow bigger than others. The common feeder Goldfish for example is a smaller variety and was bread for the reason of feeding predatory species of fish. The Goldfish that most hobbyists keep in tanks and ponds are of this smaller variety that the US is known for. The common carp is of a bigger variety but this is not a fish kept by hobbyist. So yes, goldfish do have limitations on their size because of genetic interbreeding. In order to become bigger carp they must be interbred with Cyprinus carpio and not Carassius auratus or Carassius auratus auratus. You also have subspecies like Carassius auratus argenteaphthalmus, buergeri, gibelio, grandoculis, and langsdorfii.

Lets also not forget that these fish are the earliest known fish to be domesticated as pets. They were also the fist to be kept by hobbyist in Victorian times in the US in Aquariums and ponds and is the most commonly kept of all aquarium fish today. More Goldfish are sold each year in the USA than any other species of fish.

It is also a know fact that fish that live in warmer climates like Hawaii or Florida will grow faster and bigger than in colder climates. Some of the biggest Bass caught on record in the US are from southern states and not the colder northern states.