What are the various ways to bring up the pH of our pond water
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Through out my koi hobby (and until today), I have on going problems with the pH of my pond water. The source water from the tap in my area is between 7.2 to 7.4, which is OK for the kois. But my issues have always been to maintain this nice balance pH. The pH constantly drops to be in the 6.5 reading. At times lower. This kind of reading is with buffering from Oyster Shells. At one time, more than 70 Kgs also do not buffer against the pH drop. Many a time I have to put in the Sodium Bicarbonate to bring the pH up........over time it drops again. When I do massive water change, it is back to normal but the pH will again drop over time. To me, it is an endless battle, and I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel yet as far as a permanent solution is concern.

    So to those that have found the solution(s), please share with us here. This is one area that has always baffled me. I honestly need to get to the bottom of this. This is next on my agenda to get it fixed...........

    My koi brothers and sisters, please assist..........
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    Post edited by Shukri at 2012-08-17 01:09:37 pm
  • JamesJames August 2012
    Posts: 1,964
    Bro Shukri, a famous HK hobbyist moved house and the condition to the new house was the quality of water needed for his koi. He ended up staying in a mansion with natural water... all problems solved and his kois flourished. He's so famous there was a documentary done on him and his kois.

    U shd have done the same before redoing your pond??
  • KChongKChong August 2012
    Posts: 348
    Hi Bro Shukri,

    So happen that I just read something regarding water hardness and it is actually related to water pH also. The following is the website http://www.koiquest.co.uk/water%20hardness.htm which I found very informative

    Cheers,
    Kelvin
  • mangkellmangkell August 2012
    Posts: 1,221
    Ehem... Ehem... Ehem..... :-ss

    Bro Shukri,

    Why don't U consider some water plant as natural buffer also?
    Natural ones also last longer U know?

    It works for me, at least... Tq :-D
    Mickeyko Ducati-Kujamon Chagreemon Brabus#Sexy-Robust
  • HDCuHDCu August 2012
    Posts: 1,117
    Bro Shukri,

    What is the KH of your source water. Nitrifying bacteria requires a minimum of 50ppm of carbonates to propogate. Your source water may be just 50 or less PPM. In addition, bacteria release a lot of acids. If you are stocking lots of koi, then you would also have loads of bacteria in your filters that eat up the carbonates thereby lowering your PH level.

    I would suggest a 24 hour drip with an added re- mineralizer. The key is to get the source water to 75 to 100 ppm KH and pond water to maintain at 50ppm which would translate at around 7.0 to 7.2 ph.

    The other solution would be to feed less, increase Water change or reduce stocking level. sodium bicarbonate is needed only if KH is near zero.
    Post edited by HDCu at 2012-08-17 01:35:58 pm
  • harry_luhurharry_luhur August 2012
    Posts: 808
    Bro Shukri,

    Agree with HDCu, and also in long seldom clean filter, pH tend to lower due to bacteria activities.
    Is this long problem rightt? Do you still encounter the problem after using bead filter?
    Regards,

    Harry Luhur
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro James,
    If like that I have to move house to Sungai Gabai and be neighbors to Bro MrKoi or buy a piece land in Janda Baik........only 2 downsides - one is the distance to KL and a very costly exercise Bro.......to built a new house, a new pond etc........ :-( but never the less, still one option.....

    Bro Kelvin, I will check that website after this............and thank you.

    Bro mangkell,
    I do not believe plants is the way to go for me........and I do not believe the plants
    will provide a total solution, and also the -ve that plants brings to the pond. But never the less, thanks for the suggestion.

    Bro HDCu,
    You are spot on with regards to the kH which is not more than 50ppm from the source water. How I wish the kH of the source water to be 100ppm.

    To feed less is not an option for me, so looks like I have to do what I have been doing all these while...........frequent water changes, water drips and adding Sodium Bicarbonate. Oyster Shells have not helped much in my case........



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  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar August 2012
    Posts: 1,763
    Sifu Shukri,

    How about coral chips. They would dissolve once the pH is lower than 7 and increase the pH.
    How old is the Oyster shells? Maybe too old can't buffer?
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Thanks Bro TK,
    The Oyster Shells are pretty new.......I do not fancy the coral chips as after a while (according to some sifus), the minute chips fragments in the water affects the skin of the kois........
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  • JamesJames August 2012
    Posts: 1,964
    Coral chips are not a good idea. They continue to dissolve and pH may become too high. Best is still to have constant water change la...
  • HDCuHDCu August 2012
    Posts: 1,117
    How about a DIY contraption consisting of Plaster of paris encapsulated in a 4 inch PVC long tube with a one inch diameter open space in the middle where pond water can pass through it. There is an in and out valve of which a small pump outs water through it. The pump can be activated with a timer. As pressurize water pass through it, some carbonate are eroded and goes to the pond. Over time, the plaster of paris will disolve and can be placed new again.

    Note: The plaster of paris make up should be calcium carbonate instead of calcium sulfide.
    Post edited by HDCu at 2012-08-17 03:58:38 pm
  • mangkellmangkell August 2012
    Posts: 1,221
    More than 10 options already......

    Close your eyes........ Pick 1 laa........ You'll get my plantation if U are lucky.... :-D
    Mickeyko Ducati-Kujamon Chagreemon Brabus#Sexy-Robust
  • megatronmegatron August 2012
    Posts: 832
    Bro Shukri, How frequent you clean your Oyster Shells? It plays the role too.....
    Don't ask me why!!!
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Surely not that frequent bro..........
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  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro Muzamir,
    If I can be honest with you, surely a bad timing for you to balik kampung at a critical moments like this.......... :-( But it is Hari Raya! And I understand....You are not feeding for 5 days.......make sure that the salt level is sufficient to buffer for the Ammonia and nitrite spikes.............and berdoa banyak2............Tawakkal tu allallah........
    Don't drip the water while you are away, else the salt level is going to be diluted.......
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  • muzamirmuzamir August 2012
    Posts: 254
    Bro Shukri,

    Point noted. Thks a lot bro. Yeah I need a lot of divine intervention at this critical stage. [-O<
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro Muzamir,
    I am serious, put in at least 0.3% salt, and with no feeding, hopefully when you are back, the NPS is over. But if you let the water drip, I am just concerned that the salt get diluted and if there is Nitrite spike, your fishes' gills could get zapped if the salt level is dangerously low........
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  • muzamirmuzamir August 2012
    Posts: 254
    Bro Shukri,
    Roger, loud and clear.
  • harry_luhurharry_luhur August 2012
    Posts: 808
    Bro M
    Agree with Bro Shukri, in ammonia spike, dripping water will help, but in nitrite, not helping at all. Have experience before when bacteria starter spoil, nitrobacter not life. Have change 90% water, but nitrite back within 2-3hours. Try to put another brand bacteria starter
    Regards,

    Harry Luhur
  • muzamirmuzamir August 2012
    Posts: 254
    Thks bro Harry for the advise. i will follow accordingly.
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro Muzamir,
    Bukan apa? Aku tak nak hang menangis tak berlagu nanti.........Insyaallah, things will be OK.
    Berhati2 di Jalan Raya........ :)
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  • muzamirmuzamir August 2012
    Posts: 254
    Thks abg Shukri. :)
  • AnuarAnuar August 2012
    Posts: 688
    Bro Muzamir, i have left my pond unattended numerous times for as long as 2 weeks. So far so good. if shit were to happen, they can take place right in front of you and sometimes our over reaction makes things worst.

    What i am trying to say is enjoy your raya, forget your kois in this coming days and spend undivided time and attention to your family and friends. Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir batin.
  • muzamirmuzamir August 2012
    Posts: 254
    Bro Anuar,
    SHR, Maaf Zahir dan batin. Thanks for the advise bro. Already did the necessary as advised by sifus before balik kampung. Hope everything is going to be fine. :)
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    I have just checked the pH just now and the reading is very low........signs of possible pH crash. I didnt want to discharge water as I am just on the chiller. I have just added sodium bicarbonate. Looks like 30 kg of Oyster Shell is not helping much.

    I have not used Corals, as a last resort I might have to.....

    Anyone in the same boat as I am before, and what is your remedy?
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    Post edited by Shukri at 2012-08-22 02:46:28 pm
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    I am relooking the plaster of paris option as suggested by Bro HDCu..........
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  • MikeMike August 2012
    Posts: 346
    Hi Shukri,

    May I ask where you get hold of the sodium bicarbonate and what is the dosage like, adding a kg at a time and measure and repeat until the desire level of PH is reached.

    ***edit ***
    My friend pond is having similar problem and all of his koi is flashing at the moment, the rest of the water parameter is ok.
    Post edited by Mike at 2012-08-22 03:08:10 pm
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    You can either get it from a cake supply shop (like the one in Taman Melawati), or any Pharmacy will gladly order for you........

    Bro adding 1 kg in one go is too sudden. I strongly advice for 200 to 250 grams in one go, possibly with intervals fo 1 to 2 hours. My fishes shows sign by flashing and gulping too.

    Adding sodium bicarbonate is only a temporary fix only.

    I believe that the so many days of raining also contributed to the low pH in my case.

    I am am evaluating and searching for a more permanent solution......
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  • MikeMike August 2012
    Posts: 346
    Thanks for the info Shukri.
  • harry_luhurharry_luhur August 2012
    Posts: 808
    Bro Shukri,
    Your oyster shell is in whole piece or chip in smaller pieces?
    Regards,

    Harry Luhur
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar August 2012
    Posts: 1,763
    Sifu Shukri,
    I just bought a new BH from Yamakoshi and as per the statement in the packing, this medium suppose to stabilize pH and polish the water as this medium is made from certain type of rock. Would update the info again if I have chance to go there today or tomorrow.
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro TK,
    Please find out more and do update me please.........
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  • lautslauts August 2012
    Posts: 1,248
    Bro Shukri, Mike,

    i used to have similar problem whenever it rains . My solution was corals and oyster. For my 60 ton, i have close to 200 ( now whats left i think) kg now and pH holds steady for many years now. Suggest following , 3kg per ton if using corals and 5kg if using oyster. Corals works better due to bigger surface area, but difficult to clean. Put it in high flow area like before the pump and clean it often like every month. They will act as buffers to absorb the H+ ion , neutralising it and pH hold steady. This will take time , and since your pH already down use Soda Bicarb asap to bring it up. Minimise stress to the kois and people ;-)
    So for now use soda when it rains until your coral/oyster kicks in, this will take time. For corals get those big ones , size of golf balls at least , easier to manage bros.

    Soda B can get from baking shop for big quantity. pH will rise to 8.3 max but do add slowly to avoid stress to much. There is a dosage : how much pH rise to gram of Soda, i can't recall now, do a search . I do have few kg of soda left , let me know if you need them.

    ts



  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro TS,
    So based on your calculation, I need about 150 kg of oyster shells......15 X 10 kg bags. That means I have under dosed all these while. I still have a water chamber, I will make full use of it then........and the water fall passage way........Before, I use about 70 kgs but still have the problem..........

    Thanks for the information bro.......
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  • lautslauts August 2012
    Posts: 1,248
    Bro Shukri,

    I think the water fall passage would be perfect. For now use Soda to stabilise while oyster builds up slowly the kH. Not more than 20mg per litre per day of Soda. ( as stated in koiphen forum by Roark) .

    ts
  • smokersmoker August 2012
    Posts: 715
    Bro Shukri,
    I never measured pH in my pond for along time, and seeing this thread, make me checked my pH just now, fortunately still in good point.

    Have you checked the pH differ between morning and afternoon?
    Beside oyster shell, i have ever read that BS also help to stabilize pH.
  • HDCuHDCu August 2012
    Posts: 1,117
    Bro Smoker,

    BS does not stabilize PH per se. What BS does as well as heavy aeration in submerged filters is that it helps minimize carbonic acid formed from the decomposition of organic waste. The free CO2 released during respiration and breakdown of organic waste by bacteria reacts with water, pro- ducing carbonic acid (H2CO3), and pH is lowered. By employing BS and heavy aeration, excess CO2 is diffused back to atmosphere.
  • smokersmoker August 2012
    Posts: 715
    Thanks for the brighten me up Bro HDCu.
    I am very weak in this technicalities things :-D
    Releasing CO2 means pH is lowered, so for long term, does it mean BS will lower pH ?
    Post edited by smoker at 2012-08-22 07:08:53 pm
  • niveknivek August 2012
    Posts: 1,251
    Now here's an observation. Bro Shukri you've just obtained your new chiller and have slowly/quickly began to bring down your pond water temperature which in return have made the kois (overstock?) more active with larger appetites. Now wouldn't the increase in activity and maybe feed increase the CO2 levels thus causes a sudden drop in pH?
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro Lauts,
    20mg per liter means 200,000 mg per 10,000 liters i.e. 200 grams for 10 ton of water. So for my pond, I cannot exceed more than 600 grams of Sodium Bicarbonate.
    I need someone to verify whether my calculations is correct here!
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    Post edited by Shukri at 2012-08-22 07:40:41 pm
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar August 2012
    Posts: 1,763
    Sifu Shukri,
    Yes, your calculation is correct based on the info given by Bro Ts. 600 gm max per day. The Soda would bring up max to pH 8.4 but not overnight
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Thank you Bro TK........
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  • harry_luhurharry_luhur August 2012
    Posts: 808
    Bro Wahyu,

    CO2 will drop pH, O2 will increase pH. BS increase O2 also strip CO2.
    Uncontrolled algae grow can cause pH and O2 swing.
    Regards,

    Harry Luhur
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    All is making sense........
    More fish appetite, more eating, more fish wastes and and the by products is CO2. CO2 reaction with water will be Carbonic Acid. In the process of Synthesis, CO2 is consumed and one of the by product is O2, but I do not have plants in my pond and will not be even in the future. Having the carpet algaes at the walls and the base of the pond will eat up the nitrates and I do not know whether they also photo synthesize during the day, possibly is.

    So I need to neutralize this carbonic acid..........got to increase alkalinity (carbonate hardness). I wonder whether using Sodium Bicarbonate regularly is a bad thing! These are relatively cheap actually..........but does not put up the buffer for long.......

    Looks like I have to incluse 150 kg of oyster shells into my system.......and that is a lot of oyster shells........ :-( My issue is definitely space and the aesthetic of the pond......
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  • HDCuHDCu August 2012
    Posts: 1,117
    Bro Shukri,

    As per my readings, if one employs a bead filter, ones KH should not be below 100 ppm as compared to aerated submerged filters.
  • lautslauts August 2012
    Posts: 1,248
    Bro Shukri and bros,

    The dosage of 20mg per lit for Soda B per day suggested , is to increase kH without stressing the kois. Sometimes it is abt lesser of two evils , say if you have a pH drop to 6 and after adding Soda amount , still no change, you need to add more. Both , koi in pH 6 and increasing pH drastically is stressful. I would up pH to say 7 from 6 , then next day up it to 7.8 and hope it holds .

    Pls note : - " It is interesting to note that rapid changes toward the basic end of the pH scale are much less stressful to fish than those toward the acid end " .
    - "When large amounts of carbonates are suddenly added to a pond with a very low pH, excess carbon dioxide may be released resulting in oxygen starvation."

    If space is concern , use corals, only half is needed. We all know the bad rap corals gets but if you clean it often i see no problem. We need corals/oyster more than just to buffer pH, we need it also importantly for the biofilters.

    Pls note : - "What you might not realize is that the biofilter bacteria directly consume carbonates at a fairly high rate of speed. Biofilters consume carbonates both directly via bacterial action and indirectly by the production of nitrous acid."
    - " An established biofilter is capable of turning ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate. The bacteria responsible for this change are Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter. Together, they consume about 7.2 mg of carbonates for every 1 mg of ammonia. When you consider that 1 kg of koi food containing 38% to 40% protein will produce an average of 40 grams of pure ammonia, this means that 295.2 grams (295,200 mg) of carbonates will be consumed."

    What bro HDCu mention abt degassing applies for CO2 as well as (maybe) ammonia too in BS and S.Bar.

    For those extra info on pH, hardness :
    http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?63622-Of-course-we-must-talk-about-Hardness.

    ts
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar August 2012
    Posts: 1,763
    Hi All,

    Update, I had stopped feeding for 6 days as I'm doing dimilin treatment. Before treatment, the pH was 7.6 but today morning is 8.2.

    All the above statement from Bro Nivek, Sifu Shukri, Sifu Ts is true.eg: More feeding= pH goes down, less feeding = pH goes up

    Sifu Shukri, why don't reduce feeding for few days until the pH issue resolved?
  • lautslauts August 2012
    Posts: 1,248
    bro TK,

    You are discovering the old conventional wisdom of no feeding when there are issues with the pond and kois O:)

    ts
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Hi all,
    Real interesting reading here. Very good discussion and some are in depths.......Good stuff! :-D This is what the Forum is for..........helping each other out....... :-D
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  • gerrygerry August 2012
    Posts: 777
    I use corals to buffer my pond's pH. So far, reading has always been in the low 7 region i.e 7.2 - 7.5. Once it went up to 7.8.

    So, i guess corals help a lot.... I just rinse them with pond water once a month.... no big deal and no fuss... although mine is just 4 bags la for 3.6 tonned pond... :-D
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar August 2012
    Posts: 1,763
    Sifu TS,
    Yes, that is the best solution I can think of so far. It always work to your benefits :)

    Sifu Shukri,
    As you requested:
    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/8972/IMG_1038.JPG
    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/8973/IMG_1040.JPG
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    If I read the instruction right, I need more than 500 lbs for my pond........ :-(
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  • smokersmoker August 2012
    Posts: 715
    I use this matala bio active stone in the bottom of my BS.
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    OK noted and thanks for the info.........
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  • niveknivek August 2012
    Posts: 1,251
    Put in 20kg of coral into my 13 ton pond this morning and my ph shot up to 8.4 Removing 10kg now lol.
  • lautslauts August 2012
    Posts: 1,248
    Careful with pH increase, in higher pH ammonia will be more poisonous bro. is this a new pond , is so you may not need corals as yet.

    ts
  • niveknivek August 2012
    Posts: 1,251
    sorry newbie mistake..this morning's readings all back to normal at 7.2 :)
  • ShukriShukri August 2012
    Posts: 4,881
    Very true about Ammonia being toxic and poisonous in high pH..........
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