Koi Pond

Koi Pond

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Helix Pond Life Support Design Guide

The Helix Life Support Design Guide

Published: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 07:59:18
By: Mark Lawson


The Helix Life Support Design Guide was created to help homeowners and
contractors understand the different pond construction techniques and
philosophies that are standard practice in the pond industry today.
The Helix Life Support Design Guide
When outlining the goals and expectations of your pond before building, you can determine the type of pond construction that best fits your desires. The schematics in the following pages along with the specifications and philosophies will help you understand the different pond construction styles and maintenance requirements.
The Helix Design Guide should be used as a reference to help determine which pond meets your goals and expectations. The schematics in the following pages do not encompass all of the possibilities and pond design configurations.
Consult with your Authorized Helix Retailer or an Authorized Helix Contractor who can answer questions regarding your specific design. 

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!
The Helix Life Support Design Guide
Water Garden Pond Philosophy
This is a fantastic low maintenance pond that relies on Mother Nature to help manage water quality with aquatic plants and weekly additions of beneficial bacteria. This low maintenance pond requires simple weekly maintenance and minimal quarterly maintenance. An annual drain is recommended to thin aquatic plants and thoroughly clean the gravel bed on the floor of the pond. The water garden pond is typically 18" to 24" deep. We recommend stocking the pond conservatively with goldfish and/or small koi. This pond is not suitable for large adult koi as a long-term habitat.
The Helix Life Support Design Guide
Advanced Water Garden / Ecosystem Pond Philosophy
As the water garden owner becomes more infatuated with the hobby and outdoor lifestyle, the pond owner has
increased goals and expectations. By simply increasing the bio filtration and adding aeration to the pond, this creates better water quality for the inhabitants such as koi, goldfish, turtles, minnows and algae eaters. The pond maintenance will remain the same with simple weekly maintenance; minimal quarterly maintenance and an annual
draining is recommended to thin aquatic plants and thoroughly clean the gravel bed.
The Helix Life Support Design Guide
Advanced Undergravel Suction Grid Ecosystem Pond Philosophy
The Pond with an Under Gravel Suction Grid greatly improves water clarity and water quality, reduces annual maintenance and allows the homeowner to stock the pond with larger fish populations. The entire floor of this pond becomes a living bio-filter and digests debris that settles to the bottom of the pond. This is a very low maintenance pond, requiring simple weekly maintenance and minimal quarterly maintenance including thinning out aquatic plants in the active bog filter. Annual draining is NOT required for deep cleaning. This pond is suitable for large koi as a long-term habitat.
The Helix Life Support Design Guide
Dedicated Koi Pond Philosophy
This pond is designed with the sole purpose of showcasing koi fish without distraction and creating an environment that does not require annual draining of the pond. The Dedicated Koi pond relies on the use of technology to manage water quality. The main objective is to remove all organic waste and solids from the pond via skimmers & bottom drains. Once the solid waste is removed and separated from the water column, clear water is processed in the
bio-filter, run through a UV clarifier and returned to the pond. The Dedicated Koi Pond requires 15 to 30 minutes of maintenance each week and does not require an annual draining for deep cleaning.
The Helix Life Support Design Guide
Detail A
Clean Out Depression
Notice in this cross section detail the Clean Out depression in the bottom of the pond’s floor. If you take the time to create this clean out depression during your excavation, it will make your annual pond clean out more efficient. Once the pond is nearly empty, during your clean out, you would simply move the gravel out of the pocket and place your clean out pump in this depression. By placing your clean out pump in this depression you will have an easier time removing all the dirty water from the pond.
Detail B
Static Bog Plant Shelf
This is a great method for naturalizing the edge treatment of your pond. By extending the excavation beyond some of the coping stones you can create Aquatic Planters. Once the aquatic plants are installed you simply add gravel to one inch above level of water. This will give the appearance that the aquatic plants are growing on the outside of the pond but will actually be contained inside the lining of the pond. You never need to water these marginal plants and it makes the pond look extremely natural.
Detail C
Aquatic Plant Shelf
When you plan on installing aquatic plants on the inside of the pond, it’s important to provide an adequate sized shelf to support a nice grouping of specimen plants. Notice in Detail A there is not room to support a nice sized specimen plant. When excavating a water garden ecosystem pond we will typically mix these excavation details up in the design.


The Helix Life Support Design Guide
Detail D
Under Gravel Suction Grid
When installing an under gravel suction grid we are typically using a 2" manifold assembly for the suction grid with a series of three 3/8" holes every 6" across the bottom of the suction grid. We recommend using a 6" layer of 3/4"
ROUND gravel covering the top of the suction grid by approximately 2". All ends of the manifold will be
capped and each cap will have one 3/8" hole drilled at the bottom side of the cap.
Detail E
Dedicated Koi Pond
Since the Dedicated Koi Pond will not have any rocks to support the walls of excavation we suggest taking proper measures to create support for your coping stones so the edges of your pond do not collapse. In this case we have described a concrete bond beam around the perimeter of the pond to support large coping stones that will
frame the water’s edge. Notice the excavation is different than all the other excavation details with a
curved bottom wall transition that tapers towards a bottom drain. This detail may not be necessary in all
soil conditions and may not be adequate in sandy conditions or depths greater than 48".
Detail F
Active Bog Plant Shelf
When installing an Active Bog Filter we want to have the same excavation detail as the Static Bog Plant Shelf in Detail B only a little deaper because we are making room for a manifold assembly of PVC pipe we will be
installing at the bottom of the shelf. We will be pumping water into the bottom of the plant shelf and upflow water through the gravel bed and aquatic plant roots to greatly improve your pond’s filtration capacity. The manifold assembly we build out similar to the Under Gravel Suction Grid Detail D. We recommend using ROUND ornamental gravel no smaller than 3/8" and no larger than 3/4". The depth of the gravel bed should be a minimum of 8" and maximum of 12".

The Helix Life Support Equipment listed below is what you need to build a basic ecosystem water garden up to a couple thousand gallons.
The Helix Life Support Equipment listed below is the backbone of your filtration system for
this pond. The suction grid will typically be built on location so it can be customized to the shape of your pond’s floor.

The Helix Life Support Equipment below is what you will need to build an Advanced Water Garden / Ecosystem Pond. When installing this pond we would advise you to consider making the pond deeper than 2'.
The Helix Life Support Equipment listed below will be the main components you’ll need for your pond dedicated to koi. The schematics are there for a guide but understand the equipment can be moved around to fit the layout of your property.
Copyright© 2014 by The Pond Digger, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

We have Koi pond filters and Pond Filtration systems to match any pond design you can dream up. You can find simple fish pond filters for water gardens, eco-system ponds, and water gardens to more advanced pond filtration systems for hybrid ponds and koi ponds and make your pond maintenance routine quick and easy. Mainstream up flow pond filtration in waterfalls,
The Helix Life Support Pond Filtration provides Massive ammonia consumption. The Compact Helix moving bed waterfall filter can process the fish waste produced by 1 pound of fish food per day. The Standard Moving Bed processes a massive 3 pounds per day!
Filtration is purpose driven. The purpose of pond filtration is to remove the ammonia that is produced by your pond fish. The removal of ammonia is done by beneficial bacteria - which colonize a moving bed filter like no other filter - in an oxygen rich environment.
Self cleaning. A moving bed filter is by definition self cleaning. The airlift current created by the fine air diffuser forces debris out of the filter. This debris is then collected by your separate mechanical pond filter. Having a moving bed filter on your koi pond improves water quality, therebyimproving fish health and size. Koi will want to eat more because the trace leftovers from their last meal aren't as concentrated as before due to the moving bed.
Easily hidden. Typical moving bed filters are made out of drums or even larger contraptions, and we sell those too. What's special about this one is that it is designed to be integrated into the actual landscape of the pond - unlike the competition.
This is where your Helix Pond Life Support Filtration provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow on special media. These bacteria remove harmful pollutants from pond water. Known as the "Biological Filter" these beneficial bacteria convert poisonous compounds such as ammonia and nitrite, into less toxic nitrate. The end by-product, nitrate, is used as a food source by aquatic plants. This continuous process is called the nitrogen cycle.
Biological Pond Filtration relies on specific bacteria to break down toxic waste products to less harmful substances. There are two stages in the breakdown of ammonia, each stage involving different types of bacteria. The first stage is the breakdown of ammonia to nitrite by nitrifying bacteria, most important of which is Nitrosomonas. The second stage is the conversion of nitrite to nitrate by Nitrobacter.
Both of these groups of bacteria are aerobic (needing oxygen to live), sediment building up in the filter will deplete the oxygen levels so it is important to keep sediment to a minimum by having a settlement chamber first and by cleaning the filter out occasionally (but not using tap water as the chlorine will kill the bacteria).
A variety of different media are available to put in the filter, materials such as gravel, matting, hair rollers, foam, and canterbury spar are all suitable as they provide lots of surfaces for the bacteria to live on.
A biological filter will take weeks or months to mature, cultures of nitrifying bacteria are widely available and will speed up the process.
® For information on Helix Pond Life Support Systems or design aspects with Helix Pond Life Support Systems contact us at:
Website: www.koidepot.com
Office: 619-749-1409

©2004-2014 Koi Depot San Diego-all rights reserved

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Treatment Plan for “Aeromonas Hydrophila” Part 2

Now that we have determined what "Strain of Bacteria" we have by the C/S swab, we can now start a treatment plan. Your veterinarian will have also determined and prescribed the proper antibiotic that will be sensitive to the strain on report.  This is very important to give the vet the length of Koi that our being treated, as this determines the dose of  antibiotic. Below is a dosage chart that we have used and been verified by our vet for Baytril which is the most common antibiotic used.





Most treatments are 6 injections from our experience 3 days in a row then 3 EOD (every other day) and our vet agrees on this plan of attack.

What she recommends is to do injections IM there can be drawbacks on doing IM but to date have not had any problems with welts. Below is a description of the 3 ways to inject.


Injection Descriptions:

There are three injection sites on a Koi; Intraperoteneal (IP), Intramuscular (IM), and Intravenous (IV).  IM is the most common & the most effective method.  Antibiotics or vaccines injected into the peritoneal cavity are absorbed into the fish’s system slowly as opposed to oral medication which will mostly pass straight through.


IP is the second choice for injection and is used if the Koi has ulcers that have broken through to the body cavity.  Any medication injected into the peritoneal cavity in a fish of this condition could drain out through the ulcer.  The drawback to IM is that the muscle tissue of the fish will contract and force some of the injected material to be squeezed back out the injection site.  IM can sometimes leave visible welts from trauma to the muscle tissue.


The IM injection is performed with similar needle angle and direction, but it is in the muscular tissue along and to the side of the dorsal fin (see Drawing 2). With a muscular injection, you must keep the needle in the muscle tissue and press the plunger as you with draw the needle giving room for the fluid to enter.  Because of this, the needle must be inserted deeply.

What we recommend is to inject on one side and then move to the opposite side for next injection. Start toward backside and on each rotation move up a bit for the next injection. We have found by the 3rd or 4th injection along with topical treatment you can start to see improving results.

We found that by using a 30" Smart Koi Net that we had less stress and a much easier time holding and injecting Koi. You can leave Koi submersed in water without having to remove them to inject. You can also do the topical treatment at the same time and then release back to pond or QT.









We find it best to clean the open ulcer the first 2-3 days of injections, after that we just use the ointment and denture powder only without scrubbing wound. The reason we don't after the first few days is we do not want to destroy any tissue that is regenerating over ulcer. We use hydro peroxide with a cotton swab to clean and remove any dead tissue and clean under the layer of scales around wound. After doing that we apply Debride is a medicated ointment or Panalog from your vet. 





Panolog (Only available through Vet) is a formulation that contains medications with anti-puritic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties.The ointment provides relief against the symptoms of variety of ear and skin infections that are perilous for dogs and cats. We also use Tricide Neo® as topical powder for anti-bacterial to the open ulcer We then use denture powder to apply over ointment or Tricide-Neo to seal it it. 




Precaution to only treat red, bloody wounds. Look closely at the ulcer before you catch the fish. If the ulcer is pink with a white rim do not scrub it with peroxide or iodine – it is already healing on its own. 

At this time we also follow up with a medicated food for the next 2-3 weeks, feeding daily to all the Koi pond or QT. We found that Debride RX Medicated Koi Food is a triple antibiotic medicated food that fish will actually eat. Along with injection for the open ulcers and topical treatment and medicated food it will give you the 1-2-3 punch to heal your Koi.

Before: 



After treatments:


Until then "Happy Ponding"  from "Koiman"





Sunday, December 22, 2013

Treatment Plan for “Aeromonas Hydrophila”

Treatment Plan for “Aeromonas hydrophila” .........Part One


For some of us warmer weather (So Cal) is not to far off as we have a short winter like temperatures here. No matter what area or zone your in one should have a game plan if you should have a break out. This is Part One of a series on this subject of Koi Health and how to properly deal with it and most of all "How to take steps to reduce or prevent it a out break"

I will be going through a step by step description as to what we have done to treat ulcers from these bacteria strains from field experience and working with our local veterinarian. 

First we will need a few things and will make a check list as we go here. I also will be talking about some Do’s and Don’ts.

First let’s talk about one of the Don’ts:

I have seen and responded to many ponds that are having entire pond stock with ulcers. The one reason for this is that when it first breaks out most folks will go to local pet store and ask for help. I find most of the time the staff have never seen this or even know the proper way to treat. So what happens is that store staff start reading the OTC (Over the counter) pill boxes and end up selling you whole lot of antibiotic in a capsule for your pond Ampaicillan / Penicillin or MelaFix.  So you head home and add 5,10 boxes of capsules to pond, well that does one thing only simply kill off your biological bio-film or bio-filter. Now you have created a whole new problem ammonia / nitrite levels rise thus creating more stress on fish. Or if your in a Koi club you may get 2-3 idea’s and treatments they used that worked for them,but may not for you! So why might they not be right for your problem? Well there are many strains of this bacteria and sometimes more than one type together. So I can not emphasize this point enough DON'T start to add all kinds of stuff to your pond you may be doing more harm than good!

The Do's:

So this is what I recommend before you do anything contact your local Vet or a Pond specialist to have what is called a C/S or culture and sensitive test. 

With this test you now will know what it is your dealing with (Bacteria) and what drugs (Injectables) will work some strains have mutated out and what once worked may not any more! Reason for this is like anything else folks try what others have done and thus allowing some strains to build resistance. This is common with most Enrofloxacin type drugs.  

Once again I can't emphasize enough to find out WHAT IT IS you going to treat and WHAT IT IS you need to treat with!

Another Do:

I would recommend that you contact Pond specialist he/she will check water quality/stocking levels/filtration/do a scraping of Koi and then look for parasites. Parasites (Flukes) can spread bacteria like Aeromonas hydrophila from one Koi to next. You then can treat for the parasite(s) and then you will have better odds of controlling the out break in the pond. Some of the most common reason for break outs is water quality,stocking levels, under filtration or poor pond design. These are things that need to be addressed or this might become an on going issue in your pond.

If your in or know of a local Koi Club, then ask as to whom the club recommends for Pond specialist. Give them a call and don't be afraid to ask questions!
  • Do you make house calls?
  • Can you provide a C/S service?
  • Do you work with any local vets?
  • What do you recommend for the first step in treatment?
  • Do you scope/check Koi for parasites?


Another Don't:

If the Pond specialist say you don't need all that. We know what it is Ulcer Disease,Hole in the side. We will do this treatment or that we recommend this product without even looking at your Koi or verifying what it is there dealing with. Then "Say I will get back to you" walk or run away and look for someone else.

So we have gotten results back and know from the C/S that you have "Aeromonas hydrophila"
and we also know that it sensitive to Baytril (Or other antibiotic) and will work in killing bacteria. Most dosing amounts will be done by the vet, so you just have to follow there directions. Most cases it will be 3 injections in a row and 3 EOD ( every other day). Now to help heal the ulcer this we have found to work best in all cases. You will need the following item's: 
  •  Rubber gloves (Throw away)
  • Cotton balls/ Q-tips
  • Povidone Iodine 10%
  • Panalog medicated ointment (Vet)
  • DeBride medicated ointment
  • Tricide-Neo
  • Wound bandage product (Denture Powder we find works great)
You may want to also look at the below "Check List" to add to your arsenal for spring.


Koi Health Care Items Check List
Basic Items     
      
Potassium Permanganate   
Hydrogen Peroxide    
Prazi     
Proform-C     
Debride Medicated Ointment   
Formalin     
Tricide-Neo Dip    
Clove Oil or MS-222   
Salt     
Sodium Thiosulfate   
ClorAm-X    
Bio-Bandage Gel/Powder   
Povidone Iodine 10%   
Baytril (Prescribed by Vet) Long shelf life 
       
Equipment
      
Microscope (Slips/Glass Slides)   
A Gram Scale    
Syringes ( 5/8" 25 gauge / Diabetic)  
Q-tips     
Tweezers    
Scissors     
Latex gloves    
Protective Eyewear   
Measuring Cup    
Nets     
Koi Tub     
Test KitpH/Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate/kH/gH/O2 
Salinity Meter    
Digital Thermometer/Floating Type  
ORP Meter    
       
Quarantine Tank
      
A Q-tank (Aeration/Heater/Filter)  
Net to cover Q-Tank   
Net & Tub for Q-Tank Only   
Canary Koi    
       
Reference Materials
      
Dr. Eric Johnson Koi Health & Disease  
AKCA Guide to Koi Health
 


We will go into proper follow up wound treatment while your doing your injections in "Part Two" of :
Treatment Plan for “Aeromonas hydrophila” 

Until then "Happy Ponding"  from "Koiman"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Importance Of Water Changes and Aeration ...........

The filtration that Mother Nature provides is always “flow through” whereby water enters and it exits, it is constantly being replenished. Our Koi ponds are like recirculating toilets and it is the primary task of the pond keeper and his or her filtration methods to remove the debris and waste from the toilet, known as “mechanical filtration”.

But there is more to that then just “mechanical filtration” removing solids,debris from the water column. Water changes are simply the removal of old water, and the replacement of that old water with new and fresh water. It sounds so simple but there are problems that every pond owner should be aware of. First, water can be chlorinated. Second, a lot of people don’t do water changes, at all. Thirdly, failure to do water changes allows the accumulation of a multitude of pollution such as phosphates and proteins which inhibit fish health and growth. Finally, water changes are needed to replenish trace elements and minerals in the water which fish need.

It has been found through various studies and surveys that more than forty percent of the hobby
does not do ANY water changes at all. This would account for recurring illness among the fish,
slow growth, and poor color. This is the most common cause of the “seven inch, seven year old”
Koi. A Koi in good water with plenty of water changes should grow at least 3-4 inches per year.

This is what I feel a very important point:

Topping off the pond is not a water change. You should know this about water: The solids in
water do NOT evaporate, nor do many of the chemicals in the water. This means that the nitrates,
phosphates, a good bit of the carbon dioxide, all the salt, minerals, etc NEVER leave the pond
and will accumulate over time. As the pond water level goes down by evaporation, you may
notice that the fish perk up as you add water back. There is a transient increase in water quality
after the addition of ‘new” water but it’s rapidly offset by the dissolution of the existing
background pollution. So, “topping off” actually concentrates solids and organic chemicals in the
water over time. Real water changes should be endeavored. This just a suggestion for a guide line to follow:

Every Week 10 per cent water change
Every 2 weeks 20 per cent water change
Every 3 weeks 30 per cent water change

A quote from Dr Eric Johnston DVM:

"It is HIGHLY recommend that twice to three times per year you should perform a 60-70% water change to really REFRESH the
pond. You will notice a real boost to fish health and growth.
Major water change: Simply drain the pond down 60-70% and add the proper amount of
dechlorinator. Then refill the pond. Don’t do this in the PEAK of summer as you might chill the
fish. But SURELY in the early summer and late summer you should find the fish VERY
appreciative of this service. If you are performing the recommended water changes, you should
have robust, hungry and healthy fish. Fish may still become ill, of course; however it is much
less common in well managed ponds with lots of FRESH WATER. Fact is, if you wouldn't swim 
in the pond, your fish shouldn't be swimming there either."

Quick note about Chlorinated tap water;

Chlorinated and chloraminated water is usually supplied to hobbyists “at the tap” from
municipal water supplies. The water company adds these two chemicals to disinfect the
water. Each day, municipal source-water is tested for eggs, spores, ova and cysts of
various pathogens. If any are found, it may be that the municipal water authority will
double or triple the chlorine or chloramines concentration. Spraying the water into the air
and allowing it to fall into the pond slowly WILL dissipate some of the chlorine, but will
it dissipate all of it? No, so we must Dechlorinate. By dechlorinating the water, you can
be 100% sure the chlorine is gone and will not harm your fish. When your municipal
water supply uses Chloramine, you will be relieved to know that dechlorinator can still
bind the harmful Chlorine. The remaining Ammonia should be no match for a cycled
(properly functioning, well colonized) filtration system. Choose the proper dechlorinator
for your needs.  

Homemade Chlorine Neutralizer 
Make a solution consisting of 4 ounces (1/4 lb) Sodium Thiosulfate crystals (photo or technical grade) dissolved in 1 gallon of distilled or deionized water. Use 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of the solution for each 10 gallons of makeup water to neutralize up to 3.75 ppm chlorine. One cup can be used for each 500 gallons.
(The entire one gallon of solution will treat about 7500 gallons of tap water.) The shelf life of the solution is about six months when stored in a cool location. The crystals will keep for several years if kept dry. When pretreating replacement water, the dosage is for the quantity of water being replaced, not the total pond capacity! Although it would be better to treat all tap water being added, small amounts of replacement water without dechlorination treatment are often added without noticeable effects to the fish. It is recommended that any time more than one percent of the pond water is being added, it be treated. Do not use chlorinated tap water to clean your bio converter (filter) media unless you are actually trying to sterilize it. Water from the pond is a much better choice for this task. There are several other brands that are on most pond store shelves Prime,ClorAm-X.

Koi ponds can never have enough oxygen, and if you think that your waterfall provides a sufficient amount, be assured that this is never the case. Koi can’t live without it and algae cannot grow with it. Algae blooms occur in the warmest, least oxygenated parts of a pond. By utilizing an aerator, you maintain pond circulation and temperature while adding oxygen to aid the fish, ward off algae, and lift noxious gasses of decaying debris to the surface of the pond.

I would like to share an artical that Ray Jorden post and is solid advice for folks in high heat index areas.

HOT WEATHER POND TIPS

By Ray Jordan

I have had several phone calls recently about pond problems that were directly related to
our summer heat. It is the “Dog Days of Summer” already and the heat can be a real
problem for you, your pond, and your fish. So what are some of the things you need to
know and can do to help your pond and it’s inhabitants thrive during the summer?

1. The biggest hazard to your fish in the warmer months is low oxygen levels. Air
breathing creatures like us live in an oxygen rich environment that is about 21%
oxygen. However the amount of oxygen dissolved in water is so small it is
measured in parts per million. At 90 degrees Fahrenheit only about 7.0 parts per
million of dissolved oxygen can be maintained in fresh water. It would take a lot
of aeration to get your ponds oxygen to near saturation levels. 7.0 ppm is about
50,000 times less oxygen than found in the air we breathe. At elevations above
sea level the amount of oxygen would be even less. There is really very little
cushion when you consider that koi and goldfish become stressed at oxygen levels
of 4.0 ppm and start dying at 3.0 ppm. Hopefully, this gives you some
appreciation of how important aeration is to your fish. Also, remember that the
beneficial bacteria that live in your filter are dependent on the amount of oxygen
in the water to thrive and do their job of converting ammonia to nitrites and
nitrates by utilizing the dissolved oxygen in your pond as well. Therefore low
oxygen levels would suppress the “good” bacteria and let ammonia levels
increase to potentially dangerous levels.
Finally, the aquatic submerged plants like algae in your pond are both beneficial
and detrimental to oxygen levels. During the day green plants produce oxygen.
However, at night, these same plants consume oxygen and compete with your fish
for the limited supply of oxygen in the water. This is why fish kills usually
happen in the early morning hours. For this reason you should measure your
oxygen levels in the early morning.
Sadly, I have had several calls already this year where pond owners have had fish
die because of low oxygen levels. As you can guess these fish kills are cascades
of events that can finally result in a disaster. A combination of warmer water,
faster plant growth, and a growing biomass of fish finally cause the oxygen level
to drop to the point where fish are stressed enough to get sick or start dying.
OK! Now you know the problems of low oxygen levels. So how do you measure
your pond’s oxygen level and correct it if needed. The easiest method is to buy
an oxygen test kit. Be sure to get one for fresh water. You fill a test tube with
pond water to a predetermined level and then add a reagent and match the color
a chart. You also, need to know your pond’s water temperature to determine how
“saturated” your pond is with oxygen. The goal is to approach the saturation
point at a given water temperature. Also, you should place additional air stones in
your pond during the hottest summer months. If your current air pump does not
allow you to add more air stones consider buying another air pump to allow you
to add more air stones for the hottest summer months. Remember, if your electricity goes off for some
 reason during the hottest summer months you will
have much less time before the oxygen is depleted from your water if the oxygen
level was not at maximum saturation already.
How much aeration should you have in a healthy moderately stocked koi pond? I
would suggest at minimum 80 liters per minute per 3,000 gallons of water. This
can be supplied in a variety of ways. Use air stones positioned in your pond,
waterfall area or filters. Some type of koi pond filter also requires aeration and
this counts towards your total as well. It is almost impossible to supply too much
aeration to a koi pond in warmer months.

2. You need to do what you can to keep your pond water temperature from getting
above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You can assume your fish are stressed if your water
temperature goes over 90 degrees or your pond temperature changes by more than
+/- 5 degrees during the day. Find a way to shade your pond from the hottest part
of the afternoon sun. Plant a tall hedge on the west side of your pond or place
some tall pot plants to help provide some relief. Consider building an arbor over
your pond or a trellis to help provide some shade. If you have water lilies try to
get about 50% - 60% of the water surface covered. Increase your water
circulation. Also, if you have an outside filter system for your pond try to create
some shade for it as well. Perhaps you could build a trellis or plant a hedge that
could act not only as a sunscreen but also hide the filter from view for the rest of
the year. If you have a waterfall or fountain increase the water flows if you can.
If your fountain can be adjusted try for a fine mist type effect. Maybe this is the
time to consider getting a larger water pump. This will promote evaporation
which will have an additional cooling effect. Another method to cool the area
around your pond is to use one of the “mist-er” products you might have noticed
at some restaurants and amusement parks. We have one that we bought at Home
Depot for about $13. You hook the mist-er to a garden hose and it has several
tiny outlets that create a very fine almost fog like mist that can cool the immediate
area by up to twenty degrees. This mist-er could be placed on a timer to come on
for an hour or so every afternoon in the hottest part of the day. A side benefit to
this is you can be more comfortable and able to enjoy your pond on even the
hottest afternoons. Several years ago we went on a summer pond tour in Florida
and every backyard used these misters to cool the area. The amount of water they
use is very minimal. Perhaps a few gallons an hour at most.

3. Reduce the amount of food you feed and also reduce feedings to only once or
twice a day. Try to feed in the morning or late evening when the water
temperature is lower. Remember optimum water temperature for koi and goldfish
is between 70 and 78F degrees. Once your water temperature goes above that
level over feeding your fish can cause additional problems with ammonia levels
and oxygen depletion.

4. Warmer water temperatures and stressed fish can also mean increased
susceptibility to parasites. Anchor worms and fish lice can be seen without a
microscope but flukes and other microscopic fish parasites cannot. There is an
article in this newsletter that deals with parasite detection and control. Learn how
to scrape your fish and look for parasites with a microscope.


In every pond or even the simplest recirculating water feature you will find all kinds of 
aquatic life of some kind. 
Let’s think of our ponds as a collection of living creatures, fish, plants, algae, frogs, 
bacteria and tiny insects. All of these breathe like you and I and all need oxygen. All the flora and fauna (green stuff) breath oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Think of your pond as breathing in oxygen during the day, breathing out carbon dioxide at night. Carbon dioxide problems in the pond can be controlled by aeration, by waterfalls, aeration using simple fountains and UV lights which will reduce those tiny suspended 
algae cells that make water go green and use oxygen.
Carbon dioxide in pond water results from a number of sources including: 
1. Waste products decaying at the bottom of the pond. (Keep your pond clean)
2. Respiration by pond inhabitants.... fish, insects, plants, algae. (Keep your pond clean) 
Of course all of us know first and foremost that oxygen in pond water is essential. Carbon 
dioxide is also of critical importance. Oxygen and carbon dioxide also work in concert 
with each other. In simple terms as carbon dioxide levels increase in a pond then oxygen 
levels tend to decrease. This follows a natural pattern from dawn to dusk (daytime) 
oxygen levels in the pond increase and decrease again from dusk to dawn (night). 
Carbon dioxide concentrations in water act in reverse - falling during daylight hours and 
rising during the night. Oxygen levels are at their highest at dusk and carbon dioxide 
levels are highest at dawn. This means You MUST Beware of algae blooms in ponds. 
Dawn is the critical time in a pond. If something is going to go wrong it is often just 
before first light because at this stage the oxygen level dissolved in the pond water will be 
at the minimum. Often people wake up to find dead fish... and ask what happened? Such 
deaths could be associated with very low oxygen levels coinciding with high carbon 
dioxide levels. When ponds are full of suspended algae such problems can arise quickly. 
If there is a very small amount of algae bloom in the pond then you will find oxygen and 
carbon dioxide levels will not change significantly between early morning and late 
afternoon. On the other hand dense pea soup type water will show very significant 
variations. 

The first thing to realize is that oxygen concentrations are highest in winter because water 
is cooler. Because oxygen concentrations are high the oxygen reserve is not depleted as 
quickly during the night. Plant and animal life has also slowed down significantly. On occasions fish in ponds with no fountains or waterfalls may look listless in winter due to carbon dioxide levels being excessive but this is normally associated with a long run of calm dull days - in these circumstances there is no natural wave action to allow oxygen to be transferred to the water. The problem quickly sorts itself out when windy and bright weather returns. In summer water will hold much less oxygen and the animal and plant life (algae) is also thriving due to higher temperatures along with more nutrients in the water associated 
with feeding fish. The living organisms are therefore emitting more carbon dioxide in a 
situation of potentially disastrously low oxygen levels. Fish then die from lack of oxygen 
and suffocate. 

Experts advise that all ponds should be aerated using either a simple fountain or waterfall 
at least. One of the best and most economical ways to aerate is the use of venturi’s. You 
can never have too much additional aeration. 

Aeration of pond water achieves two things both of which are very good for pond water 
and your fish: 

1. Oxygen levels increase. 
2. Carbon dioxide is "blown" out of the water and this tends to push up and stabilize pH 
levels with proper buffering. 
3. ORP and water quality increases.
Remember there should only be 3 things in your pond, water, fish and air. You 
can add plants to this list too. 

Aeration also protects against those algae blooms and their dying - when they die they rot 
and release carbon dioxide by using up the oxygen resource in the water. 

In conclusion please remember it is very difficult to over-aerate a pond and aeration has 
all round major advantages in a pond. The only downside is the minimal cost of a special 
aerating pump. All top koi keepers' ponds bubble with air as do their filters. 
Deeper ponds without waterfalls and/or fountains as the means of creating circulation or 
mixing during calm periods could be more prone to carbon dioxide problems. 
Aeration and water mixing (waterfalls and venturis) are the MOST effective methods of 
controlling potential carbon dioxide problems. 

Beware of algae blooms (green or brown cloudy water) especially in summer and 
especially during calm periods and when there is no waterfall, fountain or aeration.

Remembered something Joe White said: "If you can not hear your water and if your water is not moving you are not adding enough oxygen. 


Happy Ponding.........Koiman