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  1. #1

    When to do water parameter checks

    Bit of an odd question, but just wondering when everyone does their parameter checks? Is there a certain time of day thatís best eg: first thing in the morning before feed and after feeding has stopped through the night. Or an hour or so after feeding etc etc.
    Iíve struggled with trace nitrite for a while now, at about 0.1, but usually do my tests in the morning after a break in feed of 12 hours or so. But after my latest feed, did a nitrite test after 2 hours before my next feed and was up at 0.5ppm.
    Anyone know how long a fully mature system should be able to process the nitrogen cycle of that feed? Would people expect to see a nitrite reserve after 2 hours or so from a feed?



  2. #2
    Junior Member Rank = Tosai Taeshire's Avatar
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    Interesting question, my new pond is only 5 weeks old, so testing Ammonia and Nitrite at least once per day to ensure my feeding matches my filter capability, although I'm very lightly stocked at the moment.
    Interested to hear the answers from the experts, but I wouldn't have thought the time of day would be enough to generate a 5 fold increase in Nitrite?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    what test kit are you using?
    i makes no difference to me, regardless of what time of day i test.

    as for filter maturity, i think that helps with changes in bio load but if bio load and feeding are stable,
    should still deal with ammonia and nitrite after running a few months at over 15-20c

    most people seem to run with 1 litre of filter media per 30 gallons of pond water.
    and say above this level the bio film is too thin.

    but i think i'm a bit old school...
    i have 1 litre of filter media per 6 gallons of pond water.
    current pond running since september 2021
    feeding 300g a day...
    0ppb ammonia on a low range hanna test.
    and zero nitrite on an API/ Kusuri kit.
    but next on the list for me is a hanna low range nitrite test to see where exactly it is.

  4. #4
    My pond is 2300g and been running for 12 months. Aquasource combi 25 and an additional bio chamber of 170 litres water capacity. Both chambers have approx 80 litres of k1 in each. And a turnover rate of 8,500 litres an hour. 10 koi ranging from 25 cm to 55cm. Average being 45cm. Only feeding 100 grams a day spread over 5 feeds and have the water at 24c. Seems to be taking an age for the nitrite to form. Never really had a problem with ammonia. Wondering how quickly the nitrite should be out of the system and whether I should be reading parameters 1st thing in morning or after feeds

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec OReilly View Post
    My pond is 2300g and been running for 12 months. Aquasource combi 25 and an additional bio chamber of 170 litres water capacity. Both chambers have approx 80 litres of k1 in each. And a turnover rate of 8,500 litres an hour. 10 koi ranging from 25 cm to 55cm. Average being 45cm. Only feeding 100 grams a day spread over 5 feeds and have the water at 24c. Seems to be taking an age for the nitrite to form. Never really had a problem with ammonia. Wondering how quickly the nitrite should be out of the system and whether I should be reading parameters 1st thing in morning or after feeds
    your set up and turn over seem fine to me,
    but plastic media seems to take an age to fully mature compared to ceramic.
    whats your KH/GH?
    thats about the only other factor i can think of,
    as limescale forming on the K1 provides a greater surface area for the bacteria to grow...

  7. #6
    Hi mate, thanks for the reply.
    I live in a really hard water area. GH is 18 drops and Kh started at 16 drops. Itís now at 10 drops over the course of the year. I suppose a bit more patience is required. Possibly overstocked too soon. I top up daily through an evolution Aqua dechlorinator which Iíve adapted to put bone char media in, plus I add half a teaspoon of sodium thiosulphate each top up to make sure it picks up any potential chlorine that might sneak through. Hopefully these temps over the next couple of months will catch the bacteria up with the media

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  9. #7
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Your water hardness, pond size, filtration, feeding and stocking levels are not dissimilar to one of my old ponds. I was running 50 litres of K1 at that time.

    It took that pond 9 Months before my first zero nitrite reading.

    That pond was built in February / March, had nitrite readings in excess of 2mg/l through much of the summer where even large water changes only reduced it for no more than 24 hours, then suddenly in the middle of December I got a zero reading, and never had a (noteworthy) nitrite reading again after that.

    I did not believe patience was the answer, but in the end it was.

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  11. #8
    personally I don't think it matters when you test, what is important is that once you pick a time you stick with it as this will minimise any variables that affect the results. As soon as you test at different times it introduces additional variables that make interpreting the results much more difficult.
    Yes you would expect an ammonia / nitrite spike after feeding but this should quickly decay as the water continues to circulate through the filters and the bacteria do their stuff. Assuming mature filters.
    The size of these mini spikes will vary depending on lots of variables. This is why it is good to split the daily ration into multiple feeds. A single feed will give one big spike; multiple feeds will give multiple mini spikes.

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  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by deejaysmi View Post
    personally I don't think it matters when you test, what is important is that once you pick a time you stick with it as this will minimise any variables that affect the results. As soon as you test at different times it introduces additional variables that make interpreting the results much more difficult.
    Yes you would expect an ammonia / nitrite spike after feeding but this should quickly decay as the water continues to circulate through the filters and the bacteria do their stuff. Assuming mature filters.
    The size of these mini spikes will vary depending on lots of variables. This is why it is good to split the daily ration into multiple feeds. A single feed will give one big spike; multiple feeds will give multiple mini spikes.

    I agree with the above especially picking a convenient time and sticking to that, preferably just before feeding to avoid the ammonia and nitrite spikes that David (deejaysmi) described above. However, once in a while, measure your pH on a sunny day, as early as practical after sunrise and again in the evening to see if there's a variation greater than 0.2 on the pH scale. Post your pH and KH values if there is a greater than 0.2 pH variation.

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  15. #10
    I'm pleased to see I learned something on your training courses Syd!

    I recommend these courses to every koi keeper, they are well worth the effort and at the end of it you will do a much better job looking after your fish. Drop Syd a message or have a look at the Koi Organisation International website if you are interested.

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  17. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deejaysmi View Post
    I'm pleased to see I learned something on your training courses Syd!

    I recommend these courses to every koi keeper, they are well worth the effort and at the end of it you will do a much better job looking after your fish. Drop Syd a message or have a look at the Koi Organisation International website if you are interested.
    Do keep toying with the idea of doing them . Just am as thick as a brick lol

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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