A couple of days I updated on the new stocks in the pond and the future plans which will be to ultimately spawn Beni Kikokuryu first week of May – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/03/19/my-new-pond-build-part-4/.
Before then there is still plenty to do to get things ready, not least to actually finish building the Koi house! With a heavy workload over the last couple of weeks some bubble wrap was pinned up in the entranceway to the Koi house to stop the cold wind which was coming in the open hole. At least it works, perhaps too well, as it’s very snug and warm in there which diminishes ‘get it finished’ motivation and increases the desire to sit and watch the Koi.
Without any assistance, the tank water was running comfortably at an ambient temperature of around 15c, the heat from the slightest bit of sunshine is magnified significantly, which bodes well for summer growth and indeed comfort over winter.
That said, I decided that some extra heat would/could be prudent, particularly with relatively newly imported Koi coming in. As such last week a small Elecro heater was added which has pushed the water temperature up to 23c where it has been since the weekend.
As with any new system – it’s exactly 4 weeks today that the first Koi were added – the current priority is monitoring the water parameters whilst the system matures, the most important of those parameters Ammonia and Nitrite, which work hand in hand.
I’ve long been a fan of the Kusuri test kits, much preferring the tablets they use to drops used in most test kits. My issue is with the dropper bottles and the drops they produce, too often they don’t come out of the bottle cleanly, or they are clearly not equal sizes, all of which potentially affects the results. On ordering Kusuri Ammonia and Nitrite kits i was somewhat disappointed that 2019 vintage versions are a far cry from what they were 15 years of so ago. Back then they came in solid plastic boxes, which later got ‘downgraded’ to strong cardboard boxes. The soft cardboard packaging they come in now offers very little protection in a damp environment. Also they used to be supplied with a tablet crusher, but seemingly no longer do, so you need to use something else to crush the tablets. Finally, the test tubes that used to be supplied were original square Palintest ones, Palintest being the company that make the tablets that come with the kits. The square tube fitted the space on the comparator chart and the water sample from top to bottom of the colour range. As you can see from the pictures below, the current ‘dumpy’ plastic bottle, which also doesn’t seal very well, no longer does. The kits command premium price, sadly the packaging and aspects of the contents are no longer premium. Thankfully the tablets remain the same….
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So, annoyances with the packaging aside, where are we at with the water parameters at present?
The images below show the water parameters this morning, around 8 hours after the last feed (small amounts through the previous day). As can be seen clearly from both the NT Labs kit and the Kusuri kit, Nitrites are elevated – inevitable with a new filter – but manageable.
In view of the elevated nitrite levels, salt has been added to the system. There are times when adding salt to a system is beneficial, and this is one of them. The salt ‘protecting’ the Koi from the nitrite. You can read more here – http://www.koiquest.co.uk/salt%20but%20no%20vinegar%201111.htm – scroll midway down the page to the sub heading ‘Ammonia and Nitrite’.
A continual trickle of water through the system assists with holding levels down, although of course means flushing salt, and cooling water at the same time. The flushing of salt makes a test meter like the one above even more important to be able to top up the salt levels accurately and maintain the desired level.
Whilst the Koi will still very happily feed as they are in the picture 48 hours ago, for them now it’s a case of nil by mouth for a couple of days, something as frustrating for them, as it is for me, whenever I walk into the Koi house.