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Am i missing something?

Jaceree

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Im in the process of doing a pond, and have for a long time been reading up, and watching anything i can before i start. One thing ive noticed is the difference in the hobby compared to tropical aquariums especially when it comes to the cycling process.

Take this as an example. Its a huge koi pond (10,000 Gallons) which they add bacteria and fish together. Forwards it to 7:55 in the vid. With a pond that size there is no way the fish will produce enough waste to keep the bacteria in the filtration alive, and by the time it becomes fully stocked any cycle would have stalled altogether? I mean could you even call that a cycle?

Its not the first time ive seen this either in fact its quite common.

 

noodlesuk

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Seems strange, could it be due to the volumes of water vs livestock? There is plenty of water to dilute any fish waste, so by the time it reaches dangerous levels, the filters are cycled? Maybe?
 

mort

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It's pretty standard stuff nowadays. I haven't watched the vid other than seeing 4 fish and copious amounts of blue liquid added but essentially I think you are partly right in that overdosing bacteria doesn't really do a lot except hurt your bank balance but you only need a few bacteria to survive, and then reproduce exponentially as they like to do, to pick up the slack. Does it work, yes, is it optimal, not really.
 

Jaceree

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The company guy who plumbs in the filtration actually got back to me, and said 'The pond is running brilliantly. Fish growing like crazy, no readings. Must have got lucky'

I dont want to be preachy, but ive always believed, and followed the way we cycle our aquariums, because its in the best interests of the fish. Would we comment if a member here cycled their tank that way? I think we would.
 

foxfish

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Well the main difference is the volume of water to fish ratio, there is a lot of tolerance in a pond of that size.

That is a fine formal pond and not a cheap build, easy and basic construction with sensible filters but you would have to like square corner boxes and straight lines to really appreciate such a design !

Personally I would not of bothered with the bateria and just added the few fish and feed them daily and then add a few more fish every two weeks. The health of the fish you add will make a big diference but Koi are pretty tough critters.
 

Jaceree

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Well the main difference is the volume of water to fish ratio, there is a lot of tolerance in a pond of that size.
That was my point. How can the filters mature enough with such a low source of ammonia? I mean with a pond that size the stocking levels would have to be reasonably high to keep the bacteria alive? They are basically adding fish to an uncycled environment? Its just not this pond, but much smaller ones in the hobby. There is definitely a different mindset towards it than indoor aquariums.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
How can the filters mature enough with such a low source of ammonia? I mean with a pond that size the stocking levels would have to be reasonably high to keep the bacteria alive?
The ammonia level isn't actually that relevant. The bacteria that need high levels of hardness and ammonia <"don't actually occur in "aquarium" filters"> and the ones that do? They will persist in <"nearly all conditions">.
but you would have to like square corner boxes and straight lines to really appreciate such a design !
As long as you have plenty of oxygen nitrification will occur, even in this <"fairly sterile concrete box">. You could actually improve the <"pond's nitrification capacity fairly easily">.
is the volume of water to fish ratio, there is a lot of tolerance in a pond of that size.......Personally I would not of bothered with the bateria and just added the few fish and feed them daily and then add a few more fish every two weeks. The health of the fish you add will make a big diference but Koi are pretty tough critters.
Same for me.

cheers Darrel
 

foxfish

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Well pond design is all about making the customer happy and I have very reluctantly built a few square ponds but I am more partial to curves and natural gravel filter beds.
I foresee much blanket weed in the above pond unless there will be some form of shading but it is a fantastic size pond and will probably make a fine swimming pool one day!
 

Wookii

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Well pond design is all about making the customer happy and I have very reluctantly built a few square ponds but I am more partial to curves and natural gravel filter beds.
I foresee much blanket weed in the above pond unless there will be some form of shading but it is a fantastic size pond and will probably make a fine swimming pool one day!

When he shoved the camera under water after the fish had been released, I did think - poor things being kept in the boring, sterile prison!
 

Jaceree

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Hi all,

The ammonia level isn't actually that relevant.

Same for me.

cheers Darrel
From that link,

Biological filtration is the critical filtration component in every aquarium. Whether the biological filter is live rock, trickle media, a sponge or any other substrate, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate is necessary to keep these substances from reaching toxic concentrations in our aquariums.

Is that wrong now? Im confused how we are all of a sudden debating a standard we usually go by.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I foresee much blanket weed in the above pond
So do I.
"Biological filtration is the critical filtration component in every aquarium. Whether the biological filter is live rock, trickle media, a sponge or any other substrate, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate is necessary to keep these substances from reaching toxic concentrations in our aquariums."
Is that wrong now?
No, that is entirely correct.

It is just that in this case you have a very low bioload for the volume of water, so you have the <"advantage of dilution">.

The ammonia (NH3), that diffuses continually from the fishes gills, is going to be diluted by the very large volume of water (and this is the same for any subsequent nitrite (NO2-) that might build up). Initially biological filtration is relatively unimportant, purely because of the dilution factor.

If you had no microbial nitrification, no oxidation of ammonia (and nitrite) eventually they would build up to toxic levels, but I think you are always going to have <"microbial nitrification eventually">.
I actually started writing the "cycling" posts before I knew about the <"Ammonia Oxidising Archaea (AOA)"> and COMAMMOX Nitrospira. I was pretty sure the traditional view of cycling wasn't right, mainly because <"fixed nitrogen"> is a scarce and valuable resource in the natural environment, so it didn't make any ecological sense that the organisms that could utilise it were restricted to a few bacteria, with highly specialised requirements for growth.

An analogy would be that there is a big pile of money in the street, with a note saying "take me", but it is only ever picked up by a one-legged ginger Irish-man on a Thursday.
That is why I like to think of these questions in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). In this case the you have a fish with <"adaptation to low oxygen levels"> in a huge volume of water, you aren't going to have oxygen/ammionia issues because the <"BOD is never going to exceed the oxygen supply">.

If you tried the same approach with <"much heavier stocking"> and a <"more sensitive fish"> problems would rapidly ensue.

cheers Darrel
 

Jaceree

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Hi all,

So do I.


No, that is entirely correct.

It is just that in this case you have a very low bioload for the volume of water, so you have the <"advantage of dilution">.

The ammonia (NH3), that diffuses continually from the fishes gills, is going to be diluted by the very large volume of water (and this is the same for any subsequent nitrite (NO2-) that might build up). Initially biological filtration is relatively unimportant, purely because of the dilution factor.
Thats the point i was trying to make. If in this case seeing the volume of water will dilute any ammonia the filtration they have in place is pointless? Surely any starter they put in there will be starved of the 'food' it needs to survive? Im purely referring to the way the bacteria is added the same time in such a low bioload.

So they leave it for a week or two test the water see no readings ( the reply i got) which is hardly surprising then add more fish. All the while any cycle hasn't even started or stalled altogether. Maybe im comparing the two unnecessarily although if you were to look for information on cycling a pond you wouldn't find as much as you would with indoor aquariums.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
if in this case seeing the volume of water will dilute any ammonia the filtration they have in place is pointless?
It isn't pointless. I'd look as any built in "spare" capacity as similar to the safety belt in a car, you might not need it most of the time, but there are circumstances where it could come in very handy. Hopefully by the time it needs to come in handy it will be functioning as a biological filter.
Surely any starter they put in there will be starved of the 'food' it needs to survive? Im purely referring to the way the bacteria is added the same time in such a low bioload.
It would depend on exactly what microbes were <"in the bacterial innoculum">.
So they leave it for a week or two test the water see no readings ( the reply i got) which is hardly surprising then add more fish.
No, it isn't surprising. As you say it is very likely to be dilution, <"rather than nitrification">. There is also the <"test kit issue">.
All the while any cycle hasn't even started or stalled altogether.
This is partially why I don't like the concept of cycling as a binary switch, from <"fish unsafe to fish safe">. I think this is compounded if you are reliant on a test kit reading to decide on adding more ((potentially) sacrificial fish) <"sentient beings"> to your pond.
All the while any cycle hasn't even started or stalled altogether. Maybe im comparing the two unnecessarily although if you were to look for information on cycling a pond you wouldn't find as much as you would with indoor aquariums.
I think that is largely the dilution issue, just a much larger volume of water for each gram of biomass.

In terms of pond filtration I'll defer to the man <"who really has done it all">.
In fact I have found by far and away the most successful koi ponds I have built operate a very similar concept but with 2’ of gavel and heavily planted in the gravel bed.
Some of these pond are 35 years old and still running without ever having a major water change.
cheers Darrel
 
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strange they have such a big filter bay and did not go drum and airated media and an anoxic area, like so many now do. big old lumps of plastic that don’t fully utilise their footprint those things

cold water, so slower bacterial reproduction, impatient owners and the need to chuck tonnes of food in to get them to the surface and see them amongst the jacuzzi all spring to mind for why so many fresh starts fail with ponds
 
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