North Idaho Koi Keepers

February 2008 Meeting - Walsh hangar

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What a great place to meet - a hangar at the Coeur d'Alene Airport where some really great "toys" reside when they're not in use.

Click here for a copy of the presentation files

Water Quality was the focus of this month's meeting - learning more about the environment our koi call home.  Following pictures and a lively discussion about our aquifer, Gene led a discussion on water:
 
Did you realize that Ammonia is deadly in our higher pH water?

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On a scale of 0 to 14, where less than 7 represents acidity, 7 neutrality, and more than 7 alkalinity.

 

•Each unit is 10 times more base.

 

•pH greater than 7 is less acid and more base

 

•pH less than 7 is more acid and less base

 

•Base would be like lye, antacid’s (like for the stomach) or toothpaste.

•Acids would be like vinegar, orange juice, the liquid in your car battery.  

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                  Ammonia

 

Is measured in PPM (parts per million)

Determines the health of a bio-converter

Ammonia dissolved in water becomes partially ionized depending on pH & temp.

Ionized ammonia is called ammonium

As pH increases, ammonium decreases, which increases toxicity.

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Ammonia Effects -

 

•Blocks oxygen transfer from the gills to the blood.

Causes both immediate and long term gill damage.

Mucus producing membranes destroyed, reducing both the external slime coat and damaging internal intestinal surfaces.
 

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pH - the symbol for the logarithm of the reciprocal of hydrogen ion concentration in gram atoms per liter, used to express the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a scale of 0 to 14, where less than 7 represents acidity, 7 neutrality, and more than 7 alkalinity.
 

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pH should be normally between 7.0 & 8.5

 

Acceptable between 6.0 & 9.0

Fish could probably tolerate 5.0, however your bio-converters bacteria can suffer damage.

Above 9.0 long term can cause kidney damage.

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 Ammonia continued -

 

Assume water temperature @70 degree F

1ppm of ammonia with pH @7.0

10ppm of ammonia with pH @6.0

0.1ppm of ammonia with pH @8.0

Pond containing fish – residual ammonia

Bio-converter – each pass, residual ammo

Residual level is determined by fish load, effectiveness of bio-converter, how often water is passed through it.

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Ammonia Sources –

 

Fish gills as a metabolic waste from protein breakdown.

Secondary sources – bacterial action on solid wastes and urea

Nitrite:

•Measured in ppm

•Second measurement to determine the health of a biologic converter

•Low nitrite reading with significant ammonia reading indicates what?

•Low ammonia reading with detectable nitrite reading indicates what?

 

Nitrite is produced by autotrophic bacteria combining oxygen and ammonia in the bio-converter.

•Also to a lesser degree on the walls of the pond.

•Change of fish load

•Spring water temperatures

 

Nitrite – invisible killer

•Concentrations as low as 0.25ppm can be deadly, especially to smaller fish

•Damages the nervous system, liver, spleen and kidneys of the fish

•Common indicator fish exposed in past – gill covers may be slightly rolled outward at the edges.  Do not close flat against fish body

 

Dissolved Oxygen

Earth’s basic air envelope; 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 0.3% carbon dioxide and several other traces of elemental and molecular gasses.

Concentrations of these gases within water is a whole different story. Concentrations are much smaller

Measured in mg/l (milligrams per liter) or somewhat equivalently in ppm.

Typical pond @ 70 degrees F. will have concentrations of about 13 mg/l nitrogen, 9mg/l oxygen, and 35 mg/l carbon dioxide

As air components dissolve into the water, a point is reached that is called saturation. Saturation is different for each of the gases.

Temperature is the most important factor.

Water temperatures increase, water cannot hold as much of each type of gas

Example for oxygen:

At 50 degrees F – oxygen is 11.5 mg/l

At 70 degrees F – oxygen is 9.0 mg/l

At 90 degrees F – oxygen is 7.5 mg/l

Impurities, altitude will decrease saturation levels

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF FILE OF THE ENTIRE PRESENTATION