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  1. Is it barely working in the summertime? Or barely working during the winter? What brand do you have?
  2. I am looking for a heater recommendation for my pond. Please note I plan on using these during the spring/summer/fall. I will NOT be using these once outdoor temps are lower than 60 at night, so I am not looking for a winter heater. Background Info: - I have an above ground outdoor 110 gallon stocktank pond. - I have 6 TVR's. Grew them out in there last summer, started ~1 inch, and now they range from 3in to 5in tl. - The stocktank spent the winter in my basement, and I just put it outside a few days ago. - I plan on putting three 3-4 inch east coast ranchu out there for the summer to grow them out before they will reside in their permanent home in an indoor tank. (Don't worry, I have been keeping up 10-20% daily water changes, and 50% once/twice week water changes for a year. While it is overstocked with 9 fish, I consistently test my water 1-2 times a week. The 3 ECR's have been in there with the 6 TVR's since I got them. But when I moved the stocktank outside a few days ago, I put the 3 ECR's into an indoor tank while I think through the fluctuating temp issue) I've watched several knowledgeable hobbiests, and 1 professional breeder have significant problems with their outdoor fish this spring. Therdeye_Goldies on Instagram lost 30 dandy oranda fish in his outdoor above ground stocktank pond. Kittylovestofu on Instagram lost several of her very large ryukins from KingKoi in her outdoor pond. And most notably, Jennie from SolidGold lost most of her stock, including her prized Clyde. I've heard year after year that springtime can bring about problems, for a whole variety of reasons. But this year I've noticed it more than ever. Before putting my 3 ECR's outside, I reached out to Cynthia to see what she thinks. She advised the normal prazi prevention (already done) and to consider a week of antiprotizoan food to get ahead as well. But her biggest concern is temperature fluctuations that occur in small above ground ponds. In Ohio, we're in the 80's during the day and 60's at night. Since her stock is raised in consistent 70 degree temps, she thinks a variation of more than 5-10 degrees each day (while they are acclimating to day/night temp changes) could stress them out bad enough that they could succumb to illness. I imagine temp fluctuations are greater in smaller above ground ponds than they are in natural larger ponds. I have started taking AM, Midday, and PM temps to see what the fluctuations are. Okay, I am long winded. Sorry, I get antsy when I see knowledgeable hobbiests and a professional lose their stock. I still want my ECR's to spend the summer outside. My idea is to put aquarium heaters set to 70-75 degrees, so that the water doesn't get too much cooler at night. Okay, since I anticipate fluctuations between AM and PM to be greater than 5 degrees: Any recommendations on heaters? What do you think of the idea, in general? Stupid? I am looking at these: - Two Aqueon Pro 250 Watt - OR - Two Eheim Jager 300 Watt Thanks in advance for the help/advice!
  3. Update! I decided for the last 2 months to clean out my canister filters every 4 weeks (just for funzies, not as a result of this thread). I service my filter on the same day as water change day. I tested nitrates each time 3 days after I cleaned the filters out -- Nitrates still 0. Prior to each weekly water change, the Nitrates were also 0. Common sense would tell me the denitrifiers are in my sand. I also have not "stirred" the sand (raked my fingers through it) since I made the original post in January. Everything looks/smells/tests the same. I've got a 29 with sand (that one's at 1/2 in depth though). I put the 29 on the same filter maintenance schedule, and also quit raking the sand. This tank had nitrates showing up for the first 3-4 months I had it set up (been set up for 1/1/2 years now), so I didn't mention it in the original post. But this tank also has had 0 nitrates when I test 3 days after the filter cleaning, and right before each weekly water change.
  4. awesome set-up! You've got quite the predator list. The new guy is SUPER cute!
  5. I get them every water change - they are from mixing hot and cold water from your tap. This winter, I have done water changes in my pond in my basement. The water temp is cold, so to match it, I turn on only the cold water from my tap, and have never gotten the micro bubbles from the cold water. As the temperature in my basement has increased this spring, I've had to add just a little of my warm water to match the temp... and now I get the micro bubbles there too I have never noticed any ill effects of the bubbles, but don't have anything other than my experience to back that up.
  6. Awesome pics! I can't believe this awesome weather we're having!!! (I'm in Ohio). I have an above ground stocktank pond. This was my first year with it (and the fish were only 6 months old in the fall) so I got nervous and brought it inside I think next year I will keep it outside for the winter.
  7. The next time I clean out one of my canisters, I'll test a few days later and let you all know in this thread. How often are you cleaning your filters now? I usually service mine every 6 weeks, but occasionally I go another week or two. It's been a long time since I've gone 10 weeks. Anyways, I rinse the sponges out in my tap. They don't have visible debris on them, but the water rinses brown for about a minute before it rinses clear. The majority of my filter is the ceramic beads, which I rinse in tank water. Since the sponges catch all of the debris, they rinse pretty clean and the water is still pretty clear. I have a fluval 406 running.
  8. Completely understand! It's amazing to me how you all make sure you're available at all times to help with emergencies and sick fish. You're dedicated, and I'm sure it takes more time than most of us realize. I read the original article you posted. I did pretty well in biology/chemistry in high school/college so I was able to follow a lot of it. Thank you for searching fora non-scientist denitrification article! I am always eager to read what you write, but it sounds like it would be too much work for you to write an article. My original question was answered and I'm good to go I appreciate your dedication to only make statements from a valid source, and give advice only from your extensive experience.
  9. Wow!!! I agree, it's so beautiful and peaceful!
  10. Also, I think you should consider adding a "myth-busters fact or fiction" section. We can create a thread where people can post myth's that they've heard, or can post some outrageous advice that they've heard over and over that they're not sure about. And then you and the other mods could tackle a few myths a month in their own dedicated thread. You guys either validate as fact or invalidate as fiction, and keep the topics locked so that only the mods could provide proven information (people can still ask questions on the main thread). That way, people like me could read through them. And it would probably be my favorite section to go through, as you guys address new topics. Not sure if you guys have time to do that (since I'm sure you're busy helping people in the D&D sections quite a bit) but it's just a thought. The information that you guys give out is tremendously helpful.
  11. This is why I post here at Koko's And Sharon, you know that I highly value the knowledge that you pass along. I had the question in my mind as well about how logical that sand needs to be stirred up to release gasses/waste. I spent a LOT of time swimming in a pond when I was a kid. The water was brownish, and the bottom was really squishy, cool mud. We usually chose to jump off the dock, verses wading in from the shore so that we didn't have to sink our feet into the mud. My grandfather kept catfish and blue gill stocked at a density that required them to be fed by humans daily. If he didn't feed, the fish population would reduce, and the fish in the pond were a food source for my grandfather (and us when we visited) so he wanted to keep their numbers up. I suppose the build up of organic waste controlled the population from growing too large though. Anyways, remembering swimming in that pond (haven't been swimming in there for probably 10 years!) always has me thinking about the natural state that pond fish live in verses the aquariums we keep them in. Of course, I want to keep a higher density of fish per gallon in my aquarium than you would find in that pond, so I can't keep it all natural (and I haven't decided to try to get into aquaponics yet). But the pond fish thrived in the brown water with a deep muddy bottom. Anyways, all that to say that I have seen many rumors passed along over and over online, many of which you have either validated or invalidated. Thinking through my memories of swimming in a pond with healthy fish and a muddy bottom also validate that harmful gases and waste do not seem to build up under the surface of substrate. I think my goldfish enjoy sifting through it. And like I said, it is my aquarium with sand that has a 0 nitrate reading every week. I've occasionally seen the 5ppm nitrate reading on my stocktank pond without a substrate. It has me considering adding a little sand to the bottom of my little pond to give a home to some denitrifiers :-D
  12. Awesome. I won't mess with what I'm doing, since everyone seems to be happy. My older fish are lazier than they used to be, but still seem healthy to me. My sand is ~1 inch thick. I've been considering removing some so that it's 1/2 inch. I have some java fern in there, but it's not really enough to provide a whole lot of benefit. I just have it in there for aesthetic reasons A while ago I saw a post and subsequent comments on FB about sand. People recommended stirring the sand up before water changes. They said pockets of harmful gas or bacteria could grow in warm water if left untouched.... so that's why I do it. I rinsed the HECK out of my sand to rid it of dust before putting it in my aquarium so it doesn't make the water cloudy at all when I stir it. But you're right, the goldfish sift through it on their own anyways. They don't get to the bottom though, which is why I was considering removing some. I've also been wanting to add some snails that dig into the sand (like I had in my saltwater tanks) but all I've found are the assassin snails. I read that they actually do kill other snails, and I'd feel bad if my nerites were killed so I haven't added any of the assassin snails.
  13. How interesting! I can't wait to read that article later today. I bet I have a combination of denitrifiers living in my filter and substrate (sand). I only clean my filter every 6-10 weeks. As much as I want to do it once a month... I seem to always let it go longer than that. It's never caked with debris, but the sponges always rinse brown stuff out of them. So Sharon, in light of what I read from above... What do you think is better? Cleaning the filter more consistently (say every 2 weeks) or doing it less often (say every 6 weeks) so the denitrifiers build up? Also, about 10 minutes before each water change, I remove all ornaments from my tank and I rake my fingers through my sand, really churning it up. I do this so no pockets of nasty build up. But each time I do this, and I disturbing the nitrifiers and denitrifiers? Do they seem to recover pretty quickly after stirring up the substrate? What is more beneficial.... mixing up the sand, or leaving it alone to let the nitrifiers and denitrifiers do their job? I apologize if the article answers these questions -- I'll be sure to read it later today. Also, thank you Sharon for taking the time to give so much detail. I am always striving to learn so I can provide the best system for my goldfish so that they are comfortable and healthy.
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