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More water quality questions in 275 gallon


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Hi, long time member and have been out of goldfish tending for awhile.  I have posted a few times recently trying to help my step-son with his newly inherited pond. He just moved into a house that has 1500 gallon pond (it might be bigger than that).  Anyway, I told him to hold off on buying any fancy koi until he got a handle on the water quality but he didn't exactly listen LOL. He bought several feeder type goldfish and some large koi. Everything has been going pretty well while they were still in the pond after a few deaths likely due to parasites, although I don't think he had a cycle going. He is currently doing a project where they're going to put a plastic grating over the top of the pond to keep animals and kids out of it so he drained the pond (and let the filter media dry up 🤬) and has moved the fish into two 275 gallon tanks. He has a DIY sponge type filter in each one, and aeration. He also thinks he should take his expensive koi out of the pond and keep them in these tanks over the winter.

I told them especially since he was new I felt like wintering the fish in the pond would be better than keeping them in a tank because he won't be able to keep up with the waste. He is having trouble with that right now just temporarily keeping them in there while he's doing this pond project.  There are 5 koi in the tank I'm concerned about, ranging from 6-14 inches, 275 gallons.

Right now (w/API freshwater master tests)

Ph 7.2 (normally 7.6)

Ammonia 1.0

Nitrites .5

Nitrates 0

So the tank is starting to cycle, he is doing 50% water changes daily and dosing with Prime. Since some of these are $500 plus fish and because I don't want any of the fish to suffer I want to know if you think these levels are okay as long as he keeps up with the water changes and the prime dosing. I'm especially concerned that the pH is starting to drop, I'm going to see if I have a kh/gh test at home.  I told him that I didn't think it was a good idea to put them in these tanks for very long unless he was willing to do a lot of water changes but wanted to see what all of you experts thought.

Thanks I'm sorry this is long


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I'd call putting one koi into a 275 gallon container fish abuse unless this was a hospital tank for treating a sick fish and receiving 100% daily water changes.  How many such tanks will he have?  You can find many sources of information on the needs of koi including the local koi club and forums like koiphen where he can find information from experts.  

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