Trans Instruments (S) Pte Ltd

5 Jalan Kilang Barat #06-04/05 Petro Centre 159349 Singapore ,

Care & Maintenance

Ammonia & pH

Ammonia is the primary waste product of fish. Ammonia accumulations will perpetuate reddening of the skin and disability of the gills.

Fish suffering with high ammonia accumulations will isolate themselves, stay at the bottom of the pond, clamp their fins, and secrete excess slime. They are also much more susceptible to parasitic and bacterial infection. Ammonia is a common problem in new ponds because the bacteria that would dissolve ammonia are not established. See the Nitrogen Cycle.

Even in established systems, ammonia may still accumulate when the water is cold. Though fishes may be eating and appearing fine, filter bacteria may not have not emerged usefully from hibernation

Ammonia is capable of ionization below pH 7.4 and is less toxic to fishes. Above pH 8.0, ammonia is NOT ionized, and is more toxic. Care should be taken not to increase the pH if ammonia is present. It is then advised to drop the pH.

Water that is warm, high in pH or deprived of oxygen, will have an enhanced toxicity when ammonias are accumulating. pH can change overnight, especially in crowded systems. The pH required for life lies between 5.5 and 8.5. Individual species will have varying pH requirements.

Ignorance of the requirements of each species will result in death.

If the pH is too low, Acidosis results. Symptoms: anorexia, production of excess slime, isolation, and resting on the bottom, streaking of the fins, and even death. If the pH is too high, Alkalosis results. Symptoms: production of excess slime, gasping at the surface and death.

Alkalosis is hard to reverse once it occurs. However, Acidosisis can be corrected once the pH is brought up to a suitable range.

pH contributes to the toxicity of Ammonia. At higher pH values, ammonia is more toxic. Below pH 7.2, most Ammonia is ionized to Ammonium and is far less toxic. This has relevance if you are considering raising the pH in a system with accumulating ammonias.

To correct your pH...

To keep your koi happy, keep your ph above 7.0-7.5

pH can "crash" to 5.5 overnight due to fish, plant and bacterial activity without adequate buffering of water. Caution: fatalities will result.

Baking Soda is a good buffer. Check Total Alkalinity before its use, though. (Use one teaspoon per ten gallons if the TA <100).

Trans Instruments offers two model of pH test instruments. The pocket size Eco pH tester and the Eco pH Duo+M lets you test pH conveniently and easily.

The Wonder of common Salt

Common salt, Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is commonly used in the health care and maintenance of fishes especially Koi. Salt is useful in treating parasites. It will eliminate seven out of nine parasites that are commonly found in Koi pond.

Most fish have an internal salt concentration of 1.0% or 10 parts-per-thousand (ppt) which is higher than their water environment. Osmosis causes water to transfer from the lower salinity of the pond water into the tissues of the fish. Addition of salt will lower the osmosis pressure. This reduces the effort of the fish in eliminating the excess water. The saved energy is then available for use by the fish's own immune system to fight diseases. On the hand, if the salinity of the water environment is close to the internal tissues of the fish, the osmosis pressure will reverse and cause the fish to die of dehydration.

Salt concentrations between 0.3% and 0.5%(3 to 5ppt) will upset the osmotic balance of some parasites i.e. the parasites' cells will dehydrate. Salt concentration of 0.3% are effective at detoxifying nitrite and concentration of 0.25% or higher has been used to control string algae. Nevertheless, salt can cause pond plant damage as the concentration increases. Floating plants (water hyacinth, water lettuce, etc.) are affected at lower concentrations than most bog plants.

Trans Instruments has specially designed the KoiMedic tester to measure the delicate salt concentration in either percentage(%) or parts-per-thousand(ppt). The testers are accurate and easy to use. All you need to do is turn it on and dip into the pond water.  The new KoiMedicPro 3-in-1 multi-meter measures pH, Salinity and temperature all in a handy stick allow direct reading into pond water.

Kohaku has a white body with red patterns.The red markings should have a good depth of colour with uniform shade and the edges of the red should be well defined. The white should be pure white and free from blemishes. As a general guide, the red markings should cover around half of the koi. The Kohaku is the most popular variety of koi.

Tashio Sanke
A tri-colored koi with a WHITE body with a black and red accents on the back. The word 'Taisho" refers to the era of the Emperor Taisho.

Showa Sanshoku
Another tri-colored koi with a black body with the red and white accents.

Showa Sanke
A tri-colored koi with a black body with red and white accents on the back. The modern day Showa has more white on its body like the Tashio Sanke.

Bekko and Utsuri
A non-metallic koi with Black on White, Red, or Yellow body.

Asagi and Shusui
The Asagi is a non-metallic koi with a blush reticulated, netlike scale on top, and a redbelly. The Shusui is also similar except it has Doitsu scales.

A koi with a red spot on the top of its head, and no red on its body.