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Kate89

Baking Koi Clay?

32 posts in this topic

Here's a case from the most recent edition of aquaculture North America where clay, in this case kaolin was used to reduce columnaris attachment to host fish in this case catfish. http://aquaculturenorthamerica.com/Finfish/fresh-water-fish/using-clay-to-protect-catfish/

I can think of why clay would increase bacteria, a source of information would be very interesting.

As to baking the clay, could you be thinking of pH pucks made of plaster of Paris in muffin tins?

Edited by Ichthius

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I have a feeling the baked clay is used more for planted aquariums as from my gathering plants can benefit from the clay. It is mainly mentioned from koi pond owners and I assumed traveled from there to tank aquaculture. :)

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Clay can increase bacterial growthrates, filterbacteria but also the less desireable ones. If you start using clay i would not advise to use alot at first but to gradually introduce into the system. Using clay can be very beneficial for the fish for sure, they will also eat the clay that settles on the bottom if you have a BB tank.

I've never heard such a claim as far as bacterial growth rates. Can you link to where you've read this? :idont

First off my father and i have been using Koi clay for many years and i am still using clay in my Ranchu tanks and pond today. If you want to scientifically explain and predict what clay does in an aquatic system you have to break down every component and research it in a lab, there are studies to what calcium does for example, but clay is quite complex in its composition and varies with its origin. (As shown in below link).

To add to the OP, montmorillonite clay has been an ingredient in some koi foods for many years, might be worth investigating aswell.

Basically to understand my caution when adding clay to your aquatic system for the first time. When adding clay you will dose alot of minerals to your tank, clay is a mineral composition. Usually high on calcium but also many other minerals are added, sometimes these are minerals not present in your tapwater. The clay releases minerals, but also binds minerals. Clay will also act as a flocculant and small (organic) particles not caught by your filtermaterials will be when clay is added.

As is being explained and tested in below link, the "risky" part in adding clay is because it will raise PH and GH but also adds minerals and organic matter(flocculant) to your filter and the bacteria in the filter. If for example someone has soft tapwater and relative poor filtration, adding clay can change above parameters dramatically and will result in disaster if ammonia gets in the toxic PH zone. At least this is what i was trying to point out.

I consider clay to be benefical to my system, the fish general health(seen in slimecoat and scales) is improved as is the filter function(clay acts as a floating filter media).

I maybe should have explained my statement better, good you asked fantailfan1. I will however not be caught up again in any mudslinging(or must i say clayslinging? :pp ) contests with our bro Ichthius, sorry.

Anyone considering using clay can read more about it here, there is also a test of various kinds of clay in there and what is does to (tap)waterparameters. This is not a scientific study but a comprehensive text which might be much more usefull to some on this forum.

http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/understanding_clay.html

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There are scientists here, and we don't accept articles making claims without references to supporting research. The article you linked to provides no useful information, since there is nothing about the procedures used, concentration tested, initial pH and hardness of the water.

A little web research found this unreferenced source for the table of data. The samples contained 1 tablespoon of koi clay in 1 gallon of water. Considering that the recommended dosage is 1 tablespoon per 500 gallons, I think it is safe to say that this study shows no effect on pH from using koi clay at recommended doses. Furthermore, I would have absolutely no faith in the comments of someone who posted someone else's data in an article without crediting the source.

I'm still waiting for evidence that bacterial growth is enhanced by koi clay.

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Thanks for all the input guys :)

Here's a case from the most recent edition of aquaculture North America where clay, in this case kaolin was used to reduce columnaris attachment to host fish in this case catfish. http://aquaculturenorthamerica.com/Finfish/fresh-water-fish/using-clay-to-protect-catfish/

I can think of why clay would increase bacteria, a source of information would be very interesting.

As to baking the clay, could you be thinking of pH pucks made of plaster of Paris in muffin tins?

That's an interesting article. I know that kaolin has its uses in human medicine, but I didn't know that it was a component of Koi Clay. Thanks for the link!

I have no idea what I was thinking of when I asked about baking the clay, as I said I thought I'd read about it somewhere, and was under the impression that it wouldn't cloud the water as much if it was solid - but I've had many replies saying that Koi Clay doesn't cloud the water and shouldn't be visible on the substrate, or at least the clouding shouldn't last more than a few hours. So I'm just going to go ahead with the usual method of adding it to the water :)

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I'm still waiting for evidence that bacterial growth is enhanced by koi clay.

If you would be so kind to link me to the proper protocol when expressing personal experience, it would be helpfull.

There is no evidence providing proof bacteria will bloom when adding koi clay, but i will try and illustrate what i think CAN cause increased bacterial growthrates.

In this i am not accounting for limiting factors in bacterial growth which would be too complex to be informative.

I will link a very basic explanation of what DOC(Dissolved Organic Carbon) is and its role to microorganisms. The second link is a study on the effect of clay on DOC and bacterial production.

When reading the study one should note that when adding clay to an aquarium, the DOC is bound to the clay(flocculant) and taken directly to the filter. The DOC will feed bacteria existing in the filter, the good but also the bad. In the study this negative (reverse)effect of DOC and (montmorillonite) clay is also documented.

I must admit this will be more of a problem in ponds and in a low dosage in an aquarium probably will do no harm. But in theory, being carefull when introducing clay (or any other mineral additive) in an aquatic system for more reasons then this one seems logical to me at least.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolved_organic_carbon

http://www.environmental-expert.com/Files%5C6063%5Carticles%5C4881%5CM36V12NLR4HDNYG5.pdf

Maybe not admittable as proof on this forum, but an interesting read to some maybe.

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For me the best is just to outright express that I am sharing observations through personal experiences so people know first and foremost. (To answer your question on how to best explain it and I hope that was meant for anyone to answer if not, I am sure Sharon can direct you)

I wanted to thank you for providing a warning. It seems you have thought long and hard on it and that it comes from a good place. However it does seem to be a warning that is based on rather extreme circumstances. I am not sure if you are aware of the recommendations as to tank maintenance here but I think the large weekly water change and the regular filter maintenance would help minimize the risks that you are concerned with. We often ask a lot of questions before answering and you may want to adopt that idea as well. :)

Your research is really inconclusive as the conclusion in it stated that the clay both increases and decreases bacterial growth and the only real phytochemical decomposition happened during measure solar radiation levels after being exposed outdoors for 21 days. I think it is safe to assume that solar radiation indoors will be less than outdoors. None of it even states the types of bacteria that were increasing and decreasing during the experiment. It was an interesting read and I did enjoy it though :)

Opposing views to standard care is always welcomed at koko's but you will be asked to back your position with some form of research or scientific backing. I am sure you understand the reason for this as there is a lot of bad information still about goldfish care and koko's tries very hard to provide good solid reasoning for all of the information supplied here.

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