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Water Gardens: Film on top of pond

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 7, 2011
3:44 PM

Post #8678875

I have a persistent film on top of my pond that drives me nuts. I know some of it is the stuff that blows in the air, like that pernicious disgusting cottonwood. But this isn't that. The water is clear as a bell when I use the garden hose to clear the top into the skimmer. A misnomer if there every was one. It skims nothing. When I was visiting Swan River Dahlias and admiring their pond and fish I noticed a little gizmo in the corner that was the size of a luncheon plate, set just below the water level and it was acting as a true skimmer. Water was drawn in so there must be a pump somewhere, and it was keeping the surface really clean. Has anyone seen one and if so, where could I get one.

Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

July 8, 2011
6:25 AM

Post #8679922

MS -

why does the other skimmer skim nothing? Is there not a pump associated with this skimmer?

I have not seen the little deal by the side of the pond you are discribing - it would be interesting to see one.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
8:57 AM

Post #8680169

You got me. We replaced the original pump with a larger one, 5000gph AquaSurge thinking the original was underpowered. It pulls water in very well, but at the lower level. Once the surface of the skimmer is full, no more goes on on the surface. I just don't understand why they call it a skimmer if it doesn't skim. The pump is more than adequate and has increased the throughput of water greatly. You can see and hear it is the falls volume, which is fed by that pump. Another at the bottom of the deep end feeds the new UV and the pressure filter which exits at the mid-falls level. Maybe the volume of detritis on my surface is too great? The pad in the skimmer is always full of stuff, dead algae, grey matter from the water, and I wash it daily, even twice a day during the earlier part of the summer. Right now it is filtering a lot of grey looking stuff which I would assume is the tail end of the silt thatwas formed when we removed the gravel. But the water itself is crystal, not murky. Just the surface. I added some accu-clear once which clumps the stuff on the surface and drops it to the bottom. Seemed a little counter-productive as I am trying to assure the bottom is clean.
realsis

July 8, 2011
10:16 AM

Post #8680333

hi. their are many differnt types of skimmers. some go on top of the pond and skim the particles from the surface that way. some skimmers like the one i have on my pond are hooked up to the bottom drain. the particles go from the bottom drain into the skimmer than into the filter and to the UV then out. even though mines on the bottom drain it keeps particles off the top! so it just depends on what type of system you have. ive always been afraid if i got a surface skimmer my fish would get into it because my fish are very curious. it does the job either way. the skimmer takes the heavy particulate before it goes into the filter system. skimmers are a great thing to have with your pond!
realsis

July 8, 2011
10:22 AM

Post #8680339

when i built my second koi pond i learned a lot from my first one. i built a bottom drain into the pond. this way all the waste and particle go into the drain and can be filtered out. this has been a God send for me! it pervents build up from happening on the bottom. i really struggled to keep my first pond clean! it had no drain or skimmer.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
11:41 AM

Post #8680464

I have thought about retroing a bottom drain but gave up on the idea. I know it can be done, but we compromised on putting a 2000gph pump at the bottom of the deep end. The suction is obviously a few inches above floor level, but it does pull the water from down there up to the filter and uv so we know that the water down there is getting circulation.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
11:55 AM

Post #8680491

I found what I was looking for. it is called a "No niche pond skimmer" and floats on the surface. Surface detritus is pulled in by connecting the bottom of the skimmer to the intake port on a pump.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

July 8, 2011
1:38 PM

Post #8680602

mstella...there are floating small skimmers available on ebay for around $49.00. I used one in one small corner of my pond that had a tree that kept dropping blossoms in my pond. It worked great! It has a small 600gph pump in it, and the water just goes back out into the pond.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
2:27 PM

Post #8680706

that would work great. I will go look. Thanks bunches!!
Mary Stella
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
3:18 PM

Post #8680806

Well, I found it and ordered it and it has been shipped!! Wahoo. I do hope it works. It isn't just leaves, but cottonwood and small clumping stuff. Iwonder if I could put a bit of filter pad in the bottom to make sure even the fine stuff gets caught. Or maybe it has such a filter in it??
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

July 8, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8680826

It comes with a small sponge pad. I tried adding more, but then it wouldn't work, so just leave it with it's own. I get both oak pollen and camphor pollen on the surface of that corner...as well as the camphor blossom sheaths, and it took care of it all. I just cleaned out the basket every morning.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
4:00 PM

Post #8680866

sounds like just exactly what I need. thank you so very much. This has just eaten away at me each time I looked that the pond. No matter how nice it might look, the surface just made it look yukky. Now if I could just get used to that black vinyl staring back at me now that the gravel is gone in the shallows. I did vacuum today and it was so easy and very efficient compared to the miserable efforts trying to vacuum gravel. I am still getting bits of kitty litter (changed to pea gravel for my plants now) and such out, and will have to dive in and get the bits around the edge that D couldn't see in the murk that the major haul out generated. Unfortunately clear water also makes the black pots with algae on the sides very visible. But the fish like the algae and that is about the only algae in the pond. I know. some people's children are never satisfied. lol.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

July 8, 2011
7:22 PM

Post #8681241

No no no,lol...if we were always satisfied we'd have nothing left to do anymore...and that would either be boring us to death, or make us create a new project, so we may as well dwell on the ones we have!
I have a liner with no rocks, and once it gets settled with a slight algae coating, as well as any crumbs of whatever, you only see fish... :)
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 8, 2011
7:52 PM

Post #8681292

found another of my new koi very sick. A goshiki. Looks like one eye socket is eaten out. sorry, pretty gross. I have no idea what to do. I was able to catch him and he is in a 90 gallon cooler with aeration. I assume there is no hope for him. I guess all I can do is watch them get sick one by one.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

July 9, 2011
7:12 PM

Post #8682897

MS -

After a bit, the bottom of your pond will go grey and as Mary stated, you won't see it - you will just see the fish.

Is your koi actually missing an eye or is the eye sunken or covered over with a film? These are also signs of bacterial infections. I would buy the triple antibiotic food and feed your fish with it. Was/Is this koi lethargic, does he school with the other fish or stay off by himself? If you can possibly get an antibiotic injection from your vet, that may go further with this fish. I would still get the triple antibiotic food and feed the remainder of your fish with this. I would also go beyond the 14 days.

How many koi do you have left? Also, have you taken the measurements of your water parameters? I know how hard it can be to go through all of this - believe me, DH and I have been through our share.

Keep us posted on this.

Also, let us know how the surface skimmer does for you.

Carolyn
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

July 9, 2011
7:54 PM

Post #8682959

the second fish died and I just realized that a third is missing. that leaves me four of the original seven. I emailed the seller and he really can't explain it except to say that the rock and my water are not conducive to healthy koi. I will try to find the triple antibiotic food and was going to get a test kit today but didn't make it. Will do so tomorrow without fail. also to look for the food. Will fedex it in if necessary. I am resigned to losing them all, and hope that I don't lose my own fish.

the fish eye was not missing, but was seriously eaten away near the eyesocket. One fin was useless. It seemed to school with the others up to the end.

I am hoping the skimmer will improve the surface condition, although that has little to do with the deaths. I think that the seller is right and his fish, while healthy, were not up to the rougher pond conditions, gravel (now gone) and in particular the rock caves. they get too banged up I guess. Especially when the entire herd decides to make a run for the door all at once.
jam_session
Woodburn, OR

August 1, 2011
10:58 PM

Post #8731343

I'm sorry to hear about your fish. I hope you find the solution. About your skimmer, sometimes I service ponds and find that the weir door is missing frm the intake, or that the door's floatation is gone.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

August 2, 2011
7:59 AM

Post #8731801

Hi Jam. I did indeed, with Carolyn's help, cure the fourth fish. Lost three before I even realized what was happening. They went so fast. but I got an anti-bacterial dip and then an anti-fungal and after about three weeks he goes back in the pond today.

My skimmer is a laguna so has a basket, under which is a pad. Pretty simple. We increased pump size but it simply doesn't draw in the water on the surface enough to remove the skim. However, as the summer progresses, it dies down and isn't so bothersome. I installed, at another DG'er suggestion a small floating skimmer that also helps. I could used something like AccuClear and it would drop the solids to the bottom but that seems rather counter productive as I removed the gravel from 3/4 of the pond to clean up the muck at the bottom. Contrary to opinions, there was no smell whatever. Perhaps a combination of our cold water and the stuff I add to break down sludge. I know that the skimmer pad is always heavy with stuff and I clean it daily, sometimes early on twice a day. And the biowell is cleaned almost weekly to start (though we are careful now to not overly rinse the rocks, only the pads). Thanks for the suggestion though.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 25, 2011
7:59 PM

Post #8777176

My son has a fish in his inside acquarium that lost an eye but is living fine. I had a butterfly koi that developed skin ulcers I learned. Put him in quarenteen for 2 weeks added rock salt to water and changed water every day. He is fine now and skin looks clear and clean. So glad other fish didn't get it. Boy what we do for these little critters. I started out with 3 beautiful lilttle butterfly koi and they are all still living and would hate to loose them. I am about 35 miles from a 25 acre fish farm where koi are $5. ea. unless you start picking out certain ones. When I get second pond finished I'm moving all the gold fish and others out and hopefully buying more koi and keep just them in first pond. When I get it all done will post some pics. Happy ponding, Bonnie

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