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Water Gardens: Pond 101 how to keep it clean

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ellejane7
Richfield, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 31, 2012
7:08 AM

Post #9064166

Hello!

I moved into a home with an established shallow pond & waterfall. ( approx 8-10" deep)
We love it, but over the summer it collects & decays plant material. Any ways to keep it cleaner? I want to prevent the smell, dark water. Our current solution has been to drain it a and clean out the bottom. I looked at special filters. The MN winters are too cold & water too shallow to keep fish.

thanks!

Thumbnail by ellejane7
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MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 31, 2012
8:14 AM

Post #9064208

It's absolutely beautiful! I'd love to be able to grow hosta around my pond, but it's just too hot here. They make netting that goes over a pond in the fall, you can remove it in the spring. It's like bird netting in black, with smaller holes, so acorns can't get through. Under the snow, no one will know it's there. That keeps most of the debri out. Do you have any type of filter on it now, or just a pump?
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 31, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9064450

Sure is a beautiful pond. Love the hostas. I've tried them here twice in shade but too hot for them.
Mary's suggestion is about the best way to keep debri from falling into a pond.
Enjoy your pond.

Bonnie
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

April 1, 2012
4:47 AM

Post #9065162

Love your pond...

Definitely use the netting in the fall. In the spring, you may want to take a look at Microbelift for spring clean up. It does a great job. Do you have fish?
ellejane7
Richfield, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 17, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9086768

Thanks Everyone!
I will try the netting next fall. The pond is quite shallow, less than 1' so I don't have any fish. I do have a pump for the waterfall, but no filter. I have be thinking about adding one. I will look into the Microbelift. Have you used it before Carolyn22?

thanks again
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

April 17, 2012
6:15 PM

Post #9086772

Elle

Yes, We use Microbelift Spring Start up. It helps to get the crud taken care of and the water to get going from Winter to Spring. I really like the stuff. I know that Mary (Oberon) uses Microbelift as well.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2012
8:26 AM

Post #9087439

Yup, sure do. It does a great job. My water was actually 50F the other day in the afternoon. I have been adding the cellulose packets but time to start adding the liquid also. Was even thinking about Algaway 5.4. That green stuff in my pond is really scary. The Algaway does a great job although it looks a little scary when it starts to work. Course, that shows it IS working.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

April 20, 2012
2:21 AM

Post #9089778

We have a good filtration and Dh is good cleaning the filter every other day so it stays clear. I use to use microlift but I find it very pricey so i use baking soda. Please do not ask me why , it had worked for me over the years. Also peroxide is also used few times during the year as well as solar salt. No algae!!

I have 35 kois right now and a lot of them are pregnant.

Belle
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2012
8:15 AM

Post #9090061

bellieg wrote:
I have 35 kois right now and a lot of them are pregnant.

Belle


Interesting. I was talking to my local pond store yesterday and he told me his fish were already starting to pair up. It is early for here - is it early for you Belle?

bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

April 20, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9090305

They look pregnant to me.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2012
4:39 PM

Post #9090808

Belle

when do your koi normally spawn? Just wondering if it is early...
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

April 20, 2012
6:36 PM

Post #9090941

Mine are usually may/june...I'm curious too if koi farther north than me actually spawn sooner? I know I saw Bonnie, from Bonnies Gardens, just shipped out her koi eggs...and she's in NC, so I wondered how hers spawned sooner? Although she may be manually spawning instead of naturally spawning?
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

April 20, 2012
7:05 PM

Post #9090986

I am not sure what month , perhaps it is early for us too.

Belle
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

April 21, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9091383

It makes sense, Mary. Typically mine are around the first week or so in August, but I have also seen them spawn as late as September.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 19, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9129899

Merry Mary,
You are mixing me up with Bonnie Plants Co. in N.C. Bonnie Gardens is Bonnie Davis the person you brought fish to last Oct. I am in Clermont, Fl. Wouldn't know how to ship Koi eggs if I had them. LOL
My fish don't appear to be spawning. Right now they all seem healthy and happy tho for which I am grateful. I don't believe in manual spawning and nature can take its course around here.
Bonnie in Fl.

Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 20, 2012
6:50 AM

Post #9130401

Bonnie - I think she was referring to the other Bonnie http://www.bonniesplants.com/. I am sure MM knows you.


I noticed my koi have been pairing up. Good thing we put in a dozen tads. Don't know what I would do with masses of fry.

Water temps are 64 degrees. Today is supposed to hit 90. We seem to have hit a point where the skimmer filter doesn't need to be cleaned every day, but every other day is working - so things have leveled off. I know my pond was cycling earlier as I was getting higher ammonia and nitrite levels - but I do think we are through that. It is early for this year, but everyone has made it through healthy.


Thumbnail by Carolyn22
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MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

May 21, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #9131665

Bonnie, I have the right lady, just the wrong terminology! :D It happens when you get old and brain fried! Ha!
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 28, 2012
6:20 PM

Post #9142425

Merry Mary,
Wait until you get my age--I have so much trouble remembering peoples names it's aggrevating. I can picture the face but often can't put a name to it.

Right now my old pond is beautiful. Jeff brought over a couple new fish. One is white w/black and a little red on it. Other one is beautiful silver scales and pinkish fins and tail and only has one eye so I named her-him one eyed Joe. Seems very happy and finds its way around pond fine and eats with others.

BTW I do have one blue. Its scales run all along dorsal and sides are smooth (can't spell doitz) He is beautiful and I think it came out of that batch you brought over. Of course his name is Blue Boy. I'm hoping its a female really. Later in life I'm hoping to do some selective breeding. To me koi are really mongrels and you get what you get and if lucky you get some that color up the way your hoping for. Remember the 2 Japanese men at koi show in Orlando. I talked to them and they said thats usually the way it works.

Now that new liner arrived ahead of time I'm anxious to get going on new pond. Charlie & Jeff want to make a filterfall and face it with rock. Also I want a walkway overhanging pond a bit that lines up with small patio Jeff built out there. Have all other equipment needed just need to replumb some areas. Don't want to be digging in July. Too hot for me then. Hopefully we will get it done before then.

When you come over will show you floating island Jeff built for me for Mothers Day. Fish just love it. He filled it with water hyacinths and its great filtration also. Fish actully push it around and stay under it also. He's a handy son to have.
I'll get to use up those ugly old cement block that are out back for retaining wall under walkway. I'll fill them with cement to make it sturdy. Glue carpet to it and then liner. All other walls will be plywood covered with carpet like it was before. I sunk steel pipe into ground about 2 feet and it held walls in place and stopped cave ins. Very sandy out there and had cave ins before and thats how we stopped it. Practice tends toward perfection.

Take care all you ponders and enjoy your fish.

Bonnie
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

May 29, 2012
9:58 AM

Post #9143298

I'm glad one of your fish is blue! I think I see 2 more out there for you that are developing blue tendencies, both are butterfly. It's always a matter of finding them and netting them! I also have a yellow/black ki utsuri for you. I don't want to overload you, so let me know if you don't want toooo many. Of course, keep the ones you want and feel free to give your son any additional ones...or give them away for free to others. :) After this weekend, I will have a little more mid-week free time, which I'm seriously looking forward to! I have SO much to get done around this house and yard!

Anyone needing kittens?? They are cute as can be...but it's time to eliminate them from my yard ! I have 4 cats of my own, and that's more than enough... Apparently all of my decks and bushes make for a kitty friendly place for everyone to birth their kittens. Yipes...
I did however, eliminate one possum, so feel rather accomplished. I know there's another one under the deck, so will re-set the Have-A-Heart trap once again.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 29, 2012
3:47 PM

Post #9143830

MM,
I'm headed for more room for fish so bring them on. I don't give any away until it can be determined what coloration they will take on.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

May 31, 2012
9:15 AM

Post #9146135

the outfit that I was getting my MicrobeLift from won't ship it USPS anymore. Only UPS or Fedex. No way I could afford that. I don't think that anyone here sells it. At least not in volume. I was going to look for MelaFix and PermaFix that have been mentioned here. I have enough on hand of the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter to get me through one year then I am out of MicrobeLift. Wanted to order the Algaway 5.4 at least.

Any suggestions guys? Salt, peroxide both sound pretty serious. Course now that all my koi are gone and I am down to 12 goldfish guess I can afford to give it a try. Or will when the new pond goes in and I start the recycling again.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

May 31, 2012
1:28 PM

Post #9146475

It depends on just what you are trying to do with your water. Melafix and Pfix you usually use only if you already are experiencing problems. If you are trying to keep you pond water healthy to avoid problems in the first place...then any bacteria/enzyme combo is well worth it. It also comes in tablet form, so you don't have to order liquid. It's available just about anywhere that handles pond supplies, as well as on ebay. Salt provides a heavier slime coat on the skin, so that sores, bacteria, fungus, and some parasites can't get close enough to make a fish sick. I've used salt for 10 years without a problem.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 31, 2012
1:47 PM

Post #9146514

Mary Stella

I use salt too - we salt in the fall and then in the spring, before the plants have started to put forth any real growth, we exchange the water until the salt readings are down to 0. We use the Microbelift to jump start the spring start up. The only time we have used the Pima and Mela fix is when there is already a problem. Knock wood, haven't had any problems since we have started to salt the pond in the fall. We use pickling salt.

Perhaps you should open up your own shop to peddle Microbellift and the like. Seems there is a need there and the courier companies are holding you hostage. If you ordered in mass quantities, you could get it in by truck and probably get these things at cost... :-)
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

May 31, 2012
2:07 PM

Post #9146555

LOL. I don't think there are half a dozen ponds in this town that have fish, much less fish they overwinter. Not that much of a market or the stores would have it on hand. I will mosey out to the pet stores and see what they have and talk with Damien about the salting. Thanks guys.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 6, 2012
4:59 PM

Post #9155046

I use water softner salt in pond now once a year just to ward off problems. If I put one in a sick tank I use salt also sparingly with the Melafix. My last one that died was covered with cotton desease and it didn't help but I will keep using salt as its an old form of purifier.
I now use Proform-C when I change out all water and start up new pond. It's got some malechite green in it and other stuff to discourage desease.
Lets face it it's all a crap shoot and all we can do is try. After my last spring experiences my attitude has changed greatly.
Right now all fish look healthy and happy. I'd better knock on wood.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

June 6, 2012
5:20 PM

Post #9155067

Agree...the water softener salt is the cheapest to use. It's a jumbo bag for about $5. Make sure it's the one that is pure salt with no additives. I think it's in an aqua bag at Lowes.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

June 7, 2012
1:32 AM

Post #9155374


Don't use any salt with the Proform C. I believe it indicates as such on the label, but not positive.

We salt when we shut down in the fall and then all salt is removed at start up in the spring. No health issues in a number of years in the spring. We did lose 2 nice large fish last year, but those problems were unrelated. One had a huge tumor that burst - that was awful and another had a small ulcer from spawning that wasn't healing - DH had an awful time getting her out of the pond and we think there were internal injuries as a result of trying to get her out of the pond.

Anyway, - although salt does not take care of everything, it is the magic bullet.




MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

June 7, 2012
5:56 AM

Post #9155494

I throw in a a quarter to half bucket full every time I do a water change or after several days of heavy rain. Probably once a month or so. If none of the leaves on my plants are turning slightly yellow, I know I haven't overloaded.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

June 7, 2012
4:13 PM

Post #9156194

Boy that sounds scary. Mary, how many gallons is your pond? I think I will pick up a few gallons after the overhaul. My modem crapped on me so I have been offline but still taking pictures that I will post. I have been out there sitting by the pond (helping a little when I can) even in the rain. Yesterday was awful. Today has been nice. Prevented a couple of mistakes from happening.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

June 7, 2012
5:26 PM

Post #9156272

The pond I use the most salt in is only 8x10 and 2 1/2 feet deep. It just has some of my favorite fish in it, so I make sure they stay healthy (to the best of my ability...but one strong minded heron can change that no matter how much salt you use!!)
Every now and then, my well meaning 7year old grandson, will dump a cup of salt in there too, because he knows I use salt to keep the fish healthy, and he's always trying to help. So far, no ill effects, so I don't panic about salt as much as I did 8 years ago, when it was a new topic to me...back then I'd carefully measure, etc...now I just dump. :)
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

June 7, 2012
6:39 PM

Post #9156351

I will have to refigure my pond gallonage. They cut the new wall in about 10" more than I wanted so I lost those gallons. On the other hand the shallow end now looks to be 36" deep. Or maybe the straight up walls just make it look that deep.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 8, 2012
9:55 AM

Post #9156983

Yes, MM it's aqua bag at Lowe's. I don't go crazy with the salt and not with Proform-C but occasionally I will use it if one isf looking poorly or has skin problems. Now that I have the Proform-C on hand I am more incluned to use that when refilling or sickness strikes. I don't even want to think about fish desease right now.
Today we got 1 layer of clock put into pond and 1/2 of next one. Husb. started and then son took over. My 2 grandsons and I filled bcket by shovel into Kubota as I couldn't take it down into hole with others working there. We started digging out other side of pond. They worked like 2 little trojens (grandsons) and I took dirt and dumped it. They both are skinny as a stick but seem pretty strong. 13 and 11 yrs. old. Made them stir-fry chicken lunch and ice cream for desert. I always feed my help well. Had to quit about noon cause thunder, lightening, heavy rain but now sun is shining again so later I will go back out and do more. They picked up new liner and put into Kubota bucket and I took it around closer to where we will be using it.
Nothing like a power nap to keep you going stronger.
Bonnie


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