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Water Gardens: green water

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helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 25, 2013
3:37 PM

Post #9533810

I am having a time getting my little pond clear this year. I put a new big filter I made from a 40 gallon drum but now I have green water. I put another UV light on it so I now have about 28 watts. The fish get bigger and keeping the pond clear is getting harder. How long does anyone think it will take to clear up?
The water lilies are happy and in fact so are the fish.
Thanks, Helen

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 25, 2013
4:21 PM

Post #9533838

It shouldn't take long for the uv light to clear up the water 4 or 5 days. How old are the uv lights? Has the pond recently been filled?

BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 25, 2013
5:55 PM

Post #9533918

We are full of questions----are you using good bacteria-or any pondzyme or the like. Could you have fish overload.
Hope the uv clears it up but if not you can always do a large water change and start good bacteria etc.

Good luck. I can clean up a pond better than I can clean up my pool. We both need clear water only me in our pool. Ponds look brown and need wter change and microblift summer starter which I have. All I need is time. Plants all need to be divided and put into new pots. Ah the joys of ponding.

Hope it clears up for you.

Bonnie
helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 26, 2013
4:54 AM

Post #9534219

Thanks for the input. The UV lights are new this year. In fact the new 20 watt(er) is brand new. I don't think I am fish overloaded. I have 4 that are approx 2 feet, 3 that are about 7-8 inches and approximately 12 goldfish that range from 3-10 inches.
I do think a water change would be good. I have never added any good bacteria. I figured they were available for free! Does it make a difference to 'add' store bought bacteria? Would say PetSmart have it?
Thanks again.
Helen
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 26, 2013
10:13 AM

Post #9534574

Helen

How big is your pond? How many gallons? I wouldn't do an entire water change - you will start the cycle from square one all over again. We do add Pondzyme with the barley and truthfully, I think hubs has missed a dose or two recently as my water clarity seems to be suffering.

Petsmart should have some - I prefer to buy mine for the next ponding year in September - it is a powder, so shelf life isn';t an issue. In September all the water garden stores have everything on sale so they don't have to carry it through.

helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 26, 2013
3:33 PM

Post #9534951

The pond is about 1500 gallons. To clarify I never do a total water change, usually around 20-30%. Thanks for the advise. I will look for the Pondzyme. I guess a water garden is always a work in progress.
Helen
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 26, 2013
5:17 PM

Post #9535051

Helen

It is definitely a work in progress. What type of filtration do you have? Do you have a bottom drain? I still haven't added my Pondzyme - I forgot. Spent the day in the kitchen today. So very windy the last couple of days.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 28, 2013
6:22 AM

Post #9536709

Carolyn,
I have microblist PL for summer start up. Is it necessary to take all water out or couldn't I do 75% water change? Now I've got way too many fish to take out would be a pain. Figured I could pressure wash sides down some while pump is pumping it out but leave enough for fish to swim. Hope this is possible.

Bonnie
helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 28, 2013
8:00 AM

Post #9536823

I have a plastic barrel about 45 gallons. The water flows from the pump at the bottom of the pond in the top and down to the bottom of the barrel. It then flows up through lava rock and 3 layers of Matala filter media and then back to the pond. I can't remember exactly but I think the pump does about 3500gph. The pond is about 1500 gallons. I have a valve at the bottom of the barrel and have drained and flushed the system until the water ran clear. Is that useful or maybe not?
Do you think I may need a finer filter to trap more of the suspended particles? I have another barrel I could hook up to the above filter and I thought it might be helpful for the mechanical filtration part of the set up.
I got the idea for the filtration system on DIY youtube.
I am open to any and all ideas and suggestions.
Thanks. Helen
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 28, 2013
1:39 PM

Post #9537302

Bonnie - what is wrong with your water? 75% seems like a rather large water exchange.

Helen - it sounds like that should be enough. Do you just see pea green or do you see free floating pieces of algae? I know that a lot of people swear by quilt batting to remove particulates from the water. Everything else sounds like it should be fine - have you tested the water at all with a testing kit?
helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 28, 2013
2:12 PM

Post #9537345

Quilt batting sounds like a good option. Cheap (I think) and biodegradable (I hope). I will get some soon. That should polish the water, as they say.
I haven't tested the water in awhile. I have a kit but in the past it has always been good with the exception my pH went way down once (lethargic fish was the cue to action) and I even lost a big fish... sniff. I did some quick research and realized the pond was overloaded with plant material (living). Everything snapped back fine when I got rid of tons of water lettuce I had been meaning to take care of for awhile anyway... all that to say I will get the kit out and retest soon.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 28, 2013
5:21 PM

Post #9537583

Helen

let us know what your readings are.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

May 28, 2013
5:31 PM

Post #9537588

I also stopped fertilzing my water plants. They suck up nutrients from the water and keep it clear, but if you fertilize them they don't need to. I have an overly heavy fish load, I mean waaaaay too many! My UV light is my best friend! I'd be lost without it. I just changed the lightbulbs in all of them (I do it once a year) What a difference it makes in such a short amount of time. I also add good bacteria on a regular basis. Some of the bacterias with liquid barley straw do a great job of keeping your water clean. Barley breaks down and keeps your water clear, and buying the liquid variety skips the breakdown step. Cities use large bails of barley straw dumped into their lakes all along the edges to keep them from getting overly green.
helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 29, 2013
10:34 AM

Post #9538391

I used a dipstick to check the water.
GH 30-60
KH 0
pH 6-6.5
NO2 20
NO3 0.5

Obviously the pH is too low. I suppose I should add some baking soda but how much (1500 gallons)?
I got some beneficial bacteria treatment and quilt batting in place.
The water is still green though improving despite the UV lights for 4 days. I know there are solutions to my poor water quality and I am determined to find them. I appreciate everyone's input and advise.
Helen
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

May 29, 2013
12:08 PM

Post #9538467

PH levels can change during the day...depending on morning temps, or mid afternoon sun. I'd take a measurement at different times over several days and average it. Messing too much with PH is not always a good idea if it's just adjusting up and down throughout the day.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 29, 2013
3:52 PM

Post #9538674

Carolyn,
It's time for a good cleanup. Haven't done anything to big pond since it was put in last July or the old pond. Water is too brown for my liking. Fish are all active and happy but I like to see bottom of pond. Put new UV bulbs in both last week.

Mery Mary,
Won't it work if I pump out most of the water, pressure wash sides down while pumping and then refill and add Microb-Lift?
Will I still need to add good bacteria. Of course I'll add salt.

All plants are now huge and need dividing which I will also do at cleaning time. Need more underwater pots now that I think of it although I usually just put more holes in plain old nursery pots and rocks and sink them. Works great so far.

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

May 29, 2013
6:51 PM

Post #9538893

Bonnie...Unless you use well water, make sure you add the anti-chlor! :)
I DO sometimes drain a large amount of water, and start with new water. I bypass the filter system to not kill the bacteria that's established in there, re-fill (add the anti-chlor, salt for a good slime coat, and tons of good bacteria/enzyme) I turn the filter back on, but leave the UV off for a few days to let the bacteria get good and established, then turn it back on. After a few days, once the water balances, I then clean the pads in the filter (I leave the medium so as to not kill the bacteria) My water is clear, but also brown, right now...from the camphor tree. I want it clear again, not like iced tea...so a good cleaning is in the very near future!
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 30, 2013
6:06 PM

Post #9540062

I'm on well water that unfortunately is full of iron. House water is only water that goes through water softner to remove it.
I'm going to try my original idea which is much like yours but I'll leave enough water in so that I don't have to remove fish. It worked in old pond first time I tried it. I'd have to invest in a very large tank to remove them. In the fall I'll look for a good vacuum on sale hopefully.

Thanks for all your help.

Bonnie
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 30, 2013
6:15 PM

Post #9540082

Helen

MM is right - water parameters will fluctuate throughout the day. Typically the best time to take a reading is first thing in the morning before the fluctuations start. Dawn is typically the best time to test your water.

I have a link that I found regarding where the optimal water parameters should be - again, they will fluctuate. The water paramaters will also change as the water cycles and the good bacterias kick in. http://www.koiandponds.com/pondwater.htm

I do think your filtration will dictate how many fish are too many fish in a pond. The better the filtration, the more fish load a pond can handle.



helenchild
Decatur, GA

June 2, 2013
5:27 AM

Post #9542921

I am happy to report that the water quality has greatly improved. The pictures are not great but they illustrate the green is gone and I can now see the bottom. I do think there is room for improvement. I will add more bacteria booster when it comes in the mail probably tomorrow. The UV lights definitely got the green out but I think the bacteria really cleared up the brownness. I certainly learned a lot about water quality. Thanks everyone for your input and help.
I also see some bricks and cement pieces that got lost and need to be retrieved from the bottom. I also see some round pebbles. Does anyone have a good way to get the pebbles out? Netting is ineffective and my homemade syphon is tedious! Thanks again.

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

June 2, 2013
2:31 PM

Post #9543466

WOW! What a difference! I'm happy it all worked out!
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 4, 2013
8:04 AM

Post #9545884

GREAT nothing like being able to see and enjoy your fish.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 4, 2013
8:08 AM

Post #9545886

Regarding pebbles. I "swept" all of mine into a pile with back of garden rake best I could and then pushed them into dustpan and the rest removed by hand. Thats why I never intend to have any size rocks in a pond again even tho they are pretty. The pebbles that fall out of plant pots are enough for me to remove.

Bonnie
helenchild
Decatur, GA

June 4, 2013
10:43 AM

Post #9546049

The pebbles in my pond are from plant pots. Something tipped over I guess. Do you use a dust pan underwater? My pebbles are about 31/2 feet down and I can't figure how to use a dustpan under water down there.
Last night a noisy pump woke me up around 1:30am... crawled out of bed and looked to see half the water was gone from my pond. Yikes. I went outside, turned off the pump and hoped the fish would be okay until the morning. (they were) It turned out some of the quilt batting I had put in the filter went partially down the outlet pipe and slowed up the outflow and the barrel overflowed. It must have been going on for awhile. Well it was an easy fix this morning to get things back running right. The batting is now gone. Its too risky.
I filled the pond back up and nothing seems worse for the wear. I got my Pondzyme in the mail so I will read directions and give the system a boost.
One more question. What about back flushing my filter barrel? Is that a good thing to do or can it just run for awhile. If it does need flushing out what intervals would make sense. Something tells me it is okay to leave it alone for many weeks, maybe months but I would like others to give me advise.
Thanks again everyone.
Helen
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 4, 2013
5:51 PM

Post #9546526

Hi Helen,
Don't think you could use a dustpan in water that deep. You would have to snorkel to do it. Just kidding. Maybe you could get them with a dip net that has plastic along one edge. My pool net is like that so I use it all the time in the pond.

Flushing filter barrel-not sure-I clean all my filters about once a month. Usually they are really crummy with black mud by that time. Can you run your hand around inside of the barrel to see how much crud has built up. That would tell when it needed cleaning. I just have filter pads and cut up filter material inside of my waterfalls plus some in skimmer and that is what I wash every month. When I let them go longer than get really muddy and then pond gets brown as it is now. It way overdue for its annual drawn down and new water and bacteria. Leaving Thurs. for Cal. for a week so it will have to wait longer but when I return I will get right to it before I have eye surgery on 18th. I like to see right to the bottom of the ponds and see fish clearly.
Good luck with your pond and fish.

Bonnie
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

June 4, 2013
6:52 PM

Post #9546619

Last year I put a biological filter in my pond.The water cleared like magic.It attaches to the pump.Now I can see the fish better than ever before.

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agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

June 4, 2013
7:03 PM

Post #9546642

This is what the pond looks like now.The first picture was right after my helpers gave the pond it's spring cleaning about a month age.The water has remained clear with no help from me...a good thing as I can't bend over to adjust the pump anymore...fell in a few years ago.Back to the pond now this was the other night

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2013
5:29 AM

Post #9546990

Helen

Your pond looks great - We were in Boston and Maine for 5 days - had a wonderful time. I have come back to a murky pond and I think I may have the whole DOC thing going on as well, although the fish don't seem to be stressing for air. I did get the main pump going, but DH is going to have do the backflushing on the pressure filters - I cannot unscrew the caps to do the backflushing.

Joy - your pond and fish look beautiful. How have you been? So good to hear from you.

quaqbe
Stirling, NJ
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2013
12:02 PM

Post #9547466

agedgardener...my husband is 83 and every time he bends over to clean the filter I close my eyes...LOL...terrified he is going in head first...but so far we're good.
helenchild
Decatur, GA

June 5, 2013
12:04 PM

Post #9547468

I have to admit I am very pleased with the continued improvement of my pond's water.
Here are some pictures today and you can see individual pebbles on the bottom now and this fish seem to be hanging in air.
I like it this way.
Thanks again for everyone's input. I would be struggling without DGers.
Helen

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2013
2:27 PM

Post #9547620

Helen

Your pond looks great. I need to get mine back to being clear. Going away kind of messed that up for me.

Love the yellow koi with the zipper down his back. I have always wanted one like that in either yellow or white.

helenchild
Decatur, GA

June 5, 2013
4:00 PM

Post #9547688

Thanks Carolyn. That yellow fish is one of my oldest.. say about 8-9years old. It get all my fish at PetSmart.. please don't cringe.. but it you get to the store early the day the get their new fish shipment there can be some pretty nice ones. I buy the small $4-$7 ones and they grow. There is one sort of muddy calico fish I would like to replace. She is about 7-8 yrs old but her color developed the wrong way. The other calico I have is still pretty I think.
I sound like a real amateur for sure, calling them 'calicos' like they are cats. But I am an amateur. Oh well, first the water, then maybe the proper fish names.:-)
Helen
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

June 6, 2013
5:19 PM

Post #9549085

Helen

I think Calico is a beauty. I love calico cats too!

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