New Pond "Milky" Water Issue

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by BigCroyd, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. BigCroyd

    BigCroyd

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    Hi All,

    I'm fairly new to ponds and pond water so please bare with me. Recently I constructed a new pond (1.2m (l) x 1.2 (w) x 0.8m (d) roughly 250 gallons) from wood with clad on decking panels on the outside with a recommended rubber pond lining on the inside. There are also decking boards on the top of the pond to form a bench around the edges.

    I treated the decking boards with ronseal decking stain and filled the pond to begin fishless cycling on the water. We put in a 1000lph pond filter/pump and placed some bacteria in the filter medium to help kick start the process as well as some chemicals to remove chlorine.

    The night we completed the pond, we had a heavy rainstorm and i noticed in the morning that some of the stain from the top decking boards had been removed and had probably run into the water. I noticed the water was "milky" or cloudy in color and was not nearly as clear as it was the previous evening.

    I was wondering if these symtoms would be down to the paint running into the water or (I have read) could be down to a bacterial spawn?

    If it is the paint i'm wondering if I will need to drain and re-fill the water or if the filter will take care of the issue in time?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Cheers
     
    BigCroyd, Jun 21, 2012
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  2. BigCroyd

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    [​IMG] to our group

    There could be two issues, run off from the boards, (take a little stain put it in some water see if it makes the water milky) Or you could have had some run off from the yard. Is your pond higher than the surrounding dirt? i.e. land

    Or if you have any rocks around the pond, dirt from them could have washed in. Mine got dirty after the first rain, as the rain rinsed dirt, from the rocks, splash for the dirt, construction dirt, and of course one run off spot I had to fix.

    Post some pictures so we can see your pond, it always helps to see.
     
    addy1, Jun 21, 2012
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  3. BigCroyd

    BigCroyd

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    Hi Addy,


    While this is not my pond, the design is very simular. Its raised off the ground so there is no chance of contamination from surrounding dirt or rocks.
     

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    BigCroyd, Jun 21, 2012
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  4. BigCroyd

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Yep no run off, so it is the stain or the new pond got rain water growing algae syndrome.............
     
    addy1, Jun 21, 2012
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  5. BigCroyd

    Waterbug

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    Bacteria causing cloudy water...
    The cause could be lots of things. I have heard of adding bacteria to a new pond and it going cloudy. It could be a "bacteria spawn" but not the bacteria you added. Its the dead bacteria you added being eaten by other bacteria. In an established pond dumping in bacteria normally doesn't cause a problem because there are established bacteria colonies (multiple species) in the pond that can decompose the added dead bacteria. In a new pond a single bacteria will find the added dead bacteria (food), start eating and reproducing unchecked because it basically has a monopoly. So you get this system full of one bacteria species and the water takes on the attributes of that species, in this case a milky white. The most often talked about case would be water turning red. But milky is more common.

    Desk stain...
    If caused by the deck stain it could stay in the water for a very long time and be a problem. However Ronseal dries in a couple of hours. If the rain happened after it dried the problem wouldn't be the stain. Once dried these stains no longer dissolve in water. They wouldn't be very useful otherwise.

    In either case, because it's a small pond, I suggest emptying the pond, hose it down, and remove the remaining water down to using a sponge. Then start over.

    Better start up...
    This time you might try a more proven method for adding bacteria. This is based on the fact that the bacteria we're interested in are everywhere. On my keyboard, in water, everywhere. Your goal is to grow a more dense colony so when the fish are added there's enough bacteria to handle the new load of waste. Growing bacteria is like growing any living creature. In the case of the bacteria we're interested in the only missing component is food. The more food they have the faster they can reproduce.

    In the case of a pond the food is ammonia. Regular unscented ammonia from the chemist (drug store in US). This is the exact same thing fish produce that we're concerned about. Before fish are added ammonia is added to the pond until your test registers some level of ammonia. You keep testing and watch ammonia decline and nitrites increase. Then watch nitrites decrease until zero and you know you have a large bacteria colony.

    You would also know chlorine level in the pond was safe because the bacteria won't start reproducing until chlorine is at a fish safe level.

    Total time is normally a couple of weeks. If the water turns green before you see nitrites it means the algae sucked up all the ammonia and you don't have a large bacteria colony.

    Other bacteria species...
    If you're trying to grow bacteria to fight algae or consume fish poo that's a different matter. In this case food is not the limiting factor, environment is. Adding more bacteria to an environment already maxed out does nothing but add more waste (dead bacteria) to the system.
     
    Waterbug, Jun 21, 2012
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  6. BigCroyd

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] BigCroyd
     
    j.w, Jun 22, 2012
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  7. BigCroyd

    don't ask

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    welcome and this might be a bit far fetched..but could it be from bird poo.. i know birds will a lot of times turn and poop after getting a drink
     
    don't ask, Jun 22, 2012
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  8. BigCroyd

    BigCroyd

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for all your support with this matter. I cleaned out the filter last night and saw that there was brown residue on the filter medium which leads me to believe that the water has been contaminated by the stain. A complete water change is going to be difficult now so i'm hoping that regular 10-30% water changes will cure the problem over time. I don't think it will get any worse as its rained since and the stain seems to have held.
     
    BigCroyd, Jun 25, 2012
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  9. BigCroyd

    Waterbug

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    A brown residue on filter media can also be a bio film which is what is suppose to be on filter media. But, whatever.
     
    Waterbug, Jun 25, 2012
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