50 Gallon Pond - 2 Weeks Water Quality SOS


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Hi All,

So its been two long weeks.

I purchased a raised 50 gallon pond for my garden with the intention of keeping 2-3 goldfish. Upon purchase I bought a submerged filter and a solar pump which sat inside and added a pure pond bomb for the bio to build. All was well except I noticed the pump only worked a few hours each day. Whilst speaking to very friendly people on this forum, I decided to purchase some plants (still not really knowing what I was doing). I went to the aquarium and purchased an IRIS, x4 hornwort (weighted down) and I can't remember the name of the other plant but its attached (in the white box).

After the first week, my pond water levels went from:

PH:7
Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0

to

PH:
8-9
Ammonia:0.5
Nitrite:0.5
I quickly installed a new pump into the submerged filter which pumps 1400 litres ph and done a 25% water change.

After a further 5 days, I've tested the water and it's only got worse. I noticed the floating plants I had were dying and cannot understand whats happened? Tonight I've done a 50% water change and removed the floating plants. I left the water for some time and completed another test yet the water quality is still the same.

Could it be the plants doing this to the water? I've tested the water from the tap which is fine?

I appreciate any support on this and have attached photos of the plants in my pond.

Thanks in advance
IMG_3539.jpg

IMG_3548.jpg
IMG_3547.jpg
 

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No, the plants won't adversely affect your water quality. Are there currently fish in the pond? How often is your pump and filter running...it should run continuously .
 
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No, the plants won't adversely affect your water quality. Are there currently fish in the pond? How often is your pump and filter running...it should run continuously .
Thank you for replying.

The pump is now 24/7 which I only installed over the weekend. I haven't put fish in there just yet, not until the water is right.

Could it be because the plants in soil are submerged?

I have algae growing, you can see it in the photos along with the new residents - mosquito larvae... I was thinking of emptying and starting again?
 
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The plants may not be doing well as there isn't any fish waste to fertilize them Have you read up on the nitrogen cycle? It can be done with fish or with household ammonia .

I've seen some members put their water plants in a separate tub with Miracle Grow ( not sure what's available in your area ) to revive them, then put them back in the pond.
 
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The plants may not be doing well as there isn't any fish waste to fertilize them Have you read up on the nitrogen cycle? It can be done with fish or with household ammonia .

I've seen some members put their water plants in a separate tub with Miracle Grow ( not sure what's available in your area ) to revive them, then put them back in the pond.
I've taken some of the plants out for the time being and put them in water.

To be honest, I'm fairly new so I enquired at the aquarium and they advised to fill with water, add these plants and the pure pond bomb and in two weeks the water will be fine and I could add fish. Clearly not the case.

I'm based in the UK so adding miracle grow wouldn't be an issue. I was thinking of taking the plants out of the pots and putting them in tied pond bags. Something which was recommended on another thread.
 
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Don't add the Miracle Grow to the pond, but rather to the separate container you've placed the plants in. What is a "pure pond bomb"?
 
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j.w

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By the way the plants in the first photo are Mare's tail, not Hornwort. What is this Pond Bomb thing?
Here is an article about bacteria: https://www.gardenmyths.com/beneficial-pond-bacteria-waste-money/

Bacteria will build on it's own in time. No need to empty the pond just wait it out and keep testing and leave the plants in there as they are good for the pond.
 
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Not familiar with that particular product, but we have many pond products advertised to do similar things. I think most of us here prefer doing things naturally and having patience. It takes time for a pond to build up a bio film and the water to mature.

It doesn't sound like the water would be good for fish right now, I'd do some small water changes, or add some kind of ammonia neutralizer, keep the pump and filter going and give it some time. Having the plants in the pond is a good thing :)
 
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By the way the plants in the first photo are Mare's tail, not Hornwort. What is this Pond Bomb thing?
Here is an article about bacteria: https://www.gardenmyths.com/beneficial-pond-bacteria-waste-money/

Bacteria will build on it's own in time. No need to empty the pond just wait it out and keep testing and leave the plants in there as they are good for the pond.
Thank you :) The hornwart is submersed (you can see them in this photo)
IMG_3548.jpg
 

j.w

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Ah ok I see it now! I love that plant but it won't stay alive in my pond. I think the pump sucks it up. I should have planted it something instead of just throwing it in there.
 
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By the way the plants in the first photo are Mare's tail, not Hornwort. What is this Pond Bomb thing?
Here is an article about bacteria: https://www.gardenmyths.com/beneficial-pond-bacteria-waste-money/

Bacteria will build on it's own in time. No need to empty the pond just wait it out and keep testing and leave the plants in there as they are good for the pond.
Thank you, I’ll keep an eye on it but still not convinced. It’s going from bad to worse
 
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Not familiar with that particular product, but we have many pond products advertised to do similar things. I think most of us here prefer doing things naturally and having patience. It takes time for a pond to build up a bio film and the water to mature.

It doesn't sound like the water would be good for fish right now, I'd do some small water changes, or add some kind of ammonia neutralizer, keep the pump and filter going and give it some time. Having the plants in the pond is a good thing :)
Thank you, I’ll keep that in mind and see how it is this weekend
 

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I like the idea of doing some small water changes like @Tula suggested. Could be your pond bomb over did the bacteria thing and a lot of it died. Doing the water changes might help it simmer down some.
 
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I like the idea of doing some small water changes like @Tula suggested. Could be your pond bomb over did the bacteria thing and a lot of it died. Doing the water changes might help it simmer down some.
Do you think daily 25 or 50% changes should do the trick?
 
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Hi Ethan, I am new to ponds but I have been keeping and breeding tropical fish for most of my life. A lot of people's water has carbon dioxide. When the water is drawn and exposed to air the carbon dioxide gasses off and the ph rises. To find out if this is the case for you, fill a bucket with water and put an air line from an air pump in the bucket. Check the ph straight out of the tap and then 24 hours later. If you find the ph rose, that is probably the reason. You will want to age your water before doing a water change if you have fish and your ph rose in the test. A ph of 8 is fine but I wouldn't be happy about fish and a ph of 9. The more you mess with water the more problems you will have. The only reason I can think of for the nitrite and ammonia spike is the bomb. It's possible the manufacturers added ammonia to the bottle to feed the bacteria. I don't know. You are only talking about 50 gallons here. I'd dump all the water out and start again without the bomb. Buy one little fish and let him kick start the nitrogen cycle. Bacteria will grow that eat the ammonia the fish gives off, turning it into nitrites. Another type of bacteria will grow that eats the nitrites and produce nitrates. Check ammonia, nitrites and nitrates regularly. When ammonia and nitrites read "0" and you are getting a reading for nitrates (preferably below 10ppm) then your tank is cycled. It will take a few weeks. Plants often go through a stress when they are moved to different conditions and they may have been struggling at the store. Be sure you are giving them enough light. If they are rotting throw them out. HTH
Martha
 
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Do you think daily 25 or 50% changes should do the trick?
If you don't already have fish just dump it all out and start again. When you have a fish (and I don't recommend more until the water is cycled), 50% every two or three days should do it for a few weeks. That's if you have one little fish. You need somewhere for the bacteria to grow. They don't grow in the water column. They normally grow in the filter media. Your filter media needs water flow through it all the time.
 
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If you don't already have fish just dump it all out and start again. When you have a fish (and I don't recommend more until the water is cycled), 50% every two or three days should do it for a few weeks. That's if you have one little fish. You need somewhere for the bacteria to grow. They don't grow in the water column. They normally grow in the filter media. Your filter media needs water flow through it all the time.
Thank you, you have really said what me and my partner was thinking :)

So, if I were to empty the pond, wash out the filter (Basically a reset) and add 1 goldfish... should that do the trick? I was thinking of keeping the hornwart in the pond as they're doing really well and oxygenate the water. What do you think?
 

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I'd wait a few days after you do water change to add one fish if it were me. The fish will make the good bacteria come to your pond. Yep keep the Hornwort, plants won't hurt the pond, they will help unless they are rotting.
 
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If you do a complete "reset" you can go ahead and add a fish right away, provided you add something for chlorine (and chloramine, if you have it). Fish don't generally mind a high ph but they don't do well with ph swings. If the ph out of your tap is different from the ph 24 hours later by 0.3, you need to age your water. Go ahead and add the hornwart, but hornwart doesn't seem to like high ph's. By the way, how old are your test kits?
 

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