Algae bloom will it dissipate on its own?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by SEKCOBRA, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. SEKCOBRA

    SEKCOBRA

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    Hi Guys
    I had my pond built in October so this is my first spring/summer with it. My question is will a algae bloom (green water not the string stuff) go away on its own or should I be doing something to clear it. I had a lot of string or mat algae on my stream and waterfall for a month or so then I guess it died off and went into the pond and now my stream and waterfall is clean but my water is green. Im guessing the nutrients from the die off of the string algae fed the free floating kind. I put a bunch of plants in the water from reccomendations from people here to help prevent or lessen this problem,I don't overfeed and have a low fish load. PH is always high 8.6 to 9.2 Ammonia 0-0.25 Nitrite 0 KH 150 phosphate 0.25 Salinity 0.8 I always have foam especially in am. Don't believe its spawning because its everyday and ammonia doesent change. I don't have muck or anything on the bottom that I can see to be high organics in water. Although I probably have a lot of pollen and some debris that has made it in the water. I don't have a skimmer or mechanical filtration. aquascape style pond. I have a vault under two tons of gravel that houses a 6500 GPM pump that goes to a biofall. I know this is probably not a good system but im going to see how it goes for a season before I have to spend more money retrofitting the pond. Besides waterchanges and chemicals is there anything to do to clear it or will the algae die off and start the cycle again? I have greenclean FX and was told to use this in the pond by the builder but was afraid it would kill the plants and possibly the fish. here is a photo from a month ago and today.
     

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    SEKCOBRA, Jun 4, 2018
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  2. SEKCOBRA

    Lisak1

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    Yup - new pond syndrome. Keep doing what you're doing and one day BOOM! Clear pond. I know you don't believe it right now, but you'll be back posting "GUYS! You'll never believe what happened!" No chemicals, no water changes - those just start the cycle over again. Nature won't kill the algae like chemicals will - nature just starves it out.

    And again - THIS IS A GOOD SYSTEM! Don't convince yourself otherwise. The only downside I can see to your bog set up is it's downflow vs upflow, but being that it's in the pond, I don't think you'll experience the common problem of debris building up on the gravel. If you do, it would be easy to just stir it up and get it moving again.

    The foam is a sign of DOC (dissolved organic compounds) in the water. But your plants are still tiny, tiny, tiny - as they grow they will become nutrient sponges and that will go away, too.
     
    Lisak1, Jun 4, 2018
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  3. SEKCOBRA

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Be sure you’re not over feeding your fish.
     
    Mmathis, Jun 4, 2018
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  4. SEKCOBRA

    EricV

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    You can always pull out string algae, but yeah, leave it alone and it will eventually clear.

    I'm on my 2nd full year and things are much easier this year. It's been cloudy twice and clear twice now (2nd clear period now and still improving). Last year I had a bunch of floating scum algae by this time. Now I've got some string algae in high flow areas, but nothing like last year.
     
    EricV, Jun 5, 2018
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  5. SEKCOBRA

    SEKCOBRA

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    Thanks guys. Im having multiple issues with this pond. Water being green is a big issue since I cant see the fish as well or the bottom at all. Any ideas how long this will take to clear? I had a few fish develop redness on sides and im guessing ulcers. One had half a tail and rot at base. Nobody could tell me what it was without spending a $1000 dollars for a scrape. Took advice from one guy and treated water for flukes twice. Now I have had two fish get lethargic stop eating and die over a two week period. Nothing on them that I could see. Another got lethargic and stopped eating a few days ago and I found him dead this am. He had his lower jaw missing. I guess mouth rot? No fuzzy stuff on him anywhere? Now im assuming I have a bacterial or fungal problem. I don't know why im having so many problems. My water parameters are always perfect. My friends have tiny ponds with triple the fish and have no issues. Im hoping this green water will clear so I can get a better look at the fish and bottom of pond. I don't believe ill see anything like muck on bottom since the pond is not even a year old and I have a light fish load and don't feed the fish a lot and not even everyday. Since the water went green they are more skittish when eating. They used to see me and follow me to eat. Now they come up and eat like they are scared. I cant see into pond to know where one or two of them are. very frustrating. Every time I speak to local pond guy he just wants me to spend more money on drugs and says I have to get another filter and uv and remove all the rocks on the bottom. He claims that the gravel bottom is the root of all my issues. As of right now the fish I can see look fine. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst at this point.
     
    SEKCOBRA, Jun 10, 2018
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  6. SEKCOBRA

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @SEKCOBRA Could you give us the results of a current (now) water test — please use the numbers of the results. And remind us.....how many gallons is your pond and how many/what size fish do you have?
     
    Mmathis, Jun 10, 2018
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  7. SEKCOBRA

    SEKCOBRA

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    About 3000 gallons PH 8.8 ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 kh 160 phosphate 0.25
    9 koi about average 6 inches, 6 Koi 2 inches and 15 tadpoles
    No mechanical filtration
    Aquascape style pond only filter is in biofall two pads and lavavrock bag
    Pump is in vault under a ton of stones at one end of pond 6000 gph pump.
    Large air diffuser running near waterfall at other end.

    Pond water was crystal clear since October. Went green after oak tree and other trees bloomed a few weeks agoand algae on waterfall disappeared. Im thinking all the organics in water fed the free floating algae.
     
    SEKCOBRA, Jun 10, 2018
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  8. SEKCOBRA

    Jhn

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    Water turning green is typical in new ponds, yours is still maturing. Plants, plants and more plants. The green free floating algae will eventually starve. The reason you are not getting any readings on your water tests is because the algae is consuming the nutrients.

    As for the pond guys advice..... just no, ...rock in the pond bottom is fine, uv is unnecessary and counter productive in the pond trying to establish the base of the food chain or ecosystem. No drugs/chemicals, if you have a sick fish better to get it out of the pond if possible and treat it in a qt tank rather than treat the entire pond. Especially an eco pond or aquascape style pond as the treatment can wreck havoc on the biological filter.

    Fish don’t care about green or murky water, as long as the water parameters are fine.

    As for the darting while feeding that is fairly typical feeding behavior in fish. Especially in nature fish never leisurely feed at the water surface. I am venturing they are using the murky green water to their advantage to dart up and eat then dive back into the safety of the murky depths so to speak.

    Bottom line your circulation is good, water Params are good, plant the pond well and have patience.
     
    Jhn, Jun 10, 2018
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  9. SEKCOBRA

    MitchM

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    If your salt level is 0.8%, your plants will not do well so you will constantly struggle with water and fish health issues.
    Water changes are the only way to reduce the salt level.
    No chemicals.
     
    MitchM, Jun 10, 2018
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  10. SEKCOBRA

    Tula

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    Water changes to reduce salinity and I'd move the aerator to the other end of the pond to equalize oxygenation......you've already got the waterfall at the other end. Make sure you're using a good water treatment , like Pond Prime or Safe when you do water changes. Also, I would not feed the fish for now.
     
    Tula, Jun 10, 2018
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  11. SEKCOBRA

    Jhn

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    Good catch on the salt in the pond, somehow I missed that.
     
    Jhn, Jun 11, 2018
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  12. SEKCOBRA

    Lisak1

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    AH! Totally missed the salt. @MitchM - good catch.
     
    Lisak1, Jun 11, 2018
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  13. SEKCOBRA

    SEKCOBRA

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    Hi
    Thanks for the advice. Salt level is probably down to about 0.5. It was 0.7 before I did the last water change last Tuesday. I do about 400 gallons every week. I use prime with water changes. Im trying to be patient. Im a firm believer in the less is more concept. I am not going to use any chemicals. Im thinking the same thing as jhn. The algae will starve once the nutrients are depleted. at least that's what I hope. I used microlift sa a couple of weeks ago. I was told to use it as a maintenance regime to keep the bottom from getting all mucked up. Stuff turns water brown. Its like pouring india ink in pond. Im wondering if that is what made the algae die off in stream. Its supposed to break down waste in gravel at bottom of pond. I wonder if it affected nutrients in gravel in stream causing the algae to die there. Just a theory.
     
    SEKCOBRA, Jun 11, 2018
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  14. SEKCOBRA

    Lisak1

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    I'm going to recommend you stop the water changes, too. It's a subject of some debate, but in my experience with an eco-pond there is just no need for it. Let the water in the pond mature. Every time you add new water the process gets disrupted and the balancing act starts over. Water changes are a carry over from the aquarium hobby and are done regularly by folks who have DKPs (dedicated koi ponds) but those are not eco-ponds. You want your pond to become mostly self-sufficient - you feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, the plants clean the water. The only "you" in that equation is the fun and relaxation of feeding your fish!

    Again - others will disagree with that advice, but we're in our seventh year with our pond and we've never done an intentional water change. We top off when we lose water due to evaporation and get fresh water when it rains, but that's it.

    As for the Sludge Away, I think that's another bacterial type product that is supposed to speed decomposition. It shouldn't actively kill anything that's living though.

    I know you said you added a bunch of plants, but your pond is large and those plants are tiny! Give them time to grow, KEEP ADDING MORE and you'll see the magic happen. Are those plants still in pots? The effectiveness of plants increase dramatically when they are planted directly in the pond. I would focus on getting your bog area planted - that will help a lot.

    Patience, patience, patience! Year one is never an indication of how a pond will function over time. I'll keep repeating it - you have a good pond set up! Don't give up on it before it has a chance to do what it was designed to do!
     
    Lisak1, Jun 11, 2018
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  15. SEKCOBRA

    SEKCOBRA

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    Thanks Lisa. The cattails and lilies are in the gravel as well as a few plants in the stream. Others are in pots. Problem is most of the plants I find locally are 1/2 in depth meaning shallow plants. My bog area is about a foot deep. I need some plants that I can plant that deep. Having a hard time finding any in local pond stores. I would love to put more lilies in but they are $40 a pop. Thinking about getting more water hyacinth and water lettuce today.
     
    SEKCOBRA, Jun 11, 2018
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  16. SEKCOBRA

    SEKCOBRA

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    I thought the sludge away might have decomposed the nutrients in the stream bed and helped kill off the string algae there. Just crazy how it disappeared. The stream and waterfall rocks are as clean as the first week. Just checked my water this am. PH 8.8 everything else 0. temp 68. Fish are deep so I cant see them. They seem to get more active and come up late in the day and as the sun goes down since the water turned green.
     
    SEKCOBRA, Jun 11, 2018
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  17. SEKCOBRA

    qclabrat

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    check Craigslist for people looking to get rid of pond plants, I've gotten free and $5 lilies this spring
    This is my first spring having started the pond in summer last year. Still have a lot of string algae though the water is clear. Hoping the plants start to grow more and starve out the algae.
     
    qclabrat, Jun 11, 2018
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    MitchM

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    Can you just clarify that your salinity was at 0.8% and not 0.08%?
    0.8% is very high, higher than medication level. In your original posts you started out at 0.3%, if I'm not mistaken.
    Any plants that are subject to 0.8% will die. You'll have to start over with new plants, other than lilies. Lilies are not great at reducing the level of nutrients in the pond.

    (@Lisak1 , I'm sure you mean to stop the water changes once the salt level is down below 0.1%?)

    Also, without mechanical filtration, or substantial plant filtration, you'll see an increase of phosphate and nitrate levels. Bacteria alone will not filter a pond. Have you measured nitrates yet?

    I'm a little puzzled at whoever set up your pond and wonder what they were thinking. (no mechanical filtration plus salt...?)
     
    MitchM, Jun 11, 2018
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  19. SEKCOBRA

    Lisak1

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    @MitchM - absolutely!

    And I'm not positive, but I get the feeling @SEKCOBRA is getting pond maintenance advice from someone other than the original builder - since he's been told the gravel bottom is a problem, for example. The advice sounds like it's coming from a koi-keeping person as opposed to an eco-pond person. Just a guess, though. He has lost confidence in his pond's ability to function as it was designed.
     
    Lisak1, Jun 11, 2018
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  20. SEKCOBRA

    Tula

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    So, you've lost three fish in total? Some fish had redness / ulcers, torn/ missing tails and mouth rot...two that died had no obvious problems.

    You've treated the pond twice for flukes? With what and was salt in the pond when you treated?

    It seems the filtration design of your pond is plants growing in a gravel flow through bog....however your plants are not thriving ( probably because of salinity ) , so for now gravel is the primary filtration?

    You're changing out about 10 % of water volume per week?

    I'm asking these question to make sure I understand what's going on
     
    Tula, Jun 12, 2018
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