Anyone have this happen after winterizing?


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I removed about 7 55 gallon bags of hyacinth's a day or so before Halloween and cut downall the plants that I hope will make it through the winter. I rinsed my bioball bags and cleaned the two pads in the biofall. I then covered the pond with a fine net to stop the leaves which didn't really start falling till this week. Water temp around 50 for a month now so pretty much stopped feeding. Did my last water change of 600 gallons 11/4. Moved my aerator up to a about 15 inches from surface. I leave my system running year round so stream and waterfall still running. I have noticed that the algae is growing pretty good on the rocks and my stream is covered with string and hair algae. Stream usually has a good amount of hair algae all the time. Pond gets a lot of sun. Im guessing that the algae growing in the pond is due to me removing all the hayacinth's that were competing for the nutrients in the water with the algae. Im thinking this since I did not have algae like this all season. My parameters have not changed. PH is always on the high end 8.5-9.2 Ammonia and Nitrite 0. Fish fairly active still looking for food when I walk past. Just curious if this is normal.
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Mmathis

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Yes, removing all those plants will result in an algae/string algae bloom. Hopefully, it will only be temporary, due to the season. I did that once (removed a bunch of plants in one sweep), and the string algae seemed to appear almost overnight.
 
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Perfectly normal. And as your pond matures, it will still happen but to a lesser degree. We get algae growth all winter long, which amazes me. Nature has all kinds of strategies!
 
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I think that water changes can lead to algae growth as well. I know it seems counter-intuitive because you're trying to improve water quality, but in my opinion water changes (large ones) upset the pond's natural balance. In other words, the water change CHANGES the water quality, but I don't think it's necessarily an improvement.

Just an opinion.

Also I meant to add that it's fun to see you posting as a relaxed pond owner @SEKCOBRA - you're not worried, just wondering. You've come a long way!
 
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I removed about 7 55 gallon bags of hyacinth's a day or so before Halloween and cut downall the plants that I hope will make it through the winter. I rinsed my bioball I [/ATTACH]
one concern I would have that is an easy fix is your two x fours they will no doubt sag into the water when we get a good snow fall if you make those2x4's into a T it's crazy how much stronger they are it's way stronger then just 2 2x4's and theres a much better chance withstanding the winter
 
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one concern I would have that is an easy fix is your two x fours they will no doubt sag into the water when we get a good snow fall if you make those2x4's into a T it's crazy how much stronger they are it's way stronger then just 2 2x4's and theres a much better chance withstanding the winter
Hi
Yes I agree. Im only keeping the net up till the leaves stop falling off a large oak tree 40 ft North of the pond. We are supposed to get a dusting of snow today and tonight so ill keep my eye on it.
 

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Agree with Lisa in the water changes upsetting balance in our ponds. Straight tap water has all kinds of impurities/nutrients in it to fuel algae growth. If you don’t know what is in your tap water, water changes may not necessarily be an improvement in water quality in a healthy pond. Usually in our ponds we have plenty of plants to use up these nutrients,but as you surmised remove the plants or the plants shut down for the winter and algae will grow.

No big deal though gives your fish something to nibble on in the winter. Then once it warms up in the spring and your plants start growing again the algae will be starved out and disappear.
 
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I think that water changes can lead to algae growth as well. I know it seems counter-intuitive because you're trying to improve water quality, but in my opinion water changes (large ones) upset the pond's natural balance. In other words, the water change CHANGES the water quality, but I don't think it's necessarily an improvement.

Just an opinion.

Also I meant to add that it's fun to see you posting as a relaxed pond owner @SEKCOBRA - you're not worried, just wondering. You've come a long way!
Hi Lisa
Thanks. I am much calmer. Has a lot to do with you and others here. When I saw you have the same style pond and it works for you and we have similar weather it eased my mind quite a bit. Thanks for that. I still have people telling me it will all go south by the third year. I even went out and bought a Pondo vac 5 because I thought after removing all the Hyacinth's I would have some muck to clean up. Virtually nothing under them. Even pushing the gravel around at the bottom produced little dirt. Besides the vacuum couldn't pull a small leaf up in a foot of water.( I have to start a new thread about that) As for the water changes. I agree with your theory. I held off doing them for a month or so. My parameters stayed the same which was good. But my water was getting darker like tannins were building up. No big deal the water was crystal clear just a tea colored tint. I was thinking acorns were falling into the hyacinths at the north end of the pond where I couldn't see them. Then I put a go pro under water to see the fish and noticed some ulcers on 3 of them. I got a little nervous so I resumed my 10% WC every week. Probably not doing the changes had nothing to do with the ulcers but everything was going well up until that point so I went back. I think I found the cause of the tea colored water after I removed all the plants. I had a massive amount of morning glory vines that eventually covered the log going across the pond. What I could not see was leaves were dying under the mass and falling in the water.
 
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Agree with Lisa in the water changes upsetting balance in our ponds. Straight tap water has all kinds of impurities/nutrients in it to fuel algae growth. If you don’t know what is in your tap water, water changes may not necessarily be an improvement in water quality in a healthy pond. Usually in our ponds we have plenty of plants to use up these nutrients,but as you surmised remove the plants or the plants shut down for the winter and algae will grow.

No big deal though gives your fish something to nibble on in the winter. Then once it warms up in the spring and your plants start growing again the algae will be starved out and disappear.
Also, with that high of PH check your GH and KH.
You also might have a bit too much aeration that's driving off too much CO2.
Hi Mitch
This is another theory of why I have the algae growth. I think I may have doubled the opportunity for growth. Not long after I removed the plants I upped the amount of Sodium Bicarbonate I usually use. I was keeping the pond at about 125 to 160 all season. Goal was to keep it at a minimum of 100 as a buffer. As you know every time it rained the number would drop so I would add a cup as necessary to maintain. As per advice from a "Koi guy" who is a good guy and has helped me out a few times I bumped it up to about 200 for winter. I have since stopped adding and my numbers are back down. 143 on Monday. Im thinking more SB in water may have contributed to the growth as well. Am I thinking correct? being my PH is always high im not to concerned with a crash but I have heard that once the pond fully matures my PH may come down to levels where I may need to have a SB buffer. That sound correct? I have checked hardness before and its always at acceptable levels. I have not checked it recently though.
 
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You're probably right about the dying leaves causing the staining. But my pond is always a bit tea colored and I'm OK with that. The water is clear and I'm not displaying show koi so the slight brown color doesn't bother me. I think it looks more natural and "pond colored" with a bit of a tint to it.

@MitchM will help you with your water chemistry issues - I was never much into water testing from the beginning and stopped when I reached a point where nothing ever changed. My husband used to keep aquariums, so he was way more interested in the water chemistry and was convinced we needed to do more tinkering with the water. Took him a while, but he's over it now!
 
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You're probably right about the dying leaves causing the staining. But my pond is always a bit tea colored and I'm OK with that. The water is clear and I'm not displaying show koi so the slight brown color doesn't bother me. I think it looks more natural and "pond colored" with a bit of a tint to it.

@MitchM will help you with your water chemistry issues - I was never much into water testing from the beginning and stopped when I reached a point where nothing ever changed. My husband used to keep aquariums, so he was way more interested in the water chemistry and was convinced we needed to do more tinkering with the water. Took him a while, but he's over it now!

Hi Lisa
Tint doesn't bother me either. I was just curious as to why it was tinted. Not worried about the chemistry either. So far it has not changed much since new. I have been told that PH may become more neutral over time and if so the buffering will be more critical. Had a wet snow here Thursday caused a power outage yesterday early am till last night. Had to hook up the generator to keep the waterfall going. I was wondering how long would be to long without some kind of aeration in the pond?
 
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Our pump connection failed one winter (probably mid-February we had a geyser coming out of the pump vault) and we didn't get it running again until the end of March - everything was fine. We did have a small air stone in the pond, but barely any aeration and really no hole in ice either. I worried, but there wasn't much we could do until it got warm enough to work with the plumbing.

Our pond did gradually move toward neutral, which I found interesting. It was still just under 8 the last few times I tested, but it was well over 9 in the early days. I don't remember actual numbers as it's been probably 5 years since I've even checked - I just remember lots of people being very alarmed by our high pH. It all seemed to work itself out.
 
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Our pump connection failed one winter (probably mid-February we had a geyser coming out of the pump vault) and we didn't get it running again until the end of March - everything was fine. We did have a small air stone in the pond, but barely any aeration and really no hole in ice either. I worried, but there wasn't much we could do until it got warm enough to work with the plumbing.

Our pond did gradually move toward neutral, which I found interesting. It was still just under 8 the last few times I tested, but it was well over 9 in the early days. I don't remember actual numbers as it's been probably 5 years since I've even checked - I just remember lots of people being very alarmed by our high pH. It all seemed to work itself out.
Ok. Good to know. Thanks
 
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... As per advice from a "Koi guy" who is a good guy and has helped me out a few times I bumped it up to about 200 for winter. I have since stopped adding and my numbers are back down. 143 on Monday. Im thinking more SB in water may have contributed to the growth as well. Am I thinking correct? being my PH is always high im not to concerned with a crash but I have heard that once the pond fully matures my PH may come down to levels where I may need to have a SB buffer. That sound correct? I have checked hardness before and its always at acceptable levels. I have not checked it recently though.
There is a gap between what is good for the water and what is good for plants.
Our test kits and methods are not all that accurate, so I'm generalizing when I say healthy water PH should be between 7.5 and 8.
Complex plants (ie, not algae) do best when the PH is 7 or just under. At a level of 7 or under is when they can uptake nutrients most efficiently. PH and CO2 levels will swing back and forth during the 24 hours of a day, so there is a constant re-balancing going on. Algae will grow if the PH swing is out of an ideal range for too long.
A constant high PH will starve out most complex plants.(those with a root system) Algae will then gladly step up and consume the available nutrients.

You should have about equal ppm measurements of KH and GH.
 
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There is a gap between what is good for the water and what is good for plants.
Our test kits and methods are not all that accurate, so I'm generalizing when I say healthy water PH should be between 7.5 and 8.
Complex plants (ie, not algae) do best when the PH is 7 or just under. At a level of 7 or under is when they can uptake nutrients most efficiently. PH and CO2 levels will swing back and forth during the 24 hours of a day, so there is a constant re-balancing going on. Algae will grow if the PH swing is out of an ideal range for too long.
A constant high PH will starve out most complex plants.(those with a root system) Algae will then gladly step up and consume the available nutrients.

You should have about equal ppm measurements of KH and GH.
Hi Mitch
My plants grew really well once the salt level was brought down this summer. My PH is never below 8.5. more around 9. I can't imagine if 7 is better how the plants would have done. lol. Going on year two this spring. maybe the ph will come down a bit.
 
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That's great! (y)

The PH really only matters at the plant root tip where the nutrients are consumed by the plant.
There are so many variables involved, plus different plant species, it's hard to make a general rule.
Salinity is definitely not desirable though because plants will consume chloride ( from the salt - sodium chloride) instead of nutrients and will starve as a result.
 
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HI All
All the leaves have fallen so I removed the net today. I found a lot of algae growing on the rocks. Stream is covered in hair algae. Water is crystal clear. PH 9.3 at 4:30pm. Water temp 45 degrees. Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Phosphate 0. KH is low at 107. Fish all seem good. Does anyone do anything besides top off the water level through the winter? Im keeping my pump running again this winter. Does anyone add sodium bicarbonate during winter? I try to keep the KH about 150-170 during the season. Im guessing im done testing till spring. Looks so bare and blah now.
Thanks
 

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Nope. I just let it run. All that algae is doing the work for you. Come spring if I still have a lot of string algae on the waterfall I'll clear it off, but I like to wait until the plants start to green up so I know they're doing their part. At this time of year I look for the beauty in the ice formations... and dream of spring!
 
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