Brownish water from the fall leaves?

brandonsdad02

They call me Ryan
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
863
Reaction score
422
Location
Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
Ok so I live in central Iowa and its fall here right now. This is my first year having a pond so I'm not sure what to expect in the fall. I've been working hard to keep the leaves out of the pond, I use the net and get as many leaves out of the pond each day, I empty the skimmer but my water is still turning brownish. Does this happen to every pond in the fall or am I doing something wrong??
 
A

Advertising

Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
3,368
Reaction score
2,901
Location
Chicago Area
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
It sounds like you are on the right track. I think certain leaves can leave a brown tinge. In the spring that happens to my pond and then it clears up after a couple weeks. I think there is a lot of pollen from a cottonwood tree above my pond that turns it brown. You can always try doing some partial water changes or use some quilt batting in a basket under your waterfall. There a lot of old threads on the forum on quilt batting. The brown water is probably not hurting your fish, it just makes it harder for you to see them. If you end up with a lot or organic matter in your pond over the winter you need to get the water moving in the early spring to reduce anaerobic decay and keep cleaning the leaves. I start my pump around March 1st. Spring is more dangerous for fish then winter is.
 
A

Advertising

fishin4cars

True friends just call me Larkin
Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
5,195
Reaction score
1,589
Location
Hammond LA USA
Hardiness Zone
8a
In most cases the brown water is caused from tannins in the leaves or plant matter. Different leaves put off different levels of tannins. Some leaves can cause the PH to lower during the breakdown, This is not good but as long as it's brown water and the water is stable it won't harm the fish. Your on the right track removing the leaves, this keeps the breakdown to a minimum and helps your pond next spring greatly. Does it happen to every pond, NO, is this fairly common, yes, and your doing what your suppose to be doing.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
82
Reaction score
14
Location
Cleveland, OH
Hardiness Zone
5
Indeed, activated carbon in moving water will remove tannins (tea color) from the water. It also removes chemicals and medications. When I use it, I put the carbon in an old pantyhose leg, cut it, and tie the bottom. Rinse it well and put it in the pond where the water will run through it. Carbon can be pricey at a pet store, but I've found some good deals in bulk on eBay.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
378
Location
Colorado - zone 5a
Hardiness Zone
5a
I notice the algae covering the rocks and sides on my pond also turn the water brownish in the Fall as it dies off. I think its just one of those things we have to live with -- the water will not be beautifully crystal clear at all times, especially in the Fall. I think as long as you can keep the worst of the leaves out of the water and keep your filters running as long as possible, what remains will not be harmful.
 

brandonsdad02

They call me Ryan
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
863
Reaction score
422
Location
Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
I'm planning on keeping everything running all winter. I figure as long as I keep the pond from icing over it should be doable. With a extra pump and aeriator, I hope it works to keep the water moving.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
378
Location
Colorado - zone 5a
Hardiness Zone
5a
I'm originally from around the Oskaloosa/Fairfield area, so I'm very familiar with Iowa Winters... From my limited experience, I think the most critical thing you need to watch for is that your pump lines don't freeze up. If you can prevent that, and keep your pump down into the thawed water, it shouldn't be too much trouble to keep things going all Winter. Out here in my area, we get these weird warm spells - a week of 60-degree weather in the middle of January or February - and it really makes a huge difference in breaking up how much my pond freezes over.
 

brandonsdad02

They call me Ryan
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
863
Reaction score
422
Location
Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
My pump is in my skimmer box. I have one pump line and that is about 10 feet long. I have a skippy filter which is above ground. I have a 4" return line that runs about 5 ft to the top of the falls. From there it runs back to the pond down a stream about 4 ft long and drops 3 ft. Just got to keep the area in front of the skimmer box free of ice. My pond is about 18 inches deep.
 

taherrmann4

Tmann
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
3,142
Reaction score
695
Location
Louisville KY
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
How do you keep ice damns from forming on your waterfalls and diverting the water outside of the falls creek area?
 

brandonsdad02

They call me Ryan
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
863
Reaction score
422
Location
Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
Not sure, this will be my first winter. One idea might be to take out the rocks on the bottom of the stream/ falls. If there is nothing to slow the water or disturbe it, ice shouldn't form in that area. I have a 2100 gph pump.
 

taherrmann4

Tmann
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
3,142
Reaction score
695
Location
Louisville KY
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
I can't keep mine going as I have an external pump and the last three feet that go to my pump are above ground, it also diverts to feed two creeks I have and I would be worried about the water freezing in the creeks or in the lines. If my waterfall froze over it would easily divert water outside the pond.
Here.
http://www.arborday.org/treeinfo/zonelookup.cfm
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
378
Location
Colorado - zone 5a
Hardiness Zone
5a
My previous pond was at most, 250 gallon - two smaller pre-formed pools plus a 25-gal skippy. The waterfall flowing from one pond to the other was only about 4-5" wide, so there wasn't a huge amount of flow. In the Winter, the splashing would form this ice bubble around the waterfall which looked very interesting on its own... However year after year I found that as long as I kept the water moving, I never had any problems with the waterfall itself getting blocked by ice.

Keep in mind: My preformed ponds were also 18" deep, and being so shallow, they can and will freeze solid to the bottom unless you have a heater running in the Winter! I used a generic stock-tank heater made for going into the rubbermaid plastic tanks. A hole was cut in the side of the pond, and the heater permanently mounted. Alternatively, you can place some rocks on the bottom of the pond and rest the heater on top of the rocks.

@brandonsdad02: You are in zone 4B. You can punch in a google query for "city state hardiness-zone" to find answers for other areas.
 

brandonsdad02

They call me Ryan
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
863
Reaction score
422
Location
Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
So even with constant water movement, and a bubbler, the pond will freeze solid? We will have a backup plan if it does start to get away from us. Going to put a large stock tank in the basement just in case we need it. Our turtle will be wintering in the pond also.
 

taherrmann4

Tmann
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
3,142
Reaction score
695
Location
Louisville KY
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
I keep all my fish in my pond all year, my pond is 3' deep. I shut everything off except my aerator which I run all year long even into the winter and this will usually keep a hole in the ice, I also have a deicer that I put into the pond before it gets cold but do not turn on unless it is going to get really cold for an extended period of time to ensure that I can keep a hole in the ice. My aerator will not keep a hole in the ice if it gets really cold in the negatives at night for several days so the deicer is just insurance for me.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,532
Reaction score
14,527
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
I kept my water running last winter and the temp was not suppose to drop that night below 40 and this was just before christmas and it really dropped and water froze over and lucky I caught it .There was only a foot of water left in the pond and here temps don't drop that far until January .I live 15 minutes from the North Carolina border .Expect everything and don't be surprised by anything is my motto now
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
378
Location
Colorado - zone 5a
Hardiness Zone
5a
Yeah but both of you are even further South than I am! Brandonsdad02 is far enough North that the freeze line can get down to the 18" mark without some kind of heater. ANY kind of heater will make a big difference, even a smaller floating-style de-icer. That extra heat, trapped under the ice and combined with the constantly flowing water, may be just the combination needed to keep your pond going all Winter. Obviously you need to keep an air-hole in the ice at all times, and this gives you a point to monitor the condition of the water throughout the Winter. As long as the ice doesn't get more than a few inches thick, you are fine.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,532
Reaction score
14,527
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Thats why I will not do it again and he should maybe rethink leaving it running .better safe than sorry
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
378
Location
Colorado - zone 5a
Hardiness Zone
5a
A lot depends on how closely you are willing to monitor the pond. My kitchen looks out on the pond, so I take a look first thing every morning when I get up, and with having a new pond and unknown conditions this year, I will especially be paying close attention once we get into our freezing weather. Personally, I absolutely expect to keep the pumps running year-round. Even if the filters aren't providing biological filtration, they still provide some mechanical filtration through the Winter, and I believe every little bit helps to ensure my fish make it safely through the cold. With my new pond, I image if I turned off the pumps, the river area would freeze solid in no time! Fortunately with our strange weather out here, I only have a month or two that I really have to worry about.
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads

New Water Test 5
Underwater Webcam 2
Lily Pads getting brownish/black spots that progress 41
Water is brownish 14
question about brownish film on waterfall 6
brownish water 6
brownish water 1
brownish water 0

Top