Couple of Quick Questions


Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Ocala, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
My app. 8,000 gallon pond is slowly coming together. i had a major issue with drainage around one side but have solved it thanks to your suggestions.

anyway, I built a "Skippy" filter using 2 150 gallon stock tanks. Filter media is polyester fill and tons of scrubbing pads for bio filtration. Also have a nice aerator in the center. Pumping 6,000 gallons an hour through the filters.

Stocked with about 75 goldfish and 2 5 inch Koi. Bottom has some gravel and a few flower pots for hiding spots.

Also have a bunch of water hyacinth.

My questions:

1. Initially water was crystal clear. Now a few weeks in it has some algae and some what cloudy water. fish appear to be thriving. i have read t is normal to have an algeal bloom as pond cycles but have also read it would be a good idea to use algeacide which is "fish safe'. Also advised to use flocculant by a neighbor who professes to know everything but as no pond. I have used fish safe floccculants before and my fish died so i don't like the idea of chemicals. i'd rather let mother nature do her thing. Opinions?

2. I got the water hyacinth from a local pond and they were nice and bright green and fat. After a couple of weeks they have lost their vigor. Not as big or green. Again i have read it is due to too few nutrients as my fish load is low for size of pond. Debate on forums: to fertilize or not. Frankly I have way too many to take out and soak in Miracle Gro so I simply added a liqiud fert with iron. This was a week ago and fish are doing fine so no concern about ammonia/nitrate issue. No change in plants. One pint of liquid fert in 8,000 gallons may have not made a dent in the nutrient levels. Yes the goldfish love to nibble on the roots but the roots are quite long so I don't believe that is the problem

Any other thoughts on how to get the hyacinth to thrive?

3.RE: algae and hyacinth i imagine the fertilizer (food) would help the hyacinth but won't it also promote more algae?

Is it just a matter of time. Maybe i need to wait a bit longer for the cycle?

4. lastly, i have never seen a frog where I live (Ocala, Fl) except for little green tree frogs that how up on the windows at night but out of nowhere i have hundreds, maybe thousands of tadpoles in the pond !! I would think they would add waste to promote the cycle and feed the hyacinth but again what of the algae/

In closing I also have a few marginal plants and 20 trapdoor snails.

I'll try to post some pics and thanks for the help.

My biggest concern is the health of the hyacinth but I can always get more.

I'm posting as there is so much debate on my issues in other forums and i just don't know best course(s) of action. however no panic as fish are well but i'd like to get things squared way at some point.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
7,046
Reaction score
7,222
Location
Water Valley, Alberta
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
2a
Country
Canada
My first question is, have you done any water tests, and if so, what were the numerical results?

Flocculants are fine for a temporary solution, but if the resultant precipitate is not removed by a mechanical filter, the phosphate still sits at the bottom of the pond and will be re-released by a low PH condition, usually in detritus buildup or the digestive tract of fish.
I would never advocate fertilizing a pond, unless it was specific target feeding of certain plants. Even then, I would closely monitor nitrate and phosphate levels and keep a close eye on algae growth.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,144
Reaction score
3,005
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
I've been on both sides of the debate and can only give my personal opinion based on my experience with my own pond
When I used to use store bought products, I still reached clear water and no algae eventually, but, since I switched to just adding plants and rinse the mechanical filter pads often, I can honestly say I get there faster, and my plants are clearly doing much better....and for this reason, my advise to anyone asking for help with algae/water clarity is to add as many plants as possible, and rinse the mud pad often
I have a Matala pad in my skimmer box but this other pad I added made all the difference

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071V7GXH..._rd_i=coarse+pond+pad&hsa_cr_id=4370158480501
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Ocala, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
MitchM; i have not done any water tests.

Gemma: I just ordered the filter pad you referenced. Cleaning the polyester is impossible as it falls apart in your hands. Initially when I read about so called "Skippy" filters I read you NEVER need to clean the media. At this point i don't agree with that concept. Filter pads arrive Mon and I will take down filter and replace polyester with the pads.

Thankfully I added bottom drains to the stock tanks so i won't be pumping a ton of filth back into the pond.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
9,965
Reaction score
10,443
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Ah... the "know everything no pond guy" - my favorites!

You have a good handle on what's going on with your pond. Hyacinths are struggling because your pond is new, algae is blooming because your pond is new, algaecides are dangerous to fish AND other aquatic life - avoid them like the plague - and time is your best friend. With time your pond will find it's balance. As you said - let nature do it's thing. In the long run it's cheaper, easier, better for your pond, and oh so satisfying! Less work, less money, and more time to enjoy your pond!

I don't know anything about skippy filters, but I can't imagine a mechanical filter that wouldn't need cleaning at some point. Do you have any kind of pre-filter before the water gets to the skippy?

I use koi clay in my pond from time to time. It acts as a flocculant to settle tiny floating debris to the bottom and it's good for the fish. But as @MitchM said, if it settles, it can be stirred up again.
 

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,054
Reaction score
6,202
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
@drjay9051 Wow, so many questions! But it seems to boil down to.....algae bloom which is caused by excess nutrients vs using chemicals (to kill the algae and to boost the water hyacinths) vs lack of nutrients which is causing poor plant growth. Sounds like you have opposite things going on all at once. Sounds like a new pond....

Sounds like you have a nice big pond with a low fish load and adequate filtration. Your pond is new, and sometimes we learn that for that first year or so.....you just have to go with the flow and give nature a chance to normalize. Just MHO. Patience — the hardest lesson for the ponder to learn!

Agree that polyester batting is good for fines filtration, but not good at all as a primary filter media — and not good at all for bio filtration. Matalla and similar media (Scrubby pads are good) is great, as it’s easy to rinse/clean. After 6 years, I find that I rarely have to “rinse” mine at all, but just flush it when I let the water out of the Skippy periodically to get rid of the collected crud on the bottom. Matalla will get crud collected, but the way it’s designed, it is easily maintained and rarely causes channeling — but still can happen. I don’t care what the “Skippy” originators had in mind, but it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it filter!

All kidding aside, I have ADD, and seriously have trouble when I read a long post like this — with so many issues and questions. I really do get lost and often.....lose the point of what the OP is trying to say. Please, just for my benefit — yes, asking for special favors, LOL — could you maybe break this down a little bit and maybe even start different “topic threads”? I’m not trying to sound rude, but just a suggestion as it might help us (me) get a better handle on what you are trying to solve. (I totally get lost — ah the joys of ADD!)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
7,046
Reaction score
7,222
Location
Water Valley, Alberta
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
2a
Country
Canada
... But as @MitchM said, if it settles, it can be stirred up again.
It's not just stirring up. In a low PH environment, the phosphate that's bound with the flocculant will become available as a plant/algae nutrient again. (depending on the flocculant)
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,144
Reaction score
3,005
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Gemma: I just ordered the filter pad you referenced. Cleaning the polyester is impossible as it falls apart in your hands. Initially when I read about so called "Skippy" filters I read you NEVER need to clean the media. At this point i don't agree with that concept. Filter pads arrive Mon and I will take down filter and replace polyester with the pads.
.
If your pond has a lot of mud, algae, debris..... you might want to rinse that pad every day, but you should see the change in your water within a few hours, and once you reach a good level of clarity you won't need to rinse that often

Good luck and let us know how your pond is doing
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
486
Reaction score
371
Location
Franklin, Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
Zone 5b
Could you put the hyacinth in the skippy filter? When i could get them, they thrived in the header pond for the water fall with the moving water. They are beautiful when they flower.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Ocala, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
Could you put the hyacinth in the skippy filter? When i could get them, they thrived in the header pond for the water fall with the moving water. They are beautiful when they flower.
I could put some in the Skippy to keep fish away from roots and yes they are beautiful when in bloom.

However, putting in Skippy does not address nutrient issue which i believe is the reason for pale and small plants.

Also my thought was in the pond as they multiply they will block some light and therefore keep the algae in check.

I have read they do NOT like moving water but again different opinions out there.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Ocala, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
If your pond has a lot of mud, algae, debris..... you might want to rinse that pad every day, but you should see the change in your water within a few hours, and once you reach a good level of clarity you won't need to rinse that often

Good luck and let us know how your pond is doing
Thanks, Gemma:

Pads arrive tomorrow. i ordered the ones you referenced as well as a fine filter:

https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Pond-Filter-FINE-Ultra-Durable/dp/B0721ZCPNX/ref=sr_1_4?
ie=UTF8&qid=1525610402&sr=8-4&keywords=koi+filter+pad

I will place a double layer of the coarse at bottom and on top of that a double layer of the fine. My filter flows from bottom to outlet at top so filtration goes from coarse to fine.

I really have minimal debris in the pond. One a week I fish out a few leaves off the bottom with a long handle pool net. Better to let this decompose over time and not remove??

Thanks again.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
9,965
Reaction score
10,443
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
One thing I learned is that water hyacinths prefer to be bunched together. They do better if you keep them contained in a ring or with fishing line. Not sure why that is, but until I started doing this mine would never bloom and always looked kind of puny.

Also I always put a few in my pondless waterfall which is nothing BUT moving water - they do great.
Pondless.JPG
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Ocala, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
20180506_084402.jpg
pmHere are a couple of pics.
Overtime the ornamental grass will grow and hide the filters as you could see some of the water hyacinths are very big and bright green I just put those in yesterday from a local pond the others which are smaller and pale started large and green and in my pond they slowly seem to deteriorate
 

Attachments

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
9,965
Reaction score
10,443
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
I'm going to guess it's just a lack of nutrients. If I were you, I'd put them in the filters to get them going. I bet they'd do great there.

As a side note - I'd be very careful about putting plants from the wild into your pond. You never know what kind of parasites or bugs - or even fish eggs - might be hiding in them that you don't want to add to your pond. You can quarantine them or give them a quick dip in some lightly chlorinated water - but it's still a risk. Although to be honest, there's no guarantee with plants you buy from a garden center either, so...

Are water hyacinths banned for sale in Florida?
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
486
Reaction score
371
Location
Franklin, Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
Zone 5b
One thing I learned is that water hyacinths prefer to be bunched together. They do better if you keep them contained in a ring or with fishing line. Not sure why that is, but until I started doing this mine would never bloom and always looked kind of puny.

Also I always put a few in my pondless waterfall which is nothing BUT moving water - they do great. View attachment 110272
Where are you able to get hyacinth? We can't get hyacinth or water lettuce anymore. I have managed to keep lettuce indoors over winter and would like to get a few hyacinth this year and see if i can keep them going.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Ocala, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
I'm going to guess it's just a lack of nutrients. If I were you, I'd put them in the filters to get them going. I bet they'd do great there.

As a side note - I'd be very careful about putting plants from the wild into your pond. You never know what kind of parasites or bugs - or even fish eggs - might be hiding in them that you don't want to add to your pond. You can quarantine them or give them a quick dip in some lightly chlorinated water - but it's still a risk. Although to be honest, there's no guarantee with plants you buy from a garden center either, so...

Are water hyacinths banned for sale in Florida?
YES ! Water Hyacinth are considered invasive. There are a few local ponds where you can ind them. Mostly private property.

I don't think pond supply stores are allowed to ship to Florida.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
9,965
Reaction score
10,443
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
@snoozer - take a little drive south. We can still buy them here in IL. I mean, you'd have to be an outlaw and drive them back over the state line, but really - this is a silly ban for WI. I understand banning them where they can be a problem in nature, but water hyacinth and water lettuce will never become invasive in our northern waterways.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,144
Reaction score
3,005
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Thanks, Gemma:

Pads arrive tomorrow. i ordered the ones you referenced as well as a fine filter:

https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Pond-Filter-FINE-Ultra-Durable/dp/B0721ZCPNX/ref=sr_1_4?
ie=UTF8&qid=1525610402&sr=8-4&keywords=koi+filter+pad

I will place a double layer of the coarse at bottom and on top of that a double layer of the fine. My filter flows from bottom to outlet at top so filtration goes from coarse to fine.

I really have minimal debris in the pond. One a week I fish out a few leaves off the bottom with a long handle pool net. Better to let this decompose over time and not remove??

Thanks again.
I really hope it works out as good as it did for me! :)
 

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,766
Reaction score
2,245
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
In the beginning I use to have real good luck with water hyacinths, then in later years they stayed small and didn't multiply. I couldn't understand why and then I read that water hyacinths like a pH of 7. The picture on the left is in 2005 when the pH was 7 - 7.5. The picture on the right is in 2015 when the pH was running about 8.

plants - hyacinths 2005 and 2015.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
32,626
Reaction score
15,290
Location
Axton virginia
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
Never saw an algae killer yet that worked and did not kill fish .liquid barley is safer
 

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

Top