First time pond owner in Key West, FL


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We recently bought a home that has an attached pond to the back of the house. We spent a solid week dredging the pond as it was literally BLACK with sludge and organic matter. If there had ever been fish they were long gone. There was one water lily on top which was huge and had never been trimmed back. Not knowing better, we tossed it in favor of starting from scratch.

We eventually got down to the bottom of the pond (it is circular, concrete on bottom, but the front and sides are natural coral) and finished cleaning it with a wet/dry vac. Then we pressure washed it and refilled it with water from the hose. It was gorgeous and clean.

We put the Ammonia/Dechlorinator liquid in and then let the water set for about a week. We had gotten some of this Beckett Bio Barley product that is supposed to be "all you need" for a new pond. It comes in a biodegradable bag and you put in the amount you need for your pond's size. I got online to see if there was a formula to figure out how much water your pond would hold. Turns out there was! Our pond was 77” across by 58” from the front to the back and 26” from the floor of it to about 4 inches from the top. Using the formula I found (Maximum length x Maximum width x 0.8 (unless your pond is completely square, if so use the whole number) x Average depth x 7.48 = Total gallons) I figured our pond held about 500 gallons. Did I do this correctly?

Because after adding the Bio barley product we now have this brown fuzzy looking layer about a half inch or so thick across the bottom of the pond and the water is hazy. We have no fish yet or nothing planted so I can start over if I need to.

Help, please.
 

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sissy

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welcome katlyn remember that stores that sell pond supplies and tell you this works or that works are selling and it may work it may not .What kind of filter and brown may mean dead algae or could be just the good stuff growing .The liner gets covered in and glad you do not have fish yet ,wait tie your hands hide your wallets and credit cards so you are not tempted lol .There are koi hard to take care of fussy about ph and produce a lot of waste and get very large .Goldfish much better to start with .How many gallons and hopefully deep enough to keep from cooking your fish.ooops sorry just read the rest and that is not relly deep enough and it was probably more a water feature type pond
 
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Often barley is added to established ponds already containing a lot of decaying matter so the extra decaying matter doesn't cause a noticeable addition. Or the bacteria in the pond is able to absorb at least some of the extra decaying matter. In new ponds the additional decaying matter can be very noticeable. Sometimes the water is turned yellow depending on the age and type of straw. Although sellers say they'll selling barley straw they'll sell anything that looks like straw since the buyer isn't going to know the difference and the seller knows it's a scam so there's no reason to actually sell barley if wheat straw is easier to get.

In your case, no fish, it's easier and most effective to remove all the water, vac again, and start over. Caulk it up to learning. And really this little experience can teach you much more than most pond "experts" will ever know. Almost everything you hear from all sources will be poor advice at best and many times harmful.

If you're interested, here's my page on the history of the barley scam.

You calculation on pond volume sounds about right to me.

Pretty pond. I would give one warning... I see many cases of ponds built against a house that does or could do major damage. In your case I would be very concerned about water getting behind the stucco if the structure is actually bonded to the house. Can't tell from the picture.
 
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Hi Katlin, Enjoy your new house in paradise. I agree with above comments. Start over. Add declor and then don't add anything else other than plants and maybe one or two small fish. Then try you hand at cycling your pond. There is a lot of info on the gpf about cycling. Regarding algae there are a lot of natural ways to deal with it. A little algae is beneficial to your pond. Fish will feed on it. Also you can add tadpoles and snails that will eat it. By adding floating plants it will cut down the sunlight and reduce algae. Your lily would have been good at blocking sunlight and you might want to get more. Other plants will compete for the same nutrients that algae feed on. Start slow and don't add a lot of fish right away and let the pond naturally balance first. Good luck and enjoy the forum!
 
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If you decide to wait a week or more before adding fish, which I think is always a good idea, you can skip the dechlorinator altogether.
 

DrCase

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Welcome to the forum !!
Your water feature looks great, do you have a pic of the pump running with the boy spilling the water into the shell
 

addy1

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Nice looking pond you have
 

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