Fish / Snails specifically for algae control- good idea?

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Hi All,

I have a 2500-3k gallon pond which was empty for several months and just last week was cleaned and refilled.

The pond was built for Koi and for almost a decade had a thriving family of fish, but when I bought the house I decide to re-home the koi as i wasn't experienced enough to care for them.

The pond has been up and running for about a week and I'm already noticing quite a bit of algae forming. 2-3 days ago I started adding green clean granules to the pond and have added 2.5lbs total. As of this morning I could not tell any difference in the Algae level.

That got me thinking, rather than spending $ on chemical, would it be more prudent to be looking at Snails or Algae eating fish to do the job? As of right now, i'm looking for the least expensive / lowest maintenance way of maintaining the pond. I am not quite to the point where I want to be caring for Koi or other expansive wild life.

I know that it will take some pond for the bio of my pond to build back up again, but is it a reasonable thought that I should be looking at snails / fish to keep my pond clean?
 

Mmathis

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Is your pond in full sun? If it is, see if there's any way you can add some shade [like a shade-sail]. You need fish to get your biofilter going. But just a few goldfish, maybe. Unfortunately, "algae-eating" fish and snails won't be enough to clear your water. And add some plants if you haven't already. The plants will compete with the algae for the nutrients present in the water. Floating plants like water hyacinth/water lettuce..... Potted water lilies will add shade with their pads. Most of us don't like to add chemicals -- algae is a normal part of a pond.

BTW, you didn't mention filtration. Do you have a pump/filter going yet?
 

sissy

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You can use peroxide or you can use something to clarify the water .U your case since you have nothing in there you could use the dirty word product of algaecide .Are you planning a natural pond or are you adding fish at some point .
 
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Hi,

I think the biggest contributor to the algae problem is the lack of fish. When we first bought the house, the house had 10 large Koi which had been living happily in the pond for 5+ years. We had the pond for 6 months before the fish were re-homed, and never once had to think about algae. As soon as the fish were removed, boom... algae.

As far as filtration, I actually have pretty substantial filtration. I have 3 underground concrete cells, cell 1 is brushes, cell 2 and 3 are blue filter mats.

This may sound bad, but honestly my goal is to keep the pond going as inexpensively as possible. My wife and I love the ambiance of the pond, but not so much that we want to spend $30-40 a month on algaecide. I do like the idea of maintaining the pond naturally, but priority number one is to keep it cost effective.

I have toyed with the idea of adding plant life to the pond and maybe fish again as well, but i am not married to either idea.

I ordered a couple small sacks of Barley straw last night. I got 4 small bundles which say they will treat 1k gallons each. Is this the right step?
 

HARO

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Barley only works on the stringy type of algae, it has no effect on green water.
John
 

sissy

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I use barley and peat in a bottle it works great .But plants really do help and fish as long as you don't overfeed or over stock the pond
 

sissy

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you can buy a flocculant or a clarifier also .Snails my fish ate them all sucked them right out of there shells
 
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I have not seen a single definitive study that demonstrates barley is helpful. Hit and miss only.
Running a pond as inexpensive as possible should be everyone's goal.;) It's mine, too.
Plants are great natural filters and a small amount of algae will help keep your pond healthy.
Can you post any pictures of your setup?
 
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If you have absolutely no intention of putting anything living in it put some pool chlorine in it.
A few pounds of chlorine shock to start and then keep a tablet or 2 of the slow dissolving tablets in the skimmer.
 
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Hi,

Just a quick update. I walked outside yesterday and was shocked to notice that the pond has actually cleared up a little. The water still has a dark tint to it, but I could see the bottom of the pond which was definitely not the case a few days prior. Could it be the barley straw, could it be that the UV filter took a couple weeks to do the job... who knows!? lol. I found a few clumps of string algae floating at the top, but nothing like it was, definitely an improvement there also.
 
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Ponds are never static. (they're always changing)
If you're not adding food, it's a good time to learn about what's going on under the surface.(y)
Your pond is still very new.
 
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The biggest winner in my battle of algae was definitely shade. It was just getting out of control, and we put up 4 big sail shades this summer. Worked like a charm! Of course, this is in combination with a bunch of Japanese trapdoor snails, and my fish nibbling away at the algae as well. Still, the advice from all that commented above me is solid! Shade, plants, a balanced ecosystem will keep things more clear for you. My personal opinion is that you and your wife just might find you enjoy the pond even more with a few friendly fish. :)
 

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