Floating scum all summer

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by CharlotteSC, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    I've had my water garden for 10 years but never a summer like this.

    My pond averages 15-20" deep and contains about 800 gallons of water - various water plants (lilies, some marginal) and just a few small goldfish that I rarely feed.

    I changed my filtration set up this year. I had been using a skimmer - Pond Mag 9.5 pump and the atlantic filto falls with a UV lilght too. I changed to

    OASE AquaMax Eco Classic 1200 Pump
    and Oase Filto Clear 1600 filter with UV.
    (and had to put my skimmer back in)

    This system should be able to handle my pond size and fish load.

    Two things happened this year. One was not my fault and one was.

    It was REALLY hot ! It got hot early in the year and stayed hot - so the water temp was higher than normal.
    The dumb thing I did. With the new pond set up, I thinned my water lilies too much, hot water, lots of sun, little surface coverage. :(

    So I have this floating scum that rises during the day and goes away at night.
    I got into the pond and vacuumed 95% of the debris off the bottom. This thing is clean folks.
    I tried all types of Micro lift products recommended by my pond store.
    I did not feed my few fish at all.
    I added extra aeration for the hottest months.
    I did several major water changes (40%).
    All this to no avail.

    I ordered a pond test kit and checked water parameters. (When did they stop putting KH testers in the kits ? - I ordered it separately.) All test results were fine except ph was high. No amount of baking soda would lower it.

    We had almost no rain. No runoff goes into the pond.

    My pic was taken very early morning - scum just starting

    Now fall is here. Pond is cooling. Still floating yuck on warm days. My plants are slowing down but I find it curious that my water hyacinths seemed to die in the pond very early. This season is over but I need some pond expert advice for next year. I would hate to have to tear down the pond but I don't want to fight this again all summer. Should I drain it this winter ? Wouldn't that be worse for the fish.

    Any suggestions appreciated.
     

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    CharlotteSC, Oct 17, 2016
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  2. CharlotteSC

    Ruben Miranda I am so confused

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    Hello
    Yes I get the same algae
    It seems to love hot water and high nitrates or any nitrates.
    The only thing that helped me was a bigger uv
    Extra water changes (to help remove more nitrates) that the plants where not using and over hung umbrellas to help with the heat.

    And at that it only helped but it was not as ugly
    That stuff is so fine the filter would not catch it, and the filters needed to be cleaned a lot more often.

    A big pain in the ? ;-)
    Ruben
     
    Ruben Miranda, Oct 18, 2016
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  3. CharlotteSC

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    That is algae. Nutrient levels in the pond are too high thus feeding this excess growth. What is the Nitrate level? Have you tested for Phosphorus?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Oct 18, 2016
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  4. CharlotteSC

    EricV

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    Baking soda is going to raise it (if anything) not lower it. What is "high"?
     
    EricV, Oct 18, 2016
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  5. CharlotteSC

    sissy sissy

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    make a shade cover for the pond .Simple as a hoop house or a shade sail
     

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    sissy, Oct 18, 2016
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  6. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    YES a big PITA.
     
    CharlotteSC, Oct 18, 2016
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  7. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    I understand that it is algae and that the algae grow is normally a result of nutrients. My problem is that I have feed the few fish nothing all summer. No fertilizer for the plants, no runoff washing in. I'm tempted to drain the pond and start over now that the weather is cooling but I hate to kill the few fish I have with such a large water change. See pic for my testing kit results. I tested KH also and it was really high - that's good ? mine is normally very low.
     

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    CharlotteSC, Oct 18, 2016
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  8. CharlotteSC

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Have you checked the pH of your source water? Also are you using municipal or well water?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Oct 18, 2016
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  9. CharlotteSC

    budgenator

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    It's been a tough year algae wise for a lot of people, including me. Your numbers look Okay to me, so all of the nutrients are probably tied up in the algae. The filter your using (Oase Filto Clear 1600 filter with UV) is going to have a tough time doing any biological filtering, it looks like its mainly a mechanical filter. Those foam filter pads in it almost always get hopelessly clogged up before you get any bacteria populating the pads. You said your kH is high and normally it's low, the nitrification bacteria will consume carbonates as they clean the water, supporting my suspicion you're not getting enough biological filtration with your setup. I think you might get better results from using both the Oase Filto Clear 1600 filter with UV and the Atlantic FilterFalls, which has media bags for biological filtration. The skimmer should catch a lot of the scummy algae.
    Make sure your doing 10% water changes each week and be patient.
     
    budgenator, Oct 18, 2016
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  10. CharlotteSC

    sissy sissy

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    The heat and sun will make the problem keep going .Would be interesting to know the temperature of your water .Warm water and not enough aeration will cause a lot of problems .My water right now is at 71 degrees .
     
    sissy, Oct 18, 2016
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  11. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    CharlotteSC, Oct 19, 2016
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  12. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    tests.jpg gh.jpg
    Yes, I agree the filter I am using is a different animal. I really don't want to put the filto falls back in BUT I am trying to create a "bog" filter at the top of the waterfall. It will have about the same bio surface area as the filto falls. I wanted to use pea gravel. Would it be better to put some other medium under the rock. Looks like crap right now but with landscaping I think I could hide it better than the filto falls.

    I had to add back my inpond skimmer. Years ago I had a trickle filter and I am wondering about attaching the outlet of the skimmer to one again.
     
    CharlotteSC, Oct 19, 2016
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  13. CharlotteSC

    budgenator

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    Bog filters are really good for nitrate reduction, but to get from ammonia to nitrate, not so much. bogs don't have enough aeration except at the very surface of the bog, the trickle filter may be an excellent idea; but depending on water tempertures not much may happen until next spring.
     
    budgenator, Oct 19, 2016
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  14. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    Hi everyone, i revamped and reinstalled my filtofalls with bio media. It's early spring but the floating green scum is starting again. There is not alotof organic material or fish overload. I need to get ahead of this. I'm not looking at green scum all summer.
     
    CharlotteSC, May 3, 2017
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  15. CharlotteSC

    cas

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    Your skimmer does not remove the floating algae?
     
    cas, May 3, 2017
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  16. CharlotteSC

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    What are the other parameters of your source water mainly Nitrate?
     
    Meyer Jordan, May 3, 2017
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  17. CharlotteSC

    sissy sissy

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    You have frogs and fish spawning and it adds to the nutrient level .Cleaning the pond is not good for the fish and the pond store is out to make money by selling you stuff .The OH that didn't work so try this .Alga is normal until plants get growing good .How many fish do you have and what size are they since you say it is only 800 gallons .Could be since you say goldfish that since they breed so much that there are to many
     
    sissy, May 3, 2017
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  18. CharlotteSC

    CharlotteSC

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    test.JPG pond.JPG
    I have an OASE Aqua Max Eco classic pump - water goes to Oase filto clear pressurized filter with UV ( I cant remember what size but it was rated for more than my pond) from there I re-installed my atlantic filter falls (after the mess I had last year without it) water enters at the bottom of the filter falls, comes up thru the media and exits at the waterfall. This is the same setup I've had for years with one exception.

    My Danner pondmaster mini pond skimmer is not hooked into the system. It has a pondmaster mag 9.5 pump attached and basically skims and circulates water. I had wanted to be without a skimmer but that didnt work. It is not connected to the system because my oase filter required a stronger pump.

    I've had this pond for 10 years and no problems until last year. I hoped adding the filter falls back into the system would help this year. I also covered 1/3 of the pond with shade fabric for the last 4-6 weeks to try to give the water lilies a chance to start. I have to fix this or tear it down, I'm not gonna look at scum all summer again. It is not a runoff issue.

    Water parameters dont look bad to me except the screaming high ph which I had all last year too. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Charlotte
     
    CharlotteSC, May 3, 2017
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  19. CharlotteSC

    cas

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    You have a very pretty pond.
    I can tell you what works for me. My waterfall does not provide enough water circulation so I added an air stone to the bottom of the pond. You can see the ripples it creates in the picture below. This surface agitation and increased water circulation moves the loose algae to the skimmer where the net and filter pad pick up all the loose algae.

    backside 2016-5 (1) - Copy.JPG
     
    cas, May 4, 2017
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  20. CharlotteSC

    Lisak1

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    I was going to suggest the same as what @cas mentioned - perhaps adding an airstone would help. Additional oxygen may be the ticket. Good luck! Your pond is pretty!
     
    Lisak1, May 4, 2017
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