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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    So California Whittier
    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
    #4
  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
    #6
  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
    #8
  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
    #10
  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
    #12
  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
    #13
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