Foam on the water surface


fishin4cars

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I went out to my pond this morning to check on it, There is an unusual amount of foam on the surface. When I opened the skimmer box lid there was a pretty heavy amount of foam in the skimmer box.
I need to add some information so anyone that is posting is aware of, 2500 gallon pond, water temp, 74 degrees, PH 7.63, ammonia 0.21ppm, KH is reading 4kh GK is reading 8hg, Nitrites are not reading anything, Nitrates are reading aprox,2-3ppm. This is a liner pond no cement. Pond has a Large Bio filter, 30 watts of UV lights running, a bog and plant pond that is 80% full of plants with no fish, main pond has maybe 15-20% plant coverage at this time. I did stir up the bottom some yesterday doing a slight spring cleaning, Just ran some pond water thru a pump and hose and blew the detrius toward the deep end to limit any dead spots. Picked up and rocks and plants and just jetted some water under them to stir up the bottom. Then took my shop vac and sucked out what little settlement settled at the deep end. Also I cleaned all my pre-filters and then did a 20 water change with filtered rain water and back flushed the bio filter as normal.. Water is crystal clear this morning, fish seem to be acting normal and swimming fine, NOT breathing hard. Plants are growing by leaps and bounds and I'm getting a little string algae in my upper pond but not much ( Normal for this time of year here) I have noticed the Shubunkins and Comets chasing and possibly spawning but I have not seen any eggs and since there are only a total of 7 goldies that could breed I don't think that they could be producing enough spawn to cause this but I could be mistaken. Never seen it before. Any suggestions as to what may be causing this? Oh last thing, No chemicals have been added in month's except for two barley bales which were added about two weeks ago. Also have had no natural rain in the pond for two weeks, and still only feeding two - three times a day with Blue ridge koi food, and Hikari goldfish pellets, and a few english peas and cherrios for treats.
 
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koiguy1969

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foam on ponds surface is due to excessive D.O.C.s dissolved organic compounds. water changes will take temporary care of it by dillution of said D.O.C.s. but a protien skimmer or foam fractionator is a long term solution.....spawning can be definately a major source.... heres some DIY examples..
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i will post links to the building of these style skimmers if requested.
 

fishin4cars

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That makes sense, I stirred up the organics in the pond this weekend and did a water change, so if the fish did breed then the compound of the two could have easily caused this, Thanks! I'm wondering if a saltwater protien skimmer would help? I know where a failry good venturi type protien skimmer is that I could pick up realively cheap (Probably less than the cost of the pipe for building a DYI), It was used on a 225 gallon reef tank, It's also small enough to fit under my deck and I could plumb it and hide it pretty easily.
 

hewhoisatpeace

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What are your stocking levels? Ammonia should really not be readable, what are you using for a biofilter? A retro bottom drain could really help you to stay a lot cleaner, for less than $100, and a foam fractionator would add to your bio, should help to eliminate the ammonia reading and clear up DOCs, the real foam culprits.

Honestly, though, with your water parameters and stated feeding practices, I'd bet that it would clear up a lot of problems if you reduced your feeding. Good luck!
 

fishin4cars

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hewhoisatpeace said:
What are your stocking levels? Ammonia should really not be readable, what are you using for a biofilter? A retro bottom drain could really help you to stay a lot cleaner, for less than $100, and a foam fractionator would add to your bio, should help to eliminate the ammonia reading and clear up DOCs, the real foam culprits.

Honestly, though, with your water parameters and stated feeding practices, I'd bet that it would clear up a lot of problems if you reduced your feeding. Good luck!

Stocking level is fairly high, I NEED to install a bottom drain, that is a project that I really want to do later this spring. Would have to be a retro-fit type! I've been looking at building a DYI filter with some type of separator to help remove detritus before it gets to my bio filter. The ammonia reading was a little higher day before yesterday but I pretty much know that was from doing the filter clean and stirring up everything the day before, Just checked it this morning and back to normal reading of 0.09. Most days it's between .(05-.08) during active month's and .03-.05 on days when they are pretty much dormant and no feeding is taking place at all. I do use a digital ammonia reading so keep in mine these readings are .2 -.09 not 1-2 ppm. feeding is pretty high right now, Down here we are in full growth mode, Breeding has started with the comets but so far the koi are not, that should be late April early May if anything takes place this year. as for my Bio filters, my primary is a box type over flow system, I run 8 brushes, then thru 1000 2" bio balls, an aeration chamber hen thru 8 matala pads, In my filter fall I run course matala in the pre filter of the skimmer, another course matala in the filter fall, followed by another 1500 1 1/2 inch bio balls, polished with a fine mesh matala all which are also aerated during the filtering process and before returning to the pond, Then there is the Bog, Plant fliter, Again all water entering in here is run through matala before entering, I slow the water rate down going thru this portion of the system to 300 gallons per hour. No fish in this area, just a few tadpoles that live in it from time to time. Foam cleared up after about 24 hours, did another 10% water change yesterday but didn't refill the pond as the rain was coming in so I let it fill on it's own, Got up this morning and dumped another 100-200 gallons of water out as the rain just keeps coming down. My fish love the rain! I have a overflow drain on the pond for just in case but I really like backwashing water out of the filters for just a quick disposal of waste and added water change when it rains, when I do this all the waste water is pumped to a drainage ditch full of LA irises so they get plenty of good growth fert. naturally. I'm debating back and forth if I want to add more filtering to this pond or just wait as I am planning sometime in the near future(1-2 year) of either moving or finding a place to build larger ponds for breeding. So adding all that to a show pond is kind of spinning my wheels as it will eventually go back to plants and gold fish once the full Koi Ponds are built.
 

hewhoisatpeace

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Well then, sounds as if you know what you are doing. I'd just really consider slacking off feeding while you're still in that little pond. Your filtration sounds pretty good, I think a foam fractionator would add some to your bio and get rid of a lot of DOCs. You could always move it to your bigger pond when you build it.

The Cetus retails a replacement sieve screen for $350. That's a 200 (they have no stock on 300) micron screen. You've got to purchase it through a Cetus dealer as an "upgrade" screen. I don't know what you know of wedgewire, but it can flow over 5000 gph through a 200 micron screen as a mech prefilter. The Cetus sieve itself is over a thousand bucks, but I'm hoping to DIY a sieve/fines filter to use below pond level and pre bio or pump. PM me and I'll fill you in on details of the project.
 
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To me a protien skimmer or foam fractionator are bandaids they don't fix the problem but they do control it somewhat.
Do water changes, reduce fish load and upgrade your filter system.
 

hewhoisatpeace

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I totally agree with you, Bill. Sounds like he just needs a bandaid to get him to his next build, but being overstocked and feeding heavy will seriously complicate the filtration issues. Once he can make it a goldfish pond, his existing filtration should be adequate.
 

koiguy1969

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the 'pump fed from the top' style adds bio filtration as well as DOC removal ..how is that a Bandaid? it can actually be incorporated right into a filtration system.how is removing organics in any way is a bandaid?
 

hewhoisatpeace

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Don't get upset, Koiguy. It is a bandaid in the fact that it should help him to reduce or eliminate his problems until he gets his new koi pond built and the existing pond is relegated to goldfish, which are smaller and less demanding of filtration systems.

Alternately, if Fishin4cars can get a 55g barrel from a car wash, he could build a sand and gravel filter for about the same price, to really clean up the water with a good fines filter that adds bio, too. http://www.thepondforum.com/showthr...ld-A-quot-Birdman-quot-Sand-amp-Gravel-Filter
 

fishin4cars

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hewhoisatpeace said:
Don't get upset, Koiguy. It is a bandaid in the fact that it should help him to reduce or eliminate his problems until he gets his new koi pond built and the existing pond is relegated to goldfish, which are smaller and less demanding of filtration systems.

Alternately, if Fishin4cars can get a 55g barrel from a car wash, he could build a sand and gravel filter for about the same price, to really clean up the water with a good fines filter that adds bio, too. http://www.thepondforum.com/showthr...ld-A-quot-Birdman-quot-Sand-amp-Gravel-Filter

I agree on what your saying as far as a bandaid. I see what your saying, It's a fix but ultimatly lighter fish load would be a better fix. I do have a 30 gallon tub where the lotus is that is a gravel bed filter, I'm looking into adding a larger filter but I do have a minimal amount of space to work with on this pond, This pond is really more of a display pond and it's far more designed for Lilies and Goldfish than koi. The Koi pond will be built as soon as we find out if we are staying at this house or going to get to relocate and have to move. I did try the saltwater protien skimmer, It's working, the water is not being run thru any type of seive, I had a extra planter pot that has the small holes all in it, I ended up wrapping a fine foam filter around the pot and set the skimmer up inside, It's moving some water thru it, and the skimmer is producing foam. This was a great eye opener, I can see I'm going to need to get one that is appropriate for the size pond and fish load for Koi, This skimmer is a REAL bandaid! LOL its way to small but it's doing some so I figure for $30 it's better than nothing for now until I can figure everything out on the bigger pond build. I do regular water changes, I monitor my water parameters closely, As for feeding I do feed several times a day, but really they are light feedings for Koi, I want all the food eaten in a matter of less than a minute per feeding,
 
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Pump fed systems will increase the Dissolved Organic Carbons by turning it in to puree which make the waste harder to filter out.
A skimmer will help remove DOC' as well as a bottom drain that goes to a settling chamber. What contributes to the making of Doc's?
Decaying plant matter, fish load, over feeding and undersized filtration.If you can keep these under control and do a 10% water change each week you should be fine. There is more to filtration than bio.
I know there are probably more pond with docs than there are with no Doc's.
If you don't make the PF big enough it won't do much good anyways.
If I had doc's I would probably use Potassium Permanganate it oxidizes organics in the water, leaving it cleaner and fresher than before treatment.
But don't use it if you don't know what your doing. It will kill fish.
 

koiguy1969

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I know all this.... i use a submersable pump, and as ive stated in many posts, thats why i use prefilters. to trap much of the biomatter before it hits my pumps impellor. a few people on this site even say that my choice of media clogs, deteriorates,and fails. yet mine performs excellant after a few years of use 24/7/365. this is greatly due to the fact of the prefilters. now i havent used a P.S myself,but have visited many sites and forums with people praising them. now to me a bandaid is something you do as temporary fix. but people use them full time and are extremely happy with the results. to me, if its doing its job, and allows the water to be suitabley clean/clear and parameters are good. i wouldnt consider it a bandaid. thats all... we just have different ideas on the definition of bandaids.
that said....of course a liter fish load, less feedings, and water changes,etc.. will cure the problem
 
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hewhoisatpeace

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Yeah, I agree with you there. Just hate it when folks sound upset, there's usually just a lack of communication to blame. Damn, but I am getting zen as it gets late here. Should go...
 

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