Foamy pond--quick fix???


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As I mentioned elsewhere today, one of my koi died at some point over the last 24-36 hours. He swam into the skimmer box at some point either yesterday or overnight and got tangled in the filter net. I got him out this morning before I went to work--the other two koi were fine, pond itself appeared to be fine, so I went to work.

I just got home from work to a foamy MESS on the surface of the pond. I'm assuming it's due to organic matter from the dead fish circulating in the water.

Is there ANY quick fix I can do to help things? I only have tonight to work on this if I need to go buy anything--I am leaving to go out of town tomorrow. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. There is a Menards and a Home Depot nearby if I need supplies... also a pet supply store if they might have anything.

*Great* timing for this to happen, of course...though I suppose it's good that it at least happened while I was still here and not while my friend is supposed to be checking on my house/pond this week while we're gone. :/

foam1.jpg
foam2.jpg
 
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Haven't tested the water--I don't have a testing kit here at the house. Would they have something like that at Home Depot/Lowes or a pet store?

I might be able to bail out some of the water from the pond and put in some fresh water later on. Might be tricky as it's now dark outside, but I suppose anything I can do to get some clean water into the system would help.
 
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You should be able to get a liquid test kit from a pet store. I doubt Lowes or Home Depot have them although they might in the pond section.

I would at least try and do a water change before you leave (don't forget dechlorinator) and maybe get a test kit when you get back home.

How do you normally do a water change?
 
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I haven't done a major water change yet. I've added water a number of times when the water levels went low over the winter due to evaporation, plus we had a lot of snow melt into the pond as well as things warmed up... so at least some fresher water was getting into the system periodically. The old owners said they never really did a major water change other than adding water if it got low, so I was going on their advice.
 
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We get foam every spring - saw it starting yesterday. I think we had a few more leaves in the pond than we normally do over winter. It clears up on it's own.
 
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I haven't done a major water change yet. I've added water a number of times when the water levels went low over the winter due to evaporation, plus we had a lot of snow melt into the pond as well as things warmed up... so at least some fresher water was getting into the system periodically. The old owners said they never really did a major water change other than adding water if it got low, so I was going on their advice.

That's okay, everyone does things different as far as caring for their fish and ponds. Here is some good info on the importance of water changes in a pond as well as how to and why:

http://www.koihealth.info/water-changes.html

http://www.koicrisis.com/waterquality/waterchanges.html#.VRwSXvnF_Pw

Hopefully this info will help you understand the how and why's of caring for your pond as well as for the health of your fish :)
 
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I get that foamy stuff too and have forever. I ignore and it leaves.
 

Meyer Jordan

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That's okay, everyone does things different as far as caring for their fish and ponds. Here is some good info on the importance of water changes in a pond as well as how to and why:

http://www.koihealth.info/water-changes.html

http://www.koicrisis.com/waterquality/waterchanges.html#.VRwSXvnF_Pw

Hopefully this info will help you understand the how and why's of caring for your pond as well as for the health of your fish :)

Those links are in reference to dedicated Koi ponds which have no plants, no diversity of sub-strates, etc. which adds up to a very limited and unstable eco-system. The natural checks and balances do not exist in any meaningful level. In the case of these systems, supplemental methods MUST be applied to maintain water quality.
 
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@Meyer Jordan That *may* be the case but with this poster do we know if there are any live plants in the pond? I don't see any in the photos posted?

Also we don't know the size of the pond and the stocking level which would make a difference in water quality. Would it not?

I do believe most people who said they get foam in their ponds states it was due to decaying leaves, etc. The original posted did mention that there was a dead Koi in the pond and wasn't exactly sure how long it was there. Would or could that not affect water quality?
 

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@Meyer Jordan That *may* be the case but with this poster do we know if there are any live plants in the pond? I don't see any in the photos posted?

Also we don't know the size of the pond and the stocking level which would make a difference in water quality. Would it not?

I do believe most people who said they get foam in their ponds states it was due to decaying leaves, etc. The original posted did mention that there was a dead Koi in the pond and wasn't exactly sure how long it was there. Would or could that not affect water quality?

True, no plants are visible in the photo, but with the exception of one, maybe two, fish neither is a high stocking level.

Foam is a result of an elevated DOC (dissolved organic compounds or, more correctly, dissolved organic Carbon) level. DOC is comprised of animal and plant proteins that have been reduced to their smallest size. DOC is a part of all aquatic systems and serves a valuable purpose as a food (Carbon) source for many micro-organisms, bacterial and algal. Some of these organic compounds will combine to form molecules that are not readily identified and are unusable as a food source. In great enough number these form the basis for the appearance of Foam. This Foam, when it does occur, is usually observed in the morning hours and dissipates during the course of the day due to the effects of solar UV radiation.
As to the occurrence of the foam in Teemkay's pond, the death of a fish seems to be the trigger event for the Foam formation, or more exactly the rapid release of the slime coat into the water column.
Yes, this would affect water quality, Temporarily. The slime coat is continuously being sloughed off and replaced on a living fish and this sloughed off mucous becomes part of the total DOC. If a pond is overstocked, this continuous sloughing may create a problematic level of DOC, depending on several factors: Flow rate, filtration levels, SSA, flora and fauna diversity et. al. In the case under discussion, we are dealing with a one-time limited event which, as has been stated, Nature provides the solution.
Let's not forget that an eco-system, aquatic or terrestrial, is dynamic and not static. It is ever changing. Water quality will change from hour to hour. Ph rises during the day. Oxygen levels increase during the day. Ammonia levels will rise after fish feed. Temperature is ever changing. Nothing is static, nor should it be. As stated before, Nature provides the required checks and balances to keep an eco-system stable. Rarely, is Man's assistance required.
 
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I have sometimes observed that folks who came to ponding via aquariums are convinced water changes are a must. My husband took a long time to let go of that idea himself, having been an aquarium enthusiast in his teens. My approach has always been more "let nature take it's course". Now granted, my pond is not REALLY natural since I built it and it's lined with rubber. But we do everything we can to re-create that natural pond system. An experienced pond builder we know told us that it takes 3 years for your pond water to "mature" - just leave it alone and it will eventually find it's own balance.

But as @Meyer Jordan said - that's true of an ecosystem pond with all the elements in place. A dedicated fish pond would need to be handled differently since you have only two elements in place: fish and water.
 

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I have sometimes observed that folks who came to ponding via aquariums are convinced water changes are a must. My husband took a long time to let go of that idea himself, having been an aquarium enthusiast in his teens. My approach has always been more "let nature take it's course". Now granted, my pond is not REALLY natural since I built it and it's lined with rubber. But we do everything we can to re-create that natural pond system. An experienced pond builder we know told us that it takes 3 years for your pond water to "mature" - just leave it alone and it will eventually find it's own balance.

But as @Meyer Jordan said - that's true of an ecosystem pond with all the elements in place. A dedicated fish pond would need to be handled differently since you have only two elements in place: fish and water.

Your pond may not be truly natural, but if one provides the environment for Nature to duplicate the majority of the natural processes you will have a stable self-sufficient healthy pond.
 
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Thanks for your explanation Myer

I guess I can understand what you're saying if someone has a large pond. But I just can't accept not doing or even not needing water changes in a small pond. My own is only 500 gallons and I have a good amount of live plants and use filtration. I keep common goldfish, no koi. I have not had issues with green water or algae. I consider my pond balanced/matured. But I feel for the health of my fish it's necessary to do regular partial water changes.
 
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I guess i should call my pond a water garden with fish for the added color. It is 25x35 and I have no filter. The 3 foot wide 12 inch deep shelf holds rock which serves as a planting area, hiding spot for babies and frogs and a ton of surface area for bacteria. The header pond for the stream and waterfall has iris planted in the rocks and water hyacinth floating in the summer. My water is always clear and tests fine. I do get string algae and this year I am going to add a 9X16 bog to maybe help keep it at bay. I have found many times doing nothing is the best and mother nature takes care of things. A pond dedicated to only koi is too much like work for me.
 

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