Green Water

Discussion in 'Pond Archive' started by Patrick, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    Ok folks, I'm about to give up. My pond is in the middle of my house (think
    a square donut) so, even though outside I get little exposure to the
    predators. It is small at about 500-ish gallons and has just 3 Koi. The
    largest is about 12" with the smallest at about 8".

    I have done what I can to stop the growth of the algae but even after
    draining 3/4 of the volume, treating with an algaecide, adding beneficial
    bacteria, I can't seem to get control of this. No string algae just really,
    really green water. I'm considering putting the fish in a temp 50-60 gallon
    container and running a bleach solution through the system (post cleaning).

    It's either this or sending them off to the Otter Exposed pond at my friends

    Any, All suggestions appreciated.
    Patrick, Apr 6, 2011
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  2. Patrick

    Jim Guest

    UV will kill the green water. And if you have vascular plants, the
    algae can't compete. The green will go away when your plants get
    going (if you have some). For the first ten years we had our pond, we
    used the UV to clear the water in early spring. We shut if down once
    the plants started growing. Now, we don't get the early green. If
    you clean out your pond, you have to let it cycle again. Once the
    waste grows a bit, you will have algae again.

    imho Go for plants and UV
    Jim, Apr 7, 2011
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  3. Patrick

    ~ jan Guest

    Hi Patrick,

    What kind of filter do you have on this pond?

    Algaecides do not help, but hurt. The water change was a good start, but
    probably too big in one time. Better, is 10% every day, at most when the
    water is green. Especially since you have no build up of algae on the
    sides, that's what conquers green water. Adding bacteria good, if you have
    a good enough filter. Course, the algaecide killed it too.

    Describe your filtration and how many gallons you're pumping, where the
    pump & filter are located, in or out of the pond. How good are your skills
    at DIY set-ups? ~ jan
    ~ jan, Apr 7, 2011
  4. Patrick

    Jim Guest

    Jan has a great point about the black algae you will have on the your pond gets established. Cleaned, it won't have the
    side hair algae.
    Jim, Apr 7, 2011
  5. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    Ok thanks. The rock walls of this pond are generally black but there is no
    string/hair type algae. Just green water!

    Jan, I don't really know the gallonage but I'd guess I turn the pond water
    over a couple times an hour or more. There is a skimmer at the outflow end
    with a net (catches leaves) infront of a green filter (2" thick) that is
    clearly not going to remove anything finer than pine needles (at least not
    much finer). From sthat outflow end water gets pumped to the head where it
    flows through a lava rock bag and overflows to the waterfall and back to the

    I'm worried that I have the most stressed fish in the state. I inherited
    these when I bought the house 6 years ago and it has admittedly been a PITA
    since. I keep believing it doesn't have to be that way.

    Still, changing 75% of the water results in a pretty green within 3 days.

    I'll do what you all tell me to do..

    Patrick Fischer
    Olalla, WA

    "Jim" wrote in message
    Patrick, Apr 8, 2011
  6. Patrick

    Jim Guest

    Your fish are not stressed by the green water. It does not bother
    them at all. It hides them from us!

    We waited out the green one year...took a while...plants finally
    kicked in and the algae could not complete. BTW, we get some blanket
    weed (string algae). The koi think it is a treat, so it is in our
    streams byt not in the pond :} The blanket weed fails as well once
    the vasculars get going.
    Jim, Apr 8, 2011
  7. Patrick

    ~ jan Guest

    Doesn't sound like you have enough bio-area for the good bacteria. As far
    as the black algae, I've always considered black to be dead? Green is what
    you want. Don't worry too much about the fish, some say they actually like
    green water.

    Your turn over rate sounds great, so I'm thinking more along the lines of
    patience. Believe it or not this actually will be less work and less
    stressful. Add your bacteria as directed, do 10-20% water changes every day
    to every other day. If there is an overflow, you could do a trickle flow
    thru, that's what many koi people are doing now, where there is a constant
    fresh in, old out, by putting a carbon filter (for frig water lines) on the
    end of the hose.

    The important thing is do not use any more algaecide and if you don't have
    plants get some. Water hyacinths are great, they will shade the water and
    don't have to be planted. You will have to corral them so they don't end up
    in the skimmer. You might want to get a finer pad for the skimmer, as I'm
    sure you don't have much falling in the pond. IIRC, it is surrounded by the

    Remind me how many fish, type and size? If you're feeding them, cut back
    till water clears.

    Do you have any water tests, you could take a sample in to the pet store,
    but having your own tests are best. Ammonia, Nitrite, pH & KH are the ones
    that can tell me if more is going on that we have to worry about. Currently
    though the green water is keeping your fish safe, it is eating the fish
    waste. ~ jan
    ~ jan, Apr 8, 2011
  8. Patrick

    Rodney Pont Guest

    Hi Patrick,
    Green water is caused by too many nutrients in the water and/or
    too much light. Changing water can often make things worse because it
    can contain large amounts of nitrates and phosphates and that's just a
    free lunch for algae. The food you give the fish gets turned into plant
    food eventually and your lava rock will turn the ammonia the fish
    breathe out into nitrate as well.

    Is the bag of lava rock placed such that the water is forced to go
    through it or can it go round? It should be forced to go through the
    rock and ammonia is converted by bacteria to nitrite and then nitrate.
    Look up the ammonia cycle if you want more info.

    You need to get rid of the nitrate to get rid of the algae, or get rid
    of the light, and the best way is plants and more plants to use it up.
    A filter with a UV light in will get rid of it as well. You can't put
    just a UV light in since it will kill the algae but it will just rot
    down and turn into more algae food, the dead algae really needs to come

    Is there any way you can build an area where you can place loads of
    plants and have the pond water run through it? That would be the best
    solution. Nitrate is toxic to fish in high concentrations and algae is
    often a sign that nitrate is high.
    Rodney Pont, Apr 8, 2011
  9. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    BTW, I can post a link to pics if that would help..

    Patrick Fischer
    Olalla, WA

    "Patrick" wrote in message
    Patrick, Apr 9, 2011
  10. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    Thanks Jan,
    No not much falling in as it is surrounded by the house. There are only 3
    fish (Larry, Curley and Roy) all in the 2-3 pound range.

    I've done water tests. None have ever caused any concern. PH is in line,
    I've never had an ammonia reading and nitrites seem to be in line. I seem to
    be routinely low on salt so I add that periodically to the bottom end of the
    skimmer where the pump is located.

    Ok, no more algecide. I can get plants (hyacinth) and corral them easily.
    Will do so tomorrow. More the better I presume..

    Thank you all!!

    More to come.
    Patrick Fischer
    Olalla, WA

    "~ jan" wrote in message
    Patrick, Apr 9, 2011
  11. Patrick

    ~ jan Guest

    I have to disagree with Rodney on both the water change and nitrates in a
    green pond. One serious koi keeper said his nitrate test was not working as
    he should have loads of nitrate as his pond was green. I asked if I could
    have it to test on my aquariums, that always run a readable nitrate level,
    and sure enough it work perfectly even though the aquariums are clear.

    A green pond has little to no nitrate reading because the green algae is
    consuming it.

    2nd water changes. It is very rare that a USA municipal water source has
    high nitrate or phosphates. But that is a good point that Patrick needs to
    take into consideration, where is his fresh water coming from? If city,
    there will usually be on-line information regarding his water.

    Many serious koi keepers, the ones that spend the big bucks... and some not
    so big are doing the slow tickle in, old out, on a constant year around
    basis and finding it doesn't cost any more than the 25% every week that is
    a standard recommendation.

    One really good article on Green Water, long, but worth it: ~ jan
    ~ jan, Apr 9, 2011
  12. Patrick

    ~ jan Guest

    Oh yes, pictures good. :) ~ jan

    ~ jan, Apr 9, 2011
  13. Patrick

    ~ jan Guest

    I'd like your pH # and both ammonia & nitrite should be 0. I only add salt
    when there is a medical reason that it is needed. :regular_waving_emot

    ~ jan (Tri-Cities, WA)
    ~ jan, Apr 9, 2011
  14. Patrick

    Rodney Pont Guest

    Hi Jan,

    I don't disagree that the algae uses the nitrate, that's what
    plant life does, but it could be a problem if a UV unit is used to
    clear the water and the dead algae isn't removed.

    Nitrate and phosphates can be problem in the water here in the UK and I
    thought they would be in any modern agricultural society due to runoff
    from the fields. Phosphate is also added here as a lubricant for the
    pumps and valves.

    Patrick mentioned nitrites in one post I think, that should be zero
    just the same as ammonia.
    Rodney Pont, Apr 10, 2011
  15. Patrick

    ~ jan Guest

    Very true, agricultural runoff, but the US hasn't been in existence as long
    as the UK. :) Patrick would have to let us know about his water source
    which may be wells where he's at. I found this website, but it is by area: not city.

    In, but across the state by about 4+ hours and a ferry ride, our water is
    sucked mainly out of the Columbia River and has less nitrate & phosphates
    than most home-made ponds. EPA allows 10mcl of nitrate, our average last
    year was .9 mcl. I picked an area out of the above website near Olalla and
    it showed even less. Phosphate wasn't even a concern, at least not listed.

    This seems to be pretty common in the US, at least most of the US koi
    people seem to recommend fresh in, fresh out on a constant basis. I know
    I'm doing that because something is sucking my water out, I think all the
    worms over the winter built pathways to the pond and now that I have the
    stream/water fall going and the level up, its getting wicked out. Drat!
    I've lifted most of the rocks along the stream, will have to do the ponds
    eventually. ~ jan
    ~ jan, Apr 11, 2011
  16. Patrick

    Pat Guest

    "Patrick" wrote in message
    With Your pond surrounded by your house your plants may not get enough
    sunlight. I wonder if you can create a veggie filter in a sunny location
    and plumb it to your pond.
    Pat, Apr 14, 2011
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