Help! I inherrited a pond and I have no idea what I'm doing!

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Axellia, May 22, 2010.

  1. Axellia

    Axellia

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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping someone on here can help me save my pond?

    I moved house in January and my landlord was going to fill in the pond in the back garden but I told him not to because I thought it looked pretty. And now it's green and looks icky (I think that's the best word to describe it now!') and I think the fish in it might appreciate it if I cleaned it up a bit but I have no idea where to start.

    My dad had a pond before he moved which always looked lovely and always frogs in it. The newts we caught always came back, the plan thrived, the waterfall he made looked great. Mine doesn't. And I've yet to see any amphibian in it.

    It's about two metres by one and I'd guess maybe a metre deep? It's got a Green Genie 600 pond pump and I think maybe four fish in it - these could be goldfish, the could be koi. I'm not rightly sure because they like to hide under the plants and I haven't seen them since the water went green (though I haven't seen any floating on the top, which I'm taking as a good sign).

    Actually, it might be better to just show you... I think I've attached a picture. And when taking it I have discovered at least two of the fish are alive and they're pretty big.

    From about 10am, I get sun on the pond until it sets. And also, whilst they left me a pond, they didn't leave me any instructions are user manuals for the pump.

    So what do I do? And please tell me it's not going to involve getting a bucket and emptying it all to clean it?!

    Cheryl
     

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    Axellia, May 22, 2010
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  2. Axellia

    koikeepr

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    Well, if I were you, I would take the whole thing apart and start over. Remove everything from it and give it a good cleaning. Take everything out of that filter and clean that. The filter pads may need replacing.

    Dechlorinate the fresh water and start again. You need to do partial water changes of at least 20% every week--which clearly no one was doing.

    To remove the water, you will simply take the pipe off your filter box there, and point it at the garden or lawn so the pump in the pond will empty out all the water inside. Voila, no buckets! You may need to get a cup when you get to the lowest point of the water.

    I just don't see how you can come back from a pond in that poor a shape, without starting again. It's pretty bad.
     
    koikeepr, May 22, 2010
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  3. Axellia

    philljp

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    I really hope you make the effort to sort this out, it will be worth it!

    Like koikeepr said, u only have to pump the water out, give everything a wipe, clean the filter, fill back up and add some dechlorinator (which you can get at many aquatics places) usually called something like "Fresh Start".

    A question for one of the more experienced guys here, should the OP wash the filter foam out in the existing pond water, to protect any good bacteria?
     
    philljp, May 22, 2010
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  4. Axellia

    koikeepr

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    yes, wash the old media in pond water. Or at least fresh water in an bucket that has dechlor in it.
     
    koikeepr, May 22, 2010
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  5. Axellia

    Axellia

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    Thank you!

    I half suspected it would take a big effort to get it looking well again. What is the best thing to do with the fish whilst I'm emptying it? My tank fish are happy to live in a bucket whilst I'm cleaning their home, but I have a feeling a couple of the pond fish are as big as the bucket is wide - surely that's not going to be good for them? Would a washing up bowl be too shallow? Or am I just over-complicating things with my wish not to kill the fish?

    My neighbour suggested waiting until the pond was low in water and then feed in water while still pumping the rest out, but I'm not sure if this will put the fish under too much distress?

    Either way, I'm definately going to give it a good clean, becasue I do agree that it will be worth it when it's done.
     
    Axellia, May 23, 2010
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  6. Axellia

    koikeepr

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    Your neighbors solution will not work. You aren't able to give it a good scrubbing in that manner and are just diluting the mess.

    Is it possible for you to get a plastic tote and stick and air hose in it while you do this dirty deed?
     
    koikeepr, May 23, 2010
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  7. Axellia

    koidaddy karps house of koi

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    I would go purchase a larger container to keep them in while you clean this up. You could then use that container for when you do water changes.

    I noticed you say you take your aquarium fish out of the tank while cleaning it. That is unnessasary unless you are doing a 100% water change. Plus the stress the fish go through of being netted.

    Just trying to help not being critical. Here is a pic of water change in my 180 gallon. My fish know when the water gets low they are getting fresh water soon and they love it.:p
     

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    koidaddy, May 23, 2010
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  8. Axellia

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    go to walmart, meijers, etc. buy a 8 dollar hard shell baby pool...fill it 1/2 way with pond water fill it the rest of the way with tap water and dechlorinate ( if your using your pump to transfer water, as you fill the pool with pond water lift the pump off the bottom far enough to draw the cleanest water possible, so this mix can be pumped back into the pond if its clarity warrants) ...this will comfortably house the fish for the few hours your scrubbing down the pond... clean your filter up, and 2/3 of the media, leaving 1/3 with some active bacteria and food for it to recolonize the filter. dechlorinate the water as you refill your pond.
     
    koiguy1969, May 23, 2010
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  9. Axellia

    fantaildaz

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    hi all, i know this is probrably a really silly question but as im very new to ponds it is my perogative. you state their should be a 20% water change every week, would this also apply to 1500 litre pond with 13 fish?

    the water is clear with a clarifier and filter box that is probrably way to much for the volume of the pond as its suited to 4000 litres, will this do any harm?

    the pond is only 0.7 metres deep and shelves to 0.3 metres, can i run my pump through the winter as i have read somewhere that that is not a good idea but i dont want to have to remove the fish indoors for the winter if i can help it.

    any coldwater fish or moluscs that will keep the green algae on the side and bottom of the down but not gone?

    last but not least these are the fish i put in, 7 goldfish (including shubunkins), 3 green tench, 4 rudd.

    please tell me i havent built myself a disaster :fish:
     
    fantaildaz, Jun 22, 2010
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  10. Axellia

    koikeepr

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    Hi fanta. Water changes are a requirement no matter what the size of the body of water. Think about it as your loo at home. Every time you go to the bathroom, you flush the toilet, don't you? Well, it's the same for a pond. Fish are in there eating, peeing and pooping--so once per week during pond season you need to give it a good waste flush. This means removing 20% of your water volume, then replacing that water with properly dechlorinated fresh water. Evaporation does NOT count as a water change.

    You can keep a pump going through winter, but there is a possibility of damaging it particularly in zones where water freezes. Many of us shut everything down and just use an air pump to keep things going. 99% of us keep our fish outside, and there are are a few lucky fish that get to overwinter in indoor digs. But it's truly not necessary.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 22, 2010
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  11. Axellia

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum! Post some photos when you can.
     
    DrDave, Jun 23, 2010
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