Hi from New Zealand

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by MarcusNZ, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. MarcusNZ

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Hello and a Big Welcome... Sorry to here about the fish.... :(

    Water is a very corroisve element and cement will not last very long with running water. Cement is toxic too as you have now discovered. Then after time the liner tends to slip and move, and it will be harder to fix and a just the liner when the rocks are cemented But don't feel bad, cause I too had cement blocks in and around my pond 22 years ago and had similar problems, but at least I did not cement the rocks together and I just removed the cement blocks from in and around pond and all was good after that.

    Now that I am older and wiser, I know better that to glue rocks in a permant fashion. But this is a way to glue rocks in a semi-permant fashion. Rocks can be removed without too much effort if I was to change the pond yet again! The stuff I used is similar to the stuff they sell in a can at pet stores to glue rocks together in a waterfall, but I found a much cheaper version at the hardware store called "Great Stuff, Big Gap filler" It dries very quick and if any falls into pond it floats and does not mix with pond water and appears to very safe as I have it all around my pond now to hld the rocks in place around the edges, and then I stuffed moss into the cracks for a natural look....
     

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    callingcolleen1, Jan 7, 2013
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  2. MarcusNZ

    MarcusNZ

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    Hi Colleen. I'm doing a little experiment at the moment with concrete and tap water in a container.
    The results should be interesting. I will do the same with the waterfall section of my pond prior to reintroducing it to my pond system. I will also remove my fish as a precaution before restarting the waterfall.
     
    MarcusNZ, Jan 10, 2013
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  3. MarcusNZ

    MarcusNZ

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    Hi Andy,

    I'm seeing aphids thrive but I bet that's not what you are referring to...

    I also have what appears to be tiny snails popping up too along with string algae.

    I'll be spraying the aphids with cooking oil my next days off. I hope it works better than the squishing and water spraying I have tried so far.
     
    MarcusNZ, Jan 10, 2013
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  4. MarcusNZ

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Marcus, you can never get rid all all the aphids cause the Ant's farm them like we farm cattle, the ant's milk the aphids for the sweet sap. If you can move the ants, the aphids should go with them. You can never get rid of all the ants, if you bug them they will eventually move elsewhere.

    Let us know how the experiment goes with the concrete goes. :)
     
    callingcolleen1, Jan 10, 2013
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  5. MarcusNZ

    sissy sissy

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    my pond has been at 9 over 3 years and never lost fish yet and no sick ones .I use lava rock in my filters and also put in crushed oyster shells and fish seem happy
     
    sissy, Jan 10, 2013
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  6. MarcusNZ

    adavisus

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    There is a point where a pond becomes 'mature', plants and aquatic organisms will thrive and go on to dictate water quality. If the pond is well proportioned diversity will get going, if the pond has unstable characteristics, diversity will be limited.

    Too high a ph, and lime will be harsh on eyes, mucous membranes. Something to look up in msds reference sheets, as to what that hazard is and what effective ways there are to eliminate it
     
    adavisus, Jan 10, 2013
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  7. MarcusNZ

    MarcusNZ

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    I read a few posts by members here saying cooking oil seemed to be a safe effective method of treating aphids.
    I spot sprayed the little suckers last night and the results so far look promising.

    Another workmate of mine had some fry he wanted gone so I grabbed some of them (12) last night. He has had a population explosion in his small pond. They vary in size from 10mm to 20mm so I'm unsure if it would be safe to introduce them to my pond/fish. Out of curiosity I tested the very green water from his pond both last night and this morning. It went straight off the high pH scale last night and this morning it had dropped significantly and ended up the same pH as mine @ 7.8. Considering it's mid summer here with a lot of growth activity. Is it safe to assume these large daily pH swings are normal?

    I'm replacing parts of the water they came in, with my pond water over time with the intention of introducing them to my pond when they are large enough.
     
    MarcusNZ, Jan 11, 2013
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  8. MarcusNZ

    MarcusNZ

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    Note: My pH readings are now in the high 7s in the morning and mid to high 8s every night.
     
    MarcusNZ, Jan 11, 2013
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  9. MarcusNZ

    sissy sissy

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    dish detergent gets rid of aphids also .Nice clean dead bugs :razz:
     
    sissy, Jan 11, 2013
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  10. MarcusNZ

    MarcusNZ

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    I'm from the VCR generation so those You tube clips are great! :razz:
     
    MarcusNZ, Jan 12, 2013
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  11. MarcusNZ

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Yes these things do kill the aphids nice, but the ants will carry more up the tree to "farm them". So if you put sticky tape on the truck of the tree the ant's will not get past the sticky tape and bring more aphids. If it is a bush they you will have to move the ants cause they bring most of the aphids back and re-infect the plant. Good luck with the aphids, I gave up and now let the ants have one sacrificial plant, a goose berry bush, that I still get a good harvest from, cause the ants know if they kill the bush their "pet aphids" won't have a place to get food from!
     
    callingcolleen1, Jan 12, 2013
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  12. MarcusNZ

    Waterbug

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    Thanks for the kind words. I have to give a lot of credit for what I know to RichToyBox at Koiphen. I've learned a lot from a lot of sources about concrete but Richard ties it together with ponds and takes the time to explain it all in extreme detail. So if anyone wants to go straight to horse's mouth Richard is your guy.
     
    Waterbug, Jan 12, 2013
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  13. MarcusNZ

    Waterbug

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    For those keeping score that's 127,827,938 people who rushed it and 0 who didn't.

    Thanks for doing the test and posting results. But I wasn't 100% sure what you meant. Did the pH in the bucket increase? From what to what. I saw the photo but don't know what goes to what. Maybe something like:

    Bucket only test
    Tap pH: ??
    24 hrs pH: ??

    This type of test does vary depending on the block, aged vs new, type of mix used, how dense, etc. Blocks are normally very porous so you're performing the absolute best case for raising pH. What I'm hoping you see is the speed at which pH raises and to what degree. Pretty much anything you do will affect pH, even simple stirring. So it's difficult to predict the results. But what you should see for sure is that pH doesn't go to concrete's pH of 13. Where exactly it ends up depends on other substances in the water. You could see pH go up a lot, maybe 10 even 11 with a new block. It depends on the amount of CO2 in the water which turns the calcium hydroxide (12.4 pH) leaching out of the concrete to calcium carbonate 9.4 pH. If you have a small pump that you can place in the bucket that would help keep CO2 levels up.

    But here's what you probably won't see. 12.4 pH. The block dissolve.

    Knowing the GH of the water also can tell you something. Higher GH can keep pH from going above 8.4 depending on what else is in the water.

    I look forward to your readings no matter the result. Plain water in the bucket is an easier, more reliable test. The concrete block is more of a variable, but all data is good data.

    Reading up on pH buffering is kind of important imo, much more important than the concrete issue. It can be a little tricky, but once you decide on how you want to keep your pond it can be very simple. For example, although concrete can raise pH, that's actually a good thing because it acts as a pH buffer to some degree. It isn't a very good pH buffer but better than nothing. So although 9+ pH can be alarming at first, once your pond is producing acid the concrete will help a little. But better to have proper pH buffering.
     
    Waterbug, Jan 12, 2013
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  14. MarcusNZ

    Waterbug

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    Yes, that would be normal in a green pond. There is also a pH swing in clear ponds but normally not as extreme. Here's an explanation. Basically the algae consume CO2 and produces O2 during the day. Less CO2 = higher pH so by the end of the day pH is maxed. At night algae consumes O2 and produces CO2 which drives down pH. And of course fish are producing CO2 24/7 and decomposition of organic matter also adds CO2 24/7. Think of CO2 as an acid, which it is in water.

    Hooking this back to concrete, the CO2 produced reacts with the calcium hydroxide (lime) coming out of the concrete turning it into calcium carbonate (limestone, oyster shell, etc.). The calcium carbonate builds on the pores of the concrete plugging them so less and less calcium hydroxide can escape. This is why concrete is self sealing. Without that concrete would in fact continue to leach calcium hydroxide and breakdown. Concrete would be pretty worthless without this process because it happens in the air too. Air is about 5.6 pH, well moisture in air anyways.

    BTW, some pond keepers add oyster shell to their ponds as a pH buffer. Made of calcium carbonate...the same stuff the surface of concrete becomes in water. Kind of weird that oyster shells are considered a benefit while the same person will consider concrete toxic. I think oyster's just have a better PR department. Also why oyster shell and concrete are poor pH buffers, because calcium carbonate is slow to react with acid.

    Next Myth
    If you want to get a jump on the next myth take a measure of ammonia and nitrate in your friend's green pond and your clear (I assume) pond, or tap water even. The green pond will have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrate I'll wager. Yours will have solid nitrate (if your tap water has nitrate, not sure about New Zealand). As or if your pond goes green your nitrate will drop to zero. But you will read many places that plants will suck the nutrients (nitrate) out of the water and kill the algae. You'll have shown yourself that isn't true and can save you a lot of hassle screwing around with that myth to clear a pond. just trying to get the jump on the next thing.
     
    Waterbug, Jan 12, 2013
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  15. MarcusNZ

    MarcusNZ

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    The tap water pH in the the bucket was 7.6 after 24hours (no block) which matches my morning pond pH.
    After adding the cinder block, the pH climbed each morning to the point where by day 8, my test kit was at its limit (8.8pH).

    I applied the pond sealer to the concrete parts of the waterfall but have yet to build up the courage to start using it again. I still have the pond recirculating through a filter with a fall from the hose into the pond. The fish love playing in this little jet stream...


    Fish. Things have been great for the fish over the last month or so. We have had close to record low amounts of rainfall since November. The fish seem to be coping well with the long fine days. I introduced 12 new fry from a friend a few weeks ago and they have adjusted well. I initially kept them separate for two weeks because they were quite small (no colour). I'm confident they have all survived and not fallen victim to the bigger fish or the pump. The runt of them all does not appear to have grown much which seems odd (maybe I'm losing my eyesight). The others are all changing colour and growing quite nicely.

    I did test his and it had a trace amount of Ammonia. Everything else was a scratch.
    My pond has a scratch on Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates and the water is crystal clear to the bottom (900mm deep). There is a good coating of agae on the liner with more and more string algae also growing so I have started taking the odd bit of string algae out.
     
    MarcusNZ, Feb 9, 2013
    #35
  16. MarcusNZ

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Little bits of string algae OK, but if you get too much long stringy stuff, you can reach down into pond with a long stick and twirl it around like green "cotton candy" and rid the pond of the excess algae that way. Also fish will eat string algae so don't over feed the fish and make them eat the algae too.
    If you plant big sedges and get them going the sedges will help to starve out the algae once they are fully established, may take a couple seasons to get a good size clump so get started on some sedges today!
    Sedges are pond plants with a "spear shaped leaf, such as cat-tails, water Iris, grasses, and rushes. You may find local sedges nearby or get them from a garden centre.
    Sedges can be planted in mesh plastic baskets that allow the roots to grow out. Plain kitty litter may be used as planting soil. You can also line the basket with brown paper and that will stop fine particals from getting out. Plant's love to grow thru paper pulp and it will not hurt your pond. Place the basket in the water on a shelf, if you have koi, place the top of the basket near water level so the koi cannot get into the basket and make a mess.
     
    callingcolleen1, Feb 9, 2013
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  17. MarcusNZ

    Waterbug

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    Thanks for the info. I would have expected a bit higher pH with the cinder block, but they're so variable it's hard to predict. It does show what's been known about cement for decades, outside of pond forums, it doesn't drive pH to dangerous levels.
     
    Waterbug, Feb 9, 2013
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  18. MarcusNZ

    Dave 54

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    Wont find any koi for sale in New Zealand sissy they are banned and hunted down and destroyed as pest that are wreaking havock on the native species of New Zealand since they escaped into the wild , they organise bow and arrow shoots to try and destroy them .
    Sadly its an uphill struggle that I doubt they will win
    rgrds
    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Feb 9, 2013
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  19. MarcusNZ

    Dave 54

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    No Warerbug but newly made concrete ponds that are not treated can cause serious burns to fish so they must be treated before adding fish otherwise your asking for trouble
    rgrds
    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Feb 9, 2013
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  20. MarcusNZ

    gardengimp

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    What causes the burning?
     
    gardengimp, Feb 9, 2013
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