Hi from North Carolina

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Gabe, May 19, 2017.

  1. Gabe

    Gabe

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    Hi everyone! My name is Gabe and I am living in North Carolina. I started in the aquarium hobby about 7 years ago and I love it and currently have a 55gl thriving tropical tank. We bought a house last year with the perfect spot for a garden pond, something I have always wanted. I was able to build it this year and I got it done about 8 weeks ago. I love it, but I am having some issues and I am hoping to get some help on here.

    The pond is oval, 8 feet long, shallow end is 6 feet wide and the deep end is 4 feet wide. The deep end is 24 inches and the shallow end is 16 inches with a shallower plant shelf. I calculated it to be roughly 200gl. The filter is a bucket filter that sits in the pond. At first it was just the foam that came with the pump filter and rocks sitting in a 12in square pot. After I accidently poisoned the fish now it is running with the addition of carbon. (explained further down)

    It started with two water irises, a pickerel rush, and 3 lilies. I added 2 more pickerel rushes because it was doing so well, Lucky bamboo cause I like how it looks but I have found conflicting opinions on if it is good for ponds. Just last night I added duckweed and two heads of water lettuce. All the planted plants are in clay pots with a bacteria rich aquarium soil. The plants are doing great and the irises are blooming. I live in planting zone 8.

    After a week, I added 4 small koi. They seemed to be doing great so I added 2 more 2 weeks later and that was going to be the only fish. They were doing well but I was having some major water issues. I tried Algeacide and this product that is supposed to clear the water and nothing worked. I nearly emptied the pond after 2 weeks of having the fish and scrubbed the sides with a towel and that helped until the algae grew back. The pond sits where it gets at least 6-7hours of sun off and on throughout the day so I know that has to be part of it. We went away for a week and when we got back the water was completely green so I couldn't even see to the bottom of the plant shelf and the filter was so clogged it was barely spitting water. So I drained the water down to the deep end. The fish were fine and very actively swimming away. I cleaned the pond liner with what I thought was a clean towel. I tried a new algae killer called Pond and Fountain Cleaner Tablets from Naturals. All the chemicals I was using in the pond says fish safe. So I filled the pond making sure I added the dechlorinater just like last time. Well I must have used a towel with soap on it because in 3 days all the fish were dead. I tried to save the last two by keeping them in a clean bucket of water and completely draining the pond and filling it with clean water but they died too. I am not going to add anymore fish until I am sure the water is clean and I have the algae issue better controlled.

    So now the pond has been going without fish for a little over a week with carbon in the filter and the water just gets greener everyday. Today I can barely see through it but the filter is not clogged at all so progress? I just bought a test kit and the readings are Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, phosphates 1ppm, pH 7.5. There was no Nitrate test in the Master Pond Kit. My hardness is in the medium range.

    My questions are how long should I wait to put fish in and how many do you think my pond can support? I did my research but some stuff is so vague and I got a trial and error vibe from a lot of what I read and saw on videos. I was thinking a month and only 2 fish this year.

    What else can I do to control the algae? UV filters are expensive which I am willing to spend the money but do they actually work?

    Should I do water changes and how much and how often? I swear I read that you don't need to with ponds but now I think that was wrong.

    I have gotten advise from several people including the people at Upscale Aquatics, a local aquarium store that I could put a common pleco in to control the algae. That seems wrong to me. Would it survive my winters and is my pond big enough to support it?

    And also, can I put a locally caught crayfish in my pond?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    balcony week 7.JPG porch week 7.JPG
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  2. Gabe

    Becky Administrator

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    Hey there Gabe, just wanted to say welcome to the forum :)
     
    Becky, May 19, 2017
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  3. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    Welcome!
    What kind of filter is it?
    You should have a natural carpet of algae growth in your pond, that's natural. It took a few months for my pond to cycle through before I could add fish.
    Also your Phosphate is way to high. According to @Meyer Jordan it should be in the.05. See the post below where he talks about it.
    https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/floating-algae.21331/#post-340951
    I would also suggest that 6 Koi is going to be way too many for a pond that size but I'll let the experts weigh in. For now I'd suggest stop adding chemicals and stop cleaning and get the nitrate test done.
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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  4. Gabe

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group!

    You are fighting new pond syndrome. It takes awhile for the pond to balance out. Your best bet would be to fill it, let it sit fishless and cycle for a while.
    With the size of your pond you should stick with goldfish. It is not a good size for koi that can grow to over two feet in size.
    Shubunkins are very colorful and are called poor mans koi! I have nothing but shubunkins in a pond that is around 9-10000 gallons.

    IMG_1414.jpg
     
    addy1, May 19, 2017
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  5. Gabe

    Gabe

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    Its a DIY bucket filter that sits in the pond. Sorry, I'm not up on all the lingo. Its a fountain pump for a pond filter with its rated for 900 GPH. I have rocks, filter padding and carbon in it.
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  6. Gabe

    Gabe

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    I would be perfectly happy with just goldfish, thanks for the tip! How many would you say?
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  7. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    Oh it's ok, I wasn't either! I think you will need a larger filter for fish. How many gallons did you say it is? I say 200 but I think you maybe meant 2000?
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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  8. Gabe

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I get around 4500 gallons taking average size and oval, using a pond calculator.

    At that size you could start with more fish, but always remember they have kids. But start with just a few, wait before you add more.
     
    addy1, May 19, 2017
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  9. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    I was thinking 2000 or less given it's smaller than mine and I think mine comes in at around 2500.
    And yes, fish have lots and lots and lots of babies. Lol I started with 6 last year and have over 30 now. Had, I've rehomed a bunch.
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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  10. Gabe

    Gabe

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    I wish it was 2000! I'm pretty sure its only 200. Everytime I did the math it was around 240 or so.
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  11. Gabe

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Weird, when I use this calculator it says 4500 or so.

    http://www.gardenponds.com/Oval-Pond-Calculator.html

    Oval 8 feet long, I used a average of 5 feet wide, deepest 24 inches, average depth 20 inches. and it gives me this.

    upload_2017-5-19_12-46-33.png
     
    addy1, May 19, 2017
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  12. Gabe

    Gabe

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    I just went and measured again. length is 7.5 feet, the shallow end is 5.5 feet wide and 16 inches deep, the deep end 4 feet wide and 24 inches deep. I must be doing my calculations wrong. What is the formula you are using?
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  13. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    Hmm ok, I got 370 with the pond calculator.
    Even at 240, your filter is not going to be large enough for fish. And the recommended turnover for water with fish is 2x an hour. You might want to google skippy filters if you want to DIY a filter and possibly consider investing in a larger pump.
    Of course, if you don't add fish you can leave it as is. :)
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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  14. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    I did the same thing the first time! You put inches in instead of feet. Your depth should be 2 and average at 1.67. :)
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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  15. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    Screenshot 2017-05-19 11.54.39.png
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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  16. Gabe

    Gabe

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    On the four different numbers are the fields taking into account that the first two fields are feet and second two fields are inches?
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  17. Gabe

    Gabe

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    I wondered about that. I thought about adding a pond filter with a UV filter. Would that be sufficient?
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  18. Gabe

    sissy sissy

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    welcome and if your pond is that small it is not good for koi .I think is is somewhere in the 250 gallon size .It is very shallow .My koi are over 2 feet long .Looking at the pic it only looks slightly bigger than a preformed
     
    sissy, May 19, 2017
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    Gabe and DutchMuch like this.
  19. Gabe

    Gabe

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    I'm gathering as much. I am just going to do goldfish but not for a while.
     
    Gabe, May 19, 2017
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  20. Gabe

    tbendl T

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    I think, and someone will correct me if I'm wrong, you will want a filter that will grow with the amount of fish you think you will want. When I bought my filter and pump, I bought the pump to be able to move the entire volume of water in my pond more than 2x an hour. I bought a filter that would work for my max pond size and max fish load.
    Also how often you want to clean the filter and what your budget is are all decisions to make about what your particular set up is.
    As far as a UV, I don't have 1 so I can't comment.
    I have an Oase Biosmart filter and a laguna pump which I am super happy with but you will find many other set ups on the forum.
    Sorry I couldn't be more help.
     
    tbendl, May 19, 2017
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