Introduction and first volley of questions.

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by ki5ka, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Pond Size - 600 - 700 gallons.

    20180812_130607[1].jpg

    Pump - Smartpond 1200 gph with 1” hose

    Depth - Max depth of pond is 3 ½’, bog is 6” sand and pea gravel with a permeable barrier (underlayment held in place with rocks).

    Bog plant load - 20 Umbrella grass, 6 Canna lilies, 4 false bamboo, Lots of watercress

    Filtration - Bog. No other filter but I have been running the water through a large shop dust collection bag when the water has clouded, which has been always of late.

    Feeding - Typically in the AM and afternoon. Petsmart Koi pellets. We will throw a small handful of pellets in then when those are all gone, throw pellets one at a time until the fish stop eating.

    Behavior - Fish are eating actively, no changes in behavior and no behavior indicating low oxygen, i.e. not at the surface, not at the riffles.

    Chemical tests consistent over a week, 4 tests.

    · Ammonia Level (pond - from pump, pickup at bottom of pond) – Between 0 and .25

    · Ammonia Level (bog outflow) – Between 0 and .25

    · Nitrite Levels – Does not register and no difference between bog and pond

    · Nitrate Level – Bog barely distinguishable from pond. Both 0-20

    · Ph Level, pond – 7.5 – 8

    · Test-kit –API 5 in 1 strip for Nitrite, Nitrate and PH. Ammonia by API drops.

    I read many conflicting opinions about bogs and garden ponds vs Koi ponds vs swimming pools. It is difficult to filter the credible from the rest. This site seems to have a nice balance, so I have decided to ask my questions here


    Questions and concerns:

    · Pool is intended also for soaking. Looking at a new external pump to ensure safety in the water.

    · Pool is not as clear as we want, looking at adding a filter and a larger pump.

    · Some nice green growth is developing where the water flow is higher, along with ugly brown slime where velocity is lower. Wonder if increasing flow will get rid of the brown and keep the green in check.

    · Want more flow for aesthetics but worried about too much flow, noise, power consumption.

    · Want healthy plants and concerned we don’t have enough Nitrates for them (that seems so wrong). Concerned that adding filter will make this worse but want clearer water.


    What we are considering changing:

    Pump - Sequence 750 Series 4200GPH Pump - $404 - Cascade Pond Supply

    Filter - Savio FilterWeir 31 - $144 on Amazon

    Lots more questions, but that’s enough for an introduction I think.
     
    ki5ka, Aug 12, 2018
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  2. ki5ka

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    upload_2018-8-12_14-29-27.gif @ki5ka Nice pond and sounds like you know what you are doing! On the making it people friendly to soak in I just don't know. I know I don't like standing in mine too long as it tends to lean to the fish poopy side w/not so clear water but then I don't have a bog but I wish I did! How many koi do you have in there?
     
    j.w, Aug 12, 2018
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  3. ki5ka

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group!
    I filter with only a bog, a large bog, lots of plants. Keeps my pond water clear and perfect.

    The nice green growth is good algae.

    You could try feeding less, the fish get plenty to eat in the pond.
     
    addy1, Aug 12, 2018
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  4. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Thanks for the welcome JW. We have 9 small Koi.
     
    ki5ka, Aug 12, 2018
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  5. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Thanks for the welcome Addy.

    Yes, we like the green algae.

    With the nitrate levels in my pond being so low it seems that overfeeding is not likely the cause of the cloudyness. Am I mistaken about that?
     
    ki5ka, Aug 12, 2018
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  6. ki5ka

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    Hi and welcome! I'm sure if you have done any reading on this forum that you will have seen that your pond is too small for koi. Even it they are small now, they can grow 18" in one year! Thats a nice size pond and the bog is a great filter but you may want to consider changing out for smaller fish that will still come and nibble on you while you soak!
     
    mrsclem, Aug 12, 2018
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  7. ki5ka

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Yep w/9 small koi turning into 9 large koi I don't know how you will keep your water as clean as you want it to soak. Might have to get the shovel out eventually and start digging a bigger pond. Maybe make a separate pond just for soaking w/filter next to your fish pond? Not sure how much room you have tho to do all of this.
     
    j.w, Aug 12, 2018
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  8. ki5ka

    Lisak1

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    Welcome @ki5ka ! I will also add my caution about those "small" koi - they won't be small for now. Exchange them or re-home them ASAP.

    As for keeping the pond safe for use by humans - I have no concerns about getting into my bog filtered pond. The water is clear and smells good, the fish are healthy, the plants are vibrant, there's no muck in the bottom that scares so many people. All in all, I think it's safe, but you'll find lots of people who will disagree.

    I'm a little confused about where the flow is coming from - I don't see a waterfall. Do you have any aeration?
     
    Lisak1, Aug 12, 2018
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  9. ki5ka

    Telion

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    Welcome nice pond you have their agreed about the coir they will grow fast. As for the pump you would want to look at the Laguna series the cost to power ratio is excellent and next to that any Mac driven pump designed for a pond would be OK as well
     
    Telion, Aug 12, 2018
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  10. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Hi mrsclem and thank you for the welcome.

    Yes, I have done a lot of reading. As I said in my intro, there sure is a lot of conflicting information out there and I'm hoping that I can get some good advice backed by practical experience here. As we all know, reading and doing are sometimes wildly different experiences :)

    Cheers
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  11. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Hi Lisa,

    The concern I expressed was not concern about bog-filtered water but rather the danger of electrocution.

    There is a riffle that is about 15" wide and about 100" of outflow through the permeable bog boundary to oxygenate the water rather than the more commonly and ubiquitous waterfall. I also have a fountain, but it is not operating in the picture I took. While I don't have a means to directly measure oxygen concentration, I am watching fish behavior for the commonly mentioned signs that indicate low oxygen concentration; fish moving toward the riffles or gulping air at the surface. I have seen neither of these behaviors so I don't think concern with lack of oxygen is warranted. Do you think otherwise?
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  12. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    JW, Exactly what I intend :)
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  13. ki5ka

    Tara

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    Hello, first off your bog is lovely and well planed, wish I had done the same. Personally if I was getting into the pond I would turn off a submerged pump, I would be paranoid that something would go wrong. You could look into a solar powered pump for the times you are soaking, although they may not be as powerful, maybe you could look for information on them.
     
    Tara, Aug 13, 2018
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  14. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Despite the fact that the fish are exhibiting no evidence of a lack of oxygen, I still would like to see more movement in the water and insuring adequate oxygen levels is one of the prime reasons I am considering replacing my pump with a larger one. I do realize that a waterfall is a great way to do this, but I intend to accomplish oxygenation without one.
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  15. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Thank you Tara, we are enjoying it! :)

    The external pump I plan to buy removes the danger of electrocution that I didn't realize submersibles presented. It is also rated at 3 Xs the flow rate so I'm hoping the additional flow, along with the filter, will clear things up. What pump do you have?
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  16. ki5ka

    Lisak1

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    Ohhhhh! Missed that ENTIRELY! I've never even considered getting myself electrocuted... something to think about!

    I've never heard of a "riffle" - had to google that one! Aeration is not only important for your fish, it will also help with keeping water healthy. The bacteria that colonize the pond need oxygen, too. Waterfalls may indeed be ubiquitous, but there's a reason why they are so commonplace in garden ponds.

    Can you describe your bog in a bit more detail? When you say "permeable barrier" what do you mean? And where is the sand? Is the bog depth 6 inches total?
     
    Lisak1, Aug 13, 2018
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  17. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    Electrocution is not something I had considered either! Then, when I realized the submersibles are not "rated" for human or fish safety I did a bit of research and found credible government reports of people dying by electrocution from their pumps. Not something that seems to be discussed much.

    Perhaps my use of "riffles" comes from my trout fishing background. That's where the fish are; trout need LOTS of oxygen. Any moving water acquires additional oxygen atoms on it's exposed surface. My 100 inches of bog outflow is roughly equivalent to 50" of laminar-flow waterfall, but laminar-flow (smooth) has exponentially less surface area than turbulent flow. The riffles in my setup are small and quiet but turbulent, apparently, between the two, I am getting adequate oxygen to the fish in their present configuration (small) :) As they grow, that will perhaps change, again, the reason I am considering changing out the pump I just bought! :)
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  18. ki5ka

    Lisak1

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    I'd be interested in reading those - I'll have to do some research!
     
    Lisak1, Aug 13, 2018
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  19. ki5ka

    ki5ka

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    I think that it is shallower than typical. It may be deeper than 6 inches in the deepest areas, but not much more than that. I have a layer of sand on the bottom, covered by pea-gravel. Not sure I remember where I got that idea from, I've read lots of different opinions! :) The permeable barrier is underlayment that is held in place with the larger rocks, then covered with sand and gravel. That is now planted with watercress, which I hope will eventually overgrow the perimeter and cover the ugly, exposed shoulder of the bog.
     
    ki5ka, Aug 13, 2018
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  20. ki5ka

    MitchM

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    Make sure whatever pump you have is connected to a properly installed GFCI.
    Clear water is not healthy water when you are keeping an ecosystem, your algae will give you some clues. If you can post some pictures of any algae concerns, that would be useful.
     
    MitchM, Aug 13, 2018
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