Is it just me? Trying to understand my non typical pond

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Just curious about others ponds and how mine compares. Please respond to as little or much as like, I don't expect anyone to respond to all topics.

Algae - I've gotten the green water situation under control for a couple years now with a little added shade and more mature plants but the string algae persists year round, including ALL winter long. I hear other people saying "algae is starting" recently but I'm like "my algae is reducing now cause the plants are starting" lol

pH - 8.2 or 8.1 ALWAYS. Even with all the rain and decaying matter (I've been leaving the pond more dirty every year testing theories) it never falls below this. Rocks used are delaware river rocks and moss rocks so they are not affecting any water parameters.

KH - 6, source water 10 but is rarely added due to a big overflow pit that holds extra water for the pond. Guess this has to pretty much bottom out before my pH will ever fall.

GH - 6, source 9

TDS - 200ppm Source water is about 130

Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates, Phosphates - 0 always always always Never any detectable and I am certain my tests are good I use them for my aquariums were I always get varied results. Does anyone else have trouble with trying to get nitrates UP?

Temp - Temp seems to change rapidly considering the pond is almost 5k gallons and 3+ ft deep. Climbing 5 or more degrees in a day is pretty common until it levels off.

Plants - I get very few blooms from my marginal plants and plants that are supposed to come back in fall and bloom again don't even come back at all till next spring (like marsh marigold). I suspect this is due to no low nutrients but curious if these type of plants actually do come back for anyone. I can't keep things like hyacinth, elephant ears, pickerel rush, arrowhead, arrow arum, canna etc. My guess is they are nutrient hogs? I can keep about 30 other varieties alive though so it's not like no plants survive, although I feel like they should be more robust.

Fish - About 20 goldfish ranging from still bronze babies to about 10" adults, mostly mid-range sized though. When the temps allow we feed twice a day but none gets into the skimmer or stuck around the edges of the pond. I still have 1 bronze baby that is now a year old and all the other babies from last year are colored up.

So I am wondering if this makes sense to others? Basically after every paragraph it should say, "anyone else?" lol
 
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Algae - I've gotten the green water situation under control for a couple years now with a little added shade and more mature plants but the string algae persists year round, including ALL winter long. I hear other people saying "algae is starting" recently but I'm like "my algae is reducing now cause the plants are starting" lol
what to you consider green water?

string algae for my in snj is in the stream 1-2 times a year and simple fix. shut off pump dump peroxide on the string wait 30 mins or more with full sun and then brush away with a toilet brush.


Plants - I get very few blooms from my marginal plants and plants that are supposed to come back in fall and bloom again don't even come back at all till next spring (like marsh marigold). I suspect this is due to no low nutrients but curious if these type of plants actually do come back for anyone. I can't keep things like hyacinth, elephant ears, pickerel rush, arrowhead, arrow arum, canna etc. My guess is they are nutrient hogs? I can keep about 30 other varieties alive though so it's not like no plants survive, although I feel like they should be more robust
plants i have iris that keep coming back with a vengeance need to cull them soon. have a few lilies. 2 pots with arrow plants and then in my bog creeping jenny and corkscrew rush along with iris. My water is clear but i want to add a few more plants to the bog.

Fish - About 20 goldfish ranging from still bronze babies to about 10" adults, mostly mid-range sized though. When the temps allow we feed twice a day but none gets into the skimmer or stuck around the edges of the pond. I still have 1 bronze baby that is now a year old and all the other babies from last year are colored up.
I have about a 7kg pound with prolly close to 40 fish and 2 frogs and all seems well and for the last year after the bog all seems better.
 
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Thanks for the replies!

what to you consider green water?

string algae for my in snj is in the stream 1-2 times a year and simple fix. shut off pump dump peroxide on the string wait 30 mins or more with full sun and then brush away with a toilet brush.
Green water - when the water gets cloudy from free floating algae blooms, usually in spring
String - My stream is also the worst spot for the algae, in the pond the fish eat most of it. I have not tried peroxide but I do spray and scrub it clean and it just comes back the very next day. And there is no time during the year when there is no algae in the stream. Where do you buy bulk peroxide?
This is before I cleaned it
IMG_4083.JPG

And this is right after. I didn't get any other shots cause I was exhausted. But it is very clean of string algae.
IMG_4113.JPG

This is today, 7 days later
IMG_4147.JPG

This spot (today pictured) was completed cleaned before.
IMG_4148.JPG



How big is your pond? What kind of filtration? Any aeration?
Water capacity is about 5k when full (there is water reservoir where the pumps are outside the main pond), inside dimensions of the main pond is about 8x11 (I think) and there is a 30ftx2.5ft wide stream with 4 falls plus 3 other fallish areas, a 10ft x 3ft plant bog filter, DIY skimmer with net and sponge pad, 5k gallon rated waterfall box with sponges and Bio-stars. No added aeration running currently, I use it in the winter and when it's really really hot.

Here is kinda a whole pond shot, the bog in right in front of me and not pictured.
IMG_4149.JPG
IMG_4150.JPG
 
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I wonder if the stream just gets that much more sunlight - and maybe the nutrients there from the by-products from feeding the fish? You have a really nice set up there - very pretty!!!!!
 
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I wonder if the stream just gets that much more sunlight - and maybe the nutrients there from the by-products from feeding the fish? You have a really nice set up there - very pretty!!!!!
Thank you very much. :) The stream gets the least amount of sun. The waterfall gets the absolute least at less than 3hrs and then it kinda moves diagonally starting along the far edge of the stream towards where I am taking the picture from (in the 1st pic). But the bog (that you can't see in the picture cause it RIGHT in front of me) does get like 10hrs or something crazy though lol. But the bog has no exposed water, it is all rocks on top then it overflows through a 2.5" tube and runs under the deck and back into the pond.

A ph over 8 would nobble most aquatic plants.
nobble?
 
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handicap, cause a poor performance
Ok, figured that's what you meant but that's not the google definition so wanted to make sure. So, do you think that is why I can't keep those select plants? That would kinda make sense except that I had hyacinth my first year (the only plant) and it did amazing, with same pH but higher nitrates, GH and KH at that time. Do you know of certain plants that do worse or better with certain pHs? I'd be interested in knowing where my current plants fall on that and if maybe the many species that haven't made it are possibly due to pH. Any sources on that?

Although most of my research says pH is a minor or non factor, I'd love the lower the pH but there is no reasonable way to do that. RO is too expensive, collecting rainwater would be difficult because of how far away it is from the house.

What I am most curious about currently is nitrates. Anyone have trouble keeping them UP? Does anyone add something to supplement plants? Obviously my plant filters work but maybe a bit too well lol.
 
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Yup, it's normal to fertilise pond plants when fertility depletion is obvious. A well planted pond can be anemic in a couple of weeks when the pond plants have gobbled it all. Or, a fiendish filter. Or harsh ph, making it difficult for plants to absorb yummies
 
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Fish - About 20 goldfish ranging from still bronze babies to about 10" adults, mostly mid-range sized though. When the temps allow we feed twice a day but none gets into the skimmer or stuck around the edges of the pond. I still have 1 bronze baby that is now a year old and all the other babies from last year are colored up.
Wow, so I just looked at a growth rate chart for goldfish and my fish are way small! I have about 10 babies from last spring (about a yr old) and the biggest one is maybe 3" (much bigger than others) and the smallest is about 2"(the bronze guy who is finally coloring up now). The info I saw said they could be up to 5" by now! My 2 yr old babies are about that size. :( Do any of you see those growth rates? Anyone had a baby stay bronze for a whole year? I know a lot of things affect growth but the environment is pretty good (lots of water, big pond, nitrogen all 0, lots of decent food etc) only things that may be lacking are genetics and maybe the pH is too high.
 

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The growth chart says they could be up to 5", key word could. I don't have goldfish, just koi but fed mine growth food when I was selling fish. Also fed 4-5 times a day. As you said, a lot of different things could be the reason for slow growth.
 
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myswtsins, do you do regular water changes?
What medium are your plants planted in?
What is the soil composition like in your area?
 
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Barley straw will break down over time to kill off algae from what I’ve read. Never tried it, but I’ve read where others have. Maybe you should do a partial water change, see if you can get some fresh water in there. I have very hard alkaline water, my fish are growing good, just give them good food and time. Maybe feed them plant scraps, mine like lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers except the peel. That’ll give them something yummy to eat if there are hungry.
 
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Thank you for the responses.
myswtsins, do you do regular water changes?
What medium are your plants planted in?
What is the soil composition like in your area?
It's a 5k pond with an overflow and auto water fill so "water changes" certainly happen but not on a schedule and no intentional changes.
Plants are planted in gravel only but there is certainly enough gunk built up in the pockets now that there is a type of "soil" in there. It's almost muddy when I replant or divide plants.

Barley straw will break down over time to kill off algae from what I’ve read. Never tried it, but I’ve read where others have. Maybe you should do a partial water change, see if you can get some fresh water in there. I have very hard alkaline water, my fish are growing good, just give them good food and time. Maybe feed them plant scraps, mine like lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers except the peel. That’ll give them something yummy to eat if there are hungry.
I am looking into barley straw. The pond got fresh well water about 2 weeks ago and has gotten MASSIVE amounts of rain over the past 2 weeks, like I don't live in a flood area and we have had multiple floods, roads closed type of rain lol. Thanks for your input.

Algae today...
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Algae plan of attack is more manual removal then a hydrogen peroxide bath then maybe some barley extract for instant affect and some barley straw bales for long term.

I am also trying to convince the man that we could install a rain collection system fairly easily but he just laughs. But he laughed when I said I wanted a pond too and a bridge and a stream and a deck and look where I am now! :D
 
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Whoa just tested the pond again figuring maybe after the last super heavy rain the pH would have possibly dropped, nope. It is up to 8.7 now! I've never had a pH above 8.3 and that was once. Heavy rains must have brought some crap with them or a very unlikely possibility is that it flooded over there and something got washed into the pond but that is so unlikely cause it is graded properly and that entire section of yard is raised. So the pond is getting a water change now! lol I am on a well though so I hope my source water isn't messed up too. It tested it's usual 7.6 pH but that before outgassing.
 
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That's some beautiful green algae!

Remember pH changes from morning to night - for accuracy you want to test both early and late.
 
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You may need to add some kind of slow acting acid to drop the ph. Spegum? moss, pine, something like that in the bog perhaps. It’d leach out slow, lowering ph. There’s a post about someone trying that in their bog to hide the gravel. Don’t think they tried it. But now that I think of it, I might do it to to drop my ph a little to make it more in line with what they say koi like.
 
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