Koi pond advice. New to all this.


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Hey all. We just bought a house in December, and out back there is a gazebo with a koi pond (pic below), and I've been battling this black-green water trying to get it clean. I never had a pond before, never had fish before, so this is a learning experience. The owner said to just clean the filter once or twice a week and it will be straight. BS. Been cleaning that thing almost daily and it is still black. The filter being used is this giant pool filter, which does clean out quite a bit of the algae. I just bought an actual pond filter, a CPF-180 with the built in UV purifier, which I believe is the right size for this pond. As best as we can figure, the pond is max 1600 gallons. Problem is, after reading the manual, I'm concerned what will happen if I hook it up to the pump out there. I pulled the pump out of the water and gave it a cleaning (it was saturated with gunk, same with the net bag it was in), and it is an Alpine PAL8000, which pulls 8000 gallons per hour. 8000! This filter is rated for 2113gph max, a quarter of that. Will this pump destroy this filter. I'm thinking of keeping the pool filter in the mix, and have that feed into this filter to tone it down, also to help get out more gunk before it reaches this filter. I really don't want to have to order another pump and wait another week before hooking this up. The current setup is ugly. Once it's cleaned up I want to add a water fall and maybe a spitter (or gusher more likely), replacing that pvc with proper hoses. Any advice would be welcome, sorry for the long post.

Pond.jpg
 
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sissy

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every one starts with some type of green water come spring and it takes time for it to acclimate .I use quilt batting in the spring but found koi clay helps to bind all the stuff together to be removed .
 

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I would not hook up the 8000gph pump, it will blow out the seal on your filter. You could put a T fitting on the pump and divert most of the flow around the filter. Do you have fish in the pond? What kind and how many? You may want to get a net and try to scoop any gunk off the bottom of the pond.
 
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I'll second the suggestion to make sure you don't have a pond full of rotting leaves or other organic debris - if you do, all the filtration in the world will struggle to clear the pond.

Pool filters are never good for ponds - that thing will clog almost instantly. Do you have any kind of prefilter or basket to catch larger debris? Or is it just the net bag around the pump?
 
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It's just the net bag around the pump. There are 3 koi fish in the pond, fairly large maybe a foot and a half long, 3 bottom feeders, a small catfish, and maybe a couple other smaller fish that I've seen briefly. The pool filter actually runs for a while before clogging; it can go a good 3 days or so. Would leaving the pool filter in to feed the bio filter tone down the water pressure? I'm thinking using a T fitting to divert water away from the bio would defeat the purpose of having it in the first place. Probably just better off buying a small pump that's right for the size of the pond, and selling the PAL8000, they are going for around $260 used on Ebay. I'd have a good $100-$120 left over for other pond stuff :)
 
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addy1

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Welcome to our forum!

What size is your pond? Koi create a lot of waste and need great filtration.
 
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Definitely get the right sized pump for the filter - so re-size one or the the other. But you really should be thinking of how much water you need to be moving - ideally you are running your full volume through your filter 1.5 to 2 times per hour. Size your pump and filtration to your pond volume.

Also - having to clean a filter every three days is A LOT. You will soon lose interest in that task and any joy you may have derived from your pond will be gone as well.

Where are you located?
 
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I am in south Florida; Port Saint Lucie. We are only cleaning the filter that often bc of the mess, once it's cleaned up once a week should be ok. It's not too tedious a task because my son also cleans it. We took measurements as best we could and figure the pond is 1400-1600 gallons max. That 8000gph pump is beyond overkill for this pond. Going to keep it running with that pool filter though until it's clear, it does pick up a lot of gunk. The sponge in the filter is always saturated when we take it out.
 
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We took measurements as best we could and figure the pond is 1400-1600 gallons max. That 8000gph pump is beyond overkill for this pond.
Koi require a lot of filtration, especially big ones, plus you have a catfish in there and other fish too. Perhaps you have all that algae because you have a lot of fish and not enough filtration? Run the existing 8000GPH pump as it already is PLUS add your new filter with a properly sized pump and pre-filter off to the side. That would be the least amount of work and double the filtration. Just don't expect the algae to magically disappear because of the UV light: UV filters only kill floating algae and bacteria (and if I'm not mistaken also kills beneficial bacteria in the water), not the kind that grows on the pond liner. Looks like the new filter you got is also just using sponges, so you're still going to be rinsing sponges. You need to add plants, lots of plants, as soon as possible. Also consider reducing the number of fish. Three 1.5' koi, three bottom feeders, a small catfish, and a couple other smaller fish is a lot of fish that are feeding your algae. Adding water plants will help because they will feed on the fish waste and the algae will get less nutrients. You might be able to make a pre-filter box out of a milk crate to put the pump in, something like this: http://www.mvwgs.org/filter.htm. You'd need an extra milk crate to pour the rock out into and hose it down, then pull the pump out, clean it, pull the filter mats and rinse them, then put them back in, put the pump back in, add the gravel back in, put the top filter pad back in, put a rock on top. It would need to be very porous large gravel and very coarse filter padding to deal with the flowrate of that pump.
 
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Two things i would add to the above post .

1. when washing you sponges do so with pond water that you put into a bucket or even a small water pump using water from your home if city water in particular can rinse away and kill to much beneficial bacteria the other is i like the attached post with the milk crate and filter pad and thats great for the pump but the out feed from the hose if placed in a similar box i would place a mass of batting / stuffing in the box as it will grab onto heavy particles in the water column and it does help to restore water quality.

2. the size of a 1600 gallon pond can easily use a 800 gph pump.
a. push 1500 gph to a waterfall filter and if you like a little more flow from the falls you can double the output up to the falls but split it off before you go into the filter and have the water dump out on the top of the filter and just add the needed flow for visual aesthetics. so now your at 3500 to 4000 gph used if not more a water fall can eat up 5000 gph easily without it being even close to being over bearing. you can then have a couple jets in the pond to keep solids from sitting on the bottom. some may say those numbers are way to high but gph sound alot larger then actual flow to our eye. i push 12000 gph in my pond but it is a lot bigger and the water flow almost gets lost
 
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when washing you sponges do so with pond water that you put into a bucket or even a small water pump, using water from your home if city water in particular can rinse away and kill to much beneficial bacteria
This is true and the recommended thing to do, but here's how I would deal with it since it's so much algae that it sounds like a hose would save a lot of time and effort. I would just rotate the rinse cycle and do pre-filter one time, then pool filter another time. Rinse the pre-filter box pads one day, but not the pool pump pads, then declorinate the cleaned pads in a bucket of treated water (I like Seachem's Prime or Safe products), and leave the pool pump's filter pads as is. Then the next time, leave the pre-filter box pads in place and just rinse the pool filter pads. That way you have a reserve of the beneficial bacteria always in the pond in one of the filters but can make washing the pads way faster and more thorough by using the hose. So long as you dechlorinate the pads before putting them back in the pond, and have a reserve of bacteria in another location, it's perfectly fine to rinse them with town water.
 
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As stated, you probably have a lot of leaves and other debris in your pond. That stuff is terrible for water quality.
Get a large net with small holes. I use a pool net. The bag type not the flat screen skimmer type.
Run the net very slowly along the bottom to pick up the junk. Real slow as to not disturb the muck too much and also give the fish a chance to swim away. When you come out with the muck, dump it somewhere so you can look through it. Sometimes there might be small fish fry or snails that you want to put back.

Since your water seems really bad, you might also want to do some partial water changes. Pump out a few inches and refill with clean fresh water. Do this once a week for 3-4 weeks.
If your water is chlorinated, get a bottle of pond water conditioner that will remove the chlorine.
I have a water meter device that screws onto the end of my hose that measures the water. It's called water saver and if I remember correctly, it was around $20 on Amazon. That way, I know how much water conditioner to add. No need to premix it in a bucket, just measure a couple capfuls and keep an eye on the water meter.
 
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My experience only, but I clean my skimmer pad regularly with water straight from the hose. Our water is chlorinated but no chloramines. I do add Prime to the pond after flushing the filters as I need to add water. I believe there is plenty of other beneficial bacteria in my pond and filter , so I've never worried about using the hose to shoot the gunk off the pad.
 
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My experience only, but I clean my skimmer pad regularly with water straight from the hose. Our water is chlorinated but no chloramines. I do add Prime to the pond after flushing the filters as I need to add water. I believe there is plenty of other beneficial bacteria in my pond and filter , so I've never worried about using the hose to shoot the gunk off the pad.
That's exactly what I do. I'm on well water, so I don't have to worry about using Prime when I add water, but I definitely wash the skimmer filter pads out regularly with the hose. I've always figured that the beneficial bacteria was in my biofall filter material, as well as all the gravel that lines the bottom of my pond. What might be in the skimmer pads isn't worth worrying about 'washing away'.
 

sissy

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I have koi since 2005 and they are now over 2 feet long and I have 2 filters and 2 pumps .I also have an aerator with 12 ports that also has air stones in both filters .What my filters do not take from the pumps goes to the bottom of the pond with a ball valve and pvc pipe drilled out holes in it .It helps keep the fish waste going to the filters
 
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Thanks for all the advice. I have some work to do. Another question: Does anybody know what kind of filter that is, with the white pvc pipes coming out? The pipe coming off the outlet valve just snapped off, taking the valve with it. I either need to replace the whole top part or glue the thing back on. I can't find a brand name or model # anywhere...
 

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Thanks j.w. I contacted the manufacturer for the ClearGuard one to see if they can sell me a top, though now I'm thinking replacing the entire thing would be a better move.

I found this one on ebay. Brand new for $179 with a UV Purifier is not bad.

Though, maybe it would be better to sell off the Alpine pump and buy a new pump/filter that are the right size for the pond and get away from this 8000 gallon stuff. The PAL8000 goes for $250 new, so I could prob sell it and get enough for a smaller pump and filter. Is it bad to have two UV purifiers going? I do have 3 bottom feeders in there...
 

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