Makeover Help - Clueless


j.w

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@vaaccess I took off the outer covering cage on the Laguna pump and have it hooked to a pre-filter that pumps to the waterfall. Don't tell the Laguna company I did that tho, lol, as it voids the warranty. It has been working fine for several years that way. No pea rock thing.

I bought this kind of pre-filter to attach to mine:
120573


Mine is hooked something like this:
120572
 
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dustboy

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I have been reluctant to put any sort of pre-filter on my pump, I actually want some smaller chunks of bio matter to get pumped into my bog. The more of that stuff that is in the gravel will help to slow the flow and trap more small particles. Plus, I have no prefilter that I have to clean.

That’s my theory anyway. Obviously you don’t want to be pumping anything that is big enough to plug the diffuser.
 

sissy

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Like said if you do not clean it often it can burn up a pump or cause it to overheat and also use more electric
 
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So I was having issues with it leaking over the back of my bog, and as mentioned the pump didn’t seem to be strong enough.

But before I got a new pump I needed to address the big problem and so today I dug in, what a muddy mess! The root systems had basically blocked the water flow, I think they put dirt in it when they built it.

I pulled out all of the root balls and dug out as much of the mud as I could, getting all the way down to the rubber liner. Seriously, what a mess.

Then without the rock and plants in it I filled it back up to ensure that the output side was lower than the back wall. And while the back of the bog was lower, the output point is lower and water flowed well.

I have the pump output hose stuck pretty deep in the rock at the back of the bog and then put back the plants and rock, seems to be doing well now. I could probably move up to a better pump to increase the flow and not worry about the issue I was having before.

Will this murky water clean up pretty quickly?

(I need to get more pea rock...)
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I have been reluctant to put any sort of pre-filter on my pump, I actually want some smaller chunks of bio matter to get pumped into my bog. The more of that stuff that is in the gravel will help to slow the flow and trap more small particles. Plus, I have no prefilter that I have to clean.

That’s my theory anyway. Obviously you don’t want to be pumping anything that is big enough to plug the diffuser.
I don't want to hijack this thread but did want to say that I'm not so sure your theory is going to work out in the long run. I don't know how big your bog is or how it's set up, but pumping "chunks" of biomatter into your bog is going to clog the whole thing eventually - and probably sooner rather than later. Unless you have a plan to clean out your bog on a regular basis (and an easy and effective way to do so) I might rethink that plan. Just my opinion but cleaning a pre-filter is going to be easier than cleaning a bog full of dirty gravel. We have what is effectively a down flow bog on the negative edge of our pond and I can tell you that any organic material that flows over the edge will quickly clog the gravel. We originally filled it with pea gravel and had to quickly rethink that plan as even the tiniest bit of organic material would clog the whole thing up. Digging that pea gravel out and replacing it was not a fun task.

Anyway - just an opinion. Take it or leave it!

Sorry @vaaccess - back to your regularly scheduled programming!
 

dustboy

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The murkiness from the gravel refused to go away in my pond, if you can set up some fine filtration it will speed things up a lot. It was suggested to put a basket with quilt batting under my falls. I actually just ended up changing the water as I needed drain it to make some changes to the plumbing anyway.
 
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addy1

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My murky goes away within a day or so. Agree with @Lisak1 I draw water from around a foot off the bottom of the pond, have a leaf basket before the pump (external) the water going into my bog is water with minimal organic debris. It is still running fine 10 years later. No cleaning except yanking excess plants.
 
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A dozen days later and it isn’t clean. I tried using panty hose (had some that I use for filtering other stuff) and it had no impact. I think I’ll just drain and refill at this point. :(
 
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A dozen days later and it isn’t clean. I tried using panty hose (had some that I use for filtering other stuff) and it had no impact. I think I’ll just drain and refill at this point. :(
That’ll restart the cycle all over. Patience, it takes time. Let the fine particulate settle, it’ll fix itself
 
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A dozen days later and it isn’t clean. I tried using panty hose (had some that I use for filtering other stuff) and it had no impact. I think I’ll just drain and refill at this point. :(
Hi.Good luck with your pond. The last thing you want to do is change all the water. The pond will have to recycle and could take a month or more to do that. I would recommend to read up about the nitrogen cycle. Basically you want to create an environment that the pond will pretty much keep everything in balance by itself with no chemicals that need to be added other than using declor when you add water. To probably balance all the way it can take a year so patience is needed.
 
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A dozen days later and it isn’t clean. I tried using panty hose (had some that I use for filtering other stuff) and it had no impact. I think I’ll just drain and refill at this point. :(
Oh don't do that! As others have already said, you're just starting all over if you go that route. Try to remember this isn't a swimming pool - it's a living, breathing organism and it will eventually balance itself. You did a lot of mucking around in there and added the pea gravel which was no doubt very dusty - it's impossible to clean. As time goes by, your plants will start to gather dirt from the water around their roots, so that will help. We've also noticed that the algae on the rocks will help "grab" on to the floating particles once it gets growing in the spring. Last week my pond was a bit murky. The weather warms up, algae gets active and BOOM! Clear pond.

Have you tried the quilt batting trick? Basically you pump water out of the pond and into a crate or basket that is filled with plain old quilt batting and let it flow through the batting and back into the pond. Depending on how the waterfall is constructed some people are able to put the basket or crate of quilt batting right under the waterfall and let it flow through. In either case, that will help filter out the fine particles. You do have to keep rinsing or replacing the batting but it's a tried and true pond hack!

Patience is your best friend right now. I know - it's hard. We've all been there. But chasing clear water will only make the process last longer.
 
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brc

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I'd try a UV filter if it doesn't clear soon - those are like kryptonite to green algae.
 
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Even though it wasn’t recommended, I drained and refilled the pond. Being on well water and not having anything in there made me feel better about the decision.

I had painstakingly cleaned the pea rock so it was just from me tearing out the bog and rebuilding it that caused the problem. It’s now running clean without issues. I need to add a bit more rock to level off the bog, but structurally it looks good.

I also got a Laguna pump that operates at 660 gph. Admittedly a little smaller than I was hoping but the cost was significantly cheaper and I’ll upgrade to a larger pump and perhaps external filtering at another point.

I feel good about it now and want to add fish/stuff to it. The frogs have already started living in it. I’m in central VA, so it will freeze even with the pump, but it won’t freeze solid. If needed I could add a heater, but the previous fish (only gold fish) survived without issue.

What kind of aquatic life is recommended? I’d like to get some fish that would help clean it, not just ornamental. And since the pond isn’t huge, I’m not looking to get koi. I’d take function over beauty, so all of the fish don’t have to be “pretty”...

Thanks!!!
 
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Brace yourself for green water.

As for fish that help clean a pond - that's not really a thing. Plecos are the usual bottom feeders that everyone thinks of, but in a pond you'd need an army of them. People also will mention snails - again, bring on the legions and you might get somewhere.

Your goal should be to have a pond that keeps itself clean. Now let's define "clean" - if you're hoping that your pond is always going to look like it does in your picture, you will be sad. A healthy pond is covered with a nice layer of green furry algae. A garden pond is full of life - fish, plants, and lots and lots of things we cannot see. And all those tiny things depend on that layer of algae to sustain life. Plus it's part of your pond's eco-system - it's biological filtration.

No fish just yet - you need to give your pond time. Get some plants in there and let it run for a bit. And while you're waiting, read up on the nitrogen cycle.
 
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Brace yourself for green water.

No fish just yet - you need to give your pond time. Get some plants in there and let it run for a bit. And while you're waiting, read up on the nitrogen cycle.
Yeah, I’m ok with it not looking like a fish aquarium . :)

I have several plants in the bog, are you saying I need more?
 
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Yup - especially in your case. Your bog is small relative to the size of your pond. It's going to be challenging based on the design of your pond (no plant shelves) but if you plan to rely on plants for filtration, then yes, you need more.
 
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Yup - especially in your case. Your bog is small relative to the size of your pond. It's going to be challenging based on the design of your pond (no plant shelves) but if you plan to rely on plants for filtration, then yes, you need more.
Ok...any specific recommendations? What would you do?
 
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An easy answer is floating plants, if they're still legal where you live. Others have made plant pockets out of screening material that they suspend over the sides so the roots of the plants are in the water. Or you could create a floating island of plants, with the roots directly in the water. You may be able to get some plants to anchor between your rocks and grow roots into the pond - it may be tricky to get them started, but once they are established they would stay in place. You could also add supplemental bog filtration if you're so inclined - many have used large plastic flower pots or planter boxes and plumbed them to function as bog filters.

20 inches is too deep for most marginals so you can't plant directly in the pond, and I think your pond is too small to put anything on the bottom to raise pots up to the preferred depth, but some people use milk crates or upside down flower pots for plant stands. Maybe a wire plant stand that would lift up a pot but still allow fish plenty of room to swim around and through it? Just tossing out lots of ideas here!

Your pond is perfect for a few goldfish, so you should be fine with just a few extra plants. Plus, the fish will appreciate the shade and hiding places that plants provide.
 
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Floating plants are good, as suggested. Like any plant, they draw excess nutrients from the water which can help starve the algae. They also provide shade, starving the algae of sunlight.
 

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