Need help with water clarity - not sure what to use...

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by MaryC, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. MaryC

    MaryC

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    Hi all. I'm having problems with water clarity. I have a variety of products, but I'm not sure which one is the way to go. Hoping for some help.

    Background: I purchased a pond spring and maintenance kit this year, and things were going great for a while. Then about 3 weeks ago, the water started to get murky. Admittedly, I did wait too long to clean the filter. But I gave it a good cleaning, used some liquid bacteria (Microbe Lift gel inoculant) and continued with the maintenance regime. The water actually got worse.

    I did a partial water replacement today. Now I'm not sure how to proceed. I have a product called Instafix, which the pond people customer service recommended if the water is green. It's not really green, but there is some algae. If I use this, I have to wait three days to do anything else.

    My inclination is to use Accuclear today and follow up with Microbe Lift liquid tomorrow, along with the regular maintenance (Nature's Defence dissolvable packet).

    Thoughts and advice are most welcome.

    Thanks!

    Mary
     
    MaryC, Jun 18, 2018
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  2. MaryC

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    how big of pond and how many fish? What kind of fish? How often do you feed?

    I don't use any chemicals, filter with plants feed lightly and the water stays real nice.
     
    addy1, Jun 18, 2018
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  3. MaryC

    MaryC

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    About 700 gallons. Koi and goldfish. We have 4 koi around 10", probably 4 around 6" and 2 around 4". I'd estimate about 15 gold fish, about 3" each. We had been feeding once a day but pretty much stopped when the water issue started.
     
    MaryC, Jun 18, 2018
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  4. MaryC

    RobAmy

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    Sorry to say but your fish load is really high for 700 gallons. Using the products you mentioned above may clear your pond but you only masked the issue. It in turn could hurt your fish because algae is nature's defense to keep the pond in balance. I personally do not recommend any product to clear a pond. Try to figure out the issue of why is the pond having issues then fix that naturally with maybe more plants better filtration etc, but in your case I feel it is the fish load getting to high.
     
    RobAmy, Jun 18, 2018
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  5. MaryC

    HomerJay

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    That's a whole lot of fish for 700 gallons. You are probably just going to have more problems as they grow. What kind of filter, and how many GPH on the pump? Do you have plants?
    I'm not a fan of adding any chemicals, besides the one's you may need to add to get rid of chlorine when filling or changing water. You will need to do many water changes to even hope to keep things clear with that fish load. I would start to look at decreasing the bioload as a start.
     
    HomerJay, Jun 18, 2018
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  6. MaryC

    MaryC

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    Thanks for your input and insight. We were very excited when we first got the pond up and running, and overdid it on the goldfish! I know we'll have to do something soon to minimize the load. In any case, I'm inclined to go with the all natural Microbe Lift. I'm just not sure if I have to wait, and if so, how long, following the use of Ammolock.
     
    MaryC, Jun 18, 2018
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  7. MaryC

    MitchM

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    Welcome MaryC.
    Cloudy water is actually good for your fish, generally speaking.
    Cloudy water gives them a place to hide for safety and protection from sunburn.
    A general guide:
    Green cloudy is algae protecting them from excess ammonia.
    Brown cloudy is humic substances giving them antibacterial protection plus protection from excess algae

    White cloudy is actually one to be careful of. It could be a bacterial bloom that may have unhealthy consequences. We would need to get further information on a case by case basis.

    Do not add the microbe lift or ammolock. Get a water test kit and let us know the results.
    If you don't know which test kits, let us know.
    Pictures will help.
    What are you using for filtration?
    Stop all feeding.

    I can't think of any situation where an algicide product would be helpful.
    Algae is a pond's friend, not it's enemy. (within reason)
     
    MitchM, Jun 18, 2018
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  8. MaryC

    sissy sissy

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    Are you planning on going bigger or can you find a home for some of the fish .Koi really get way to big for that sized pond
     
    sissy, Jun 18, 2018
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  9. MaryC

    MaryC

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    The previous owner had HUGE koi and lots more than us in a smaller pond (we had it enlarged when we had to replace the liner), so I actually thought we were ok. With the 1" per 10 gallon rule, we'd be good if we just got rid of the goldfish. I actually think it's 750 gallons, when I recall the renovation. We'll probably bring the goldfish to our local pond place which has a ton of pond space. We've discussed it with the owners in the past.
     
    MaryC, Jun 18, 2018
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  10. MaryC

    MaryC

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    I used our test strips: GH - 120, KH - 80, PH - 8, Nitrite - .5, Nitrate - 20
    Filtration is three layers of filter pad and a bag of ribbon in the waterfall box. We have quite a few plants as well.
    Curious why microbe lift wouldn't be helpful as it's live bacteria. I already added ammolock. I lost two of my best koi a few years ago by not treating tap water, so I'm a stickler on that.
    Thanks again for your help.
     
    MaryC, Jun 18, 2018
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  11. MaryC

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hello and welcome!

    It’s already been brought up — fish load, so I won’t beat a dead horse.....but I don’t think the others have been referencing the goldfish so much as they were the koi. That’s probably an OK number for goldfish (maybe a little too many), but not for koi. As a general rule, 1 koi requires a minimum of 1000 gallons.

    This fish load is probably not helping your water quality issues.

    Can you post some pictures? We love to see others’ ponds!
     
    Mmathis, Jun 18, 2018
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  12. MaryC

    MitchM

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    Microbe lift isn't helpful because nitrifying bacteria is always present, naturally.
    When a person adds a bacterial product to a mature aquatic environment, it is only adding organic material that needs to be broken down and consumed by the filtration system.
    Ammolock is a combination of zeolite and activated carbon. It is only useful in aquatic systems that haven't established a stable nitrifying bacteria population.
    Mechanical filtration is just that. Mechanical filtration. The detritus that is trapped then needs to be removed within 48 hours, otherwise it breaks down further and adds nitrates to the water.
     
    MitchM, Jun 18, 2018
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  13. MaryC

    EricV

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    The 1” per 1 or 10 gallon “rule” is junk. Forget about it. When a fish doubles in size it gets 2x2x2 =8 bigger in mass, the real limiter. Twice as long, wide, and deep. One 10” koi is 1000x as much load on the system as a one inch koi. And more load than all your goldfish.
     
    EricV, Jun 19, 2018
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  14. MaryC

    ellie_pd

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    What finally got my wee pond under control (after trying all the organic treatments etc.) was the quilt batting/ milk crate method. Shock & awe. Once the water was clear (after years of murkiness, long story...) discovered 2 HUGE plecos & a baby pleco. Been reconstructing and anytime the water gets 'mucked-up' I use that method to clear it. I cut the batting into smaller pieces-easier to clean afterward- & filled the milk crate with it. put the pump into an old pillowcase to keep the batting out. Submerged it & placed rocks over top to stabilize.
    Check it out... plecos.jpg
     
    ellie_pd, Jun 19, 2018
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  15. MaryC

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @ellie_pd Hello, and thank you for sharing this with us.

    Most of us use quilt batting, but we use it as a flow-through, outside of the pond. B680B8D2-3EA0-4FF0-8902-FA3FCCAF8449.jpeg
    The quilt batting is an excellent fines filter media and as such, usually has to be changed very often. How often are you removing yours and changing/cleaning it? I occasionally put some inside my Skippy at the outflow, and if I’m not keeping a close watch, it clogs within a day and my filter is in danger of overflowing. And doesn’t it stir up a ton of debris every time you pull it out of the pond?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    Mmathis, Jun 19, 2018
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  16. MaryC

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @ellie_pd Wondering where you live. Those look like plecos in your pond. Do you take them inside during winter? Why not go over to our “introductions” area and tell us about yourself and your pond.
     
    Mmathis, Jun 19, 2018
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  17. MaryC

    sissy sissy

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    my koi are way over 2 feet long and that is since I got them in 2005 and II do not feed them much and I don't give them growth food
     
    sissy, Jun 19, 2018
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  18. MaryC

    poconojoe

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    Quilt batting seems like a good idea. The results from Ellie_pd's video are impressive.
     
    poconojoe, Jun 19, 2018
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  19. MaryC

    sissy sissy

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    I use quilt batting all the time in both filters .A crate on top with quilt batting and then blue reusable furnace filter on top to catch the bigger stuff
     
    sissy, Jun 19, 2018
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  20. MaryC

    MaryC

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    Thanks so much. Sounds simple and I'm going to give it a try.
     
    MaryC, Jun 19, 2018
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