New barrel pond


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Hi, i'm new to the world of ponds and I have to admit, I never knew it would be so complex!

I created a small pond about 2 months ago using a whisky barrel which I lined first with pond liner. The bottom has a layer of aquatic compost followed by some gravel as do the plants in baskets.

My first problem was mosquito larvae. I had masses followed by a nasty smell, cloudy water and algae. I've since bought a good UV filter and some treatments to kill off the larvae and balance the water out. I haven't seen much improvement though weeks later.

I've bought a good testing kit but all the levels seem fine so I'm totally confused. Could it just be cycling still? Will I ever get clear attractive water without larvae in it or is this just what ponds look like? It doesn't look healthy to me and I would one day like to get a couple of small fish in there.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated . Thanks
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cas

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Are you pumping the water off the bottom? The water could be cloudy because the bottom has a layer of aquatic compost followed by some gravel and the pump is disturbing it.
 

JRS

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Welcome to the forum!

What exactly is the aquatic compost? I also suspect this is your problem, too much organic matter for such a small volume of water. Are you also growing plants directly in the bottom of the barrel? If you have potted plants, not sure of the purpose of the layer at the bottom of barrel if no plants?

You will always get mosquito larvae in relatively still water even if clean. So plan on treatment or some small fish to eat them once the water stabilizes.
 
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Thanks for your replies. I watched a few YouTube videos of how to make a barrel pond and it suggested to put a thin layer of aquatic compost down first followed by some gravel. I since wonder as you say, if it was the right thing to do.

Plant are all in mesh baskets on top, some raised with bricks as is the filter. Question is should I empty it and start the whole thing again? The plants also don't seem to be doing that well. I could clean the filter again but have read it's not great to do that too often either. Would putting a couple of fish in there help?
 
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I’m not sure why you wouldn’t clean the filter. Just don’t use anything that would kill the beneficial bacteria. I rinse mine out weekly to remove the algae and other larger debris.
 
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I would limit the use of the planting material to the baskets containing plants and keep the bottom of the barrel free of debris. If it were me, I'd empty it and start over. I've had deck pond in barrels for years and only run a small pump recirculating water and plants in baskets and some floating plants as well.

The pump provides enough movement to prevent mosquito larvae and I've also used mosquito dunks. Your pond will be charming, just a little more patience.
 
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JRS

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