New house, new pond!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Joseph_Family, May 31, 2017.

  1. Joseph_Family

    Joseph_Family

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    Hi everyone! My husband and I just purchased a home in clear lake, Texas. And it came with a gorgeous pond! We are complete newbies, and are trying to learn as much as we can to keep this thing looking pretty! We moved in and our pump was dead, so we replaced it to get the waterfall going again. The pump was off for two days. We will be buying test strips soon to check the ph, and nitrates. We have 5 koi, and a ton of tiny fish (not sure what they are. Maybe tadpoles?) and water lilies. We contacted a pond servicing company here locally, and he told us that we needed the entire thing drained, and cleaned. Also that the lillies have taken over the pond. (He made this deduction from the photos posted.) any advice for a newbie?
     

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    Joseph_Family, May 31, 2017
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    tbendl T

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    The test strips are not as accurate as the tube tests, I would get the tubes. Don't listen to that guy!!
    Test your water and see where you're at. Is there a bunch of stuff in the bottom (dead leaves and gunk)?
     
    tbendl, May 31, 2017
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    tbendl T

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    Ooops, if there is, get a net and start netting out the gunk. You need to test for PH, nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate, and ammonia.
    It is a lovely pond and welcome to the forum!
     
    tbendl, May 31, 2017
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    Joseph_Family

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    We will get those today, then! We haven't been to the bottom of it, so I can't say with certainty. I can try to take some good photos a bit later, it doesn't look too bad. The water has gotten a bit more murky since we moved in, though.
     
    Joseph_Family, May 31, 2017
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    Joseph_Family

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    Thank you! I'll keep this updated, and thanks for the quick reply! I'm hoping we become well versed in ponds soon.
     
    Joseph_Family, May 31, 2017
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    tbendl T

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    That's ok, fish love the murky, it's us land creatures that want the water clear so we can see our fish. Lol
    After you test, you'll need to provide pond size and what filters and pumps your are running as well as how many fish you think you have and what kind.
    It sounds like a lot but if you've still got fish happily swimming about you should be good. I can't believe that company said you need to drain and clean it. It's not a dang pool!! Lol
    Anyway welcome again!
     
    tbendl, May 31, 2017
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    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    That great of coverage from Water Lilies is not such a bad thing. It could, however, be indicative of a considerable sediment accumulation on the bottom of the pond. If this accumulation is allowed to get too thick (deep) it could cause water quality issues.
     
    Meyer Jordan, May 31, 2017
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    cas

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    Pretty pond! Previous owners didn't leave you any info? Before I would drain it I would get the pump going, determine if there is any sediment on the bottom and if so how much. There are many less drastic measures to clean a pond than draining it.
     
    cas, May 31, 2017
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    Joseph_Family

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    so after we test the water later today, how exactly do we test to see how much sediment there is? Do I need to get my husband to get in the pond?? Or can he just dig an arm at the edge of the pond?
     
    Joseph_Family, May 31, 2017
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    budgenator

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    I would distrust any pond company that says you need to drain the pond without first making an on-site inspection; draining the pond is a last resort option not the first!
    Learn about what filter is in the pond and how to maintain it, and let it go for a month and see how it is working. Ponds go through seasonal cycles, in the winter they are usually gin clear, in spring they have an algae bloom and go toward pea soap for a while then clear up slowly. you might be in between the bloom and the clearing.
     
    budgenator, May 31, 2017
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    tbendl T

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    Yeah he can. I'd get a net, you will use it, and run it to the bottom and see what pops up.
     
    tbendl, May 31, 2017
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    budgenator

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    The best way is to get in and feel what squishes up between your toes, if you do that be real careful pond liners are insanely slippery. What I normally do is take a pool net and scoop up from the bottom.
     
    budgenator, May 31, 2017
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    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @Joseph_Family Hello and welcome! Wow, how exciting! In case no one has mentioned it yet, NO you don't need to drain and clean your pond! A lot of the pond places tell you that because it gives them business, LOL! But unless you are having problems with water quality, don't mess with Mother Nature. There is a lot of beneficial bacteria on the pond walls, etc., and that's what helps break down the ammonia & nitrites, plus the algae is food for the fish (and tadpoles) to munch on. Most of us don't use water test strips as they tend to be less accurate and can lose quality over time ( every time you open the bottle, you're letting moisture get inside....). Plus, they are more expensive over time than the drop kits. Most of us use API kits with pH, ammonia, nitrite, & nitrate tests. Then you'll want to add a KH and a GH test. Some people test for phosphates, but I don't. Be sure you're using a dechlorinator if your water is treated, and get one that also treats for chloramines, since I think most cities are adding that now, as well.
     
    Mmathis, May 31, 2017
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    Lisak1

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    Just wanted to say welcome! You'll find lots of helpful people here with great advice for keeping your pretty pond both looking AND working great!
     
    Lisak1, May 31, 2017
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  15. Joseph_Family

    Joseph_Family

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    Thank you everyone for an awesome welcome! We got the tubes today, and after checking we are 0 nitrite 0nitrate, 0 ammonia and ph is 8.4. So the ph is the only thing that had me a tad concerned. We haven't been brave enough to get in it yet, and the store we went to didn't have a pool net, so we will probably amazon one. Thank you again, everyone!! I look forward to learning all about this stuff.
     
    Joseph_Family, Jun 1, 2017
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  16. Joseph_Family

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] @Joseph_Family
    #'s all look good to me. 7.0 to 8.6 is fine for ph. Higher than that would be too alkaline. When you get your long handled net you can check how much muck is on the bottom and start scooping it out. Is there a pump and filter running? If so keep it running while you are scooping as the water is going to get all cloudy while you are scooping. Check the net for signs of life so you can put baby fish, tadpoles or what have you back in the water. Your ph will prolly go down when the debris in the pond is lessened. Will take awhile for the cloudiness to clear after you are done scooping and filtering. You'll prolly have to clean the filter now and then while doing the whole process. I don't know what kind of filter you have tho.
     
    j.w, Jun 1, 2017
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    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    It's more important for your pH to be STABLE (not wildly swinging up & down)
    So don't worry too much about the numbers. My pH runs around 8.2-8.4-ish. Another test you'll want to do is KH (carbonate hardness). It shows you the buffering capability of your water. When the KH is low, your pond is in danger of crashing. If your KH is high (which is what you want) you have that "buffer" to help keep the pH stable. I have a low KH, so to bring that up, I use crushed oyster shells (mixed in with the bog gravel). As they slowly dissolve, they raise the KH level.
     
    Mmathis, Jun 1, 2017
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    Joseph_Family

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    Here is the filter, and the pump. I'm Pretty sure this is the only filter.. does it look good? We are cleaning the filter twice a day.
    IMG_2965.JPG IMG_2966.JPG IMG_2964.JPG
     
    Joseph_Family, Jun 1, 2017
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  19. Joseph_Family

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group! That looks like a skimmer box with a pump in it. Is there filter material?
     
    addy1, Jun 1, 2017
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    Joseph_Family

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    Only the netting. What should we buy?
     
    Joseph_Family, Jun 1, 2017
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