New house with old pond Brown water issues.


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So I purchased a home with an older Koi pond. I have had a pond in the past but that was about 8 years ago. It was 3500 gallons with a skippy filter and contained about 14 smaller koi. I was able to get clear water to the bottom with some patients and the pond was a solid environment for many years until I had to move.

Old Pond:

koi_zpspfh5bqeg.gif


rocks.jpg



Well I now have a new house with a 10+ year old pond. It has a heavy fish load of goldfish and koi. Some of the koi are large. I do not know the gallons of the pond and the previous owner did not know it either. It was put in by the owner before him. At this point

Well I not have a new house with a 10+ year old pond. It has a heavy fish load of goldfish and koi. Some of the koi are large. I do not know the gallons of the pond and the previous owner did not know it either. It was put in by the owner before him. At this point I have determined the pond is in decent shape. No leaks and the long waterfall and bog seem to filter the water properly.

My issue is that I am used to having a clear pond. Green bloom in the spring but it would always settle back to crystal clear water early in the spring. In this pond there are a lot of organic solids in the pond. I believe that they are coming from the bog filter which is "channeling" so when the submersible pump is running the water is relatively clear but if you disrupt the water flow. Moving the pump or shutting the pump off leads to a massive brown dump of solids which cloud the pond.

So my question is about mechanical filtering. I know from my past time in ponding I could use quilt batting or other material to strain out the solid currently contained in the water. I see this as a temporary fix because the source of the soilds is the bog. Short of draining the bog and pulling the muck out of the bog and filling it with new media or substrate is there any effective way to remove the solids?

I am trying very hard to go slow with the idea that if it isn't broke don't fix it but and the same time want the pond to continue to look good and be healthy enough to sustain the fish. Some of the fish have been in the pond for over 10 years. The water quality is decent but just not as clear as I would like. I worry a bit about cleaning the entire bog out because of the effect it would have on the ponds bio-filtering capability although I believe that the long waterfall is doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

Current Pond:

IMG_3537_zpskbgdv7jv.jpg


IMG_3536_zpsbhrxsbsb.jpg


You can see the bog in the first picture in the top left of the frame. It has a lot of parrots feather and and some reed type plants. If I were building this today I would have designed it differently but I am looking to maintain vs tear it down and rebuild at this point.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Short of giving the 'bog' a major back-flushing, any other process is going to be extremely slow in reducing your TSS (Total Suspended Solids). Chronic high TSS can lead to major water quality issues, so it would be advisable to begin some form of remediation ASAP.
 
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Short of giving the 'bog' a major back-flushing, any other process is going to be extremely slow in reducing your TSS (Total Suspended Solids). Chronic high TSS can lead to major water quality issues, so it would be advisable to begin some form of remediation ASAP.

What is the best way to back flush the system. The submersible pump is in the main pond. If I shut it off I can prevent back flow to the pond but would have to get another pump to pump out the water in the bog and then remove the solids. Thoughts?
 

brokensword

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This is the way I was instructed;

Your bog should have a cleanout/access to the bottom. You place another pump into this and lower it down. You will be taking water now from the bottom and discharging it elsewhere (not back into your pond system). The first time, you drain your bog. The pump in your pond can be used then to volume (this is important as a hose from your house isn't going to give you enough force+volume to be effective) backflush the sediment/organics to the bog's bottom. This second time, you backflush to about a third of your bog's total volume, then pump that water out. Do this repeatedly until you have water being discharged that is the desired clarity. I was told it typically takes 3 times/backflushes.

Hope this helps.
 
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I'm assuming you already checked to make sure there's no plumbing to allow for a back flush?
 
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No clean out that I have been able to find. That is what is making the concept of a back flush problematic.
 
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This is what i am working with. This is water that was taken off the top of the pond. You can see that some of the solids have settled to the bottom. This was about 2 hours after taking the water out of the pond.



IMG_3538_zps7qhn5s8j.jpg
 
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It might be tough to do anything now to the bog since it's actively growing. Maybe work on some mechanical filtration - i.e., quilt batting and pump - to remove as much debris as you can.
 
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Maybe weekly vacuuming of the pond bottom until the bog clears itself.
Reduce the floating plant and bog plant quantity by 1/2 and remove all dead plant matter you can find.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Based on the information that you have provided one has to assume that it has been several years since this 'bog' has been flushed, if ever!
Sad to say, but the 'bog' will not clear itself anymore than any other biofilter will clear itself. It must be done manually. You will go through a terrific amount of batting to show any real improvement in the water clarity and still have a clogged 'bog'....the source of the problem.
The only option that I see is to do a complete clean-out of the 'bog'. This will admittedly be a tedious and nasty job in order to correct a problem that you had no hand in creating.
What are the surface measurements of this 'bog'?
 

brokensword

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I'd suggest planning on the cleanout if/when you do any manual cleaning; save yourself the effort of ever doing it again! At least, that's what I found out! I'd dig a hole on one side of the bog and wash the other side into it, where a pump is conveniently located. Then, reverse this and do the other side. This will minimize any digging, imo.

When I did mine last February, I totally took everything out, washing it as I went, similar to how I just described. Then I put it all back.
 
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Well looks like I will have to start plans for a complete cleanout. Should I wait until the fall once the vegetation has slowed down or should I take care of this sooner rather than later. My initial thoughts are to wait until the biological parts of the system are starting to slow down.

If I do a complete cleanout I will do a bit of a redesign to allow for future cleaning and would more than likely start with a different plant layout. The pond is 10+ years old should I redo the liner when I do the clean out?
 
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...
Sad to say, but the 'bog' will not clear itself anymore than any other biofilter will clear itself. It must be done manually. ...

Although I don't have a "bog", I have noticed that my aquaponics bed will clear itself of organic debris once plant density is reduced.
 
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Based on the information that you have provided one has to assume that it has been several years since this 'bog' has been flushed, if ever!
Sad to say, but the 'bog' will not clear itself anymore than any other biofilter will clear itself. It must be done manually. You will go through a terrific amount of batting to show any real improvement in the water clarity and still have a clogged 'bog'....the source of the problem.
The only option that I see is to do a complete clean-out of the 'bog'. This will admittedly be a tedious and nasty job in order to correct a problem that you had no hand in creating.
What are the surface measurements of this 'bog'?

Bog is 13' x 7'. I was able to contact the previous owner of the house and he informed me that he would "try" to get debris out in the fall each year but has never done a full cleanout. The owner before him did not clean it out either. So this bog has never been fully cleaned out and it shows.

I would estimate that there is about 7" to 8" of crap under a lot of plants and plant roots. It is going to take a lot of effort to get this stuff out and then there is nowhere to truly flush the bog to. Looks like a pretty old school DIY design that was not done for the long haul in mind. It is not very deep. I would guess that is was originally 1' to 2' deep. There is PVC under the rock which in theory is distributing the water into the bog but by now I am sure that much of it is clogged and is channeling.

I am not sure how I am going to get all of the muck out of the bog. Basically has a big of a mess on my hands. Might be time to look for a contractor who can do the grunt work for me and then allow me to focus on the rebuild.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Bog is 13' x 7'. I was able to contact the previous owner of the house and he informed me that he would "try" to get debris out in the fall each year but has never done a full cleanout. The owner before him did not clean it out either. So this bog has never been fully cleaned out and it shows.

I would estimate that there is about 7" to 8" of crap under a lot of plants and plant roots. It is going to take a lot of effort to get this stuff out and then there is nowhere to truly flush the bog to. Looks like a pretty old school DIY design that was not done for the long haul in mind. It is not very deep. I would guess that is was originally 1' to 2' deep. There is PVC under the rock which in theory is distributing the water into the bog but by now I am sure that much of it is clogged and is channeling.

I am not sure how I am going to get all of the muck out of the bog. Basically has a big of a mess on my hands. Might be time to look for a contractor who can do the grunt work for me and then allow me to focus on the rebuild.

Since what will be involved in cleaning this 'bog' is not 'Rocket Science' I would think that some supervised 'temp' labor would fill-the-bill. You may determine that rebuilding the 'bog' would be a positive move.
 

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