New Ponder Pondering Pond Care

Discussion in 'Pond Archive' started by RVentura, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. RVentura

    RVentura Guest

    Just found this news group today and have read through all posts. Seems like
    a lot of great ideas and help abound in this space. Hope I am not butting
    into private conversations. Let me know if "butt out" is appropriate.

    I'm Ray and with my wife Kath and children built a pond last year. My guess
    is that it is about 2500 gals. It has a large rock border that rests on a
    shelf about 2 inches under water and a plant shelf about 12 inches under
    water. We wanted the bottom to be a haven for insect life and fish eggs and
    whatever else could bring ecolological balance to the pond so I've lined the
    bottom with river rock taken out of the ground when digging the hole. I have
    a two foot high waterfall that splashes down two levels (my attempt at
    aeration) and contains a biological filter that I have been carfeul to
    "feed" (with MicrobeLift products) and not disturb. I have started some
    lilies but have a fairly good growth of water hyacinth and I think something
    called parrot fern.

    I don't have a personal album online but could post a pic or two if someone
    would like to suggest the easiest place to access.

    I feel like I'm in an AA meeting when I confess that I couldn't wait to get
    fish into the pond and had purchased several very small (1") goldfish and
    some small (3") goldfish the second or third week after we'd filled it. They
    survived the winter easily (we're located in Rancho Cordova,California) and
    are still doing fine though now they're more like 5"- 7". Didn't know much
    (still don't really) about the care and feeding of ponds and fish so fed
    them all winter. Sometime in spring a friend of my son moved and gave us 6
    10"-12" koi to care for, so I likely have too many fish for the pond size I
    have water striders, dragonflies and damsel flies in both final and larvae
    forms. The birds seem to like the free bathing as I have put in some small
    beach access spots. Apart from bouts with string algae and green water, the
    pond seems to be doing ok.

    My biggest bother is that with our 100+ temperatures, the water goes "green"
    and the bottom disappears. I see the fish at feeding time and an occasional
    orange shadow beneath the surface at other times but I'd like to see more of
    them. I have taken to treating the water with MicrobeLift/SA but it's rather
    expensive and while it seems to block enough light to inhibit string algae,
    it doesn't seem to have any effect on the green water syndrone. I can tell
    from my skimmer filters that I am getting a lot of the floating algae
    filtered out but obviously not enough to clear the water. All submerged
    rocks are covered with this algae.A local pond store suggests a UV light
    system. Has anyone experience with these kinds of systems? They're a little
    dear but if they work against the green water I would consider it.

    I was also wondering if anyone knew the range of temperaturees that I should
    try to keep the pond within. The water feels warm to my hand and I just feel
    that can't be beneficial to the fish. We've been shading the water with
    umbrellas because we're a new housing development and trees are not big
    enough to do so yet. Would it be OK to cool the water down somehow?

    Thanks in advance for any replies and advice.
    RVentura, Jul 15, 2008
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  2. RVentura

    D Kat Guest

    Welcome!!! Your pond sounds absolutely beautiful and yes pictures would be
    appreciated. is an easy site to post pictures.

    We have some very good fish experts in here and people from your area (the
    sets are overlapping). My one bit of advice is don't over feed the fish. I
    started my pond with feeder fish just to keep the mosquitoes down (or so I
    told myself). They (or their offspring) are still with me well over a
    decade later. I don't feed them at all in the winter and very little the
    rest of the year. Your koi though will want food. We just had a long
    thread on the best food for koi which should still be available to read.

    Veggie filters are the best things for keeping the green fog away. There
    are any number of ways you can add that to your pond. If your current
    biofilter cannot handle the load with the koi, Jan has a wonderful bio
    filter that I think is ideal for koi. and I
    believe it also serves as a veggie filter. I know her pond looks crystal
    clear (and is one of my favorites).

    I am a really lazy ponder - everything I do is to make my pond and garden as
    work free as possible. However I work on a far smaller scale than you so
    my way of doing things would not work for you.

    Look forward to the pictures! Donna

    "RVentura" wrote in message
    D Kat, Jul 15, 2008
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  3. RVentura

    RichToyBox Guest

    "RVentura" wrote in message
    Welcome to the addictive world of ponding.

    You state that you have a biological filter installed, but you haven't
    described it. I suspect it is too small. Most of the commercial filters
    say that they are rated to take care of X amount of pond, when in reality,
    they would be hard pressed to take care of 1/2 X. The addition of the koi
    probably overloaded the filter. Green water algae will consume ammonia
    directly, so if the filter is not capable of maintaining a zero reading of
    ammonia, the green water is your friend, and the friend of your fish, by
    keeping the water livable. I suspect the addition of the koi overloaded the
    system. Increasing the size of the filter is probably all that is needed.

    You have not said anything about whether you test your pond or not. Tests
    need to be run, about weekly once established, and more frequently on
    startup, for ammonia, nitrite, pH (morning and evening), temperature, KH
    carbonate hardness. GH general hardness and nitrates are nice to have, but
    not as critical. Ammonia and nitrite should always read zero.

    You didn't state whether you do any water changes or not. Water changes are
    like the flushing of the toilet and need to be done about 10% per week.
    That is removal of 10%, not just topping off. This will remove some of the
    buildup of nitrates, some of the pheromones that limit growth, and dissolved
    solids buildup.

    The filter will build its own bacteria colony and does not need to be
    constantly fed with bottled bugs. The bottled bugs work best on the solid
    cellulose type detritus in a pond, but most of the bottled bugs are
    anaerobic, which means they work best in thick layers of stuff that you
    don't want in the pond in the first place. Save a $ or two.

    UV lights work wonders. Be sure to buy one that has the capability to
    handle the flow of your pump. They need exposure time to do the job. If
    the water travels too fast, they don't work. I have seen 8W units clean
    5000 gallon ponds, and 40W units not clean 3000 gallon ponds do to lack of
    exposure time.
    RichToyBox, Jul 15, 2008
  4. RVentura


    welcome to the pond group.

    In a pond with a good veggie filter 20 gallons per goldfish, 100 gallons per koi.
    Your goldfish will reproduce like bunnies, so I suggest finding Orfes and getting
    about 5. they eat eggs and young and will keep the population under control.

    The limiting factor in warm green ponds is oxygen. you need a very good aerator,
    something like a small sweetwater from aquatic ecosystems with 3-4 foot long glass
    air stones.

    to get rid of the green you need to seriously boost your filtration to get rid of the
    excess wastes. a veggie filter is easiest especially in your climate. I also have
    a UV light with its own itty bitty pump rather than in line of the regular pump.

    get the best quality food with the most natural proteins, like krill and the least
    amount of carbohydrates because GF and Koi dont digest carbs, so they are in and out
    without digestion and foul the pond. then use restraint when feeding. 1/2 cup of
    high quality stuff per day is more than enough for your numbers.

    GF and Koi can take temps to 80 or so, but it is best to shade the pond to some
    extent if there are lots of 100o days. Ingrid

    On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 00:25:34 EDT, "RVentura" wrote:
    several very small (1") goldfish and
    6 >10"-12" koi to care for, so I likely have too many fish for the pond size
    , Jul 15, 2008
  5. RVentura

    kathy Guest

    While we are piling stuff on your ponding plate ---
    have you thought about winter yet? :-D

    Could you give us the general area where you live
    and what your winters are like?

    We're going to get you all set up 365 days a year.
    (Note someone should talk about fall....)

    k :)
    kathy, Jul 15, 2008
  6. RVentura

    D Kat Guest

    They are in the San Diego CA area and don't have anything like our winters.
    Basically it is Spring and Fall. Donna
    "kathy" wrote in message
    D Kat, Jul 15, 2008
  7. RVentura

    kathy Guest

    Went back and found it.
    San Diego - loverly area :))
    (wasn't there a report that glaciers were
    growing in California - you can never be
    too careful!!)

    k :)
    kathy, Jul 16, 2008
  8. RVentura wrote:

    I have a unit that I installed my first year. I uninstalled it my second
    year and have not had an algae problem. I think that has to do with the
    plantings I have and also some shade.

    Anyway, I still have the UV and have recently thought about selling it. I'll
    have to figure out a price, but it was a big unit. Let me know if you're
    interested. We don't live that far apart, I think.

    San Diego Joe
    4,000 - 5,000 Gallons.
    Koi, Goldfish, and RES named Colombo.
    San Diego Joe, Jul 16, 2008
  9. RVentura

    BB Guest

    kathy wrote in :
    The day glaciers take over San Diego is the day, well, I eat my
    oldest, skankiest, smelliest hat. With sourkraut. And olives.


    * Can't see the Forest | Bryan B. *
    * Through the Spam? | Reply if you want. E-mail *
    * Take it out! | address changes frequently *
    * (Damn Viruses!) | to foil spambots. *
    BB, Jul 16, 2008
  10. RVentura

    D Kat Guest

    That's asphalt - it grows much faster than a glacier. Every time I went
    back 'home' for a visit I would say to myself "they can't possibly pave
    over and build any more.... " They did. I've been out east for over 3
    decades and recently discovered that gosh... this is home. Still, you can't
    get a much more pleasant climate than San Diego. Most of Southern
    California though is becoming a hell hole. The climate change has destroyed
    the forests in the mountains; places like Rialto are intolerably hot and
    smoggy; it is so overcrowded that the major freeways are completely unusable
    most times of the day; and the 'cut taxes' mentality has destroyed their
    school system and infra-structure. If I did not have the memory of what it
    had been, I would probably think it a great place.


    "kathy" wrote in message
    D Kat, Jul 16, 2008
  11. RVentura

    Reel McKoi Guest

    "RVentura" wrote in message
    =============== [ Brevity snip]

    I found that is the easiest to use of at least 10 sites
    I've tried over the years.

    Welcome to the group. :)
    Frugal ponding since 1995.
    rec.ponder since late 1996.
    Zone 6. Middle TN USA
    ~~~~ } ~~~ }
    Reel McKoi, Jul 16, 2008
  12. RVentura

    Pete C Guest

    With your temps and I assume loadsa sun, I'd suggest you build some kind of
    shade over the pond more than umbrellas. Yes, a UV will help tremendously.
    DON'T try and cool the water. Fish are very sensitive to temp change. I
    always reckon on 1 deg/hour. regular partial water changes might help, but
    if your water supply has chlorine/chloromine in, use a proprietory additive
    to neutralise it, and let the water your adding come up to pond temp.What
    filtration do you have? Or did I miss it in your post? lol......late and I'm
    Pete C, Jul 18, 2008
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