Newbie has questions Re: pond pump & filters

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Hi from Myrtle Beach, SC! We recently purchased a home here that has a 2500 to 3,000 gallon koi pond that had about 13 fish. When we first saw the house the pond was in great shape, Clearwater beautiful fish, Etc. We bought the house last October but didn't actually move in until mid February because we were remodeling our previous residence which was three and a half hours away so we didn't get down here much to check on things. Everything still looked pretty good when we got here in February, the water was just a little cloudy so my husband figured it must be time to clean the filters, so he did. However, it was dark out still so he had a hard time being able to see what he was doing and made a couple of mistakes & we lost half of the water overnight. It was discovered the next morning by our oldest son because he was the only one here. When he called my husband he contacted the previous owner that told us to just use the hose and fill up the pond, not a word about removing the chlorine or anything! We lost four of the biggest fish before my son was able to get to the store and get some dechlorinator! He was heartbroken! After that we've had nothing but trouble with this pond! I didn't come down permanently until mid March and all I have done since then is work on clearing this pond of algae! I'm exhausted! I can't even get my house straightened up, do yard work or even enjoy the beach because all I do is deal with this pond!
We did hire someone to come in, drain & clean debris from the pond so we could start over. There were a lot of pine cones, leaves, pine needles & muck covering the bottom so we just assumed that once we got rid of all of the decaying organic matter we would see Clear water but less than 24 hours we were right back where we started!
We have 2 Sunsun CPF-250 UV-13 filters that are fed by a 6600 GPH pump that goes to a very nice waterfall & we also have a small Tetra waterfall bucket with a separate 1056GPH pump. We recently discovered that we were losing quite a bit of water from the pond relatively quickly because the tops of both of the Sunsun filters have multiple cracks. Costs of living being what they are these days, we would like to figure out a more cost-effective way to replace one of these filters but I'm having a hard time finding a replacement filter with UV light large enough to handle the 6600GPH pump that's not going to cost me over $1,000. I'm starting to think that this must be the reason why they had 2 filters instead of 1.
In the meantime, I have added Pond clarifier, water hyacinths which apparently the fish really like to eat because they just kept eating the roots until they clogged both of our pumps that had to be turned off and cleaned out several times a day this past week. I now have floating baskets for the plants and I have added a sludge Destroyer with barley straw powder in hopes of clearer water.
The lady who cleaned out our pond said she has rarely seen this happen before so, my questions for everyone is 1) Am I correct about the reason for 2 filters is because of the large pump? 2) Is it possible to use 1 filter with a 13W or 24W UV light with that pump or am I just wishful thinking? 3) Would we be better off buying a smaller pump and then sizing a single filter to fit that pump? It's going to be so expensive to replace both of those filters but I have to figure something out because I'm exhausted & frustrated!! My husband is an over the road truck driver. He works really hard for two weeks away from home so, when he gets home all I want is for him to be able to see a clear, clean pond so he can relax and enjoy the house & pond he's paid for! Can anyone help me figure this out? Thank you so much for your help.
 

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Welcome! You wrote a lot of details, so forgive my brief replies as I snuggle a sick toddler.

1. You have algae because you thoroughly cleaned the pond. Now have to re-establish the beneficial bacteria colonies. Not hard, just takes time.

2. Stop adding products. They’re just bandaids that make it harder to know what’s really going on and will never permanently solve water clarity problems.

3. If existing pump is too powerful, just install a ball valve on the discharge and throttle to where you need it.

4. If you have a 3000 gallon pond with a bunch of koi, then a 6600 GPH pump is probably on the low end of how much turnover you need as most ponds end up with at least 10 ft of head and your pump is probably doing more like 4000 GPH unless it’s a high pressure pump. That’s about where you’d want a pump that size operating as well for best efficiency.

5. There’s no such thing as too much filtration, especially when you have koi. Lots of folks here are going to tell you to build a bog. I will too! If you have the space, build it, ditch the box filters and don’t look back.
 
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So much going on, I don't know where to start.

First off, stop using all those additives.
No barely, no sludge destroyer (I don't even know what that is), no clarifier and especially no algecide. You're wasting your money and risking killing you fish and plants.

You need lots and lots of plants to consume the excess nutrients that form from the fish waste.
You can protect the roots of your floating plants by putting them in a floating net. You can buy them or make them.
When the plants in my floating net start to crowd up, I'll release some of them.

I will mention that in the Spring it takes a while for the beneficial bacteria and your plants to wake up from winter. I believe the water temperature needs to be about 55 F. Meanwhile nature provides algae (a plant) to balance the system, protecting your fish.

And, since you completely cleaned out your pond, you will have new pond syndrome and will experience green water (floating algae). It will take time for the beneficial bacteria to recolonize and new biofilm will need time to grow all over everything.

Filtration is important too. It needs to be adequate. I'm not familiar with what you have, so I can't comment on that.
I filter with a bog. I don't use any commercially bought filters or any UV lights. I do it natural.
 

j.w

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@LAW444
Wow what a nightmare and so sorry about the fish and the previous owners not telling you to add dechlor.
13 koi especially if they were large is quite a bunch for that size pond. I only have goldfish so will leave the advice for you from others here who have koi. Hope you can get it all figured out and can save the fish you have left.
 
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Welcome! You wrote a lot of details, so forgive my brief replies as I snuggle a sick toddler.

1. You have algae because you thoroughly cleaned the pond. Now have to re-establish the beneficial bacteria colonies. Not hard, just takes time.

2. Stop adding products. They’re just bandaids that make it harder to know what’s really going on and will never permanently solve water clarity problems.

3. If existing pump is too powerful, just install a ball valve on the discharge and throttle to where you need it.

4. If you have a 3000 gallon pond with a bunch of koi, then a 6600 GPH pump is probably on the low end of how much turnover you need as most ponds end up with at least 10 ft of head and your pump is probably doing more like 4000 GPH unless it’s a high pressure pump. That’s about where you’d want a pump that size operating as well for best efficiency.

5. There’s no such thing as too much filtration, especially when you have koi. Lots of folks here are going to tell you to build a bog. I will too! If you have the space, build it, ditch the box filters and don’t look back.
Hi Combatwambat! If you're snuggling a sick toddler I don't know how you possibly have time to check forums but I appreciate your help. lol
What you said about the pump make sense now that I think about all of what you talking about. I wasn't exactly sure how all that worked out but now that I know I can pass on the information. I appreciate that. We do have two ball valves near the filters but we've always turned them on full blast until we discovered the cracks in the top. They were hidden under some sort of black tape that started to peel off after the temperature started to rise and it was hit by the Sun.
I have read a few things about bogs and if I had done this from scratch myself I probably would have put one in instead of using this system. However, we live on a quarter of an acre and the pond is already established so I'm not sure how it would work to create a bog now. It is what it is I just have to make the best of what I can to try to make improvements moving forward. I'm guessing the previous owner was dumping chemicals in it every week to keep it clear because he told us that it would "clear up" in a couple of days after he left the last time and he left a couple of almost empty bottles in the garage. Last night I added some of the beneficial bacteria from Beckett that I got from Home Depot. It also contains some barley straw powder that I guess it's supposed to help somehow. With just the bacteria added do you think they should start clearing up the algae soon?
So would you recommend I go ahead and replace both of the filters if I can't put in a bog?
 
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View attachment 150794@LAW444
Wow what a nightmare and so sorry about the fish and the previous owners not telling you to add dechlor.
13 koi especially if they were large is quite a bunch for that size pond. I only have goldfish so will leave the advice for you from others here who have koi. Hope you can get it all figured out and can save the fish you have left.
Thanks JW. Nightmare is definitely the word for it! Let's just say that the pond was not the only thing they left jacked up! In the first month we had to have a plumber, an electrician and now a Pond person and we've only been here since February! SMH
 
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So much going on, I don't know where to start.

First off, stop using all those additives.
No barely, no sludge destroyer (I don't even know what that is), no clarifier and especially no algecide. You're wasting your money and risking killing you fish and plants.

You need lots and lots of plants to consume the excess nutrients that form from the fish waste.
You can protect the roots of your floating plants by putting them in a floating net. You can buy them or make them.
When the plants in my floating net start to crowd up, I'll release some of them.

I will mention that in the Spring it takes a while for the beneficial bacteria and your plants to wake up from winter. I believe the water temperature needs to be about 55 F. Meanwhile nature provides algae (a plant) to balance the system, protecting your fish.

And, since you completely cleaned out your pond, you will have new pond syndrome and will experience green water (floating algae). It will take time for the beneficial bacteria to recolonize and new biofilm will need time to grow all over everything.

Filtration is important too. It needs to be adequate. I'm not familiar with what you have, so I can't comment on that.
I filter with a bog. I don't use any commercially bought filters or any UV lights. I do it natural.
Thanks Poconojoe! A sludge destroyer is just a fancy way to say good bacteria & charge you a premium for it. Lol
I almost added an algaecide but I did some reading & talked to the pond lady & decided that it was a hugely bad idea! I did figure out that it was probably New Pond Syn & that's why I got the Beckett Sludge destroyer (good bacteria with barley straw) instead. I was trying to help the good bacteria move along faster.
I know we need good filtration but these filters just have too many cracks to repair & I'm not sure our pond is designed to accommodate a bog. It really doesn't have a very shallow area which I'm assuming would be needed to create one?? Do you know if it's possible to create a bog in a 3-4 ft deep pond?
 
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Thanks JW. Nightmare is definitely the word for it! Let's just say that the pond was not the only thing they left jacked up! In the first month we had to have a plumber, an electrician and now a Pond person and we've only been here since February! SMH
Wow, sorry to hear all the work you have to do on the house and the pond.
You'll get it all in order. It takes time..... and money, unfortunately.

You can save money with your pond by not buying all those additives, even the bacteria....you don't need that either. Your pond will grow it's own beneficial bacteria.

If you want to add on a bog, it's not that difficult. There are simple versions that work great. That's exactly what I did. I added a bog to a 10 year old pond.
No more cleaning out filters and filter pads for me.
 
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Do you know if it's possible to create a bog in a 3-4 ft deep pond?
The easiest way to build the bog is to have it right next to the pond.
Basically you're building a smaller and much shallower version of a pond. Dig a hole, put in a liner, lay pvc pipes with slits cut in them and cover that with at least 12" of pea gravel. The water is pumped from the pond, to the bog, through the slits in the PVC pipe, flows up through the gravel and back to the pond.
 
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The easiest way to build the bog is to have it right next to the pond.
Basically you're building a smaller and much shallower version of a pond. Dig a hole, put in a liner, lay pvc pipes with slits cut in them and cover that with at least 12" of pea gravel. The water is pumped from the pond, to the bog, through the slits in the PVC pipe, flows up through the gravel and back to the pond.
Thanks so much! I had no idea it was a separate entity unto itself so the size of the pond doesn't really matter. But if you're putting a liner in it where does all the gunk go? Definitely going to have do some more research and have a conversation with the husband on this one because I am already sick of cleaning filters! LOL
 
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So would you recommend I go ahead and replace both of the filters if I can't put in a bog?

If you really can't put in a bog, then yeah, you need a lot of filtration to keep a well stocked koi pond in good shape. But do some more research into what @poconojoe mentioned. Look at how many of us have built bogs. You can probably fit one somewhere. Even if you can't switch entirely to bog filtration, a small bog + supplemental bio filtration is better than no bog.

where does all the gunk go?

Into a good pre-filter/mechanical filter. You should be pumping contaminated but crud-free water into your bog. In the garden pond world, this is a skimmer or negative edge or intake bay. In the koi world, it might be a skimmer, radial drum filter, or sieve. You don't totally free yourself from cleaning filters with a bog, but the type of cleaning changes. The goal is to remove stuff that turns into gunk from the water before it has a chance to become gunk that must be dealt with.
 
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The bog surface area should be about 30% of the pond's surface area if you want to filter exclusively with a bog.

I don't use any other filter or prefilter.
I keep my pump suspended off the bottom with a string so it doesn't suck up any debris that may collect down there.

Maybe once every two months I will open the clean-out stacks to flush the pipes out. I need to do that more often in the Spring until the beneficial bacteria recolonize as the weather warms.
That's all the maintenance I do. Theres no filter or filter pads to clean.
Here's what I built:
https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/my-add-on-bog-build.26848/
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Agree with what has already been said. One thing I would like to add is that whenever you make changes, make them one at a time and wait for results before moving on to the next change.
 

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