Pea Soup Gold Fish pond and Waterwall

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Hello!

I'm having problems with my pond turning into "pea soup".

It's gotten much worse lately, and I'm worried about killing the fish.




We only run the filter during the day at the request of the neighbours (it is a bit loud).

And we have only goldfish.

What kind of filter should I get?

We built the pond ourselves many years ago, then we got garden contractor people to come in and build the wall (which hides a garden shed) and they put in the "fountains". Seemed like a good idea at the time, but because it's so high up it's very loud when it hits the water. It's definitely not a "soothing" sound at the moment, more like a really loud/annoying constantly dripping tap. I would prefer a quieter/trickling type setup if it's possible.

I've been thinking about building a "water wall" at the back instead of the three fountains. If there was just a trickling water wall we could run that 24/7, I'm sure the fish would appreciate it. Not really sure how or if I actually can build it there though. There's a 20cm edge around the pond so it'd have to come out from the wall a fair way. Does anyone have any experience with building water walls? I wonder how much they would cost (DIY) how difficult they are, if you think it would work for my pond, etc?

Waterwall is a longer term project though, the filter/pea soup issue is more urgent. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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fishin4cars

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Welcome aboard, We need more information on the pond, total gallons, temp. depth, water parameters, such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, Ph, Hardness would be very beneficial. Some additional information on what type filter you have would also help. Also how many and what size goldfish? I wouldn't worry to much about the green water killing the fish at this point, green water can be 100% safe for fish, But at the same time it can cause oxygen issues so if possible at least run a airstone or a small pump across the water surface to add oxygen all the time until we can get information to help give you some workable information. Lots of knowledgeable folks here that will gladly help. neat looking pond, I can see several ideas of things you can try, But for now lets see what you got going on and see how we can help with minimal cost until we get the pond back in viewing and safe working balance.
 
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A UV filter is the only filter 100% effective against green water.

As Larkin said, green water is a mixed bad. In addition to O2 issues green water consumes ammonia (fish waste) directly so it's an excellent bio filter and could be keeping your fish alive. Whatever you do to clear the water you might consider measuring ammonia to see if you have any problem.
 
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Thanks Larkin and Waterbug!

The Pond is 1800mm x 600mm x 400mm (deep) so roughly 110 gallons.

We have this pump, but no filter.

The PH is about 7.3, a bit alkaline.

We have *about* 10 goldfish, the biggest one is maybe 6-8 inches long, most are about 4-5 inches (this is including the tail).

I held a thermometer in near the top and it was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

I don't know about ammonia, nitrite, nitrate or hardness. I'll need to buy some kits for those.


Also we had one fish commit suicide last week, body was in the garden near the pond, must have jumped out (they have been jumping a bit lately) what is going on there? Just bad luck? Or else a bird or cat might have fished it out I guess.

Thanks!
 

sissy

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I see no filter and are you aerating the pond as it just looks like stagnant water just sitting there .Is the filter in the water or out .filters in water just put the stuff back in the water .
 
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Yes sorry, there is no filter, just a submersible pump (which is sitting on the side of the pond in this picture but usually in the water) and the water goes back into the pond through the dragons mouth and from those 3 brown squares on the wall. It runs about 10 hours a day, because as I said it's a bit noisy (the water going into the pond, especially from the wall) so we don't run it at night.
 

sissy

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You will have no choice in this case to do a filter of some sorts as poo will build up and kill fish .Quilt batting in a basket with you hose or spitter running into it will get the fine algae out and keeps it from making splashing noise .






 
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Also we had one fish commit suicide last week, body was in the garden near the pond, must have jumped out (they have been jumping a bit lately) what is going on there? Just bad luck? Or else a bird or cat might have fished it out I guess.
Since you said "they have been jumping a bit lately" I assume you've actually seen them jumping? That's a pretty bad sign. It can be caused by different things. It can be really poor water. A test kit will tell you. I assume you don't have ammonia because of the green water, but you do have a very high fish load (lots of big fish for the water volume), so ammonia might be a problem. Could also be some other poor water parameter. Could even be electrical leakage into the water from the pump.
 

Ruben Miranda

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Hello
Yes all really great post.
For sure to many fish for that pond
You need a filter to build and hold Beneficial Bacteria.
I see you have plants that will help but not enough for that fish load plus you are circulating the pond enough.

Also are you feeding and if you are how much are you feeding.
To much food will also create havoc in a pond.

It is hard to see the fountain but is you could get a small fiber sponge or something in front of the line to break the water floe up a bit it would not be so load.
and more tranquil.

Ruben
 
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Since you said "they have been jumping a bit lately" I assume you've actually seen them jumping? That's a pretty bad sign. It can be caused by different things. It can be really poor water. A test kit will tell you. I assume you don't have ammonia because of the green water, but you do have a very high fish load (lots of big fish for the water volume), so ammonia might be a problem. Could also be some other poor water parameter. Could even be electrical leakage into the water from the pump.
Could be spawning, too!
John
 
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I've ordered a test kit that has PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate, should arrive next week. Seems like I need to check the ammonia level before I do anything, don't want to clear the water only to kill the fish.

I haven't actually seen them jumping, but I heard a sort of splash once a couple of weeks ago, and then there was a dead fish in the garden. How do I check the pump?

It would be super annoying if they're spawning, though I'd be very surprised.

I might be overstating the size of the fish, but I guess we do have too many, not much I can do about that now though.

We don't feed the fish, figure they have plenty of things in the pond to eat, I only give them a few pellets every now and then when I went to actually see them.

Quilt batting filter looks like it works great, but to be honest I'm not sure that I would trust myself to clean it out often enough (especially after the first couple of weeks). It would probably be pretty bad to just leave it full of gunk. And presumably I would also need a trickle tower anyway to deal with the ammonia that the algae would no longer be eating? And if I do really need a quilt batting filter, can I just put it in the top of a trickle tower? Or does it need to be completely separate?

Would a water wall work like a trickle tower? And would it theoretically reduce the algae a bit?

I'm thinking something like this:



Might be a bit too ambitious, but I really like the idea.

I think there might also be a problem with the pump, there's not enough "flow" out of the fountains. Maybe the murky water is killing it? Might have to get it serviced.

I've put up a big outdoor umbrella over the pond, hopefully that will help in the short term, should have full shade pretty much all day.

Really my late mother was the Gardener in the family. The water used to be clear, until a couple of years ago my father and I drained it, cleared out the muck and the "weeds", and put in some new plants and fish (too many). Was super crystal clear for awhile, then turned into pea soup. And while I was overseas my father got a landscape gardening contractor in to build the wall behind the pond and they put in those wall fountains and the new pump. Frankly I don't think they had any clue about ponds, certainly didn't try to sell him a filter, or even leave an obvious spot to put one (gonna have to build some kind of frame). Looks nice and all but it's not very practical.

I know it's not good to have the pump off overnight, which is why I'm looking for a quieter solution to the wall fountains. Happy fish and angry neighbours is not my ideal solution.

Yes, a UV filter with a trickle tower (or waterwall) might be the way to go?

Thanks guys!
 

sissy

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You would still need some type of filter or wall will start to grow every thing .Gosh it is that close and neighbors don't find it relaxing at all .
 
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sissy

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If you put a pump in the middle of the pond and put a weighted down tote maybe with a cut out for a fishy hiding spot and put another tote on top with plenty of filter material in it and let the pump filter into the pond it will not make any noise .It will just run back into the pond from below the filter material and not make any noise at all .Lava rock in the top filter will weigh every thing down and hold it in place .
 
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I've ordered a test kit that has PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate, should arrive next week. Seems like I need to check the ammonia level before I do anything, don't want to clear the water only to kill the fish.
You are smarter than the average bear.

I haven't actually seen them jumping, but I heard a sort of splash once a couple of weeks ago, and then there was a dead fish in the garden.
So could be spawning. I've never seen fish actually jump when spawning, but it can get active.

How do I check the pump?
For electrical leakage? Best source of info is from aquarium hobbyists, Google "test aquarium stray electric". This wouldn't be at the top of my list. Normally the fish act frightened and hide. But frightened fish can jump.

I might be overstating the size of the fish, but I guess we do have too many, not much I can do about that now though.
Nature will take care of it. Already reduced the herd by one fish.

We don't feed the fish, figure they have plenty of things in the pond to eat, I only give them a few pellets every now and then when I went to actually see them.
It is possible the fish are looking for a better environment (more food). These fish originally followed flowing water to move to better water or for spawning. Depending on how your pump is set up the fish could be trying to swim "upstream".

Quilt batting filter looks like it works great, but to be honest I'm not sure that I would trust myself to clean it out often enough (especially after the first couple of weeks). It would probably be pretty bad to just leave it full of gunk. And presumably I would also need a trickle tower anyway to deal with the ammonia that the algae would no longer be eating? And if I do really need a quilt batting filter, can I just put it in the top of a trickle tower? Or does it need to be completely separate?
These are hit and miss. At different stages in the algae life cycle fabric filters can remove some algae. But how the fabric is configured is really important and tricky. The fabric doesn't block algae like a drinking water filter would, it kind of traps some and some gets thru. If you have too much flow the algae can wash right on thru. And as you remove algae more would just grow. Not really a very viable solution imo. I like fabric filters, but only for removing dead particles.

Would a water wall work like a trickle tower?
Yes, very well. Trickle Towers are about 30 times better at removing ammonia and nitrite than most filters.

And would it theoretically reduce the algae a bit?
Nope. Could even increase single cell algae. Algae farms use something similar to grow more algae, gets them more light.

However, if string algae starts to grow on the wall then that could produce a chemical toxic to single cell algae and the water can stay clear for months, years. But your size pond and a vertical wall can be difficult for any macro algae like string algae to get started.
 
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I think there might also be a problem with the pump, there's not enough "flow" out of the fountains. Maybe the murky water is killing it? Might have to get it serviced.
FYI, you can increase O2 (all gas exchange) by removing the fountain and just letting the pump move water. This is not a big thing at all, but a pump will move more water without the fountain. I'm talking tiny differences. Leave it if you like the look or sound of the fountain.

I've put up a big outdoor umbrella over the pond, hopefully that will help in the short term, should have full shade pretty much all day.
Algae isn't overly effected by sun. Total absence of light sure. And reduced sun can reduce algae from super thick to just thick, but generally there's no big difference, your pond is still green. Algae is very efficient. Been around several billion years.

I know it's not good to have the pump off overnight, which is why I'm looking for a quieter solution to the wall fountains. Happy fish and angry neighbours is not my ideal solution.
Smart. Happy neighbors are almost as valuable as a happy wife.

Yes, a UV filter with a trickle tower (or waterwall) might be the way to go?
UV is 100% effect in 5-7 days. For your size pond I'd guess the smallest wattage would be find. I like the UV separate from the pump. You can get combo pump & UV, but if one fails you lose both. And UV can sometimes be turned off and the water stays clear. That is because the single cell algae (green water) also produce a chemical to kill string algae and other macro algae. The UV kills the single cell algae giving the macro algae a change to grow. If that happens they will keep your pond clear, but you will have to pull out the macro algae by hand normally. Buying new pond plants can introduce macro algae to a pond if you're interested.

If you install a UV I suggest adding a ball valve on the pipe either going in or out of the unit so you can control flow. In a perfect world there would be another pipe before the unit that allowed excess water to still flow, but not a huge deal. Water can be so green that some cells get thru the UV undamaged. Turning down the flow can fix that. So the test is if you don't see clearing in say 5-7 days you know something isn't right. First fix is to turn down the flow some and wait another 5-7 days. By clearing I mean you come out one morning and your jaw drops and you giggle like a school girl. Thinking maybe it's a little clearer generally isn't the sign.

Drip water changes.
Since you seem way able to understand this stuff I throw one more option at you. It would require adding an overflow. If you're using water for the landscaping you can use water from the pond instead, so you get to use the water twice. This can also remove green water, but may not always work. This would be about as good a "filter" system as you could have. In high end ponds and fish farms this is called a "flow thru" system. Here's a video on the subject.
 
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I want to repeat that you need to do a large water change asap. That pond is overstocked and your levels of pollutants will be too high, i assure you.. You need fresh water in there.
 
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dieselplower, this is a person new to pond keeping. Large water changes can be problematic for people new to pond keeping and without even a test kit. Large water changes can be dangerous. What happens if this pond currently has high Total Ammonia, cool water and low pH and the new water is warmer and/or high pH? The remaining ammonia converts from safe NH4 to toxic NH3 and the fish die. What if the new water is really cold? What if the new water is really low pH because the previous keeper buffered the water? On and on.

There will always be a line of people online who think they know exactly what's going on with your pond just based on a few words you provided and give you must do advice. When things go south that line gets really thin really fast. Seen it many times in forums over the years.
 
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