Pond problems.. help!

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Dawson9a, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    I inherited a fairly large pond (29' x 18' or so) when I bought my home about 2 years ago. I've been through a lot of issues already with it and am still learning about things on the fly. Water clairity, pumps, pipes, etc. The set up that I have is: I have a Hayward Super Pump pulling watter in from the pond and then that goes to a sponge/bio filter as well as a Hayward Sand Filter. From the Bio Filter there is a line that supplies water to the waterfall. The outlet from the sand filter goes back into the ground and I'm not sure where that goes. The problem I've been having lately is that I'm not getting as much water FROM the pond that I used to. Thus the flow on the waterfall is not nearly as much as it used to be. A while back it would seem that once I backwashed and rinsed the sand filter, I'd get better flow from the pump. Now it doesn't seem to matter what I do. I can backwash/rinse and clean all the sponges and still get very little water flow.

    At this point, I'm suspecting I may have a clogged or semi-clogged inlet line from the pond to the pump. In the pond, I believe there is a round inlet and that is surrounded by a modified milk crate to keep the larger debris from going through. I've alreaady been through that problem before and had to place some cinder blocks to keep that milk crate down and from larger items to come through. The result of that would be that the basket in the pump would fill and THAT would cause the flow to decrease. So, I'm not sure what to do at this point. Should I be able to use a snake and snake the line from the pump to the bottom of the pond? Could I used my air compressor to run air out to the pond inlet and then look for bubbles? I dont' want to harm anything and have to deal with new plumbing.

    ANY advice on this will greatly be appreciated! If you have any other questions about my set-up, please let me know! I know this is confusing if you don't actually see it for yourself.

    Anyway, please e-mail me at daw@jhu.edu. I'll try and post this on as many "pond" forums as I can find. (If anyone knows of any good ones that have a lot of users, please let me know)

    Thanks in advance!!!

    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Jul 10, 2008
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  2. Dawson9a

    kirscp

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    I don't think a snake will do it, and you'd be better off just backwashing the pipes BUT, whatever gets pushed out, will just end back where it came from.

    If your water is clear, you may be able to get wet and see if anything is clogged.

    I've been in my pond a couple of times, and will need to go back in pretty soon. A severe thunderstorm blew one of my cattail pots off the shelf. Not bad, considering our trampoline ended blowing over our fence, over our shed, and into the alley.
     
    kirscp, Jul 11, 2008
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  3. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    Yeah.. I've already been in the water a few times. First time wasn't fun.. I tried to go in by myself, fiance was in the house. I put one foot in and it slid all the way to the bottom! I did a split (not wanting to) and pulled my quad muscle! Once there I tried to check on that drain. The crate has a big pot with plant on it but it wasn't staying put. Anyway, I tried to crawl back out and couldn't! I was stuck in the pond! I tried calling out to my Finace but she didn't hear me! With my pulled quad it hurt so much trying to get out. After about 20 minutes.. I basically crawled out on my belly. FUNNY... but not at the time.. heh. Anyway, I slid back in the second time on by butt and added some patio blocks to hold down the milk crate that was over the inlet. I guess if the air doesn't work, I'll need to get back down there and see what I can fee.

    The water isn't clear by any means. It's been fairly hot and there's a lot of algae. Since the pumps not pulling much water now.. nothing's getting filtered like it should...

    We'll see how things go..

    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Jul 11, 2008
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  4. Dawson9a

    boogies1952

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    It may not be an easy fix....but a large skimmer before the pump makes clean out a snap...you may need a pond contractor to figure out size and mechanics...how and where to install...but it may be money well spent
     
    boogies1952, Jul 11, 2008
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  5. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    O.k.. Here are some pics I found. The first two were when I first bought the house.. the rest were after... the pics with the closeup of the sandfilter is when I left the water on a bit too long in the winter and busted some pipes.. oops! Bottom pic is pretty much what the water looks like now and basically the waterfall is a trickle of water..

    Dave
     

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    Dawson9a, Jul 11, 2008
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  6. Dawson9a

    kirscp

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    Is there some type of pre-filter before the pump?

    Something may have gotten sucked into the pump and is restricting the outflow? I had this happen to one of my old pumps a few times. A week would get caught just enough to prevent some flow.

    The easiest thing to do is just start to eliminate possibilities.

    It is either something with the intake, pump, or filters.

    If you can bypass the filters and pump straight back into the pond, you may be able to tell if it indeed the filter. If there is still restriction you can take the pump apart and give it a good cleaning. If that isn't it, you know there is an issue with the intake. From the sounds, you have already tried the intake and filter, so the pump may be it.
     
    kirscp, Jul 12, 2008
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  7. Dawson9a

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    if you do have a restriction in the intake,,try the snake ..you need to push it back out...water and air will just go around the clog .
     
    DrCase, Jul 15, 2008
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  8. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    Hey guys..
    Well here's the latest. I ended up putting my air compressor on the pump and found out I have to bottom drains! I spoke with the previous owner (who also built the pond) and he said that I need to get wet and clear those drains! So that's what I'll be doing this weekend. The air was coming out pretty well on the one drain, but not as much on the other drain. Not sure if there is anything else IN the drains.. but the air came through fairly decent. I'm guessing it's just muck and such blocking the drain. I'll have to check the other drain cover (milk crate) to see if it has anything going around it like the other one.

    I also figured out where the line that goes into the ground goes. It also feeds the waterfall and comes up below the lava rocks. I put air to that as well and the lava rock water started bubbling. Not sure how much muck and such is there, may need to replace that as well. I'd also like to replace the sand in the sand filter at some point, but that'll be a bigger job than I care to take on right now. But still needs to be done.

    Anyway, I also took some new pics with my new camera so I'll be getting those up shortly!

    Thanks again.. if anyone has any input on how best to clear the drains and keep them clear, I'm all ears! Also, would like to know the best/cheapest place to get bio beads (and an idea on how much they will be) to replace the sand in the sand filter...

    That's about it for now..

    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Jul 16, 2008
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  9. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    Well here's the latest!
    I went into the pond yesterday and discovered the reason for my lack of water to the pump. On the one drain, the crate that was covering it was FULL of roots and debris from the plant that is mounted on the crate. The crate has a pot mounted to one side where one of the pond plants is growing. I guess the roots shot out the bottom and filled up the crate. I pulled out as much as I could and put he crate back down over that drain. I then went over to the other drain and discovered that the patio blocks I had placed on it, demolished the crate! The crate was basically crushed and covering the drain. There's not much I can do to fix it and I basically pulled it apart as best as I could and put it back somewhat over the drain. I am now going to get two NEW crates and put some 1/4" wire mesh over them WITHOUT any plant containers attached and put them over the drains with just one patio block to hold them down. If anyone has any other suggestion on how best to cover these drains, please let me know!

    So.. that was the good news! I went back and primed the pump and BAM!!! ALL the pressure and water I was missing was back!! Water was flowing like a champ! NOW the bad news! The line that has the UV filter burst apart from the pressure! Ugh! I turned everything off and went to disconnect that line so that I could dry it and put some PVC glue on the green Tetra Pond tube. Well I get things apart and oops... accidentally cracked the quartz glass sleeve! DAMN! Now I gotta spend more money to replace that! Anyway, I found a decent price for that online and ordered that today. So at least I'm heading in the right direction... eh? :)

    I think once I get those drain covers in the pond, the UV filter back (It's 36 watt UV filter) and the water regulated better to that filter, replace the Matala filter pads and put in new Lava rock in the waterfall.. and maybe some new sand in the sand filter... I should be good to go!!!!


    I'll keep everyone updated on how things go!

    Thanks again!
    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Jul 21, 2008
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  10. Dawson9a

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Gee, aren't bottom drains and UV's wonderfull?
     
    DrDave, Jul 29, 2008
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  11. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    Hey Guys!
    Here's another update. I think I'm back in business!! On Saturday, we replaced the filter media in the water fall with new Matala sheets.. one blue and one green. And added two new bags of lava rock. We cleaned the sponges in the other filter and check the sand. We were going to replace the sand with some pea pebbles.. but decided to keep the sand for now and give it nice "High pressure" back wash. I ended up going back in the pond and placed the new crates over the drains with one patio block holding them down. I got rid of an overgrown plant and rearranged the plants in the pond. It looks a LOT cleaner now with that one big plant gone. I was going to trim it down and put it back down.. but the roots had grown half way back up the plant that we decided not to. Anyway, went back and replaced the quartz sleeve to my 36 watt UV filter and that all worked out! I had to glue the filter back together.. twice! The first time I glued things with the openings on the SAME side! Duh! Then had to break that glue apart and turn things around and re-glue. Sheesh. Anyway.. I'm back in business! Got a NICE flow of water coming down my water fall now, the UV filter is holding.. the sand filter got a major backwash and rinse! (It looked like someone had opened a fire hydrant!) Everything is running and working as it should.. finally.


    NOW another issue.. what would be the best way to get rid of the green water that's been sitting for about 2-3 weeks? I imagine the filters will do there thing eventually. So... should I wait for that to get things clear or should I give it some help and add some bacteria or whatever? The previous owner recommends Microbe-Lift PL.. I also remember using Pond Zyme as well. So.. now that I'm back to being functional... I guess I now need help in how best to get things clear! I know this has already been covered and I will try and go back and read old posts, etc. But now that I have your attention.. feel free to let me know what might work best for me in my particular situation.

    Thanks again for all the help!!

    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Jul 29, 2008
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  12. Dawson9a

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Media filters do not remove green water! Bio filters do. Look at all the posts of mine and DrCase. you will find pictures, theory of operation and several testimonials.
    The anerobic bacteria feed on nitrates, nitrites and the algae.
     
    DrDave, Jul 30, 2008
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  13. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    Ok.. given my current set up... what's the best way to implement a bio filter?
    But the bio beads in the sand filter? Replace my lava rock that sits in the water fall over two Matala filters with bio bead/balls? Something else?

    I'm all ears!

    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Aug 5, 2008
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  14. Dawson9a

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    The best way to answer this is to repeat what I stated in my previous post. Go to both mine and DrCases posts and look at the photos, that will give you construction techniques. I use mine as the head of one of my waterfalls and DrCase has his as a seperate, remote filter.
    The key to thier success is the the distance the water has to travel up through the media. That gives the anerobic bacteria plenty of time to strip the nitrates, nitrites and allow gravity to let the now dead algae to fall into the bottom chamber.
     
    DrDave, Aug 6, 2008
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  15. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    I checked out a lot of previous posts but didn't find what I was looking for nor any details that I need.

    Thanks anyway.. I'll try the other boards..
     
    Dawson9a, Aug 6, 2008
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  16. Dawson9a

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Did you use the search feature for "Bio Filter"? Both of us have posted this several times.
     
    DrDave, Aug 6, 2008
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  17. Dawson9a

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    DrDave, Aug 6, 2008
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  18. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    I saw that post..

    Let me repeat what I said...
    I checked out a lot of previous posts but didn't find what I was looking for nor any details that I need.


    I understand the need for a bio filter.. but I need to have that applied to my existing setup if possible. So.. let me try and explain what I have again and perhaps someone can let me know where BEST to apply a Bio Filter.

    My pond is approx. 29' x 18' x 3' at it's longest, widest, deepest points. It has two bottom drains that go to a Y joint that comes up to a Hayward Super Pump (not sure of the HP. .but it's a Energy Efficient pump). From there it gets split off.. one way to a Biotech 10 filter with the 6 sponges and then to the waterfall. another way goes to the Hayward Sand Filter and then back to a line that goes to the waterfall and the third way off the pump goes to a line that is split from the line coming out of the sand filter. I have two paths to the waterfall. One from underneath going through two Matala filter pads (Blue and Green) and two bags of lava rock. The other path to the waterfall is a pipe that lets out above the water line from the Biotech 10 filter. So that's basically it. The distance from the drains to the pump is about 20' or so.. the distance from the filters to the waterfall is about 10'.

    So.. given that setup.. would it be best for my situation to put bio beads/balls in the sand filter or to replace the lava rock in the waterfall? Oh.. forgot to mention I have a 36 watt UV filter right before the Biotech 10 sponge filter.

    Thanks for any and all advice!
    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Aug 6, 2008
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  19. Dawson9a

    boogies1952

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    Replace the lava rock with Bio Balls and a high quality "benificial Bacteria" ...clean your falls and rocks with Eco Blast or similar oxegenator to kill off larger quantities of algae and let the bio system build up capacity...soon...clear water....maintain weekly
     
    boogies1952, Aug 6, 2008
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  20. Dawson9a

    Dawson9a

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    Thanks for the response. Sounds a lot easier than removing the sand and putting the bio balls in there!

    I can get two media bags and bio balls and put them in the waterfall over the two Matal filters. Will I need anything to help weigh the bags down or are the balls sufficient enough to stay down on their own? Do I need to concern myself with the amount of water coming out of the waterfall? Will the bacteria still work in running water?

    Also, how would this be best maintained weekly?

    Dave
     
    Dawson9a, Aug 6, 2008
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