Pond water is green, but levels are OK?


Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
47
Location
Chico, CA
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
This may just be a "new pond syndrome" issue, but wanted to check in here with the pond brain trust in case I'm doing something wrong. My pond is almost 3 weeks old and has what looks like single-celled algae aka pea soup. It's not totally opaque, but visibility is down to 1.5 feet or so. I just got a pond test kit and it looks like my levels are OK:

DateTimepHNO2-NO3-PONH4
7/3/20203:00 PM8.50000.25
7/9/202012:00 PM80000

The pH is high, but my tap water is very alkaline. The plants seem to be doing well especially the water hyacinth and water lettuce. I also have some hornwort, rotala, and anachris that is thriving. The pond is in the sun almost all day, and the high temperatures are in the 100F range. I have a variable speed pump running at 1700GPH right now and the pond is about 600 gallons. Any help is appreciated!

20200709_125343.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
47
Location
Chico, CA
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
Good to know, thanks! As the plants take over, the pH and NH4 both seem to be improving so perhaps I shouldn't worry about it?
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
34
Reaction score
38
Location
Waco, TX
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
8a/b
Country
United States
I don't chase ph in my water (meaning I don't try to control it). I believe in finding plants or livestock that can adapt to what I have. Luckily I have great water at home and it has not been a problem. I have less luck with the water at work for my planted aquarium in my office. Unless you have extreme water values, I think goldfish are one of the most adaptable fish out there. Yes, it will stabilize as your pond matures. Also, things like a heavy rain can temporarily change the values but that usually will also stabilize over time.
 

IPA

Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
686
Reaction score
412
Location
63b Chesapeake-Pamlico Lowlands and Tidal Marshes
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
United States
I recommend a KH test kit , I think API has a combo GH KH kit. You want KH around 150 and that is what buffers the pH. If KH is too low a pH crash can occur. It is safe to add 1 cup of baking soda per 1000 gallons of pond water on a regular basis but need to test KH to get an idea of how often. A lot of us use crushed oyster shells they sell for chicken scratch and don’t worry about baking soda or testing KH often.
Edit: pond is looking great. Don’t sweat pea soup, new pond syndrome, new pond owner syndrome. It’s actually beneficial to have it at this point; get more plants, etc and it’ll resolve the natural way.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
47
Location
Chico, CA
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
I recommend a KH test kit , I think API has a combo GH KH kit. You want KH around 150 and that is what buffers the pH. If KH is too low a pH crash can occur. It is safe to add 1 cup of baking soda per 1000 gallons of pond water on a regular basis but need to test KH to get an idea of how often. A lot of us use crushed oyster shells they sell for chicken scratch and don’t worry about baking soda or testing KH often.
Edit: pond is looking great. Don’t sweat pea soup, new pond syndrome, new pond owner syndrome. It’s actually beneficial to have it at this point; get more plants, etc and it’ll resolve the natural way.
Good info, ty! The plants are dividing pretty rapidly on the surface so I'm hoping that helps as they consume more nutrients and block out sunlight. I'm going to also try some impatiens and more creeping jenny along the edges with their roots in the water.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,253
Reaction score
6,279
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Your levels look OK. If you want to track it, just for fun: watch for the ammonia to start risIng (which it is), then the nitrites will start rising as the ammonia goes down, then nitrates will rise, while nitrites will go down. Your levels my not rise much above a detection level, depending on how many fish you have.

The important thing about pH is that it’s not so much about the actual number, but that it stays stable (no bigs ups or downs). You might want to add a test for KH to your testing. That’s a test that will let you know how well your water is buffered (protected from pH swings). It’s also a drop test, but is different in that you are titrating — a drop at a time. The higher your KH level, the better.

A lot of us don’t routinely test, but it’s great for when you first start out, and it’s vital if something happens to upset the pond’s balance, or if you’re having unexplained illness. After a while, you get to know your pond. I used to test once a week, but now only whenever I think about it. Dedicated koi people (not on this forum) are anal about testing. We’re more laid back here (y)
 

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,789
Reaction score
2,265
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Interesting thing about pH/KH/ GH. As said above, KH is what keeps the PH stable. Carbonate hardness (KH) will prevent low PH (PH crash). But Calcium hardness (part of GH) will prevent high PH. I use to have high ph. My concern was because the ammonia levels could creep up to .25 and with a high pH, this could become a problem for the fish. Once I increased the GH, my pH stays stable at 8.2-8.4.

GH is the calcium and magnesium required for fish bone and scale development, and trace elements such as iron and phosphorous that are needed for plant growth. The simplest way of raising the GH of water is with Calcium Chloride and Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate heptahydrate).
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
38,939
Reaction score
23,247
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I was only able to get our pond hardness up (our well water measures below 20 and ph of 5.4) and balance out the very low ph was running it for a year, fishless, with 100 plus pounds of crushed oyster shells. Put in the oyster shells for about 4 years, now all is stable and good. My ph sits around 7.6 or so.
 

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,253
Reaction score
6,279
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
@cas Thank you!!!

Our city’s source water runs with a pH of about 8.4 and I’ve never had a problem with swings. Yet, in the beginning, I had people tell me that my pH was too high and I was killing my fish (not on this forum, or I wouldn’t still be here). For a newbie (who forgot all of her high school and college chemistry), that scared the :poop: out of me!

I‘m still chemistry-challenged, but now I understand on a “Charlie Brown” level. Plus, my hubby has a major in chemistry and he is the best at explaining things and dumbing them down for me :unsure: It makes ponding so much more fun when you understand how all of these things work together....on a science level!! Well, even if you don’t understand at the molecular level, just knowing that there IS a relationship between everything that goes on in the pond helps it make sense.
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
321
Reaction score
162
Location
S.E. Vermont
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
That's going to be gorgeous when the water clears up (and it will, no worries). The plants are beautiful. It must have cost you a fortune to buy that many!
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
47
Location
Chico, CA
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
That's going to be gorgeous when the water clears up (and it will, no worries). The plants are beautiful. It must have cost you a fortune to buy that many!
It wasn't too much actually. The water lilies were the most expensive at $35 each, but the water lettuce, hyacinth, hornwort, and the terrestrial plants were pretty cheap. I bought just 3 small bundles each of the hyacinth and lettuce and it's dividing so fast it's going to take over soon. As long as the water keeps clearing, I plan to keep it at no more than 60% coverage.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
321
Reaction score
162
Location
S.E. Vermont
Hardiness Zone
5a
Country
United States
It wasn't too much actually. The water lilies were the most expensive at $35 each, but the water lettuce, hyacinth, hornwort, and the terrestrial plants were pretty cheap. I bought just 3 small bundles each of the hyacinth and lettuce and it's dividing so fast it's going to take over soon. As long as the water keeps clearing, I plan to keep it at no more than 60% coverage.
I really like water hyacinth. I love the way it looks, the vivid shiny green and lavender flowers, so "cool and calm". I might have some someday if I ever build a bigger pond. My little pond would not be big enough for it (it would be filled to the brim in a month).
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top