Pond Water Too Clear, Please Help

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by DeepWater, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. DeepWater

    DeepWater The Great Abyss

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    My pond's water is too clear, the visibility makes it look like the liner bottom is only an inch deep. When the pond was installed last fall, I think it went through a cycling phase, because for about a week it had a green cloudiness and 10" visibility, but that quickly and mysteriously went away and now the water is crystal clear. There are several dozen rosy red minnows, but no larger fish. My neighbor is supposed to give me a couple fancy goldfish later today. I think it's just under 10,000 gallons. I measured the total dissolved solids with a digital meter, it reads 48 ppm. Here are other readings with a test strip. Is the alkalinity too low?
    0 = Ammonia NH3/NH4
    0 = Nitrate NO3
    0 = Nitrite NO2
    75 = Hardness GH
    0 = Chlorine
    60 = Alkalinity KH
    6.8 pH

    There is a lot of total surface area with all the egg rock in the stream and boulders on the underwater and shelf edging. I don't think I can blame the 5'x12'x18" bog filter for being too good yet, because I haven't even filled it with plants yet. I stuck some bare roots and bulbs in last fall, but they need to grow first.

    Here's an example of how it's too clear. The bottom is 5.5 feet deep. If it wasn't for the screen house reflection, you couldn't even tell there's water in it:
    IMG_0010-20percent.jpg

    In the winter, under the ice, a good amount of dark green string algae grew on the waterfall and stream:
    2017-02-19-green string algae on waterfall.jpg

    After the ice melted, the green algae nearly disappeared:
    IMG_0014-20percent.jpg

    OK so what can I do about it? I'm thinking there are a few ideas:
    - increase the suspended particle count.
    - color the water with dye or tannin.
    - induce algae growth.

    Particles would just settle out. Scratch that. Dye would probably wash out with enough heavy rains, being that rainfall is channeled to run into the pond. Algae would be the best. Maybe I could dump in some ammonia? The fish load is probably negligible. Or I could gather up some bird poo? Miracle Grow! There's phosphorus in that stuff, right? How about iron pellets, I hear plants burst with green with an iron source. The neighbor's goldfish pond is solid green - 3 inch visibility (it's way overstocked). Maybe I could trade my pond water with his.
     
    DeepWater, Apr 1, 2017
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  2. DeepWater

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    umm people beg for clear water like that. Why do you want it murky?

    Give it some time, with fish in there, fish poo fertilizer, you will get some growth on the liner, it will hide the black look.
     
    addy1, Apr 1, 2017
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  3. DeepWater

    Tula

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    April Fools ???
     
    Tula, Apr 1, 2017
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  4. DeepWater

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Hey, Deepwater; I want my pond such that when I look at the water I can see my reflection in the fishes' eyes reflected back into mine and finally, back into theirs...oh, maybe Tula is right and this is all a dream for fools? Then again, if you really want some algae, I'm sure there are some on here that will mail you a boxfull for the cost of postage...addy? You have anything in the bog that might creep across Deepwater's pond and obscure all view of the fish?

    heh; I think Tula has a good eye here...
     
    brokensword, Apr 1, 2017
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  5. DeepWater

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    plenty, and I forgot it is 4/1!
     
    addy1, Apr 1, 2017
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  6. DeepWater

    Waterbug

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    Assuming not a prank...adding algae is not likely to help, nor would be adding nutrients. Possible, but unlikely. This is because you already have algae, the string algae or I prefer "macro algae". Green water algae or "micro algae" does battle with the macro. Micro tries to shade out macro and both produce chemicals to try and eliminate the other. Many, many plants wage this type of chemical and physical warfare. Could turn out all plants do and we just have studied them all enough. The chemical warfare has been known for a long time, grass doesn't grow under a black walnut tree, etc... But it's only been in the last 10 years that study in this area has picked up. And it seems everytime they study a plant species they find some kind of interesting chemical behavior.

    Norm Meck years ago showed in experiments that clear pond water at, least some of the time, contains something that kills micro algae virtually on contact. His theory is/was the chemical was produced by a bacteria. My theory is it's produced by macro algae. I was developing filters to clear a green pond, this was before UV filters were common, and had to grow algae to test. That's when I found what Norm had found, it's more complex than it might seem. When I found adding string algae cleared a pond overnight I switched filter design to use string algae. But when I tried to grow string algae it kept dying when I used water from a green pond. Frustrating and interesting.

    So if you wanted to grow micro algae i suggest killing the macro algae and doing some massive water changes and maybe give the micro algae the upper hand. Turning off the waterfall will help too because that gives macro algae an advantage.

    Dyes are fairly long lasting so that would be easier imo and more reliable.

    If it were me I'd drain the pond and mortar rock over the liner. Lots of people seem to prefer the look of liner and all the wrinkles, or maybe never have a clear pond. To me, kind of looks like a colonoscopy.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 1, 2017
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  7. DeepWater

    DeepWater The Great Abyss

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    Happy April Fools Day everyone! :sneaky:

    I may have just cursed my pond. :p

    Big ups go to Waterbug though, he actually gave meaning to my joking post. In fact, learning what causes and retains clear water might be part of the key to moving away from murky water... which is probably the most common forum post on here! (that and how to hide the liner)

    I did go over to my neighbor's pond today and picked out 3 beautiful fantails. I had 7 picked initially but did my best to only get males. When I brought them back home I transferred them from bucket to bucket to bucket of my pond's water, hoping not to introduce his pond's green water to my own.
     
    DeepWater, Apr 2, 2017
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  8. DeepWater

    Usman

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    that looks scary tho like an underwater grave and im gonna falll in it
     
    Usman, Apr 2, 2017
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  9. DeepWater

    Waterbug

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    Always happy to be a stooge. :)
     
    Waterbug, Apr 2, 2017
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  10. DeepWater

    peter hillman Let me think for minute....

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    Fished in! I once had a negative three ammonia reading.... -3!
     
    peter hillman, Apr 2, 2017
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  11. DeepWater

    budgenator

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    Glad you spilled the beans, I almost said something envious and inappropriate.
     
    budgenator, Apr 4, 2017
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