Still struggling to keep water clear

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by hdavid44, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    I have been with these two ponds and waterfalls for about 4 years. The koi and shrunken seem to do well but I have a hard time keeping the water clear. I have a waterfall which is not on all the time and which is fed through a pond glass bead filter and a UV light. I also run water from the bottom of the pond through a separate large holding container hoping to catch sediment and fish droppings.

    I do not run the waterfall and UV lights all the time because of the cost of electricity -- about $10/day.

    Looking for advice on whether marginal or other plants can do a decent job of clearing the pond. Perhaps some plants that can absorb nutrients and which the koi and other fish in the pond will eat so I can reduce the addition of koi food into the pond?

    I have a lotus plant and a water lily as well. I add new water hyacinth each year -- they freeze in the winter so I remove them. However, water hyacinths do not begin to grow until late May or June.

    I have tried bacterial agents, draining the ponds frequently but still not satisfied with water clarity.

    Any ideas? Perhaps I have fish overload?

    Harry
     
    hdavid44, Mar 17, 2012
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  2. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    How many fish? How big is your pond? Do you run anything all of the time ie 24/7 you need to cycle the water through filters all of the time to help keep it clear. There are some real low electric use pumps you could get.

    And welcome to our group!
    [​IMG]
     
    addy1, Mar 17, 2012
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  3. hdavid44

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forum
    How big is your pond ?
    What kind of pump ? 10$ a day hurts
    How many fish ?
     
    DrCase, Mar 17, 2012
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  4. hdavid44

    baeya

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    Welcome to the forum! I had my pond for over 10 years and never had clear water until I found this forum and was introduced to the Skippy Filter! My pond was crystal clear within 4 days! Just started up the skippy a couple days ago after being off all Winter and the water is looking great already!
     
    baeya, Mar 17, 2012
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  5. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Thanks for such prompt replies!!!

    Baeya: What is a skippy filter? I will look it up today.

    The pond filter which is equipped with a UV light uses an Emerson 3/4 hp pump (Model 1081 and uses 5.5 Amp I believe. 5.5 A times 110 V = 605 W times 24 hrs/day = 14.5 kWh times .25 c/kwh = $3.6/day times 30 = $108/month if left on all the time). I could cycle it to several hours/day).

    The pond has about 100 fish -- about 25 koi and the rest are shubunken and comets. The comets have bred in past years but the koi have never done so. Some comet babies tend to get sucked into the filter intake and unless freed soon tend to die of exhaustion.

    Pond area is about 20 ft by 20 ft elliptical, about 400 sq ft and about 2.0 ft deep on average, 800 cu ft. That would be about 6,000 G. There is a second interconnected pond which is about 150 cu ft or 1125 G.

    Does this suggest too much fish load?

    In the summer I buy water hyacinth's which don't really start multiplying until August!!! and which do not survive the winter when I use them for plant fertilizer.

    I have an above ground "bog" that is about 400 cu ft capacity (3000 G) into which I run water continuously from the bottom of the bigger pond and which overflows back into the larger pond after following a meandering stream bed . The pond pump takes its intake from the bigger pond via a mesh protected drum intake and which pumps out water through a waterfall back into the stream bed above. I suppose a picture would clarify.

    I suppose I should a) replace the Emerson pump with something more efficient or B) reduce fish load or c) add more plants or bacterial agents.

    Surprise is that this week is the first week with 50F temperatures and the water is already turning green. Today I noticed clumps of bubbly like foam on top of the larger pond together with some green algae looking material. Could the bubbles be fish eggs?

    I would like to find a natural balance between the two ponds and the big bog so that I don't have to run the pond pump and waterfall except for visual effects and to have the water stay clear w/o too much intervention!!

    I will look into the Skippy today. I suppose that will replace my pond pump or may fit in line with it? In which case it will require pump activation anyway.

    I failed to insist on a bottom drain and the one pond vacuum I bought seems to give up just when I need to use it!!!

    Harry
     
    hdavid44, Mar 17, 2012
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  6. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    I have looked up the Skippy filter. After suffering his folksy style of explanation I got the idea. I have a question.

    Last summer I built a huge "bog" pond above ground. Capacity is about 3,000 gallons. I pump water from the bottom of the pond into this and let it overflow back into the stream bed and back into the pond. If I build a Skippy Filter in this bog or redesign the bog to be a Skippy filter I may get some results.

    Any comments or thoughts? I could add biological material to the bog and insert a vortex and some sponge material etc to let the water run over the bacteria for a longer time period.

    harry
     
    hdavid44, Mar 17, 2012
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  7. hdavid44

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    koiguy1969, Mar 17, 2012
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  8. hdavid44

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] David
    [​IMG]
     
    j.w, Mar 17, 2012
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  9. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    How is your bog plumbed? Mine keeps my water perfectly clear, no koi, but tons of fish and more on the way. Maybe 150-200 goldfish/shubunkins, also frogs, tads, bugs, snails. My bog is plumbed so the water is pumped into pvc that runs under the pea gravel, the water then flows up through the pea gravel, through plants and waterfalls back into the pond. My pump is 4200 gph, evolution series, it takes care of my pond which is around 10k gallons. It draws very little electricity, it is 1/8 of a horse power. I have no other filtration going on and no uv light.

    I don't have a bottom drain, just now and then over summer net the bottom of any muck that has built up.
     
    addy1, Mar 17, 2012
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  10. hdavid44

    taherrmann4 Tmann

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    Harry you need to get yourself a more efficient pump. I don't even notice my pump on my electric bill, it is an external sequence pump 7200. I run it 24/7 to feed my two creeks and the waterfall. It would pay for itself in a short amount of time.
     
    taherrmann4, Mar 18, 2012
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  11. hdavid44

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    sounds like a sump pump....not meant to run long periods. $10.00 a day is outrageous...yeah..time for a new pump....did you actually get a $300.00/ monthly bill from it?
     
    koiguy1969, Mar 18, 2012
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  12. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Doesn't anyone on this forum control the flow of Addy1's postings??!! I woke up at 7:00 AM and thought I should look up her early posting history -- here I am over two hours later!!! Addy1: You did a great job on your site. I suppose you now need to buy another property so you can do it again.... If you do you could upgrade to addy2 so no one suspects it is you again.

    I have drawn the following conclusions from the responses to my initial postings yesterday. (Thanks to Baeya, koiguy1969, Dr. CAse, j.w, tahermann4). Please shoot down erroneous conclusions....

    1. The pumps may be overkill and hence more expensive to operate. They do a great job pushing water through the waterfall and I will retain them just for that.
    2. My real issue is with getting the water clear. Baeya's suggestion of a Skippy filter got me very interested because of the results and koiguy1969 posted some great how-to pics which I shall look at more closely.
    3. I am leaning towards making the huge -- a relative term considering addy1's scale of things -- bog I put in last year, actually do a bog job. At present it is just a big above ground lined structure 10X5X1.6 ft = 80 cu feet which is about 600 gallons. Why construct a Skippy when I already have 600 gallons with water flowing through it?
    There is no plumbing in the bog at all, just one lotus and one water lily, I found a bull frog hibernating yesterday. I will check out addy1's (bog) plumbing . I have already taken the mesh mats from the waterfalls and placed them in the bog with the bag of lava rocks holding them down just to see what happens. I have had a small pump moving water from the lowest part of the bigger pond flowing into the bog and flowing out the opposite side and into a stream bed back to the bigger pond.
    I had it running all night and methinks I see further now!!! Will give it 3-5 days more.
    I could construct a grid of 2" PVC piping with holes in them facing down -- why face down when facing up may reduce clogging potential? I put the remaining half-gallon of the microbe lift into the bog and will get more if this shows potential.
    Do I really need pea gravel or would more spongy mesh plus some of the bacterial concentrate suffice?

    Barring some better advice from this forum I plan to:

    1. Get more bacterial agent to jump start the bacteria thing. Is this really necessary since the water has not been changed since last year?
    2. Further research bog designs -- perhaps a higher rpm pump, some plumbing in the bog and perhaps some pea gravel or more lava rock/sponges....

    I have struggled with this water clarity issue for some time and don't want to invest more on plantings unless I can address this issue in a way that is low maintenance.

    Thanks for all who took the time to comment here.

    Harry

    PS> Addy1 -- I have several 15-20 inch koi's for 3-4 years now yet they have not begun to procreate? The shubunkens and comets have proliferated nicely. Do koi become gay when they cannot see each other in the murky water?
     
    hdavid44, Mar 18, 2012
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  13. hdavid44

    sissy sissy

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    Do you feed them a lot because that could cause problems with your water also .I only feed mine 3 times a week and 2 of my koi are over 2 feet long .Have you tested your water .You can check out pond pumps online at the compare sight and a lot of them tell you the ratings on durability also .I always buy the extended warranty also ,it is worth the piece of mind
     
    sissy, Mar 18, 2012
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  14. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Sissy: I have fed them about twice this season since temperatures only just began to hit the 50's. Yet the water turned green this week!!

    All last year I fed them once or twice a day in very small amounts -- they hardly get 2 minutes of feeding.

    I have not checked water chemistry for some time -- I have been too focused on getting clarity and the fish are thriving, having lost none over the winter.

    As for pumps, I think I can look into more efficient pumps once I get a handle on water clarity. I suspect it is not the pump efficiency -- although I am sure that running the filter all the time with the UV light on and the waterfall flowing across 30 feet of stream bed will improve oxygenation.

    I use aerators all year round to keep an opening in the ice in winter and to increase dissolved oxygen in the summer. I have not lost any fish for some time.

    I will await the effects of running the bog with the microbe lifter stuff I inserted yesterday. The 600 gallon bog should be much more effective -- I just built the enclosure and did not do any plumbing.

    I am debating in my mind -- and welcome comments -- as to whether or not it is necessary to do much plumbing. Water is pumped in to the bog from the pond at a relatively slow rate and the water has to travel all the way across the 10 feet length of the bog to the opposite end where it overflows into the stream bed and back to the pond.

    I will start getting PVC pipe with holes or some rain drain piping to force more water more evenly across the bog bottom...

    Harry
     
    hdavid44, Mar 18, 2012
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  15. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Laughing Harry, I will try not to post!

    If you point your holes down like I did, I would recommend putting a piece of liner below the piping to keep the constant water movement from potentially wearing your liner. If you are not putting in pea gravel point the holes up, if you just want the water to flow across the bog back into the pond, put plants, some filter media, lava rock in its way, spongy mesh stuff, cleaning pads etc. But make it so you can pull them out to rinse off now and then they will get mucky. Put tons of plants, bear root, lilies, iris, rush. My small ponds on the stream are full of plants that help filter the water. My bog is pea gravel with tons of plants.

    The main thing you want is to make the water work on its way back into the pond, it will go the path of least resistance. With just the two plants it is not really doing a job at cleaning the water for you, it is more like a mini pond with slow water flow.
    ,
    If you don't have a bottom drain in your bog area, every now and then net it out, you could probably get away with cleaning the bottom out good once or twice a season. I clean my small ponds bottoms once a year, they do collect a ton of muck.
     
    addy1, Mar 18, 2012
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  16. hdavid44

    sissy sissy

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    I start my fish off with all natural garlic in there food to help them feed better .I also net the bottom of waste 2 or 3 times a week .With bogs the more plants the better by what I see .I found out a lot about bogs from addy and also you tube seems to be a lot of them out there these days .I guess they not only look pretty but really work great if you have a lot of plants .
     
    sissy, Mar 18, 2012
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  17. hdavid44

    viggen

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    Any idea how much water your pump pushes? Like mentioned you might be able to find a pump that pushed similar water for less power. I tried to get specs on the pump you have but couldn't find anything on that specific model.....

    Sequence/Reeflo Dart moves 3000-3500 GPH at 5ft head & 150-200w
    Hammerhead if I recall does 4000-5000 gph 5-10ft head & 300-400w

    The performance pro pumps that came with my Advantage plug and play 1/3-63 pull around 440w at 6ft head & move around 6300 GPH
     
    viggen, Mar 18, 2012
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  18. hdavid44

    pecan

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    I have a 5500 GPH pump that runs 24/7 from March to December and have not noticed a raise in my electrical bill. There are good pumps that run off very little power nowadays. I think it is even more important to run your pump 24/7 with Koi. Like others said, more plants! The more plants you have in your bog, the more filtration. From what I have read a bog that is heavily planted and is 50 percent the surface size of the pond will keep water clean enough to swim in.
     
    pecan, Mar 18, 2012
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  19. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Our pond water has less ppm of particles then our drinking well water. I have and do swim with the fishes, they tickle when they nibble on you.' My bog is around 30% but seems to do a fine job of keeping all in great shape.
     
    addy1, Mar 18, 2012
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  20. hdavid44

    taherrmann4 Tmann

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    I have a sequence 7200RPM and it supplies both my creeks and waterfall nicely and soon to be bog as well.

    Addy how is a BD going to work in a bog? How are you keeping the drain from getting clogged with gravel, what kind of screen are you using? Then do you shut off the bog and just let it gravity drain or do you use a hose and force the stuff to the bottom and hopefully to the drain?
     
    taherrmann4, Mar 18, 2012
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