Still struggling to keep water clear

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

  1. hdavid44

    mario

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    I'll have to do a writeup of what I have and what all it's going thru, so you guys/gals can recommand appropriate GPH flow for my ~2200Gal pond.
     
    mario, Mar 31, 2012
    #41
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  2. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    The recommended flow rate is turning your pond over once an hour. So a pump of around 2200 gph, some do a pump that turns the pond over every half hour, some every two hours.
     
    addy1, Mar 31, 2012
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  3. hdavid44

    mario

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    I'm going to ask the wife how she likes the waterfall flow and see if I should keep about the same 3000GPH that I have now or go up/down from that point.
    I have 1.5" pipe running about 20', thru the TeraPond filter (model 2500), up 5' to the waterfall.
    I also have 2" pipe that I ran 'just in case'; I'm hoping not to have to redo my plumbing. The pump I have now is 1-1/4" and so is the filter. I'm hoping that I don't have that much parasitical loss to justify going to a larger pipe size.
     
    mario, Mar 31, 2012
    #43
  4. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Gentlemen (and you addy1): I am happy to report that my two ponds have clarified to the point where I can see the bottoms.

    Thanks for all the advice from this forum.

    I did not change the pumps -- I have not even started up the pump/bead filter/waterfall this spring out of laziness and ennui. I wanted to determine if the water could be clarified before investing anything else in these fish and ponds.

    What seems to have worked -- and improvements are still feasible -- is the activation of the bog. No pea gravel as yet, just bags of lava rocks taken from the two inactive waterfalls including the sponge mats at the bottom of each waterfall tank. I did use an initial dose of microbe lift but have not added any more in the past two weeks.

    I have a very small pump that feeds a steady flow of pond water into the bog in which all the above stuff sits. The bog overflows into the stream bed that runs from the inactive waterfall and back into the pond.

    Now if I can only find a decent pond vacuum to do some localized vacuuming of the pond and sides -- my PondVac is temperamental and dies just when I need it most. I will get that going and do some cleaning of the two ponds.

    The water in the two ponds is a bit brownish perhaps due to the oak leaves sitting in the bog all winter.

    Very pleased with everything so far -- all the fish survived and I look forward to some new fish babies especially from the koi. Previously babies would get sucked into the filter intake.

    Thanks for all the members who helped with advice. If any of you are near Bloomfield, CT come and visit. It is snowing this morning!!!

    harry
     
    hdavid44, Mar 31, 2012
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  5. hdavid44

    sissy sissy

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    remember as the weather gets warmer you need that filters bio load built up .Do not get to confident I did that 2 years in a row and did I pay dearly ,learned the hard way here ,the sooner the better
     
    sissy, Mar 31, 2012
    #45
  6. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Stuff your bog area with more filter material. Glad to hear your water is clearing up, nothing makes you happier than seeing the bottom!

    I know I mention my bog all the time, but my water is crystal clear from startup (well one day later after startup) to winter shut down. That sucker works well. I only turn over my water about every 2.5 hours, I do have two higher flow pumps coming from my arizona pond tear down, might stick one on and see how it does. Mainly more water over the bog water fall. But then again 2 times the electrical use, need to think it out lol.
     
    addy1, Mar 31, 2012
    #46
  7. hdavid44

    Waterbug

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    Good post. Different pumps for different needs.

    Also, when comparing pumps check the GPH vs head. For example, the often quoted Sequence is 6600 GPH is at 4' head, while the Laguna is 4200 GPH is at 0' head. Apples to apples to find the best value. (Laguna still moves more per watt.)
     
    Waterbug, Apr 1, 2012
    #47
  8. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Addy1, sissy, etc..

    Now that my water is much much clearer with the water flowing at relatively slow speed into the bog and across the lava rock, sponges etc., can someone please educate me on
    what will upset this balance?

    Obviously as temperature rises and I feed the fish more there will be more nitrites, poopy stuff etc.

    What determines the outer limits of the bog to convert organic matter into nitrogen?

    Is it the surface areas in the lava rock, sponges, pebbles, etc., that allow the microbes to latch on to and grow? So more is better?

    Or is it the rate of flow of water across these surfaces so that the microbes have a chance to do their chemical conversions of organic matter into nitrogen?

    I am thinking of replacing the very small submerged pump that feeds the bog with a more powerful one just in case I will need more "bog effectiveness".

    Not sure whether I should invest in more sponges/lave rock versus more nitrate absorbing plants -- lotus, lilies, water hyacinth, etc., -- or just more water flow rate?

    I am in a much better frame of mind now that the water is clearer.

    Debating whether to work on a more engineered bog design -- PVC piping with holes in the bog, etc... vortex/skippy filter, etc..

    I would love to just enjoy the pond and the fish without having to too extensive maintenance. A well designed system should be self supporting!!!!


    harry
     
    hdavid44, Apr 1, 2012
    #48
  9. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    The flow rate in my bog is around 4200 gph, it is a evolution series 4200, don't even notice it on the electric bill. The more filtration material you have, plants, mats, gravel, the better it will work. Mine is large, full of gravel and plants, ti works great. I don't do anything to have clear water except clean the leaf baskets off and on. I can tell when they need it by the water fall flow slowing down out of the bog.

    i do net the bottom off and on, maybe 2-3 times a summer.

    I can not really tell you how to keep a perfect balance, for your pond it will be tweaking if it becomes murky add more filtration material, plants, mats etc.
     
    addy1, Apr 2, 2012
    #49
  10. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    addy1, koiguy, sissy or anyone else with sagacity: I am back again!! After 6 weeks of clear water after I put all those lava rocks and other materials in my bog, I now find that the warmer weather and the fish feeding now causes the water to turn a bit less clear.

    I had considered a Skippy filter but cannot see how that will do anything my existing big bog is not doing. I wonder if the vortex effect of a skippy filter will make any difference?

    The only advantage of a skippy filter may be to make it easier to clean out the crud that now settles at the bottom of my bog. If the skippy is designed right it can sit beside the bog and overflow into the bog with a bottom drain to allow for easier cleaning.

    Are there other tricks I can use to make the bog more effective? More lava rocks and surface areas? Higher flow rates into and out of the bog??

    I though I was out of the woods with what I did two months ago. Now the problem is coming back and the 80 or so fish are not procreating.

    harry
     
    hdavid44, May 21, 2012
    #50
  11. hdavid44

    sissy sissy

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    over feeding is 1 reason water turns fast along with warmer temps and more sun .I feed my fish only 2 or 3 times a week and less waste and the fish will clean the pond more looking for food to eat .Less waste means a few less headaches .I know feeding is fun but clearer water is more fun .Do you have lots of plants in your bog and plants in the pond .I put purple fountain grass and strawberries and cream grass and a striped grass I can't remember the name of in my pond .I have 2 filters and 2 water falls and I just planted one of the grasses in my filter in a pot and it will help clean the filter water similar to a bog .I have lava rock in my filters but I hang bags of activated charcoal and crushed oyster shells and zeolite in there also ,it helps condition the water .
     
    sissy, May 21, 2012
    #51
  12. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    My fish get fed ever few days, when I remember, they do go around and nibble on all of the sides of the pond, the rocks, the pots, constantly eating.
     
    addy1, May 21, 2012
    #52
  13. hdavid44

    sissy sissy

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    They don't starve in the wild they won't starve in the pond and none of my fish looked starved just act starved
     
    sissy, May 21, 2012
    #53
  14. hdavid44

    Waterbug

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    Filter should match the cause. "Less clear" isn't specific enough to pick a filter.
     
    Waterbug, May 22, 2012
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  15. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Waterbug: Less clear means that I cannot see the fish below about 1 ft of water, when I could previously.

    Sissy: I will put them on a third world diet.

    koiguy: Tell me again the operating principle behind a skippy type filter? Given that I have an approx 1000 G bog into which I move water slowly and then out over a spillway back into my pond and the bog has lava rocks, filter material, and a few plants, do you think a Skippy filter will add anything?

    If I were to do something I would design something outside the bog so that the Skippy type filter could accumulate the gunk for easy flushing from the bottom, keeping the bog itself -- which has no bottom drain -- easier to remain free of organic solids.

    If I tried to design this -- and I have 55 G metal drums, which are harder to work with -- can you tell me again the basics of a design? I get that the water comes in at the top, flows down to a vortex arm at the bottom and as the water rises through the bacterial surfaces -- on it's way to the spillway or other egress -- it gives the bacteria a chance to do their work. Would the limited height of a 55G drum be sufficient to capture much of the solids to the bottom for easier back flushing?

    Or should I just get myself a better vacuum and vacuum the bottom of the bog?

    I have placed some water lilies in the bog and have a lotus and other stuff. May get water hyacinth as well although those do not survive the winters here.

    harry
     
    hdavid44, May 22, 2012
    #55
  16. hdavid44

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    You could do the settlement type of chamber, before your bog, let the large stuff settle out on the bottom where you can just open a valve and dump the muck. Or just vacuum the bottom of you bog off and on.
     
    addy1, May 22, 2012
    #56
  17. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    addy1: Yes that is what may be the next step. The 1000 G bog is itself a big settling tank for which failed to include a bottom drain. That may be the thing to do, failing which I can create a settling tank from 55 G drums with a Skippy type pipe going to the bottom and a filter material to keep solids in the bottom section while the water just spills over into the bog itself.

    On the other hand, I could make my Pondvac vacuum perform or get a better one!!!

    I have inserted several water lilies from another area into a 5 G bucket and placed that in the bog.

    harry
     
    hdavid44, May 22, 2012
    #57
  18. hdavid44

    Waterbug

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    Yeah, I kind of had a handle on what "clear" means. I was referring to the cause of "less clear". Like for instance if single cell algae is the cause a settling filter wouldn't fix the problem but a UV filter would. If dead suspended organic matter is the cause then the settling filter might work while the UV would have no effect.
     
    Waterbug, May 22, 2012
    #58
  19. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    Waterbug: How do I tell?

    I suspect it is caused by single cell algae as the suspended stuff seems to settle down well in the bog itself. This stuff is something that does not coagulate or settle.

    I have a glass bead filter with a big pump that I used to pump water up to a waterfall. Two problems: 1) it costs quite a bit -- I did the numbers once and 2) when I fired it up last month it failed to push water up to the waterfall itself that is about 6 ft above the pump. It could be that I attached the back flow valve incorrectly as the filter managed to backwash and to flush out water but refused to push it to the waterfall.

    I am trying to find a way to clear the water without having to use a UV light. Several posters here -- addy1, sissy etc., seem to be able to do this. So I must be feeding my fish too often or am not using enough surfaces for bacterial interaction.

    Other than UV light, what else will attach the single cell algae?? I have tried microbe lift but cannot tell if it was effective -- it could be that it would have been worse without it!!!

    Harry
     
    hdavid44, May 22, 2012
    #59
  20. hdavid44

    hdavid44

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    I got my waterfall pump to work -- I had forgotten to close the drain plug in the big Emerson pump -- and I have been running the waterfall pump with in-line UV sterilizer for the past 24 hours to good effect.

    I am now back to square one with my water clarity issue -- how to clarify algae driven cloudiness without having to run my Emerson waterfall pump all the time. This costs $6-7/day (110 Volts, 11 Amps @ 25 cents/kwh).

    I only run the waterfall to get the water through the UV sterilizer. If I could do this via some other mechanism I would.

    Since I have a bog with water slowly flowing from the pond to the bog via a small pump and 1" pipe, can I install an in-line UV sterilizer to the bog intake and get the necessary sterilizing effect?

    Can anyone advice on the relative merits of 8 watt vs 19 Watt vs 35 watt UV sterilizers? Am i better off with a higher power to be sure I have enough and just turn it on and off as necessary?

    Finally, can I re-plumb my 2" pipe UV sterilizer in-line with the big waterfall pump and put it to use with my 1" pipe taking water from pond to bog? That would be ideal, no additional water pumping and re-use the UV sterilizer I already have?

    For now I am just running the big waterfall pump and UV sterilizer to clarify the water . Been running for 48 hours and seems to be having an effect.

    Thanks in advance.

    harry
    Harry
     
    hdavid44, Jun 11, 2012
    #60
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