Unclear pond


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I've tried various pond vacs and different organic treatments... but unfortunately my pond isn't as clear as I would like.

Can anyone recommend a pond vac /treatment or alternative to solve this issue.

Thanks
 
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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Not trying to sabotage your question, but since this is your first post, could you give us some information about your pond? How big is it? How long has it been up and running? Do you have fish -- and if so, what kind and how many? What kind of filtration are you using? Are there a lot of trees that drop leaves into the pond? Do you have a bottom drain? And yes, as @tbendl mentioned, pictures would be helpful as well as your water test results.

Everyone's pond is different and it would be helpful if we knew what your expectations for a "clear pond" are.
 

MoonShadows

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animated-welcome-image-0044.gif


Information as @tbendl and @Mmathis asked is crucial to helping you. There are so many knowledgeable folks here who can guide you through this.
 
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I've tried various pond vacs and different organic treatments... but unfortunately my pond isn't as clear as I would like.

Can anyone recommend a pond vac /treatment or alternative to solve this issue.

Thanks


Thanks for coming back to me so quickly- what I mean by clear is that it would be nice to see how many fish are in it :)
The pond is green with many particles suspended in it.
It is an established pond I inherited that has been neglected. I am a complete novice so all guidance welcome.
It is approx. 8ft x 6ft x 3ft deep ish.
I have no idea how many fish as I can't see them - but at least 8-10 English Koi that I can see.
Half the pond is in full sun after 12pm.
I have tested Nitrates - all clear- what other test do you recommend?
Has a new Blagdon oversized filter which is constantly full of "gunk" which I keep cleaning out. Water is fed back in the pond via a fountain. I've added a filter box under the fountain and this is helping remove slime and more gunk.
Fish look healthy and happy and are active.
No bottom drain.
I have seen improvement since I used a pond vac to empty some old water as there was a lot of debris on the bottom, but I have a limited budget and the one I chose stopped working after 5 minutes ( after I read the reviews this was a common problem) so I sent it back what does anyone recommend as this certainly helped the water quality but I'm unsure which one to buy.
There are a few trees around and I have cleared some leaf debris when the vac was working!
Will do photos tomorrow.
Thanks Both :)
 
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Hi, welcome.

I picked up an Oase Pondvac on Ebay at a considerable bargain compared to the price of a new one. They are well made, and most have had very little use - a few hours a year. Mine was about 4 years old, but looked like new.

Pics would help diagnose the problem. How well is the pond planted?
 
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Thanks for coming back to me so quickly- what I mean by clear is that it would be nice to see how many fish are in it :)
The pond is green with many particles suspended in it.
It is an established pond I inherited that has been neglected. I am a complete novice so all guidance welcome.
It is approx. 8ft x 6ft x 3ft deep ish.
I have no idea how many fish as I can't see them - but at least 8-10 English Koi that I can see.
Half the pond is in full sun after 12pm.
I have tested Nitrates - all clear- what other test do you recommend?
Has a new Blagdon oversized filter which is constantly full of "gunk" which I keep cleaning out. Water is fed back in the pond via a fountain. I've added a filter box under the fountain and this is helping remove slime and more gunk.
Fish look healthy and happy and are active.
No bottom drain.
I have seen improvement since I used a pond vac to empty some old water as there was a lot of debris on the bottom, but I have a limited budget and the one I chose stopped working after 5 minutes ( after I read the reviews this was a common problem) so I sent it back what does anyone recommend as this certainly helped the water quality but I'm unsure which one to buy.
There are a few trees around and I have cleared some leaf debris when the vac was working!
Will do photos tomorrow.
Thanks Both :)
Hello and welcome! Not trying to sabotage your question, but since this is your first post, could you give us some information about your pond? How big is it? How long has it been up and running? Do you have fish -- and if so, what kind and how many? What kind of filtration are you using? Are there a lot of trees that drop leaves into the pond? Do you have a bottom drain? And yes, as @tbendl mentioned, pictures would be helpful as well as your water test results.

Everyone's pond is different and it would be helpful if we knew what your expectations for a "clear pond" are.
 
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Welcome pondlover17. Do you have any pictures? And have you tested your pond to see what might be causing the issue? How old is your pond and is it in full sun or shade?

Thanks for coming back to me so quickly- what I mean by clear is that it would be nice to see how many fish are in it :)
The pond is green with many particles suspended in it.
It is an established pond I inherited that has been neglected. I am a complete novice so all guidance welcome.
It is approx. 8ft x 6ft x 3ft deep ish.
I have no idea how many fish as I can't see them - but at least 8-10 English Koi that I can see.
Half the pond is in full sun after 12pm.
I have tested Nitrates - all clear- what other test do you recommend?
Has a new Blagdon oversized filter which is constantly full of "gunk" which I keep cleaning out. Water is fed back in the pond via a fountain. I've added a filter box under the fountain and this is helping remove slime and more gunk.
Fish look healthy and happy and are active.
No bottom drain.
I have seen improvement since I used a pond vac to empty some old water as there was a lot of debris on the bottom, but I have a limited budget and the one I chose stopped working after 5 minutes ( after I read the reviews this was a common problem) so I sent it back what does anyone recommend as this certainly helped the water quality but I'm unsure which one to buy.
There are a few trees around and I have cleared some leaf debris when the vac was working!
Will do photos tomorrow.
Thanks Both :)
 
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Po
Hi, welcome.

I picked up an Oase Pondvac on Ebay at a considerable bargain compared to the price of a new one. They are well made, and most have had very little use - a few hours a year. Mine was about 4 years old, but looked like new.

Pics would help diagnose the problem. How well is the pond planted?


Thanks for this - Ill take a look - the pond has water lilies, Iris and some weed- is that enough?
 
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Best photos I could take in the current light.
 

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For a 1000 gallon pond, it is very overstocked with 10 koi.
You can expect to have to clean your filters quite frequently until you reduce the number of fish.
What is the model number of the filter?
I recommend finding other homes for the koi and replacing them with perhaps 4 shubunkin goldfish.

Other important water parameters to check for are ammonia, KH, GH, nitrites, PH and water temperature.
 
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I would empty the pool and give it a good cleaning along with the filter. I would then get rid of the majority of the fish leaving no more than two. I would then add some plants and wait to see how the pond looks. If you continue to get green water I would add a UV light and call it a day.
 
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Thanks all..its a shame to give up on them they look so healthy....

Just measured and it's 11ft x 8ft x 3ft... is that still too small?
 

Meyer Jordan

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Thanks all..its a shame to give up on them they look so healthy....

Just measured and it's 11ft x 8ft x 3ft... is that still too small?

If you want to reduce the amount of 'gunk' then you must reduce the number of fish. You can add more water flow and greatly increase the biofiltration required to support this many Koi, but you will still have the same amount of 'gunk'.
 
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Hi pondlover, welcome to a fellow brit. The info above is all good advice. The guys on here are very experienced and helpful.
To help you out initially, I bought Crystal clear from ebay and it cleared the pond almost instantly. as you have a filter you must ensure you buy the black one not the red. Its about £15 , The green water is micro algae particles and the crystal clear makes them cling together, they are then caught in the filter. You will get some gunk floating but just scoop this out with a net. This will mean giving the filter a good clean afterwards, but at least you will have gotten rid of most of the floating micro algae , and you will be amazed at how clear the water goes and how fast. The algae will start to come back eventually due to the sunlight etc but at least this will get rid of the worst of it. All you do is mix the required amount of crystal in TAP water, not pond water, then pour it in the pond, it will cloud up at first but within an hour you will notice a massive difference. Let us know if this works and keep loving your pond. Oh and enjoy seeing your fish.
 

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Hi pondlover, welcome to a fellow brit. The info above is all good advice. The guys on here are very experienced and helpful.
To help you out initially, I bought Crystal clear from ebay and it cleared the pond almost instantly. as you have a filter you must ensure you buy the black one not the red. Its about £15 , The green water is micro algae particles and the crystal clear makes them cling together, they are then caught in the filter. You will get some gunk floating but just scoop this out with a net. This will mean giving the filter a good clean afterwards, but at least you will have gotten rid of most of the floating micro algae , and you will be amazed at how clear the water goes and how fast. The algae will start to come back eventually due to the sunlight etc but at least this will get rid of the worst of it. All you do is mix the required amount of crystal in TAP water, not pond water, then pour it in the pond, it will cloud up at first but within an hour you will notice a massive difference. Let us know if this works and keep loving your pond. Oh and enjoy seeing your fish.

Band Aid approach. Does not address the source of the problem.... fish waste.
 
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Mmathis

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Thanks all..its a shame to give up on them they look so healthy....

Just measured and it's 11ft x 8ft x 3ft... is that still too small?

Probably. There are "guidelines" that are designed to give you an idea of the ratio of koi/goldfish to number of gallons. Here is a link for a "fish calculator," that gives you roughly how many fish-inches for number of gallons. [Scroll down a tad and it also gives a link to a "pond volume calculator" so you can plug in your pond's measurements to see how many gallons it is]
http://www.your-garden-ponds-center.com/fish-load-calculator.html
There is also a "rule of thumb" about 1000 gallons for the first koi, then add so many gallons per koi thereafter. Keep in mind that fish grow [and multiply], so your pond is always in a state of flux.

This is what I think your problem is.....[and I'm NOT an expert]. I think you have too many fish and your filtration system [mechancical AND biological] is having a hard time keeping up. So, more than just not being able to SEE your fish, they could be under stresses that could eventually lead to serious illness.

"Unclear water" is a symptom (but isn't necessarily a bad thing), but the first step you need to take is to figure out WHY your water isn't clear in the first place!. To fix the symptom that the water isn't clear, you have to fix any underlying issues. In this hobby you will find an unlimited supply of opinions on how to take care of a pond -- many are not right or wrong.....just different. Keep in mind that every pond is different, to what works for one person or a hundred people, might NOT work for your particular situation.


This is my suggestion:
  1. Get a liquid test kit [API is what I use]. These can be found at most pet stores or you can order them online. Strips tend to not be as reliable.
  2. Test your water parameters [and keep a record of them, along with any interventions]: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, KH, GH.....
  3. Learn as much as you can about the nitrogen cycle http://www.michigankoi.com/Understanding-the-Nitrogen-Cycle-Koi-Pond-Water-Information-sc-280.html -- this is something every ponder needs to know, but in your case it will be helpful if you end up having to start over with a clean pond, clean filters, and fresh water. Your pond will have to go through the "cycling" process, which takes weeks.
  4. Rehome as many of your fish as possible!!!!! Smaller ponds can only handle a couple of koi, however, you might want to consider goldfish as an option.
  5. If possible, set up a temporary pond to hold your fish while you do the next few steps. I won't go into it here, but ask and we can help you through that process.
  6. Find a pool skimmer net [or something similar] and scoop as much of the crud as you can from the bottom of the pond.
  7. Pond vacs ARE great if you don't have a bottom drain. I have an Oase Pondovac that works great -- there is a major learning curve with it, so don't give up if it doesn't seem to work at first. BUT, do step #6 first. I didn't mention this when you first posted because I wanted to see the overall picture of what you were dealing with.
  8. If your water is treated in any way, you'll need to add a product to remove the chlorine and chloramines -- check with your water company to find what they treat with. Most folks with well water don't have to treat their water, but it is a good idea to test your "source" water [city or well] to check for pH, KH, and GH. This is your baseline!
  9. Clean your filters -- if you can clean them pond water, you can retain some of the biofilm that is your beneficial bacteria, but it that's not possible, refer to step #3.
  10. Sometimes you have to reasess your filtration system -- something else we can help you with later -- but right now let's get you started with testing your water, reducing your fish load [no, it's NEVER an easy step -- but short of building a larger pond.....] and netting the gunk from the bottom of the pond [worry about the vacuum later -- it's a luxury item, not a necessity]
Hope this isn't too long-winded, but most of all, hope it helps!
 
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