UV filter question


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I am a real novice here and know very little about my pond that we Inherited when we moved into our new house. On another thread I posted about our tragedy of all of our beautiful fish dying after having the pond pressure cleaned. Since then - 2weeks ago- we've had the pond completely drained again, new water and after a day or so 6 small koi. The UV filter has been off the entire time we've been struggling with getting the water balanced but we've been feeling like we are getting there. My pond is about 1000 gallons, has a waterfall, water lily, iris and one other water plant that I have no clue what it is but I've been told that it's good. I'm in South Florida so summer is lots of heat and rain. We have decent tree cover but the fish do stay in their den under the lilies all day till about twilight. Now that we have the water pretty good they are out at night looking like they're having fun. Been feeding small amounts - the biggest fish is maybe 10/12", the smallest about 4 - and we getting green algae on the rocks and waterfall again as well as String algae on the Waterfall. The pond people, who cleaned the pond and managed to kill my original fish, have me adding bacteria everyday, very small amount. However last night we did a test strip which said nitrates were high and the water did feel warmer. My question is when do we turn the UV filter back on and can I put too much bacteria in? The pH level did change - lower. - small amount but ammonia is 0. Thanks for your help!
 
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Lets start with adding bacteria. You are wasting your time (and money). The only reason you would need to add bacteria to your pond would be if everything in it (including the water) was somehow boiled and sterilized upon initial setup, and since you have the some (living) plants in there that couldn't possibly be the case. Also, there is probably more living viable nitrifying bacteria in a tablespoon of fresh garden soil or a 1/4 cup of urine then there is in any product you can buy off the shelf in a pond store. Point being ... You don't need to add store bought "bacteria", there is already more then enough in your pond, and if for some reason you ever did need to inoculate your pond with bacteria (highly unlikely), you could just pee in your pond or add a little garden soil. Even if you didn't do anything at all, more than enough bacteria will find it's way into your pond naturally. If you really want to kick start your bacteria colony what is more useful to add is the nutrient they consume >>>> Ammonia. But since you already have fish in there I don't recommend adding that now.

Next: What do you mean by getting the water balanced? And how do you know when you've achieved that balance?

Finally: The only reason you might want to have the UV light on is if you have green (free floating algae) water and you want to clear it up.
 

crsublette

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My question is when do we turn the UV filter back on and can I put too much bacteria in?
@LorraineT , you really only need to have your UV device turned on if you think you have that "green water" (floating algae)... You do not have to have it on 24/7, every day during Summer...

...if your UV filter is being properly maintained and installed correctly, should only take about 4~7 days to clear up "green water"... and then just turn it off...


Main impact from "too much bacteria" is that it can drain your pond's oxygen... which is not good for the fish... just stick to the instructions..


Also, always good to increase your pond's water circulation as well... Waterfall and spitters are generally not enough... you also should have something that moves the water around in the pond...
 
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@LorraineT , you really only need to have your UV device turned on if you think you have that "green water" (floating algae)... You do not have to have it on 24/7, every day during Summer...

...if your UV filter is being properly maintained and installed correctly, should only take about 4~7 days to clear up "green water"... and then just turn it off...


Main impact from "too much bacteria" is that it can drain your pond's oxygen... which is not good for the fish... just stick to the instructions..


Also, always good to increase your pond's water circulation as well... Waterfall and spitters are generally not enough... you also should have something that moves the water around in the pond...
Thanks. The owner of the company that cleaned the pond and killed my fish has been telling me to add the bacteria and leave the filter off. He keeps saying we want the pond 'green'. We are getting green algae on the rocks and waterfall. The water itself is not green but it's not clear and I can't understand why I'm supposed to keep putting bacteria when it doesn't look clear! The previous owners of this house/pond had the UV filter running 24/7 - I do live in South Florida so could weather be a factor? BEFORE we did this disastrous cleaning the pond water was clear but there was lots of black slime all over the waterfall and the pond bottom was just brown - we couldn't see the rocks or anything (it's only about 2 ft. deep in the center). The black slime is what prompted the cleaning to begin with. We have a small fountain head as well as 2 waterfalls circulating the water so not sure if we would need additional circulation. The pond is about 10 ft. x 8 ft. more or less.
 
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Lets start with adding bacteria. You are wasting your time (and money). The only reason you would need to add bacteria to your pond would be if everything in it (including the water) was somehow boiled and sterilized upon initial setup, and since you have the some (living) plants in there that couldn't possibly be the case. Also, there is probably more living viable nitrifying bacteria in a tablespoon of fresh garden soil or a 1/4 cup of urine then there is in any product you can buy off the shelf in a pond store. Point being ... You don't need to add store bought "bacteria", there is already more then enough in your pond, and if for some reason you ever did need to inoculate your pond with bacteria (highly unlikely), you could just pee in your pond or add a little garden soil. Even if you didn't do anything at all, more than enough bacteria will find it's way into your pond naturally. If you really want to kick start your bacteria colony what is more useful to add is the nutrient they consume >>>> Ammonia. But since you already have fish in there I don't recommend adding that now.

Next: What do you mean by getting the water balanced? And how do you know when you've achieved that balance?

Finally: The only reason you might want to have the UV light on is if you have green (free floating algae) water and you want to clear it up.
We had really high ammonia for a few days and erratic Ph so we were trying to get that under control so our new fish would survive the first few days. We don't have any free floating algae but the rocks and waterfall are getting green. The water just isn't very clear - particularly at night when we are watching the fish so that's why I was thinking we would want to turn the UV filter back on. The previous owners had it running 24/7.
 

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UV filters are kinda tricky as yes they do kill alot of algae and other things that could be unwanted but at the same time it could just be a patience issue of giving the biofilters time to get going and a uv filter will not help them in any way in my experience I only add UV after several months of the bio system falling a little short.
 
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I run my UV all the time.

I don't think I'd be taking advice from the people who originally killed your fish, doing the cleaning.

I live in Cincinnati, have a big water fall, two return lines splashing onto the pond's surface AND run an aerator...in this heat, no such thing as too much aeration . I also have two shade sails over my pond for shade and lilies covering a portion of the pond's surface.
 

crsublette

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He keeps saying we want the pond 'green'.
There is much truth to this...

A "green" pond is a "living" pond and everything living needs sustenance. Fortunately, this sustenance acts as a healthy filtration for your pond....

...but then... we come back to what type of "pretty" do you want from your pond...

A "green" pond is quite pretty in the eyes of the Nature-ists... which I agree it is nice..


We are getting green algae on the rocks and waterfall.
That is very good. Share some pictures!!!

When I have a chance here in a moment, will share with ya some pictures from my phone of what I do to harvest my string algae and use it as a filter. Very simple.



The water itself is not green but it's not clear and I can't understand why I'm supposed to keep putting bacteria when it doesn't look clear!
Takes time... but... Not all bacteria products are created equal... So I also agree with @Mucky_Waters about bacteria products...

The only bacteria product I trust is the one by Fritz Zyme (http://www.fritzzyme.com/). They also have a commercial division that sells their product to aquaculture farms.


If after a month... and you do not notice a difference with your bacteria product... then stop using it cause it is doing nothing for you...


These bacteria products actually do work... except different manufacturers mean different results... A derivative of this is what is used to help clean septic systems...

The bacteria should consume the floating particulates in the water to make the water "gin clear" again...


...However, as I said before... the more bacteria in your pond, the more oxygen they take away from your fish... This is why water circulation is so important...



The previous owners of this house/pond had the UV filter running 24/7 - I do live in South Florida so could weather be a factor?
I doubt South Florida is the determining variable... "Green water" algae, or any algae, actually does not need much sun light at all... Algae is like lettuce, except for the risk of getting sun burned. ;) Algae actually likes shade.

Excess nutrients is the bigger drive.... and for beginners... along with plants not actively growing... feeding the fish too much food is one big cause of excess nutrients... Fish are not like dogs or cats... Fish will eat snails, algae, blood worms, mosquito larvae, other fish eggs, etc, no matter the size of the pond.. However, fish do reproduce like crazy so, if you have more food competition, then you will need to feed more... "How much to feed fish?" is a tough question to answer...

Best indicator is watching algae growth (including "green water") ... if fast algae growth is occurring, then might need to reduce your fish feeding a bit...


BEFORE we did this disastrous cleaning the pond water was clear but there was lots of black slime all over the waterfall and the pond bottom was just brown - we couldn't see the rocks or anything (it's only about 2 ft. deep in the center). The black slime is what prompted the cleaning to begin with.
A picture would be helpful. I am not familiar with Florida, but I know @Meyer Jordan is... Maybe what you are observing is typical of the warm Florida weather? I have no idea.


We have a small fountain head as well as 2 waterfalls circulating the water so not sure if we would need additional circulation. The pond is about 10 ft. x 8 ft. more or less.
...and your pond is 1,000 gallons... correct?

At very least the water needs to recirculate 2 times per hour (in otherwords at least a 2,500 gph water pump)... I know others would likely say slower...
 
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crsublette

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When I have a chance here in a moment, will share with ya some pictures from my phone of what I do to harvest my string algae and use it as a filter. Very simple.
In the NCM_0016 picture below, I simply took 1.5 inch sch20 pvc and inserted a toilet brush into it. I drilled a hole in the pipe where the hole in the brush is and then used a bolt/nute to secure the toilet brush to the pipe...

I use this to very easily scoop out string algae...

...then... in the second picture (NCM_0011), I place the string algae around one of my fountains... This allows the string algae to continue act as a filter..

Once the ring around this fountain is filled with algae... I remove the algae from the ring and start over... any new string algae from outside the ring (from either my pond or stream) gets placed back into the ring...

Important to eventually toss out string algae since this is removing nutrients out of the pond water.

String algae is incredibly easy to scoop out if you let it grow about 1 foot in length...


One of these days I will document the stages my pond experiences through out the year... but my camera phone sucks and I am too cheap to spend money on an actual camera.. :D ... I think I might...
 

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