What went wrong


brandonsdad02

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Some info about my pond.
We built a pond last year, about 10x9x1.5. Eveything worked great last year, had crystal clear water all year. Have a 100 gal skippy for my filter. Had fish, lots of plants, and clear water. The only problem was that I wasn't thinking when I dug the pond and didn't make it deep enough. So I had to drain the pond and bring all the fish inside for the winter in a stock tank in my basement.

I decided I wasn't going to do that this year so around the second week in March we decided that we were going to make it bigger and deeper. Its now just over 3 feet deep, 14 feet long and 11 feet wide. Used the same skippy filter from last year, didn't do nothing with the filter media, just drained the water and that was it. I added a second stream with a new pump. Kept the falls coming off the skippy. Took about 4.5 hrs to fill the pond. Everything has been running fine, filter going, fish happy in the pond, got a few plants in it. Had some algae the first few weeks, but it seemed to settle down. The water was pretty clear, and then it got cloudy. Is this normal since its all new water or have I got a serious problem? I've add some barley straw extract and some bacteria to help jump start the pond.

It went from this
IMG_2687.jpg


IMG_2689.jpg


To this
IMG_2698.jpg


IMG_2699.jpg
 
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koiguy1969

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maybe its my computer but...
in the last pic it looks lke an alge bloom (greenish water). the one before it looks like tannins (brownish water)...as for tannins, theres tannins in barley extract. any chance you overtreated?
if its an alge bloom, you can wait it out or buy a U.V and never worry about green water again!!...activated carbon can help a great deal with tannins.. what color is the water? is there alot of particulates in suspension?
 

brandonsdad02

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I just put the barley stuff in last night and it was a 8oz bottle. I did the water in a clear glass thing and it is fairly clear. There does seem to be a lot of particles in the water.
 

DrCase

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Give it a little more time , It looks like a bloom to me also, we all have had too much sun and heat extra early this year
 

j.w

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I think algae also and the fish don't care but we like it clear. I would just wait it out for awhile. Kitty litter the 100% clay kind from wal-mart helps keep my pond clear. I put a mesh bag full of it under the falls and just leave it in there. You can also use some quilt batting and put it in a plastic laundry basket under the falls and it will collect all that green material. You then will have to hose off the batting as it gets dirty and keep doing that till the water is clear.
 
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My guess is there's a combination of things making the water cloudy. Certainly there's algae. Adding the barley and bacteria is not good imo.

Barley
There was an original study in the UK which did report barley slowing string algae (not green water) growth somewhat. Follow up studies in the US did not find barley had any effect on algae.

Since what you purchased was clear it was probably just plain water with a little bit of who knows what. There's certainly no kind of testing done on these products. A single barley straw in a swimming pool is barley extract. It's a very good business. Barley liquor was also tested in the studies, but that was rotting barley in a container of water and the result was a very dark fluid. That also showed slower growth by the same amount as the straw form, but not death. Follow up studies found no effect.

Bacteria
You already had plenty of bacteria in the pond, it's absolutely every where. Here's a gross but a good experiment anyone can do...I've worked on construction site where this "experiment" occurs often...if you pee in a toilet and leave it for a few days you will start to smell the ammonia as the urea breaks down. About a week or so later you'll start to see the bottom of the toilet has a brown coating. If you scrub the toilet the brown will come up almost like a sheet. The brown stuff is the bacteria that converts ammonia..billions of them. My point is that a perfectly clean toilet inside a house, supplied initially with chlorinated water, with the lid down will colonize with ammonia converting bacteria very fast. Same is true for all other bacteria species, it's just the ammonia bacteria is fast and easy to see so it makes a good demonstration. Buying and adding some doesn't speed anything up. The limiting factor is food, possibly water temp.

Adding organic matter...
Putting organic matter into the pond only adds to unclear water. Barley tannins was already pointed out. The bacteria added probably just fed another species of bacteria and that bacteria's waste could be adding to the cloudy water.

Most likely it's really just a combination of things. This is a whole new world for a bunch of different kinds of creatures, all eating stuff, converting stuff, other stuff eating that stuff...on and on. At some point there will be winners and losers. There are things you can do to give the bacteria you want to win an edge. Once they win they're likely to stay on top for years and years.

Fixes
UV filter will kill the green water algae, which will provide food to bacteria that kills and eats this algae. The algae produces chemicals to kill the bacteria. So the UV, by killing the algae, allows the algae killing bacteria to reproduce faster and start killing algae. Once they're established the algae have a really hard time coming back. They're always there, but the bacteria kill them so fast they don't get to the numbers needed to make green water.

Going back to why adding bacteria does no good...if you could add a bottle of the algae killing bacteria they would be killed by the chemical being produced by the algae.

Measuring and maintaining good KH helps bacteria. Another booster would be adding an air pump or a bigger pump to keep the water turning. Just like a compost pile, the more you mix the water the faster all the bacteria can work. This isn't a huge speed up normally, but if you wanted to.

You could dump the Skippy and make a Trickle Tower. 10 to 30 times more efficient. Or a Shower filter or a moving bed filter. The Skippy can be converted to any of these.
 

addy1

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When you turned off your filter any bacteria in it would have died off, so it just needs to get up and running again, the good bacteria will start to grow
 

brandonsdad02

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So its just a algae bloom? I have noticed today that it seems to be more cloudy but it could be because the sun wasn't out at all today. I got some Pond Balance from a good friend of mine who has a massive pond in her backyard. She had it professionaly installed by a pond company. Took them like 9 days with 12 guys working on it and around 21K. She was recommended the Pond Balance by the company that put it in.
 

brandonsdad02

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I think algae also and the fish don't care but we like it clear. I would just wait it out for awhile. Kitty litter the 100% clay kind from wal-mart helps keep my pond clear. I put a mesh bag full of it under the falls and just leave it in there. You can also use some quilt batting and put it in a plastic laundry basket under the falls and it will collect all that green material. You then will have to hose off the batting as it gets dirty and keep doing that till the water is clear.

What does the kitty litter do?
 
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j.w

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Some of us here plant all our pond plants in the kitty litter too so you kill 2 birds w/ one stone..............would never kill a bird tho,lol!
 
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My pond has only been up and running for a month now...and I'm starting to see it's not a clear as last years water was...think I best be rinsing my diy bio filter (aka quilt batting/chair cushion material) alot more often so maybe that will help it balance out and get clear again.
 
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sissy

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zeolite is pdz horse stall refresher .I went 4 feet deep and a little over when i redid mine and it was because it was in full sun and it gets extremely hot and dry here .But since then I have designed a shade sail .Well not sail shaped but that idea .Also what kind of lights are those as regular pond lights give off a lot of heat and also can help algae grow by what i have seen .I now do not have my lights in the pond but got the LED's that shine down on the water makes for better viewing and have them on a timer that only lets them right now to stay on 4 hours ..I never thought about lights until i started reading alot on water quality in ponds and what can cause things to happen that you don't want .I googled it and there is just tons of info out there .
 

j.w

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kitty litter is made from zeolite clay ...zeolite absorbs ammonias...

The kind I use is the Bentonite clay.

Types of litter box filler

Non-clumping conventional litter

One of the first commercially available cat litters was Kitty Litter, available in 1948 and marketed by Ed Lowe. This was the first large scale use of clay (in the form of Fuller's earth) in litter boxes; previously sand was used. Clay litter is much more absorbent than sand, and its larger grain makes it less likely to be tracked from the litter box. The brand name Kitty Litter has become a genericized trademark,[sup][where?][/sup] used by many to denote any type of cat litter. Today, cat litter can be obtained quite economically at a variety of retail stores, including "dollar" retail outlets. Conventional clay litter is indistinguishable from clay-based oil absorbent (used to clean oil spills); as the latter is far less expensive, it is often used as a substitute. Non-clumping cat litter is often made of zeolite, diatomite and sepiolite.
The cat-box that the litter is poured into can give off a bad odor. It is recommended that it is kept in an area in the home that is not used often, such as a basement or laundry room. There are special types of litter to cover or lessen the odor. They contain baking soda and odorized crystals. If kept in room with an intake vent, an air freshener may be added on the furnace filter to isolate the odor from the rest of the house.
Clumping litter

Litter clumps were first developed in the UK in the 1950s by the Fuller's Earth Union (FEU), later to become a part of Laporte Industries Ltd. The type of clumping litter developed by the FEU was calcium bentonite, a less swelling and less sticky type than American bentonite. Subsequently in America, clumping bentonite was developed in 1984 by biochemist Thomas Nelson. Most are made from granulated bentonite clay which clumps together when wet and forms a solid mass separate from the other litter in the box. This solid clumped material can be scooped out and disposed of without changing the entire contents of the litter box.
Clumping litter usually also contains quartz or diatomaceous earth (sometimes called diatomaceous silica, which causes it to be mistakenly confused with silica gel litter). Because of the clumping effect, the manufacturers usually instruct not to flush clumping litters down the toilet, because it could clog it.[sup][1][/sup]
Clumping clay cat litters also contain crystalline silica, or silica dust, which in California is treated as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65.[sup][2][/sup] Clay litter is also criticized by the more expensive manufacturers of non-clay litter as being commonly produced in a strip mine in an environmentally degrading process.[sup][3][/sup]
 
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It sounds like you made your pond bigger, I did that and had the same problem you are having. So I added a large bog filter and a stream, made my water nice and clear. When I made my pond bigger my 50 gallon filter was just not big enough, so in went the bog and no more problems.
 

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