Why can't I get my pond water clear!!!


Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
44
Reaction score
14
Location
North Carolina
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
It is 3,500 gallon outdoor pond with filter, skimmer box, uv light, and aerator. There are 8 koi and/or goldfish (largest is 12" and smallest is 7" along with 3" baby just discovered), frogs, aggressive toads, recently added three 4" plecos hoping they will munch on the algae, and a lotus plant. One of the fantails is presenting with multiple small lumps all over its body. I posted another thread about this issue several weeks back. All of the fish are eating and behaving normally from what I can tell. I feed them a handful of Hikari medium-size floating type pellets once or twice a day. I do a 30% water change once per week.

20160721_182917.jpg 20160721_182958.jpg 20160721_183032.jpg 20160721_183018.jpg 20160721_183433.jpg 20160721_183509.jpg 20160721_183858.jpg 20160721_183626.jpg 20160721_183544.jpg 20160721_183710.jpg 20160721_183101.jpg 20160721_183320.jpg 20160721_184310.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Meyer Jordan

Tadpole
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,177
Reaction score
5,661
Location
Pensacola, Florida
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
How recently did you add the 3 Plecos.

It appears to me that what you have is a 'Perfect Storm' for the proliferation of planktonic algae.
Your biofiltraion is obviously working efficiently in converting Ammonia ultimately to Nitrate, but with only one plant (and a slow grower at that) and the Plecos to reduce the attached algae growth, the only natural result can be planktonic algae.
My recommendations are to remove the Plecos (they are not likely to survive winters in your zone anyway), place more plants in the pond particularly submerged species and, if necessary, temporarily cut back on feeding, The will enable the pond to balance naturally with the water clearing of algae in a reasonable length of time..Also cease all water changes, these can only prolong the occurrence of the algae.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,481
Reaction score
4,240
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
Country
United States
You have a nice looking pond with quality equipment. Is the pond relatively new? I agree with above advice,it does take time for a pond to get established. I do water changes, not 30 %, but what is necessary to replenish water, after cleaning my large filter...usually about once a week. I feed my koi, once per day and lightly when temperatures are high.

I'm a believer that water movement and increased aeration, help clear water. I also added shade sails this year, to provide some shade.
 
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
44
Reaction score
14
Location
North Carolina
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
How recently did you add the 3 Plecos.

It appears to me that what you have is a 'Perfect Storm' for the proliferation of planktonic algae.
Your biofiltraion is obviously working efficiently in converting Ammonia ultimately to Nitrate, but with only one plant (and a slow grower at that) and the Plecos to reduce the attached algae growth, the only natural result can be planktonic algae.
My recommendations are to remove the Plecos (they are not likely to survive winters in your zone anyway), place more plants in the pond particularly submerged species and, if necessary, temporarily cut back on feeding, The will enable the pond to balance naturally with the water clearing of algae in a reasonable length of time..Also cease all water changes, these can only prolong the occurrence of the algae.
I added the 3 plecos about 4 days ago. I forgot to mention I had added a water lilly as well but something ate all the leaves off. I don't know if it was the fish or the salts that I add to dechlorinate the water. Please recommend species of pond plants.
 

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
2,362
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Some submerged plants to try would be anacharis and hornwort.

Does your pond have any shelves to place marginal plants on?
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
1,993
Reaction score
1,780
Location
BC Canada
I added the 3 plecos about 4 days ago. I forgot to mention I had added a water lilly as well but something ate all the leaves off. I don't know if it was the fish or the salts that I add to dechlorinate the water. Please recommend species of pond plants.
What is this "salts" you are adding to dechlorinate the water???
 
Ad

Advertisements

ashirley

Annie in SC
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
309
Reaction score
164
Location
South Carolina
Showcase(s):
2
Hardiness Zone
7b
Hang in there. I had my pond for 5 years before I got clear water. I added more aeration and water movement and it finally cleared this year.
 

ashirley

Annie in SC
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
309
Reaction score
164
Location
South Carolina
Showcase(s):
2
Hardiness Zone
7b
Some submerged plants to try would be anacharis and hornwort.

Does your pond have any shelves to place marginal plants on?
Where can you find these? Will they survive Koi? I would like to add some plants to my larger pond but lilies won't make it. The fish uproot them.
 
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
1,107
Reaction score
518
Location
Le Roy, New York
It's all about the correct uv light. A good light will clear the green up no matter what else is going on. I'm guessing that yours isn't working (the bulb will still be glowing) or the water is going through it too fast or it's just a cheaper bulb and you need a better quality one.
 

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
2,362
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Where can you find these? Will they survive Koi?
I have a pond store around here where I get them. You can also order from http://www.lilyblooms.com/ .
I never have problems with my koi eating the plants. They will move dirt and stones out of the lily pots and root around in the submerged plants, but my plants always survive.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
44
Reaction score
14
Location
North Carolina
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
How recently did you add the 3 Plecos.

It appears to me that what you have is a 'Perfect Storm' for the proliferation of planktonic algae.
Your biofiltraion is obviously working efficiently in converting Ammonia ultimately to Nitrate, but with only one plant (and a slow grower at that) and the Plecos to reduce the attached algae growth, the only natural result can be planktonic algae.
My recommendations are to remove the Plecos (they are not likely to survive winters in your zone anyway), place more plants in the pond particularly submerged species and, if necessary, temporarily cut back on feeding, The will enable the pond to balance naturally with the water clearing of algae in a reasonable length of time..Also cease all water changes, these can only prolong the occurrence of the algae.
What about AlgaeFix just for a short term solution. I'm having out of town guest in a week and would like to be able to show off my pond.
 
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
44
Reaction score
14
Location
North Carolina
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
Some submerged plants to try would be anacharis and hornwort.

Does your pond have any shelves to place marginal plants on?
No I dont have shelves. Maybe I could buy some. What are examples of some marginal plants? Is this the same as bog plants?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
249
Reaction score
222
Location
NJ
Hardiness Zone
7a
It is 3,500 gallon outdoor pond with filter, skimmer box, uv light, and aerator. There are 8 koi and/or goldfish (largest is 12" and smallest is 7" along with 3" baby just discovered), frogs, aggressive toads, recently added three 4" plecos hoping they will munch on the algae, and a lotus plant. One of the fantails is presenting with multiple small lumps all over its body. I posted another thread about this issue several weeks back. All of the fish are eating and behaving normally from what I can tell. I feed them a handful of Hikari medium-size floating type pellets once or twice a day. I do a 30% water change once per week.

View attachment 93268 View attachment 93269 View attachment 93270 View attachment 93271 View attachment 93272 View attachment 93273 View attachment 93274 View attachment 93275 View attachment 93276 View attachment 93277 View attachment 93279 View attachment 93280 View attachment 93281
Green water is common in newer ponds (which I am assuming this is new-ish?) and although it is unsightly it is perfectly safe for the fish. In fact they enjoy it because it provides shade (fish NEED a retreat from all that direct sunlight). How many hours of sun does the pond get? The green water is natures way of correcting a problem so we kinda have to be thankful for it. Problem here would be too much sun, excess nutrients and/or immature pond/water.

Do you have a bottom drain? Did you intend on having plants IN the pond or were you adding them to help with algae? Have you tested the water? Why do you do a 30% water change weekly, is there something wrong with you test results or is that just from backwashing your filter?

I'm curious what you goals are with this pond? Lots of plants and wildlife? If so, I'd say get rid of the UV light and add tons of plants of course. Crystal clear practically sterile water and a few large koi? Then I'd suggest a bottom drain (if you don't have one and it is hard to add one now so at least a retro bottom drain) and adding nearly complete shade with shade sails or umbrellas or whatever.

Fantails and pleco may not overwinter in your zone. I agree with removing the plecos for sure cause the algae they are eating is just being replaced by the green water algae like Meyer said. And they have a high bio-load which just adds to the algae problem.
 

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
2,362
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
What are examples of some marginal plants? Is this the same as bog plants?
A lot of the same plants that are used in bogs can be used as marginal plants. I have found yellow flag iris and blue flag iris do really well at taking the extra nutrients out of the pond. There is also dwarf cattail, rushes, different grasses, to name a few. People have used plastic crates to build shelves. I used some large rocks to build shelves. I also was able to plant some iris bare root among the stone along the side. Looking at your pond I am not sure that would work. Here are some examples on how I made shelves for the marginal plants.

iris.JPG
 
Ad

Advertisements

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
2,362
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
You could also try adding some floating plants like water hyacinths and water lettuce. If you are in full sun, the water hyacinths will do better.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top