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Pond Maintenance


can it be luck?

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Anyone know how to keep algae out of goldfish/koi ponds? I change the water about once a month but yet it turns green shortly after. The water table is very high in my backyard, about 6-8' down to hit water. It stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I don't want to add chemicals or anything else like that. I've had it for about 5 years now and the fish are very healthy for the most. The fish have been reproducing annually since I've had them, so many that I get rid of 50-100 per year. My one and only problem is the unsightly green water that I can't control. frown.gif
Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

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[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 08-01-2004).]

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I don't know the specifics or even the science behind this. But what I had heard was some using oat straw bales (anchored to the bottom) to clean up the algae in ponds. Maybe a small amount bundled with rocks to anchor it to the bottom?

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I have a backyard pond too! Around 600 gallons.. I just go to Fleet Farm (or a garden store) and by algae destroyer liquid... many types available. I only use around 1/2 of the recommended dose.. but it still works.. just takes longer.. 2-4 weeks.. but the result is crystal clear water.. of course if you have plants you probably don't want to use it.. but all I have is a few clams and around 10 Koi.

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By the way.. I always wondered if fish will survive the MN winter.. my pond is around 3' deep.. and no water table to be found... will that feeze solid? And if it did.. would that kill the fish? (I have heard they can survive frozen in ice but am not sure if that's a myth or not)

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If you want to control your algae naturally, you need way more marginal plants.

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Slyster, as you can see I built a framework around the pond. I use plastic tarps for the walls which includes an entrance door as well. Because of the high water table the water stays warm enough to prevent solid freezing. I don't feed the fish during the winter because of thier slowed down metabolism and the possibility of gas build-up in the water. I re-circulate the water with my pump which is used for the cascading waterfall. I cover the water surface with Dow styrofoam. Actually I cover the water at deck level leaving about a 1' of space between the water and styrofoam. From the house I have a heat run made of dryer hose. The hose attaches to the house heater and heats the space between the styrofoam and water. The first couple of years I'd bring the fish indoors and keep them in a 50 gallon aquarium, however I'd lose quite a few fish in so doing. Since leaving the fish outdoors all winter I've lost very few.
Yesterday I noticed a new hatch of fish. I seen about 20-30 fish averaging about 1/4"-1/2". Those are only the ones I seen, I imagine there's a few hundred more I didn't see. Too bad I can't use them for bait! grin.gif

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[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 08-02-2004).]

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I used to be a sales rep for a company that manufactured pond supplies and later a wholesale company that sold them to pet stores.

You can use straw, but I don't think I'd use it for a small pond like this. I would, instead recommend purchasing a UV sterilizer (it will kill the free floating algae as it passes through the filter by the UV rays). Otherwise, buy a chemical to control it. There is a biological chemical made by Laguna that is natural and will not harm your plants (I cannot remember the specific name).

And, yes, you can keep fish in a 3' deep pond in MN. All you need to do is keep your pump running in the winter and it will keep a hole open. Otherwise you can purchase a floating pond heater or go to a store like Fleet Farm and get a heater for a cattle water trough. Your fish will not survive if the top ices over.

Bubbadust

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The green single-cell algae that create the pea soup look to the water are typically caused by either excessive light, excessive nutrient levels, or lack of oxygen.

The nutrient levels (nitrogen and phosphorous) can be controlled by making sure to not overfeed the fish. And by making sure there aren't too many fish for the size of pond you have. If the nutrient levels cannot be controlled by more regulation of the food......then the only other way to control the nutrients is to increase the water changes or reduce the number of fish in the pond.

If the pond is in direct sunlight, try providing shade for most of the day..

Increasing aeration and mixing will discourage the growth of algae.

Try controlling the nutrients and consider reducing the number of fish in the pond.

Buy yourself a testing kit for the phosphorous and nitrates and spend some time experimenting with stricter feeding and less sunlight/more aeration and you should be able to make a dent in the problem fairly inexpensively.

Good Luck and by the way....that's a nice little fishing hole you got there...Do those Koi taste any good???

Check out this site.........

http://www.lagunakoi.com/html/algae_control.html

[This message has been edited by wastewaterguru (edited 08-02-2004).]

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Guru, I don't know if koi taste good, but I know rainbow trout do! grin.gif Last year I caught two 12"-14" rainbows which I threw in the pond. As I said earlier, the water stays very cool in the summer, well oxygenated too. Anyways, I kept them for several months before I started to notice some of the same year's hatch of fish starting to disappear. I blamed it on the trout and ate them. frown.gif The fish continued to disappear untill I noticed a hawk and raccoon making frequent visits to the pond! Let's just say this, the coon disappeared shortly there after...With the help of a few well placed traps! shocked.gif Also, with the help of some lattice added overhead, the hawk was no longer a threat either. What really sucks is that I enjoyed having the trout. They were neat to watch and stayed healthy and active. I took some pictures a few minutes ago of some recently hatched fry. The goldfish and koi are subdued brown untill they get to be about 2-3"s long, then they start to change colors. Alot of the fish are chasing eachother around so I expect another batch soon. I never seen the actual spawning of the fish, but every time they start acting like that the stork pays a visit shortly there after. smile.gif

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Can it be luck,

I have read many of your posts, you're one lucky dude I must say, it appears you have quite the well-rounded life...

Anyway, I have a 45 gallon tank inside, and I've been raising fish for over 15 years. Algae is something to deal with for anyone raising fish, indoors or out.

I know you said you didn't want to use them, but I seriously recommend chemical treatment. Remember, water (H2O) is a chemical, eveything is a chemical. It doesn't mean they're bad. Many, many options exist at very low cost for chemical treatment of algea...so many, that a large number of the treatments are safe to the point that you can eat the fish in the pond safely.

Second option, is to use an algae-eating fish or two in the pond. Such as a White Aimer (si?). They eat so much algae the sun can't produce enough. Only trouble with that is if your pond produces a very large amount of algae, those fish will grow large rapidly, but if you're in MN, the algae season is short enough you shouldn't have too many problems there.

p.s. I want to go to Lake Erie with you sometime...

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Liten to Woody. I have done this with a larger pond and it has worked. Now I have duckweed? Any ideas how to get rid of that?

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Thank you for all the tips! One nice thing about FM, got a problem, FMers have the answers! Regardless what the subject!
The straw idea is interesting. I wonder why and how straw resolves algae problems? It seems safe and natural to use, perhaps I'll try that one out. The website given(Laguna) also has an abundance of possibilities to my algae problem. I always thought that goldfish and koi being a species of carp would eat all the algae thus keeping the pond clean, I guess not. Maybe I should add a plecostimus(sp?). I once had one in an indoor aquarium that grew to about 16"s long! I can imagine how big one could get in a larger pond! Almost like a miniature sturgeon. shocked.gif

kpj5br, I normally go to Erie every June. This year I went a little to late. I went the last part of June and the fishing wasn't too hot. The first week of June or the last part of May is prime. I did meet up with some fellow FM members this year at Erie. rmh2o who frequents the Mille Lacs forum and his buddy met me there. Fishing was slow, but rmh2o did manage to catch a 29 1/2" walleye. It looks like we'll do it again next year, only earlier this time. You'd be more than welcome to join us if you'd like.

rmh2o and his buddy with some Erie eaters.
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[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 08-03-2004).]

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Check out Cutrine Plus Liquid. It is a copper based algaecide. Very effective against the plankton algae you have. You will only have to use a few ounces to control your pond.

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Yes I have to say thanks for the tips too! I learned a lot from this post.. my 10 Koi just might spend the winter outdoors now.. with a fleet farm just a couple miles from here.. I might try the floating heater. Good stuff!

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