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Feeling very overwhelmed :-(

15 years ago

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some words of advice from people who are more experienced with ponds than I am. This past fall, we bought our first house and it came with a 1,500 gallon pond (according to the seller).

The pond has bottom drains feeding into a pre-pump filter basket, and then two 55-gallon tubs with hanging bottle-cleaner kind of things for biological/some mechanical filtration before running to the top of an approx. 6-foot waterfall (with many stones along the way, not 6 foot straight down). There are maybe 5 6-inch goldfish (the kind that are supposed to look like koi, I suppose) and an assortment of smaller ones that get thinned out once in awhile if there are too many. 3 water lily plants that died back for the winter but are now starting to come back.

The winter was easy, water stayed amazingly clear, I fed the fish a little less frequently, skimmed dead leaves off the surface, tested for salt and so forth. Now that things are warming up, I'm feeling very overwhelmed.

First, there is that string algae stuff. It's not everywhere, but definitely on the waterfall bad enough that if I don't manually take it off it interferes with the water agitation after a week or so. Also, the water also isn't as clear, with a little bit of a muddy look. I can still see the bottom of the pond (4 feet deep) but I don't know if this is normal? I think I'm making it worse by removing the string algae, it seems like some debris and detrius gets caught in it and when I start pulling it out it gets released back into the water. Is it better to leave it there until the lilies grow big enough to start sucking up some excess nutrients and (hopefully) the algae slows down?

Today I turned off the filter and started emptying out the tubs. The former owner said he would do that about once a month/two months. It's been less than that but when I opened up the pipe, the stuff that came out of the bottom of the tub was more sludge than dirty water. I mean, it was THICK. Should I be doing that more often?

Any other advice for a newbie?

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