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New pond, turned bad!

aaron118
17 years ago

About 3 weeks ago our new pond was finished. We got some de-chlorinator so we could put some fish and plants in. A few plants, 10 small goldfish and 4 baby ghost carp went in first all about 2-3inches. Then about a week later we put in a few more plants (like iris, lilies and some marginal plants for the marginal shelf), 4 small golden orfe a couple of mirror carp. One about 2.5lbs and the other about 5lbs. Anyway everything was fine for a couple of days the water was very clear and the plants looked healthy. But after a couple of days the water has now turned a brownish colour and it is very difficult to see anything now, it seems to go worse when itÂs in the sun. Also some brownish type debris is sticking onto the plants ruining them and it also floats on the surface. We have a bottom drain and a good filtration system, so whatÂs gone wrong. Could it be the mirror carp or does the pond just need time to settle down.

Comments (37)

  • mark22
    17 years ago

    The filter needs some time to come up to speed and have enough bacteria in it. You might want to test the water for nitrites and ammonia to see if the filter is handling them yet. If it is then an algae bloom in such a new pond at this time of year is not surprising and you just need to have patience until the pond becomes balanced. Also when those ghost and mirror carp get bigger, and they do get big!, some of those plants may take a battering. We had to take all the plants out of our pond and make a veggie filter for them as the koi and ghost carp decimate anything in the pond.

  • annabel_
    17 years ago

    that is a lot of fish for a new pond,,and before everything is established,and algae bloom would go green not brown i would say,,mine went brown after a rainstorm and i got runoff in there, i also have 2 koi around 22" and two ghost koi about 10" they dont bother the plants at all now,,although when first in they did turn out the pots,,

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  • aaron118
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    The water is more of a greeny colour now. So it probably is an algae bloom. I read somewhere else today that it may some time before it goes clear again.

  • alison_froglady
    17 years ago

    My pond at the moment also has a lot of brownish green debris floating about over the plants. I am sure it is algae and have taken a little time to pull it out. If yours is the same you will find as you pull it out it is a bit gooey. I find it clings onto the oxygenating plants. The sun has been shining a lot over the last few days so that could account for it just starting up. You may also find at the moment that a greener string algae or blanketweed may affect the pond round the edges. In the beginning that is also small and brownish and if you try to get it out straight away it disolves in your hand. You need to wait for this to build up a little and then if you pull it out it feels a bit like hair from a hairbrush. Quite a few people use a loo brush to wind it round and pull out, but I like to just get it in my hand and pull it up. It is not unpleasant at all. In fact it can be very beneficial to the snails and tadpoles as they like to eat it and hide in it.
    You haven't said how big your pond is so we cannot say how many fish you should have, but if you are like the rest of us you will soon realise that no matter how many or how few fish you have the pond is never big enough. Lol. I myself am onto my fourth pond in 8 years. You can see my construction of the pond and my previous three ponds and garden on my website which is www.the-horsfalls.co.uk
    Are you feeding the fish as that can also put a scum on if they don't eat it during the day. It goes quite mushy (at least mine does)and needs to come out.
    If you can post some pictures of your pond on here we can have a better idea and advise you more constructively. I think it is like Mark said and is just a settling in period.
    Alison

  • maclisa
    14 years ago

    I am so glad to have found this website, I too have got a new pond which turned a horrible shade of green after two weeks. After tearing my hair out, I spent the day bailing out water and refilling it for it to do the same again. I didn't realise there is a settling in period. Any further advise would be much appreciated.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Barley straw will help against blanket weed and green water. I initially bought a couple of packs from a pond supplier. They're made of plastic mesh and I now refill them, but I also have a few of the plastic mesh bags that fruit comes in. I always put a cork inside, so they can be easily found. They float on the surface at first, but soon go under the water. I prefer to try and push them under the floating plants if I can, so I don't have to look at them! I buy plastic sacks of barley straw from a petshop, which works out a lot cheaper.

    My system is to add new ones every three months, but also keep the old ones going for up to six months before re-filling. I have some plastic letters (to show the month I first put them in) which I string through the holes. This really works and I can tell at a glance if a bag needs replacing or not.

    Don't know the size of your pond, but the shop-bought ones tell you how many are needed per so many gallons of water. I remember an enormous pond being built on one of the gardening programmes and they threw in a whole bale of barley straw!

    I built my 9' x 8' pond about five years ago and I have no pump or filter. I used to worry about brown or discoloured water until I realised (or probably learnt on this brilliant site!) that the pond 'cycles' early in the season and, if I keep up my barley straw, it soon sorts itself out and my water clears perfectly again. Me and Mother Nature are working in tandem! Good luck.
    Big Kid

  • maclisa
    14 years ago

    Big Kid - many thanks I will try this.

  • dampflippers
    14 years ago

    I too think it is the new pond thing. With my first pond (only with a few sticklebacks and tadpoles and no feeding) it suddenly went very green/brown, but I read somewhere that there was a settling in period. And yes, it did suddenly clear. I wasn't sure whether it was the time thing (40 days springs to mind) or that it conincided with a batch of pebbles and sand I added which may have flocculated the cloudiness.
    I would suggest: patience, not overfeeding, lots of oxygenators, and putting in some bags of live daphnia from an aquarium shop. Hopefully some things like water louse and water shrimp may have come in with your oxygenators to start the food chain off, and don't panic! (don't keep changing the water unless you find high levels of ammonia or nitrite). Some of the aquatic compost may have caused cloudiness. Planting baskets with topsoil can alos cause problems with excess nutrients leading to green algae growth.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Maclisa,
    P.S. to my barley straw comments...it helps to put a label on the barley straw sack and write the date you changed the last pouch. That way you can see at a glance when it needs renewing, without rummaging around in the pond!!
    Big Kid

  • dampflippers
    14 years ago

    I'm now trying lavender- it was on TV. I'll let you know if it works.

  • toonmagpie
    14 years ago

    Hi all i also have a new pond problem !!!
    i got rid of my old pond and now have a 7ft by 8ft by 3ft deep .
    i have a few medium zized goldfish 1 8inch ghost 3 small butterfly koi a 1 small israli koi.
    i also have 3 small lily's and couple of bull rushes and a very large well established basket of iris's.
    the water was fine for 1 to weeks or so but now is very green .
    i am running a hozelock 1500 ltr and a small 1000ltr green genie bio uv filter ,not sure if this is big enough as my pond is now 3500 liters or so .
    i have also treat the pond with nishikoi goodbye green water but it's not budging it .
    my pond also gets lots of full sun so that is not helping things . the question is if this is just the settling period how long does it usually take to start to clear ,it's been green for about 6 weeks now grrrrrr any help would be great
    thanks in advance ......David

  • dampflippers
    14 years ago

    Yes it is usual with a new pond!
    As I mentioned in a post above, it is worth trying putting in some live daphnia. It is sold in plastic bags in aquarium shops. I would put in quite alot to start with (it won't be wasted because your fish will eat them too. Try about 10 bags. I know someone who puts in 2 or 3 bags a day. (approx 30 per bag)

  • toonmagpie
    14 years ago

    Thanks for the advice dampflippers ,i'll try that this weekend plus i'll drop a load of oxegenators in too and see if that helps ....
    thanks again .david

  • maclisa
    14 years ago

    Help - can someone tell me about bloodworms. At least this is what I think are in my pond. I have researched internet and this is what I have come up with.
    I was cleaning my filter today and found loads of them - what causes them and will they damage my fish.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Am I right in thinking that bloodworms are normally in not very good water? I seem to remember some years ago seeing a load of red worms in the shallows of the river Brent and I found out that it's when the water quality isn't good. (I presume they were bloodworms because they were red!)

  • maclisa
    14 years ago

    Big Kid - I am not having much luck. I spend hours cleaning out pond and making sure my pump and filters are clean. (water very clear now after using the barley straw) I haven't seen anything since I last posted on here but it had me worried. Because I am new to keeping a pond I think I am not doing things right.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Maclisa, ponds should be about having fun and enjoyment, not fretting so much that they become a chore!

    According to one thing I just saw on the net, blood worms are the larvae of one of the midge family. If that's what you've got, then the fish will love them!

    I don't have a pump and filter and don't know if oxygenators are still needed. I have Hornwort and Elodea Crispa. These attract damselfies and dragonflies which plant their eggs on the leaves. The nymphs eat their way through a load of insects and small pond life. I also have ramshorn snails which keep the sides of my pond and the leaves of plants clean. They lay their eggs under my waterlily leaves.

    Does anyone out there know how much cleaning out of filters/pumps are needed? Please put Maclisa out of her misery!!!!!!!!!

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    It depends what kind of filter and pump you have. Some pumps need cleaning often as they get gunged up but the filterbox harbours pond creatures and good bacteria for the pond so don't need cleaning often. Each time you clean out and empty all the water etc you are getting rid of the very things that keep the water clean etc. Do you have a UV filter?
    As to bloodworms I am pretty sure that they are one of the creatures that we can buy to put in our pond along with Daphnia to feed the fish. Some people actually buy a few bags and let them breed in a bucket to get a good supply. They are also beneficial for the pond.
    I have a waterfall pump and a pump for my filterbox and also still use oxygenators in the pond.

    Here is a link that might be useful: alisons nature reserve

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    I reckon the red worms I saw in the river Brent weren't
    bloodworms, but something else that is found in bad quality water.

    Cracking pics in your gallery, Alison! Is your hubby a professional photographer? If he ain't, he should be!!

    Incidentally, May won't open. It's something about java being void in the bottom left hand corner.

  • maclisa
    14 years ago

    Many thanks both - Alison I too have waterfall pump and a seperate pump like you but have been cleaning the filter out every week as I thought I had to, along with the pump that does get gunged up. I do have the UV filter, does this make a difference?? I notice a lot of gunge at the bottom of the pond which I get out as I was not sure if this would do any harm to the fish. Should I do this?? Big kid thanks for your help, cos I was worrying that my water was not right, took me ages to get clear from when I first had it, but perfectly clear now. And you are right I do worry as this is my first pond and still learning...

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    Thanks BigKid. No Sonny isn't a professional photographer. I keep telling him to send his pics into nature magazines but he doesn't think they are good enough. He is mad because they are excellent. I tell him every year to enter Countryfile's calendar but he doesn't do it. Maybe I had better send some in for him. We did a lovely calendar for 2007 where our son who is a printer took 14 of Sonny's favourite photo's and made a calendar for him. It is the size of a music CD We gave a lot of them away on my forum. I never thought to put it on here as well or you could have had one. We still have a lot left but obviously 2007 is no more but the photo's are worth having. So if you like I will still send one. You can view it on the gallery I think. The other problem with May that you noticed is because it hasn't any photo's in and that's why it doesn't open. Sonny does loads every month but he only puts in those he likes the best so sometimes only a couple go in.
    maclisa- There is no need to clean the filterbox out unless it is very gunged up. Otherwize you are taking away all the good bacteria and bugs that are to benefit your pond. It is sometimes good to have a little gunge on the bottom of your pond so that the frogs can hide but do not let lots of leaves fall in and leave them as they decompose in the water sending up toxins which if we have a winter that freezes our ponds over, the toxins can kill the fish. That is why we try to leave a little area which cannot freeze. If you leave your waterfall pump on throughout the winter then you should be able to keep a hole in any ice that forms.
    The UV filter you have should enable you to have clear water as it gets rid of any green water that starts in spring or when the sun is very bright. You would definitely turn the UV off in the winter months and only start it again after March/april I think.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Alison, Sonny is wasted! If he gets anything really unusual, I would enter it without him knowing!

    As you know, I don't have a pump or filter. I try to keep leaves out, but I'm surrounded by other people's trees so I check for fallen leaves most days now. I'll also net the pond shortly with Wilkinson's pond/garden net which is stiff enough to stop the birds getting caught.

    The one thing I always do is throw a medium sized plastic football in every year. This definitely keeps a spot clear of ice, so any decomposing leaves I've missed will not kill my fish.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Alison,

    Me again!

    Checked out Sonny's pics that were on the calendar and they're great. With his creative eye and that brilliant camera, I'm sure one day he'll catch a really magic shot that will win him any nature competition.

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    It's funny that we are talking about Sonny's calendar shots and the countryfile calendar because my sister-in-law sent me an e-mail today saying she had seen the countryfile calendar and the picture of the bee they have chosen isn't anywhere near as good as Sonny's pic. I love the bee picture. I think it is July off the top of my head. Anyway it is the one where the bee is on the plant and is completely covered with pollen.
    If you fancy the photo's just email me and I will send you a copy.
    I've noticed the leaves are beginning to fall already. Last year I cut my shrubs hard back before the leaves had fallen which certainly saved a lot of pulling them out of the pond. I've still got lots to do in the garden and pond before winter sets it's sights, but the weather man says it should be nice for a few days so if they are right I will be able to get a start on it.

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Hi Alison,

    Just tried to get your site up but the link won't work. Hope it gets sorted soon.

    I'd like to look again at the pics because they're great. I remember the covered in pollen shot, but could've sworn it wasn't a bee!!

    Autumn's started early here, too. Unfortunately my problem is trees in my neighbours' gardens, so I can't do anything about them. I always try and look at the positive side, in that the rotted leaves have broken down all the clay in my garden over the years and kept my compost heap well stocked. I put off covering my pond till I really have to.

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    Hi Big KId
    What a horrendous time we are having with our host site. Now we have no e-mails, no website and no forum. The company took money from our credit account without authority and when we asked them why when we had cancelled that particular account in June (they took the money in July)they were very disagreeable, wouldn't give us our money back and so as we had our other accounts the horsfalls.co.uk accounts (the website, forum and e-mails) we asked if they would credit us within that account with the money they had taken if they didn't do refunds. They refused and now because the bank where they took the money from asked for it to be returned they won't even have any dialogue with us and have just cancelled all our accounts with them even though we are paid up until June of 2009 for the website and june 2010 for the account we had previously cancelled. The annoying thing was that the one we wanted to cancel was a project of our Sons and wasn't even connected to us except we had paid for it initially. It hadn't be used for over 19 months so we cancelled it when it was due for renewal. We asked for it cancelling and then comfirmed again the cancellation and thought it was done. We didn't know until our bank statement came in early august and we have had problems ever since.
    The worst problem is no one knows why we are not there and I can't email any one from the forum as we have no forum to email from. Luckily now I did have an ntl e-mail address so I am now having to let as many people know the new address. What a mess. Obviously we are trying to sort things out as quickly as possible to get back on. I don't understand at all why they have acted this way with us, but it certainly doesn't bode well for a quick response from them in our favour, in fact the last response was just to not answer our request to see how we stood but to make us invisable and no longer an active site.
    Anyway enough of that. I could go on forever with all the other things that are happening as well so thank goodness I have the garden and pond to take my mind off things.
    Autumn has indeed come early. The trees are already changing to beautiful colours and I collected some lovely leaves on my morning walk with some acorns in their cups from the Oak trees. I love watching everything change as the seasons progress. There is a definite nip in the air first thing on a morning. I managed to cut back my hedges and cut the grass today so I am pleased with how they look. The ground is still so wet. The fish are feeding well still but now the days are cooler it won't be long before we stop feeding.
    Alison

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Oh Alison, what rotten luck you're having. So sorry to hear about your problems and what awful people you seem to be dealing with. I really hope you get things sorted out soon.

    Kazzie wrote a line in the frogs croaking thread (am I using the right word there?) because she couldn't get into your site.

    I recently joined Kew Gardens, so I can go more often now. The single entrance fee has gone up to £13, which I think is OTT. Last time I went about six years ago it was less than 7 quid. I went with a friend yesterday and we had a great time enjoying all the things that are meant to be for kids. Now you know where I get my name from!

    Hope everything gets sorted for you soon.

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    I think I am still a big kid as well. I love going on the swings at the playground and when the little fair comes to Lotherton Hall I go into the teacups as they are like little waltzers for children. Luckily I have the grandchildren to make it look 'normal'.
    As to our other problem we have now signed up with another company and have asked Streamline to pass over our details which of course they have not so now we have had to ask the new host to get the details for us but I don't understand all that. Sonny deals with everything. He is trying to recreate my website but of course all the work that I had done will have to be started again and it took ages to do.
    Tomorrow I am going to Citizens advice to see how we stand in getting some of our money back so I will keep you informed. I can't believe it really and just hope that people won't have deserted us but will look again in a week or so and find us back up and running.
    Kew Gardens is so expensive for it's entrance fee. I thought Castle Howard was dear at about £7 last time. They will soon price themselves out of ordinary peoples pockets. I know they have wages to pay etc but it puts us off going. I am lucky that at Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam estate it is free. You pay to go round the house and at Lotherton you pay £3.50 parking but I have a yearly ticket which pays for itself if you go more often than 4 times a year.It also entitles me a free visit into the house every time I go. It is lovely there with a deer park, bird garden, pond and formal gardens and a playground for the children. Both houses are about £3.00 entrance fee and at Temple newsam there is a rare breed farm, lakes, rose garden, woodland walks and open land. Capability Brown made the gardens at the price of £2000 I think and had originally put in more lakes in the plans but they only did 2. I think they ran out of money.

  • dampflippers
    14 years ago

    Hi Alison, what a shame about the website.
    If you want to retreive any of the text, you may still be able to do that.
    Do a google search for the url of the page you want, but remove the http://
    Then if it comes up, click on "cached" and you will get a copy of the writing, which you can copy and paste into a document until you need it again.
    You can also get bits of the forum, I found the moorhen thread and photos.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Click on cached

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    Thanks so much. It is good of you to go to so much trouble on our behalf. I went to citizens advice which opens at 10am but at 9.30 when I arrived it was already closed for the day as they opened the doors at bang on 9.30 took in 10 people and that was it. I couldn't believe it so I had a word with the chap on the door and said to him "how can it be full for the day when you don't even open until 10am. It is only just 9.30 what do we do now." Anyway he did speak to me for a few brief moments and put me in the way of the internet regulators so we shall see how we go from here.

  • dampflippers
    14 years ago

    Hi Alison,
    I sent you an email to suggest a couple of things. I don't know if you can access the account it went to....so let me know if you'd like me to send the info to another address. Perhaps send me an email that I can reply to.

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    Hi Damp.
    Have sent you an email. Did not get yours.
    It has been a lovely sunny day here and the fish all came up to bask in the sunshine. I've noticed that the primrose willow hasn't even got any buds yet. It is miles behind normal and usually flowers August September.It seems to be at the stage of late June/July. I hope we have a very sunny September so it can catch up.

  • retropwr
    14 years ago

    Hi Alison

    I had been wondering what had happened to your site (I don't visit here very often). Sorry to hear they way you have been treated and hope you get it sorted in your favor soon.

    Talking about out of season plants, my Marsh Marigold has been in flower for the last month or so and is still going strong.

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    Wow that is good to get an extra burst of flowers. I wonder if they will flower again next spring. I know I have been getting new leaves on mine but my garden is so shady that things havn't flowered properly this year. Even the bogbean hasn't flowered but has put on lots and lots of growth. The watercress is trying to take over and I think I have only had 2 or 3 flowers on my lilies. I hope you will be back to visit me when I get up and running again. I have now written to Streamlines head office and have given them 14 days in which to sort things out. I am not holding my breath... They also have a telephone no which when you ring them it tells you they don't take phonecalls. I felt like I was just wasting more money on them. We have also had to re register with Nominet costing £11.75 so it keeps creeping up especially having to pay for a new host who was much more expensive than Streamline just for one year. It is such a shame they acted the way they did because we would have stayed with them indefinately.
    I can't even look back at your pictures to keep me happy. I hope we get it back okay.

  • alison_froglady
    14 years ago

    Thank goodness we are back online. Not heard anything from Streamline though but we have a new host and things are looking up even though not fully back to normal. Hurray !!
    Thanks for all support, big kid, damp, richard. xx

  • big_kid
    14 years ago

    Great news, Alison! xx

  • leslie brooks ng16 3ln
    11 years ago

    a couple of months ago we extended out pond including new liner everything was ok but then we got blanketweed growing so we bought a algae pad which we put straight into the pond things were fine again but now on the bottom of the pond its like black silty bits if you look at into the pond it looks a browny colour weve tried removing it but you can only do it for so long then its makes the water cloudy we have a proper filter system could it be the uv light need changing also will this harm our fish keep upsetting the water hope you can help