Hey, you have an Aussie, too! That's a nice looking pond you have. You don't mention what kind of filtration you have, but the answer to the 'pea soup' problem is filtration, the biological kind. Personally, I like the hydrogen peroxide, but I would not be adding it to the water without proper filtering. It keeps the string algae down, but doesn't do much for the suspended algae. If your pea soup is clearing, it's probably a natural clearing that would be happening anyway, at least that's the info I have. You get that when there are more nutrients in the water than your bio filtration can handle - like when the water gets warm quickly, or there is too much fish waste, or too much plant waste. I never had anything like pea soup until last year when got 'summer' really fast and I had not cleaned out my big bio filter in several years. I was really in trouble then. I had to take apart the 'veggie' filter (which is really like a large under gravel filter like what you would put in an aquarium - only on a really big scale) and then clean it and put it back together again. Only after the bacteria re-established themselves, which took a couple of weeks, did the water begin to clear up.
Fish 'gasping' at the surface is a sure sign of lack of oxygen in the water.
The salt won't do much for your algae woes. I add mine when the weather starts warming up and the fish start getting really active. I find my fish get Ich in the spring and the salt keeps that from happening. I have a test kit that measures the percentage of salt in the water. I buy 40 pound bags of salt that is used for water softening. It's really cheap. You just have to be sure that it is 100% Sodium chloride and nothing else at all.
Yeah, that is Bo, the Frisbee dog. All I have to do is say the word, "Frisbee" and he goes nuts.
Thanks for the compliment on the pond. Obviously, I still have a lot of work to do on it yet. Actually, I am running two filters; the small filter I had in the small pond and a pressurized bio filter that I bought at Lowe's. It is supposed to treat up to 850 gallons, so should be big enough. It has the little plastic balls in the bottom with two filter pads on the top.
We did have almost instant warm weather, so I figure that is the reason for the algae outbreak. I may do the salt thing just as a precaution. Sure don't want sick fishies, even if they are all from Petco. Once things stabilize, I would like to get a couple more Koi. That would make three Koi and two goldfish. I don't think that would overload the system.
No, not unless your goldfish breed! LOL! I put comets in the first year, thinking I would not do koi in my pond. The following year I had about 400 baby fish and had to net them all. That was an interesting year. Somehow, even when the koi spawn, they manage to eat all the eggs and I have yet to have a baby koi survive. Maybe this year will be the first, although I'm not really wanting to be in the koi breeding business. Now I have two goldfish left, but I think they are both male. They both try to chase one of the large female koi and it's pretty funny because she doesn't even give them the time of day.
Yes, probably your 'instant' warm weather was to blame for your algae outbreak. It's such a pain when that happens!
I have no idea of their sex, but the Koi and one of the goldfish seem to hang around together most of the time. The other goldfish is a fancy tail and the poor thing can't keep up with the other two. That Koi is like greased lightning. I'm going to clean both filters tomorrow. Maybe that will help the situation as well. I had a brainstorm and figured out how to work in the pond without getting in the pond. lol
Don - neat idea, but it looks painful to me. Please be careful.
We had goldfish once upon a time. They really were prolific! Now we have just koi and they are not as prolific, however every year we end up with 50+ fry that need to be dealt with. I had never thought they would be a problem because I had always heard about the koi eating the eggs and such. Well, it still is a problem each year. We have had some really attractive fry that we have kept as a result of each years' breeding, but that part is a hassle each year. We have run out of homes for the fry and I hate to kill them.
That is brilliant, Don! I wish a ladder would reach across my pond. I have to put on waders to get into the pond, unless it's a hot day, which is about 1 day a year around here.
When you clean your filters, do you add bacteria to the pond? If not, that can help get the pond filters up to speed a little faster.
Maybe I'll get some baby koi this year. I know I had eggs last year because I saw them and my best koi, Nishiki, was almost run ragged during the breeding cycles. Poor thing. I'm with you, Carolyn, on killing the fry. I know that breeders call it 'culling', but it's still 'killing'. That's why I had to find homes for all those goldfish. I thought I was going to go crazy trying to give them all away.
the last time we had goldfish, my neice and I took hundreds plus the parents and put them in the local pond. I guess you are not supposed to do that, but I did not know what else to do. I didn't want to kill them - not something I can do.
We do bacteria and enzymes to our pond. We use Pondzyme with barley and does do what it is supposed to do. We have a 5000 gallon pond, so it takes quite a bit of this stuff - typically we wait until September to load up as all the pond products seem to be on sale then.
LOL, Carolyn, I lay boards across the ladder before venturing out there. I just hadn't put them down yet when I took this photo. I was about to move the pot of lilies you see under the ladder. It was too close to the waterfall and was being splashed all of the time. I had heard they don't like that.
You can also see that I still have rock work to do around the waterfall. I put that on the back burner until I get my gardening caught up.
It may take longer than I had planned because I am already getting calls for tractor work. I had one job yesterday and two more today if it will stop raining. With all the rain we've had, this will probably be a busy season for me. This is my therapy.
Man, I would love to have that tractor!
Now, if your pond is like mine, your rock work will never be done. Just when I think I am finished, I have to change something. Tomorrow I have to go buy more waterfall rock foam because I've changed the stream again. It used to split and go around an island. I've dammed up one part and now the water pretty much just trickles through one side and mostly goes directly down the other side. The birds like it better and so do I. But more rock work to do. Always. I feel sorry for whomever buys this house whenever we decide to sell. They are not going to have the faintest idea how to care for this pond. Here's a photo of a Red Crossbill enjoying the rocks. I took the photo yesterday. We have a family of crossbills this year and they appear to really like visiting the stream.
the red Crossbill is very cool! We don't have them here.
Ditto when we move. The only thing we can do when we move is leave instructions. One thing DH and I have decided we are going to do is when we do finally move, a new pond will be dug at the new location and the fish will come with us. That should interesting when that happens. I already have several fish that are between 20-24".
I can understand your wanting to take them. I figure when we move from this place, we'll probably be moving onto a boat, so I don't think the koi will come with me. I will miss them. We're looking at several years down the road, though. Nothing anytime soon.
Well, Don, we probably ARE crazy. But life is short. No, it's unlikely we'd live on that boat. That's a Cal 34. We sail her around Puget Sound, and she will do blue water cruising, but she's really a bit small below for me to feel comfortable on an extended sail, unless it's really nice weather. We go out on her a couple of weeks at a time and I do love it. The plan when we retire is to have something a bit more comfortable, even if older, for more extended sailing. Here she is at anchor last summer up in British Columbia. We usually go up there in the summer, just when the garden needs the most watering. LOL!
Name: Linda (aka Mothermole) Parker-Eaton Deer park, IL
Hey Don and everyone else . . . I read your post about the algae and the fish gasping. Salt is only used for disease control and even that isn't good to do continually. The peroxide is safe. Fish gasp is there isn't enough oxygen (Pixy said this as well). They also gasp if there are chemicals in the water like medicines that are overdosed, or run-off chemicals from the garden, and they also gasp when they have issues with their health and it affects their gills. Are your fish still having issues? How is the clarity of your water? Do you check the water chemical levels frequently and if so, what are your readings?
My first year I had so much death and illness and destruction that I redid my pond and added an aerated koi drain (fish toilet with bubbler . . .) and a bio-filtration system. I never check my levels anymore and the fish are healthy. If everything is okay I am glad otherwise repost here and I will try to check more often . . . (sorry its the start of gardening season here in the Chicago area of Illinois-I tend to get very busy for about 2 months)
Linda, I appreciate your asking. I am happy to report that as soon as I put in an aerator, they almost immediately stopped the gasping and in fact, stay pretty much on the bottom now. They seem to be doing fine. I am still having algae issues, but plan to get a UV filter. I understand that should take care of the problem. The only test readings that have ever been out of kilter was ammonia, but after a partial water change, it went away. The levels weren't too high, but I don't like ANY ammonia. Hopefully, a few more plants took care of that as well as helping somewhat with the algae situation.
Plants and good biofiltration should take care of both ammonia and algea, since ammonia is a sign of too many nutrients in the water and not enough biological activity to break them down. Generally this is from too many fish in the pond, or too much detritus from plant material, or both. If you have frequent spikes in temp followed by cooler weather you might still get an algae bloom, but in general if you have adequate filtration, the ammonia and algae should not be such a problem. I have a skimmer box that sets up it's own biofilter, plus a waterfall filter, plus the large veggie filter. All three run continuously, but I think it's the veggie filter that really does the job. I never have to test my water, either, but I always test a couple of times in the spring just to be sure everything is running well.
The only time I've used hydrogen peroxide is when I get a bloom of string algae in the spring. It works great on string algae, but you have to be sure to clean out the dead algae or you'll just put too great a load on your filter system.
Thought I would update my pond situation. We have one Koi and two goldfish (one is a fancy tail). It sure looked like the Koi was doing a mating dance toward one of the goldfish about a month ago. Yesterday, my wife spotted about a dozen baby fishies swimming around. They are mostly black with a little white on some of them. I have heard that Koi and goldfish can reproduce, but that the offspring will be sterile. I am wondering if that is truly the case and what they might look like as they get bigger.
We had a big rain over the weekend, and last night for the first time, I was sarenaded by several frogs.