Questions and Answers
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I have the Laguna Clear-Flo Pump & Filter Kit and it is rated I believe its about 200 gallons larger than my pond size. I have liner not cement. I have about 7 baby koi, 2 big ones that were donated to me (now dead), 3 bull frog tadpoles, 5 baby goldfish. (My pond isn’t small, not huge, I guess we can call it decently sized. I have a circle shape pond with the center being a depth of 4 1/2 feet, where the submersible pump sits. The water was crystal clear until about a couple days ago, when it started getting murky, but it had been pretty much monsooning outside so i figured it was due to the rain… Then it started to smell, like a sewage type smell. Then I opened up the filter to check it out and it was like i opened a backed up toilet. I didn’t buy new pads, but i cleaned them out with a hose and spend about an hour on it and had the pads like new. So I called my “expect” friend and he told me that I need more oxygen, so i went out to pet co (where the pets go) and got a bunch of the pretty big air pump things with the bubble wands. Threw them at various places in the pond, over night it still was the same so I decided not to wait any longer and put the fish into a blow up pool i bought at kmart and drained the pond. It was like a backed up tiolet. It stinks.
It is true that my return on my pump wasnt exactly good, but they seemed fine for like a month. So I and my friend thought they would be fine. I have currently order a bunch of bog plants, oxygenator plants, and top water plants. I plan to clean up all the stuff off the bottom and get the liner as clean as possible. The pump, filter and koi pond is about 2 months old. I live right by the beach and was thinking of putting sand at the bottom of the pond, so that when it is clear again it shows a nice contrast rather than the black. Help me yahoo community, your my only hope. (since the expect store place is unreliable to answer any of my questions). Brocks farms in Colts Neck for the shout out you d- bags.
Second, your pond has to “cycle” – here is a link that explains it ( Http://www.pondhobbyist.com/articles/Nit… ) but basically, fish poop, uneaten food, and other organic matter decomposes and creates ammonia, which is very toxic to fish. Luckily, little bacteria come along and convert the amonia to nitrites. Unfortunately, nitrites are also very toxic to fish. But, there are other little bacteria that convert the nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates are still harmful, but not as bad, for fish.
The good part, though, is that plants *love* nitrates! All those oxygenators and stuff that you are getting will help “scrub” the nitrates out of the water, and in the process will grow lush and green.
But, when you first start up a pond, it takes a while for the bacterial colonies to grow large enough to deal with the amount of waste produced, and for the actual conversion process to take place. And by a while, I mean a good 4 to 6 – maybe even 8 weeks. You shouldn’t alter your pond’s ecosystem during this time period by adding fish or draining water or scrubbing the liner or anything, because it will just delay your pond’s cycling through these processes on it’s way to becoming balanced. A partial water change of 20-30% should be all you’d ever need to do – and usually only about 10-20% (always fill with dechlorinated tap water – irrigation water has all kinds of little critters that koi are not bred to withstand…).
During the cycling process, you will first see an ammonia spike, then a nitrite spike, and finally a nitrate spike (invest in a good testing kit -available at most decent pet stores). Once your nitrates have leveled off and been stable for a while, then you can introduce your fish.
Speaking of which, you have WAY too many. I don’t know how many gallons your pond has, but without some *serious* filtration, all those fish and tadpoles and everything else are just putting, quite frankly, a bunch of poop in your pond. There is no way enough bacteria can colonize, nor plants can absorb, the amount of ammonia-nitrites-nitrates that many fish will pump out. Each goldfish should have at least 10 gallons, and each koi 100+. All the tadpoles, etc., just add ammonia without (in my mind) contributing much else.
Bad news: your blow-up pool will have the same thing happen to it, eventually, unless you cycle it, too.
And finally, may I suggest adding a veggie filter? They are the best for most closely mirroring a natural ecosystem: Http://www.bonniesplants.com/how_to/vegg… .
I hope this helps – good luck!