Professional installer only put in a skimmer

WendywithcometsMay 21, 2012

I had a pond put in last fall by a professional pond installer. I think it is about 1,000 gallons. I told him I planned to get fish. Until recently I assumed I had everything I needed to run my pond. Within the past weeks I have had some cloudy water, some algae bloom, etc...I've been to the pond store and have been educated on the bio filter and have purchased a few chemicals to help with beneficial bacteria growth. Recently I started learning more and decided to add a bag of lava rocks to my skimmer. I thought the filter was simply the 5 black brushes in my skimmer. I have a Little Giant skimmer model. So--as I'm learning more, I'm discovering that the pond guy should have put in a second filter box thing near my waterfall where I could have put the biological sponges/rocks/AC etc... So---I'm angry and concerned since I just added 4 little comet guys yesterday. Surprisingly, the pond has amazingly cleared up in the past few days. i can acutally see the rocks on the bottom that I have since learned that I should get rid of (!)The only real problem I am having is a brown color that is evident when you look in the pond but is not evident in a clear glass of pond water. I put in AC anyway--where else but the skimmer--but I do not know if there is enough flow through there to utlize the AC or the lava rocks. What would you guys do with this issue? My pond is in direct sun but still gets a lot of poplar leaves and flower blooms from above.

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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Impossible to say what the problem is without being on site and even then it's difficult. If I take the words "brown" and "leaves" I'm going to be thinking tannins. AC can remove tannins but it's far from easy. Easier imo is to net or vacuum out the leaves and keep up with that and do water changes to remove the current tannins.

But I've many cases where the owner said "brown" and it wasn't tannins but just a build up of dead organic suspended in the water. I would call it more of a grey, but brown would fit if you haven't seen a lot of ponds. It's a much more common issue, so if I were a betting man my money would be there.

Easiest fix is the same for tannins. Remove organic matter (the source) and water changes to remove the suspended matter. There are filters for removing suspended matter, such as fabric filters and sand filters. How effective these are is dependent on the matter itself, so these are hit and miss.

Flocculent can be used to removed suspended matter. Sellers make them sound easy, but the actual process is too complex for most people. Certainly not dump it in and walk way.

I wouldn't be mad at your installer, the second filter is a crappy bio filter and even good bio filters don't fix tannins or suspended matter.

I would call your "education" at the pond store indoctrination. Stuff in a bottle can have short term effects, but long term rarely does much good. Normally the cause has to be fixed. But all ponds are different.

The lava rock in the skimmer is submerged media, and pretty poor media at that for such a small space imo. Again, its a bio filter, little effect on your issues and especially such a small amount. Lava rock in a Trickle Tower is 10-30 times better as a bio filter. So if you really wanted to add lava rock I suggest Googling "Trickle Tower". Super cheap and easy to make.

Whether or not 60-100 lbs of lava rock will damage your filter is anyone's guess but I wouldn't care for the odds.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 1:46AM
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QUOTE: So--as I'm learning more, I'm discovering that the pond guy should have put in a second filter box thing near my waterfall where I could have put the biological sponges/rocks/AC etc...

Here is a link that might be useful: skippy filter

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:40AM
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