Pond water smells like rotten eggs

hissleepyMay 17, 2012

we expanded our koi pond this year and in the month that it has been open the water has become very mucky and dirty despite water changes etc. I have 3 bio filters that have been running for the last month also several airstones and mechanical filters as well as a skimmer. I have used the same water treatments has I have for the past several years that include bacterial pond clarifier, pond salt, eco fix, water conditioner and stress coat. I only feed the fish what they can eat in 5 minutes, they seem to be doing fine (they are not gasping for air at the top etc.) I have done nothing different and I have never had this problem before. The surface is covered 50% with floating plants which I plan to get more. I have noticed that the water has started to have a rotten egg smell. I want to know how to fix this. Should I drain the whole pond and start over. Any suggestions would help

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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Since you didn't mention bottom drain I'm assuming there is some buildup of muck on the bottom?

Draining is an option but not one I enjoy.

Another option is scooping or vacuuming.

Of course the pond could still smell bad to you. Different people, different noses.

[sarcasm on]
I don't understand, I though bacterial pond clarifier, eco fix and such products kept ponds clean?
[sarcasm off]

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:02PM
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mike_il(WChi)

The smell of rotten eggs is a very poisonous gas. It is caused by bacterial growing without Oxygen. It can only grow in areas that pond water with Oxygen can't get to such as in muck. But before I am going to try and figure out where it is coming from I want more information. Give us more details about the old pond and how it was expanded. Does this pond have rock and gravel on the bottom? Was the old pond clean when expanded? What is the size of the pond? How much water is moving per hour? Do the pumps run 24 hours a day?

Mike

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:38PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Indeed toxic in high enough levels and not optimal. True for almost anything. Many fish have evolved in such environments. No need to panic.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:17PM
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mike_il(WChi)

Yes it is toxic. Extremely toxic! It will kill a person at levels in the air of .005 ppm. Are you going to get those levels coming off a pond in the open air? No. But your fish could see those levels if the water is not circulating. Yes there are fish and other creatures that can live at those levels but any fish that you would have a pond will not. HS poisoning is the only time in my life that I had to perform CPR and that person died three times before they could could bring him back to life for good.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 2:38PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

If the bottom is not covered with rocks, other maintenance is adequate and you are testing the water I would guess you have something organic like a raccoon or squirrel, or even a bird dead in the pond. After only a month that seems the most likely problem. By this time feathers, hair and fatty particles would be showing up in the filters. If you find such a thing in the pond, the water and filters will still stink until bacterial balance shifts from anaerobic to aerobic.

Water changes and clean filters will make the process faster. Scoop and vacuum all debris. Check under the plants. They could hide the problem. All the additives are for special circumstances. Do you really need them?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 6:09PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

I'm not going near a pond ever again. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 2:04AM
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chas045(7b)

I think we are confusing odors here. A putrid smell is unpleasant but distinct from the rotten egg smell. I think sleepless's solution is correct in either case, but if it is rotten egg smell, you're not likely to come up with a handfull of 'dead skunk in the middle of the pond'.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:30AM
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