Beating my head against the wall because of pea soup water
At least that's what I feel like I'm doing here beating my head against the wall. And I need some advice/encouragement.
First of all, I read. I read a lot on how to take care of my pond. I read this forum often. I'm not really a newbie at this hobby but can't quite get it right this year on this 2 year old pond.
In the wee hours this morning I noticed my koi and gold fish hanging out around the bell type fountain and waterfall (I have both in this pond) gasping for air. This morning at daylight I checked on them again and they were still gasping for air. I knew it was from low oxygen levels but I didn't know the cause so I did a water quality check. Nitrates, nitrites and ammonia levels all good. Ph and alkalinity were on the high side.
Although I've been living with the green pea soup water for approximately 6 weeks now I've done nothing except clean out my skippy filter waiting for the pond to 'cycle' through the algae bloom until today.
After some emergency reading, the general advice was to do a large water change and get more aeration into the pond. So I did the water change, approximately 40-50%, added the new water using the sprayer to help dissipate the chlorine and further add O2 to the water. I also changed out the 'bell' type fountain for a larger one and adjusted water flow accordingly for more aeration over a larger area. The only chemical I added was a dechlorinator. While the water level was low I vacuumed out the bottom of the pond as well. As a precaution I also checked the inflow/outflow of water through my skippy filter and that is fine for the size of my pond. I do have plants in the pond but the floating plants only cover maybe 20% of the surface area. They are not spreading as fast as I would like them to do.
This afternoon after the water change, the water is still green but the fish seem to be OK as they should be during the day when the algae is producing O2 instead of absorbing it up. I did another water quality check this afternoon after the water change and the results are basically the same as they were this morning, all levels good/safe except the pH and alkalinity which are still on the high side.
Now that you all know what I've done, my question is should I do more or something else? I REALLY, REALLY want to stay away from chemicals since my two yorkies will sometimes drink from the water garden and most everyone on here agrees to stay clear of chemicals. A UV filter for a pond this size (approximately 1,000 gals) is not an option for my pocketbook. I know that patience is key but how much? I would think after 6 weeks the water quality/pea soup would be better.