Green Water

tulln1(z6a NE NJ)June 23, 2011

Having a green water algae problem for the first time in 10 years. I have a 1500 gal pond with 3 filters. 1200 gph pump to UV to Skippy filter to waterfall. A 4200gph pump to a filter-falls, and a pondmaster 2000 filter in the pond with a 500 gph pump. The bottom is clean of leaves and dirt. One quarter covered with waterlilies and a good amount of water hyacinths. I have 6 large koi and 4 goldfish. The pond has always been clear with the 9 watt Cyprio UV. Since it went green, I added a 18 watt turbo twist UV ahead of the 9W. Both have new bulbs. Running with the 2 UV clarifiers for 6 days now and it actually might be getting a little worse. One foot down the fish look hazy. Two feet down they are very hazy. Read up on the subject again but did not find anything new. Also cut down feeding from the usual twice a day to once a day at least 3 weeks ago. Any suggestions?

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Hi Tulln. I can relate to what you are going through because we went through the same thing with our ponds many years ago. In 1982 we put in our first pond and had no trouble with water because Hubby used to put his tropical fish in there. Well, I saw my first Koi about a year later and needless to say, the tropicals went back inside the house to be replaced by my Koi. Unfortunately, due to the amount of fish I purchased, our little 100 gallon pond had a real problem with hair algae. Now, when you have hair algae your water is crystal clear but of course, the hair algae can trap and kill Koi and also clog pumps. We never did get rid of our problem with hair algae, even when we moved and put in 14 ponds. :)
LOL Yep, Hubby built me a 13,000 gallon pond which was always green so we never saw them until we brought them inside the house for the winter. I'm sure you don't want to know how many rooms downstairs we had dedicated to our Koi. :)
Anyway, after years of struggling with hair algae in some ponds and suspended algae in other ponds we decided to get into filtration and the first filter we used was an upflow which worked great for a few weeks and then the water would either turn green or hair algae would grow out of control again.
We didn't have bottom drains on our 45 gallon bio-filters and at that time we were using lava rock for bio-media.
In order to clean the filter I had to dump it over because it was so heavy and when the lava rock was on the ground I noticed that the bottom layer of lava rock was covered in sludge. A friend of ours has had a business in the water garden business for 75 years and when I asked her for help on why we were having such trouble with water quality, she told me that she could tell me anything that I wanted to know about plants but about fish and filtration, she didn't have a clue but suggested that we join some pond clubs in the States, which we did and when we received their monthly newsletters, Hubby and I inhaled everything we read.
Look, LOL I can go on and on and on as you've already noticed but here's the bottom line.
If you have a bio-filter that is not only large enough for the size of your pond but the amount and size of fish you have in your pond, you will never have to use u.v. lights, barley straw, etc.
We've been building and using the downflow bio-filters for about 23 years now and the beauty of this system is that I never have to clean the bio-media (we use plastic scrubbies because they are light with lots of holes), only the window screening at the top of the filter where the water goes from the bottom of the pond.
The water goes into the top of the filter, down through the scrubbies, up a pipe on the inside of the filter which leads the water back up to the top of the filter and out to the pond.
I've got a great diagram and step by step pictures if you are interested.
This filter is very easily and inexpensively made and if you have the room to use a 45 gallon drum you can easily hide it or you can use a cattle/horse trough which can be buried in the ground.
Anyway, the reason why ponds have such trouble with algae is because they are not in balance which means that there is too much nutrient/toxin content in the water which keeps the algae good and healthy. Let me know what you think.

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:20PM
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I think you need to upsize the UV. 27 watts is not enough, or perhaps your pump is too robust and you are not achieving sufficient contact time. Scrap what you have and get a 120 watt UV. Also make sure your water hyacinth have nice long roots. If the koi are chomping on them they will not do their job. If that is the case, put them in a plant screen circle where the koi can't touch them. Big UV + water lettuce/hyacinths + 50% lily coverage simply has to solve your problem.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 1:06AM
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tulln1(z6a NE NJ)

The 75 gal. skippy filter with the original skippy fiber pads is working as a bio filter always resulting in 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrite. pH is 7.8 and hardness is 50. The Water Hyacinths are in the small upper pond with no fish, acting as a veggie filter and is connected with a small stream to the main pond which has the water lilies and other assorted plants. I cannot afford another UV light, besides what I have should be able to do the job. I am just going to wait it out another week and see what happens. What about a partial water change now or if all else fails a 100% water change next weekend?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 4:47PM
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My daughter has a small 275 gal preformed pond. An 8 watt UV keeps it really clear. This year she had a problem and we replaced the bulb. No difference so we had to buy a new transformer for the UV and now everything is A-OK again.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:14PM
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tulln1(z6a NE NJ)

Pond cleared after waitng it out an additional week. What I did to help it along (one week ago) was to lower the pond level several inches (less water to treat) and covered several hula hoops with black plastic to float on surface (less light = less photosynthesis).

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 8:43AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Amazing what patience and blocking more sunlight can do....

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 12:08PM
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