I have had some ammonia problems lately. The only thing that had changed in regards to the pond, was that I had repotted my water lilies in July. I started pulling up their pots and just above the cat litter line was a hazy white scummy coating. I carefully lifted them out so as not to spill any of the very stinky water back into the pond. I rinsed them out thoroughly and put them back in. Ammonia levels quickly dropped to zero. I figured I would take them out every two weeks and rinse them until I figured out how to repot them properly. It's been two weeks, and this morning was the first non zero ammonia reading, it's .25.
So, can someone advise me on a better way to pot these things up? I have each one in a plastic tub and have zip tied a plastic basket with big openings over the top of each one to keep the koi from rooting around in there. The tubs are filled with cat litter, which I had rinsed out well. When I initially re-potted them in July, there was lots of rotting matter in there that I cleaned off. I also put a jobs fertilizer stick in each one, which I had never done before.
This summer has been very eye-opening for me. I learned that all those years I didn't do water testing and didn't do many water changes, I haven't been right, I've been lucky. The more I learn, the more amazed I am that I have never lost fish in the 11 years I have had them (until this summer, that is, which was my first clue that I have been oh-so-wrong).
Anyway, I digress. What am I doing wrong? After lots of forum reading, I thought I was doing the right thing with my plants.