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what's with this brown pond water?

Posted by laurieoh 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 16, 09 at 14:43

First I had a problem with green, algae water, now it looks pretty clear, but it's the color of tea. What causes this and what can I do to correct it? I have a fair no. of plants and fish, good filtration (I think). Please advise.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

  • Posted by horton 6 b Ontario. (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 16, 09 at 15:50

Laurie, usually it is caused by leaves that fall into the pond and break down releasing tannins into the water.
Oak leaves are a common culprit.
Or it could be from run off from the surrounding soil, during a heavy rainfall.

A bag of Activated Charcoal, placed in your filter or on the waterfall, where the water can run through the charcoal, will help clear up the tea colour in the water.
If you go with the activated charcoal, be sure you rinse it through first with cold tap water, as it contains powdered up little bits of charcoal, that you don't want in your pond.

Some folks have had success removing the brown staining, by adding a layer of polyester quilt batting to their filter materials. The quilt batting is cheaper than the charcoal.
"Horton"


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

Thanks, Horton. I currently have quilt batting in the filter, although to be honest, haven't been changing it daily, like I was in the beginning.
I don't have any big trees near the pond. The pond is near the deck, and the closest tree is a Northern bayberry and the leaves aren't falling from that, so I'm not sure that's the culprit. We haven't had much rain lately so I don't think it's runoff. It really has me stumped.

I will try the activated charcoal...where can I pick some up....can I use that from the aquarium section of a pet store or are there bigger bags at the pond store (and probably more $)?


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

What about something leaching out of the pots your plants are in?

Maybe the type of dirt or something in the dirt?


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

  • Posted by horton 6 b Ontario. (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 16, 09 at 19:28

Laurie, yes the aquarium charcoal will do the job.

Missa's point about the soil in pots is worth taking a look at. Especially if there is any cattle manure in the mix.
"Horton"


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

Laurie,
Do you have barley in the pond?
Mike


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

Did you pot your aquatic plants with bagged potting soil or any bagged soil that has peat in it? Peat will turn water brown in a heartbeat.

Ditto any mulch with peat or bark that might have washed in.

It won't hurt your fish. I'd rather have clear brown water than opaque green water..... which is what might happen again if you change out this brown water....


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

I did not use prepackaged dirt or peat moss. We were doing some constructing on our property at the time, so I used fairly good clay-type soil from what was dug up at the time.

Mike, I have been using liquid concentrated barley straw extract the past few weeks (although I missed last week because I was gone). Could this be causing the problem?

I do agree that clear brown water is better than murky green water, but still would like to get a nice looking pond before summer is done!


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

Laurie,

I, too, use quilt batting. I just rinse it off everyday until it becomes "ratty". Then I cut a new piece. A roll of that stuff can last quite awhile.

I had really brown water too. It was caused by the leaves I left in from the fall and compost that had run into the water. With all the rain we've had here the water is much better so maybe a partial water change would help you.

Jeannie


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

What kind of fish and sizes.
Mike


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

I have all goldfish. I have one large one (8-10") and about 10 or so that are 3-4". The pond is 250 gallons with a stream and waterfall.


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

Tea colored water can come from dead algae, too or precipitates. Let a glass of water from the pond sit for an hour or two and see if anything separates out. The Batting is good for removing that.


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

We have got a new pond (couple of weeks) and our water has turned really brown. After reading your messages I am wondering if it is due to the fact that out freestanding pond is next to a bush or that we brought a lilly from a garden centre and put it into the pond! Any suggestions please


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RE: what's with this brown pond water?

What is your waterlily potted in? If the soil has peat in it it will turn water brown.

It is a waterlily right? not a potted bulb lily that is certainly in peat based potting soil...


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