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what can i do for brown water

Posted by loriques (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 7, 10 at 15:38

hello, i could really use some advice. i'm wondering what i can do for brown water. it is all brown looking, it is not algee, but i'm not sure what it is.. any ideas.

my bio filter is getting all full of brown slimmy stuff. i spray it out daily to get rid of the grim.

thank you for any help at all..


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: what can i do for brown water

Is your water like "Tea Color" brown or like chocolat milk brown.

If its like a Tea color. Try using "Activated Charcoal" in a nylon or a pouch of somekind that will allow water to pass through it and float that in your skimmer, falls or bio falls. This will help at least give the water some clarity.


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RE: what can i do for brown water

This is my promlem too. My water is Tea color, and I have put Activated Charcoal about 3 weeks ago, I am putting Bacteria every week, I am also putting every week "SAB Stream & Pond clean Extreme". I have this pond for 4 years, never had problems. The pond is 11'x12'x2 1/2', good pump, good filter, I am cleaning filter every day, I am using quilt batting to help it, but now nothing is helping my tannin. Anybody with the fresh idea? How about Horton?


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RE: what can i do for brown water

it is like ice tea color. i put in some stuff that is supose to help bind the small particles and sink them so the filter can catch them, but it is not working.

i was thinking of using the quilt batting but if it is not working for bumsi i don't know what eles to do. i will try the charcoal. it has not worked for bumsi but it may work for me. i so hope. my pond is rather new about 3 months old. this has been an issue for me since i started the pond.. i'm also using koi clay and good emzimes with barley in it. still nothing is working. any ideas


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RE: what can i do for brown water

The first thing is take a white coffee cup of water from the pond and look at it in the sunlight. This will give you the color of the water against the white background. Then take a clear glass of pond water and hold it up to the sunlight. This will allow you to see if particles are floating in the water. This will give a good idea where the problem is coming from. Until the source is gone you are going to have a hard time getting rid of it.
Mike


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RE: what can i do for brown water

Hmmm...responded to this post yesterday but...????

You're fighting a losing battle unless you first eliminate the source of the brown water. Likley tannins from decaying leaves/debris or perhaps submerged pots with peat in the planting medium.

It's an exercise in futility to treat *symptoms*. Always search for the root of the problem and correct it first. Once the problem is eliminated, the batting should do the trick. Sorry - in a rush here but search for Horton's post using a trash can & batting to filter your water.

Follow his advice and you will be enjoying clear water this time tomorrow:)


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RE: what can i do for brown water

My water is brown too. But it's not just tannins. It's mud. I cleaned out the bio filter last night and it was 300 gallons of pure brown mud. It isn't infiltration. If it was it would be red clay. I don't know how to fix it!


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RE: what can i do for brown water

Hi,

I second all the carbon suggestions. My neighbors tree hangs over my pond so every time it rain, the water that runs over the seed pods on the tree must absorb some tannins or something but the end result is ice tea pond water.

I put a media bag of activated carbon in the biofilter and the brown water issue started to clear up. THe water isn't crystal clear; more like....hmmmmmm...don't know how to describe it, if I put some pond water in a clear glass it has a definite light yellowish tinge to it. But, I figure it's a POND for pete's sake not an aquarium and I don't have to have sparkling Evian type water in there! LOL

The water still will turn brown after a rain and will take a day or two to clear up afterwards but it is much, much better than it was!


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RE: what can i do for brown water

It sounds like you didn't wait for the normal cycling with an algae bloom after the pond was filled. Do you have a clear bottom without rocks? Not all algae is green and gummy stuff sounds like something rotting. Is there an odor? It could also be excessive Bentonite clay. Are you sure you got koi clay? That would be calcium Bentonite rather than sodium Bentonite. How much are you adding? David described a gel like clump that sometimes forms, that is rather unpleasant. I don't remember that it was all through the water though. Stop putting stuff in the pond for at least a week using the quilt batting, especially if you have a Skippy or similar filter. If you rinse the filters, don't use water from the tap. Rinse them in a bucket of pond water. You may just be overwhelming the system with too much stuff. I haven't needed to add enzymes or barley straw in 6 years. I have had to do water changes because the raccoons dumped flower pots in the water and got it muddy. Activated Charcoal is expensive but is great to clear up tannins from all the red oak trees in the yard. It doesn't do anything for mud. Have you used a test kit? Ammonia will often make the water tea colored.


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RE: what can i do for brown water

  • Posted by jalal z3/Canada (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 9, 10 at 14:44

Patience is the key. Barley straw takes up to 6 weeks to work in a pond. (which is why I don't use it--season here too short) The koi clay takes at least two weeks before you notice much of a difference. Dead algae is brown as well. If you are spraying your biofilter daily with just tap water you may be killing the good bacteria daily--chlorine/chloramine in the water. It would be better to remove the biofilter media into a laundry tub of pond water swish it around and repeat with another container of pond water. If there is a lot of sludge in your biofilter shopvac it out before you put the media back in. If you have room quilt batting will collect the tannis/dead algae but it has to be cleaned regularly. A new pond takes a least 6 to 8 weeks to cycle. Heavy feeding and too many fish can also contribute to brown water. Like sleepless said too many products in a pond only make things worse. All you really should be adding is a dechlorinator if you have chlorine/chloramines and the koi clay is fine--it will also cause your filters to clog more as it helps settle out algae/heavy metals etc.


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RE: what can i do for brown water

thank you all for your advice. i think i have a couple diffrent factors in the brown water. the pond is right under a walnut tree. so i think i have some issues with tanning due to the walnuts when it rains. also, there is alot of particles in the watter floating. i am cleaning it daily with a net to try and keep the leaves out, but it is a battle to keep on top of it.

i am using koi clay, i have only used it twice so far. and i follow the directions.

i know there is alot of silt, because the filter is full of it. but i do use the pond watter to rinse out the filter and water fall box.

there is alot of green slimmy stuff like alge on the sides of the pond. but i think that is the good stuff so i have not tried to clean it off.

i did not ever get a alge bloom in the pond after setting it up. i thought i was because i used benifictal bacteria from day one and due it being in the shade most of the day.

i'm still working on it. but it is not a totally bad thing i think. i can still see the fish on the bottom it is just hard to see them untill they get closer to the top.

oh yeah, i don't have any rocks on the bottom.

i'm sure when i bring in the fish for the winter and i drain the pond it will get out all of the silt, maybe i can do better next year. i have fixed some of the issues with run off that i was experiancing. so that should help.

i got some of the active charchole stuff, but i have not put it in yet since i'm treating the pond with malafix and premafix. but once i'm done with the seven days i will most definatly try it.

about the quilt batting. how exactly do i use it. i am using a sup pump for the pond, i have it in a net laundry bag so the fish don't get sucked in. i was thinking maybe i could put the quilting inside a laundry basket and put the pump in the middle of it. what do you guys think..

thanks again for any help at all.. shalom, laura


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RE: what can i do for brown water

Where is the filter located? It is not going to do much good if it is in the pond. Can you describe the pump/filter arrangement you have now? The most efficient arrangement is to place the batting after the pump and before the water re-enters the pond. Otherwise the gunk will just settle out and back into the water.

Sump pumps are not really recommended for ponds. They are not built to run 24/7 and will eventually overheat. Save up for a regular pond pump and use the sump pump as a backup or for water changes.


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RE: what can i do for brown water

i am using the sup pump and the tube goes up to a water fall basin thingey. i can't remember the name for it. inside of it i have matel mats, the black, green, blue and gray ones. this is the only filtering system i have right now. but i am saving up for a regular pump and another filter system. i'm just way confused on what type i need. a neighbor has a black one that is outside of her pond with a uv filter in it also. it sort of looks like a small propane tank, but it has cleared her pond up so well. i need to find out the name of it.

thank you for any help at all.. the pump is a cyclone. it said on the box that it was for pond use also and that it was for continouse running. i so hope it does not over heat and hurt my fish.


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RE: what can i do for brown water

  • Posted by jalal z3/Canada (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 15, 10 at 0:56

Matala mats are easy to clean. All you do is pull them from the filter/container and bang them against the pavement or fence. If needed swish them in a container of pond water and bang them again on the pavement. It sounds like you could put a piece of quilt batting either on top of the matala mats or in front of the blue mat which if I remember correctly is the finest mesh? Make sure its a full quilt bat not the broken up stuffing stuff.
Not sure why you would drain your pond for the winter unless its a preform? If its a liner pond you don't need to drain it in fact it's better for next year start up if you don't. Otherwise you'll just be dealing with new pond syndrome again next year. I live in Zone 3 and let my pond freeze every year (the fish come indoors). Water lilies go in the deep end--4 ft deep and as they've survived every year for the last 6 years I don't think the pond freezes solid even though I know the ice is at least 2 ft thick. I leave my bags of filter media in the pond and in the spring jump start the pond with the indoor pond water (300 gals). I can't usually do this till the end of May or early June as it takes that long for the outdoor pond to be thawed and close to the indoor pond temperatures. I also do a good cleaning in the fall after the fish are removed and again in the spring before the fish go out.
As for buying a new pump. You'll need to post info on pond gals, waterfall, skimmer etc for recommendations from the many knowledgable people on this forum. External pumps are more energy efficient and you don't have to get in the pond for pump maintainance. They are usually more expensive though but the US has lots of sources for them not like here in CD. If you go with an external pump you'll have to add some kind of prefilter for the pump like a settling chamber or even a skimmer. Lots of stuff to consider.
Keep using the koi clay--it's good stuff. I've been fighting algae this year as well due to the weather changes but this week (after 3 weeks of koi clay) is finally clear to the bottom. And theres maybe 6 weeks left before shutdown!


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RE: what can i do for brown water

i found part of my problem. it rained and rained last night and today. when i went out to the pond to ck the water level i found two places where mud was running down my bank and into the pond. so in between the rain showers i have been outside working on building up like a dam in the areas where the water is going in. i built up the edges of the pond next to the bank where it makes a nice lip like area where the pond liner goes up and over real steap. this i hope will keep the water from running down in the pond. the water running down was putting alot of mud into my pond. i think this is alot of my problem.

but now i'm still working on the fix. does anyone have any sugestions. i would post pics but i droped my camra in the pond yesterday when i was trying to take a pick of the fish..

this has been a big learning experiance.


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RE: what can i do for brown water

Try to replace some of the water, alittle each day and keep cleaning your filter

Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard Garden Ponds


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