What color is your pond water?
If you can see the bottom of your new pond after it has settled down for a few weeks, you likely have no problems with your water quality.
However, if your fish are dying, you likely have levels of chlorine and chloramines that are excessive. Chlorine and chloramines are toxic to fish. You should add New Pond to control these levels, every time new water is added to your pond. This treatment can also be used in existing pond water to reduce the chlorine and chloramines to a safe level.
All bodies of water go through what we call an "algae bloom" that will turn the water green. It’s a very natural occurrence that happens whenever the water heats up and there is enough "fuel" in the water to feed the algae. Mother Nature has her way of clearing the water. One day, after weeks of not being able to see your fish (much less the bottom of the pond), you may walk out and find that your pond is clear. The following is a list of things that you can do to help Mother Nature do her job.
- Sun / Shade
Algae, like most plants, need sunlight to survive. Most of us can’t move our pond to the shade, but there are ways to simulate shade. There are products available that color your water blue, such as Pond Shade. You can also create shade for your sunny pond by adding floating plants such as water hyacinths, water lettuce and waterlillies.
- Starve the Algae
Water plants, especially floaters and anacharis, compete with algae for nutrients in the water. The more plants you have, the more the algae starves and reproduces less. Stock up with plants. You may not want to use fertilizer in your plants until your ecological balance has been met.
Do not scrub the sides of your pond. The green coat that forms on the liner and on the sides and the bottom of the pond is beneficial to the pond itself. The jelly-like substance is algae that is packed with nitrifying bacteria. Nitrifying bacteria is paramount in order to limit the Ammonia levels in the pond. If you want to give your pond a thorough cleaning, start with the bottom of the pond, where parasites and bad bacteria usually forms.
Set the blades on your lawn mower to the highest possible height - Longer grass grows deeper roots, and helps shade the soil enough to prevent water evaporation.
If your water is a white, milky color or cloudy you are probably experiencing a bacterial bloom. Nature Clear is a perfect remedy for this situation. It is important that you dose the water correctly and have plenty or aeration (if you have fish) because the coagulation that occurs (after Natural Clear is applied) will consume a great amount of the water’s dissolved oxygen.
Brown water indicates that there is floating dirt and particles in the water. Rotting leaves and debris create "tanning" of the water. There are three things that you can do to clear the brown water.
- Clean the Filter.
Don’t wash all the filter material with chlorinated water. Instead, take the least dirty pads and wash them with water from your pond (this keeps the good bacteria alive).
- Use a Water Clarifyer.
Applying the Natural Clear pond treatment can help. It binds minute particles in your water together and forces it to the bottom of the pond. Again, follow precautions and make sure that your system is highly aerated during the process. If in doubt, we have aeration equipment that you can rent for this reason.
- Vacuum the Pond.
Now you should be able to see the bottom of the pond and all the debris and trash you never knew existed. One of the ponder’s best tools is a shop vac or wet vac. Use it to vacuum the bottom and sides of the pond. Don’t scrub the slime off the sides. It’s beneficial to your eco-system.
Keep an Eye on the pH
pH affects all aquatic life, including plants. A stable pH of 6.8 to 8.0 is the best suited for pond fish. Concrete used in the waterfall or to hold rocks in place can leach into the water in new ponds, which causes the pH become too basic and rise above 8.0. pH changes throughout the day, so testing should be done about three times a day until the stability of the pH has been established. If the pH is still fluctuating, there are commercially available products to change and stabilize the pH.