Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:29 am Post subject: Outdoor pond pics and problems. Warning - long post
Here goes about my pond. Its about 6 ft long, 3 ft wide and about 3 ft deep. It has mollies of all colors - white, red, golden and black. They are breeding like crazy and I am just about fed up with them. I also have a pair of white sharks and a pair of black sharks. They are each about half a foot long. I call them sharks, but know that they are the catfish family. I am sure most experienced aquarists here would know the real name of these fish and I will be glad if someone tells me that. I have a couple of amazon swords.
I have had this setup going on for a couple of years now. The original intent was to have a nice fountain and some goldfish. Two disasters later, now Ive got these mollies breeding crazy and four large catfish swimming happily. They all seem to like the setup. I run the fountain sometimes when everyone is at home and enjoying an evening of calm.
As with every utopia, there are problems -
1. The pond gets really dirty. Its under a neem tree. The tree either sheds leaves or flowers or both at all times of the year except when it rains. Muck accumulates at the bottom and the water typically becomes opaque. The fish seem happy. But I am not. I want crystal clear water and I want to see my fish. And due to the turbidity of the water, the plants are also rotting away at the bottom. Another friend of mine who keeps these catfish in a rather large aquarium, which he also uses as a center table has really filthy water. But, again, the fish are happy. In fact I have seen those fish grown from inch long fingerlings to about a foot in length now. The length to water ratio in the tank is unbelievable, yet the fish are growing without aeration. He says, the algae which is responsible for the murkiness is what keeps the fish happy. I tend to believe him since his fish are obviously happy and growing. But I hate the algae in my pond and I want a solution. Tried changing the water, adding some nano-silica (Nualgi - in case anyone wants to google it) and running the fountain pump continuously for aeration. Nothing works except a complete cleanup - remove the fish, remove the water, remove the muck, fill in water and put the fish back. For about two weeks. After that, its back to green. Its not even bright green. Its a sort of dull dark blackish green. I dont want to add algicides, since there are algae on the sides of the pond, which the fish seem to like. On sunny days, one can see them grazing happily on these algae. I only want the murkiness of the water removed. What do I do?
2. You can see the pump arrangement for the fountain. Is it possible to add a filter somewhere along the line. I read somewhere, someone had posted a DIY. But could not find instructions for that. Can someone help me with that?
3. If you see the fountain part, water runs for a particular length before coming back into the pond. Is it possible that adding sand, plants or both in the course of this run, the algae could be removed? If so, what would be the ideal combination of plants and pebble/sand size to effect good filtration?
4. Does someone know what fish attracts kingfishers? I want to attract them to this pond. He flies around in the garden. Thankfully I live in a place where all neighbors have large gardens. But while other birds can get whatever they want from the scraps thrown out, I really feel sad for the kingfisher. The catfish are safe since they are large now. The pond has enough depth for the KF to dive in, as there are low hanging perches for him to sit on, so there wont be too much velocity when he dives and he wont hit the bottom either. So now it is only a question of putting in the right fish, since he obviously does not like mollies.
5. I want to plant the soil around the stream. The reason why it is such a mess currently can be seen in the corner of the photo of the full system. That fellow cannot wait for me to finish planting something before digging it up. I think if allowed, he will start digging even as I am planting. But that is beside the point. I want moss to grow on the stone. I tried smearing it with cowdung, with alginate, with alginate mixed with cowdung. keeping it wrapped in cellophane to trap in the humidity. Nothing works. Its an ugly rock. The only way it can be made presentable is if I have plants growing on it, around it and it has some luxuriant moss growing on it. Ideas and instructions please.
Thanks all. I am sure the combined experience of all on this forum will definitely be helpful in creating the perfect fountain/pond.
Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:00 pm Post subject: Re: Outdoor pond pics and problems. Warning - long post
Agri net over the pond - will cut the sunlight for the aquatic plants, will slow down the algal carpet on the sides of the pond, which my fish like so much, and kingfisher has no hopes even if I put in the right kind of fish. I could try a mosquito net, but that would still not give KF a fighting chance.
The pond filter sounds like a better idea - unobtrusive and removes only that which I find irritating about the entire setup - the suspended algae. Where can I find a readymade one? or if there are instructions to DIY an in-line filter with the plumbing already there, visible in the second photo will be much appreciated.
I tried this - I wrapped sponge (the normal one that you get in a hardware store or for cleaning in fancy stores) around the foot valve and hoped to remove the sponge ever so often to squeeze out muck accumulated in it when the pump was running. Much like some of these aquarium filters with canisters of sponge. Now, my hand does not reach so far down upto the foot valve level without risk of me falling into the water, and by the time I remove the sponge from the water, all the muck has already dropped back into the water. So if it is DIY, it has to be something that can be positioned at the outlet side of the pump. I hope I am right about that.
I presume because of the irregular shape and a ledge that runs till half of the pond before dropping deep, the volume of water will be around 10-12 cubic feet - not more than 350 liters? The pump is a quarter HP self priming pump. Knowing this, what filter would work, or what DIY filtration setup can be done?
Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:25 am Post subject: Re: Outdoor pond pics and problems. Warning - long post
The Kaya thread was awesome. Could not find gar88 though. Is the spelling correct?
I am inclined to agree with Madan. Not too much of a fan of recirculating systems. Perhaps KF will just have to do what he is doing now and I should get that net installed.
I have been reading about these natural swimming pools which do not use chlorine and have plants and fishes to clear up the water before it recirculates into the swimming pool. Rather hoping that something like that is possible with the pond too - since I am not aiming for Crystal clear water ( just enough to see me fishies ) perhaps we could do away with the filters and UV and just use plants ( hyacinths, I saw mentioned somewhere. Once they grow too much I can also use them to fertilize my plants ).
Joined: Aug 19, 2005 Posts: 4895 Location: Mathura, UP
Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:28 pm Post subject: Re: Outdoor pond pics and problems. Warning - long post
Use a net as already suggested above, you can also put in a small powerhead to keep the water circulating if it already not there.
As long as leaves etc. continue to fall in your pond, the organic content will continue to build in your tank resulting in algae.
Add a lot of plants, specially lillies.
I had a smaller tank under a mango tree, the water although was not crystal clear but clear enough so that bottom was visible and lillies looked nice.
Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:15 pm Post subject: Re: Outdoor pond pics and problems. Warning - long post
Somehow unable to attach an image with this post. Anyway, after a couple of tries finally the pond water is clear for about 1 and a half weeks now. How?
I got this nifty device that sucks the muck out of the bottom from a shop on east coast road in chennai - Umino. It works similar to the old kerosene siphons which I remember from my childhood but dont see nowadays. It is pretty decent in sucking the muck out of the bottom and I spend about five minutes every morning removing visible muck.
The tree has stopped shedding. Whatever it sheds, I remove during my morning five minutes with the fishes using a normal fish net on a frame.
The sun has moved. I noticed that just now. So no more direct sunlight on the water in the afternoons. I think that is a large contributor to the lower level of algae currently.
I did install a submersible pump and tried a DIY filter. Have not managed to get it working though. The filter design kinda sucked and the filter membrane kept getting clogged in five minutes. Will improve on that and post later.
Now to figure out why I am unable to attach pictures.
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