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Thread: I did something stupid

  1. Back To Top    #1

    I did something stupid

    Hi-
    This will be a confessional for me but I need help from those of you who are knowledgeable about the chemistry of water quality.

    So I have a POND, a new pond, fairly large 126,000 gallons with a fountain that circulates the water once each day ie 126000 gal/ day. NO FISH.

    When the pond was built, it immediately turned green. Now here's the chemistry problem. I used a couple of gallons of chelated copper algecide. But it didn't help, I guess because I had microscopic planktonic algae. Then I used Hydrothol, another differently acting algaecide/herbicide. It didn't work. So my pondmaster sugggested alum--aluminum sulfate. It didn't help.

    For three months, nothing worked to kill the algae. So my pondmaster suggested Shocking the pond like a pool. He did this and it almost instantly started killing the algae. IT WORKED. He put 50 gallons of shock in my pond. However, now my pond is Carribean Blue which doesn't look natural, and the plants are dying(which I knew would happen).

    Now I need to turn my pond from Carribean Blue to Natural somehow. I don't know if I just wait for the chlorine to burn off a few days or whether a chemical reaction between the copper ions of the algaecides, and sulfates and the hypochlorite caused the blue color. I also have a white film on the black liner which Pondmaster has suggested is dead algae, bleached out.

    So I have lost faith in him and turn to YOU. I know this is not strictly a pool problem, but it is interesting!! I have a blue lagoon that needs dealing with.

    HELP!!!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    Do you mean the pond is cloudy blue? That sounds perfectly normal if you had a pool. It's what we usually take as a good sign the shocking is working :~}

    Around here we use chlorine regularly, and consistently after shocking which can take days to weeks to complete.

    I couldn't say that the application of one dose of shock product will kill your algae 100% because it doesn't in our pools (shocking is a process, with testing and diligent attention to maintaining the high shock level). If you've got a cloudy blue pond it sounds like much of the algae is dead but without test results it's unknown. After shocking, it also takes a number of days of 24/7 filtering to clear the dead algae out, this would be the cloudiness seen in a shocked body of water.

    Love to see a picture of your pond, it might help us brainstorm. We usually also ask for test results, as that can tell us much more about the water conditions but I'm guessing you don't have one available. Taking the water to a pool store for a free test might be a good option for you although I don't think a good test kit would be wasted on your application either.

    FWIW... I have a tiny little pond that I toss a 1" chlorine tablet into every week and it works well preventing algae. No plants, no fish... no filter (just a sump pump for circulation). I could care less about it's water chemistry, and drain it as needed but it is algae free.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    I'm guessing you may have metal staining from all that algaecide. Is the water an un-natuaral blue or the pond surface/stone. If it is the surface, try holding a vitamin c tablet against it and see if the stain lifts.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: I did something stupid

    The water is unnatural in the context of pond. I,d like to get rid of this pool color blue. If it is staining on the liner it is perfectly uniform as if painted white(liner is black).

    I will try the vitamin C idea tomorrow and take a pic.

    Many thanks for the ideas.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    What kind of liner is it?

    That's kinda creepy if the liner was actually bleached white. Can you find the edge and closely inspect the liner at the water line? Do you see it bleached out there?
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    50 gallons of 12.5% bleach would have raised your FC to 50. With no CYA in your water it could have definitely bleached your liner. I assume that's an EPDM liner (most ponds are) which isn't good for chlorinated water anyway. The blue will eventually go away but I'm not sure there's any hope for your liner and the white is causing the color you're seeing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: I did something stupid

    Dave J, yes the liner is EPDM-45mil. Here's some additional info that could help. I got down on my belly and examined the stone bulkhead to this pond. The white "stuff" was on the stone too. But it came off. It was white fluffy stuff that had definitely bleached out. I then got to a part of the liner and scooped up this white stuff. On closer examination, some of it had some green color in it --like dead algae that might have clumped together???. So maybe the bleach killed the algae and bleached it and it just dropped to the bottom. I asked my Pondmaster to come over and try to sweep it.

    But why wouldn't the shock just burn it up?? And the blue water is still cloudy--do you think the cloudyness could just be microscopic algae?? But that should have been burnt up too??. Is there anything I should try to get rid of the cloudiness short of shocking this pond again. And is there some additive that would return the pond to a natural color?? I assume the pond still contains alot of CC. Just trying to figure out the next step. My objective is to get rid of the cloudiness and the tourquois blue color.

    Thank you all.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    Filltration is how you get rid of dead algae. The shock kills it but then you have to get rid of the carcasses. That's what pool filters do. A sump pump and earth (sand) filter would get rid of it. The blue will go away when you get rid of the white stuff.

    What are you planning on putting in the pond?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: I did something stupid

    I plan to first put in some plantings, lilypad, lotus etc and eventually koi. But I know that I have to get the water free of chlorine and other chemicals before I can do this.

    I'm going to ask my pondguy to look into the sump pump/sand filter. Do you know of a flocculent that would work and sink the dead algae?

    Thanks.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    If you plan on adding fish I wouldn't add floc unless it's approved by your pond/fish guy. The filtering will clear it up without it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  11. Back To Top    #11
    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    Wow, you put chlorine in a pond. Never heard of this one. You need some good filtering in your pond in order to get your pond in good equilibrium. Ponds, as long as they have a good bacteria filtering system need nothing else. I built the 200 gallon filter located at http://www.skippysstuff.com/biofiltr.htm for my pond and I have an additional filter in my waterfall. My pond pump runs full-time and I've got a really healthy pond system. I've got 11 adult fish (Koi, Shebunkan, Gold fish) and many babies. I've got plenty of plants in and out of the pond. I would strongly suggest to not ever shock your pond again. It would be like starting over each time. I would stay clear from anyone giving you this advice. Algea takes a long time to filter through a pond if you have a lot of it, but adding bacteria and filtering correctly, it will do it's job the correct way.
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  12. Back To Top    #12
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    XsAllOverIt,

    That is a beautiful pond! Almost makes me want one...what do you do in the winter with all of your fish?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    They swim in the pond. I've had the pond for over 7 years. Lost 1 fish in the winter so far. It's about 3 feet deep. We had many days in the 0 degree range last year. One of the coldest I remember with no problems with the fish. They've got heaters to keep a hole in the pond. When it gets really cold, we throw that in there for a couple days to keep a hole in the water so none of the gases from plants do any damage to the fish. I've got 3 of the 4 original fish from 7 years ago and many new ones. We usually only lose fish within 2 days of placing them in the pond. Where they go, I have no idea on a few of them. The pond runs by itself for at least 3-4 years with very little maintenance. I had a leak when I was building my pool and re-did the liner both in the pond and in the stream and it turned out to be a leak in the drain of the waterfall. I added an auto-fill and re-did the entire landscaped area with a wall behind to flatten the entire area out since I had to re-do the liner (ALOT OF hard labor - Don't want to do that again...)
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: I did something stupid

    TPF Lifetime, I was desperate...that's why I shocked my pond. Your pond is very beautiful. But I started with a pond that is 10,000 sq ft in surface and 126000 gallons. So when it turned green overnight, we tried many things. Multiple treatments of Copper Algaecide and Endothal over several weeks to no avail. Water test showed high phosphorous, (33ppb total) so we tried a flocculent also. Finally, since this was a new pond with no fish yet and not a lot invested in plants yet, I agreed to use the chlorine shock. And it seems to have killed the algae.

    In the 8 days since we shocked the pond, the water has begun to clear. The algae carcasses were bleached and are settling to the bottom of the pond. My next step is to add bacteria and enzymes to eat the dead algae. I do not have a pump/filter for this large pond although I'm looking in to this recommendation. Do you agree with bacteria and enzymes or is there something else that I should do now?

  15. Back To Top    #15
    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    bacteria and enzymes are what you need, but without circulation, it probably won't work. Do you have pumps and filters at all?

    The bacteria and enzymes will be useless until you get rid of all your chlorine so don't be too hasty with adding it. They say if you want to kill everything, add chlorine. That includes all the good stuff also.

    Without them, it will be just like a regular pond and you'll be fighting algea each and every year. I lived on a farm with a pond slightly larger than 10,000 sq ft in area and I was fighting algea full time from July on for the remaining part of the season. The filtration is what is needed when you add bacteria and enzymes. Look at the URL I provided on my first post. They describe the process pretty well. I've probably got about 3000 sq ft of surface area in my entire pond and I've got a 1/4 hp pond pump (~$600) that runs the entire system. You can throw all the chemicals in that you want, but before you spend too much start reading. Google ponds, controlling algea, etc.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

  16. Back To Top    #16
    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    Here is a picture of the top portion of the pond. I don't have a completed picture. This is the best I could find. The first step from the pump is the 200 gallon system that I built from the instructions from the site. It is filled with filter media. You can barely see that. It feeds into a waterfall filter that you can barely see since it is hidden with rocks. It too is filled with filter media. The water flows down the stream into a small pond and then into the main pond. With all that circulation when I started it up, I had some algea buildup and it took about 2 weeks for it to get under control when I re-built the pond. Now the water is very clear and the fish are very happy. They are very resilient, but if you decide to add fish and plants, you'll want to have some very good circulation in your pond in order for it to become it's own balanced system.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

  17. Back To Top    #17
    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: I did something stupid

    Read this article. I googled "bleach in a pond"

    http://www.ehow.com/way_5786073_can-use ... pond_.html
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: I did something stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by XsAllOverIt
    We usually only lose fish within 2 days of placing them in the pond. Where they go, I have no idea on a few of them.
    I know a few people with ponds that lose some fish to birds.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: I did something stupid

    Every pond will turn green upon filling. After a time, I seem to recall something short of 60 days, it will rather suddenly clear up. What occurs in that time is the establishment of the natural nitrogen cycle. You cannot use bleach or chemicals to hurry this process, bleach kills off the very bacteria you require.

    I have no idea if the copper algaecide will ever go away enough to keep fish. That is a very important question and I suggest you contact 1) the local agricultural agent, 2) the local university, and/or 3) the local zoo. This is vital and I have no idea if it can be removed to allow fish to live. I used to know a great guy in California (fish and wildlife dept) who would know the answer, not sure if I know how to contact him nowadays, however. [edit -- quick search says chelated copper algaecide is safe for fish when used per directions]

    Normally, you can import the very bacteria you need to overcome green water by bringing in plants. The surface of every leaf is coated in bacteria. You can also purchase daphnia from live food dealers, they eat green algae and are wonderful food for fish. Just like a saltwater aquarium, it is best to fill the pond, start the circulation, then begin stocking plants first, then snails if you want to add them, then cheap fish, later the expensive ones. Do not under any circumstances add a plecostumus to the pond. You will find your fish dying of infections after mysterious round marks appear on them.

    Before you add anything else, you must address the need for circulation. Natural ponds hold very few fish. If you expect to see your fish you will want to stock at levels that are more than a natural pond. This demands extra oxygen in the water and extra filtration. More fish, more fish food, more waste, more green water. You need a lot of filtration. If you expect to keep koi you will only be allowed 1 koi per hundred gallons. Hopefully you know that.

    I am a bit worried that you have only a fountain, not a filtration system. With a fountain, you may or may not have some sort of filters to keep the fountain from plugging up with debris. That may not be any help as far as waste filtration for the fish though.

    The other big problem is that in winter, if the fountain is running it will super cool the water and this can kill fish. Normally, the bottom of a pond is warmer than the top, unless you are in an area where the water will freeze solid. A pond should be deep enough for the fish to have a warmer area to move to in the winter. Most of the time, people will put that pump for the fountain in the deepest part of the water. In winter this removes the warmth as that water is sent up in the air to be chilled to whatever the overnight temp may be. So if the daytime temp is 45, but overnight it is 25, the pond without the fountain running may be 35 to 40 degrees. But if that fountain is running, overnight the entire pond plunges to 25 degrees. Whole ponds of koi have gone belly up with such super cooling overnight. They can't handle the rapid change in temps. Slow changes, yes, but not rapid changes.

    You will need to start again, after you resolve the copper issue. This time, as you fill the pond, use a proper amount of dechlorinator. I always like Prime which comes in a big jug for ponds or the small bottle for indoor aquariums. Online sources like BigAls or DrsFosterSmith are good places to shop.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: I did something stupid

    Has your pond guy suggested grass carp? We have a spring-fed pond. My parents bought sterile grass carp (also called Amur fish) many years ago - they eat primarily algae. They have been effective for nearly 20 years - several are almost 4 feet in length now! Sometimes the algae will build up for a few weeks, I think due to inactivity (too hot weather maybe?) - but then when the weather changes, the algae mats will disappear. I believe they can live for decades. They bought them from a dealer who has a special license since they are not a native species and they are required by law to be sterile.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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