Cleaning the pump

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Meg, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Meg

    Meg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I have a small, 100 gallon pond in my backyard. The weather is warm since it is summer and I am using a charcoal filter on my pump - the same as a friend who has the same size pond in her own backyard. I am having issues with needing to clean the pump anywhere from two to four times daily, while my friend only has to clean hers once a day, sometimes two and three days can pass and it's fine.

    I wouldn't worry about it, and would just turn off the pump all together, but I have 7 fish (comets) that I have become oddly attached to (yeah, I know that sounds crazy).

    I don't like cleaning the pond so many times daily. And, I am going away for a week in the beginning of September. I will have someone here who will be able to clean it once a day, but that's it.

    If anyone could recommend a good filter, I would be very appreciative.

    Also, how long can seven decent size comet fish (they are still young -- and between two and three inches each) survive if the pump is plugged up? Or if it's just unplugged until sufficent cleaning can be done?
     
  2. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Here's what you do. The day before you go on your vacation. Remove the fish from your pond and put them in some kind of holding tank (use water out of your pond to fill this holding tank).
    Once this is done. Completely drain your pond and clean it from top to bottom a thoroughly as you can. Then you're going to want to refill your pond. Dechlorinate the water and reintroduce your fish, just like you'd introduce new fish from the pet store. Now, you're going to want to shade your pond. That will help slow the return of the algae. Your pond should be fine this way until you get back from vacation.
    For a new filter. I'd recommend any of the filters on the market that are rated for ponds your size, or bigger. I'd also recommend looking for one with a ultraviolet sterilizer built into it.
    If you can put plants in your pond. They will also help combat algae problems. Anacharis would be a great choice. Just plant 1 bunch of anacharis, every square foot of your pond floor and you should have very few problems with algae. These plants are heavy feeders and will also boost the oxygen levels of your pond.
    Good luck!

    Vic
     
  3. Meg

    Meg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Thanks for the advice. I was thinking about draining the pond and cleaning it so most of the algae is gone, but I have been hesitant to do so because of the echo system that it has built. I guess I'll have to clean the pond for the fall anyway . . .

    Any advice on how much algae to leave on the pond walls?
     
  4. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Ideally. I'd recommend leaving as much algae on the walls of your pond as possible, but if you want to keep your pump from clogging when you're away for a week. You're going to have to compromise what would be ideal.
    If you put some heavy feeding plants in your pond. You would eventually reach a point, where the plants were taking enough of the nitrates out of the water to starve the algae. The algae on your pond walls is filtering your water right now. That's why it wouldn't be ideal to remove it without having plants to do what your algae has been doing for you.
    You could use an algacide on your pond before you go on vacation, but that could pose big problems. If your pond isn't heavily aerated and you kill all of that algae suddenly. You could cause the dissolved oxygen levels in your water to crash. Not good.

    Vic
     
  5. Meg

    Meg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Yeah, that is definitely another concern.

    I moved the pump today and set it at a different angle and it seems to be running better. I cleaned it once this morning when I moved it all around to get optimum circulation and once again before this evening just to be sure it'll be fine over night (even though it didn't need to be done). I will keep my eye on it tomorrow morning and throughout the day to see how long it runs without needing to be cleaned. Hopefully the problem has been corrected, but if not, I will definitely drain the pond.

    Thanks for all your help!!
     
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    I was only recommending that you drain your pond and clean it as a crutch to keep it running for a week, without your pump clogging while you're away on vacation in September.
    Unless you have the right components in place, to help your pond reach an ecological balance. Your pond will end up just like it is now. Keep in mind Meg, that the smaller a pond is. The quicker it's water chemistry will change due to imbalances. Because of this. You need to pay more attention to having proper filtration, than someone with a huge pond. I'm not saying that proper filtration isn't important in huge ponds. I'm just saying that the water chemistry in smaller ponds, is subject to more rapid swings than the water in big ponds would be. That's why I'm recommending you plant heavy feeding plants in your pond (ie. anacharis, hornwort, etc.). The plants will complete the cycle that your filtration system starts and then takes untill the job is 3/4's done.
    What filter do you have right now? What pump? Have any pics?

    Vic
     
  7. Meg

    Meg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I never even considered the changes of balance in the water between a small and large pond.

    I've been switching back and forth with charcoal filters, and just have a 190/gph pump that I bought at Rona (not sure if it is a store in the US, but it's a smaller version of The Home Depot). The water itself turns over twice in an hour . . . .

    Sorry, I don't have pics.
     
  8. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    No problem if you don't have pics. That pump should do fine. I'd just..

    1. Make sure your filter is rated for a pond your size, or larger.

    2. Do 20% water changes a week Meg.

    3. Don't overfeed your fish.

    4. Buy an ultraviolet sterilizer that's rated for at least a 100 gallon pond and put some good plants in.

    After a fairly short period of time. Your pond should reach a balance and be in good shape.

    Vic
     
  9. Meg

    Meg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Thanks for the tips.
     
  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Good luck! :)

    Vic
     

Share This Page