Fish Ponds and rain

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by cindyb, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. cindyb

    cindyb LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 354

    Some of the states are getting enormous amounts of rain. If you are doing the maintenance on the ponds, keep an eye on the pH and kh (total alkalinity). Acid rain drops the ph, your kh is your back up to keep your ph stable. Ph drops to 5 will kill quickly fish and good bacteria. Simple fix, keep baking soda available to raise the the ph quickly but only after checking/binding any ammonia.

    Hitting record temperatures, pond will need more air and if they are shallow, shade for the fish. Floating plants like water hyacinth or lettuce works or a shade sail.

    Don't forget your 10% water change weekly.
     
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Filtration, Filtration, and Filtration, along with the aboved mentioned otherwise forget it.
    easy-lift guy
     
  3. cindyb

    cindyb LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 354

    Watching the Florida map on Debby, have several koi friends across your fine state.

    Plenty of filtration on mine but I've notice my mature biofilter runs a little low on kh so plenty of water changes and baking soda ready in case we ever get rain again.
     
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    With all due respect, the change in pH of a pond's water column due to rainfall is usually not critical.
    It is true that when pH levels drop to the 5.0 - 5.5 range, fish mortality will occur.
    Rainfall pH can vary between 3.8 and 6.0 depending on geographical location and seasonal variances with a generally accepted norm of 5.6. Given these levels, the entire water volume of a pond would need to be replaced before the pH was lowered to a hazardous level.
    My area recently received 13+" of rain in a 24 hour period, more than 15" over 3 days. My eco-system pond received 9.5" of rain in the same 24 hour period. The pH never dropped to critical levels.
    Here is the Southeast, particularly on the Gulf Coast, daily rainfall in excess of 2 inches is not that uncommon. Then there is the periodic Tropical Cyclone or Hurricane that will drop tremendous amounts of rain over a period of just a few short days. I have yet to hear of any fish mortality that could be attributed to the rainfall.
     
  5. cindyb

    cindyb LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 354

    So you got 13 inches of acid rain and your pond pH didn't drop? That's great. Do you test your kh? I'm wondering what its doing. I try to keep mine above 120.
     
  6. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    I'm like the plumber who puts off fixing his own leaky faucet. I rarely perform a complete battery of water quality tests (the last was in Jan 2011) on my own pond. I did, after I read your last post, check the Alkalinity more out of curiosity than anything else. At this moment, my pond Alkalinity is 80. This is a natural level as I have NEVER added a buffering agent to this pond.
    I am sure that the pH level in my pond was affected by the over 9" of rain, but not enough to be a cause for concern.
    Fish kills are often reported occurring in fresh water ponds and lakes as a result of heavy rainfall, but these are all attributed to depleted oxygen. I am not aware of any even remotely attributed to changes in pH.
     
  7. cindyb

    cindyb LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 354

    I get lax sometimes but thing is if you have koi, they grow quickly and things can change. My biofilter is large but when something doesn't look right, I grab the test kits. One of the most important test is kh.

    You're in Florida, some of my friends are getting pounded with rain and ponds flooding. The big thing we've invested in is a generator. Beats getting out there pouring buckets of water to keep some air in the water.

    Stay safe in the weather and if you can, send some up my way.
     
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Do you have a classic bare-liner Koi pond or a R & G eco-system pond. They each require a different level of care.
     
  9. cindyb

    cindyb LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 354

    I have a bare liner koi pond, about 2700 gallons,5 koi, 150 gallon bio filter, Savio skimmer with uv lights and a separate outlet/circuit for my air pump and airstones. The aquascapes are beautiful ponds but I'm getting too old to do the yearly clean out with rocks on the bottom. Is that an R & G?. With the bare bottom, I can see koi teeth 4 ft down.

    Also have a wakin pond (type of fancy goldfish) waterfall filter, lots of plants. The ducks are enjoying that one. Also have a concrete water feature on the driveway. The ducks claimed it also.
     
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Mine is a R & G ecosystem pond, approx. 4500 gallons, 3 feet deep, a wetlands filter, a true bog, 2 large biofall filters, about 100 feet of stream, lots of plants, 2 large skimmers, a 7500 gph and a 3000 gph pump, no UV (believe they are a waste of money), was drained and cleaned once 7 years ago, water is clear, NO sediment build-up, and no ducks (nasty water polluting critters), hundreds of frogs and toads (many species) and one resident Corn snake.
     

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