Koi, direct sunlight, dead koi, more sunlight

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Karmascapes, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Posts: 44

    So here's my dilemma:

    I just bought a house that came with a pond/waterfall and some fish, the previous owners had built. While i don't really care for the look of it it's got to stay until i build the new addition in the back.

    The pond is not real big and about 3 ft at the deepest. But they put it in the front and it is in DIRECT sunlight ALL DAY. I haven't put any plants in it yet but I'm wondering if I should do something besides just plants? By the evening time the water temp is pretty warm.

    Questions:
    -is there an ideal water temp for koi?
    -recommendations on types of plants to use
    -chemicals that would be safe to control green algae
    -why people thinks it's a good idea to construct these themselves?

    The last one is due to frustration b/c the waterfall is so loosely stacked that my 2 year old could push the whole thing over. And lets not start about the 2.5 tons of lava rock EVERYWHERE. I started with 2 large goldfish and added about 10 small koi. I've lost 4 in about 2 weeks. I typically deal in hardscapes, and waterfall construction, not fish or living environments

    Tad - I know the type of weather conditions you deal with in the summer there in FL, any suggestions for the HOT summers?
     
  2. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    I can't imagine anyone using that much lava rock for anything.
    Observe the fish behavior. If they are staying at the bottom in the deepest section, temps may be a problem. If they consistently at the surface of the pond, any number of things could be the cause.
    What is the max. width and length of the pond? Any idea what size pump (gph?) you have?
     
  3. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Posts: 44

    I have so much dang lava rock it aint funny, and i hate lava rock.

    I wasn't sure on the chemical side of things, I'm not a big fan and have seen more problems than anything with them, just thought i'd ask. I do have an external filter, i wouldn't really call it a skimmer though, and it stays filthy. I've had to clean it about every two days.

    The fish are definately staying in the deeper water during sunlight hours. Right now it's almost 9am and the entire pond is already in direct light. That's what originally made me think there might be a problem with the water temp.

    the pond is about an 8'x5'x3' at the deepest point. The pump is around 2k gph.

    I plan to construct a new pond in the back yard and make the current location just a landscaped area. So maybe the route of temp shade will help them little dudes out.

    on a seperate note, what about the winter time frame with fish Tad?
     
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Sounds like temps. I can't think of any animal that enjoys being in the sun all day long. Gotta have a little shade once in a while:):).

    Would like to see a pic of your "filter". With no plants and no trees nearby, you should not have enough suspended matter to clog the filter in 2 days. If algae is clogging it, cut back on the amount and frequency of feeding the fish, at least until you can get some plants in place. If the algae problem is severe, quit feeding completely. The fish will eat the algae.

    As for winter care, I am guessing that you experience ice-over during the winter. Perhaps one of the Northern guys will jump in with info.

    Based on your dimensions, your pond is ~500 gallons, so the pump is more than sufficient. Plan on making your new pond considerably larger. Better for the fish and other critters and easier to maintain.
     
  5. mnglocker

    mnglocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 758

    My pond is about the same size. I run a 4300gph pump with a 28" wide waterfall. It doesn't freeze over in the winter, and I'm up in da'nort land.

    Without an actual particulate filter and a bio filter you can support 1" of fish for 20 gallon of water.

    It will still look like crap though, get some plants in it and until you can re-do it, just use the plants to keep the water cleaner.

    Otherwise, I'm in the same boat as you. I plan on ripping the birm out of mine and dropping in a new liner. After I dig it down to 6', 4' and an 18" deep planting ledge that extends for 2-3'. I'll be bumping my water capacity to about 2500 gallons.
     
  6. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    What do you base this stocking ratio on, especially without the use of any supplied auxiliary bio-conversion? What is your source for this information?
     
  7. mnglocker

    mnglocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 758

    I base this off the fact that if I exceed this ratio the fish will die off in my pond.
     
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    So this ratio is anecdotal to your particular pond?
     
  9. mnglocker

    mnglocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 758

    This is a pretty common formula used by aquarium junkies.
     
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    That may well be the case for Aquariums, but we are dealing with ponds.

    That's like figuring commercial A/C tonnage requirements based on Residential demands.. It don't necessarily fly.

    And I am sure that that ratio is applicable to an aquarium with adequate filtration.

    This ratio may work OK for you, but would prove disastrous for others and will probably prove to be a problem for you because fish will grow and exceed your ratio.
     

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