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Pond Vac question

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by A72CUTLAS, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    First off let me thank all of you pro's who don't mind helping the amateurs who frequent this forum. It is greatly appreciated as it gives us the knowledge and confidence to tackle our own lawn/garden prob's.:clapping:

    Now that I've sucked up to you guys/gals;) , I'll get to my problem... I just purchased a ShopVac wet/dry vacuum with a built-in pump to empty out the tank when full. It also came with the 2.5" hose and attachments. They also sell a 1.25" set-up for this tank which I think may give me better performance in sludge/muck pick-up. I also think using the smaller diameter hose will lessen the chance of sucking up one of my remaining fish.

    This pond was in fairly good shape when I bought this house 2yrs ago, but I haven't had the time or the energy to learn about the upkeep, care, etc.. due to other obligations. And as you can see by the attached pics it is now in terrible shape. The water is a pea-soup green, I've had more than 2 fish die, and there was a foul, rotten-egg odor when I tried to dip some of the muck off of the bottom. The pump/filter still works but clogs up after 1-2 days due to all the algae and gunk. My plan is to vacuum up most of the water and all of the sludge, then replace it with clean water from the house, using a hose-end filter for the chlorine/chloramine that's in city water.

    My question is does this seem like a feasible plan? Should I try to get the fish out, and if so what do I do with them? BTW, I also bought some GreenClean to put in afterward to help keep it clean.
    Sorry this is such a long post, but I wanted to give as much info as possible. Heres the pics:




  2. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    By the lack of responses, I can only ass/u/me a couple things... 1) That my plan as laid out is flawless and needs no professional input; 2) That my situation is to simple or newb for any of you to bother addressing it. In other words, it is beneath you.

    Though my ego would like to believe the first scenario, my logic insist on the second. Which is sad because I've learned some useful info just from grazing this site, like where to go for product(Lesco's rules!), the types of grass, fertilizer, weed control, etc... that are available, and when/how to apply them.

    But the main thing I've learned is that the majority of the Senior Members who respond to post are for the most part rude and sarcastic to those of us who are either starting out in the business or just looking for solutions to their own home-based problems. This occurs whether we post in the Homeowners forum or in the highly-sacred biz owners forums.

    What makes this sad is that in another forum-genre(computers), I went from someone who basically knew how to turn a pc on, to one who not only builds but repairs them as a side business. I've never taken a class or anything like that, I just went onto several forum sites, grazed and asked questions to the "Senior Members" who, though they might bust your chops 'cause you're a newb, would help you any way they could.

    Maybe this business is to caught up in keeping people out rather than including others so as to increase your profit margins, even though most of you aren't even in the same area. If so, that's a sad commentary on the business in general and this site in particular. T

    hanks to those who've bothered to read my rant as I know its long, but I had to get it off my fingers.
    Thanks again,
    A Newb
  3. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 100


    Can't help you much with cleaning the pond but I have had a similar situation when we had ours enlarged.

    I drained ours down almost empty then scooped up all the fish (same as yours) and put them in an aquarium until It was done being dug. We had a lot of Goldfish/Koi in a small place. They were fine and have multiplied nicely.

    As to help from the pros who post here. Giving them 2 days isn't a lot of time. For what ever reason you might not have hit a hot button with anyone. Hopefully someone who knows a lot more than me will come along and help out.
  4. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38


    Thanks for the insight into moving the fish, that was one of my main concerns. I basically just have a few(5-10) goldfish left, so my plan is to place them in a 30 gallon trashcan filled with water from the pond. As it'll only be for the short time it takes me to to do the clean and refill, I'm hoping this will be OK. You can tell by the pics it's a rather small pond compared to others I've seen here.

    When I moved into this house there were upwards of 20 fish out there, some could have been koi(white with orange/black markings) but I don't know for sure. I guess I've killed those due to neglect, but I've made a commitment to learn this hobby, which is why I started Googling for pond sites. Over the last 10yrs I've been obsessed with the PC, and now I want to apply that same passion toward other interest,i.e., the pond, my lawn, etc...

    It was probably naive of me to expect the same sense of welcome and helpfulness that you find in the PC community, I guess we geeks are a rare breed. But the info I've learned just from reading past post has helped me greatly, and for that I'm thankful.
    So if I offended anyone or stepped on any toes, mea culpa, it was unintentional.*trucewhiteflag*

    Thanks again Stan MI for your help.
  5. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Does the pond have a filter system and if so what kind? I guess before I would go messing with the muck make sure there are checks in place otherwise it will not solve the problem.

    The filter system is a good starting point and will solve a lot of water quality issues.
  6. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38


    Right now I have the Laguna Powerjet Fountain & Waterfall Pump, the 1500 model, and the Laguna Powerflo Max Underwater Filter. The lady at Petsmart told me this was one of the better ones. The pump has a max rating of 1500/gph which I think is enough, but I don't know for sure how many gallons my pond is. It's about 8' long and maybe 4' wide at the ends(it's shaped like a peanut, narrow in the middle). One end is only 1' deep and the other steps down to about 3' at the center. That's probably no more than 1000 gallons, right?
  7. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    For the size of the pond that seems about right. Is the pump running? Yeah silly question. Does it have a screen or filter of some sort? I guess I would focus on that.

    There are starters that start biological filtration.

    IMO a combination of bio and mechical filtration is the best setup.

    As far as the much I think would leave the muck alone. It holds nitrates and other items in suspension. Might want to take a water sample and have it tested for nitrates etc.
  8. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    The pump sits inside a "cage", basically a plastic case with small grid-like holes on top and bottom. This is suppose to keep the muck out of the pump. As far as bio vs. mechanical, I'm not sure what that means/entails. I've read about skimmers and bottom-drains too, but again, I'm not sure what they are.

    I'm not sure how to not bother the muck when it keeps clogging up the cage, thereby hindering the pump process. Just bought a water testing kit so I'll test for nitrates tomorrow. Just to make sure, nitrates are bad, right?
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Yes nitrates are bad.

    Try peteducation.com it will explain things like the water cycle the difference between various type of filtration for koi ponds.

    For my aquariums I use gravel vac to cleaning out the rocks.
  10. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Thanks for that link, Lindblom. That site has more info than you can shake a stick at!

    But I'm still curious as to why you feel the muck should stay.:confused: I understand having a small amount of muck is beneficial in nitrate control, but I have about 2yrs worth of decomposed leaves, fish waste, and food lining the bottom of my pond. And it keeps clogging my pump/filter cage.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not questioning your advise, because you've been very helpful. I'm just seeking a better understanding.

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