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How clean can a pond get?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by manfromearth, May 29, 2006.

  1. manfromearth

    manfromearth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I have a client that has egg size to fist size decorative rock (like the color of pea gravel) lining the bottom of his 1 year old pond/waterfall. I did not build the pond. The water is crystal clear, but there is sediment that rests on the surface of the rocks. I've tried vacuuming the rocks, but it only seems to clean the top of the rocks and not the sides. Actually, turning the rocks over made a big difference....the bottoms of these rocks were clean, but I don't know if the dirty sides, once turned back over again, would be clean next time. I know I could drain the pond and rinse the rocks, but there are about 12 large Koi to contend with and this guy wants his pond clean all the time, which would mean draining the pond every month. I don't think I'd be building up a suitable ecosystem within the pond if I did that. Is this guy expecting too much? I'm using a muck vac, should I get an attachment that fits into crevices or a better vac? Dang, I spent 3 hours vacuuming a 1500 gallon pond and I didn't feel as though this pond was as clean as he wanted.
  2. green_mark

    green_mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Unless you make it a swimming pool it will always have algae's growing in it.

    If you make it a swimming pool well that kills all aquatic plants in the pond also.

    Ponds are a constant maintenance issue.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Koi ponds should be lined with any gravel at all.

    They are supposed to just be a liner, the gravel hides stagnant water.

    Give him two options:

    A. No fish, clean pond.
    B. Dirty Pond with Fish
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I agree about the rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond they are just dirt collectors .If he wants a fairly clear ( not necessarly clean) pond he needs to remove any rocks on the bottom that hold dirt.He needs an exellent Bio Filter and must keep his water recurculating a constant flow.When you have fish it is naturaly going to have a little organic matter in the pond all the time.
  5. manfromearth

    manfromearth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I have contacted this client and I think he is probably going with another company to clean his pond. I'm sure he will eventually realize that no matter how much he pays, his rocks are going to be lined with algae and sediment. Thanks again!
  6. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    You do realize by removing the algae from the pond disturbs the ecosystem, there for causing alot more algae to bloom, more so if it gets alot of direct sunlight.

    If you've ever had an aquarium (which i am a hobbyist) That small box has an entire ecosystem to maintain, to many fish will cause problems, to much waste, to much algae or not enough causes problems. Weekly maintenance helps keep things in order. Same goes with ponds. They must have certain amount of things to maintain a complete cycle. Sounds like this guy really doesn't understand, so maybe more education would help.

    Also plants within the water will act as a natural filter, but those koi could do a number on plants.

    All Clear
  7. manfromearth

    manfromearth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I agree! Quote from my original post: "I don't think I'd be building up a suitable ecosystem within the pond if I did that." The way this pond was built, there is no mechanical filtration. The biological filtration is basically a pump buried under a pile of stone which is located in a bog garden portion of the pond. I've already added plants to the pond, including oxygenators and even situated bare root polka dot plants (an annual) along the water course to help with natural filtration. As I said, the water is crystal clear. This guy's issue, really, was the sediment resting on the exposed surfaces of the pond floor. I have to admit, I have built ponds with pebbles/stones on the pond floor, but I am rethinking that method of building a pond. Aesthetically, it can be very pleasing, but it does cause problems with cleaning. It is a nesting area for the build up of fish waste, and in turn, excess nitrogen in the pond.
  8. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    How about using a gravel vac, same thing you use for cleaning sediment from an aquarium with gravel, helps with doing water changes plus takes the sediment out. Just a thought.

    All Clear
  9. manfromearth

    manfromearth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I'm not familiar with a gravel vac. How does it work? I'd love to have a brand name that I could look up on the internet. Thanks!
  10. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Just google... Pond gravel vacuum or Pond gravel vac

    They sell a basic one at petsmart but i do know there are battery operated ones out there, others hook up to a faucet. Just look around.

    All Clear

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