pond algea?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by steve in Pa., Jun 12, 2005.

  1. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I have lived in areas like that as well, though it is not an issue currently. But as long as you only change 10-50%, you should be fine. When I used to work in a pet store with over 100 aquariums, we did 50% water changes every week, using water straight out of the hose. Imagine the cost of using chemicals for that many tanks...

    At any rate, if it makes you feel better, then do it. It certainly can't hurt the fish. But if you want to save some money, use plain salt (not table salt, obviously). You can get it at your local grocery store, and a teaspoon treats 5 gals (or thereabouts), plus softens the water to ease the shock to the fish. Much better than the liquid chemicals, IMHO.
  2. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    WOW!!!! ;) I absolutely cannot believe what I'm reading here! I'm sure most of the people that read this thread, read the posts that talked about dechlorinating the water in your koi, or goldfish pond like it was some kind of unnecessary option. I'm also sure that those of you who read those posts, believed them and are now planning on taking that advice. For those of you that are planning on taking that advice, I have some excellent advice for you as well.....

    Instead of filling, or topping off your pond with chlorinated water, I have a series of steps that I want you to carefully follow. By following these steps, you'll be able to achieve exactly the same results, but you will save time and money.

    Step 1.
    Gingerly walk to your bedroom, basement, closet, or wherever you keep your gun (or guns).

    Step 2.
    Carefully pull the gun out, all the while making sure you don't point it in anyones direction.

    Step 3.
    I want you to check the gun, to make sure it's empty.

    Step 4.
    Pick up a box of ammunition.

    Step 5.
    Take the gun and your ammo out to your pond.

    Step 6.
    Count the number of lovely fish you have in your wonderful pond.
    Step 7.
    Load your gun so that it has 1 bullet for every fish in your pond (be sure the safety is on before loading).

    Step 8.
    Stand by the pond for a few moments and enjoy how beautiful and happy your lovely fish are. They really are quite lovely aren't they? Oh my!

    Step 9.
    Look for your favorite, most prized fish in the whole pond.

    Step 10.
    Crouch down by the pond and coax him, or her over to you.

    Step 11.
    As soon as the sucker comes shallow, put the gun to his, or her head and pull the trigger!!!!!!!!!!!!! BAAAMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Step 12.
    Since the first shot will send the other fish scattering, you've given yourself the perfect opportunity for some moving target practice! Shoot every last thing in that pond that moves.

    My advice seems pretty silly doesn't it? Well, taking someone's advice to not dechlorinate your pond water is every bit as silly and will more likely that not leave you with the same results as the silly advice I posted earlier in this thread.

    Always dechlorinate your water. While it is true that ponds can rid themselves of chlorine over time (sunlight and moving water aid this process), it still takes time. If you put enough water in your pond without removing it's chlorine content, you'll have fishies that "don't move no more."

    If you're looking for a cheap way of dechlorinating your pond, I'll let you in on a well kept pond keeper's trick. This is a trick that the companies that make the dechlorinators you see at pet stores (that cost an arm and a leg) don't want you to know about.

    Sodium thiosulfate is a great pond water dechlorinator. SALT IS NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!If you're thinking of using salt to dechlorinate your pond, see "step 1" of my earlier instructions and follow them through "step 12."

    Sodium thiosulfate is very inexpensive to use, because a little goes so far and even if you put way too much of it into your pond, it's still non-toxic to your fish at high levels. It comes in powder form, which makes it very easy to use. Just keep a scooper that you can throw the powder into your pond with and you're set. You can buy sodium thiosulfate through "Aquatic Eco Systems." The instructions will be on the container.

    Well guys... It's getting late. Make sure that you dechlorinate your pond water and never use salt to dechlorinate your water. While salt does have uses in the pond, removing chlorine from top-off water is not one of them. Unless you really and I mean really know what you're doing, stay away from dosing your ponds with salt.

  3. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Thank goodness for the freedom to disagree, eh?

    Why do you say salt is not for dechlorinating water? Most salt water aquarists I know do not add dechlorinators to the water, because the high salt levels takes care of it for them. And as you said about ST, a little goes a long ways. Plus, it softens water, which can be a plus for many tropical fish (though I don't raise Koi, so can't speak as to them).

    When I said what I did about chlorine, I was referring to water changes, not filling a pond up completely from the tap and dumping fish in it. But if you DID choose to do that, it would take but a few days to be completely chlorine free. If you don't believe me, ask any pool owner.

    If you do a 10-20% water change, the percentage of chlorine is very low to begin with, and is dispersed rapidly. Even more so with the addition of salt (which won't build up over time if you do regular water changes). And if you think salt is bad to use for removal of chlorine, you might want to check out a package of Start Right...

    But of more concern for some citizens than chlorine is chloramine. This chemical does NOT readily dissipate, and can remain in the water for weeks after a water change. It is very toxic to fish (or humans) when it reacts directly with the blood, as through a fish's gills. It only takes a small amount fo chloramine to kill any fish, so if you have a water source that contains it, you DO need to treat all water going into a pond or tank (we don't have it here, as per the city water treatment folks; just call and ask yours to find out).

    Victor, I do not claim to know anything about koi, as I only assist a neighbor in the upkeep of her pond, but I do know a thing or three about tropical fish, which I am assuming are more sensitive to chemicals due to their smaller size. Perhaps my analogies do not apply, and if I am wrong, if koi are more sensitive, then I apologize in advance for setting you off with bad info. I do know this though... her pond has been going for about 8 years now, and is thriving, with many babies each year, and fish gorwing to a fairly large size.... and all she adds is tap water, untreated (besides rain, of course).

    To be on the safe side, chloramine residuals in water used to keep fish should be kept below 0.1 mg/L (total chlorine test kits are available from pet stores, pool supply stores and chemical supply houses). Of course, as Victor stated, using the chemicals is almost never wrong, unless you overdose the water.

    Also, though boiling water will remove chlorine (as will just sitting, which is speeded up if exposed to the sun), chloramines can NOT be removed by boiling water. The only practical methods for removing chloramines from water are using a water conditioner which contains a dechloraminator or by using granular activated carbon (preferably of a high quality).

  4. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I'm definitely not upset about your posts where you stated your opinion that dechlorinating pond water was not necessary. I do find considerable fault with it however. You wrote that if someone is doing a 10-50% water change, that dechlorinating their top-off water is not needed. That could not be further from the truth. Every municipality has different amounts of chlorine that they put into their water supplies. Because of this fact, you would be able to get away with not dechlorinating top-off water in some areas if the water change was small. If you have moderate, to high levels of chlorine, or chloramine in your water however, you'd have trouble if you tried to do a 50%, or even less water change without dechlorinating your water. To reinforce my argument. How many times have you heard about people doing water changes, where they walked away from the pond and forgot about it. Later, they realise that they forgot to turn off the hose and rush out to the pond. When they get to the pond, they find their fish in a panic, trying to hide under stones, or anything else on the bottom of the pond in an attempt to escape the high levels of chlorine. I've seen this more than once myself (not on my pond luckily). The ponds where this happened in my area had not been filling long enough to have come close to a 50% water change.

    I don't doubt that you are able to do what you advocated in your area, because you obviously don't have much chlorine in your water. If you did, you never would have been able to do a 50% change without having problems.

    To address your statements on salt Hawk. Koi, goldfish and all other pond fish are fresh water fish. They are not salt water fish. While it is true that many people including Roddy Conrad, dose their ponds with salt to treat certain ailments, it is not a practice that someone who is not very knowledgeable should undertake. Use the right tool for the right job. You shouldn't try to drive nails with a ratchet. The same thing can be said about using salt to remove the chlorine from your pond water. :nono:

    Below is a quote from Roddy Conrad. He's an expert on ponding that used to haunt one of the pond forums I used to follow.....

    Guest Editorial

    According to Roddy Conrad:

    Sodium thiosulfate instantly takes care of the chlorine in chloramine, as well as straight chlorine. The reaction to get rid of the chlorine with either chloramine or chlorine is instantaneous on mixing of the sodium thiosulfate and the chlorine or chloramine.

    The reaction of sodium thiosulfate with chloramine produces ammonia. Assume you are doing a 20% water change and there is 1 PPM chloramine in the water. 1 PPM chloramine neutralized with sodium thiosulfate becomes 0.2 (20% water exchange) times 17/51.5 (molecular weight of ammonia divided by molecular weight chloramine) = 0.06 PPM ammonia level in the pond. 0.06 PPM is too low to even measure, and is safe for the fish anyway! My point is that it is perfectly safe to dechlorinate with sodium thiosulfate unless you are doing a 100 % water change and there is a huge 5 PPM chloramine concentration in the makeup water. Only then can the ammonia from the chloramine reaction with sodium thiosulfate get up to a 1.5 PPM ammonia level to give a possible real fish problem. Even then, please remember koi shipped in bags normally arrive at their destination in water that is 5 to 10 PPM ammonia level by measurement, and that is done all the time by the koi handlers without giving it a second thought. Yes, that level can do damage to the fish if you allow it to continue, no argument about that.

    So all those warnings about using sodium thiosulfate to dechlorinate water containing chloramines is just so much hype from folks making a profit selling the ammonia binding products to my way of thinking about the actual technology in action.
  5. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    My thoughts exactly.I never use chemicals.My pond greenedup once this spring and has been clear all summer.I have an aquacapes sys.
  6. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195


    Do you have data on what ppm is dangerous to fish for chlorine? I can't seem to find that info, though there is lots about chlorine gas and us humans.

    Our local water supply uses 1 ppm chlorine, and no chloramines. If I am doing the math correctly, a 5 gal water change in a 55 gal aquarium would come out to be about 0.01 ppm if it were untreated. And that would dissipate quickly over the surface of the tank.

    And I see your point about forgetting the garden hose in the pond... that could quickly become tragic!

    And while you are correct that most fish are not salt water fish, they contain a high amount of salt.... we all do! Sodium chloride is a major component of our bodies. Without it, we could not function. And adding some small amounts of salt has been the norm in tha aquarium community for years. Bear in mind, I am talking along the lines of 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons, not the amount it takes to create marine water.
  7. farveforever

    farveforever LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1

    I have a 3 week old pond , appx 800 gal, water looked great until rain the other day. Stupidly on my part had drain spout falling into pond (now corrected) gutters were relatively clean however. Now water has a gold tint to it. 4 goldfish and plants dont seem to mind, will this clear up, any suggestions ?
  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    the gold tint you talk about can be from the leaves of nearby trees or the leaves in the gutters.. think of it as a tea.. water and leaves make tea. This should go away in time.. if it realy bothers you, you can add charcol to your filter or do water changes.. ....

    About chlorine and salt water aquariums....
    everyone that knows anything about salt water tanks will buy their water or have an ro/di unit to remove ALL impurities from the water.. I would never add tap water to my tank, not just because of the chlorine but because of all the other stuff thats in it.

    the cloramine is the real death of the two. its makes it so the chlroine can not evaporate as easily, and thats why you need to add a dechlorinator that treats chloramine as well.

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