water treatment- fish

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Freetime, May 7, 2001.

  1. Freetime

    Freetime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    What are some of the water treatment recommendations for ponds with fish?
    I have a pre-formed (300 gallon) pond at my home with gold fish (24) and would like to start providing this service to customers however most have the same complaint “won’t it be hard to keep clean” having the knowledge to ease their mind would be a plus.

    We use a blue dye in our pond to help keep algae down and still have to clean usually every two months (drain pond, remove fish, refill add chlorine remover, add blue dye, return fish and hope nobody dies)

    Note : our pond has no plants in it at this time.

    Thank you for your comments.
  2. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66


    DO NOT DRAIN YOUR POND IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. If you're trying to keep the algae down, there are two methods of attack. Aquatic plants utilize ammonium and nitrate (by-products of fish waste) and require light for photosynthesis. Install a properly sized UV filter (runs in line with a water pump), this will burn algae spores, large parasites etc.
    The other important thing you should do is put in some plants. The plants compete directly with the algae for food and light. Plants also improve water quality for fish, and provide needed hiding spots. A general rule of thumb with ponds is cover 1/3 of the total surface area with plants. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me as I've got an education in aquaculture, was formally a fish wholesaler, and have designed and installed large filtration systems for both retail stores and pond owners for the last 10 years or so. (I do admit though that my knowledge on pond plants is weak.) but I'll help out as best I can.

  3. Freetime

    Freetime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Thanks for the information it will help greatly maybe we can sell a few and get started. You mentioned a UV filter inline, the pump we have in the pond is self contained (sump) 300 gph with the little filter box with the pump incased, (and the water bell & frog spiting water back in the pond yada yada yada) the kind you buy at the home improvement joint.

    Q: Can the UV filter be installed on the discharge side or does it have to be on the suction side?

    Q: Koi, I have heard they are harder to keep than most any other fish? Water has to be clear, clean certain temp, plenty of room, expensive?

    Thanks again for answering!

    Dane Southerland – Owner

    Freetime Lawn Care & Landscape Service
    (Walks-a-hatch-e) Waxahachie, Texas
  4. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66


    UV filters run water around an incased light bulb, this means the unit has to be kept dry as it's electrical, so in your case yes, install the UV unit on the discharge side of the pump. I understand they're water resistant, but I've always had an electrician install a GFI, used a drip loop and made sure the unit itself is sheltered from the elements. In theory it's best to install the UV after the mechanical and biological filter. If down the road you plan on building a pond with a bottom drain, waterfall/filter combo you'll have to install the UV inbetween the external pump and the filter box.
    To answer you question about Koi, I wouldn't recommend them for a smaller pond like yours as they will quickly outgrow your pond; but they'll never make it to any size as I'm sure they'll die from poor water quality long before that.
    If you want nice looking fish that will get a little bigger why don't you try "butterfly koi", a comet goldfish/koi hybrid. Eventually they may outgrow your pond but you may be able to keep a few for a couple of years.

    Although I haven't personally dealt with Aquascapes, I've seen their units at local home and garden shows and thought they did a great job. I've heard they provide exceptional customer service so if you're only going to install a few ponds here and there you might want to give them a call.
    Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, as it's not a hassle.

  5. Freetime

    Freetime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Need to turn on your E-Mail in your profile or send it to freetime@ectisp.net

    No sir, never would put koi in pond that small "them there $1.99 a dozen gold fish is jest fine fer now"

    Q: Will fish in a small pond kill each other to have more food?

    I have had a few die (mostly silver/dark)
  6. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66


    I'm unsure as to how to turn on my e-mail, I'll look into it. It'll take me a while I'm sure as I'm almost computer illiterate. Anyways my e-mail address is annedougreid@hotmail.com.

    To answer your question about fish eating each other, if a fish can fit another one in his mouth he'll eat it. If another fish is weak or stressed the others will kill it, and pick away at it when it's dead or dying.

  7. rob m

    rob m LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I'm certainly no expert but I've found thru experience that fish are tougher than you may think. My first "pond" adventure was an old whiskey barrel that I sunk halfway into the ground, filled with water,some plants I potted up from the local marsh and some dimestore goldfish. All lived thru the zone 7 winters where it seemed they were frozen solid. The whole system finally expired during an August extended vacation. Now I have 2 waterfall/pond systems I supervise at work and last week had to drain and fill one due to excessive algae buildup (my fault). I just emptied the pond thru the pump until I couldn't go lower and filled the thing back with city water from the hose.Not only did all the original fish do fine,but I found they had been getting busy in the cloudy water and we had about 2 dozen more little fish than we started with. Sometimes the experts have more advice than you need.
  8. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    Hello all,
    just read your thread with great interrest. I've installed a small (120gal.) preformed pond to fill a spot. I've had it for about 1 1/2 years now and even though I've had water-plants (lilies, grasses, hyathinths and salads) from day one I've had to empty and clean it about every 8 weeks.
    The pond is in full sun, I planted small shrubs and flowers to accent and shade it as well. The gold-fish in it seem to be doing fine, but the nasty looking and smelling algae problem seems to recurr no matter what I do.
    I've tried the 'blue stain' to reduce UV exposure, chemicals that's supposed to 'clump' algae when it forms and all sorts of other things. I like the tranquility it gives us, it has a small (~100gph) pump to circulate the water.
    I'm not sure about the UV-bulb you described earlier,does this sit by the pump in the water?
    I also have seen larger filtration units at the local store, would this help alleviate the problem?
    Any additional input would be appreciated.

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