Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

Algae Problem...bad!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
« Prev thread: alfalfa pellets and peonies| Next thread: algae question »
Back to Thread index
by afgreyparrot on June 07, 2006 11:59 AM
I hated to post this topic, because I didn't want anyone to see the shape my pond has gotten in. But, Gardencrazy is helping me out in PM's, and I figured it would be better to just post this topic because others may have the same problem, and they can learn from my mistakes.

Here is how the pond looked in the fall, and it was clear all winter...
...until it started getting warm outside.
 -

Now it is over-run with algae. [Roll Eyes]
A few weeks ago I changed 3/4 of the water in it, but within a few days it was worse than ever.
The water looks like pea soup. and there's a weird algae thing floating on top.

 -

 -

Since this algae problem, I have started cleaning my filter every few days...and even added a homemade filter made from fiberfill, nylon netting and a trash can.

Homemade ugly filter
 -

 -

 -
You can see how much yucky stuff is being filtered out with this fiberfill stuff.
I have a 675gph pump for this filter, pumping the pond water directly into the trash can.

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by afgreyparrot on June 07, 2006 11:59 AM
Below is the filter that the woman at Lowe's said I needed for this pond. It has a 330gph pump in it.

Bottom Layer
 -

Next layer (one of these blue things)
 -

Then 2 of these black filter things on top...
 -

Here's what the top looks like after 2 days... [shocked]
 -

What am I doing wrong? [dunno]
All I do is constantly work on this pond.
It's wearing me out.

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by afgreyparrot on June 07, 2006 12:07 PM
From Gardencrazy...
quote:
Ok for the trash can filter you have going how about this....in the very bottom of the trash can put some lava rocks in it about a foot thick. You can get them at Walmart for gas grills, then layer quilt batting and the fiber fill on top. You can fold the batting up into maybe about 2 to 4 layer thick sections and in between use the fiber fill. What you are needing is a good space for good algea to grow and eat the bad algea.

Question...
I have purchased a much better looking container for my homemade filter, and before I start cutting holes in it I wanted to ask...
Now that you have seen the one I have already made, do I need to pump the water in at the top like I'm doing now? And holes at the bottom like I have now?

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by Gardencrazy on June 07, 2006 07:56 PM
Cindy~ I went through your "How not to build a pond" thread and came up with these figures for your pond. Tell me if they are wrong.
18X8X4
18' long 8' wide and at the deepest 4'
If these are right then your pond holds some wheres between 1700 to 2200 gallons of water. The filter from Lowes is way to small for your pond. Ideally you want to pump the whole amount of water every hour but at least half of the water needs to be cycled every hour. What has happened is when you first got the pond going you had enough plant life and cooler temperatures to hold off a major algae bloom. Now that we have had the hotter temps + the lack of shade your filter is to small to clear out enough of the algae to keep your water clear.

My question is are you wanting to keep the new filter on the outside or put it in the pond?

Donna

* * * *
 -
 -
 - my webshots ~ my photobucket
by afgreyparrot on June 08, 2006 08:10 AM
quote:
18' long 8' wide and at the deepest 4'
If these are right then your pond holds some wheres between 1700 to 2200 gallons of water.
Yep...that's about it.
...and that's what I told the woman at Lowe's.
She was supposed to be an expert. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
My question is are you wanting to keep the new filter on the outside or put it in the pond?
I'd rather it be IN the pond, so no one will see it. But, it's gonna be pretty big...right?
I haven't planned that far ahead.
I really don't like it sitting beside the pond...it's a trash can! [Razz]

I will buy whatever I need...I just don't know what I need.

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by afgreyparrot on June 08, 2006 08:41 AM
PS

I have 3 pumps right now...
...a 330gph (in the filter I got at Lowe's).
...a 675gph I bought last week for the trash can filter.
...and a smaller pump (smaller than the 330gph, but not sure what it is) I was gonna use for a fountain.

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by Gardencrazy on June 08, 2006 08:44 AM
As of right now I can think of 2 ways to do it.

1~ On the outside like you have now but with a really nice 30+ gallon flower pot(for looks)
using quilt batting, lava rocks and scrubby pads/furnace filter & 1000 gallon pump
This way will be easier to keep clean. No heavy lifting.

2~ I will need a bit of time to think it through.

We will figure it out Cindy. [kissies]

* * * *
 -
 -
 - my webshots ~ my photobucket
by afgreyparrot on June 08, 2006 09:09 AM
quote:
a really nice 30+ gallon flower pot(for looks)

I swear, sometimes I amaze myself.
I have been trying to figure out a way all day to make a big trash can look decent. [Roll Eyes] I never even thought about a big flower pot! [shocked]
I can put a board across the top of it to sit a garden statue on that I have been wanting to put outside, but didn't want the dogs to pee on! [grin]

Going to Wal-Mart right now...to get the stuff I can get there, then to Lowe's for another pump.

You rock, Donna! [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by loz on June 08, 2006 09:51 AM
Can't wait to hear how this all goes, I just have a small pond but I like reading this thread.

Cindy, I can't believe you are going to Walmart! [shocked] [Big Grin]
by afgreyparrot on June 08, 2006 03:22 PM
I did it...I went to Wal-Mart. [Razz]
...and a few other places.

I bought a gigantic flower pot...it didn't say how many gallons it was, but I was trying to picture at least 30 gallons of milk in it. [nutz]

I could have bought a humongus bag of lava rock for 3 bucks...but it was for landscaping, and it had dye on it or something, so I thought it would be bad. So, I bought a bunch of the little bags for gas grills...at $4.98 a bag! [Eek!]

And, one bag of quilt batting was $7.98! [shocked]

Well...it will be worth it to get this algae under control.

I'll take a pic of all of it tomorrow and Gardencrazy can tell me what to do with it! [Big Grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by Stepheus on June 09, 2006 12:09 AM
besides installing the filter, mayb you can try gettng a huge bunch of fast grwoing water plant to absorb nutrients that are in the water.

try floating plants like Pistia Stratiotes (water lettuce) or Eichhornia Crassipes (water hycinth). and after the water cleared up a bit, u can try some plants that submerges in the water like giant vallis which is not delicious to herbivorous fishes, since i see that u have kois in ur pond. however all of the plants that are mentioned are invasive plants. careful not to let them go into the local water ways.

* * * *
stepheus!
by afgreyparrot on June 09, 2006 07:31 AM
stepheus...I had the hyacinths last year and it was amazing how fast my water cleared up...but they all died when it got cold.
I'm going to try to order some today, and the water lettuce, too.

Here is what I ended up with...
 -
This thing is huge...maybe too big. [Roll Eyes]
It's like half a whiskey barrel...
 -

...and I'm not sure if I got the right stuff here...
 -
I had to make a choice on the thickness (or something).
They had "low loft", "medium loft" and "high loft".
I'm not a quilter...didn't know what that meant, so I got the cheapest one! [Big Grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by connickfan on June 09, 2006 09:03 AM
Seeing those pics of the pump made me think of something....

When I moved into my house 2 years ago, I inherited a great yard and a koi pond. The pond is about 900 gallons. I don't know what kind of pump it has, but as far as the filter box goes....

Inside, there is (from the bottom up): a bag of aerators, 4 black filter pads, and then 3 bags of lava rock.

My main question is...in the Foster & Smith outdoor catalog, there are different kinds of filters in different colors (similar to those above). Is that the best way to go? Is it better to get different grades of filter vs. all the same? Would it help to catch more "gunk"?

Thanks!

p.s. thanks for the tips about the water hyacinths! I'll have to look into those for next year. Right now, there are water lilies (which need but back a bit, btw).
by cookinmom on June 09, 2006 10:03 AM
Hey, I love that pot! I'm really looking forward to see how all this turns out.
[Wink]

* * * *
 -
Real women don't have hot flashes -- we have power surges!
by Gardencrazy on June 09, 2006 03:36 PM
Wow!! Cindy you did a great job on picking a pot. I love it.

The set up is basically the same as the trash can. You need holes on the bottom and to bring the water in the top.

Once you have made your holes then layer lava rock on the bottom, about 1 to 1 1/2 feet thick. On top of the lava rock layer the quilt batting 4 to 6 layers thick.
Now on top of the batting you need some kind of diverter. The water needs to be spread around not just going into one spot.
I have a small pot filter like this and I used a pie pan with holes poked into it. I have been trying to think of something all day to use and the only thing I can come up with is a large plastic platter (the kind you can get at the grocery store with veggies on it?

Once you get the diverter in place you can place a few lava rock on top of it and then top it off with some water loving plants.

Does all this make sense?

* * * *
 -
 -
 - my webshots ~ my photobucket
by Gardencrazy on June 09, 2006 05:25 PM
connickfan~

quote:
My main question is...in the Foster & Smith outdoor catalog, there are different kinds of filters in different colors (similar to those above). Is that the best way to go? Is it better to get different grades of filter vs. all the same? Would it help to catch more "gunk"?

There are different sized filters for different sized ponds. You need a filter that is rated for a 900 gallon pond. How many koi do you have?

* * * *
 -
 -
 - my webshots ~ my photobucket
by afgreyparrot on June 14, 2006 02:17 AM
I have been thinking overtime, trying to figure out how to get the pond water pumped into this planter (filter) without having an ugly hose just sticking into it with the water coming out.
 -
(Thinking just regularly is hard enough, but thinking overtime was killing me!) [Eek!]

Yesterday I was standing at the pond...thinking. [nutz]
My neighbor walked over to look at the pond, and I told her my dilemma. She said "It would be nice if you could find one of those antique water pumps with the handle. That would be beautiful!"
[shocked] I have one of those! In the garage! [grin]

I am so excited about getting this hooked up now!

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by Dixie Angel on June 14, 2006 02:56 AM
I can't wait to see it when you are finished, Cindy!

BTW, remember when you had an umbrella that you moved around all the time out by the pond to shade it? I finally gave up and bought one myself! [Big Grin]

Dianna

* * * *
 -
 -
by afgreyparrot on June 14, 2006 03:04 AM
Dianna...I thought it was such a pain in the butt to move that umbrella around all day...so I thought I was real smart putting the new pond under the maple tree!
WRONG! ! ! [Big Grin]
Now all I do is clean leaves out of the pond all fall and winter, and those little helicopter seeds all spring and summer. [Roll Eyes]

I miss that umbrella now! [Eek!]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by Dixie Angel on June 14, 2006 03:07 AM
Cindy, since our pond area is going to be a memorial garden for my uncle, Johnny, we are thinking about planting a Pawlonia tree beside it. He loved those trees. Good thing that they have gigantic leaves, huh? Less fishing them out or maybe could leave them in there to help shade the fish! [Big Grin]

Dianna

* * * *
 -
 -
by connickfan on June 14, 2006 04:59 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Gardencrazy:

There are different sized filters for different sized ponds. You need a filter that is rated for a 900 gallon pond. How many koi do you have? [/QUOTE]

There are 8 koi and they're a pretty good size. I've been in talks with my new pond guy (he did a FANTASTIC job cleaning it top to bottom last year) about giving some of the fish a new home. I thought it might help with the amount of times I have to clean the filters. I was told though that with older fish it's harder to sell them b/c of the risk of sickness/death when moving them to a new pond. He said that he would take them as a "donation" rather than for sale. I've been told these guys are worth quite a bit of $.

We inherited the pond when we bought the house. The person that had the pond built hired someone that doesn't have the best reputation in the business. When he installed it, he put the pump right next to the waterfall. [Mad] This is a bit of a pain in the neck b/c it seems to collect a lot of little rocks around it and I have to go in, move the larger rocks and and then clear from around the pump.
by Xetox on June 14, 2006 08:08 AM
Connickfan, can we see a pic of your pond?

* * * *
 -
I hate those dang rabbits [Smile]
by afgreyparrot on June 14, 2006 08:54 AM
Xetox, you took the words right out of my mouth!
(...or my fingers, rather!) [Big Grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by afgreyparrot on June 14, 2006 12:24 PM
I finally found it! [grin]
I have looked for this all day...

 -

I guess I need to sandblast it tomorrow to get the rust off of it.
Then, I'll be able to hook it up to the pump and make my new cool filter!

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by eclo on June 14, 2006 02:24 PM
Man alive... you all are making my little plastic Folgers coffee can filter look bad! [nutz] But hey... Im thinkin of movin up to a gallon and a half filter [Wink] Actually, it has worked very well for us... I will post some pics tommorrow... might work for somebody else too.... oh, and by the by... my algea has subsided... I had a bad out break of hair algea....waqter lettuce and the water lily providing shade just about killed it all off!

* * * *
See Ya in the Garden!
by connickfan on June 15, 2006 07:22 AM
I hope I do this right and the picture isn't too big - I've never posted from photobucket before.

Here's the pond last spring after it was cleaned. It's not quite as pretty now. lol The water lily was cut way back when the pond was cleaned. Since the pond gets a lot of sun during the day, I let it get bigger to give the fish more shade. [Smile] I'll have to find another pic with a better shot of the fish.

 -
by Karrie on June 15, 2006 07:32 AM
Would the end of an old plastic watering can work for the diverter or would it clog up?

* * * *
 -
 -

It doesn't matter where you go in life... It's who you have beside you when you get there.

Karrie's Photos
by Xetox on June 16, 2006 05:11 AM
That's really nice pond connick!

* * * *
 -
I hate those dang rabbits [Smile]
by connickfan on June 16, 2006 06:59 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Xetox:
That's really nice pond connick!
Thank you. [Smile] I do want to get a few more rocks to fill in some spots around the liner - build it up a little more. I also bought some trailing vinca to plant among the rocks near the filter box. Thought it would look pretty trailing down.
by afgreyparrot on June 16, 2006 08:55 AM
I wish my pond was that clear.
[Eek!]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by connickfan on June 16, 2006 08:59 AM
quote:
Originally posted by afgreyparrot:
I wish my pond was that clear.
[Eek!]

Well, it's not that quite that clear now. [Embarrassed] That picture was taken the day after it was cleaned top to bottom. I do have to add algeafix to it and I have some "pond clear" - or something like that - but I haven't tried it yet.
by cookinmom on June 16, 2006 09:17 AM
Connick, that's a great pond. I really like the rocks on the bottom. [Wink]

* * * *
 -
Real women don't have hot flashes -- we have power surges!
by Pianolady on June 16, 2006 06:54 PM
Hey, you are on the right track! I recognize that pot, it's the same one I use for my filter. See the links below:

Pot Filter

I drilled a hole at the top of the pot to hold the zip tie around the tubing in place (on the back side of the pot--the high side). I have liner underneath the pot, and if anything goes off the side of the pot, it still get back into the pond.

The tube goes clear to the bottom of the pot, then I put scrunchy cleaning pads into hosiery bags on top of that, then cover it with water hyacinth. It works very well. The roots of the plant fill the pot, and grow through the sponges. My pond is about 800 gallons.

The paint tray fell out after the first year, and I didn't bother trying to put it back. I surrounded my pot with rocks this year, and came up with this:
Pot with rocks

You can also use lava rock, but the scrunchy pads are lighter & easier. They look something like those in the link below, and you can find them at Walmart or Dollar stores.

Kitchen Scourer

You can also throw the batting in there. If you decide to cut out the lip of the pot, it's hollow inside. Great stuff fills it well (don't go overboard, it really expands), then silicone the opening to make sure no water gets through.

* * * *
 -
by cookinmom on June 17, 2006 03:55 AM
That is so cool! I would never have thought about having the water spill over! It looks awesome!

* * * *
 -
Real women don't have hot flashes -- we have power surges!
by afgreyparrot on June 17, 2006 04:12 AM
Cool, Pianolady! We have the same pot for a filter!
How weird is THAT?

quote:
it's hollow inside.
That's the only thing that has kept me from getting started on this project...I knew it was hollow inside, and didn't want to start cutting anything out of it until I figured out exactly what I wanted to do. I would much rather the water go in from the bottom and come out the top...I think it would filter much better that way.
(I figured getting the one that was hollow inside would hold up much better in the winter when it gets so cold.)

OK...I'm ready now. [grin]
One more trip to Wal-Mart for some sealant stuff and the foam stuff, then I am cutting a hole in the bottom of that sucker for the tubing, and I'm gonna get 'er done! [thumb] [grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by april womack on June 25, 2006 11:30 AM
I have had a bad algae problem also and here is what I did. This is what I told cookinmom also. You should also consider a UV sterilizer, costly but worth it. Go on line and shop price. I don't find a need to use chemistry or fight with my pond nearly so much as I used to. Be sure to get one with a built in scrubber, otherwise you will have to be opening it up about monthly or more to clean off the bulb, a real pain. Even with the string algae problem my water was crystal clear. Just had this gunk floating all over the place. Good luck.

Local pond shop, bought product called string algae buster. Mix 1 Tbl. in a bucket of warm water per 100 gallons of pond water. Two applications and the algae is GONE. Cost is not bad, small 4.5 oz jar treats 800 gallons was $16. It is a live product once you mix it with warm water, so if you have UV sterilizer you have to turn it off. I also made one of Adam's homemade filter boxes as a pre-filter to save cleaning my pressure filter a bunch of times. Today I have dropped my water level about 1/3 and am letting Adam's filter do its thing for 24 hours. I also added a sludge digester to help clean up the gunk. It is also a live product. Tomarrow I will top off the pond and bring my ph back into control as well as add conditioner to make sure my fish are ok with the new water. The algae product does not harm your fish or plants. I could almost watch the algae go away, a product well worth the effort. I plan on periodically doing an algae kill, maybe about once a month just for maintenance. By the way, Adams filter is really great! I also went to walmart and got the stuff, set it up and had it running in no time. After I get things cleaned up I will pull it out and store it for some future disaster!
by cookinmom on June 25, 2006 02:44 PM
Cindy, how's your giant pot filter coming along? Is it up and running yet?

* * * *
 -
Real women don't have hot flashes -- we have power surges!
by loz on June 25, 2006 02:51 PM
Seeing this topic made me realize something. My pond has totally cleared up....I don't know if it's from the heavy rains we've had or what, but now I can see my goldfish swimming down at the very bottom of the pond... [thumb]
by afgreyparrot on June 26, 2006 04:47 AM
quote:
Cindy, how's your giant pot filter coming along? Is it up and running yet?

I made a big temporary one out of a big square plastic storage container...as a trial run before I started cutting on that planter. It's working fine. I am making the one out of the planter today but will keep the other one up and running until my pond is under control.

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by langford on June 29, 2006 05:08 AM
Talk about nasty water..i couldn't even see 1/2 in into the water.so last night we drained as we were adding..and it worked really well..i went out there this morning to feed the little fellows..and i could see them..they were so happy with me..they came up to give me kisses..oh wait..they could have been coming up to eat..they seem to have the same face doing both..
by afgreyparrot on June 29, 2006 11:46 AM
I've gotten some plants in my pond so hopefully that will help.

Thank you, Jiffy and Gardencrazy! [kissies] [kissies]

 -

 -

Jiffy sent me a bunch of hyacinths, and those things multiply fast.

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by loz on June 29, 2006 12:06 PM
Awesome! [thumb] [muggs] [clappy]
by Jiffymouse on June 30, 2006 06:44 AM
if you need more, let me know, my pond is completely covered now.
by cookinmom on June 30, 2006 10:20 AM
I'm so jealous! We can't have hyacinth or water lettuce here, and they both look so good! I guess somebody turned some loose a long time ago, and they clogged up the waterways, so now they're outlawed. [tears]

Cindy, you're pond looks really nice! I love those big rocks and your fishies.

* * * *
 -
Real women don't have hot flashes -- we have power surges!
by Jiffymouse on June 30, 2006 03:14 PM
valerie, i wouldn't have them if i lived in jax, unless they were in a barrel and couldn't escape. they have to have a true freeze winter to keep them in check, and the 100 miles or so between us makes me just far enough north to do it. they grow sooooooo fast.
by Pianolady on June 30, 2006 04:34 PM
I've become impatient with the green soup thing the longer I have my pond. This is my 3rd year using a UV light, although I know it would clear up without it. I want everything pretty, and I want it that way now! I got the 10W Pondmaster for my 800 gallon pond. I like this one because it's submersible or external. I've actually got it submersed in my pot filter! The weight of it holds my tubing in the bottom of the pot, and the plants cover up the fact it's even there.

Just remember, you still need the filter for your fish (if you have fish), with or without the uv. Nothing about cleaning your pond or using a filter should change when using uv, you still have to do the normal maintenance.

Pondmaster

Best price I've seen for the 10W version this year is $119.99 shipped.

* * * *
 -
by afgreyparrot on July 09, 2006 10:13 AM
I got my new pump today! [grin]
I am gonna be pumping some serious dirty water through some serious filters now!
...after I read the instruction manual... [nutz]

I ordered the Aquamax 1500 .
I meant to order the Aquamax 1000...and thought that I did.
But, I opened the box and it was the 1500.
So, I checked my order, and sure enough I screwed up (again) and ordered the 1500. But, that's fine with me.
More pumpage power! [grin] [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by langford on July 13, 2006 03:34 AM
Jiffy, will they grow out by me? I'm in indiana.not southern..northern..way northern..hehe..? If you have a bunch that you wouldn't use, I would gladly pay for the shipping on them..i need something to cover this pond up fast..and nothing seems to be overtaking..

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: alfalfa pellets and peonies| Next thread: algae question »
Back to Thread index