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Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!!

 




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arisL
Novice

Jan 25, 2010, 7:15 PM

Post #1 of 18 (10816 views)
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Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! Can't Post

Hi all, I am new to this forum, but 8 years with my Koi pond.
My problem is Algae Bloom, the floating kind, or pea soup syndrome. After all these years, i first got it last September, REALLY bad, and it is still there, I can't get rid of it!
Here is what I tried:
First I realised my UV lights were out, so I changed the bulbs, but still nothing. That was 15 weeks ago. .. I thought UV’s are the best against floating algae, but now I wonder if they are only good in preventing and no good in curing the problem, is this so?
About 20 days ago, I tried bacteria (Viresco), nothing except maybe a slight change in colour, from pea-green to pale-green .... money down the drain, it seems ....................
A week ago I got bolder and tried algaecide (Banish Greenwater), I can only see a very slight improvement, but not much....
At the same time, I got the Cloverleaf Fractionator, and have it going for 5 days, hoping it might help.....
That's it! I haven't seen my Kois for months now, i read they dont suffer much with floating algae anyway ..... i have no problem with oxygen, having the waterfall and an additional air stone going, but i wonder how long will this go in for ..... is it a matter of water temperature (lately just over 10 centigrade) that all those measures are ineffective? Is Algae bloom such a difficult problem to get rid of. or am i doing something very wrong? Do i have to wait till spring to see any improvement? The instructions on Banish mention i can repeat the treartment after one week, but i wonder if it will do anything and maybe harm the fish.....
Any help will be appreciated, Thanks !


PH8
Veteran


Jan 26, 2010, 2:49 AM

Post #2 of 18 (10798 views)
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Re: [arisL] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi ArisL,

Welcome to the forum. I can understand what you're going through as I went through this about 30 months ago and it was hell. I could not see my koi for 3 whole months. In the process, 2 koi died and a few others were stricken by infections from which they never recovered to this day.

Algae need 3 things to thrive - nitrates, phosphates and sunlight. Brother David recently did an "experiment" on his pond where he rolled up his blinds so that sunlight hit exactly a third of his pond. Hey presto, there was algae growth in exactly one third of his pond within a few weeks. Once he put down his blinds to shade the entire pond again, all the algae was gone within a few weeks. So shading your pond from direct sunlight will greatly help your algae problem.

Nitrates and phosphates are by-products of the nitrification cycle. As long as we feed our koi, these levels will keep going up and in the process feed all the algae. The best way to control the levels of nitrates and phosphates is to do daily water changes (5-10%), as this dilutes the concentration of nitrates and phosphates. Using Refresh powder also helps to remove phosphates as the clay powder attracts phosphates and clumps it together so that it can be flushed out.

You mentioned UV lights but not which type. The submerged or enclosed tube ones are much much more effective than the overhead type. This is because of the very limited kill distance of UV lights (several inches only).

Algae seems to already have gotten a stronghold in your pond ecosystem. This does not augur well for the good bacteria. Using a good bacteria starter will help correct the imbalance in the ecosystem.


Cheers,
Paul


(This post was edited by PH8 on Jan 26, 2010, 2:50 AM)



Spartacus
User

Jan 26, 2010, 2:36 PM

Post #3 of 18 (10728 views)
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Re: [PH8] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Brother Paul,
Can salting the pond to 0.5% help in algae bloom in the case where shading is not possible?

Ryan


PH8
Veteran


Jan 26, 2010, 2:53 PM

Post #4 of 18 (10724 views)
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Re: [Spartacus] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bro Ryan, haven't really heard of salt for dealing with algae...CrazyCrazyCrazy Do you have an algae problem?


ikankoiku
User


Jan 28, 2010, 9:41 PM

Post #5 of 18 (10623 views)
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Re: [PH8] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bro,

Do more water change if you have to. Change water something like 30 to 35% within 2 days. After 2 or 3 times, it should reduced significantly. Don't feed you kois during this period. After that raise the salt level to 0.3 to 0.5%. Will be better if refresh powder added after the last water change. The koi will be stressed due large water change but it will bring back the stable condition faster. Without the food and additional nitrate, it should improve fast and the koi should be fine. But don't forget about the anti chlorineWink.

Regards

IKK


arisL
Novice

Feb 12, 2010, 7:17 PM

Post #6 of 18 (10369 views)
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Re: [ikankoiku] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you all for the input!
I was waiting for results: After the first treatment, the water went from green to creamy, and after the second, it turned from creamy to CLOUDY .............. and it has been like that for days now! ............. maybe the dose was not enough, or the 5 to 8 celcius water temp is not good to make it work....
I got some anti-chlorine and just did a 50% water change. The cloudiness decreased a little, but now I have lots of foam on the surface ..... I got a Cloverleaf fractioner and ran it for two weeks, but it seems to do little ............
I also added salt today, and ordered a tester for measuring it’s content. Half the pond is in the shade and with winter here there is little of it anyway. Also no feeding for 2 months now ...............
WHOW ! This has been my worst experience since I started my pond and that was 8 years ago ! But the truth is I had left it on it’s own for too long ..... Anyway, here are my additional questions, your advice will be greatly appreciated!!!!
- Cloudiness: Is it the remains of the Green floating algae or something else ? I read that algaecide makes them stick together and fall to the bottom, but it is so cloudy that I cannot see any bottom ! What to do next?
- What is Refresh Powder and where can I get it from ?
- Algeacide: Should I go for a third treatment?
- UV lights: Are they good only for preventing floating algae? I have new OASE 75watts running for two months and they did nothing to reverse the problem!
- Beneficial Bacteria: I am ready to add a good boost, but will they work at 5-7celcius?
- Sludge Bacteria: Will they help with the cloudiness ? And can a pond maintain two or more bacteria colonies at the same time? Don’t they counter each other?

Thanks!




larz1
Veteran


Feb 13, 2010, 7:08 PM

Post #7 of 18 (10315 views)
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Re: [arisL] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think a few more details may be needed to fully diagnose your problems. The U.V. lights should be helping somewhat unless there is something feeding the algae bloom heavily. Please describe more fully your pond construction and filtration. Bottom drains? Air diffuser on the dome? Skimmer circuit. Rocks or Plants in the pond? Details do matter.

Refresh powder, Koi Clay, or whatever brand name is available in your area should be stocked at any Koi Pond supply store.


ikankoiku
User


Feb 14, 2010, 8:08 AM

Post #8 of 18 (10278 views)
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Re: [larz1] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi bro n sis,

Was away for a while. Got a lot of catching up to doUnsure. I just want to share a tip given by Bro Hwong during the private pond visit to my pond recently. My pond's water was greenish after the hanging type UV light went "kaput". Since then I have changed to submerge UV type 18W and 36W but the water didnt improved much. I placed it in my 1st chamber randomly (or simply "hantam"). What Bro Hwong pointed out was that the UV light is only effective within a few cm(cant remember the exact cm but very fewWink) away. That means all water flow must pass by the UV light very closely. This is how the UV tube type was designed to optimize the effect.

I have placed one of the UV light very close to the water outlet to the 2nd chamber and after a few days I came back from out station.... wowloww wee, the water was crystal clear againShockedShocked. My cap up to you Bro HwongAngelic. I guess not many people realise this. It also worked for a pond near my hse too. I suggest everyone should try this tip if you have green water issue.

Cheers

IKK


PH8
Veteran


Feb 14, 2010, 9:01 AM

Post #9 of 18 (10275 views)
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Re: [ikankoiku] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Captain, good to know your water cleared. The other thing to remember is the limited life span of the UV lights (normally only about 6 months). After that period, their effectiveness is sharply reduced even though the light is still on. You can actually place the UV lights anywhere in the filter as long as it is at a place where most of the water must pass through and near to the UV lights. For me now, I place them just next to my 4 water pumps, very near the pump inputs where they draw water. Seems to work for me too. An alternative is in the ports within the up-down chambers.


ikankoiku
User


Feb 14, 2010, 9:12 AM

Post #10 of 18 (10269 views)
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Re: [PH8] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Bro Paul,

Yup, the six month is a very important info too. I will change mine on Jan and July every year. Transfer port will a very good place for the UV.

I am in Istanbul now. After this flight, I will be busy designing and building a pond for a friend of mine in Seremban. It will be a big pond(est around 35-40ton). Hope I can apply all the new knowledge I have learned in this forum.

Cheers

IKK


arisL
Novice

Feb 14, 2010, 6:46 PM

Post #11 of 18 (10237 views)
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Re: [larz1] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here more details larz1:
Pond: 25.000litres, cement construction, oval shape, depth 80cm to 1,25cm, has a 4 meter long waterway with 20cm waterfall at the end, built 8 years ago, in Greece, no bottom drain. No surface skimmer, just a foam Fractioner added three weeks ago. Sorry I do not understand ‘air diffuser on the dome’ if you mean additional bubble maker, there is none. No rocks just some water lillies and a cane, but not thriving without full sun.

Pond built on the southern side of the house so it gets sun not all day long.

Equipment: OASE Biotec 30 filter, with the largest at that time OASE Aquamax and OASE Bitron 75watt UV light fitted before the filter.

Fish: I have about 15 large Kois (15 inch appr), 15 medium ones, and a lot of smaller ones along with lots of unwanted gold fish, (some of which are not gold but black) ..... I have tried to fish them out so that only kois are left, but I simply cannot catch them all those years (this will be my next post, ‘How to catch smaller fish in a pond’)

I do feed in the summer, and apparently I must have overfed last season before the Agea Bloom appeared, but I stopped then .....

Never had any algae problem till last spring when String algae appeared, I pulled most out, and Kois ate the rest, problem gone..... Then late September last year the dreaded Algea Bloom took hold.

I have not added beneficial bacteria for 2 years or so, everything was fine ( I thought...) I did find in Septemner the UV lights out and replaced them with new, running since then.

We do not have pond supplies locally, I mean clay etc, I bring everything from the UK
Thats about it.......


larz1
Veteran


Feb 15, 2010, 7:10 AM

Post #12 of 18 (10186 views)
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Re: [arisL] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I might suggest you read a few more threads for design ideas before tackling your friends new pond as beginning a project with solid information will make it a far more pleasant exercise.Cool
A very good design and educational tool is found here;
Nishikigoi Pond Filteration.pdf (application/pdf Object)

It will walk you through the proper methods of designing a healthy Koi pond while explaining the reasons for it all in the process. A very good piece of work written by a well respected and experienced hobbyistCool

You do need to remove the extra fish. It takes a far bigger filter system than you have to handle that large of a fish load, and your pond design is not able to compensate for it without some significant changes. After reading through the design link I posted I believe you'll understand better.


arisL
Novice

Feb 15, 2010, 8:01 PM

Post #13 of 18 (10120 views)
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Re: [larz1] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the link, always looking forward to learn but this link does not open, I get this error: (The requested URL /calendar/2006/January20presentations/Nishikigoi Pond Filteration.pdf was not found on this server. Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.)

Meanwhile could you help me with how to catch the small fish? I know there are too many and besides i dont like black goldfish! I’ve tried pole nets, even fishing nets, no good. Thought of lowering the water level might help, but then I might hurt the big ones!!! Any ideas? Thanks!Smile


larz1
Veteran


Feb 15, 2010, 11:40 PM

Post #14 of 18 (10104 views)
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Re: [arisL] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Try this instead. The link opened fine for me so it may have been something in the original your browser did not see.

http://www.atlantakoiclub.org/calendar/2006/January%202006%20presentations/Nishikigoi%20Pond%20Filteration.pdf

Netting fish can be difficult if you aren't used to it. Remove all plants and other obstacles, use a seine net large enough to reach all the way across the pond, and pull the net from one end to the other. Make sure you have help, and it is easier if someone can get into the pond with a floating "kiddie pool" (the kind with inflatable sides) to place the fish in as you capture them. Much easier to handle them that wayCool


arisL
Novice

Feb 26, 2010, 8:02 PM

Post #15 of 18 (9668 views)
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Re: [larz1] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, first of all thanks larz1 for the very informative link it really helped! Here is the situation now:
1. You were absolutely right, doing the numbers showed me that with the breeding and the kois growing, I certainly need to ‘thin out’ my stock. I learned what a ‘seine’ net is and have ordered one, I even searched on how to ‘euthanise’ the unwanted fish when the time comes, and have ordered some clove oil for that purpose.
2. I have done so far five 30% water changes.
3. I cleaned the filter, (not that it was dirty)
4. I added some good bacteria along with two air stones in the filter and switched the UV light off, even though the water temp is just about 10 degrees celcius, i just could not wait...
5. I have the fractioner running all the time.
6. The tests show all values on the normal range
Well, initially the green water turned to milky/beige and eventually turned to just cloudy. There is also some foam on top, some days less, some days more. I was thinking that the cloudiness was coming from the dead green algae sitting at the bottom, but today I vacuumed the bottom and there is little or no residue at all down there. I just have cloudy water and it has been like that for days!
Any more suggestions besides patience?


larz1
Veteran


Feb 26, 2010, 9:48 PM

Post #16 of 18 (9659 views)
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Re: [arisL] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Good to hear that things are headed in the right direction, even though they are not yet where you want them. Progress is always a positive step, even if it is a small oneCool

As you have learned from reading the link I shared, there are several design obstacles you face that are slowing down your progress toward clear water. Without bottom drains and settlement chamber filtration it is much more difficult to remove the fines causing your cloudy condition and feeding the algae. There are ways to compensate for this, but first things first because they create a few small obstacles to netting your fish. Get rid of the surplus population first and then take the next steps toward the best water.

After you have reduced your fish population to a more manageable number, you will want to add a bottom drain to the pond. To avoid tearing up the pond there are "retrofit" bottom drains that can be purchased that sit on the bottom and connect to an external pump with a flexible pipe. This will make it possible to remove settled waste from the bottom of the pond which are feeding the cloudiness and the algae. In your case it would likely be most advisable to connect it to a bead filter that is easily back-flushed to clean the media and purge the captured solid fines from the water. This will also make the use of Koi Clay more effective as it will also be removed after it has done its job of removing contamination from the water.

You mentioned that you have installed a foam fractionator but are still getting foam in the pond. Is foam being produced and removed by the fractionator outside the pond? The foam is mainly DOC's (Dissolved Organic Compounds), often referred to as "Protein Scum". The foam should be removed before the water returns to the pond.

Also, you mentioned that you turned off the U.V. light. No need for that, so go ahead and turn it on. Kill that stuff before it has a chance to start up and you'll have less of it to deal withSly

You also expressed some concern about different bacterial colonies competing with each other for the same food. In a healthy pond there will be several different species of bacteria that not only peacefully co-exist with each other, they are totally dependent on each other in a symbiotic relationship. The only bacteria you don't want are the ones that cause disease, and taking good care of your water will eliminate them wellCool


arisL
Novice

Feb 27, 2010, 8:08 PM

Post #17 of 18 (9571 views)
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Re: [larz1] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to the forums and people like you for helping othersSmile!
Yes, I guess I am on the right track, and another consolation is that my pond has been trouble-free for many years, even though I was not looking after it. Without much good bacteria and the UV lights out for ages, I hope that once I get it right again, I'll be ok provided I will keep it up. Must be a beginner's syndrome, I got fired up in the beginning, then neglected it so now it is asking again for my attention, it's Ok with other hobbies, but with living creatures in a pond neglect can be deadly!!!
Population ‘thinning’: I have never succeeded with netting fish before, I guess I will have to lower the water level and get into the pond to do it right, but the problem is that right now I can see nothing down there, so I am afraid I will hurt my big ones! Maybe I should wait till the water clears more.
Bottom drain: when building the pond I did not plan for a bottom drain, however, the OASE Aquamax 30 sits in a 20’x20’ depressed rectangle, that is at the lowest point of the pond, so I guess in a way it is acting as a bottom drain. The pump has a second inlet that I have dedicated to a satellite pickup from another, shallower point in the bottom. To help with clearing the water now, should I disconnect the satellite pickup, so that all the water comes out from the very lowest point of the pond?
Fractioner: I got the Cloverleaf fractioner because of it’s good reviews here in Europe. Here is the link, you will find it in the Small Devices: http://www.cloverleaf.uk.net/Main%20Page.htm It has a separate waste outlet that I directed out of the pond. The aerated water goes through 4 litres of floating biological media which should add to the bio process. I do have a question for it though, not answered in the limited instructions that came with it: What is the best waste setting for it, I mean should I set it to just drip or to have a constant flow? Or, how many buckets of waste should it be collecting say per day?
Bead Filter: I just learned of them from this post and their easy backwash function is very inviting. I dont want to run additional installations in my finished pond, so I wonder if there are small ones that I could add in line, just before my Biotec 30. I have some space there if I find something to fit in and my Aquamax 30 gives 30.000litres/hour on a 2’ hose which must be enough, I think. However the ones I’ve found on line are all big units, they seemed to me like complete, stand-alone filters . Are there any smaller ones that mainly collect the solids that I can hook-up before my filter?


larz1
Veteran


Feb 27, 2010, 10:06 PM

Post #18 of 18 (9561 views)
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Re: [arisL] Algae Bloom, cannot get rid of it !!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

While I'm certain that foam fractionator is effective I don't really like that style. It looks like it returns the foam to a liquid phase before sending it to waste which makes it difficult to adjust no doubt. I would suggest that a more constant flow from the waste outlet would improve your results and minimize the amount of foam still returning to the pond.

As to the filter/pump setup you have now, it is a catch 22 situation. On one hand you are pulling directly from the bottom with your submersible pump, which is good. On the other hand you are emulsifying the solid wastes in the pump, which make them far more difficult to filter out and produces cloudy water. Adding a bead type filter before your existing OASE would remove much of the fines and reduce the load on the OASE, thereby improving your overall performance.

You mention that the pond has been in service and relatively trouble free for quite some time.
What has changed?
More fish now than in the beginning means more mechanical and biological load on your filtration and less attentive pond maintenance only adds to the problem. These things all combine to produce a steady decline in water quality and that has finally reached a "tipping point" at which the waters appearance and condition finally went completely to pieces. It is quite possible that you have a combination of both fines and a massive bacterial bloom in the water going on at the same time as they attempt to keep your water quality (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) under control. Enhancing your filtration and lowering your population are the only answers to that.

 
 
 



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