WATER GARDEN PONDS AND RAINY DAYS

ponds nj

Driven inside. Yes, believe it or not another New Jersey rainy day in the summer of 2009. You know my pond work is outdoors most of the time so I only get rained out by heavy rain with thunder and lighting, and that’s what we have today in New Jersey. So, it’s a good excuse to give the pond construction crew a day of rest, and the pond maintenance services tech a day to cool off too. But for me I just find another way to work, and this seems like a golden opportunity to talk about ponds and watergardens and how rain can affect them. Full Service Aquatics customers come to expect clear water in their ponds on a consistent basis, and that’s what we deliver to them, but there has to be an exception made when Mother Nature decides to drop that wonderfully precious, nutrient rich rainwater from the sky. Rainwater is one of our greatest gifts but water full of nutrient is not always great for our koi ponds and water gardens, especially in great quantities.

One of the observations that I have made over the many years of working in the pond construction and pond maintenance industry is that after a good rain, pond water gets a little mucky. Why is that? After torrential rains I always get the incoming calls about a customer’s pond water quality. Pond water most definitely gets cloudy after a good rain, most of this cloudy water caused by dust, pollen, dirt, debris, and other materials getting washed into the pond and as this material floats and circulates in the pond it gives a cloudy look to the pond, and typically it is just a matter of a day or so for the pond water to be filtered clear again. After your pond water has filtered clean, it is a good time to clean your pond filter too, as all those materials need now to be removed from your pond filtration system.

However, sometimes pond green water conditions can occur. Why’s that? Even in established ponds green water can obscure your view of your koi and goldfish swimming in your watergarden fish pond. The green water condition in your pond occurs because of the sudden introduction of nitrate and nutrient rich water into your pond; the nutrient levels spike, the planktonic algae in your pond has a sudden huge food (nutrient) supply available, so it can now reproduce like mad increasing in numbers exponentially and wah-lah! You’ve got green water, and green water is simply that….large numbers of floating planktonic algae that now are so densely populated that their green coloration from chlorophyll makes your water appear green. Good news is that green water in a pond is a temporary condition and if left to filter through with a properly constructed pond filter system, the green water condition should clear up on it’s on in a few days and you will see you koi fish, goldfish, and pondfish swimming happily about because green water does not bother them or affect them at all!

So, although it is good practice to call your pond service maintenance provider about sudden changes in your pond’s water quality, it is most often just a matter of patience until your green pond turns into a clear pond again. At least until the next major rain event!!

Rainy Day Blog

9 Comments

Robert

A clear pond is a sick pond. Clarity should be 18″-22″ no more, no less. You check it with a secchi disk (Look it up). Check the pH and DO (dissolved oxygen) pH should be between 7.0 and 9.0 for fish and plants. Plants exchange DO/CO2. Not only should plants thrive, there are micro plants and Animals (Phytoplankton and Zooplankton), that is or should be the main thing that determines clarity. A lack of either means your pond is out of balance. Pea soup green is too many Phytoplankton, Dark Brown to black is too many Zooplankton. A rainfall will naturally cause a growth of either because there is more food. Sir, you should be much more informative! Adults are not children, treating them as such leads to ignorance.

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Mike Gannon

Thanks for your not so helpful feedback Robert. If you do not enjoy the blogs you are welcome to LEAVE!! Be gone. -Mike

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Connie

What were you referring to that as for ponds, “dogs are another matter”? You were talking about cats not naturally eating fish. Thank you. I have 5 dogs ????????????????????. I don’t have a pond yet, but I want to get one. ???????????????????????? ????????????????????

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Mike Gannon

Hey thanks for reaching out. Generally speaking dogs are not an issue with ponds. I’ve build ponds for many many dog owners. Have fun! -Mike

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Gretchen

Hi. We just had a koi pond put in. They pressure washed the rocks and drained the dirty water from the pond, but everything still had silt on it. We got the water in, treated it, let it set, tested out the (Aquascape) water fall, and added our fish (from our former pond). They were so happy! But then it rained pretty heavily for 2 days. Plus, we have rainwater barrels, and a couple of those were emptied into the pond to raise the water level. The pond is understandably murky. We’ve got another pump in there to clean out the muddy particulates. A few of our fish got sucked into the baskets, so we’ve fashioned a filter they can’t get through. Our goldfish (but not the koi or the new fish) are now flashing and swimming en mass. It looks like they’re in distress, but it’s all still so new, I can’t tell for sure. Maybe they’re just having fun together. Worried that the rains had affected the chemistry of the pond, I tested it. The ammonia level was right around .25 and the ph was around 7. The Nitrate level was at the bottom of the scale, as was the phosphate level. Should I add some baking soda? Ammonia inhibitor? Test for something else? Any other suggestions?

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Mike Gannon

Hi Gretchen, thanks for reaching out! Oh, the joys of pond keeping… don’t worry it’ll get MUCH better. The first 8-10 weeks of any new pond will be an adventure. Since the pond is still so new its “behavior” as well as it’s resident’s behavior will not be normal. Don’t start pouring chemicals into the pond or start trying to adjust water parameters!! You have to let your pond settle in a bit and all the ups and downs will likely settle into a much smoother day to day “behavior”. Your fish actually sound like they might be exhibiting spawning behavior, which would be a fairly common occurrence when fish are put into a new pond, newly cleaned pond. The best I can say on that is to keep a close eye on them over the next few days, but DON’T start pouring stuff into your pond! Look around the edges for tiny eggs as well. My best suggestion is to give your brand new pond a chance to settle in a bit, filter itself out, and my guess is you will have pleasant results.. (if not get back to me!). Good luck and enjoy!! -Mike

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Paul

I have had fish my hole life! i am 60 i bought a new house and i couldn’t believe it came with a 3000 gal pond! the people that had it before me did not take care of it ! so i put a huge new filter and bought very expensive koi i have had every problem in the world! fish getting sick water problems it has been 10 years now and i have 17 koi that will come and eat out of my hands! they are so healthy everybody loves to watch me feed them! iyt takes a long time to get things right believe me! if any body has any questions about advise you can email me at gweedo4172@aol.com i don’t mind!if you are a friendly person i will give you my number i have a lot of experience and I’ve been through it all !!

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Mike Gannon

Hi Paul. Thanks for checking out the blog and offering to share you experience. Enjoy! -Mike

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