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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11385
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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NEW KOI POND OWNER/ENTHUSIAST WHO INHERITED MY 1,300 GALLON

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I AM A NEW KOI POND OWNER/ENTHUSIAST WHO INHERITED MY 1,300 GALLON POND WHEN I PURCHASED THE HOUSE I NOW LIVE IN. THE POND IS CONCRETE AND LINED WITH A DECORATIVE VENEER STONE. ORIGINALLY THE POND USED A BOG FILTER WITH IRISES GROWING IN IT. I REMOVED THE BOG, PURCHASED AN ADVANTAGE PRESSURIZED FILTER WITH UV LIGHT FROM SACRAMENTO KOI, USED TWO LAYERS OF MATALA MECHANICAL FILTER PADS (BLUE & GREY) IN THE SKIMMER AND INSTALLED A CANOPY TO GREATLY REDUCE DIRECT SUNLIGHT. I HAVE ALSO SCRUBBED, VACUUMED, AND PRESSURE WASHED THE STONE VEENER TO REMOVE ALGAE AND DOSED THE POND REGULARLY WITH AQUASCAPE’S SAB STREAM AND POND CLEAN. I FEED MY FISH, TWICE DAILY WITH TETRA POND STICKS. HERE’S MY PROBLEM. MY WATER IS CLEAR BUT ALGAE CONTINUES TO GROW AND COVER THE STONE VENEER THUS REDUCING THE VISUAL APPEAL OF THE POND. IS THERE ANY WAY TO KEEP THE ALGAE FROM FORMING ON THE STONE VENEER AND COMPLETELY OBLITERATING THE BEAUTY OF THE STONE AND THE VISUAL BEAUTY OF THE OVERALL POND? I HAVE AVOIDED USING CHEMICAL ALGAECIDE FOR FEAR OF AFFECTING THE HEALTH OF THE FISH. ANY SUGGESTIONS?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in fish and pond keeping. I can tell you why the algae continues to grow, but I believe you deserve honesty. There is no good solution.You are wise to steer clear of the chemical algaecides. They are potent chemicals and are especially toxic to koi. I have had clients ask for help when their fish started dying, only to find out the cause was one of these chemicals.
UV clarifiers destroy single called floating algae. Algae that doesn't produce free floating spores won't be killed by a clarifiers. The spores are killed as they go through the clarifier. You have done a lot of cleaning, but it would be impossible to remove every bit of algae clinging to the stone and in the tiny pores of the concrete. It doesn't take much to begin colonizing again, and soon the stone will be covered again.Another factor is the number of fish in the pond. It is recommended to have at least ten gallons of water per inch of koi. So, a ten inch koi needs a minimum of 100 gallons. When dealing with larger fish, twenty gallons per fish is better. The more fish you have, the more waste they produce. Fish waste is a perfect plant ( algae) fertilizer. I suspect that is why the previous owner used the bog with irises. Those irises used up a lot of the fish waste, helping cut down on algae growth.The truth is that the type of algae you have is good for the fish because it produces oxygen and helps keep the water pure. Many pond keepers don't even try to clear up this type. String algae and free floating algae that turns the water green are main concerns. Many even consider the soft algae growing on stones and pond sides to be pretty. You obviously don't, so we need to figure out if there are other measures you can take.The only thing you haven't already done is add some plant life. Water lilies and other floating plants use fish wastes, make oxygen, and provide even more shade. However, they will obstruct your view of the stones. Plants that live in pots resting on the pond bottom may help some, while still leaving the stones visible. As long as you want everything to be algae-free, you'll need to do some manual cleaning, too. Barley straw extract inhibits the growth of algae and using it regularly may eventually eliminate the algae, but it's not an overnight solution.Even the chemical algaecides don't kill all algae, but they will get rid of a lot of it. If you do decide to use it, be sure to never exceed the amount recommended in the instructions. Watch the fish closely for any signs of distress. You'll need to do a 50% water change right away if they have problems.I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I can't lie to you and tell you there's a perfect fix when there isn't. I would try using barley straw extract regularly, consider adding some plants, and continue with manual cleaning. If that doesn't give you the results you want, consider using an algaecide very carefully. If you have more questions, just let me know. I wish you success.Anna

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