I am noticing some suspended solids in the pond we maintain. Is there a product that binds those particles so they drop to the bottom drains? Water quality is great.
So, what do you mean by suspended solids? Fish waste/detritus or algae or?
There are products on the market for this, but I just don't like recommended the useage of any of them. These are chemicals that bind molecular structures together, and as such can coat the gills as well and cause more problems than turbid water will. How much water is changed out per week when cleaning the filters? What type of filtration is on this pond?
What the cause is I can't positively pinpoint, but it sounds to me like too much food is being fed for the capacity of the filter to handle. Either increase the filtration or reduce the quantity of food. Remember the old saying, you don't feed your fish, you feed your FILTERS!
you just need to polish your water with a sand filter or something along those lines.
I am interested in making the water clearer for the owners of the pond. The only time I can see the suspended solids is when the sun is shining directly on the pond.
Try koi clay. I've heard it helps bind particles to make it easier for the filters to pick them up. I use it once a week, and it really seems to "polish" the water nicely.
For Koi clay, one tablespoon per 1,000g total water volume after each water change. In addition to helping with some particulate it also helps with heavy metals that may be present in your source water.
For the record, Mike is spot on about water quality. There is a very interesting article in the current issue of the Koi Nations magazine that you want to read.
Things I've used for that procedure successfully include....
Poly Aluminum chloride
Calcium bentonite (koi clay)
All flocculants. Use according to what is being flocculated and the water chemistry of the pond, misuse can kill the fish.
Also, there are filters for that work. The very best would be a DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filter. Takes a big one for a koi pond and it must be cleaned and reset about once every two or three hours until the pond is clear. Uses a lot of DE in the process.
Rapid sand filter, works to remove semi-fine solids, but must be backwashed frequently and will eventually channelize and/or go anaerobic. Use for maybe two or three days, then remove the sand and start over again.
These filtration methods work well, but are VERY costly to implement.
I am assuming you are refering to the article in the Aug./Sept. issue of Koi Nations titled 'Water's Wheel of Life'. I have read over that article a couple of times and see no connection between suspended solids affecting or equaling poor water quality. It is very possible though that I have overlooked something.
Koi Nation's June/July issue article 'Bio Is Not Bio' by Kent Wallace
"Water quality and water clarity are not the same and should not be confused with each other, but we would like to have both"
I stated that our water quality is great because when I test the water every other week I get excellent results. I am not saying that there aren't parasites in the water or any other dangers. I would assume that the suspended solids would affect, if anything, the ammonia levels. They aren't, and that is why I made a point to say that water quality is great. If we can't have great water then we have good water. I am just interested in getting rid of the suspended solids.
How is Mike spot on? And if he is then I need some explanation so I can learn some more. It is a bold statement to say that I can't have good water quality(after I stated I did) because of some suspended solids. Explanation is requested.
I'm curious because I used to have something like this.
Is it kind of clumpy? Mushy?
I'll describe what I had... It was like a collection of waste. Debris and rotting stuff. I'd occasionally find leaves and stuff in it. It would be very soft and break up extremely easily. Couldn't get it with a net, had to scoop it out with a bowl. It seemed to float up and down depending on the release of gases. It would bubble a little as though it were releasing it at least. I don't think it effected the water quality because when I tested the water it also was within all the correct ranges. Not to say it didn't, it was just stuck where it was. Which is why I had to clean it out.
Maybe a picture would help. Can you catch any and inspect it?
Suspended solids are usually caused by multiple issues, the most important is detritus from the fish. This solid waste material begins to break down almost immediately once in suspension and turn into dissolved organic carbons. If you have sufficient bio filtration, it will handle the ammonia/nitrite load and you should be left with a minimal amount of nitrate (under 10ppm). Getting rid of the rest of the smaller particulates is a job for the mechanical filtration and water changes to help eliminate, or at best, reduce the load to a manageable level.
Now, could you provide us with your readings on the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, Ph, Gh and Kh of the pond. Also, what size is the pond (gallons), what type of filtration is being used and what the turnover rates are. Rather than continuing to discuss your problem in an antagonistic manner, let's get to the root cause(s) of the problem so you don't have to work so hard.
One recommendation that was mentioned was the use of "koi" clay or bentonite/montmorillanite clay. This does help with the flocculation of suspended particulates in the least harmful/safest manner and might help improve the water quality.
BTW, I never said your water wasn't "good" it just doesn't sound GREAT!
Sorry Daniel, I didn't intend to imply anything negative with my quickly typed post. I think Mike said it pretty well originally and with the post just prior to this one.
Truth be known there are experts that keep pea green soup ponds with show quality Koi in them. I'm not of that mind set... my pond is for my viewing pleasure and nothing more. Generally suspended solids, IMHO, indicate an adjustment needs to be made in order to maintain my self imposed standard of view-ability.
The issue Brett mentions with using sand filters in koi ponds can be solved easily. When the sand grows biofilm and sticks together, treat the sand with your choice of PP (potassium permanganate) or industrial strength hydrogen peroxide (bought locally as Baquacil Oxidizer at 27% hydrogen peroxide strength). I have used both these tricks to clean up the glass in our Sacremento Koi Advantage glass filters, which have the same biofilm development issue as sand filters. If you do this, remember to back wash the oxidizers (PP OR hydrogen peroxide) from the filter before putting it back on line to the koi pond.
Either a sand or glass filter will easily remove the suspended particles, and the problems Brett mentions are easily solved in intelligent maintenance practices.
People stated many absolutes in this thread that are simply not right. I had pea soup water most of the last 2 seasons. Fish are incredibly healthy, growing well..and measurements are excellent. No sick fish this season (knock wood!!). So, I added a big aqua ultraviolet 200watt unit. Water is clear now...but with solids. Why?? Now I have algae growing on the sides..much more than when I had pea soup. Well, the fish are grazing like crazy...and there are my solids. Water measurements couldn't be more finer!!
Why the algae issues...had no shade..all direct sun and tap water with phosphates. The algae issues are inevitable. For the solids...I use polyester fiber(walmart) in my pre-filter and throw it out every 1-2weeks. Works well..but my point is all floating solids are not a problem. Could just be koi grazing. Keep up on water changes and basic cleanliness and you shouldn't have a problem.
A resounding "No" is the answer to Marie's question. The point of the treatment is to use enough oxidizer to destroy the biofilm intentionally. If that is done to a bead filter, the biofilm is gone and the filter will have to be recycled.
Glass and sand filters are for mechanical filtration of suspeneded solids only, they are not meant to do biofiltration. And if they develop biofilm, the pressure drop across the rapidly rises to the 15 psi to 45 psi range and flow through them from a normal koi pond pump simply stops. So a regular oxidation schedule is a maintenance requirement for a glass or sand filter on a fish pond if a decent flow through them is required for the mechanical filtration function.
Low level oxidizer concentrations are okay to send through a bead filter, but the high dose meant to intentionally kill the biofilm and clean up the filtration media is not something you want to do to a pond bead filter.
The point of the really clear water is to enjoy seeing the eye candy called koi better.
Some suspended solids do not hurt the koi like said above, but they don't help with visual enjoyment of the hobby!