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    Thread: Be careful what you wish for - no algae?

    1. #1
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Be careful what you wish for - no algae?

      Our latest pond is just over two years old. During its two-year "seasoning", we had a real issue with string algae, and even posted a few pictures of here. It was especially bad because it would block the bottom drains even with their 3/4" gap, and produce soccer-ball size mounds of algae in the RDF. H2O2 would beat it back for a while, but it would always come back. Water chemistry is great other than high (40+) nitrate due to 5% water changes per week, but the fish appear healthy and active.

      Now for the change: Starting about a month ago, it gradually started going away on its own, and eventually disappeared. I wasn't too surprised by that, given how each pond is different and has its own personality. What was a bit surprising is that the algae reduction just kept right on going, to the point that there's not much anywhere, even on the walls. I should also note that while UV is used, it obviously doesn't affect the algae that stays in the pond.

      There have been zero changes in feeding schedule, water change amount, no rain, and no fish have been added or removed. Perhaps the miracles claimed of shower filters really do happen, but as said above, nitrate remains high, so miracles seem doubtful. I want to be happy about this, but it's the unknown that makes it a bit concerning. As said above, the fish are healthy, hungry, and active, so it's kind of a head-scratcher. I certainly can't take responsibility for the improvement in clarity, because I don't know what changed. Maybe it's just another one of the mystery that is algae.

      First two pics are 10 August, and the last is 07 July, pretty big change in a month!
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      Last edited by kimini; 08-13-2019 at 04:06 PM.

    2. #2
      MikeM's Avatar
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      A similar thing occurred in my pond several years ago. It lasted about 6 months. Then the algae returned to normal density (normal for my pond). Never determined a cause/reason. There are fungi suspected to be capable of infecting Cladaphora, but no study has been able to compile evidence to support the idea. And, if there was a fungal disease at work, it would seem that it should remain present, keeping the Cladaphora population weak.

      Give us an update in six months.

    3. #3
      ricshaw is offline Supporting Member
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      After years of not wanting green water and string algae BUT wanting what is considered desirable carpet algae on the walls of the pond... after installing better/more biological filtration I noticed a decrease in carpet algae on the pond walls (without any UV filter).


      member

    4. #4
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      Our latest pond is just over two years old. During its two-year "seasoning", we had a real issue with string algae, and even posted a few pictures of here. It was especially bad because it would block the bottom drains even with their 3/4" gap, and produce soccer-ball size mounds of algae in the RDF. H2O2 would beat it back for a while, but it would always come back. Water chemistry is great other than high (40+) nitrate due to 5% water changes per week, but the fish appear healthy and active.

      Now for the change: Starting about 3 months ago, it gradually started going away on its own, and eventually disappeared. I wasn't too surprised by that, given how each pond is different and has its own personality. What was a bit surprising is that the algae reduction just kept right on going, to the point that there's not much anywhere, even on the walls. I should also note that while UV is used, it obviously doesn't affect the algae that stays in the pond.

      There have been zero changes in feeding schedule, water change amount, no rain, and no fish have been added or removed. Perhaps the miracles claimed of shower filters really do happen, but as said above, nitrate remains high, so miracles seem doubtful. I want to be happy about this, but it's the unknown that makes it a bit concerning. As said above, the fish are healthy, hungry, and active, so it's kind of a head-scratcher. Unlike some pond owners, I won't take responsibility for the improvement in clarity, and maybe it's just another mystery which is algae.
      I know my upper pond that uses a sieve and bead filter has always had a nice carpet of algae... my lower one with the shower: almost none at all.
      --Steve
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      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

    5. #5
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      I guess the next step is to turn off the UV and see what happens.

    6. #6
      icu2's Avatar
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      This thread reminded me of one long ago that was kind of similar theme. Garrett's shower entered mid way down his stream and
      here's what it did to the algae:



      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...-algae-problem
      --Steve
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      "I know what I have to do now. I got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise.
      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

    7. #7
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Wow, I wonder what the heck is going on... not that I'm complaining, mind you. I just really want to understand. I'll see if I can find a picture of all the algae from just a few months back for comparison.
      Last edited by kimini; 08-13-2019 at 01:09 PM.

    8. #8
      ricshaw is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      Wow, I wonder what the heck is going on... not that I'm complaining, mind you. I just really want to understand. I'll see if I can find a picture of all the algae from just a few months back for comparison.
      Welcome to the club!! Now the problem of trying to explain what is happening to the doubters.


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    9. #9
      kdh is offline Senior Member
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      The attached post 6# ended that the shower removed the algae problem. There for showers remove algae. BS
      If you (ADD) or improve (ANY) existing bio system. There is a good chance the algae well go away.

    10. #10
      tbullard is offline Senior Member
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      Why is no algae a problem? I also have a shower I do notice in the spring that carpet algae will begin to grow as I begin feeding but but once things warm up and the filter bio kicks in it all goes away. That's how I know I can begin to increase feeding.

    11. #11
      kdh is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by tbullard View Post
      Why is no algae a problem? I also have a shower I do notice in the spring that carpet algae will begin to grow as I begin feeding but but once things warm up and the filter bio kicks in it all goes away. That's how I know I can begin to increase feeding.
      It isn't that I am aware of. My pond had no algae and fish were just fine.

    12. #12
      tbullard is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by kdh View Post
      The attached post 6# ended that the shower removed the algae problem. There for showers remove algae. BS
      If you (ADD) or improve (ANY) existing bio system. There is a good chance the algae well go away.
      I think the advantage of the shower and why so many people see such an improvement is the amount of Bio you get in a small space. Would take a much larger footprint to match what can be done with a shower.

    13. #13
      kdh is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by tbullard View Post
      I think the advantage of the shower and why so many people see such an improvement is the amount of Bio you get in a small space. Would take a much larger footprint to match what can be done with a shower.
      Yes stacking does take less room. My garage is the perfect example. lol

    14. #14
      ricshaw is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
      Welcome to the club!! Now the problem of trying to explain what is happening to the doubters.
      I had a discussion with Mr. Le today, the owner of TAAM who distributes RIO media and Wave Point Shower filters, about the phenomenon of more bio removing algae. He explained the complicated process which I am unable to repeat, but basically, my understanding, there are hundreds of different bacteria that contribute to the nitrification process. Eventually you can have an environment, under the right conditions, that will host microorganisms that consume algae. I asked for something in writing, in English.

    15. #15
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Update:

      As a reminder, this is a 6000-gal pond, two 4" bottom drains to an RDF, pump, then shower. Another circuit is a skimmer to a separate pump, to two SG filters, which gravity drain back to the pond.

      As mentioned previously, algae has all but vanished. Suspicious of such good fortune, the water was tested again. For the first time in, well, forever, ammonia was shockingly high, at around 1.0, it's never that high. Nitrate was zero, which if the bio had somehow died, would make sense. Nitrate was also high, but it's always high this time of year, and is probably a holdover from before whatever it is that happened.

      I'm at a loss to understand what's going on. The bio blocks look exactly the same as they always have, with a very pale brown color. One thing I tested for only once, probably a year ago, was KH. At that time it was lower than what everyone seems to say is correct (I seem to recall something like 4 drops), but since the fish seem happy, healthy, and hungry, and never having added baking soda (in 25 years), I kind of forgot about it. Because of the concern that something was going on, however, it was tested again. Again, very surprised to see that it was only 2 drops. I immediately dumped in maybe a pound of baking soda, which was all we had (putting it in an SG filter where it can dissolve away from the fish). I also added a bit of Prime, since a ~10% water change had already been done.

      The numbers:
      Ammonia ~1.0
      Nitrite 0
      Nitrate ~40
      pH 7.8
      KH 1-2 drops

      Any guesses?

      Having never had this happen before, I can't help but wonder if something got into the pond. For example, there's a commercial nursery not 200 yards up wind; I wonder if they sprayed.

      Somewhat related is a question I asked but never heard an answer for: If baking soda is added to the pond, what is the consequence of that being fed to yard plants? We have typically alkaline soil here, so it's the reason I've kept it away previously.

      Thanks in advance for any observations.

    16. #16
      tbullard is offline Senior Member
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      Sorry if I am incorrect in this info. Baking Soda is buffer to help prevent PH swings. Possibly you were/are experiencing large PH swings that are killing your bio. May want to check it at different times of day and night and see what your readings are. May not see them now that you have added the Baking Soda.

    17. #17
      davidjensen's Avatar
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      The nitrate test requires you to follow the instructions to the letter. If not you get a 0 reading. There are always some nitrates in the water. BS will move the PH to around 8.2 to 8.3 and more importantly it will stabilize the PH. I have seen PH crashes, which kill off the algae and then the fish. Monitor you PH morning and then in the late afternoon after a full days sun and see if there is any swing in the PH. A swing of .5 from morning to afternoon day after day will harm the fish. A PH of 8.3 is alkaline.
      Need more Koi

    18. #18
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      NitrIte is what is zero, nitrAte is always high.

    19. #19
      icu2's Avatar
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      Maybe your source water has changed?
      --Steve
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      "I know what I have to do now. I got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise.
      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

    20. #20
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Good point, will test.

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