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I installed two ponds connected by a short stream last year. I am really happy with the outcome with the following exception:

Both ponds are pretty murky. You cannot see to the bottom of either pond. I think they are about 2 feet deep.

I also do not have a filter system on my ponds.

The water recirculates from the lower pond to the upper entering it through a small waterfall.

Is there any treatment that I can add to the water to clean it up?

What about an INEXPENSIVE filter system and can it be added to an existing pond system?

John

PS: I put 10 gold fish in the pond during the winter. It may have been too cold but every now and then i can see at least two of the fish that have survived.

We were looking at the water today when a large frog surfaced for a few seconds and then slowly settled back down to the bottom of the pond. He was not planted. I guess he found the pond and has decided to move in.

I plan to go to the local lake and gather some small salamanders (as a kid we called them waterdogs) and transplant them into the pond later this summer.
 

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I've installed that same setup that you describe. Filtration is very important to sustain water clarity and keep fish alive. Over the winter, leaves and sediment will enter the water, and with no filter, fish waste will also accumulate causing murky water.
You can go to Home Depot and pick up a fairly cheap filter system that can be added to your lower pond basin. Take you total number of gallons and make sure the filter you choose is designed for a pond larger than you have, you don't want to get one that is just barely going to move enough water to keep your pond clear.
Also, get yourself a water test kit from somewhere like Petsmart that you can test your water with, or take a sample to your local Petsmart and they will test the water for you.

If you don't find any filters in your price range or size, you can always make a simple filter out of a 5 gal bucket. Place the bucket in the pond, put your pump in the bottom of the bucket, add filter media foam to enclose the pump in the bucket, and now you have a filter. The water must go through the filter media, and then the pump can continue moving water.

Of course, the better the filtration, the better the water quality, and with fish you have to have filtration.
 

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You need to do two things, First you need a filter I have a how-to on my web page of a filter I built and have been using for 6 or 7 years "
A pond filter-That looks like a wishing well" second once you have a filter working to control the murky water use barley "Barley Straw Pond Treatment" if it's available in your area, or use a barley product available in the pond department at Home Depot called "Beckett's Crystal Pond" sludge remover...there both safe for use in ponds with fish, if you do use it it takes a little while for it to work you'll keep watching the water with no change, then overnight the water will be crystal clear...good luck!
 

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I hate to say this, John.
But we refer to those murky pools locally as the "Shelton Gene Pool".
 

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You might also want to look into water plants. The best for your purposes would be Anacharis. The fish will nibble on it and it helps clear the water up. Also provides oxygen for the fish. Watch out for algae, which is probably causing the murkiness. Just replacing the water or changing part of the water only encourages the algae to grow more. You need to try to balance the pond. Filteration and pond plants will do it for you quickly. Do NOT, what ever you do, put water snails in your pond. They only add to the decayed waste in the bottom. Clean out any leaves or junk from the bottom too.
 

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I have a 500 gallon pond that's been running for 8 years now. It very briefly gets a little murky every spring, due to an algae bloom, then clears up and stays crystal clear for a year. I don't use any chemicals or fancy filters or treatments.

It's pretty simple--to get clear water you need to be taking nutrients out of the water, mostly nitrogen. Fish waste is full of nitrogen, so you need to add plants and foster natural bacteria that absorb nitrogen from the water.

Here are some of the keys to clear water

1. As mentioned, underwater grasses--"anacharis" (latin name elodea canadensis) is great. You can buy it at pet stores for aquariums. Take a black plastic pot and fill it half full with black aquarium gravel, then stick the anacharis in the gravel. It grows rapidly and will naturalize in the pond. Fish love it, they lay eggs in it. During the summer I have to pull some of it out fairly often. It's not hard to do and it grows right back. I throw the strands that I pull out on the compost pile

2. water hyacinth. This plant is illegal in states where they don't get frost, because it will spread like wildfire and choke the rivers. But the first frost kills it. It's a floating plant--its feathery roots just hang in the water, drawing nutrients and out-competing algae. It spreads on runners, like a spider plant. I have to pull lots of it out during the summer, and again it makes good compost. I but one little clump and toss it in the pond, and by june it's trying to cover the surface. When it's crowded, it sends up beautiful purple flowers

3. Water lillies. Water lillies don't draw nutrients from the water, but their leaves do shade the water and deprive the algae of light. They also keep the water cooler--goldfish are very very hardy but they prefer cooler water

4. Some kind of filtration system. I have a very simple filter--it's a plastic box roughly 12x12 x4. It has foam filter media in it, and it's connected to a pump that drives a small fountain. The foam filters out dirt and larger particulates. Downside is at the height of the summer I have to change it out roughly once a week. We just drop the dirty filter in a bucket of water and swirl it around. The dirty water makes great fertilizer. We have around 6 of the square filter pads. beign rotated through the cleaning/service cycle. A fancier filter, a real "bio-filter" that harbors nitrogen-eating bacteria, would be lower maintenance and if my pond was an any bigger I'd probably get one. I would NOT get one of those UV filters, because they kill the nitrifying bacteria in the water. We use one of thsese-I can't remember which one http://www.lilypons.com/products.asp?dept=35

5. Adding oxygen to the water helps. a waterfall, a fountain, water moving over rocks--these things add oxygen to the water and that helps the fish and hinders the algae

6. Other tips--watch the PH in a new pond. I've started three ponds now, and each time there was a spike in alkalinity each time after the fish were added. When the PH gets out of balance, the algae goes nuts. But once I got the PH balance established, it stays established. I haven't checked the Ph in seven years. But then I never change out the water. Our pond is filled by rainwater or by rainwater we collect in a barrel connected to the downspout. In drought years I sometimes have to add water from the hose, and that water I treat with Ammo-lock or some other commercial dechlorinating agent

In my experience the key is letting nature do the job, and our pond is clear enough that you can see the bottom (3 ft deep) perfectly
 

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Cheap filtration is available using a system that looks like an oversized shoe box that sits inside the pond. The pump sits inside and water passes over two filter pads. The pads will wear out but are replaceable. Walmart usually has the lowest price but is available at most pond stores. Dennis.
 

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I love the wishing well filter. It's another water feature.
 

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Hey John, see you survived your birthday. :) Now all you need is a heron or two....

Nick
 

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i might suggest, if you only have a water feature for decoration alone- -if you have no life in your ponds and stream and want a miracle cure-pool shock-heavy duty chlorine powder for swiimming pools -kills everything and make the water clear- if thats all you need

i used this each year before i had fish and plants-obviously you cannot use this otherwise-however - it leaves no residue or discoloraton (like a white residue film) and does eventually disappait so theres nothing harmful in the water-the clorine/ bromine eventually evaporate i believe
 

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Posted By jimtyp on 05/20/2008 12:53 PM
Any one use AlgeaFix?




I've used AlgeaFix annually to reduce algae before the biofilter has take hold. USed correctly, it works and is safe with plant and fish. Be prepared to clean your filter daily for a week or so after you use it.

Mark
 

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"Murkey Pond & Moss Branch"
 

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Torby, I like the name!

Mark, can you tell me more about your biofilter?
 

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First, you should know that we have a 7000-gallon pond. We use a filter system built by Fluidart Technologies in Oklahoma City. It hads three parts: a turbovortex that removes solids, a biofilter that removes products of decay, and a UV filter that inhibits algae growth.

This picture shows all the components, but not very clearly:
The biofilter is the large dome at the rear of the picture.
 

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Wow, that is some major filtration! Definitely overkill for my 50 gallon pond :) But nice to know if I ever get some land that gizmo's like this exist!
 
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an INEXPENSIVE filter system


buy one of those five gallon plastic tons, that come with a opening/tap as wide as the ton. (the taps are either screw-on or helt by a girdle).
buy two connections for watertanks (same gauge as the pipe of your pump)
install one connector near the bottom of the ton, one near the lid. close them with filterscreen or just matress-foam.
bury the ton somewhere along the pipe from the pump to the waterfall.
connect the pipe from the pump at the lower connection, the pipe to the waterfall to the upper one.
fill the ton with ordinary constructionsand.
pump
if you got frost, open the ton for winter.
every year put new sand in it.
 
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