4. MY POND IS PEA GREEN WHAT SHOULD I DO? Nothing. This is a temporary situation caused by an algae bloom. To prevent future algae blooms you can add plants so that surface coverage is 70%. Also add underwater oxygenating plants such as hornwort or anachoris. Don't use chemical fertilizers around or in the pond and feed fish less or not at all. Protect from lawn runoff. DON'T empty the pond and refill as a remedy for green water this will only start the cycle all over again. It's important to remember that algae is natural and a beneficial part of the ecosystem. A healthy pond has some algae and is better off for it.
5. I'VE GOT A LOT OF STRING ALGAE IS THIS BAD FOR THE FISH? No. Fish like to eat string algae. If you have surplus, use a toilet bowl brush to wind it around and use it as compost.
6. MY POND IS ICED OVER, IS THIS A PROBLEM?
Yes & no. It's best to keep some open water in the pond if you have fish. If you need to open a hole in the ice pour hot water on it. Do not pound on the ice. To keep open water you can run an aerator, stock tank heater or fountain.
1. MY POND IS LOSING A LOT OF WATER, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
It's easy to jump to the conclusion that there's a hole in the bottom of the pond if the water level goes down rapidly. Actually, 99% of the time the leak is NOT in the pond, it's in the moving water, i.e. waterfall, external filter, stream, etc.
First, TURN OFF ALL PUMPS, INCLUDING FILTERS. Refill the pond and wait 24 hrs. (If you're worried about aeration see #3) It's important to prove to yourself that the leak is not in the pond. IF there is a hole in the pond the water level will go down to the hole and stop. If it's a liner pond it's fairly easy to fix. You'll need to get a patch kit from a local pond supplier.
Once you're satisfied the pond is holding water you can turn on one pump and let it run for a few hours while you keep an eye on it. If the water level continues to go down, check around the waterfall/stream and pipes for a visible leak. Check for damp soil in these areas.
It's helpful to turn off any sprinkler zones in the area that may confuse the issue. Often in spring pond owners find the soil around the waterfall or stream has settled and taken the liner with it allowing water to escape. Simply prop up the liner with more soil or rock. Running water is always the biggest suspect when the pond level goes down suddenly.
2. MY POND HAS A STRANGE WHITE OR OILY SUBSTANCE ON THE SURFACE. If it looks like oil it probably is from a broken pump seal. It is NOT harmful, it's a vegetable oil and will dissipate eventually or you can absorb some of it with towels. If it's white or yellow and feels gritty it's pollen and again it's not harmful.
3. MY FISH ARE GASPING AT THE SURFACE, WHAT'S WRONG?
If they're doing this in the morning it's probably lack of oxygen. Immediate action needs to be taken or the fish could die. Turn on waterfall or fountains and let them run through the night. Add an aquarium air pump. These are inexpensive and available at pet stores. If you have a lot of oxygenating plants (seaweed) remove some to improve gas exchange.
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