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Thread: Algae control

  1. #1
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    Algae control

    I spent a good part of the day draining my fish pond, patching a crack, and cleaning it up. It had gotten to the consistency of pea soup. I think it was a fish family reunion as they physically haven't seen one another in 6 months or so.

    I've got a bio filter box, which also runs through a uv light filter, which is supposed to kill algae. It looks like the bulb went out, so have a new one on order. I kept seeing Barley bales (fish pond size) for sale. Looks like they help control algae by creating a chemical that prohibits the growth of algae, but not harm fish or other vegetation (http://extension.psu.edu/natural-res...s/barley-straw). So anyone use these?

    I went ahead and ordered some as well as some pellets for mosquito control to put in the pond and fountains too.

    I was surprised how big the fish were, they were just 5 for $1 feeders last year, now about 4 - 5" long.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
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    Amazing aint it. Sounds like exactly the same situation I had. And the little 'comet' 5/1$ really do grow pretty rapidly.

    Looks great!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Amazing aint it. Sounds like exactly the same situation I had.
    So what did you do to control the algae? Have you tried the bales?
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    The filter with the uv light was huge, as well as putting in some water hyacinths and some other floating plants.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    Mine fish would get a whole lot bigger if it wasn't for the herons!! They usually do pretty good for a year or so and then blam, all gone (I think it happens once they get big enough to see).

    Don't have a lot of problems with algae, not entirely sure why. Some of the blue green stringy stuff grows where the waterfall feeds back in but its easy to scoop out every few weeks. I don't really feed the fish much so they eat the algae back pretty good (couple of times/year when it looks like they're running out of algae). The bristle brush screens sure do get loaded with fish poo though. About every 2 weeks I hose them off onto the lawn.

    I like the waterfall, but it is a somewhat constant hunt for leaks around the edges.. It was a "complicated" place to put in as its on top of some laaarge rocks otherwise I don't think it would be quite as bad.

    I'm surprised your fish don't just eat all of the plants.. maybe they aren't as hungry as mine

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    The filter with the uv light was huge, as well as putting in some water hyacinths and some other floating plants.
    You still had algae? or did that take care of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    I'm surprised your fish don't just eat all of the plants.. maybe they aren't as hungry as mine
    Well, the strand of algae I've got is the floating kind, the stringy stuff I could live with and tend to let some of it form around the walls. It was literally pea soup. had to wrap the pump up in netting material and still had to keep rinsing it off every few minutes to unclog it.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    The filter with the uv light was huge, as well as putting in some water hyacinths and some other floating plants.
    It works? My wife is constantly fighting algae. She has tried using algae eating fish and cleaning frequently. No success yet.
    Usually just about the time her fish get to an interesting size the racoons come along and eat them.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    I have tried barley stray before but never noticed any difference. I think the thing with it is it does not do anything to get rid of algae growth. It is suppose to stop it from starting in the first place so do NOT use it with the intent to get rid of existing algae. Each spring I buy "water hyacinth" plants from a seller on e-bay usually based in Florida maybe California I think. They are VERY small frail looking plants when they arrive but I add them to my bio-filter and as soon as the weather starts to warm up and the fish get real active and start eating again the plants really kick in and handle the "load" in the pond. The fish poo feeds the plants and then the plants provide other nutrients back into the water. When the plants start to get too big for my filter I will pull them from the filter and set them in the pond. The Koi go crazy eating the very long roots on the plants.

    (I thought I should clarify something.....here in Indiana the fish go dormant in the winter. This means they stop eating when the temps get below 50 degrees and anything below about 40 they will group together in a corner and sit near motionless for the next several months. Then in the spring as the air tempeture rises they again start to swim around and when the water temp get up to about 50 they want to eat again and the cycle starts all over.)

    Darren, I don't mean to hijack your thread but I shot a quick video of my pond tonight and thought I would add it here.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10k6W...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by Tom Baugues; 07-15-2013 at 11:17 PM.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  9. #9
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    Very cool pond Tom, thanks for the tour. Those guys look to be pretty friendly, mine are definitely shy. Have tried to get them used to me feeding them, but the food just tends to sink as they huddle in the corner together, so I've gotten where I only feed them at night where I can enjoy watching them.

    I've got an area where I could pump water above the pond and do a waterfall/stream, so may have to consider doing so with a biofilter like you've done. I stopped by the local fish store and bought some anubias congensis and amazon compactas, one of each. Both are supposed to grow quickly and be pretty maintenance free. I also remembered that I have some blue dye for algae control, so put a few drops in tonight.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
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    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Tom you make great videos and excellent explanation. Wish I had a nice pond like that to sit next to and have a beer at sunset. Cannot think of anything more relaxing than seeing those "wet pets" fussing and hearing the water. Cool water wheel you made. I will send a link of this to my buddy who has just re arranged his pond and water fall for the second time but has no fish. And thanks for the info on what the fish do when temps drop I always wondered about them and winter.

    You did not finish your comment about the eggs, you mentioned trying to hatch the eggs outside the pond and not being successful but the ones you say were born in the pond you mean from eggs laid in the pond? If so you must have a pretty healthy pond and well laid out for fish to do that from what I understand about the temperament of fish.

    Thanks for the tour.
    cheers

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