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#484190 - 12/16/17 08:18 AM Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC
NewYorkPond Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
Forgive the long first post - i have been reading a lot and trying to learn what I can, but we have a real challenge. We are in the process of closing on a home in upstate NY with an approx 1/2 acre koi pond that is a pretty green mess.

Pond is estimated to be 0.45 acres. Has max depth of 12 feet. Per some calculations, it looks to be approx 500,000-600,000 gallons. Pond was built maybe 25 yrs ago. It was originally naturally lined, with an earthen bottom. It is reported to be spring fed and holding water well. About ten yrs ago the owner temporarily drained the pond and lined the bottom with “baseball sized rocks”. His idea was to keep the stirred up soil from clouding the water when the fish swam by.

Fast forward to today - The water is sadly quite greenish with little visibility. Doesnt appear to be any visible filamentous algae, just light green water. Rumor has it, it has been like this for a good 10 yrs. It currently has 100-150, plus or minus, good sized koi and gold fish. There are no filters of any sort and only 2 aerators in the pond. There is a man made waterfall/ river that drains into the pond, and is maybe 40 ft long. There is a pump with maybe 2” pvc line that recirculates pond water to the top of it to run down.

We met with a local pond company who checked it out. On inspection, the waterfall/river area must have had 3-4” of greenish muck all along the bottom, interspersed with the rocks. The edges of the pond had lots of visible greenish or gray muck visible around the edges. All thought to be deadish algae.

We are not sure what best strategies are to clear it? It was advised that the fish population be thinned way down to 20-30 for now, as they are the primary source of green muck. Of course, we have no idea what to do with the fish. Also adding physical filtration of some sort and also a UV filter was recommended too. However, after some research, it doesnt look like any UV or physical filters are designed for a pond near this size? With a rock bottom, I can only assume there are several inches of green goo packed around the rocks on the bottom, like the waterfall area, but nearly impossible to remove. They think the waterfall/river area should be semi-demolished, with the rock bottom removed so the inches of muck can be shoveled out. Not sure what one can do for the pond bottom, or if it can be left?

Any advice appreciated, as it is a great house and the pond environment is otherwise lovely. Just need to get clearer water somehow.



Attachments
pond2.png (97 downloads)
pond1.jpg (531 downloads)
pond4.png (94 downloads)
pond3.png (89 downloads)



Edited by NewYorkPond (12/17/17 11:41 AM)

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#484203 - 12/16/17 05:19 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
KapHn8d Offline


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 159
Loc: TX
Sounds like it has all the makings of an incredibly beautiful and peaceful aesthetic feature once you work all the kinks out.

The "only 2 aerators" - are they small, ornamental-pond-style aeration stone type (solar?) or is it a system designed for a larger, outdoor pond? A really good aeration system, sized appropriately, makes a big difference from everything I've seen and my very limited personal experience. If you have the ability to post some photos of what you are challenged with, that might help the folks here with suggestions. There are many very, very experienced pondmeisters that navigate these forums (I'm not one of them) that can likely offer up a few pointers in the right direction.

Congrats on your new home and pond! Cheers!
/clayton
_________________________
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

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#484206 - 12/16/17 09:17 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12550
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Realistically koi are 'aquatic pigs' (aka colored common 'german' carp) that root and roil the sediments searching for food. Your aeration mixes & moves the water and helps keep the roiled materials and nutrients in suspension. The common carp were very selectively breed to have color and body markings. A significant percentage of the offspring of koi are very drab colored which reflects the genetic lineage. Generally the more koi per acre that are in a mud/dirt pond the more turbid the pond becomes. Your rock lined pond is laden with dead organic particulates and acts as dirt/silt. The decaying bottom sediments (muck) and nutrients from fish food and fish manure are providing the stimulus to produce the planktonic bloom algae causing your green water. Clear water koi ponds have constant extensive particulate filtration to maintain clear water. My experience is 4-5 larger koi in a 1/2ac pond usually results in around 12" to 24" of water clarity.

Firstly, look up your pond and measure its size or area using this link to determine is actual size.
http://acme.com/planimeter/

Secondly, determine if the koi are important to the pond and your goals or if clear water is most important. IMO You cannot have both together in a sediment base pond when koi are reproducing with numerous individuals present.

Thirdly, decide if angling or clear water is more important than having the koi. We need to know your long term goals for the pond. One option could be getting rid of all the koi. At most I would only want one koi in 1/2 ac.

Forthly, do all of the above and then return with your results and we can provide some helpful pond management options to achieve your goals.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/16/17 09:33 PM)
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#484213 - 12/17/17 11:27 AM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
NewYorkPond Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
Gents,
Thank you for the thoughtful replies. I measured the perimeter on Google Maps, and came up with 0.45 acres. It is about what the owner told me, at half acre. Max depth is 12', so I came up with approx 500-600k gallons, depending on average depth (no way to know that one).

Realistically I would be surprised if there is even 1-2" of clarity right now. Water is light green. Ideally, would like to keep at least a few Koi (maybe 10?), but my main concern is water is so green right now. Can't be healthy! I don't see filamentous algae though. Not that interested in having other fish for angling and such. Going for more Asian feel.

We can laboriously clean out the 4-6" of green muck from the man made waterfall area, but I can only assume the bottom of the pond, which is unfortunately covered with baseball sized rocks, is caked in with muck too. Any ideas if it should be addressed somehow, or left?

Also, was suggested to put in bead filter of some sort and 240w UV light to try to clean the existing water. At over 500k gallons, not sure will help?

Will upload some photos as soon as I can figure out how...


Edited by NewYorkPond (12/17/17 11:37 AM)

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#484214 - 12/17/17 11:42 AM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
NewYorkPond Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
I added photos to original post. You can faintly see the 2 'smallish' aerators in one of the photos, titled pond1


Edited by NewYorkPond (12/17/17 11:43 AM)

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#484215 - 12/17/17 12:58 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
KapHn8d Offline


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 159
Loc: TX
That was more koi that I was expecting to see... gorgeous pond/property though...
_________________________
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

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#484221 - 12/17/17 05:08 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5676
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Very nice and peaceful setting!

_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#484223 - 12/17/17 06:37 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
NewYorkPond Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
Thanks for kiind words. Any thoughts on cleaning out the likely inches of green muck and filtration?

Also will somehow have to find homes for well over 100 fish!

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#484225 - 12/17/17 07:09 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5676
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Not a pro but FWIW, with respect to UV filtration, my understanding of UV filtration is that it kills bacteria. It seems to me that, if I had a pond full of muck, the last thing I would want to do is kill the bacteria. My understanding is that you need bacteria (the right strains) to breakdown the muck. Now if I was going to pull water from the pond to supply the house, I would really want that UV filter along with a good mechanical one on that supply line.

.....Just thinking out loud.


Edited by Bill D. (12/17/17 07:36 PM)
Edit Reason: After Thought
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#484227 - 12/17/17 07:39 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12550
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
In the current condition your pond will not have filamentous algae nor submerged weeds due to the constant action of Koi "working the sediments" that results in low transparency water. You will not have clear water as long as you have at least 10-20 adult koi present. IMO if you can reduce the number of koi to around 10 I think you could have water clarity in the range of 12"-16". Clearest water would be most common during the colder months when koi are not as active.

I don't have much easy or simple advice for your specific unique problem. To have a large mud bottom koi pond that is clear is to my knowledge not practical without extensive cost likely beyond your means. I really don't have any good options for you. Maybe try visiting a koi hobbyist forum for some of their suggestions and opinions.

It will be very difficult to maintain a specific number of koi when there are males and females who would annually reproduce numerous offspring. Single sex koi would be an option which is what I would investigate as a possibility. However this would take an experienced person to accurately sex the adults. An mistake in identification will put you right back to too many koi and a muddy murky pond. To get a single sex koi pond you would need to drain the pond or lower the water to very low pool (depth) to capture all the koi for sorting and removal. Lots of work. A complete pond renovation (fish kill) I assume would not be acceptable to you.

Lowering the pond water would also allow you to accurately see the depth of the bottom muck and capture the koi. It will be difficult to remove the bottom muck from the rocky bottom but it could be done with significant cost. The previous owner assumed that if large sized rocks covered the bottom the water would remain clear - obviously now a bad concept or idea.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/17/17 09:19 PM)
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#484338 - 12/19/17 12:14 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: Bill Cody]
NewYorkPond Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
Thanks for comments. It makes sense to lower the pond level down, to help capture koi and remove at least some muck sitting on top of rocks. My primary concern would be knowing whether or not pond would refill on its own? According to what we were told (always taken with a grain of salt), when pond was drained 15 yrs ago, it refilled on its own in 3 days. It would be quite a disaster if pond was drained, and it didn't refill. 500-600,000 gallons of water (by my estimate) is a lot!

Is there a reliable way one can tell if the reported underground spring is still active and it will refill naturally?



Edited by NewYorkPond (12/19/17 12:15 PM)

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#484345 - 12/19/17 02:34 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 347
Loc: Iowa
I'd be selling those extra koi to offset any cost of renovating the pond. Have you looked into physical filters/media?

I'm no expert but Bill seems spot on here...any time I've seen a nice population of koi in a pond (there are a few big ones around this area) the water quality is always terrible.

You might want to check these folks out. Kloublec's sell koi, filters, supplies, etc.
https://www.kloubeckoi.com/
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#484353 - 12/19/17 05:01 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: Matzilla]
NewYorkPond Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
Not sure how to catch and find homes for 150-200+ Koi. Anybody want some Koi smile


Edited by NewYorkPond (12/19/17 05:34 PM)

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#484358 - 12/19/17 07:58 PM Re: Acquiring 1/2 acre green Koi pond in need of TLC [Re: NewYorkPond]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5676
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: NewYorkPond
Not sure how to catch and find homes for 150-200+ Koi. Anybody want some Koi smile


FWIW and IIRC Another member a few months back posted he sold his koi quickly on Craigslist. Of course you've got to catch them first! wink
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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