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FAQs on Pond Frequent Water Changing

Related Articles: Pond Frequent Partial Water Changing, Pond Maintenance, Spring Pond Maintenance, Winter Maintenance,

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Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon 

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Effect of salt water on lake animals      6/12/18
We live with a fresh water canal behind our house which empties into a small lake owned by the homeowners ass. We are putting up an above the ground pool and will use a salt water system filter rather than chlorine to keep the water clean. When we have to empty the pool at the end of the summer, if any of the salt water treated water gets into the canal, will it hurt the fish and turtles? We will be trying to empty it onto our land but wanted to be sure if some got into the canal what effect it would have on the wildlife in the water.
Thank you for your help
Judy Everett
<A matter of relative volumes here; but assuming the canal's is several times that of your pool, all should be fine. All life has a range of tolerance/use of salts (combinations of metals non-metals... I taught
chemistry, physics and life sciences). Some salt is fine. Bob Fenner>

How often do I clean my entire pond?       9/29/15
Hi. I have a 765 gallon pond. It is an oddly shaped pond. It has no drain. It has a filter rating of about 1,000 gph. It contains 12 very active an healthy comet goldfish. 10 adults (9 males 1 female) and 2 babies ( sex has not been determined with them yet). The babies were born just this year.
Filter gets cleaned every 2 to 4 months. Filter head gets cleaned every 2 weeks. Evaporated water gets replaced every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on how hot it gets.
<Need to take some out... as well as topping off. When water evaporates it leaves solids behind>

I live in the Arizona desert. We have naturally hard water here. My filter has a Ultraviolet sterilizer built into it. I also use algaecide
<See WWM re pond algae control. Have you heard of the product Nualgi?>

because we do not use snails in the pond. Between it, the uv, and the goldfish, the green algae is usually not a big problem. About how often should I clean out my entire pond? Thank you.
<Let me introduce you to how to use the site. See here:
Scroll down to the "Maintenance" tray and READ. Bob Fenner>
Re: How often do I clean my entire pond?       9/29/15

Thank you Bob! :) Your opinion is appreciated. :)
<What did you glean from the reading? BobF>
Re: How often do I clean my entire pond?       9/30/15

I need to clean my pond better. :) Thank you Bob! :)
<Ahh, good. Do write back if you have specific concerns, questions. BobF>

Pond Vacuum Questions   2/18/14
I have a 500 gallon goldfish pond, with hard water, and a submersible filter. The pond contains 4 goldfish. I just got a PONDMASTER BLACK MAGIC JET VACUUM FOR PONDS
It is a pond vacuum. It works by using pressure from a garden hose. It want to clean the pond without having to remove the fish.
Would this vacuum work to clean the pond?
Would this sort of vacuum suck up my goldfish?
The vacuum will apparently get large debris but not fine particulates.
Would a water change get rid of the fine particulates? Or will my filter take care of that? Also, how often should I change the water in my pond?
<See WWM re
I spilt some pea gravel of small to medium size. Would this vacuum remove it?
Thank you.
<Try it and see. Not a fan of these sorts of units. Too feeble to be of use. B>
Re: Pond Vacuum Questions

The vacuum should work fine and will not suck up the fish at all the suctioned not forceful to pick up fish just sediment and debris. Water changes will work to remove finer sediment. Water changes are good for the fish too. Water changes are good quarterly. Just be careful if you have chlorinated water. Then you will need to add chlorine remover.
See my web site at www.gardenpondservice.com
Download my free APP in the Apple Store
<Thank you Ed. Might I ask if you'd like to formally join us, the WWM Crew?
Bob Fenner>
Vacuum question update

The vacuum I wrote to you about has Powerful 4-jet suction. Is this too powerful for my goldfish in their pond? Thank you.
<Not too powerful. RMF>
re: Pond Vacuum Questions

Um.... I think there was an e-mail miscommunication or something. I never got your re answer to the pond vacuum questions. I got your "see re" message reply, but I could not see a link. If you sent me a reply before, I think it got lost. I'll keep searching your site for the reply. Thank you.
re: Vacuum question update   2/18/14

Thank you.
re: Pond Vacuum Questions     2/18/14

I could not find my question on your site for some reason. I could not locate any specific information on pond vacuums either. Is there a link you have, or a site you know of, where I can find specific information on pond vacuums? Thank you.
re: Pond Vacuum Questions     2/18/14
Answer to my question was finally found. I think we did have an e-mail miscomunication. Ed is my other go to guy when I cannot reach you quickly enough. And ed Solt has his own service site with an iPhone app. The app is free to download. His site is called Gardenservice. His e-mail is:
That is all the contact information I have on him. If you would like to contact him, you can look up the site or try the e-mail. I am sure he would love to hear from you. He also apparently sells pond supplies for those looking for a place to begin shopping for supplies. Hope this was useful to you. Thank you for your help.
Vacuum Woes and Pool Plans      2/21/14

I got in my pond vacuum today. I noticed it had a bristle brush system
hidden in the suction area of the device. I ran my finger over the bristles
to see if they were stiff and prickly. They were. This type of brush would
be great for a concrete pond, pool, or spa. Unfortunately I think they may
be too rough for my liner pond. Even if my liner is a thick (45 mil) epdm
liner, my pond is still a liner pond. So now I got another vacuum ordered
that uses suction and has an optional brush option. This one is a Laguna
Pond Kit for Ponds. Are there any problems using a suction vacuum, powered
by a garden hose, on a liner pond I should be aware of?
<Already stated... see Ponds subweb on WWM. B>
The other vacuum I got previously is also rated for spas and pools. So I
gave this one to my family for use in the pool we are planning. The pool
will be located next to the pond. There will be a narrow path that
separates the two bodies of water. So the chlorinated water from the pool
will not mix with the pond water. And incase there is any accidental
spillage from splashing in the pool, I have my pond rated dechlorinator
Thank you.

Question about sick pond goldfish... Mmm, and Pond Circ., Filtr., Maint.    8/7/06 Hi - I could not find the answer to my question on your web site and hope you can help.    <Will try>   We have a natural outside pond. It is under shade all day and has much foliage around it but none in it other than the occasional foliage which drops in from around the pond.  The pond measures aprox. 26 ft by 14 ft by 4 ft deep.  It is always clear and is fed from the runoff of our spring box. <How nice!> The water is constant circulating and has a pipe in the middle of the pond to control overflow. <Mmm, I would "sleeve" this... put a pipe over this one, notched at the bottom... to "force" "old water" and silt from the bottom rather than venting newer water from the surface>   There is a dirt bottom and a layer of leaves.  Also at the bottom is a very small spring which additionally feeds the pond. <Great>     I am not sure how old the pond is, we have lived here 5 years and it was here when we bought the home.  The only upkeep is the removal of leaves every 2 years or so.    The current gold fish we have in the pond have been there 3 years.  We originally had five. <No reproduction? Odd...> Just this past year, around the beginning of spring we lost one fish and now, recently, a second.    The goldfish both measured about 6 to 8 inches long.   Prior to dying, they both became lethargic and kept themselves close to the edge of the pond.  Resting themselves there and not swimming around at all.   They also lost many of their scales and where the scales were, there was "fuzz".      <Perhaps... secondary... decomposition>   We are worried there may be a disease or parasite in the pond. <Mmm, not likely... or at least not likely a primary cause/source of mortality here. Much more likely is some sort of environmental complaint... most easily addressed with the added "sleeve" over your standpipe mentioned above...>   We are also concerned that the problem may be at the source spring. <Mmm, yes... and/or some bit of decomposition in the "overburden"... the unconsolidated "ooze" at the bottom... again, best addressed with the sleeve, periodic increased (over)flow from rain...>   This is concerning because we use the water from this spring for our home use.  It is a separate spring box pumped to our home but the overflow from this spring feeds the pond.      <Mmm... Am sure you have particulate and chemical treatment to make this safe, potable... If it were me/mine, I would make use of a reverse osmosis device for potable uses... adding a "booster" pump for need pressure if required...>>   Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.   Thank you.      J.M. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Pond Vacuuming, Water changes   7/31/06 Hi there, This is a fantastic site.  You guys were really helpful helping me combat the Ick in my pond, and figuring out how I might top it off   without extreme temperature fluctuations. <Ah, good> I will be getting a drip nozzle for my hose.  Now I have a couple more questions that I can't find answers to in the articles. Here's what I have: 1200 gal. pond. In its second summer. 3 large goldfish (6-8")  and 2 smaller Koi. 2-3" Several water lilies, water hyacinths, water lettuce, and a couple other plants.  Frogs and turtles have found their way into it so I   figure it's pretty healthy. <Likely so> I have a pressurized filter and a waterfall filter. My water tests very well daily in all areas. After the Ick spots fell off, I realized some of those "spots" must have been the beginning of something else, because now they are "bumps" and some have 1/2 inch "threads" extruding from them. <... Lernaea...> I'm assuming it's a parasite.   <Yes... Likely "Anchorworm"... should be treated... with DTHP or Dimilin... See WWM re these terms...> The fish, however, seem happy, behave normally, don't scratch (yet) and eat well. I purchased Jungle's  Parasite Guard, which recommends a 25% water change before putting it in. Here's where I'm confused.  What exactly constitutes a Pond water change? <Some percentage of the volume removed, replaced with new> And how often am I supposed to do them.   <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdmaint.htm and the linked files above> Do I vacuum water out with the Pond-o-Vac 2  I bought?   <Likely this is just a vac-tool for removing trash... better to vent "bad water" along with sediment...> I've only used it once because it only seemed to stir mud/silt/dirt up and make the water dirtier.  The pond's only in its second summer, so how much muck could be in there? <Little to a bunch...> And what exactly constitutes "muck"? <Ooooh, good question... can be little more than accumulated "dust" dirt that is blown in... but usually leaves, algal accumulation, unconsolidated wastes...> And how is it different than regular decomposed leaves, etc. <Mmm... more nutrient-laden, denser...>   I put netting over in the fall.   How much dirt and silt am I trying to get out off the sides and bottom? <Mmm, about half to 90 percent or so... a bit at a time, during the warm/er months...> I read that some was beneficial "algae" (it's not green)  and helps balance the pond.   <Yes> My pond water is not supposed to look like aquarium water, right? <Correct. "Cleanliness is not sterility"> Also, if I change 25% of the water,  how do I keep from creating another 3-5 degree fluctuation in temperature and not stress the   fish?   <Do on warm days... see WWM re... and drip/refill the system down the falls...> I don't want to wait too long before treating them for the parasite.  Can you please advise?   Thanks.    --Judy <Use the search tool on WWM for the chemical and organism names listed above. Much to relate re cautionary, related data. Bob Fenner> Water changes - I love em! Very nice pond article by Spike   6/8/06 Hi, <Hello there> FYI, I wrote the attached article which ran in KOI USA not too long ago.  I love water changes for fish health.  So we're certainly on the same page here. Best, Spike <Very nice! Spike, is there a place I/we might link to your article so folks could see/gain by reading? Would you like to sell it to WWM (non-exclusive use) for posting? BobF>

Re: Water changes - I love em!   6/8/06 Hi Bob, <Spikester> I gave it to a good friend in England and he posted it on his site.  I suspect he would let you link to it. <Oh, certainly... it is "the web" after all...> I'd want nothing for it. <I salute you>   If Duncan Griffiths (site owner) allows it, you can link to it for free or just post it on your site (credit to KOI USA as a reprint or however that's done).  I'll CC Duncan so he's in the loop. Best, Spike See: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/duncan.griffiths/Water%20changes.pdf <Will gladly do both... would post as well if I knew how to get around the Adobe .pdf issue. Do you have a non .pdf copy to post/share? BobF>
Re: Water changes - I love em!   6/9/06
hi guys sorry about the tardy reply i was gonna answer but lost my connection last night yes  by all means  link to the article,.....  link to it here http://www.koiquest.co.uk/Water%20changes.pdf koiquest site and forum is by far the master site now  www.koiquest.co.uk and www.koiquest.co.uk/forum cheers Dunc <Thanks much. Bob Fenner>
Re: Winter Water Changes/ pond?
Hello Mr. Fenner, Thanks for your advice in the past (see below e-mail), and for the continuous content that is added to your web-site. <You're welcome> One thing that I never followed up with, was your last piece of advice on the below e-mail about doing water changes in the warmer months. Recently, I've looked in my little barrel pond, and noticed lots of bio waste in the bottom of the pond. Living in San Jose, California, the water hasn't gotten much colder than 46 degrees, and it's normally around 50 these days, with a +/- 6 degree difference. Why wouldn't one perform water changes in the winter (okay, unless the pond was frozen). <Hard on the animals, other life there when their metabolisms are impugned... some possibility of gas-embolism "disease": emphysematosis... A very good idea to store the to-be-used new water outside for a week or so before use... to outgas, allow sanitizer to dissipate> Are there pros and cons to doing this? I currently have 2 comets, 2 Shubunkin, and 1 small koi, all in the 3" - 4" category. For the most part they are active, and I'm not feeding, unless the temperature warms up past 52 degrees, and stays in that range for a few days at a time. If I do feed, it is wheat-germ pellets. Thanks again. Calvin Nieh <Bob Fenner>

Pond Water Changes Help! I have a small fiberglass pond in the back yard. The fish seem to be getting some type of scale/algae/spots on them? I realize this isn't very clear as to what the problem is but I am not sure myself, we have been fighting an algae problem and are thinking this is how this played into the problem. If we go in and remove the fish, clean out the tank...how do we put the fish back in the water without putting the old water into the tank and w/o sending the fish into shock? Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for any advice. Holly <Please do read through the "Pond Index" on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com concerning maintenance and algae control... your pond may be such a small size that it would be better to only change about half at any given time to avoid shocking the livestock (and system itself) You might benefit from addition of non-iodized salt (a few teaspoons a day for a week) to help your fish and hurt the algae... Do you have any test gear for measuring water quality in your pond? Bob Fenner>

Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon 

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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