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  1. #1

    Hi all, Newbie here

    Hello, 2nd post as my first one was about a potentially poorly Koi.

    So a bit of repeating myself, I moved house last year in Horley, Surrey and inherited a lovely pond with last count maybe 10-15 decent sized Koi plus a few smaller and a lot of smaller fish (no idea if these are goldfish or baby Koi?)
    The previous owner had about a year ago fitted an Oase Filtroclear 30,000 which I replaced the filters on earlier this year as they were shot. The pond water was tested by my local World of water and deemed perfect apart from it's not very clear at all and there is a lot of sludge at the bottom. I've tried to remove a lot of it but after about 2 solid days and over 15 or so wheel barrow's full of sludge it was still full of it so I've had to leave it alone for the time being.
    From what I've seen on Youtube I could drain it and give it a proper clean out but it's so big I have no idea how I would get rid of and replace that much water and where I would keep the fish whilst doing that!
    I'm assuming it's not harmful to the fish but obviously I'd love it to be clearer.
    There is a lot of planting all around the pond and a large Silver Birch tree which is a right pain as it drops a lot into the pond. I managed to cover it over winter with a net that was left but it wasn't ideal so something to improve this winter.
    It looks like I could spend hours reading up on best practice on the forum but I have to be honest whilst I really love the fish I don't think I'm going to be going bonkers with some of projects I've seen on here.
    I'm also just feeding with pond sticks that the previous Owner left and have been buying the same ones since.


  2. #2
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Hi there, and welcome.
    A picture of your pond would help us see what you are up against.
    There are 2 distinct approaches to dealing with bottom sludge-

    1. A complete drain and clean as you say, which means hiring or buying a large vat to keep the fish in while you do it- and you would need a sump pump to pump all the water out to a drain (or onto your lawn if it's in need of watering). Disadvanage of this is you will lose a lot of biofilm from the wall and bottom of the pond and so it could leave you fighting an ammonia and nitrite spike afterwards.

    2. Tackle it gradually. A pond vac to suck out the sludge in multiple stages. This can take quite a while before you achieve the clarity you are after, but does not disturb the good bacteria so much so is a less drastic change for the fish.

    Your filter is not really that suitable for koi, so you will be up against it trying to achieve and maintain clarity with that setup really. Don't rely on the cleaning handle to clean the foams. Squeezing them out in a bucket of pond water is most effective- but an incredibly mucky and horrid job to do in the winter.

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  4. #3
    Thanks, that's good to know. I did look at some of the home made vac on youtube, I'll take another look. If I can clean it enough over a period of time I'd be happy with that. Or is a shop bought one the best move?
    Yes I'll try to take a decent photo, I have a few of the garden but not showing the pond entirely.
    Is there a time of year I should be cleaning the sludge? I've noticed some very tiny fish in the net when cleaning out excess weed and I think I caused the death of a frog recently by trimming back some of the plants in the pond.
    Interesting about the filter, what should I start to look at instead?

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  6. #4
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    How big is the pond? Do you know the volume?

    You have various filter options that would be infinitely better, but it depends on budget, space, whether you might rebuild at any stage in the future to fit a bottom drain, and if you're prepared to spend out more to have something easier to clean or even that cleans itself!

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  8. #5
    OK, I'll get it measured and try and do the math on the size. It's oval so will be some guesstimation and has a slope part way in, I'll take a few pics and get them up here for advice.
    As I said, this is all new to me and not my new #1 hobby so budget is what's needed to keep the fish healthy and enjoyable, I looked through your pond build thread, wow, super impressive but I'm certainly not going to that sort of level. I'm not sure I want to dig out to fit a bottom drain but my wife and I keep saying this is the last house we ever buy so never say never. There are other priorities but we do both love watching the fish so maybe in a few years time it will make it high enough up the list for some serious work!
    I don't mind the cleaning, gives me a good excuse to get out in the winter and not watch too much TV
    Thanks for your help so far!


  9. #6
    If youíre on a budget then you could retrofit a bottom drain that doesnít need to be dig into the pond.
    Similar to this
    Dracodrum Bottom Drain pond filter solution
    You could then grab a secondhand multibay filter from eBay and convert one of the chambers to run a moving bed or perhaps keep your eyes peeled for a used Nexus and possibly a sieve.
    Wonít stop you getting wet in the winter but itís a start.
    Alternatively, a forum member Trace has a pretty cool DIY filter which is made up of blue plastic barrels. Itís modular so you could add to it later.
    Thereís loads of options really, you just have to do lots of reading on here, ask loads of questions and work out the most cost effective solution for your needs.
    If you get hooked then youíre into drum filters and showers, then it starts getting serious lol.
    Draw a picture with some dimensions of your pond (with depths) then we can work out your volume (ish) and photograph it, then post it up.
    If itís oval, take a few dimensions cross ways (the more the better) and Iíll draw it accurately for you, will only take 5 minutes on CAD. Like this

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  11. #7
    I have tried to respond but it said a moderator has to approve it! Lets hope it appears soon. Thanks for the feedback.

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  13. #8
    Youíll get the green light shortly no doubt Hi all, Newbie here

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  15. #9
    Looks like the mods are snoozing, worth me trying to re-post?

  16. #10
    Always Hi all, Newbie here

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #11
    OK, I'll try a couple of post with less pictures, maybe that's what stopped the previous post.
    Here's the rough measurements of the pond. I'm going to have to get better ones when I can get in as it's impossible to know where the slope starts and what the angle is.
    There is a flat ledge at a lower depth that runs around the front and the sides of the pond. over the back by the waterfall it has a v.steep slope, almost vertical to the full depth of 80cm.
    Last edited by Mags; 10-08-2018 at 03:24 PM.

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  19. #12
    And if this works, here's some pictures of the pond.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #13

  21. #14
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Nr Farnham, Surrey
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    That's a serious pond - about the size of my pond before I dug it deeper and installed bottom drains. Could be as much as 28k ltrs or 6000 gallons. The filtoclear is far too small to adequately filter it even if you treat it as a goldfish pond.

    In my opinion you do need to decide whether you want it to be a 'koi pond' or a 'garden pond with a few koi'. If the former you are in for a lot of work and expense - I know - its the way I went lol! . As this is extreme Koi forum most people on here will be pushing you towards a koi pond. In my experience the former can work fine - just don't be tempted to throw in too much food or add many koi.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  22. #15
    I didn't get the chance to get in do some proper measurements at the weekend, hopefully next week.

    pip895, It can only be a garden pond with some Koi at the moment. In the future maybe more but I have far too many other things to do and spend money on, I don't need to add another expensive hobby to my list!



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