November 25, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




My Name Is Liz:
I live in Austin, Texas.

And my question is: I have a 220 gallon pond (prefab-black
plastic). I don't have fish in my pond I have "turtles." I'm
doing pretty good with it but I would like a filter system to
keep my water clear and clean, so when I go out to feed them I
can look down to the bottom of the pond and see them swimming
around. I have about 23 of them ranging from quarter size to one
a basket ball size. I even have a couple of frog's who reside in
and around my pond. I even have the turtles breeding and laying
eggs. I hope I can have clear and clean water with the proper
filter. I understand turtle are very messy. However I like
sitting in my swing or looking out my patio door and just
watching them. Please help.

Thank you
"Live turtle rescuer"
I pick them up off the sides of the roads from being road kill.
I even have a three legged turtle and one who has a hole in
it's shell.


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Hi, Liz!

One of my dearest friends has an amazing 40,000 gallon turtle
pond and he started the same way! To try answering you
questions, yes, turtles need a lot of filtration. And you have
a lot of turtles in that small pond. So, I recommend you dig a
big hold beside the pond for a filter. Use concrete blocks to
form a filter area about 3-4x the size of your pond, line it
with rubber liner and use (for now) a submersible pump in the
bottom of your pond to bring everything into this new filter.
Line the filter with pads, lots of them, and make it so you can
flush it out often.

You can install an outlet hose from the outside of the filter to
drain the water, or put a pump inside the filter to pump out the
dirty water at least once a week. The more water flow, and
aeration, the better. Cover the filter with boards or plastic
to keep the turtles out of it and keep anyone from falling in.
You can keep an opening in the filter to float some plants. In
the pond, the turtles will eat all the plants, no matter how you
try to protect them. Use Microbe-Lift/PL to help keep the pond
clean naturally and kick-start the filter process. Good luck and
let us know how you make out.

- Carolyn



Hi Carolyn,

I hope you don't mind me emailing you so much. I think I really
goofed yesterday.

Being that I am semi disabled I called the people that built my
pond to help me winterizing it. Well they know less about ponds
than I do.

When I got home they had drained the pond 100% and were digging
out all the gravel and mud that they put in 3 years ago. My 20
koi were in a big cattle tub. I put in aerators right away and
they are not floating yet so this must be OK so far. I will
start filling the pond today when they are done cleaning the
mess they started. Will add chemicals to get rid of the chlorine
and heavy metals. When should I put the koi back in the pond?

Should I wait until it is full 14000 gallons or when there is
about a foot of water or so?The temperature is in the 40's and
is expected to go up today and tomorrow. I told them not to
power wash the sides but they are scrubbing them with a stiff
brush, against what you told me about the koi getting nutrition
from the alge that is present.


- Joe



Yikes! Were you able to stop them?

It is good to get the dirt and rocks out of the bottom of a
14,000 gallon pond, but you should wait until the pond is full
again to put the fish back. I say "yikes" because the scrubbing
they are doing is removing the bacterial layer which is actually
part of your good natural filtration. That is the difference
between a "new pond" and an established one. Ergo, new pond

You should tell them to leave the rocks out of the pond this
time. It will be so much easier to maintain and keep clean. As
long as the temperatures are 50 or below, you don't have to
worry about koi eating. They can do without. In fact, looks
like they will have to....

Don't worry about them, they are more resilient than you think.

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at November 25, 2005 02:13 PM