November 27, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




Hi Carolyn,

Love reading your question and answer e-mails. They are a big
help to a novice pond keeper like myself!

Here's my question. Last year I had a pond installed in my back
yard. Everyone told me "go big, you can never have one too big".
Well I thought at the time that the one I was having installed
was big enough. (approximately 500 gallons).

As it turns out I am not satisfied with the size and want to go
at least double the size.

Is it possible to enlarge an existing pond? I have plenty of
space in my yard.

I'm not sure if you can "fuse" the existing liner to a new one or

Rochester, NY

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Hi, Gail,

There are some problems associated with "fusing" liners, mainly
leaks. It is nearly impossible to seal without leaks. So, why
not do side-by-side ponds or use the present one as a quarantine
pond? And take it from me, 1,000 gallons still isn't enough if
you have any koi. I would check my pocketbook and go as high as
I possibly can, even to borrow for now, because in the end it
will save you putting in yet another pond when you run into the
same situation next year. Ponds really are contagious. Five
hundred gallons was a nice start! My present pond is 15,000, 7'
deep, and still looks too small to me. But I could have saved a
whole lot of money by just putting in this one in the first
place. So could you.




Hi Carolyn,

I have 2 questions for you and I hope you dont mind.

I'm wondering about the proper size of filter I should use for my

My husband bought me something that has a fountain thing and a
bottom tray like set-up where there are 2 sheet like things -one
for fine filtering and the other for coarser stuff in the water.I
wash out the gunk that collects on these sheets every 3 or 4
days. It's kind of a pain!

I worked so hard to make the pond all by myself and it is 12 feet
by 5 feet and 26-28inches deep.

How do i compute the gallons? It is oval shaped. The water was
getting cloudy and I thought maybe the filter my husband got for
me is not doing the job. He was putting in some powder stuff
which helped clear up the water.

I have 3 small koi and a bunch of chabunkin babies-they are like
comets but black and orange. There have been a ton of frogs -
where do they all come from anyway?

The leaves on my water hyacinths plants were getting all yellow
and ugly> My husband says that is from all the frogs urine. Is
that true? Should I be checking the ph-?

My husband has his own pond-which is huge (a friend of his helped
to dig it out with a bulldozer like thing) but he has a very
expensive system to clean the pond and his water is always clear.
We actually have a total of three ponds.

Do you think we should put all the fish in the deepest pond for
the winter? The deepest pond is about 3 feet deep.

Sorry-more than 2 questions.

Thanx Carolyn.

- Dummy first time pond creator, Karen Oconnor



Hi, Karen!

Wow, his and hers ponds! What a concept!! As for the frogs,
they were in the area anyway and just decided to drop in, as a
matter of fact. They apparently liked your pond best. The
hyacinths are not turning yellow from frog urine. So you can
smack your husband for that one. He's pulling your leg. Probably
the fish are eating the roots, causing the plants to suffer.
Bad for the plants, but good for the fish.

If your frost line is not over 24" you can probably just leave
your fish in the pond where they are.

I don't think the filter you have is enough for that pond. When
buying a filter, it's best not to buy according to how many
gallons, but to size according to the amount and size of the
fish. With those fish, especially koi, they will outgrow that
filter quickly. To figure the amount of water in a pond,
multiply the width by the length (of a rectangular or oval pond)
by the depth in feet. Then multiply that by 7.5 to get the

If the pond is more of a circle than a rectangle shape, you
would figure out the radius (half the diameter), multiply that
by itself, and multiply that by 3.14 which will give you the
area. Then to get the gallons, multiply the area by the average
depth, times 7.5.

All in all, the only true way to know how many gallons is to
empty it and start again, with a water meter! I know this is
confusing, but when you have to medicate sick fish you have to
know how many gallons are in the pond.... exactly.

Next question, it is more important to test for ammonia, nitrite
and nitrates than pH. You should be testing for these
regularly, if not daily, especially considering this is a new
pond. You can use Microbe-Lift/PL to help get the pond balanced
to start with. I highly recommend it. And this time of year, you
can use the Autumn Winter Prep. And no feeding after the water
temperature goes down to 50F.

Come next spring, you will have as nice water as your other
ponds. But the pond is new and has to go through the adjustment
stages. Start shopping for a new filter though, preferably one
that is easier for you to clean. After all that work, you
deserve it!

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

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

Posted by bfogle at November 27, 2005 02:14 PM