Do you dream of a serene backyard escape complete with a crystal-clear koi pond? Maintaining a koi pond can be both rewarding and challenging. One of the most frustrating problems faced by pond owners is dealing with the dreaded "pea-green soup" water, which can obscure the beauty of your pond and make it difficult to enjoy your fish. In this blog post, we'll delve into the journey of a dedicated pond owner who reached out for help and asked us to restore the tranquility of his backyard oasis.
The Murky Waters
Our story begins with a koi pond that suffered from the notorious "pea-green soup" syndrome despite being equipped with a UV filter, BioFalls filter, and sand filter. The owner had done everything in his power to maintain his beloved aquatic haven, but the water remained stubbornly cloudy. The diverse filtration systems were working against each other, creating a complex and inefficient setup. What could possibly be done to rescue this pond from its dismal state?
A Comprehensive Rebuild Plan
The solution? A partial rebuild, guided by expert hands, to revitalize the pond and bring back its original beauty. The plan involved several key components: a new BioFalls filter, a skimmer, an in-pond pump, rock additions, and a rejuvenated waterfall. These strategic changes would not only address the water quality issue but also enhance the overall aesthetics of the pond.
Step by Step: The Pond Transformation
1. Emptying the Pond and Relocating the Fish: The first step involved carefully removing the water and temporarily housing the fish in tanks with aeration to ensure their safety and well-being. Keeping the little guys happy and safe while rebuilding their home is always a priority!
2. Deconstruction and Repositioning: The crew skillfully disassembled the pond, removing rocks, skimmers, and waterfall components. The old filtration setup, which included a UV light, BioFalls filter, and sand filter, was dismantled to make way for a more effective and harmonious system.
3. Addressing Filtration Challenges: The previous filtration setup posed its challenges. The UV light, while targeting bacteria, hindered the growth of beneficial microorganisms crucial for maintaining water clarity. To restore balance, the UV light was removed, and the old BioFalls filter was replaced.
4. Creating a Solid Foundation: The pond's bottom, originally three-tiered with a bare liner, was leveled and reshaped. Gravel was introduced to create a bed for beneficial bacteria to flourish, helping to maintain water clarity and manage sediment. For those of you who have questions about this part of the process, check out this previous post about why we don't use bottom drains.
5. Strategically Positioned Filtration: The new BioFalls filter was positioned at the top of the waterfall, while the skimmer was placed on the opposite side of the pond. A well-thought-out plumbing system ensured a seamless flow of water, promoting efficient filtration.
6. Enhancing Fish Safety: Fish caves were incorporated to offer hiding spots for the koi, protecting them from potential threats like birds and predators. As you can see in the photos, we also added fishing line across the top of the pond to hopefully keep any heron from wading through the water!
7. A Clear Vision Realized: The reconstruction was a success, resulting in a pond that transformed from murky chaos to mesmerizing clarity. The owner's vision of a tranquil oasis was finally achieved… but before we wrap up, I want to rewind and talk a bit more about the actual components we used!
The Heart of the Transformation: The BioFalls Filter
Central to the pond's revival was the BioFalls filter. It serves as the heart of the pond, where beneficial bacteria thrive. The BioFalls kit contains various components, including a sedimentation chamber at the bottom, mats, and BioBalls.
Water flows in from below, spreading evenly over mats designed to catch sediment and promote bacterial growth. BioBalls, contained in a bag, are placed on top of the mats. As water moves through the sedimentation chamber, bacteria can colonize and grow. Eventually, the water flows over the lip of the waterfall and back into the pond. This process supports bacterial growth, which aids in water clarity. Adding a rock tray and plants further utilizes this beneficial bacteria for a balanced pond ecosystem.
The filter's design ensures water flows through a series of stages, facilitating the breakdown of impurities and sediment, before returning to the pond, cleaner and clearer than ever.
Protecting the Heart: The Skimmer
The skimmer is like a shield for the heart of the pond, which is the beloved BioFalls filter. Attaching the liner to the skimmer's face is a straightforward process. Here's a simple breakdown of how it all comes together:
1. Pump Placement: The pump is placed in the bottom of the skimmer, and a bulkhead is securely screwed on. A pipe extends downward, allowing the pump to be situated inside the skimmer.
2. Tray Addition: A tray is inserted, covering the actual pump. This tray serves as an extra layer of protection and support.
3. Pre-Filter Mat: A pre-filter mat is introduced, fitting in and around the pipe. This mat aids in trapping debris and preventing clogs.
4. Convenient Skimmer Basket: The skimmer basket, equipped with a convenient handle, is a game-changer. Unlike many other skimmers, this one makes basket maintenance a breeze.
Ease of Use:
The skimmer basket's design addresses a common complaint among pond owners. Extracting the basket from the skimmer can be a hassle for many, but not with this skimmer. Its user-friendly approach ensures stress-free maintenance. The basket simply sits inside the skimmer, and when it's time to empty it, a quick lift of the handle, a swift dump, and it's back in place – no fuss, no stress. Say goodbye to the struggles of dealing with skimmer baskets, and say hello to effortless pond care!
Say Hello to Beneficial Bacteria: The Auto Doser
The auto doser takes the hassle out of maintaining your pond's water quality. No more second-guessing or tedious manual treatments. Within this innovative device, we house a bag of Maintain right by your pond's side. Getting started is a breeze – just adjust the gallon settings using the buttons on the top of the doser. From there, the magic happens: the auto doser precisely dispenses the ideal amount of beneficial bacteria into your pond.
Here's the secret behind its success: the introduced beneficial bacteria make their home in the BioFalls, creating a thriving ecosystem. This enriched water flows into the pond and makes its way through the skimmer. Returning to the BioFalls, the water continues its journey, creating a continuous cycle. The result? A beautifully clear pond, with water that remains in a constant state of circulation. With the auto doser, maintaining pristine water quality has never been so effortless!
A New Lease on Pond Life
The pond's new configuration breathed life back into our homeowner’s backyard haven. With the removal of conflicting filtration elements and the introduction of a harmonious filtration system, the water's clarity was restored. The pond's owner was finally able to enjoy his fish in all their glory, their vibrant colors visible through the sparkling water.
From Murk to Magic
The journey from a murky pond to a tranquil oasis serves as a testament to the power of thoughtful planning, expert knowledge, and innovative filtration solutions. By dismantling the previous setup, addressing filtration challenges, and embracing a holistic approach, this pond not only regained its clarity but also its owner's peace of mind. So, whether you're dealing with a "pea-green soup" scenario or simply seeking to enhance your pond's beauty, remember that transformation is possible with the right tools, techniques, and knowledge!
At the end of the day, we succeeded in transforming this pond owner's backyard, giving him the tranquility he envisioned from the moment he embarked on building this pond. That's the driving force behind our work. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and remember to get outside, my friends!
About Easton Outdoors
We started out as the neighborhood lawn boys – a group of high school friends trying to make some pocket change. It soon became more. We realized how much we enjoyed landscaping. Over the years, we've transformed hundreds of properties, beautified countless landscapes, and made many homeowners proud. This has become our passion!