Pond Filtration, Pond Maintenance and Aquarium Maintenance, UK

Pond Filtration, Pond Maintenance and Aquarium Maintenance, UK

Send in your pond or aquarium problems and let us supply the answers.

Q; I have a good size pond stocked with koi and goldfish. I clean the filter out regularly and its always dirty and hoover the pond once a month.Despite this the pond is always cloudy its usually a dark brown or black colour.What am i doing wrong?The pond has been in place for 5-6 years apparently but I moved into the house last year.

A;It sounds like you have a build up of sludge in the bottom of the pond that was there when you inherited the pond with your new house.When your doing your vacuming  your only vacuming up a fraction of the debris and stirring the rest up to cloud the water, the fish will keep the sludge suspended in the water with their constant grubbing on the bottom in search for food. this being the case its not hard to rectify you need to have the pond totally cleaned out to remove the sludge then hoover once a month there after to keep it down.This should get you clear water in no time.

Q;I have a pond full of goldfish, and recently i am finding them missing.I also find feathers and what i think is bird muck beside the pond on some mornings. Is this a heron and if so what do i do about it?

A;Yes this would be a heron, and there are several things ytou can do to prevent his predation of your fish.One idea is a trip whire made of strong fishing line,round the outside of the pond a double level one is best with lines at 12" and 18" from the ground.A few lines across the pond is also usefull as it prevents the bird landing in the pond itself. Another usefull idea is the "Scarcrow" a water firing unit that attaches to your hosepipe, this unit fires water at any moving object including cats dogs and heron.

Q; in my aquarium I keep oscars and i get a lot of algae the type that grows on all the surfaces as well as the long stringy type, i do water changes once every few months of about 20% and clean the filter. what can i do about the algae?

A;I suspect you have a high nitrate level in your aquarium water.Nitrate comes from the biological cycle and is a byproduct of teh breakdown of nitrite that you have it is a sign that your filter is working, but you need to do more water changes and of larger percentage especially for oscars.Oscars are large messy fish and produce a lot of waste this adds to the nitrate as uneaten food in nooks and crannies rotts away. i would reccomend a 30% water change every week for a few months then bring that down to every fortnight once youve noticed teh difference. Get your water tested and your tap water too if your tap water has high levels of nitrate use a ro water mix but if not, tap water is ok.Remember to warm the water to aquarium level and dechlorinate it too.

Another thing that affects algae growth is light levels, a old light tube emmits teh wrong spectrum which encourages algae so replace  tubes  regularly.


Q; I brought my aquarium a month ago and quickly set it up for tropical fish, the day after the water was in and heated i purchased my fish.It is a 3ft tank and i brought 6 tiger barbs, 6 neons, 4 corydoras catfish, 4 3 lined gouramis, 3 clown loach, a pleck and a siamese fighting fish which would all go together well by the shop assistant.
Over the next week the clowns and the neons diedand teh fighter lost all its fins and skulked in the plastic plants.Than the tiger barbs who had been looking ropy died. At this moment i have one corydoras left in a tank with a taty looking fighter and 2 unhealthy looking gourami. What did i do wrong?

A;You fell foul of the biggest mistake in fish keeping  im afraid"New tank syndrome".You can not fully stock your tank in one go as that spells disaster.Before you buy to many fish you must establish the benificial bacteria in your filter system.
To do this set the tank up dechlorinate teh water and leave running for a few days with no fish keeping a eye on thetemperature and filter to check things are working.
You first add a few hardy fish like goldfish or your tiger barbs leave these a month or so than slowly increase stocking over the next 6 months testing the water as you go along to check its progress.This can be sped up by using some of the bacterial products on the market like biostart or cycle.

I imagine by now your filter is becoming established so check the water with test kits and if alls well restock slowly.
Also so that you dont go back to square one clean your filter in tank water and dechlorinate the water for your fortnightly water changes.

You may ask why did my fighter gourami and corydoras survive, this is because these species breath air from the surface to supplement the air from their gills this way they dont breath in so much of teh toxins in the water.

You also had a bit of a conflict in the fish you chose to bye, long finned fish like fighters cant be housed with fin nippers like tiger barbs so dont get tigers whilst you have the fighter.