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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I work at a nonprofit Conservancy (started there January). They used to have someone who took care of their 3 ponds- 2 approx 1000 gallon and 1 approx 30 gallon. I just volunteered to take them over. :tongue:
One large pond is a sucession pond, with no circulation and houses painted turtles and wood frogs. (Eggs present and or exprected soon.)
The other two ponds have pumps and filters. The smallest pond has some tadpoles. The second large pond has some goldfish and painted turtles.
All 3 ponds have a bunch or rotting material in them.
All pumps are turned off now. How should I start the ponds up without getting a huge ammonia spike? Should I start the pump on the large pond before I clean it in late spring?
I was planning on doing a 1/3 water change on the small pond and getting it going first.
What additives should I use to help the bio filter get going and to help with the organic matter?
Thanks a million- I know they'll appreciate it!!
 

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First , What is the weather like where you are ???? And you start by taking all the rotting material out of the ponds first . The filter should have bin cleaned in the fall.What kind of filters are they ? Give the filters a good cleaning . Then do a big water change . You shouldn't get an Ammonia spike . I don't open my pond till May.

This is my pond and set up .

9500 gal. 24'x16'x6' deep
45 mil Liner
Large Savio Skimmer c/w 25 & 57 watt U.V.
2 BD c/w Air Diffusers
2 Vetex Vortex SC.
1 Nexus 300 c/w DIY Easy
1 Fluidart 6 cu. ft Challenger 100 Bead Filter c/w 1/4 & 2 hp. pump.
1 Laguna 55 watt U.V.
1 Aqua 80 watt U.V.
4 TPR's c/w 3/4" inducters
2 Sequence 1/8 hp. 3600
1 Sequence 1/3 hp. 5800
Waterfall & Bog pond under construction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The days are in the 50s-60s and the nights are 30s-40s.
I don't think the filter was cleaned... they got rid of their grounds maintenance guy last year. The filter in the big pond is a pump in a square box with a filter pad. I didn't open it up yet to see what's inside. I'm kind of up on how to make filters, but I wasn't sure if stirring up too much organic matter would kill anyone or if I needed to add anything to get the bacteria working.

Thanks!
 

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Know matter how good you clean the filter . You will never get all the bacteria out of the pond . you don't have to add additives to the pond .just do what i said and you will be ok..
 

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Just getting that mulm off the bottom and other rotting things out will help avoid a huge ammonia spike. I agree with Ginny about doing that, though I would do a large water change first, and during, and after. Do you have a shop vac you can use? Or a long piece of large diameter pipe with a hose you can attach firmly to one end (to make a giant gravel vac) to suck that stuff off the bottom?

I use well water and it's a shallow well with plenty of water, so when I do water changes in my ponds, I just throw in a hose and let it run for a few hours, overflowing the ponds. I only have goldfish along with the plants and this has always been fine with them. I don't know about the turtles, but I can't help but think it couldn't do any more damage than the ammonia and rotting things.

I'd get all that rotting stuff out there before water temps get very warm. Once that happens, it makes the dirty situation in a pond even worse. I can't remember the exact science behind it, but I've had die-offs before, when it warms up in spring, in ponds I haven't cleaned the fall before.

Once you get all the rotting stuff out and do a big water change, I'd think you can crank up that pump just fine. The pond will still have to do a nitrogen cycle since many of the bacteria were killed during the winter. They ponds will turn to pea soup, but one morning you'll walk out there and they will be remarkably clear.

Also, be sure to look in all the pots for any live plant matter. My plants look awfully bad during winter, all rotten and dead. But sure enough, once the sun hits them and things warm up a bit, they pop right back up, as green and alive as ever!

Good luck! :biggrin:
 
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