Monday, July 7, 2014

Shelly’s update on her pond from Oregon's beautiful Willamette Valley....

Hello Dr Novak,

Having my first pond (3500-gallons) has led to meeting other local pond owners, and the topic of filtration always comes up. It should be no surprise that I am an advocate of AFS. Three couples have come to see my pond, finding it difficult to believe that a 'newbie' pond owner with only AFS, a UV light, and a skimmer can have such remarkably clear water. Seeing is believing, however!

Two couples I have met continue to struggle with 'pea soup' algae. One couple just ignores it (poor fish), the other couple dumps large amount$ of algae-control chemical$ into theirs. This couple (7500 gallon pond) made 18 BCB’s after seeing mine, but state that the algae persists (of course). So they are going to have their UV checked.

QUESTION: Before I respond to them, advising more BCB’s and more patience thru the cycling stage, I would like to know if there is a guideline as to the minimum number of BCB’s as it relates to pond size. More specifically: how many Biocenosis Baskets would their 7500-gallon pond require, as a minimum and/or a 12,000-gallon pond, etc?

This information will be very helpful for my other 'pea-soup' neighbor. I hope to get them started with AFS, too, and demonstrate the usefulness of having a standard water test kit, etc.

My own pond -- now 9 months old -- is flourishing and maturing. When the warm weather finally arrived, I experienced my string-algae! I re-read your blog, and learned I need to do partial water changes occasionally (yes, I am a NEWBIE). Then, learning from another poster on your blog, I resisted panic and just waited: it soon turned brown and disintegrated! My pond remains 100% chemical-free, is clear as a bell, and provides hours of enjoyment! I have been working on the landscaping since you last saw my brand new pond in October, wanting to eventually hide the driveway. I am attaching two photo ‘updates’ Photo#1) is in early morning, with the waterfall and aeration turned off for a moment while the goldfish wait for their breakfast, and Photo#2) is in the afternoon, showing the 4' deep aeration bottom drain. 
Photo # 1

Photo #2

I hope all is well with you, Dr Novak. Thanks again for all you've done and for all you do!

Best regards from Oregon's beautiful Willamette Valley....


Q & A time:

I would like to know if there is a guideline as to the minimum number of BCB’s as it relates to pond size. The BCB’s really do their best in an AFS and not just placed in a pond willy-nilly because your whole pond then can become the filter and you don’t want that. Like Brian Woodcock’s AFS has 35 BCB’s in it and his pond looks great like yours does.

Your friends with the 7500-gal pond need to let Mother Nature take her time, but then again you don’t know what really is happening with their pond and did they do everything right?

As the years go by I have fond-out that Husbandry, feeding regime, number of animals to water mass, and how big the Koi are will really dictate on how many BCB’s one should have. The best way to go about it is two BCB’s per Koi. Example: If you have ten Koi then twenty BCB’s should do the trick. It does not matter how big the Koi are at the time they are introduced to the ponds mass because you are compensating for future growth and food consumption. However, this is not written in stone because pond volume may supersede the number of animals living in the pond or vice versa. Geographic location of the pond and how much sun does it get in a day. Then more BCB’s will be needed because of over stocking the pond beyond reasonable limits. This always happens when using an AFS because hobbyists see how great it works and then buy more Koi.



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