Saturday, October 3, 2015

I saw that you put the Picture of my test results on your blog so I thought that I had better give you a few more details about my pond build.

Hi Kevin,

Yes I have read every single article on your blog and everything on Manky Sanke’s too.

I saw that you put the Picture of my test results on your blog so I thought that I had better give you a few more details about my pond build.

It is divided into two sections. The Main pond is 4.5m x 1.5m ranging from 30cm deep to 65cm at the deepest (very small area where pump is) and the Anoxic filter pond is 90cm x 1.5m and is all 60cm deep.

It holds 3414l and I am running a 4500lph pump to a black box filter (Pre Filter) with an 11W U.V. The pump is rated at 3950lph for the head pressure that I have.

I have 30 Shubunkins and Comets about 3inches in size, a few maybe 4-5inches.

We started building the pond at the beginning of summer this year and reused the existing (already biologically seeded) black box filter that I have had running for 2 summers now as a prefilter. All media and sponges were just rinsed out in pond water at the beginning of May and I haven’t touched it since, not once. I had already started some BCB’s seeding in my stock tanks in April so that they would be ready when the new pond was built.

In the Anoxic filter area I have an egg crate plenum grid sitting on some lengths of waste pipe to keep the bottom layer of 15 baskets off the base. This area was designed to take 3 rows of 5 baskets (27cm square) with an inch gap between each. Then there is another egg crate layer on top and a further layer of biocenosis clarification baskets containing plants sitting on top. At the moment I have about 7 baskets with plants in them but plan to add another 8 to make a second layer of 15 next year. (Pond building is a very costly business you know) I could not obtain any Laterite so the baskets with plants have one Cup of JBL Aquabasis plus in each. There are a further 6 water lily biocenosis clarification baskets in the main pond.

Some of the plant baskets that I took out of my old stock tanks had a thick layer of Cyanobacteria on them but this disappeared and did not proliferate in the newly set up pond (to my pleasant surprise)(yes I read your article about cyanobacteria hence the surprise)

The pond is in full sun facing south all day but despite this I have only a very small amount of blanket weed along the south facing wall and attached to the pipes and cables. The fish seemed to find it tasty so I have left it alone and it is now disappearing along with the sun.

I have had no green water, murky or cloudy water. I have done no water changes at all only topping up evaporation loss. pH  is now 8.00

The only slight disappointment that I have had this year is I have not had very much plant growth despite adding two rounds of pond plant fertilizer. After seeing Brian’s I was hoping to have an explosion of greenery. Maybe it is down to dividing and repotting my water lilies, which were happily sitting in aquatic compost baskets into BCB’s. Perhaps they don’t like root disturbance and they have had to grow new roots. Or I am wondering if this is down to the fact that my Nitrites and Nitrates have been more or less zero all summer. All the plants have been disappointing. Pontederia, Iris’s, Saggittaria, Elodea died, water hawthorn turned black.  Perhaps the fish are just not producing enough waste to feed the plants (or the BCB’s have gobbled it all up). I would like to know your thoughts on that please. It has not been a very hot summer here even by English standards.

I will be adding more fish next year. Based on one BCB per full-grown koi, how many full-grown 12” Shubunkins do you think 30 BCB’s can support?

Photographs to follow.

Thank you for your hard work and selfless nature Kevin.

Kindest regards

Nottingham, U.K

Answer to Rachel questions:

The plants may have been a disappointment this year because they may have to relearn how to absorb and adsorb ions like they are expected to.
It’s not something I would worry about, next year will bring better plant growth once their root systems are established. The cooler weather will also play a big part in plant growth too.

 I know hear in Chicagoland all our terrestrial plants did great in early Spring because of all the rain we had and bloomed very early this year, but died way too early also but ran out of steam earlier than they were supposed to.

Thirty BCB’S can handle about 60-70 12" Shubunkins but I don’t think that many fish would be very practical though.