Half Barrel pond water going grey.

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Dave Godfrey
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Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby Dave Godfrey » Thu May 04, 2017 11:32 am

I have a patio pond made of a half barrel, and, as the title suggests the water is going grey, there's also slime on the inside of the barrel. So far there's no sign of blanketweed or green water however. Its been set up for about five months now, but only had plants in it in the last 6 weeks.

It doesn't (and will never) have fish in it, so it isn't filtered. I could add a filter, but I don't have any way of getting power to it other than solar. It holds about 100 litres or so, and has a lily, and a few other plants. (I've got a ton of hornwort in my indoor tanks to add to it in the next few days). I've tried doing water changes, but it comes back almost immediately (the last couple I've done were with old tank water from the 400L I have in the kitchen. This may have been a mistake).

It does have a completely pathetic 150lph solar powered "fountain", that I was massively overestimating the effectiveness of (I don't know why I was expecting it to be anything other than a pathetic tiny thing that barely ripples the surface even when its blazing sunshine, but there you go). I think I was vaguely hoping that turning over the water would stop it being a stagnant swamp, and that this would do the job, which it clearly doesn't. There's a magnolia tree in a pot that's been dropping petals into it, but I've fished out most of them, and can get some netting for when it drops its leaves in autumn. Its finished flowering now, so if that was the cause surely it shouldn't still be doing this after a bit of a clean out?

I don't really want to spend £100+ on a solar pump, panel, and battery. Nor do want to dump buckets of Seachem Clarity in (although if its anything like the other seachem products it'll be pretty effective and fairly cheap given how concentrated Flourish and Prime are). If that's the only solution then I will. I really don't want to put any of the fountain products in as I'd like to attract some wildlife (pond skaters, snails, dragonfly larvae, maybe a frog or two, that sort of thing).

Any advice? Is this one of those things that just happens and will clear up on its own if I ignore it (it didn't seem to earlier in the year).
Loaches and minnows and shrimp! Oh my!

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the_storm
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Re: Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby the_storm » Fri May 05, 2017 8:02 am

Hi Dave, is it in full sun?

Dave Godfrey
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:12 pm
Location: London

Re: Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby Dave Godfrey » Fri May 05, 2017 11:00 am

Yes it is, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was green, but grey and swampy was unexpected.
Loaches and minnows and shrimp! Oh my!

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the_storm
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Re: Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby the_storm » Mon May 08, 2017 9:39 am

My best guess would be the soil that your plants are in may be the problem? Try to switch to an aquatic compost and see if it helps at all.

Knobby
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Re: Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby Knobby » Mon May 08, 2017 11:17 am

Could it be something leaching out of the barrel? Either from it's previous content (whisky, sherry or whatever) or just the wood itself.

Dave Godfrey
Posts: 2728
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:12 pm
Location: London

Re: Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby Dave Godfrey » Wed May 10, 2017 7:42 pm

the_storm wrote:My best guess would be the soil that your plants are in may be the problem? Try to switch to an aquatic compost and see if it helps at all.

The lily and one of the marginals were bought from a garden centre, so I think they should be in aquatic compost already, but one of them came from my parents' pond as rootless divisions, so I will swap the compost from that because while some of it might be aquasoil from an aquarium there's almost certainly a chunk of standard compost in it.
Loaches and minnows and shrimp! Oh my!

Dave Godfrey
Posts: 2728
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:12 pm
Location: London

Re: Half Barrel pond water going grey.

Postby Dave Godfrey » Tue May 16, 2017 10:52 am

Welp, it seems to be getting worse and now the mozzies have moved in Would an air pump be a good idea, and if so how powerful should I get? (I have no idea about them, I don't use them on my tanks).
Loaches and minnows and shrimp! Oh my!


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