does a new water garden need chemicals?

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  #1  
Old 07-01-01, 08:48 PM
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I just put in a preformed pond (550 gallons). I plan on putting plants and fish, should I put something in the water like "start right" or "ammo lock"? I have a bio filter and a small water fall and a small frog fountain so there is plenty of aeration and circulation. Also, a small amount of dirt fell in when we added rocks around it. Do I need to clean it all out or wil it hurt? It does get cloudy and muddy looking if stirred up. If I need to refill it I certainly want to do it before adding plants or fish! Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you and God Bless!
 
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Old 07-02-01, 07:00 AM
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The only chemical you need to add is one to remove chlorine. This is to protect the fish; the plants would have been fine. If you're on well water, of course, this isn't necessary. AND, check to see if your community uses chloramine instead of chlorine. If you use a chemical for chlorine and have chloramine, you'll get a release of lots of toxic ammonia, and the fish will certainly die (learned this the hard way when our community supply was switched over without notification). If you have chloramine, be sure to get a chemical for chloramine. Or, to be safe, the chloramine chemicals usually remove chlorine too, so you could use that one regardless.

Don't worry about the dirt. If you plant the pond, it will get mucky on the bottom. Healthy, balanced ecosystems have dirt and muck. You will not have crystal clear water - you'd have to empty it and clean every week! But once everything gets settled, the water will be somewhat clear and you will see the fish.

If you don't have fish (or enough fish), you will need to treat for mosquitos. You will need a mosquito "dunk" or "doughnut" which floats and releases a bacteria over time that will kill mosquito larvae. It is harmless to fish and plants. If you have enough fish, they may eat all the mosquitos if they can get to them. Otherwise, you'll have lots of mosquitos at your house! You can recognize the larvae - they are about 1/4 inch at maturity and squiggle around like crazy when disturbed. Otherwise, they tend to suspend themselves from the water surface. Do NOT add pesticides if you have fish/frogs/etc. or you will kill them.

If the pond gets really pea-soup green, you can add an algacide. But I would wait before doing that. Often new ponds and new fish tanks get an algae or bacteria explosion which will turn the water green or white. It should clear in about a week as all the organisms get themselves settled out. If it continues to be pea-soup, you can use an algacide, but recognise that it is a temporary fix and that the cause of the excess algae is excess nutrients from fish food, etc. You will always have some algae (like I said a balanced ecosystem is a little mucky), but it shouldn't completely obscure everything.

Hope this helps! Enjoy!
 
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Old 07-02-01, 08:18 AM
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garden pond

Thank you so much for all the information! You really know alot about it! Glad you wrote back!
 
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