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Old 08-22-2018, 10:26 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
2,116 posts, read 1,059,922 times
Reputation: 4365

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We are looking at a condo that has a small fountain with small pool, which we are completely unable to see into. We have seen goldfish food on the shelf inside so think there might be goldfish in it, but....?

How can we clean this pond - it's only about 4 feet by 3 feet, with the fountain running into it. I don't want to kill anything that might be living in there (if it's fish, anyway!) but at the moment it just looks black. I'm sure it needs SOMETHING. If goldfish ponds always look like this I don't want the goldfish; I'd rather be able to see inside the water.

What to do?
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,428,723 times
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UV filter

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...l_2848ks4xjl_b

you may have to start over depending on how badly the water feature is fouled now.

they do make algicides that won't harm aquatic life
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:37 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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Wow! I guess I have to start getting an education on water features.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Mine I ended up making a planter....too much work for me
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:51 AM
 
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They take a lot of regular maintenance, which apparently someone has neglected to do. I love fountains but don't have big ones for that reason. I have several small ones that are easy to keep clean.

Here are instructions for cleaning a dirty koi pond, maybe it will help. https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Koi-Pond
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,125 posts, read 3,639,022 times
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I think your first step would be to get a net and scoop around to see if there are any fish in there. Take the poor things out if there are and put them into a large, clean tote with some fresh (not chlorinated) water. Then feed them...

If there aren't any fish left (alive), I'd empty it with a pump or by gravity with a hose, scrub it out well with Javex, hose it off thoroughly for LOT longer than you think you need to, and then follow guidelines to keeping a healthy pond.

There must be tons of sites on the Internet that will help keep it clean and clear looking.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:32 AM
 
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I'd start by siphoning off about half the water and replacing it with de-chlorinated tap water -- there are treatments you can get at pond stores, or just fill big buckets, agitate the water several times, and let them sit for 24ish hours minimum.

Once you change out half the water, you could probably see a bit more. I'd repeat the process once every 4-7 days until things look better. If there are fish in there, this will prevent them getting shocked at rapidly changing conditions.

The rest of the process depends on why it's black. Sludge at the bottom? Hard algae on the surfaces? Someone dumped tar into it?

Of course, completely emptying it and scrubbing it out is a quicker option.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:42 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I clean mine out annually, about May. I built it and by design one end about 18" diameter is 2' deep, the rest 12-18". When I pump out the water the fish all end up in the deep area, a bit crowded but for only an hour or less while I clean out the rest which will have sunken twigs, leaves, and other debris. It's about 300 gallons. I've never used a filter (15 years) and the fish are always visible down to the bottom. It helps that there is shade and every spring I add plants that expand by mid summer to cover 50% or more of the surface, such as Water Lettuce. When finished I only refill about 1/3, which mixed with the existing water is safe for them. Then I wait until the next day and do another third, repeat until full. That minimizes any problems since the chlorine will evaporate. Our water has very little chlorine, and no chloramine.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:02 PM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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Thanks for all the awesome suggestions. If we buy the place I'm printing all this stuff out for reference!
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