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The PondReport.com believes first and foremost with customer service and trying to help pond owners and pond builders with their questions. We didn't start out as pond experts and actually we are always learning about aquatic management every day...even on Sundays when we are down trying to haul walleye and speckled trout out of the depths of our natural earth ponds. We strive to help answer any and all questions we receive because we know what it's like to try and find good resources for ponds especially on the Internet...we decided that the way we could be most effective would be to do unto others as we would have done unto us! We just try and help! We offer pond information on a variety of subjects and we receive many questions from people who need more information or who need expert advice.
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Please note that all emails or questions submitted to The Pond Report become the property of The Pond Report and may be reprinted. Your name will not be used if we reprint your question. Submitting a question does not guarantee a response.

Recent Questions & Topics of Discussion:
Email us for assistance or see our Questions & Answers Page

Here are the latest questions we've received from our visitors and some of the answers to pond questions. We try and answer all email requests quickly but due to the sheer volume of people trying to figure out their solar aerators, windmill airation systems, diffusers and ways to get rid of algae and stopping koi pond green water we cannot guarantee a reply. We do offer a paid consultation service for people who would rather spend $100 to get some good advice instead of trying to figure out why the pond leaks or why the fish have died or why there is algae growing in the stagnant waters of the pond. For the option of a paid consultation please visit: http://thepondreport.com/consult.html

Question: Shallow Well Solar Pump
Dear Sir, I am inquiring about something that I do not know much about . I am thinking about installing a solor power submersible pump in a shallow water well (50’) . I need to know what the least expensive route to go would be. I need to know what size solar panel would need to be used, how many batteries are required, I have been told a ˝ hp motor pump would be large enough. I am looking to install this myself to save on the cost. I would certainly appreciate your information on this project . Best regards, Jane

Answer: Shallow Well Solar Pump
Hello Jane, Thank-you for taking the time to visit our pond website and sending an email! While we do often have requests for solar aeration systems and for shallow well solar pumps it is rare that we do the installation of such systems...it's not that they are difficult to install..actually anyone could put a working solar pump together using a few components and solar panels and many clients we work with on farms or in remote locations who are looking for off-grid pumping want to do it themselves.

Whenever we are contracted to help design or build a system we use one of the solar retail stores that is closest to the client. Now that the Internet has made it possible for anyone to buy cheap solar pumps and panels we often just point people to our most reliable source. Looking at the online store where you can buy direct with a Visa or Mastercard the system you might find most interesting is here. See more info on this Shallow Well Solar Kit

For your needs we find a do it yourself cheap kit available: This is a 12 Volt Direct Current Premium Delivery Pump Kit which includes a professional-grade automatic demand diaphragm pump with a fin-cooled motor. The pump itself features a 3.6 GPM (216 Gallons Per Hour) open flow rate, Santoprene valves, Santoprene diaphragm, 45 PSI demand switch, as well as MSPT ports. This pump is coupled with a 110W solar panel, which was designed for high-end use and will deliver maximum performance and pumping power regardless of your location or situation. Easy installation Self priming up to 12 feet Can run dry without damage Motor cooling fins included One way check valve prevents reverse flow Automatic operation with pressure demand switch Optional heat sink can be added for additional cooling needs. See more info on this Shallow Well Solar Kit


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Question: Sealing a leaking pond
My place of employment is located about 25 miles west of Chicago. There was a pond onsight but it was lost during construction on the tollway that runs right by it. We have since reconstructed the pond but it has lost its natural seal. The pond holds water, about 5 feet worth, but the pond has the capacity to hold about 10-12 feet of water. I have seen it this full around the middle of may when there was heavy rainfall. Do you have any suggestions as to how to seal the sides of the pond ( I believe this to be the main reason)? I know of Bentonite and consider this an option, but I was wondering if you had any other suggestions. Please let me know.

Answer: Sealing a leaking pond
Hello Jason, While we try and design and build our ponds to never leak by doing proper soil testing before we start digging with the shovels the reality is that certain conditions can cause a pond to leak. We don't specialize in repairing a leaking pond as that often involves fixing someone else's shoddy pond building or poor choice for a pond site. That being said, whenever we work with a contractor to seal a pond we almost always use Bentonite.

Bentonite is amazing stuff and it is actually the same stuff that is in clumping kitty litter! I should know because I have friends who use raw bentonite mixed with sand as an inexpensive cat litter! Bentonite, or sodium bentonite clay as it is also known, swells up to eighteen times its dry size when it becomes wet. Expanded bentonite forms an impermeable gel seal which makes an excellent pond sealant. Bentonite is environmentally safe and does not affect the water, livestock, or wildlife. When properly applied, it will not harm fish. For these qualities, bentonite also makes an excellent liner for new pond construction. When sealing a leaking pond to prevent water loss through seepage, sodium bentonite can be applied directly to the soil in the pond bottom or it can be sprinkled on the surface of the water and allowed to settle to the bottom. There are three basic methods: the blanket method, the mixed blanket method and the sprinkle method. Sodium bentonite is easily applied. In the case of small ponds, it can be applied with simple hand tools and for larger ponds, with ordinary farm equipment. J. P. Self and Associates only sells granular bentonite by the tractor trailer load, 45,000 lbs. minimum,unless local pick-up.

I've heard of using Sodium Bentonite or a product called ESS-13. Check out http://www.pondsealer.net/ for the bentonite and Seepage Control http://www.seepagecontrol.com/ for the ESS-13 product. Depending on the size of the pond a liner may be the best option but you can try the three sites I suggested.

Email us for assistance or see our Questions & Answers Page



Question: Horrendous Algae
Dear Pond Report: I have horrendous algae all over my farm pond, and I’ve never had any type of aeration system put in. We had some flooding earlier this spring that washed who-knows-what into my pond, evidently causing this problem (we’ve been here for 7 years, and this is the first time we’ve had algae like this). Will the Clean Green with your Pro 7 rating and Pond Keeper with Barley Straw with the samePro 7 rating that you sell on your site work effectively in a non-aerated pond…with the same results? An aeration system is certainly something I’d be willing to install later, but as it is now, I’d be afraid of burning up a motor with all of the algae that’s in there. Thanks for sharing your expertise!! Sherry

Answer: Horrendous Algae
Hi Sherry, Thanks for writing. Yes the products will work in a non aerated pond. The CleanGreen Algaecide will work in pretty much any sort of condition and while the PondKeeper beneficial bacteria does prefer to have oxygen present to be more effective in most natural ponds there is an abundance of oxygen. Just follow the recommended dosages and you should be eliminating the algae fairly quickly. The results will be favorable and once the problem has been addressed you could consider an aerator, either a fountain type pump or a windmill, depending on if you have electricity nearby.

Thanks for writing and please let me know if you have any questions.

If you care to order the algaecide and natural bacteria you can order directly from our website where we sell the Pond Keeper and Green Clean mixes with our Pro 7 rating : ThePondReport.com algaecide & natural bacteria
Best regards, The Pond Report

Question: Pond Level Dropping
Hi, Thanks so much for providing this service! Our pond has a few algae problems but the main problem is that the springs have clogged up or were never strong enough to keep it full. Every season we loose a few feet by August. What can we do? Can we have it dug out while it is still partially full? Thanks! Yours truly, Gam!

Answer: Pond Level Dropping
Hello Gam, Thanks for writing and we appreciate your comments! We try and help when we can!
If your pond is fed by natural springs and the pond is not staying full then it could be because of drier than normal conditions which is reducing the water in the water-table or if it is extra hot without rain it could also be due to evaporation or even a leak in the pond. Because your pond is always lower in August it could be just the lack of available water and not a leak. Digging deeper wouldn't necessarily help the situation. In fact what we have done a few times where the water level is low is to actually lower the edges of the pond! Instead of trying to fill it up just make the pond edges a bit lower until you reach the average level. Put a new outflow or level control structure to maintain the water level and replant the banks so the pond will appear fuller!

Of course if there is a leak in the pond you may want to try bentonite (see the question on a leaking pond on this page) which is an injectable pond sealant. If the algae problems are a concern we have many products that we recommend on our website that would be helpful, I can recommend the best for your pond if you'd like. Another option for keeping the water full is to use a surface well with a pump to feed your pond. There are some good submersible well pumps, even solar ones, that can help pump fresh water to your pond and keep the levels high. Best regards, ThePondReport

Question: Spirogyra / Horsehair Algea
Hello. Your website is very informative and we are looking for recommendations for the control of spirogyra/horsehair algea in our pond. We use our pond for sport fishing, we eat the fish, and we swim in the pond, are these two products, the non-copper algaecide and the bacteria packets in soluble pouches, safe for these activities?

Question: Spirogyra / Horsehair Algea
Hello Fred, Controlling spirogyra/horsehair algea or any sort of algae in a pond can be a challenge if not done correctly however the proper treatment can eliminate the problem and make maintenance of a cleaner pond viable. We prefer to ensure the pond is well aerated, has proper aquatic plants to assist in nutrient removal, and is treated with beneficial bacteria to assist in the elimination of organic muck, ammonia, nitrates and other elements that can cause algae to grow. While such algaecides as Cutrine Plus (with their 9% chelated copper) can be effective in controlling a broad range of algae including Chara, Spirogyra, Cladophora, Vaucheria, Ulothrix, Microcystis, and Oscillatoria; the problem is that using a copper based algaecide is that it can build up in the organs of certain fish and be toxic to koi, carp and goldfish.

We prefer to use non-copper products and to ensure a steady maintenance dosage of beneficial bacteria both of which are harmless to life in the pond or people and also promote a balanced pond. Using Cutrine plus or other harsh chemical algaecides can lead to a dependence. The algae grows and you will add Cutrine Plus and it kills the algae and dies and decomposes causing more nutrients and growth medium for more algae and you need to add more Cutrine Plus! If you use a Non Copper Algaecide and then use a beneficial bacteria to assist in consuming the dead cell matter of the spirogyra/horsehair algea as it dies and sinks then you will be gradually be bringing your pond back to health. We typically start with an algaecide treatment and then after two days begin a regular bacteria treatment. The bacteria we recommend has barley-straw added which acts as a natural algaecide, this, combined with the nutrient eating natural bacteria, will keep the pond water clear.

The two step combination of non-copper algaecide and natural bacteria treatment that we use along with prices and dosage information is available here: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-algaecide-natural-bacteria.shtml

Yes, the non-copper algaecide is safe for use in ponds where the fish are to be eaten as it basically works by oxidation, causing the algae cells to explode. It actually releases oxygen in to the pond as it is applied so is not only good at killing algae but also good at increasing O2 levels. The beneficial bacteria contains natural strains of bacteria which are also safe for fish and people and will not affect taste or lifespan of your fish. Using both products together will really help knock down algae problems and increase water clarity and reduce sediments. Just ensure to apply the correct amount of algaecide and bacteria according to the size of your pond. Best regards, ThePondReport



Question: Bubbles Coming From Pond
Dear Sir/Madam: We live north of Dallas and have a small horseshoe shaped pond, about 1/3-1/2 acre. We have wonderful fish and enjoy our pond very much. Unfortunately, now that we're into the 100 degree days, the water level is dropping and will continue to do so until our next major rains. I always worry about our fish during these hot spells, but in the 14 years we've lived here and several drought years, they survive. Lately, I've noticed, though, as it gets hotter, almost continuous bubbles coming up from the pond bottom. Sometimes it is a single bubble or it can be a stream of many. In looking at the water surface, these bubbles are so frequent, it almost looks like rain hitting the water. What is causing this? Thanks in advance for your help. Barbara

Answer: Bubbles Coming From Pond
Hello Barbara, Thanks for writing. The heat of summer can cause all sorts of issues in ponds and the bubbles you see rising in your pond is almost certainly gases being released from decaying organic materials in the pond. It is almost always a question of too much protein in the water. Fish waste, leaves, grass, or any sort of organic material builds up at the bottom of the pond and when the conditions are right (hot weather, stagnant water etc.) there can be reactions that occur!

An excess of proteins in pond water can be the culprit causing chemical reactions when conditions are right that almost look like soap bubbles in the pond. They are usually milky white and you will often see the bubbles under water falls or over the diffusers or airstones as the rising bubbles movement seems to ride across the surface tension of the pond. If you have koi or goldfish then maybe you are feeding them too much; that can be one cause of over-proteinization...did I just invent a new word?

Probably the simplest way to deal with organic build-up in a pond is to treat with natural bacteria. These safe and harmless bacteria will not harm fish, plants or pets or people but what they do is reduce the muck and sediment so that your pond is cleaner with less potentially armful residue on the bottom. The bubbles are gases from decaying matter and when the days are warm the reaction is increased and it often looks like "boiling water" or...as you said...it looks like rain actually falling on the pond. The bubbles are not really dangerous but are more a sign that perhaps the organic load in your pond is increasing faster than the natural state of the pond can handle...this is why adding bacteria to reverse this process is helpful and can help keep the pond from aging prematurely.

We recommend PK Pro 7 Natural Bacteria which is a dry bacteria mixture than consumes organic waste in ponds as well as helping to prevent issues like algae which can also occur when the organic load is too high. In a pond your size I usually add 3 to 4 pounds of the dry bacteria per month divided equally in to weekly dosings. Our product comes in soluble pouches that are simply tossed in to the pond. There is more information on the bacteria and you can order directly online at this webpage: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-algaecide-natural-bacteria.shtml

The product you need is the PK Pro 7 Natural Bacteria . You are lucky to have had your fish survive. I work a lot with clients in Northern USA and up in Canada and they like to stock trout which are really not fond of warm waters. I have seen trout ponds with lovely rainbow trout suddenly lose the entire stocking because the water temperature rose above 76 degrees! I'm glad to hear your pond is doing well and the fish are happy and healthy! What species are you keeping? Best regards, The Pond Report.

Question: Getting Rid Of Milfoil
We live on a small spring fed lake (I would say it is about a city block long and about 75 feet across) There is quite a bit of milfoil? which we have tried to get out with the use of a long pole and rake, but recently there has been some florescent greet streaks that seems to be just below the surface. Some days it's worse than others and sometimes there is non at all.Would you have any ideas of how to get rid of it (or what it is) and also how to get rid of the milfoil? Thanks for any help you can give me. Gwen

Answer: Getting Rid Of Milfoil
Hi Gwen, Oh that darned Milfoil! I have had to see too much of that awful stuff! It seems that whenever we try and get rid of it manually it just seems to spread even further! Milfoil is a delicate species and when you try to remove it with rakes or razers it breaks into smaller sections that can grow and grow and grow making it a really tough rascal to get a handle on. I still am amazed that some garden centers sell the plant and recommend it as a pond plant.

While it does provide some natural oxygenation to a pond it is so invasive that it is almost considered a weed and therefore an unwanted pond visitor. In Canada we cannot use many of the chemical treatments that they use in the USA to deal quickly with Milfoil so we are forced to try and deal with the problem on a more long-term approach. The long term, and more environmentally friendly method is to ensure proper aeration and then to use natural bacteria to reduce the organic sediment and rich organic load in a pond that causes the Milfoil to grow.

We use a natural bacteria mixture to reduce the available nutrients that encourage the milfoil to grow. If you have an aeration/circulation/fountain system in the pond then you are making a step in the right direction. Adding a safe and natural bacteria will also help quickly turn the growing medium of the milfoil be less inviting. The bacteria mixture we use also has barley straw in the mixture and this barley straw is a natural algaecide.

The green stringy florescent streaks you see are floating algae and the bacteria/barley mixture will effectively knock this down and help remove the dead algae as well. The green stuff you see between the milfoil is a stringy algae which can be killed with a natural algaecide and then consumed by bacteria. In a pond your size I would use a combination of products: Start by really attacking the green algae with a 20 pound `shock treatment`` of Granular Algaecide (Non-Copper/Non-Synthetic)

For Algae Control and then wait three days and then start 3 pounds per week of PK Pro 7 Natural Bacteria for two weeks and then reduce the Natural Bacteria treatment by half as results warrant. There is more information and you can order directly on this page: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-algaecide-natural-bacteria.shtml Let me know if you have any questions about these treatments.


Question: Aerating A Koi Pond With A Solar Power Bubbler or Fountain
Hi! I have a 25ft by 10ft by 2ft(deep) koi pond. Do you have a solar aeration system that you recommend or that I can purchase from you? I see you have a small solar aeration system but my question is really will the solar fountain be sufficient to aerate my 15' X 10' by 2' deep pond or do I need two of them. I need one to run on solar as back up for long power outages that we have frequently. I always worry about the koi not getting enough oxygen when that happens because after awhile they start to come to the surface sucking air. Knowing what my purpose is perhaps you have a different recommendation. I like what you said about the solar fountain but just want to be sure in my system design. Best regards, Larry

Answer: Aerating A Koi Pond With A Solar Power Bubbler or Fountain
Hi Larry, I have seen two solar options for aerating small ponds that have worked. I have found the solar fountains for waterfalls or fountains are cheaper to buy than an actual aerator that has an air pump and diffusers.

If you are looking for a solar air pump with tubing and diffusers the system I use is a small pump actually designed for bait tanks but they work well in any sized shallow (2 foot max diffuser depth) fish pond. The system is very cheap, only $25, but I've found that one system is only good for 50 square feet. So in your case you would need 5 of the units which would cost around $125. This isn't bad because I have seen solar aeration systems going for beyond $3000. I have a few ponds where I buy a bunch of these cheap aerators, and keep a few on standby, and have had great results. I do like to recycle but these things are almost disposable aerators at $25 each. We know of a very good solar pump if you want to build your own system!

If you use this bubbler type of solar aerator you should space the five or so units in different areas around the pond with the panels pointing in different directions. The pumps only work effectively when the sun is on the panels which is why it is better to have five or six units around a pond so that there is always at least one getting good sunlight. Read more about them and buy direct to save.

If you want to use a solar fountain that just sprays water in to the air from a submersible pump you can actually have a very nice solar fountain that helps aerate and really circulates quite well which is important to maintain good beneficial bacteria healthy for your koi. The solar fountain I use is an 18V system with two panels and a really nice spray pattern delivered from the pump. The cost is around $280. It has two solar panels and what I like about it most is a three-year warranty and I have yet to install one where there were problems with the units. For a small Koi pond they are great and the multiple nozzles on the fountain mean you can really adjust to suit your pond. The system is really designed more for a pond like yours although if you don't want the fountain spray on your pond then the first option may be preferable. Buy the 18 Volts Solar Fountain Kit or Learn More

Given the volume of your pond and doing the calculation makes me think that I would place two in the pond due to the volume of your pond. Place the panels of each pump at slightly different angles/directions to ensure a more even supply of pumping. Is an electric pump not an option? A single electric pump, with fountain attachments included, would be cheaper than two solar fountains and would pump more water. The electric fountain pumps we use are here. They do much higher flow for less cost...but they need electricity so sometimes solar is the only way to go.

The solar system might be the best back-up beyond a constant electric system. Another back-up is to use a a product that is designed for algae control but actually works partly by releasing oxygen. We sell a product called Granular Algaecide (Non-Copper/Non-Synthetic) For Algae Control that is an algaecide and not at all harmful for fish or plants or pets or people and one of the side-effects of this granular algaecide is that oxygen is released. I have a few clients who use it during hot weather when the fish are gasping. While I prefer to use aeration and shade for my fish ponds the product can help in emergencies. You can find more info and buy the product here: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-algaecide-natural-bacteria.shtml

Question: Aerating 25 Foot by 20 Foot Pond Lined With 45 Mil EPDM Membrane
We are in the process of building a very large pond (the liner for the pond itself is 25x20- estimated to be around 5000gph) is it possible to find a solar pump that will work with this size water feature?? Thanks! Kathlyn.

Answer: Aerating 25 Foot by 20 Foot Pond Lined With 45 Mil EPDM Membrane
Hi Kathlyn, If your new pond is going to be in the 5000 gallon range then you would want to have a pump that can deliver around 2500 Gallons Per Hour. This will provide the best circulation and keeps the waters moving; adding a fountain will also help as will a waterfall to some extent. Solar pumps for waterfalls and solar pond pumps are usually able to pump only from 50 to 300 GPH unless you go to a larger pumping system.

Most solar pumps we install are not for driving water features or powering fountains put more for pumping from wells into cisterns or water storage tanks for use by livestock. The most rudimentary solar powered pumping system, even when a do it yourself attitude is attached, can be more time consuming and more expensive than considered. A solar pump to deliver 2500 GPH, with a battery back-up for night and day operation, with a linear current booster, can cost several thousand dollars. DC air pumps and DC water pumps have been known to offer short life cycles often burning out within 6 months of continuous duty even the Thomas DC pumps so many of our clients end up using electric pumps and pond pumps.

There is more information on pumps and a pump we recommend that can deliver 2500 GPH on this webpage: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-pumps.shtml Best of luck with your pond project and thanks for writing! Please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you have regarding your new pond and keeping it healthy.

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