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Thread: Pond Turned Black

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    28

    Pond Turned Black

    Seemingly overnite my pond went from nice and clear to nearly pitch black and/or deep deep dark brown. Last night I turned on the lights for the heck of it and you couldn't even see them. What would cause this? A few leaves have fallen in but not many. You literally cannot see beyond an couple inches into the water.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    28
    I cleaned all the filters etc... yesterday. They were pretty dirty but not enough to justify my pond turning black! I can't figure this out? The pond itself is approx. 20 x 12 with deep end of 3'. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,267
    What type of leaves are falling in? Have you recently added fresh mulch to your yard? How about new wooden structures, like pergola, pier or bridge?

    Different plants and plant products have different amounts of tannins and other natural colors than can leach into your water. Wood products that carry artificial or natural stains can also leach color into your water. Leaves, bark, etc may all be culprits.

    Have you added charcoal recently? If it was not well rinsed, you may have indroduced finely powdered charcoal as well.

    Scoop up some water and examine it in a large clear container, like a water pitcher. Is it cloudy? Or is it clear but colored, like tea or coffee?

    Regardless of the source, there is only one solution. Water changes - big and frequent. Check your water parameters thoroughly before and after each change, and don't forget your de-chlor!! Activated charcoal may also be helpful, but be sure to rinse it well first!!

    Good luck and keep us posted

    Sonoma County Susan
    Science Teacher, Ponder (Zone 9)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for the advice chemist!! The leaves that do get in are maple. I did put up a small wooden fence around the perimeter of the pond. I used 3" diameter landscape timbers cut to different lengths and placed them in the groud vertically. The only reason for the fence is to keep the critters around...turtles etc... I don't think I've had enough rain for anything from the fence to leech into the pond, but I'll try to investigate that theory. I will scoop up some water tonight to check if it's cloudy or just dark. This is a "virgin" pond if you will. It's only been running for about two months, and I've added no aquatic plants and no chemicals yet. It has no fish or animals in it yet (well maybe a frog or two). I live in zone 4 and my plan was to leave it be until next spring. I am also going to experiment with a bubbler or smaller pump or possibly even a tote box heater this winter to try to maintain a hole in the ice. I'd like to get that process down before I add fish and then experiment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    6
    I came across this thread and want to share my experience. I am a new pond owner (pond started two weeks ago.) Like above, the water was clear, and over just a few days period of time the water became brown, with clarity a few inches to a foot, but then brown. The depth of the pond ranges from 22 inches to three feet.

    From the answer given by Chemistx2 in a previous reply, I think I understand why-- I have begun watering the landscape mulch which surrounds the pond and I believe it is leaching into the water. So, I think I know the cause. What is the remedy?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Renton ,WA(seattle area)
    Posts
    275
    I had the coffee looking water -first time for that ,pond started 2002- I bought activated charcoal , about one week to almost normal again...No clear idea as to cause,but the fish didn't seem to be bothered by it. (pond is about 6,000 gal. used about 5lbs. charcoal)
    Bullfeathers



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