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LuckyGuy's avatar

Will filtering my pond with a 1 micron filter be unhealthy for my fish?

Asked by LuckyGuy (35622points) September 20th, 2017

My unlined pond is about 1000 gallons, dug out of clay soil. I have 2 filters running 24/7 but they do not clear the water. It appears that fine sediment and silt is suspended in the water.
I can temporarily clear the water by adding a flocculent which causes particles to aggregate and settle but I don’t like using the chemicals with my fish.
I added a large 1 micron filter sock and it seems to work very well. Of course, I have to clean it every few hours but it is really clearing the water.
Is this “super clean” water bad for the fish? Am I taking important nutrients out of the water? I have water plants, a little algae, and I feed the fish every day. Is that enough?
I don’t want to trade crystal clear water for dead fish.

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15 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I can’t imagine how it would be unhealthy. I also would be shocked if you’re able to filter it to the degree that it was bad for them. I suppose it depends on the species of fish. When I took an aqua culture class in school someone had the bright idea of using a radiator to circulate water through a heater. It was not cleaned out perfectly and it killed all the fish except for the tilapia which were completely unaffected. I don’t eat tilapia for that reason. When I kept aquariums I filtered them until the water was as clear as the glass and the fish did not seem to mind.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Thanks! These are goldfish. Actually they were “feeder fish” that I rescued. After 2 full years they are now 6 inches long!
(I flagged this question to fix the spelling error.)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have tried to raise feeders and they always die. I have never figured out why.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know, but maybe don’t clear it 100%.

Your park services or game and wildlife division of your local government might have some information that can help you. Whatever agency maintains area ponds and lakes.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes, you will most likely starve your fish. Many of the nutrients they need will be filtered out. There are self-sufficiency set ups where people have a perpetual cycle of water: water from a fish tank is pumped down over the top of planters for growing plant. As the water filters through the planters, it is recycled back to the fish tanks. The plants love the waste from the fish and the fish love the nutrients the water picks up filtering through the soil. If you entirely remove the nutrients, you will either need to feed your fish regularly or you will need to get rid of the fish.

johnpowell's avatar

I have feeders in my fishtank. They are not as large as yours. The biggest is about three inches.

I run the water through a RO and treat with a few drops of Prime and 24 hours with some airstones to help get any residual chlorine out.

I just feed them this and a bit of calcium every week and they are doing fine. I can’t imagine silt in water is providing anything helpful but is probably doing more harm. And I have a pretty sweet filter on my tank that gets out particulates.

I would personally try to keep the water as clear as possible.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a bubbler. and 2 air stones. I add my makeup water in over a period of 3 hours so there is no shock to the system.
I have 5 different grades of fish food to cover the water temperature range. Warmer, above 65F they get higher protein. That tapers off as the temperature drops and they enter torpor state, below 50 F.
The 1 micron filter is loading up after about 4 hours and needs to be washed out. I have several so i can have one working, one ready for replacement, one waiting to be washed, and one drying. The water is looking very nice.

snowberry's avatar

Goldfish are a kind of carp, which are bottom feeders. Your gold fish are rooting through the mud at the bottom, which keeps the water mucky. Ultimately you may need to change out the fish in your pond.

If you’re feeding your fish an adequate amount every day, I would doubt clearing the water using filters would hurt them, but to extend the life of your filters, you could try wrapping them in quilt batting.

Also try contacting the makers of your flocculant to see the effect on fish.

johnpowell's avatar

@LuckyGuy :: I would really avoid the Tetra fish food. I used it for a bit until I went to do maintenance on my filter and saw this

That shit is not supposed to be pink. At first I thought is some sort of algae. So off to google I go and it was actually the food I was giving them. It is just so loaded with dies that it made everything pink.

The API stuff I linked to above is good. And New Life Spectrum is also good (probably the best) but very expensive. API is a nice middle.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Thanks fo the tip! That is the exact food I give when the water temperature is above 65F! That doesn’t seem healthy. I have not noticed any pink but I will phase it out.
I had noticed the bright pink flakes mixed in with the food but didn’t give it a thought.

So far so good with the filter socks. They get loaded and need to be changed in about 5 hours. I’m filtering at a rate of 1 full water change per day. That is as fast as the socks can filter.

johnpowell's avatar

Right now I am in the process of moving my little guys over to a new tank.

I put them in a spare 10 gallon while I get the new 20 gallon one ready. They are not happy.

I had them in a ten gallon. Then I had to put them in a spare ten gallon on the floor while I break down their old 10 and replace it with the new 20 gallon one since I needed to keep the tank in the same place. A fishtank is against my lease so that is pretty much the only place where you can’t see it if you were to look in my window.

But if they live they should be much happier.

LuckyGuy's avatar

All those moves seem so complicated but I get it. You need to put the larger tank where the smaller one sits and the existing tank is probably to heavy to move safely when full. You’re doing it the right way.
I’d be lazy and let out about half the water then move it and refill when I got it in place.

They will really like the bigger tank. Add a set of programmable LED lights and they’ll think they’re in the ocean.

johnpowell's avatar

Move somewhat complete and I am very upset about how this went down.

The tank on the floor was a fucking horrible idea. Every step I took made them freak out and they would bolt into the glass. So I decided to just sit in bed while the new water got ready. Problem here is I live in a apartment building and my neighbors walking around shaking the floor enough it bothered the fish.

So I said “fuck it” and tossed them in the new tank. I am not happy about doing that. But I was out of options.

I still need to add plants and snails in and drop the tube on the HOB down. Fucking hell. This is not how I wanted things to happen.

johnpowell's avatar

And yes. I considered draining and moving the old tank but even half full it was too dangerous to move.

And it doesn’t help that a few months ago I moved a empty 10 gallon tank from my room into the bathtub. I barely hit a corner on the toilet paper holder and the tank fell apart.

So I am wary about moving tanks now.

11:51PM and fish are alive. They are clustering in a corner. Normally they would be asleep by now. I am going to give them a light feeding so they know I still love them.

edit:: And shit.. Sorry about making your question into something about me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Don’t worry about making the question about you. This is still relevant.
You brought up an excellent point about the fish sensing vibration through the floor. I placed about 80 bags of gravel drainage rock around the outside of the pond . When I walk up to the pond it makes a crunching sound as the rocks move under my weight. When I get to the pond edge they are usually waiting for me to feed them. That crunching and vibration must be the tell that lets them know I’m coming. Interesting.

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