14 October 2009

Cleaning the koi pond

I always enjoy watching fish of any kind swimming placidly in a pond. So when we had the opportunity of building our own koi pond, we were thrilled.

Today, the koi pond is filled with 70-odd koi and various aquatic plants (which I waded into the pond myself to position) and is serene and peaceful to watch.

But I didn't realise the amount of effort needed to firstly, get it going, get the eco system in the pond to stabilise and to maintain the quality of the water. The first 2 months, the water in the pond was green and murky with lots of algae forming and floating around. We were told that our gravity fed filter system needed some time to get the water balanced; as would the algae, which would need time to eventually stick to the walls of the pond, and stop floating around like some renegade sea-weed. I guess we are finally reaping the rewards of a lovely pond.

Still, there's cleaning to be done. Like yesterday. Husband was down with fever and yellow phlegm, so he gallantly asked me to clean the filter mats in the filter bed. What does this entail? Well, firstly, I have to lift up the very heavy iron grill doors on top of the filter bed. Then I have to stick my hands into the filter water and lift up the heavy, water-laden filter mats (they look like sheets of very coarse carpets).

Now the mats - they stink! Smells all fishy, mossy and yucky. And they are caked with brown-green looking stuff. So, I have to hose the mats down to get rid of the stuff stuck to the mats, otherwise it will restrict water flow from the pond, which flows to the filter bed under the force of gravity, causing the pond to overfill and overflow (thereby wasting water). Sounds all technical, huh?

Anyway, it's heavy and sweaty work, which I have done several times since we commissioned our pond sometime in March/ April.

As with everything, beauty requires maintenance.

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