What's a good algae eater for a pond that survives winter?

PlantedCommunityTank132

My family and I are thinking of building a big pond mainly for koi. We were thinking about good algae eaters that would survive a cold winter. I know that goldfish eat algae, but I wouldn't trust the goldfish to eat all the algae in the pond. Thanks
 

PeterFishKeepin

Hi PlantedCommunityTank132 i have a 850gal goldfish pond, no koi yet but i want to add 1 or 2. How big do you plan on the pond being? because if its a couple thousand gallons you could have sturgeons but they get between 1 -3metres depends on species, for most koi ponds you normally need minmium 1000gals, a stugeon would fit, but if you had say 3000-5000gals sturgeons would be ok i think. Ive been trying to find a common pleco to eat algae but its been a struggle. for me water temps rarely get below 5-10 degrees celcuis and rarely above 25 degrees celcius. My goldfish eat the algae but they eat the longer parts and anything short like 1-3cm they leave so you need a 'sucker' fish to get those. There are insavive pond loach (dojo loach, weather loach) in local creeks so i have caught 4 and add to my pond they eat the short and longer algae and can get around 1 foot long. I heard of SAE in ponds but im not sure they can handle the temp for me, but they come from Asia similar to goldfish and koi which are good in cooler ponds so I may give it a go in summer.

Hope this helps
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Hi PlantedCommunityTank132 i have a 850gal goldfish pond, no koi yet but i want to add 1 or 2. How big do you plan on the pond being? because if its a couple thousand gallons you could have sturgeons but they get between 1 -3metres depends on species, for most koi ponds you normally need minmium 1000gals, a stugeon would fit, but if you had say 3000-5000gals sturgeons would be ok i think. Ive been trying to find a common pleco to eat algae but its been a struggle. for me water temps rarely get below 5-10 degrees celcuis and rarely above 25 degrees celcius. My goldfish eat the algae but they eat the longer parts and anything short like 1-3cm they leave so you need a 'sucker' fish to get those. There are insavive pond loach (dojo loach, weather loach) in local creeks so i have caught 4 and add to my pond they eat the short and longer algae and can get around 1 foot long. I heard of SAE in ponds but im not sure they can handle the temp for me, but they come from Asia similar to goldfish and koi which are good in cooler ponds so I may give it a go in summer.

Hope this helps
the pond would probably be around 10,000-13,000 gallons. do the sturgeons survive a winter with temps being at -20 C?
 

PeterFishKeepin

sorry stugeons can only really go as low as like 10C they should be in the 15-25C. maybe research SAE and common pleco
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

sorry stugeons can only really go as low as like 10C they should be in the 15-25C. maybe research SAE and common pleco
okay. I thought common plecos can't survive the winter in the pond?
 

PeterFishKeepin

well they can survive in like 10C, but i dont think -20C will be possible for any algae eater, but IK that pond loach/weather loach/ dojo loach can survive at 0C and possibly lower because i have experienced this.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

well they can survive in like 10C, but i dont think -20C will be possible for any algae eater, but IK that pond loach/weather loach/ dojo loach can survive at 0C and possibly lower because i have experienced this.
how cold do you reckon the bottom of the pond would be when its 2 metres deep?
 

PeterFishKeepin

hmm, not to sure but a bit warmer then top so maybe -15C? not to sure
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

hmm, not to sure but a bit warmer then top so maybe -15C? not to sure
if it would be -15C, it would be frozen. Ive heard that its like 4C 3 ft under the surface, and thought that it would get warmer the deeper the pond is
 

PeterFishKeepin

so sorry what on earth was i saying, ye it freezers under 0C, so if you said air temp was -20C your water would be very very very low single digits like 1-6C or low negatives but the deeper you go the warmer it would be so the top will freeze over but the bottom will still be warm engouh for fish to live.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

so sorry what on earth was i saying, ye it freezers under 0C, so if you said air temp was -20C your water would be very very very low single digits like 1-6C or low negatives but the deeper you go the warmer it would be so the top will freeze over but the bottom will still be warm engouh for fish to live.
okay. thanks for your help. I will definitely look into the loaches and other fish.
 

JustAFishServant

I would like to put out a quick warning for dojo-weather-pond loaches. I kept 2 large males in a 125G heavily-planted with a pearlscale, fantail & black moor goldfish. Not sure how common this is but suspect due to the low pH & hardness of my water, the loaches were starved of calcium. They attacked Daffodil (Dilly), my pearlscale, to eat her scales with calcium deposits underneath - they wouldn't normally attack Inkie the moor or Rangpur the giant fantail until one day, Rangpur was dead, her fins torn to shreds. Inkie passed soon after. I believe the loaches had a play in his death too. Dilly is the only one left swimming. As you might've expected, the loaches were out as soon as I noticed this going on. I added calcium powder to the homemade gel food which made them rethink attacking Dilly but as soon as I'd stop, they continue ripping out scales, wreaking havock. It might only be an issue I experienced but if it's happened to folks before, beware.
 

PeterFishKeepin

oh no, that its good for you or me. I got a couple in my 850gal pond with goldies i hope they dont do anything bad. I have had them for about a year or so and ive got no problems with large ponds i would say they have a lot more space and stuff so i guess its harder for them to attack, i have yabbies/crawfish so when some of those die my loaches can eat them i guess.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

I would like to put out a quick warning for dojo-weather-pond loaches. I kept 2 large males in a 125G heavily-planted with a pearlscale, fantail & black moor goldfish. Not sure how common this is but suspect due to the low pH & hardness of my water, the loaches were starved of calcium. They attacked Daffodil (Dilly), my pearlscale, to eat her scales with calcium deposits underneath - they wouldn't normally attack Inkie the moor or Rangpur the giant fantail until one day, Rangpur was dead, her fins torn to shreds. Inkie passed soon after. I believe the loaches had a play in his death too. Dilly is the only one left swimming. As you might've expected, the loaches were out as soon as I noticed this going on. I added calcium powder to the homemade gel food which made them rethink attacking Dilly but as soon as I'd stop, they continue ripping out scales, wreaking havock. It might only be an issue I experienced but if it's happened to folks before, beware.
Wow. didnt expect them to do such things. We have a pretty high Gh and ph anyways, so I hope it wouldn't be a problem. Should we add sand to the bottom of the pond, or would fine gravel be fine?
 

PeterFishKeepin

for me my 850gal pond is just decomposed leave matter, so there is a soft bedding on the bottom from a tree above the layer is around 5cm thick, i did this because its similar to mud hen it breaks down which is what yabbies like to burrow in.

for you sand/gravel or nothing would work i would do gravel though, sand may be really hard to care for in such a large pond, but i think bare bottom is your best option.

BTW is this pond in ground or above ground?
 

JustAFishServant

Should we add sand to the bottom of the pond, or would fine gravel be fine?
Sand's best for digging/bottom dwelling species like loaches/goldfish. Leaf litter and/or dirt is an idea. Fine gravel is fine, just avoid any big pieces as this could severely damage a loach, catfish or koi's sensitive barbels. PeterFishKeepin says a barebottom is an option too which I agree :)
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Sand's best for digging/bottom dwelling species like loaches/goldfish. Leaf litter and/or dirt is an idea. Fine gravel is fine, just avoid any big pieces as this could severely damage a loach, catfish or koi's sensitive barbels. PeterFishKeepin says a barebottom is an option too which I agree :)
okay. thanks:)
for me my 850gal pond is just decomposed leave matter, so there is a soft bedding on the bottom from a tree above the layer is around 5cm thick, i did this because its similar to mud hen it breaks down which is what yabbies like to burrow in.

for you sand/gravel or nothing would work i would do gravel though, sand may be really hard to care for in such a large pond, but i think bare bottom is your best option.

BTW is this pond in ground or above ground?
okay. It will be in ground. I will have to discuss what we will do with the bottom of the pond with my parents. thanks for all the help
 

AddictedAquarist

You certainly could try both comet goldfish and weather(Dojo) Loaches. Alternatively, you could do some SAE's or some CAE's and keep them inside for the winter? Might be a good alternative. This may also work for the Plecos!
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

You certainly could try both comet goldfish and weather(Dojo) Loaches. Alternatively, you could do some SAE's or some CAE's and keep them inside for the winter? Might be a good alternative. This may also work for the Plecos!
I would do the SAE's but I don't have any space for them in the winter
 

AddictedAquarist

I would do the SAE's but I don't have any space for them in the winter
Dang! would adding a heater to the outdoor pond be a realistic option? Do you get a lot of sun in your neck of the woods in the winter? I have seen some very neat water heaters made out of black spray painted PVC in a mirror box with a pump... Obviously we are approaching "more work than its worth" land. But just some ideas if you're handy!
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Dang! would adding a heater to the outdoor pond be a realistic option? Do you get a lot of sun in your neck of the woods in the winter? I have seen some very neat water heaters made out of black spray painted PVC in a mirror box with a pump... Obviously we are approaching "more work than its worth" land. But just some ideas if you're handy!
there's usually clouds in winter. I don't think its worth the work and money, to add a heater. How much algae does a goldfish eat?
 

AddictedAquarist

In my experience they eat more of the duckweed and the loose algae rather than rasping the stuff of off rocks and decorations. The two comets that I have eat snails and duckweed on the regular. They clear out my 40 breeders in about 2 weeks.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

In my experience they eat more of the duckweed and the loose algae rather than rasping the stuff of off rocks and decorations. The two comets that I have eat snails and duckweed on the regular. They clear out my 40 breeders in about 2 weeks.
okay. I guess I'll try the weather loaches then
 

JustAFishServant

okay. I guess I'll try the weather loaches then
Just a quick tip: although weather loaches are said to eat algae, they like protein. Shrimp & worms are a favorite! They also supposedly hunt snails. Mine didn't, they preferred ripping out goldfish scales to eat them instead. So although they eat algae, they aren't suckerfish and can't scrape it off rocks.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Just a quick tip: although weather loaches are said to eat algae, they like protein. Shrimp & worms are a favorite! They also supposedly hunt snails. Mine didn't, they preferred ripping out goldfish scales to eat them instead. So although they eat algae, they aren't suckerfish and can't scrape it off rocks.
oh. thanks for the info. Then what's a good algae eater that can stay in the pond all year round?
 

Lakefish

Why not just have a large population of bigger snails? Trapdoor, pond, etc.
Regarding winter water temperature, whoever said 4C is correct. That is the temperature at which water is most dense, so if the pond is deep enough below the frost line, that’s the temperature it will be at the bottom. I imagine at -20C air you’ll have a heck of a time keeping an open window through the ice for gas exchange.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Why not just have a large population of bigger snails? Trapdoor, pond, etc.
Regarding winter water temperature, whoever said 4C is correct. That is the temperature at which water is most dense, so if the pond is deep enough below the frost line, that’s the temperature it will be at the bottom. I imagine at -20C air you’ll have a heck of a time keeping an open window through the ice for gas exchange.
Thanks. I never thought of snails. lol. The pond will be around 2 Metres deep at one point. I know that it'll be hard keeping a hole in the pond, but I think its worth it. How long would the longest time be, where the ice would cover the whole pond? a day?
 

Lakefish

Now that, I really don’t know! Lol. There are so many factors involved. How many creatures are respirating in what volume of water, what is decomposing on the bottom and by what microorganisms...hopefully there is someone else from a colder BGC zone on here who can help out.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Now that, I really don’t know! Lol. There are so many factors involved. How many creatures are respirating in what volume of water, what is decomposing on the bottom and by what microorganisms...hopefully there is someone else from a colder BGC zone on here who can help out.
okay. sounds complicated. lol
 

PeterFishKeepin

i just went onto youtube and this video popped up on my reccomended, i instinty thought of you, this is a 13,500 gal pond, koi. seems very similar to your idea just yours will be in ground and deeper. Hope this can help you with some inspiration.

 

PlantedCommunityTank132

i just went onto youtube and this video popped up on my reccomended, i instinty thought of you, this is a 13,500 gal pond, koi. seems very similar to your idea just yours will be in ground and deeper. Hope this can help you with some inspiration.

okay. thanks :)
 

SparkyJones

I'd think you'd be in a pickle with any fish used for algae control alone in mid summer and most won't survive harsh winters.

Floating plants, Lilly pads and stuff covering about 60%+ of the surface as well as other plantings, should remove most of the stuff algae like to use, and provide sunlight cover to reduce algae growth once balanced.
You best bet is going with species that survive winter each year in your area for plant selections anything that isn't native should be potted and removable when it gets too cold.

I don't think you'll find any algae eating fish that's going to do the job. A couple large common plecos maybe, but you'd need to have a kiddie pool or something in the house to over winter them catch them each winter and release them again each summer and still, not sure thy would keep up with the algae at mid summer. It's not so much the algae as it will be green water from it.

Barley straw should assist with algae control also toss it in it will break down, safe for other plants and fish and will decimate algae growth
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

I'd think you'd be in a pickle with any fish used for algae control alone in mid summer and most won't survive harsh winters.

Floating plants, Lilly pads and stuff covering about 60%+ of the surface as well as other plantings, should remove most of the stuff algae like to use, and provide sunlight cover to reduce algae growth once balanced.
You best bet is going with species that survive winter each year in your area for plant selections anything that isn't native should be potted and removable when it gets too cold.

I don't think you'll find any algae eating fish that's going to do the job. A couple large common plecos maybe, but you'd need to have a kiddie pool or something in the house to over winter them catch them each winter and release them again each summer and still, not sure thy would keep up with the algae at mid summer. It's not so much the algae as it will be green water from it.

Barley straw should assist with algae control also toss it in it will break down, safe for other plants and fish and will decimate algae growth
okay. thanks :)
 

BPSabelhaus

Good filtration, lots of plants, reasonable bioload = minimal algae issues. I had more algae when I first started the pond in almost full shade than I do now with full sun and a lot plants.

But if we’re thinking loaches…

Dr Zoidberg says hello.


F95A253D-32D2-4F77-B4F5-6B4BB8B83816.jpeg
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Good filtration, lots of plants, reasonable bioload = minimal algae issues. I had more algae when I first started the pond in almost full shade than I do now with full sun and a lot plants.

But if we’re thinking loaches…

Dr Zoidberg says hello.


F95A253D-32D2-4F77-B4F5-6B4BB8B83816.jpeg
okay. thanks for the advice
 

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