Pond is in crisis

dpw1982dpw1982 Posts: 8
My pond which is a half whiskey barrell is not doing well.I have a solar powered fountain with plenty of plants but the algae is out of control and I’m unsure what to do.I have 3 fish in it and they are currently seemingly struggling for oxygen.Ive today put in some barley nets to try to clean the water but could do with some more advice from any pond experts.Idealy I’d like to keep it natural ie no electric pond filters PLEASE HELP 
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  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,145

    Your first step must be to rescue the fish. The algae does not affect them, the problem is that there is not enough oxygen in the water. A half barrel is very small and the water heats up quickly. Once it is warm it does not hold very much oxygen anyway, even if you change it regularly. Remove half the water and replace it with fresh tap water to allow the poor things to breathe. Next you should put some oxygenators into the barrel but keep monitoring it to make sure they are ok. The fountain is not enough to freshen the water.

    Algae is a natural problem which is hard to control, especially in small containers. What plants do you have? How much bright light does the barrel get? The barley nets will not help the fish and may not solve the problem, either. What sort of algae do you have?

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,441
    If the pond is near the house you could consider getting a small air pump designed for use in aquariums and run an airline from that to the pond with an airstone on the end.  The pump itself will need to be kept inside. That would certainly help with oxygen levels.  As Posy says, warm water holds less oxygen than cold.  Also, if the pond is in direct sun it will heat up rapidly and fish don't handle sudden temperature changes well.
  • ZenjeffZenjeff Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 506
    If you have a sunny spot for the panel use a solar air pump I have one and find them very good 
  • Tim BurrTim Burr Posts: 372
    The barley straw bales won't work immediately and can take a few weeks to start working.  With such a small 'pond' I'd rescue the fish for the moment and concentrate getting the balance right and then, if it does get better, then re-indroduce the fish, but personally think you'd (or they) would struggle.  Get some water oxygenator plants.
  • dpw1982dpw1982 Posts: 8
    Thanks for all your suggestions, I woke up this morning to a cloudy grey pond which I believe to be dead algae so Ive decided to clean it right out and start again.Thinking I might leave the fish out until it settles down.Going to get a small filter as well as my small fountain I already have to help keep it clear. As I do not have a power supply are solar powered pumps any good ??? 
  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,145
    Hmm. It shouldn't be grey and why would the algae be dead? I think you are right to start from scratch. If you wish to put the fish back in it would be better in a mainly shady spot, but the solar system won't work there. I honestly think the fish would be better somewhere else. It's a shame but I can't see an alternative. 
  • dpw1982dpw1982 Posts: 8
  • dpw1982dpw1982 Posts: 8
    It gets shade quite a bit throughout the day looking clear now as you can see from photo has plenty of plants to water ratio just hoping it stays like this now.Do water snails help with eating of algae?or is that a myth internet seems to contradict itself
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 46,975
    I don't think there's enough oxygenating plants in there ... I would want enough of something like a native Hornwort to occupy about a third of the water volume.  
    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • dpw1982dpw1982 Posts: 8
    I do have 2 bunches of hornwort in there but I maybe shall get some more to help thanks 
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