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Koi & Catfish Can Cause Cloudy Water in My Large Pond? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Cloudy Pond Water.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: The water in my pond is very cloudy. I have some bass, bluegill and koi in the pond so I don’t want to use anything that will harm them. Any suggestions on how to clear this up? – Aaron of Illinois

A: The cloudiness of the water in your pond can come from many sources, such as heavy runoff from rain to constant sediments that fall into and around the pond. There is an element that causes cloudy water that many seem to overlook and it relates to a couple species of fish.

I’ve talked with some of you in the past and you’ve said one day the water looked clear and the next day it was cloudy. In quite a few cases the only factor that changed from one day to the next was adding either koi or catfish.

Koi Or Catfish Can Cause Cloudy Water?
Yes, these species of fish are bottom dwellers and love to stir up the bottom of the pond. Before adding these fish into your pond just understand that if you want clear water this may not be the best option. In a large pond or lake with catfish or koi it is almost impossible to clear up the water. The only way to do so would be to remove the catfish and koi altogether.

POND TALK: Do you have any koi or catfish in your large pond or lake?

cloudiness of the water in your pond can come from many sources, such
as heavy runoff from rain to constant sediments that fall into and
around  the pond. There is an element that causes cloudy water that
many seem to overlook and it relates to a couple species of fish.

14 Responses

  1. I’m having foam or bubbles in my pond water and dont really know the causes of this.I want to know if it can affect the fish negatively.

  2. I have leeches, look like tiny worms, stuck to the rocks of my waterfall. What can I do to get rid of them? I tried Fish Safe, but that did not work!

    • Leeches can be a real pain. If you can help remove their environment, you will have a better chance at reducing them. If you have a muck layer or cattails I would highly recommend removing them using MuckAway for the muck and Avocet & Cide-Kick for the cattails. You can also use a Pond & Beach Rake to help remove as much muck as you can.

      This should help you get on the right track.

      Hope this helps!

  3. I have about a 1/2 acre pond in St. Clair, Michigan, which have blue gill, small mouth bass and catfish. The catfish are pretty big. I probably have about 17 to 20 of them and would very much like to rid of them without killing them. I have a river down the road and would like to somehow catch them and release them. What is the best way to catch these things? Actually, we would like to rid the pond of all of the fish. The pond is our drinking water, which is treated with a “mini water treatment system” in our basement. The idea of having these fish in our pond with fish excrement and so forth, is not appealing along with having cloudy water all of the time. Please provide suggestions on what to do. Thank you. Please contact me at JLoriAnn2@aol.com

    • Lori,

      Thanks for your interest! Catfish in particular are bottom feeders. Typically they respond well to live bait (the ‘ole hook & work works great). Set yourself up a couple poles and cast out a large hook with a generous “gob” of worms, with a fairly heavy sinker about a foot above the hook. This will get the bait to the bottom to catch the catfish. Small hooks and small worms suspended under a bobber work best for bluegill/bass. It will take quite a bit of fishing to remove the fish, and once you have, you’ll still have to work on it every now and then since fish tend to travel to every water body via a number of methods.

      Hope this helps!

  4. The email I sent was asking about what kind of weeds I had (I sent several pictures) and how to get rid of them without harming the wildlife.

  5. Are goldfish considered koi? I have 9 regular goldfish bought for 25 cents each and now grown to 6″ or better in a small 200 gallon (est.) concrete pond. It is dark green. I also had a lot of rainwater added lately. Should I change half the water with tap water? How can I get dead leaves off the bottom?

    • Jim,

      Good question, goldfish and koi are two different things. You can read a little bit more about the differences in my last post called “Telling the Difference Between Koi & Goldfish”.

      Having nine 6″ koi in a 200 gallon pond is definitely a cause for an algae bloom. You can do a water change, but that really isn’t as detrimental as making sure you have adequate filtration or reducing the fish load that you have.

      To remove dead leaves off of the bottom, you can either use a Pond Vacuum to help vacuum them off the bottom or you can use natural bacteria’s such as Muck Defense to help break down the leaves.

      Hope these answer your questions. Another question for you, do you have any water hyacinths in your pond? That would help also since aquatic plants will compete for the same food source as algae.

  6. We have a 1/4 acre pond that is 8′ deep, is there any practical way to remove the koi from our pond?

    • W.E.Curran & Jane,

      Its difficult once they are in there, one way is to try and fish them out. This is a long process but overtime you can minimize the population.

      There is one way to start out fresh, but unfortunately it isn’t specie specific. It would basically wipe out the pond to start fresh. If you ever wanted to start out with a fresh pond, you could use a product called rotenone.

      Unfortunately, when koi or catfish cause cloudiness issues it isn’t the easiest to fix.

  7. What is the best way to get rid of Carp without harming other fish(bass, blue gills and crappies?

  8. What is the best way to get rid of carp?

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