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Hydra Crystal for Beginners

Hydra Crystal for Beginners

Ensure Sufficient Oxygen Before Treating Your Pond!

High air and water temperatures decrease the amount of oxygen to your fish. The algae in your pond absorb oxygen during the night. Your aquatic plants also take the oxygen. When morning comes, the oxygen in the pond will be at its lowest level. Gradually, plants and algae release oxygen back into the pond during the day. That is why it is safer to treat with Hydra Crystal during the late morning hours. Hydra Crystal very quickly releases an “electric shock” to the algae, which immediately begin to swell and clump together. At this point, the algae no longer release the oxygen absorbed during the night.

It is absolutely essential that your fish are supplied with oxygen, ideally from air stones or diffusers. Some pond owners assume that water features like waterfalls and fountains are sufficient, but with summer heat, sunlight, and significant fish loads, these water features may not be enough to supply adequate oxygen to the fish.

Oxygen is the most important element for life. All life revolves around the availability of oxygen. In aquatic environments like fish ponds, oxygen is the single most limiting factor for success. All aquatic life forms demand oxygen. From the fish down to the bacteria, any body of water has what is called an “oxygen demand”.

Of all the essential elements in water, oxygen is in the shortest supply. Bear in mind that the algae, bacteria and plant life take their share of the oxygen in your pond. The fish get what oxygen is left.

Ponds and lakes gain oxygen through photosynthesis by algae and plants and from atmospheric oxygen transferred into water at the surface of pond. If you see your fish coming to the surface gulping for air, it is a definite sign that your fish are in distress for lack of oxygen.

Photosynthesis may produce sufficient oxygen for very low fish loads, but it is an inconsistent source due to the fact that at night, algae and plants remove oxygen through the process of respiration. Most of the ponds and lakes we deal with have higher than natural fish loads and require additional oxygen to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Air pumps can be used to create a huge column of bubbles or “air lift” rising from the bottom of a pond or lake. This brings oxygen depleted water to the surface where the bubbles burst and create tremendous surface turbulence, circulation and aeration. Air pumps used in this manner will literally breathe life into your pond or lake.

Clearing green algae from your pond will be a very rewarding project. Success will depend on following a few simple steps. The basic steps to clearing your pond are test, treat, and filter, filter, filter!

Important: Before treating your pond, read the product information sheet supplied with your product! If at any point you are not sure how to proceed, we encourage you to re-read all instructions on our website until fully understood.

Jar Test

Water temperature is a factor. Cool water temperatures may inhibit the clearing of your water. Hydra Crystal is most effective when your pond water temperature approaches 60°F. High water temperatures above 80°F are not recommended for treatment.

A second factor is to consider residual chemicals present in your pond water, possibly left from alternate pond treatments, salt or water softeners. Some treatments might have introduced salts or metals into your pond water and may interfere with the Hydra Crystal mineral based clearing process. Well water and ponds containing a large percentage of rain water can be difficult to clear. Please request a sample to be sure the product is suitable for your water.

Therefore, we strongly recommend a preliminary "jar test.” Churn the water from the bottom of the pond up to the top to mix the algae particles which are normally settled on the bottom. This will make a better sample for the jar test. Scoop a pint (16 oz.) of this water into a clear container (half of a mason quart jar will do). Add 2 pinches of Hydra Crystal (as in two pinches of salt) to the water and stir vigorously with a fork or small wire whisk and observe. The Hydra Crystal powder will immediately start to coagulate the algae within the first three minutes. This will look something like brown snowflakes which will gather into one soft mass. At the end of 30 minutes the water will begin to clear, and the coagulated mass will have sunk to the bottom of the jar.

If your sample test does not achieve these results, it likely indicates that the water has a residual chemical or salt in the pond. In this case, you might notice that the water stays brown, and, after a longer period of time, you might see a fine, sand-like sediment on the bottom of the jar. The reason for this result is because the minerals in Hydra Crystal did not coagulate the pond algae. The Hydra Crystal minerals and other matter finally settle on the bottom of the jar.

If you are unsure of what is happening, you can cut the top of a clean, empty gallon milk jug off, leaving the handle. Fill with the churned pond water and proceed as above, except add 1/8 teaspoon of Hydra Crystal. This larger sample will take longer to evaluate, perhaps overnight. But the results should indicate whether or not Hydra Crystal can flocculate in your pond water.

If for any reason the above does not happen, please e-mail us using our Contact Us page or call our Customer Service line at 423-217-1331 before using the product to treat your pond.

If the jar test fails, and you have used alternate clearing products in the past, you will need to do one or more partial water changes (see Oxygen Requirements for Fish and look in the section Water Changes—When to Make Them). You may also wish to order Hydra Enhance, which would absorb a percentage of poisons, toxins, and pond treatments. While Hydra Enhance would not absorb 100% of previous pond treatments, it would certainly help.

A successful jar test means that you can proceed with treating your pond.

Treat Your Pond

Calculate the number of gallons in your pond to ensure you use the correct dosage amount. Use the formula:

Gallons = Length x Width x Depth x 7.48

For example, if your pool is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 2 feet deep, then 6 x 3 x 2 x 7.48 = 270 gallons. Round the gallons up and treat as a 300 gallon pond using three (3) full blue scoops.

Treat your pond in late morning to early afternoon. Make a slurry by taking a small container of tap water, DO NOT USE TREATED WATER FROM WATER SOFTENERS, and mixing your dose of Hydra Crystal thoroughly in the container. Pour your Hydra Crystal dosage around the edges of the pond and stir with a stick, mixing it thoroughly throughout the pond.

After mixing the Hydra Crystal mixture throughout your pond, dip out a jar or plastic jug full of your treated pond water and set it aside. What happens to the water in the jar represents what is happening in your pond.

The water in the pond will begin to turn brownish. This is the Hydra Crystal attaching itself to the algae and clumping together.

Filter Out the Algae

A fully clear pond depends on full removal of the coagulated dead algae. These clumps need to be filtered out.

The denser the filter media (such as our Hydra Pond Filter Blanket) in your filtration system, the quicker the water will clear. If you do not use the Hydra Pond Filter Blanket, alternatives are open cell foam for ponds or white polyester matting. However, filter mats for solids filtering are not sufficient to trap the fine, clumped, dead algae.

If you choose not to use the Hydra Crystal Filter Blanket and depend upon your regular filter, it might not be fine enough to catch all the clumps of dead algae. The coarse sediment filters are not adequate to rid your pond of the dead algae.

After one hour, check your filter (or filters) and clean it. You must continuously clean these filters in order to remove the brown from your water.

How fast these clumps vanish will depend on several factors. When the Hydra Pond Filter Blanket or fine filter pads are placed under your return line to your pond, they will filter out these clumps quickly, depending on the amount of water you are putting through the filter blanket. You will need to stop your pump and rinse the filter blanket every 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the output of your pump.

Suggestion: You can cut the filter blanket and use it in addition to your regular filter. Remove the coarsest part of your existing filter pack and insert a piece of the filter blanket as the last layer on the return side of filter pack. If you choose not to use the Hydra Pond Filter Blanket, it will take significantly longer.

If you do not have a circulating filter system, these dead algae clumps will settle to the bottom of your pond. Without a circulating filter system, these clumps, along with other deteriorating matter, can bring about undesired results in the long run.

If you have a live bacteria culture established in your pond biological filter, these dead algae clumps might be absorbed by the bacteria depending on how your pond circulates.

In time, after successive filter cleanings, the water will clear.

There are only two reasons your pond did not clear. Either your Hydra Crystal dosage was too small, or you did not successfully filter out the dead algae. If the water in the jug or jar that you set aside after treatment has stayed green, your dose of Hydra Crystal was too small. You must recalculate the dosage required and wait for 48 hours to retreat the pond. If the brown water in the jug cleared, but your pond remained brown, then the dead algae has not been filtered out. Continue to circulate the water, clean your filters and allow more time for your water to clear.

For help estimating the volume of your pond, try our Pond Volume Calculator.