A milky looking goldfish pond indicates poor water quality that can cause stress for the fish. Regular pond maintenance reduces the chances of fungus, parasites and disease in your population -- not to mention fosters clear water, ideal for fish viewing and decorative presentation. New water, advanced filtration and an oxygen supply are some of the methods you can use to clear milky water.
In most scenarios, milky water is caused by food decay, fecal matter and plant decomposition. The water requires complete replacement to remove the milky tint. First, remove the goldfish and place them in a quarantine bath. Fill a large trough or small child pool with some of the pond water. Add an electric bubbler to the pool for oxygen supply. Remove the fish with a net and place them in the pool. Using the existing water prevents environmental shock to the fish. Pump the water from the pond until it is completely empty. Hose the rocks and pond bottom to remove scum. Use a pressure washer and brush for a thorough cleaning. Fill it partially with water and drain again to remove excess filth. Refill the pond and return the goldfish.
Add an advanced filtration system to the pond to remove milky coloration. The filtration system is ideal because it constantly cleans the pond water and reduces the need for thorough cleaning. The filter catches fine particles and removes them from the water. Filtration systems are fitted according to pond size. They require the installation of a pump and often some plumbing to cycle water through the filter.
Oxygen is beneficial to fish health, and it helps process organic matter through the movement of water. Add a bubbler to your pond to keep things in motion and breakdown the particles responsible for milky water. A bubbler requires a power source. It works well with filtration systems.
Milky water is sometimes caused by spawning goldfish. The same also happens occasionally in koi ponds. If eggs are present on the pond bottom, goldfish are likely attempting to spawn. If a filtration system is absent, scoop the eggs from the pond with a seine. The milky tint will settle out after several days. If the color does not improve, the pond requires new water and a thorough cleaning.
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Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.