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Old 03-12-2010, 04:16 PM   #1
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


I've had and maintained a smallish black plastic pond for several years and I keep it stocked with various types of fish as well as crawdads. The problem is that I can never see the fish or anything at all inside the pond really because the pond itself is black and the water often gets cloudy and dark. I tried buying underwater lights for inside it but they didn't help really.

I'm thinking of emptying the pond, putting all the fish and crawdads somewhere else temporarily, and painting the whole thing white. Then I'd fill it back up with water and put the fish back in and would then be able to actually see them.

So my question is, would this be at all possible? Does such a paint exist that is A.) safe, non toxic, will not kill or affect the fish, B.) is waterproof and will not come off underwater (even over long periods of time) and C.) able to be successfully applied to a hard plastic surface?

I figured I would ask a place like this before going out and buying paint and such.

Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:58 PM   #2
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


not a good solution at all. If the pond is in balance the water will remain clear. I have several ponds with fish. Event the black cement pond that is 7 feet deep allows a clear view of all the fish. Smaller ponds usually require some sort of filtration, larger ones do not.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:36 PM   #3
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Traditionally I would have said you don't have any good options

Any marine paint (that would take being submerged) could be toxic in such a small environment
A pool paint won't stick to plastic
Plastic paints will not claim to hold up under water, or to not be toxic in this instance
Tub and Tile Epoxies would soon crack over plastic, if they even stuck at all

I say "traditionally", because this past winter I was shown a product pamphlet by a garden center employee showing a paint for plastic fish ponds (and other things)
They didn't have it, just wanted my opinion if I had any or seen or used it
I hadn't...in fact when mentioned it I said it didn't exist
That's when she showed me the info

I'm sorry I cannot remember the name of the product, but I remember being impressed it was from a major quality manufacturer
I told them they definitely should carry it
They won't make millions (I said), but every once in a while they'll get somebody with this type of problem that previously had no good solution

If no one here knows what it is, I certainly will be swinging by the place in the next few days
I'll see if they ever got it in, or if at least someone there remembers the company or product
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


My folks had a number of ponds--all with black liners(roofing rubber)

The water remained clear--Ponds in direct sun can be difficult as the algae loves sun.

My father tried endless filtering methods--What worked best?

He built a long -stepped--spillway ,each step was planted in watercress --water irises--and a little blue flower(which I remembered when I started to type this---duh)

Any way, the water was circulated through the spillway and the roots filtered out all the crud.

The only maintenance was thinning out the plants when they crowded the spillway.

As to your original question about paint--I don't think that you will have success with that ,sorry.

--Mike--

EDIT--Forget-me-nots--How did I forget a name like that?

Last edited by oh'mike; 03-12-2010 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:00 AM   #5
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
My folks had a number of ponds--all with black liners(roofing rubber)

The water remained clear--Ponds in direct sun can be difficult as the algae loves sun.

My father tried endless filtering methods--What worked best?

He built a long -stepped--spillway ,each step was planted in watercress --water irises--and a little blue flower(which I remembered when I started to type this---duh)

Any way, the water was circulated through the spillway and the roots filtered out all the crud.

The only maintenance was thinning out the plants when they crowded the spillway.

As to your original question about paint--I don't think that you will have success with that ,sorry.

--Mike--

EDIT--Forget-me-nots--How did I forget a name like that?

I like that idea with the bonus of having watercress for your salads,good stuff!
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Freshwater fish and pond life are used to a muddy-dark bottom. Especially crawdads. Salt-water sea-life are used to a lighter sandy-bottom. What you are proposing will really confuse anything in the pond. Don't do it.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:56 PM   #7
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
not a good solution at all. If the pond is in balance the water will remain clear. I have several ponds with fish. Event the black cement pond that is 7 feet deep allows a clear view of all the fish. Smaller ponds usually require some sort of filtration, larger ones do not.
I've always had a filtration system and have gone through several different types of pond pumps and filters but the same thing always happens no matter what...algae, mud and other junk will cloud up the water and stick to the sides of the pond. The only solution I've found is to totally empty it out, scrub the sides of the pond thoroughly, then fill it back up with clear stream water and try again. And even then it only stays clear for about a week or so before getting dark and cloudy again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Traditionally I would have said you don't have any good options

Any marine paint (that would take being submerged) could be toxic in such a small environment
A pool paint won't stick to plastic
Plastic paints will not claim to hold up under water, or to not be toxic in this instance
Tub and Tile Epoxies would soon crack over plastic, if they even stuck at all

I say "traditionally", because this past winter I was shown a product pamphlet by a garden center employee showing a paint for plastic fish ponds (and other things)
They didn't have it, just wanted my opinion if I had any or seen or used it
I hadn't...in fact when mentioned it I said it didn't exist
That's when she showed me the info

I'm sorry I cannot remember the name of the product, but I remember being impressed it was from a major quality manufacturer
I told them they definitely should carry it
They won't make millions (I said), but every once in a while they'll get somebody with this type of problem that previously had no good solution

If no one here knows what it is, I certainly will be swinging by the place in the next few days
I'll see if they ever got it in, or if at least someone there remembers the company or product
This sounds perfect, if you or someone else could come up with the name of the product that would be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
My folks had a number of ponds--all with black liners(roofing rubber)

The water remained clear--Ponds in direct sun can be difficult as the algae loves sun.

My father tried endless filtering methods--What worked best?

He built a long -stepped--spillway ,each step was planted in watercress --water irises--and a little blue flower(which I remembered when I started to type this---duh)

Any way, the water was circulated through the spillway and the roots filtered out all the crud.

The only maintenance was thinning out the plants when they crowded the spillway.

As to your original question about paint--I don't think that you will have success with that ,sorry.

--Mike--

EDIT--Forget-me-nots--How did I forget a name like that?
Sounds like a good idea; I'm not sure how I would go about building a spillway but I suppose I can look into it.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:06 PM   #8
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


The bigger problem I see is that if you change the color so you can see your fish/inverts you will also allow predators to do so. Unless you net your pond I predict a short lifespan for your fish and crawdads.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
The bigger problem I see is that if you change the color so you can see your fish/inverts you will also allow predators to do so. Unless you net your pond I predict a short lifespan for your fish and crawdads.
I keep a wire mesh over the top of the pond (I had problems with some of the fish jumping out) so I don't think this would be an issue
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #10
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


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Old 03-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Any other recommendations? I've been looking for paints that would do the job but I have yet to find anything that would work.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:38 PM   #12
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


Put a blue liner in
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:04 PM   #13
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


I don't know much about ponding - but have you considered pebbles on the bottom?
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:43 AM   #14
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


From my own experience with fresh and salt water tanks/ponds...

The main reasons why your water is cloudy are going to be algae. Algae is going to come from having too high a biological load from fish coupled with not strong enough filtration. It shouldn't be caused by mud/dirt buildup unless you are getting dirt dumped in there somehow. You can beat this (algae) via the use of a much stronger mechanical filtration system as well as a very strong UV sterilizer and/or cutting down on the number of fish you have in the pond. I would also recommend putting in some water plants if the fish you have will not eat/disturb them (Koi will disturb the soil in pots which will cause murky water) as another form of biological filtration.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:15 PM   #15
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Painting a plastic pond full of live fish: help please!


I ended up buying a white tarp which I plan to somehow attach to the bottom/sides of the pond; I'm also thinking of trying oh'mike's spillway suggestion with the watercress as a way to clear up the water so that it doesn't get all green and murky all the time.
I'm still not entirely sure how to build a spillway like that though, so any tips or suggestions would be great
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