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#171377 - 07/03/09 01:18 PM Brown scum - help!
rmedgar Offline
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I know that this is being covered on other threads, but I want to be real clear about what I need to do.
First of all, when you say "lime" is it Ag lime or Hydrated lime?
My pond now has a brown scum on about 10% of it. A small creek runs into the pond.


Minnows spawn in the creek, so I put all of those sticks in there to try to keep the bigger fish out of the creek. The clarity of the water changes where I put the sticks. The brown scum is not coming in thru the creek - 10 feet to the left (upstream) the creek is crystal clear. It appears to me that the brown scum is coming from the banks, but we haven't had any rain in 3 weeks and this just happened in the last day or two. But, if the scum is coming from the banks, how can I explain this: That's a hose for watering purposes (haven't used it yet).

One explanation that I have is that my pond went from green to this about a month ago when my neighbor dug around in an area next door and possibly disrupted some underground springs that come into my pond. We hit some springs when we dug the pond 1.5 years ago
while we in the midst of a record drought. Also, I have more water going out of the spillway than comes in via the creek.
I lowered the pond about 6" to see if that would eliminate some of the scum from the top - no change.
I did the water in glass test and can see some settlement in 2 days.
Visibility is only about 6" (eyeballed), and PH is 7.8. No DO test.
One last picture



I hate to re-ask some of the same questions, but you know how it is - until the problem directly affects me,
I don't pay real close attention..... \:\)
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#171389 - 07/03/09 02:38 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Randy what you have is frustrating I know. It is not an easy fix nor explanation. The fact you have not had a rain in three weeks actually helps explain it. This is what we get when folks call with stagnant look. You have “ things” decomposing and gases forming, detritus floating, etc. The sticks could be adding to the decomp on the surface. Take some dish soap add as quirt to water and toss in the pond it will disappear for a while right it is surface tension. Long-term one of the best things is a fountain to create ripples to break surface tension and eliminate of push to the side. A good rain will have it gone for awhile. Nothing chemically I know of to fix the problem. I doubt lime will do any good. I wish it was an easier fix. I hope others come up with a good idea b/c with our lack of rain getting lots of call with similar situation on their ponds.
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#171390 - 07/03/09 02:43 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Greg Grimes]
Ryan Freeze Offline
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All you need is a couple of labs and a stick to break that surface tension. It worked at my place. I don't have the problem since adding aeration.
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#171401 - 07/03/09 03:38 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Ryan Freeze]
TOM G Offline
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Thats not a hose,its a really long snake.And thats not brown scum,Its JHAP in his guilli suit,and I'm offended that you would refer to him in such a disrespectful manner.
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#171413 - 07/03/09 04:16 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: TOM G]
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Randy, the good news is that the clay settles on it's own. It does sound like the springs were disturbed and usually run through vast deposits of clay. It sounds, and looks like you now have a larger amount of water flowing through the springs and the clay tunnels are most likely being widened to allow the higher flow volume. The turbidity most likely killed your bloom and the lack of sunshine reaching depth has reduced oxygen levels. It should balance back out soon and hopefully be better than ever.
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#171416 - 07/03/09 04:31 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Rainman]
rmedgar Offline
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Thanks for the replies. It doesn't sound like there is much I can do - chemical wise. Does anyone remember a post Bruce made about top water aeration where he had 3-4 nozzles shooting water across top of surface? That might help. I've got a small boat w/electric motor, and I run it around the pond some to shake things up a little.
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#171793 - 07/06/09 10:16 AM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Randy did you get any rain? We got some last night. that should have helped you out. Also not need to worry about DO with just your results, not sure that is happening or not. Like I asked another fish feeding in the am hours, if so not having DO issue?
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#171835 - 07/06/09 02:17 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Greg Grimes]
ewest Offline
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Randy that could be dead/decomposing plankton. Is it mostly on the down wind side of the pond ? Is your water, well water (no chlorine)? If so then hook up a sprinkler and have it spray off the dock and that should help. A little ag lime might help with the suspended matter provided you need the alkalinity.

Here is an example of a heavy phytoplankton die-off during hot dry conditions (no DO problem just lots of plankton).



I have seen zooplankton die-off look like yours.






Edited by ewest (07/06/09 02:25 PM)
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#171849 - 07/06/09 03:48 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: ewest]
rmedgar Offline
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Greg, I did get some rain last night and all of the "scum" is gone.
Still a light brown with little stain on the side where the creek enters the pond. I put some hay bales in the creek and a run-off ditch for the next big rains - I still think the problem is the springs under the pond. The fish are feeding fine, and I think we had a spawn, but can't see much, except FHs. Before and after a 1/4" rain.




[IMG
Eric, the stain/scum stays on the side of the lake that is not down wind. The down wind side is where the exit pipe is. I have hoses all around the pond and a 2" trash pump that I use to water the grass. Do you thing it would help to spray the pond with water from all sides. Would you suggest alum and ag lime? My PH is 7.8.

This is a shot from above the pond
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#171852 - 07/06/09 03:54 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
Greg Grimes Offline
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looks much better. I actually suggest fertilizer, migth turn it to nice green and longterm grow more fish. As Eric said if you need it and I think you do try ag lime.
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#171853 - 07/06/09 03:55 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
rmedgar Offline
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oopps....

This shot is from above the pond. All of the pictures and the in-coming creeks are on the left side. The pond is about 1A - 200'+ square.
Thanks for all the help. Rainman, any suggestions are very welcome.
Randy

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#171867 - 07/06/09 05:09 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Greg Grimes]
ewest Offline
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Randy if the rain broke it up and it is mostly gone I would watch it. A little ag lime followed by a light fertilizer application might be a good thing. But keep it light.
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#171928 - 07/06/09 08:52 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: ewest]
rmedgar Offline
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How much of each would you suggest?
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#171931 - 07/06/09 09:35 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
ewest Offline
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Randy what are your options on getting ag lime and fertilizer ? A couple of pounds of water soluble fertilizer is all I would add to start and that after a few hundred lbs of ag lime. How much lime did you put in when the pond was made? Based on Greg's comment you could get the spreader truck out and add a ton of ag lime but that is a guess. More info would help (alkalinity). If you have to get pelleted fertilizer then depending on what is available I would start with 10 lbs.
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#171982 - 07/07/09 01:46 AM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: ewest]
Rainman Offline
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Randy, I doubt a spreader truck would come out for less than a 10 ton load unless another delivery is nearby. Co-op's usually loan/rent towable sreaders. 10 ton of ag lime could never hurt though---just back the truck up in a few places and let'er rip.

The last picture you posted looks like a good source for clay fines in large quantity in a run-off, as do the bare patches shown in other photos.

If you still have the jar test water out, has it completely cleared yet? If not, and you want it clearer faster, you could use some alum. Your PH is great! Check for alkalinity and if it's over 100, then the hydrated lime would not be absolutely needed. If several ton of AG lime were added first, I'm sure the alum would be safe on it's own. Try a few dozen grains of alum per gallon from the grocery store to see if it clears your test water completely.
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#172169 - 07/07/09 02:42 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Rainman]
rmedgar Offline
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Eric, My options for alum/lime/fert are limited where I live, but I found some ag lime for $2.60 per 40# bag, and granular fertilizer in 40# bags(cost??). We didn't add any lime when pond was built.
Rainman, I still have the test jar - it's 6 days old and still slightly cloudy, but I can see clay on the bottom that has settled.
Went to the local grocery store and they don't have alum - but will order. Are there alkalinity test kits or do I have to send off somewhere?
I appreciate your help and hate to keep dragging this out, but I am very disappointed every time I look at my pond, and that's not .
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#172179 - 07/07/09 03:07 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
ewest Offline
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This will work. I would get about 10 bags and spread them out around the pond. Be sure to put most in water less than 4 ft. You can also dissolve it in water (bucket) and pour it on top of the water. I would first call your coop- ext agent (county agent ) and ask him about lime requirements in your area - he should know.




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#172207 - 07/07/09 06:02 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: ewest]
rmedgar Offline
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Thanks, Eric. Is this stuff anything like 10x10x10 or 13x13x13
etc, that you can get at HD? Would something like that do any good?
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#172228 - 07/07/09 09:33 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: rmedgar]
ewest Offline
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Most of the time ponds are short on P (the second # in fertilizer) and not short in N and K the first and last #s. So one type used is 0-46-0. One water soluble type is 10-52-6. In some state mgt books they use 0-20-0 which they say is usually available. Most ag co-op have something that will work.
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#172284 - 07/07/09 11:49 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: ewest]
Rainman Offline
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I'm scared of the peletized lime. I'm afraid it will act similar to hydrated lime and raise the PH too quickly and kill the fish. For price comparison, Ag lime in Missouri is $15 per ton delivered and spread and the pelletized is nearly $150 per ton but comes in those pretty plastic bags.

Normally alum is with either the canning supplies or in the spice rack.

ewest, I thought you weren't supposed to P in the pond unless you WANT an FA bloom! This is the first time I've seen it suggested. The aqua guides here suggest rates like 23-0-10 or 40-0-30 for example.


Edited by Rainman (07/07/09 11:49 PM)
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#172355 - 07/08/09 10:25 AM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Rainman]
ewest Offline
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Rainman if you use the pelleted lime like I pictured you don't have to worry about it acting like hydrated lime as it is not concentrated like hydrated. Look at the effective neutralizing power (a little stronger than ag lime 1882/2000 so it is 1.06 the strength of standard ag lime). It does cost more but if you can't get ag lime it works . Randy can get 10 bags for $26 . The truck will probably not come unless he gets 2 tons and there may be a delivery charge as well.

On fertilizer most water is short (the limiting factor) on P. Some ponds are not and don't need any fertilizer as they are not P short and have plenty of N and K. Most water has plenty of N but sometimes needs a N kick in early spring to jump start the process. Look at all the specialized pond fertilizer , Pro sol , mossy-oak's brand and the liquid ones as well - all are high in P and low in N and K. FA like all plants , including plankton , needs the same nutrients to grow. I have not seen anyone suggest high N or K fertilizer for ponds. Here is some text.

Type and Rate

of Fertilizer To Use

Several methods and types of fertilization

programs can be used,

and all can be effective if the

pond soil pH and water chemistry

are in the right ranges. Pond fertilizers

are available in liquid,

granular, or powdered forms.

Liquid fertilizers dissolve most

readily, followed by powders,

and then granular types.

Typical formulations for liquid

fertilizers include 10-34-0 and

13-37-0. The key ingredient is

phosphorous (middle number),

and any similar formulation will

be adequate. Apply these fertilizers

at the rate of ˝ to 1 gallon

per surface acre, depending on

pond location and soil fertility

(Table 5). Powdered, highly

water-soluble fertilizers, such as

12-49-6 or 10-52-0, have recently

become available and

have proven to be effective and

convenient. These formulations

are typically applied at the rate

of 2 to 8 pounds per surface

acre, again depending on pond

location and soil fertility (Table 5).

Granular fertilizers are more

traditional and are available in

many formulations. Most older

ponds respond well to a phosphorous-

only fertilizer such as

Triple Super Phosphate (0-46-0),

which is the most economical formulation.

Rates range from 4 to

12 lb per acre per application

(Table 5). In some areas, it may

be difficult to buy 0-46-0, but 0-

20-0 is usually available. If it is,

use twice the amount recommended

for 0-46-0.




Edited by ewest (07/08/09 10:27 AM)
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#172439 - 07/08/09 01:12 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: ewest]
Rainman Offline
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Eric, I certainly don't disagree with the effectiveness of Pelletized Lime. It is a PERSONAL fear that it raises PH too quickly due to being a finely ground powder. No basis for my fear. It may be totally un-warranted. Being Dolomitic limestone, I know the PH won't ever rise too high. I have used several ton of pelleted lime around the bank on bare spots and in the feeder creeks entering my pond, but was always afraid to add it in any large quantity directly because , as the package says, it is "Fast Acting".

As for the use of phosphorous, P, I was under the impression that most waters are already overloaded on it. No doubt some ponds are not. I don't know enough about fertilization to say anything against it's use. My goals were always to eliminate the algael bloom in favor of plantonic. But then again, MY water has so much suspended clay, ANY plant growth would be nice!


Edited by Rainman (07/08/09 01:19 PM)
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#172453 - 07/08/09 01:56 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Rainman]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Randy, throw a brother a bone. We have bought 20 tons of fertilizer this year, sell it all over the state and can't get one of my customers to buy from me. I must be worst at marketing than anyone. http://lakework.com/cart/index.php?p=product&id=31&parent=5
As you probably know with water soluble 4-8 lbs acre is app. rate not 40 lbs as with granular. Of course I do not advocate use unless you plan to do it all the time. It is simple process starting in spring monitor with secchi disc add when needed usally 8-10/year. Many more lbs of fish producded and much better looking pond is possible.

As you cn see rianman ype P is what it is ll about not sure where you got the otehr info but most blooms are controlled by lack or presnce of phosphorus. Also many clients have used pelletized liem in absence of ag lime. However you are 100% correct it cost lots more doing it this way. Randy talk to feed store, and bring full load as rainman mentioned and have them dump 1/2 for use on other places around your proeprty where needed. Put in 4-6 tons/acre and your done with for several years. This will if you can afford it now saves you lots of money in the long run and just might get lucky and clear your pond in the porcesses. Send us a sample and we can test the water alkalinity.
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#172471 - 07/08/09 02:59 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: Rainman]
bobad Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Rainman
Being Dolomitic limestone, I know the PH won't ever rise too high. I have used several ton of pelleted lime around the bank on bare spots and in the feeder creeks entering my pond, but was always afraid to add it in any large quantity directly because , as the package says, it is "Fast Acting".


Rainman,

Pelletized lime is identical to ag lime in every way except being crushed to a finer powder. It dissolves faster because it's finer, not because it's any different chemically. Pelletized lime dissolves very slowly, ag lime dissolves very very slowly.

Wal-Mart used to carry "garden lime" in 40 pound sacks. It's just a finer version of ag lime. If they have it in stock, I'm going to use a few hundred pounds to boost my pH and hardness a tad. Wal-Mart quit selling fertilizer containing phosphorous. They gone and turned all weird on us.
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#172475 - 07/08/09 03:23 PM Re: Brown scum - help! [Re: bobad]
rmedgar Offline
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I'm back, here's the deal. After conferring with Greg, and digesting all of the good info from Eric, Rainman, & Bobad, I'm having 4 tons of powdered ag lime delivered and spread Monday - the total cost is $45/ton ($180). I'm also going to do a little fertilizing and hopefully get the pond back in shape.
Thanks very much for all of your help. I'll update and add pictures at a later date.
Randy
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