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#209640 - 03/23/10 03:49 PM how long for fertilizer to work? update-Help!!
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
How long does it typically take for fertilizer to kick in and start a bloom? I'm sure there is no rule but is it a quick (day or two) or something of weeks? If we were to fertilize on the front end of a weekend fishing trip, would the fertilization mess up the fishing?

Thanks for any insight,

Keith


Edited by flechero (04/23/10 07:42 PM)

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#209655 - 03/23/10 06:46 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
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Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2681
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
It's all about temperature, Keith. As soon as the water is sustained above about 55, you have water warm enough to bloom. If it doesn't you may need more fertilizer. If the temperature fluctuates, hold off on the second dose of fertilizer.
Any other thoughts out there?
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#209666 - 03/23/10 08:11 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: Bob Lusk]
chadwickz71 Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 397
Loc: texas
does it not also depend on what your using. For example liquid fert, or cottonseed meal.

I would think the cottonseed meal would take a little longer but maybe not at all.

Just throwing that out for discussion also...

What are you using and at what rate per acre?
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#209700 - 03/23/10 09:22 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: chadwickz71]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 16514
Loc: Miss.
It would not effect fishing in the first few days if done correctly. If there is no limiting factor (right chemistry) and temp and light are ok then you should see results in a couple of weeks. Keep in mind it may be working for a while before you can see the results. I always start off slow so as to avoid going from 3 feet vis to 8 inches .
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#209771 - 03/24/10 08:16 AM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: ewest]
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
Thanks gentlemen. The next month or so I have very little free time so I was trying to make good use of a weekend out there but don't want to risk hurting the fishing as we have people coming in from out of town to fish.

Follow up info- I think we'll be using "Trophy Maker" fertilizer. I can get it through my local feed store. How long to wait if we don't see an initial bloom? I keep reading that it is visibility driven but that often time you need a re-application in 2-3 weeks. I assume that means if we get a bloom, it should be within a week or so?

Bob, I'll have my water analysis back in a couple days and will send you a copy to review. (re: gatesville)

Thanks!

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#209814 - 03/24/10 02:31 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
HoneyHole Offline
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Registered: 07/21/08
Posts: 100
Loc: AL
Check your water temp. If it is above 55, you should be OK. You will need a double dose of the normal rate for the first application of the year. If I have not gotten a bloom in 10 days, I reapply with a single dose. That is unless a strange cool down has brought the temp. back down.

-HH
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#209827 - 03/24/10 03:56 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: HoneyHole]
ewest Offline
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HoneyHole provides the standard suggestion by F&W agencies/Co-Op ext/ fert manufactures etc. It is good general advice and works well for many. Keep in mind that every pond is different and it is wise to start slowly until you have personal experience with that pond. I have seen many ponds that don't need fertilizer. Many others would go to less than 12 inch vis using the standard suggestion in a few days. That can cause an O2 depletion and fish kill. Know your pond first because it all depends. I use less than 25% of the suggested amounts and get good blooms (sometimes to good). If I used the suggested rates I would have a disaster.
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#209841 - 03/24/10 05:07 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: ewest]
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
I'm working primarily off Bob's advice as he's been to this lake and felt that fertilizer was a must... (and suggested quantity, which I'll have him confirm after getting my water analysis back) Other than his advice, I'll take things pretty slow.

Thanks again,

Keith

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#209854 - 03/24/10 07:32 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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Loc: Miss.
That should work. Good luck and be sure to let us know the results.
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#213553 - 04/20/10 04:47 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: ewest]
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
Update:

We applied fertilizer at the 1st of the month (6lbs/acre) when visibility was over 15 feet. 2 weeks later the water was noticeably darker and visibility was down to 11 feet (with a secchi disk). We just reapplied at 4.3 lbs/acre and are holding our breath.

I know it's a bit of a guessing game in the beginning but since we are on a shoestring budget for now, I am really hoping this bloom takes off without having to spend a lot more...

I was initially concerned about the mix and application but think we did it right. We diluted about 10-12 lbs into 10 gallons of water and mixed with drills and (paint) mixing paddles... then poured diluted solution as slowly as possible into the propwash of my boat as we idled around the lake. Can't imagine that wasn't mixed well enough to disperse correctly. What do you guys think?

Thanks

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#213559 - 04/20/10 06:29 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
rcn11thacr Offline
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Registered: 01/30/10
Posts: 349
Loc: florida
I have heard that is the best way for a poor man other than paying someone to do it for you.
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#213611 - 04/21/10 06:14 AM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: rcn11thacr]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
Loc: Ball Ground, GA
i feel no reason to dilute water soluble fertilizer. Sounds like you are monitoring visibility that is key. I like to wait at least 7-10 between applicaitosn to see full results.
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#214077 - 04/23/10 07:41 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: Greg Grimes]
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
Really need some input now... visibility is (still) at 12 feet and the algae has literally exploded, not to mention the other forms of vegetation.

Is is possible that the algae is consuming enough of the fertilizer to prevent a bloom?

As for diluting and mixing, we were told that if unmixed the fertilizer would sink and not be effective.

Anyone have ideas? We're about $600 into fertilizer and have nothing but light wallets and algae to show for it.

Thoughts of frustration and defeat are beginning to creep into my head.

Help!

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#214094 - 04/23/10 10:12 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 17948
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
flechero,

Don't panic. Yes the algae may take away nutrients from the phytoplankton but I'm willing to bet your phytoplankton will catch up. I usually get some filamentous algae before my algae bloom kicks in. In fact, for some reason my ponds don't respond very quickly and then boom I've got a good algae bloom. Last year it happened right after a series of thunderstorm. Almost made we wonder if nitrogen (produced by lightning) was a limiting factor but that's rarely the case.

How big is this pond btw?


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (04/23/10 10:13 PM)
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#214097 - 04/23/10 10:24 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
mikel Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Tennessee
flechero, have you made yourself a homemade secchi disk. Everyone needs one once you get things going good. I've seen pictures of some nice ones on the forum.
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#214165 - 04/24/10 11:00 AM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: mikel]
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
We do have a secchi disk. This is a 35 acre lake. Starting to think something obvious is missing but water tests and Bob's input all indicated we were on track.

Stumped.

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#214196 - 04/24/10 02:53 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
HoneyHole Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/21/08
Posts: 100
Loc: AL
When you say "other forms of vegetation," what are you seeing. Fertilizing a pond with certain aquatic plants already growing can be a big mistake. They will soak up the fertilizer and explode all over your lake, which will remain clear and facilitate weed expansion. Algae is often present in many lakes I fertilize at the beginning of spring. It is a judgment call as to how much and what kind it is before deciding whether to fertilize or kill the algae first. It is normal for the algae growth to spurt initially and then recede and give way to a bloom. This is not always the case, especially if a lot is already growing or a low dose of fertilizer is applied on the first go around. Mistakes on a lake that size can get expensive in a hurry. It may be more economical to get a pro like Bob on-site to analyze your vegetation issue and show you the way in the early going of the management.

-HH
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#214214 - 04/24/10 08:16 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: HoneyHole]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
Loc: Ball Ground, GA
what is trophy maker formulation? is it water soluble? if so no need to dilute it dissolves in top of water column as it hits the water. tells if similiar to our 10-52-4.
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#214229 - 04/24/10 08:53 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: HoneyHole]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 17948
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: HoneyHole
When you say "other forms of vegetation," what are you seeing. Fertilizing a pond with certain aquatic plants already growing can be a big mistake. They will soak up the fertilizer and explode all over your lake, which will remain clear and facilitate weed expansion.

-HH


Been there done that when I failed to drain and dry my bluegill production pond last year. The pondweed was sucking up all the nutrients and the water was crystal clear. If you skip any steps mother nature is going to get you!
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#214307 - 04/25/10 06:58 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
alcajones Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 3
Loc: TX
I am flechero's partner in this endeavor,

We have made two applications of fertilizer to Mr. Lusk's recomendation. Since the last application a week ago the algae has consumed a good 4-6 feet of the shallow water along the bank and the water clarity has gone from 10 feet to appox 12-13 feet. The grass beds have exploded as well. My best guess it is widgeon grass. Grass is growing in water all the way to a depth of 13-15 feet. The grass has always "matted" up but never this quick. I am at a loss as to what to tell the owner of this lake as he is getting concerned with all the algae.

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#214498 - 04/27/10 08:17 AM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: alcajones]
flechero Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Tx.
Trophy Maker is 12-61-0. I assume it's water soluble, it's labeled as pond fertilizer.

With recent rains, Bob's thought is that we've lost enough of the fertilizer and upper water through the spillway and drain pipe to prevent a bloom... Maybe what was left was "eaten" by the algae and other vegetation.

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#214795 - 04/28/10 04:22 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: flechero]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Field Correspondent
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
Loc: Ball Ground, GA
Yes I would agree that is the case, of course who am i to quetion Bob. Is the fertilizer like sugar not granular? If so yes it is water soluble. Seems an algaecide applicaitosn and/or tilapia are in order before another fertilizer application.
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www.lakework.com

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#214914 - 04/29/10 04:20 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: Greg Grimes]
alcajones Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 3
Loc: TX
Well my duaghter and I went out last night to top off our fish feeders and the water clarity is down now to 7-8 feet. I can't tell you if it is a bloom or runoff from recent rains. I want to think it is a bloom. The water has a tea color with hint of green tint to it. I will be back out on Saturday to check again.

Greg, thanks for your suggestions and we have looked into both options but because we are doing this on a very limited budget this year, 36 acres is quite expensive for a full tilapia stocking.

We have a small 1/4 acre pond we are putting some tilapia in this weekend that we hope to seine every 60-90 days to put into the big lake. I am afraid with the funds to purchase only 25 lbs of tilapia the bass would have a nice 1-2 day feast. Anybody else try this? Results? Suggestions on numbers to stock? The small pond is full of grass and algae except for a 10-15 foot circle in the middle.

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#214941 - 04/29/10 09:26 PM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: alcajones]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 16514
Loc: Miss.
If you can monitor the small pond and seine them out at least once a mth I would try 25 pounds if that is all you can afford. Read this for some help.

http://srac.tamu.edu/tmppdfs/4061519-280...36112d4b3c725f3
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#215544 - 05/05/10 08:40 AM Re: how long for fertilizer to work? [Re: ewest]
alcajones Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 3
Loc: TX
Went back out to ranch on Sunday afternoon and I believe the bloom is starting. Secchi disk readings ranged from 7-8 feet in basin and 6-7 feet on the upper part of the lake. Much better than when we started, when you could watch see in excess of 15 feet.I think the reason the upper lake is darker is because of the predominant south winds here are blowing the fertilizer that way. After talking to "flechero" we think the bloom may have started because we had a week of rains, thunderstorms and high winds in almost every direction. We also applied another 100 lbs of fertilizer to at least keep it going and see if the bloom will get better. We will see what happens in the next two weeks and reapply a little heavier if needed.

After studying the information the fertilizer is water soluable. And this application we tried something different. Instead of mixing in buckets and pouring in the prop wash I put the fertilizer in my livewell and drove around the lake for almost three hours letting the overflow of the livewell disperse the fertilizer.

Bluegill are starting to work 4 of 5 of the feeders, so that is also optimisitc.

Also stocking a bluegill broodpond today and a tilapia broodpond on Friday.

I have heard money can't buy happiness but it sure could get this lake headed in the right direction faster!

Again thanks for all of your suggestions.

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