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#230296 - 08/09/10 05:09 PM Homemade weed killer. Pond safe??
backabit Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/03
Posts: 22
Loc: Indiana
For the past 8 years I have used high dollar weed killer. I read online how to make homemade weed killer. The recipe is 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 cup salt, and 2 TBS of dish liquid soap. I was wondering if this recipe would be safe to use around my pond. I would not spray it in the pond but around the rocky banks. Below is a link to a photo of my pond. You can see I get grass/weeds that grow in the rocky bank.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30168652&l=ba4acfbc35&id=1263764433

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#230298 - 08/09/10 05:20 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: backabit]
backabit Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/03
Posts: 22
Loc: Indiana
If this wouldn't be safe can you give me other options? I would like to know what other folks use. I use a 3 gallon sprayer. What do you use and what would be the recipe to make 3 gallons?
If using reward, how much reward should I use in a 3 gallon sprayer?


Edited by backabit (08/09/10 05:52 PM)

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#230354 - 08/10/10 08:19 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: backabit]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
That looks more like a recipe for disaster than weed killer to me. Little bit of vegetative cure with the vinegar, little dose of soil sterilization with the salt and some soap for surfactant.

Inevitably you get some water contamination using anything that close to a pond. Many commercial products recommend a 25 foot clearance. And they dissipate. That salt is there for decades. I don't know if it ever breaks down, but after enough gets into your pond, maybe you can farm oysters.

Anything you choose to use, including Reward, has specific directions right on the package/bottle. I would not go that route, I'd use a glyphosate product on terrestial plants, but that is a personal choice.

You know what grows in salty soil?


Edited by The Pond Frog (08/10/10 08:31 AM)

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#230363 - 08/10/10 09:01 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
backabit Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/03
Posts: 22
Loc: Indiana
Okay I will not use the vinegar recipe around the pond. But will still like to know what others use to kill their weeds around their ponds.

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#230370 - 08/10/10 09:35 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: backabit]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
It's not the vinegar that is the problem it is the salt. Australia has some of the highest naturally occuring salty soil in the world. It is close to sterile. Whoever posted that homemade recipe is a bit reckless. Salinity in the soil is a major agricultural problem. It can make formerly useful farmland useless. And the effects of runoff into a pond, which would happen, would be brackish waters, sedimentation and eventually a sterile pond.

The number one used herbicide in the world both privately and commercially is Glyphosate. Formerly owned by Monsanto. Trademark, Roundup. Not no more. I'm using that Wise Up product at $23 per gallon, for a 41% active ingrediant. But I only use it near water during drawdowns and Summer. With a 3 gal mix I'd use about 10 oz.

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#230382 - 08/10/10 11:31 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
esshup Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/09
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TPF, do you have Rural King or Big R stores near you? I bought 2.5 gallons of "Big N Tuff" which is 41% Glyphosate for $39.95 + sales tax from Big R. Rural King was the same price.
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#230394 - 08/10/10 01:15 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: esshup]
backabit Offline
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Registered: 10/19/03
Posts: 22
Loc: Indiana
Yes I have a Rural King, Farm and Family, Big R, and Tractor supply. I have using aqua pro with cide kick. For a quart of aqua pro I have been paying $129.00. I only use 2 oz but it adds up quick. Looking for something that is just as good but don't break the bank. Thanks for the feedback. Seems like Glyphosate is the key here. I need to look around in the stores at what they have and what the active ingredient is.

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#230398 - 08/10/10 01:41 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: backabit]
Cecil Baird1 Online   content
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Backabit,

I respectfully disagree with Pondfrog. I can't imagine that little bit of salt would be a problem if it washed into the pond. Heck I use more salt than that all the time with my fish and it does them good. In aquaculture it's considered the 'aspirin" of aquaculture. We use it for hauling to reduce osmotic stress.

Some bodies of water have naturally elevated levels of salt and the fish do just fine. Bruce Condello's ponds have 5 gm/l.


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (08/10/10 01:42 PM)
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#230400 - 08/10/10 01:56 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
You can respectfully agree or disagree, putting a little bit of salt in with your fish and dumping cuploads on soil are two different things. Salt accumulates, it will leech into your pond and then pretty much raise the salinity to the point nothing will grow in your pond either. The bodies of water on this planet with high salinity are dead zones. Put your fish in them and see what happens. No salt for me, not even when I transport fish. I don't beleive in it.

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#230408 - 08/10/10 03:22 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
Greg Grimes Offline
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TPF, sorry I have to agree with Cecil here. Look at the math I can dump thousand lbs of salt (they do this in aquaclture) in a 1 acre pond and see what the ppt level is. It is so diluate at that point then guess what its back to what it was prior. In fact many species of fish do well with a little salinity to the water. Salt is one of the best things around for fish health. We use it often for fish hauling and helping sick fish.
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#230413 - 08/10/10 03:36 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
Chuck Fikes Offline
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Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Aubrey Texas
This homemade weed killer has worked good for me. It is the organic formula from Howard Garret. It is best to use a very clean soap I normally use something like Dr. Bonner's. The hardest part is finding 10% vinegar look for pickeling vinegar or try an organic garden center or feed store in your area. Also, do not spray at the hottest time of the day the top of the plants will burn fast and it will not kill the root.

Vinegar Herbicide Formula:

1 gallon of 10% vinegar
Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant (Bio Wash)
Add molasses at 1 tablespoon per gallon to the vinegar formula
Do not add water

The other option is replace the salt in your formula with an ounce or two of orange oil and see what happens.
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#230427 - 08/10/10 05:22 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Chuck Fikes]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
This is the same ol retread disagreement. Some people believe in salt, others don't. When you transport fish the water in the tanks/bags is less than the salt in the fish. It just decreases the osmotic gradient bteween the fish and the transport water.

Putting it in the soil is totally different. It is not a temp fix. It is not changing the ppm of salt in the water for proper levels. It is uncontrolled salinity of the watershed. If the pond is on the high side already it can push it over the edge. Salt is highly soluable. It naturally leaches out of soil into water.

I don't use salt in fish I transport because I use the water they live in, and don't need to address osmoregulation. I don't use sedatives, I don't use antimicrobial. Salt baths do not improve a fishes health. Just take a look at the Salton Sea, Tilapia will soon be the only species to survive there.

I don't use homemade weed killers, I don't use salt on fish. I don't put salt on soil, or my food. I really don't care who agrees or disagrees. To me salt is toxic to fish and plant life.

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#230434 - 08/10/10 06:19 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
Cecil Baird1 Online   content
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana

Pond frog,

I respect your opinion but just happen to disagree. I think the small amount of salt we are talking here is quite minor, especially considering salts are naturally found everywhere.

It's O.K. to disagree though. I still value your experience and opinions highly.
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#230453 - 08/10/10 08:08 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
catmandoo Online   content
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4639
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Backabit,

For nearly sixty years I've used vinegar, and a little salt, on my cucumbers, salads, and holiday headcheese. Sometimes I use both on my fish and chips too. I always wash my hands with a good soap before I eat. But, I wouldn't ever think of using a commercial weed killer for any of these things.

I've also used strong vinegar, with a little detergent, to kill weeds in my walkways, the gravel edging around the house, and down the middle of my driveway. It works very well. Here too, I wouldn't ever use a commercial weed killer that could get on my pets or grand children.

It is a little hard to find, but I try to use 20% agricultural vinegar, cut with a little water. Farm supply stores frequently carry it. Being a moderately strong acid, it needs careful handling. When I can't find it, I try to use straight 8% pickling vinegar.

I've never added salt to my weed killer, but in the amounts you posted, I certainly wouldn't expect an issue on soil or around a pond. Based on the info we have about your pond, a cup of salt would be extremely difficult to even detect in over a million gallons of water.

I would have a concern about commercial weed killer, especially if you have lilies or other water plants you wish to keep. It wouldn't take much of a Roundup-type chemical slick to do serious damage. Yet, the salt and vinegar will mix with the water and disperse very quickly.

For the most part, I'd try weed whacking. Around my pond I mainly use either my weed whacker, or I back my bushhog over the edge for especially difficult growth.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
Ken
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#230540 - 08/11/10 08:52 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: catmandoo]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2681
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Backabit,
I completely understand the science behind what you are wanting to do. The amount of salt you want to use will do absolutely no damage to your environment.
Pond Frog is wrong.
It takes more than 4,000 ppm total salts in fresh water to disrupt fish's ability to reproduce. That's more than 10,000 pounds of salt in one acre foot of water. And, even with that much salt, fish and many fresh water plants can still live and thrive. Salt is a critical compound used in transport of fish. It helps the fish keep from sloughing their slime, it fights parasites and stabilizes crowded fish in transport tanks. I managed a hatchery for several years where the water supply naturally has 3,500 ppm salts. People used that water to irrigate coastal bermuda, but they didn't let the water sit long. They flooded, then drained the fields and the grass took up what little salt was left, then the water went on down the irrigation system. My fish never had any of the traditional diseases and thrived in that water.
The home recipe you want to use will not do any damage to your pond. Use it if you wish.
If you use it, mist it onto the grass and a gallon of the stuff will cover a lot of ground.
Salt, vinegar...or even any governmentally approved herbicide...if overused or abused will cause environmental damage.
Bottom line is this...what little bit of salt (1 cup) used around a periphery of a pond will do no harm.
Looking at the picture of your pond, I bet you won't need to use more than a half gallon of that mix to do what you want to do.
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#230555 - 08/11/10 11:25 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Bob Lusk]
HoneyHole Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/21/08
Posts: 100
Loc: AL
Backabit,

I second all that Bob says about the little amount of salt being of no concern for the health of your pond. In fact after enough applications you might get enough built up in the soil to prevent future vegetaion (doubtful though), which is what you are trying to accomplish. I too have experienced farming fish at 3500 ppt salt. Fish farmers around here dump salt by the dump truck load in ponds to help their fish. On another note, you should be able to find locally some 41-53% generic glyphosphate product for @ $20/gal. Mixing at a rate of 2-3 oz. per gal and an oz. of surfactant or soap, that comes to a big savings over what you are paying now.

-HH
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#230561 - 08/11/10 12:02 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: HoneyHole]
The Pond Frog Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
How many cups of salt we talking here. Guy says his 3 0z of herbicide add up. So how many cups of salt would add up? Then multiply that annual salt loading over the years. But how about we go outside the forum, from a bunch of pond managers to a Water Quality Specialist, from a Lake Management Unit?

http://www.iappo.org/pdf/IAPPO07_RoadSalt.pdf

Pretty much shoots down the no effect argument, and this is from a water quality expert. Road salt trickles in from the melting, it is not dumped or sprayed cup after cup pondside.


Edited by The Pond Frog (08/11/10 12:02 PM)

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#230566 - 08/11/10 12:53 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
Cecil Baird1 Online   content
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 17803
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
Road salt trickles in from the melting, it is not dumped or sprayed cup after cup pondside.


But they also put truck salt down by the truckload tons right next to roadside ditches and creeks, at least around me. I wasn't aware it was dangerous in the water table just not what we want in our drinking water.


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (08/11/10 12:54 PM)
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#230574 - 08/11/10 02:09 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
The Pond Frog Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
What part of accumulation in aquatic systems and organisms do not need cloride do you not understand? Truckloads of salt getting dispersed on a wet road get diluted and cover a very large area, and most of them go out the roadside storm drains eventually going back to sea. Those cup after cup after cup are going straight into that pond and accumulating. You can argue all you want about road salts are not cupfuls of salt pondside. The impacts are what I have been stating all along, NEGATIVE!

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#230591 - 08/11/10 07:04 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
Cecil Baird1 Online   content
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
What part of accumulation in aquatic systems and organisms do not need cloride do you not understand?


shocked grin
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#230594 - 08/11/10 08:09 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Happy Birthday loretta Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 507
Loc: MI
I tried the recipe Backabit posted using regular vinegar from the grocery store, on my driveway. I only made up one batch as a test and it only worked on a few weeds. On other weeds it looked like they were starting to die but they came back. It was spring and not too dry and the weeds were still small. I was really disappointed.
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#230597 - 08/11/10 08:22 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
I saw the road salt program go South first hand. First all of the trees within 50 feet of the road started dying. Then stream in the lower elevation getting the higher elevation runoff started having major trout die off. Plants near the stream and river started dying. Biologist came in and said, road salt is the culprit. They switched over to road sand and never looked back.

I have also seen a pond die a horrible death from salt, never to recover. Guy had a lot of concrete work done around his home, and all of his walkways were salt rock finish. He had a real nice pond. Had, until all of the rain and runoff from his concrete hit the pond. It had one of the worst crashes I have witnessed. Just a slow and steady death. Plants started yellowing, fish started getting sick, dissolved O2 was also going away. Was called in too late after no one could figure it out. He lost everything, and that pond was filled in and a full length basketball court was put on top of the fill in, because nothing could live in the water. At first I thought it was muriatic acid runoff, or some type of concrete poisoning. But when I saw the type of concrete finish I had an idea many sacks of rock salt. Had water tested, just over 4 ppm salt. PH was also a disaster. Pond had at least 10 LMB over 5 and 3 over 10 plus 100 smaller ones. It was a sickening sight I will never forget. We even emergency aerated to no avail. The lack of dissolved O2 was merely a symptom, not the root cause. Guy was teary eyed at the very end, was planned to be his grandkids fishing hole. He built the court for them instead. You never forget jobs like that, never.


Edited by The Pond Frog (08/11/10 08:23 PM)

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#230627 - 08/11/10 10:08 PM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: The Pond Frog]
esshup Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/09
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TPF, a buddy that lived out there had his whole back yard killed when the rock salt washed off of his new concrete deck. He ended up removing/replacing the soil.

Didn't Romans salt fields during their wars?
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#230650 - 08/12/10 07:27 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: esshup]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
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TPF, my suggestion take a deep breath. I understand your concern. However for what we are talking about is unfounded. When I first start posting here at PB many years ago I gave some bad advice. I would answer a question about a pond in another region and things are different there. My suggestions were not correct. I understand more now and speak expertly abtou SE. Even aware of different situations in my region.

I get the road salt issue and general concept of high salinity in some regions. However you are not doing the math- look again at the numbers Bob gave you. Do you honestly think somehow 50,000 lbs will end up in a small 1 acre 5 foot deep pond. Even if it did this is the concentration for a short time.

For growing fish in the SE I 100% wish I could get our lakes to have a little salinity it benefits fish- this is not debatable. Fact is no matter our efforts we can not get it up slightly unless we purposely dumped tons of salt in there. Then here you are stating we are doing damage by putting in a few cups over time. We get the point but you need to not be so general and look at spefic information.
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#230676 - 08/12/10 09:58 AM Re: Homemade weed killer. Pond safe?? [Re: Greg Grimes]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 16481
Loc: Miss.
Thank you Greg. Well done !
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