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#399326 - 01/30/15 08:45 AM Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
On a new pond, when or what water temps do you look for to start pond fertilization and when to start a bloom through adding alfalfa pellets or dehydrated bails? Best fertilizer numbers?
Thanks
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#399334 - 01/30/15 09:46 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I wouldn't start any fertilizer program until I had water tested by T A&M U. Fertilizing won't help if the alkalinity and pH isn't right. Think of the pond water as soil in a crop field. If the pH isn't right for what's going to grow, then the fertilizer can't be utilized.

Be careful that you don't over fertilize. If you don't have water flowing out of your pond, then it's expensive to bind up the excessive P.

I use a water soluble fertilizer such as Aquatic Environmental Services Grower Max (10-52-4) and use as little as possible - up here I'll use 1/2 lb per ac/ft to start, wait two weeks and if no bloom, add another 1/2 lb per ac/ft. I don't add alfalfa bales or anything like that to keep organic matter out of the pond - enough enters the pond in the form of leaves, grass clippings, etc. Organic matter turns to muck.....

Water temps are in the low 60's when I fertilize or higher.

If there's any plant life in the pond I don't fertilize - it will cause it to grow vs. the bloom that I'm trying to establish. Same with FA in the pond. If it's there, I don't fertilize until I kill it.
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#399339 - 01/30/15 10:09 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: esshup]
Pat Williamson Online   content


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2414
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Esshup
I have a crop of FA going on in my new pond since I started feeding late last summer. What is the best course of action using as little chemicals as posible. Seems this stuff really took off


Pat W

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#399381 - 01/30/15 07:12 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: Pat Williamson]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Depending on the depth that the FA is at, Cutrine Plus liquid or Cutrine Granules at the labeled application rate. Don't skimp. If the FA gets ahead of the bloom, then you will have a huge amount of FA to deal with because it likes fertilizer!

Liquid for under 24" water depth, granules for deeper than 24".
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#399386 - 01/30/15 07:43 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: esshup]
Pat Williamson Online   content


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2414
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Esshup
Thank you I will get some and put that junk out of my misery


PatW

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#399391 - 01/30/15 08:12 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
How do you keep the FA from coming back? Plant other more desireablle vegetation to use the nutrients?
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#399420 - 01/31/15 12:35 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Bill, that's the tightrope you have to walk. Too many underwater weeds and they utilize the majority of the nutrients, not leaving much to sustain a phytoplankton bloom. Even with a phytoplankton bloom, there is enough sunlight along the shallow edges that FA can grow.

The best bet? Get a bloom going and keep seechi readings 18"-24" and stock Tilapia (where legal) to keep chowing on any FA that grows.

It's all about how well you can walk the tightrope.....

When someone says that they want a balanced pond, they have to realize that the balance only remains so for a nanosecond. The owner/manager has to keep nudging it back one way or the other. Think of a teeter-totter. How hard is it to keep it balanced equally with living things on both sides? That's the battle we have keeping a pond in balance.
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#399452 - 01/31/15 09:55 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thanks esshup for the information. I went to the fertilization comments on the forum list and what I learned was maybe I should not fertilize the pond. And like Pat and Bill, I also have FA growing around the woody structure and it's even growing in the water stream channel from the water well to the pond. Channel is about 12' from well output to pond, where the water cascades over rocks to increase oxygen into the water. I am thinking I will add some more alfalfa to the pond instead of fertilizer. I have clover and rye grain growing around the pond and it was fertilized just after the planting, so I am sure pond is getting fertilizer from the rains.
I have an 8.0 pH with the alk being @140 if memory serves me. So would you add the alfalfa? And Tilapia will be added as soon as the water temps let me. So what water temps would you introduce the alfalfa if needed for a bloom?
Thanks
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#399453 - 01/31/15 10:01 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Sorry esshup, I went back to re-read your comments and u gave me your answer already.
Thanks again. smile
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#399872 - 02/04/15 01:09 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Tracy, with the pH at 8, using alum to clear the turbidity will drop the pH, so have some hydrated lime on hand so it doesn't drop too far. 8 isn't too high, but every 0.1 change in a pH number is a 10x change. In an ideal world you'd keep the pH at 7.5 but bouncing 1.0 either side of that isn't bad. I'd begin to take measures to adjust the pH if it starts to approach 6 or 9 long term.

pH readings will change depending on what time of day they were taken. They'll be the highest mid-day. The higher the buffering capacity of the pond water, the less pH swings you will see.

ewest can explain it much better than I can.
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#399898 - 02/04/15 03:39 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
See this for hints. Some places hay or alfalfa does not work.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=96127#Post96127


Edited by ewest (02/04/15 03:40 PM)
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#399938 - 02/04/15 08:19 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
esshup and ewest, Thanks for your guidance here. smile
I am going to backtrack a little here for a moment. When the pond was filling and was at 1/3rd full and just prior to first stocking of fish, I added 1 bail of dehydrated alfalfa that I spread around the shoreline (In the water). Not much since a dehydrated bale was about 20 lbs. Very little organic muck. I did this because I thought I was doing the right thing. haha lol. This was in late November. Anyway, when Walt From Overtons showed up to stock fish, he said he was surprised to see the water clarity and also seeing color in the water, especially since the pond was so new. he expected to see muddy water with no green color.
Since then, I have pond almost full but still 15" from full pool. Water clarity is now around 18" and the water color is an aqua marine or turquoise shade of green. To be honest the clarity and color surprises me. I took a water sample last week from 15" in a qt. mason jar. The water looks clear and blue when holding it up to the sky or clear with slight green shade when holding at eye level. I did a closet test for 4 days and saw no change in the clarity but did see a very fine dusting of clay in the bottom of the jar. Not much there really. But when I tested the water, the hardness was less than 40 and so I am going to add Gypsum for three reasons, 1 to clear it up some more and 2, to add hardness to the waterand 3 is I get gyp at wholesale price. Better for the fish from what I read. I have FA and I am nervous about adding fertilizer because the pond bank vegetation has been fertilized and will get run off to the water. And from what I was told and what I understand, the alfalfa (pellets or dehydrated bail) will give a bloom. The bloom I had if I had one was ever so slight and with some cloudy water from clays will reduce bloom penetration to the deeper depths of the pond. The pond has had a substantial stocking of FHM and CNBG and RES with some TFS and I am thinking I need to have a good bloom asap. Water temp was 53 at last check. Am I thinking right or wrong, I know every pond is different but u guys have a lot of experience and me none.
Thanks
Tracy


Edited by TGW1 (02/04/15 10:02 PM)
Edit Reason: word addition
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#399951 - 02/04/15 10:14 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Tracy:

Before you do it, I'd send a sample to Texas A&M for a water test - that way you have a baseline to start from. Send another test a few months after adding the gypsum to see what the change is. IIRC a test is $20. If you want a link, I can dig one up.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#399991 - 02/05/15 11:24 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
esshup, Because of my business, I have the chemicals and equipment to run some water sample test. We check pH, alkalinities, calcium, chlorides (both potassium and sodium) and solids in water (colloidal and other). We are well trained in suspended clays and how to reduce or remove them @ drilling sites. But we do not have the ability to run a full water test like T A&M. I have had my soil tested for the planting of wildlife food plots and your recommendation of a full blown water test is a good idea. Would u mind digging up their dept for water testing?
Thanks smile
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#400027 - 02/05/15 06:27 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
Moderator
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
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http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#400053 - 02/06/15 06:48 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thank you Sir smile
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#400054 - 02/06/15 07:03 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3875
Loc: Emory TX
TGW1, there are 2 basic water tests that tamu offers. One includes metals, and the base test doesn't. Not sure what your soil makeup is, but unless you have iron ore or some other kind of mineral, the basic test pretty much covers everything.

Also, make sure you don't check aquiculture as the reason for the water test. If you do, they send the results to another tamu office, and you won't get the full results of the report. Believe me, I learned the hard way. It took a week of emails to get my full results.

Hope this helps.
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AL

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#400056 - 02/06/15 07:13 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
My soils are red clay, and sandy loam.
Thanks FireisHot
Will get one in the mail.
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#400266 - 02/09/15 11:52 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
Alfalfa (pellets or dehydrated bail) are a type of fertilizer and are used for that among other reasons. Its ability to help with FA or other issues is inconsistent across different locations.
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#400308 - 02/09/15 09:40 PM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2494
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
In reading the thread (water is to clear), it was said if FA is growing from the bottom of the pond, the pond has nutrients and will not need to be fertilized. if that is what I understood? I have FA growing from the bottom of the pond, quite a bit in some places, so I am thinking no fertilizer needed, and to control the FA I will be adding Tilapia as soon as the water temps are up. Does this sound about right?
Thanks
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#400319 - 02/10/15 12:27 AM Re: Water temps needed for fertilization and alfalfa [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I think that is a correct assumption.

Case in point.

Clients pond up here. Floating mats of FA, Sago Pondweed and Curly Leaf Pondweed growing to the surface. FA growing on the plants too. Water clarity 30+ inches, and weeds are growing up from the bottom of the pond in 4 1/2' of water. Eutrophic pond, LOTS of nutrients in it. Clear water is causing a lot of problems plant wise, and 1/2 of the pond is unfishable.

Used a liquid herbacide to kill the plants, and Cutrine Plus (both liquid and granular) to kill the FA. Stocked Tilapia at the rate of 40# per surface acre. Blues for a couple of years, then Hybrid Mozzies after that. If the water temps were right to get the Tilapia in early, I didn't have to kill the FA or plants first. If the plants and FA got a good head start, then I had to kill 'em.

The water clarity dropped to 12"-18" due to a planktonic algae bloom. FA only grew in water that was too shallow for the Tilapia to swim (VERY little of that) and no vascular plants grew from the pond bottom due to the reduced sunlight penetration in the water column.

The amount of Tilapia to stock all depends on how much FA you have. Only a few years of experience will tell you how many depending on the amount of FA and the amount of nutrients in the pond. I tested different stocking rates, and found that killing the FA, then stocking 40#/surface acre works up here.
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