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#420329 - 08/05/15 10:45 PM Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate!
Golfnut Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Central Nebraska
Since learning about Aluminum Sulfate from this forum about a month ago I've been on a mission to use it in my pond to settle the clay particles from the heavy rains we had this Spring. I picked up 500 lbs of Hydrated Lime today and have 1,000 lbs of Aluminum Sulfate ordered that should arrive sometime this week. Based on my calculations I have about 6 acre/feet of water in my pond (.75 acres with an average depth of 8 feet) so I should only need about 300 lbs of the Alum and 150 lbs of the lime. I ordered extra for future use and for a buddy.

I'm a farmer and my plan is to mix the alum and lime in a fertilizer trailer that has a 2" gas powered pump on it. I think if I hook a 3/4" garden hose to the pump and speed it up it will create enough pressure that with the correct spray wand I should be able to spray the slurry 30-40 feet. This is far enough to get it half way across my pond for the most part.

How important is it to spread evenly? Is it ok to mix the alum and lime together? Should I leave my aerator running when I do this to help mix it in the pond? How long will it take to work? I did a jar test with some kitchen alum a few weeks ago and it took overnight but made it crystal clear. Does anyone see any problems with my plan?

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#420340 - 08/06/15 07:48 AM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
lassig Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
Loc: Schuyler Co, IL
Yes I see a couple of problems but only have one experience in doing this on my own pond and Rex (Rainman) did most of the work.

First he told me if you mix the ALUM and hydrated lime together you will end up with a thick paste and not the slurry that you need so do not do this.

Second, I dont think you are using enough material to get the results that you want. How much ALUM did you use in the jar test and how big was the jar? If I remember right we used 300 pounds of ALUM per acre foot of water but would wait for Rainman to respond. But 300 pounds of ALUM for 6 acre feet of water is no where near enough.

The spray should be fine just have to be careful to not trap fish in an area with too high or too low of Ph, leave them an area to escape to. You have to alternate as you apply between hydrated lime and ALUM.

You will see results the same day and mostly overnight if enough ALUM is applied. Look at my thread "On Lassig Pond" for how this worked on my pond.
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#420346 - 08/06/15 08:26 AM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Golfnut Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Central Nebraska
I haven't had a chance to do a bucket test yet but do plan on doing one prior to starting the process. I thought I had read somewhere that a "full rate" was 50lbs/acre foot but I must have misread that. I also did some more reading last night and learned NOT to mix the Alum and the lime.

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#420352 - 08/06/15 09:20 AM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Rainman Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6801
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Golfnut, Lassig offered you some sound information.

The Alum does not truly dissolve and will "fall" through the water column. You'll need to apply the slurry proportionately, adding more alum slurry over deeper waters than in shallow areas. The Hydrated lime will dissolve, but for best results, should be proportionately applied also to the alum.

I am 99.9% certain you will see virtually no change in clarity with only 50 pounds of alum per acre foot....I use a minimum of 200 pounds, and often much more before the floc begins. Alum applications for colloidal clay is pretty much an all or nothing proposition...You remove it all, or you accomplish almost nothing.

I always use at least 2 trash pumps. One to keep the slurries mixed, and one to pump the application hoses. The alum is quite acidic when wet, and the Hydrated lime is VERY caustic. Both slurries eat up metal parts in pumps, and the grit chew up seals and volutes/impellors fast...plan on trashing (or seriously reducing the pump volume) a trash pump during the application.


Edited by Rainman (08/06/15 09:23 AM)
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#420365 - 08/06/15 10:11 AM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Golfnut Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Central Nebraska
Well that is not the news I wanted to hear! But thanks! I'll have to re-evaluate my situation and my equipment. I do have a different pump I can use that is nearly disposable. Any idea where I came up with the 50lbs/acre foot. I know it was on this forum.

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#420371 - 08/06/15 10:30 AM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6801
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Given the size of your pond, if you can wade out into the water, a 34" garden type hose can get the job done. the spray does not always have to be really fine. The spray from a hose can create enough turbulence to mix reasonably well. Treat roughly 1/4 of the pond at a time, or at least in sections, with both H lime and Alum. this will give the fish "safe zones" to escape the rapidly changing pH levels. I'd guess you will need a minimum of 1200 pounds of Alum/600 pounds Hydrated Lime to clear the water completely.

I got my trash pumps from Harbor Freight on sale, and spent the $$$ for the no questions asked, 2 year replacement coverage. I definitely prefer using my spray barge with boomless spray nozzels drilled out, but if you look at Lassig's thread near the bottom of the last page, you will see the topless 275G tote I use with bulkheads for mixing and pumping.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=417928

EDIT...I have no clue where any blanket application rate was mentioned on the site.


Edited by Rainman (08/06/15 10:31 AM)
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#421024 - 08/14/15 09:44 PM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Golfnut Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Central Nebraska
I finally got all the material earlier this week and spent my afternoon applying the alum and lime to my pond. When I started water clarity was less than two inches. If I put my index finger in the water I could not see my first knuckle. pH was about 8.2. I first mixed 50lbs of alum with 200 gallons of water and then hooked a garden hose to my 2 inch pump. It took me about 90 minutes to apply the 200 gallons but I could see after about 45 minutes that it was working along the edges. pH measured 7 after this application After lunch took the paddle boat out and put 100 lbs of hydrated lime out. Then I mixed 200 lbs in 400 gallons of water and spent the next 4.5 hours spraying it across my pond. There was about a 10 mph south breeze so I spent most of my time on the south side of the pond as the slurry would drift to the north. At 7:30 I went out on the paddle boat and was able to put my arm in to my shirt sleeve and still see my fingertips. I estimate about 24" visibility. pH stayed at about 7 all afternoon. Fish took feed immediately this evening. I have A LOT of bluegill out there!

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#421025 - 08/14/15 10:04 PM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
NEDOC Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 669
Loc: SC Nebraska
Good work Golfnut.
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#421037 - 08/15/15 01:56 AM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Rainman Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6801
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Congrats Golfnut! If your fish fed well, chances are slime for having any morts.
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#421055 - 08/15/15 12:17 PM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
Golfnut Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Central Nebraska
I was somewhat disappointed when I visited the pond this morning. Clarity was not what it was last night but it doesn't appear muddy. Just not clear. I turned on the well and filled it up (I'd let it get low for the treatment) and after filling it the clarity is about 12-14 inches. It's fairly breezy today so that does make it more difficult. My aerator is still off. Should I turn it back on?

Rainman....I must not be up to speed on my fishspeak. What is a mort?

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#421059 - 08/15/15 02:23 PM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
NEDOC Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 669
Loc: SC Nebraska
Morts - fish mortalities
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#437300 - 02/09/16 03:14 PM Re: Preparing to apply Aluminum Sulfate! [Re: Golfnut]
3z3k3l Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/05
Posts: 111
Loc: Dallas, TX
Any update on your ponds clarity? Fluctuations in clarity and where is it now?

Thanks!
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