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#483938 - 12/09/17 01:06 PM plankton and water temps
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Ok Guys and Gals I have a question that I have not been able to find an answer to. Right now my water is still a lime green color with a dense bloom that has been going on now for a couple of months. Visibility has been hanging at or around 10" during this time. And the diffusers have been running 24/7 until the past two weeks when I cut them off at 9pm and turned them back on at 4am. I was trying not to reduce the water temps beyond normal for this time of year which would keep my fish eating and growing. So, with this last cold front I shut the diffusers down because my water temps were running between 52 and 55 and I did not want the temps to drop below 50 throughout the water column. And now with the green water I am a little concerned with possible reduction of 02. If and when the plankton might die back due to the colder temps. Last year my water pretty much stayed at 18" of dark olive colored water through out the winter months. And the water never cooled off all that much. We had a mild winter. So, should I be concerned here? So far I have seen no change since the cold front. We got down to 29 a couple of nights ago. This is my first winter with a dense bloom that never seems to die back to the pond water normal 18" visibility.
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#483946 - 12/09/17 08:13 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5876
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Tracy,

IIRC didn't you added a bunch of BioCycle rehabilitator a while back to help tie up nutrients and reduce the bloom? Do you think it did any good?

As you know, I'm no pro so I can't answer your question definitively. I can provide my personal experience. Every year in late summer I have a heavy bloom in my pond. The bloom dies back as the weather cools to visibility of a few feet. I continue aeration for a couple weeks after I see the FA and the bloom drop back and I've had no problems. My bloom is always olive green though, not the lime green you describe.


Good Luck!
Bill

Edit: If I was really concerned like you are, I would get in touch with Bill C. and see if you can hire him to analyze the water and tell you if there is any need for concern.


Edited by Bill D. (12/09/17 08:50 PM)
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#483948 - 12/10/17 06:32 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thanks Bill, and yes I did add the BioCycle in mid Oct. I recently learned I might have had to high of a pH and killed those little bugs. BioCycle has said they will cover the cost for another treatment after we get some rain to lower the pH. Still going through a drought at my place and that may be a contributor to the high nutrients also. pH was at a constant 8 at the time of the treatment but there was some concern the pH may have risen to 8.5 and killed those little nutrient eating suckers. Another thing is, I have looked and have not found what water temps will kill back some of the plankton. I know freezing will and I also know if my water temps drop to mid 40's or lower my water will clear up. But will it clear up a little to say 18" like in the past? And if I really clears up fast say 3 feet could it cause a fish kill in cold water like it would in warm water? That is my main concern right now. The pond should not turn over due to the aeriation I had going.


Edited by TGW1 (12/10/17 06:34 AM)
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Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#484005 - 12/11/17 03:59 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19920
Loc: Miss.
See this for info.

Do you think you had a 5X increase in alkalinity (base). Can you post your alkalinity and temps over an extended period (year).

Each change of one pH unit represents a ten-fold change in hydrogen ion concentration. The pH scale is usually represented as ranging from 0 to 14, but pH can extend beyond those values. At 25 °C, pH 7.0 describes the neutral point of water at which the concentrations of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions (OH-) are equal (each at 10-7 moles/L). Conditions become more acidic as pH decreases and more basic as pH increases.
High pH in aquaculture ponds appears
to occur more frequently and with
greater severity in waters with low total
hardness and moderate to high total
alkalinity. The reason for this is not
completely understood.
The long-term solution to high pH problems
in ponds is to alter pond biology
so that the net daily carbon dioxide uptake
is near zero. This can be done by
reducing photosynthesis or increasing
respiration. But changing the metabolism
of the pond community is difficult
because biological processes have considerable
“ecological momentum.” This momentum is based upon a given set of environmental conditions that strongly favor a particular ecological outcome. For example, when a newly filled pond contains lots of nutrients, receives bright sunshine and has warm water temperatures, conditions strongly favor the development of a biological community that produces a high afternoon pH. Altering those conditions to change the outcome is difficult. In general, preventing or managing around pH problems will be more effective than trying to correct problems after they occur.

The rapid removal of carbon dioxide during periods of rapid plant growth is the basis of all high pH problems in ponds. Waiting for fast plant growth to decrease naturally is an option, as described previously, but if pH must be reduced quickly, the rate of plant growth must be slowed by adding a herbicide or restricting the amount of light penetrating the water column.
Using herbicides to kill algae and plants will eliminate high pH problems, but the benefits are often not worth the risks and costs. The decomposition of plants killed by herbicides causes oxygen depletion and the accumulation of carbon dioxide and ammonia.



https://srac.tamu.edu/serveFactSheet/205


Edited by ewest (12/11/17 04:14 PM)
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#484014 - 12/11/17 05:52 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3143
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Another factor to consider is temperature. As the temperature drops, water's affinity for oxygen rises. So, cool water holds more oxygen. With shorter days and longer nights, you have less photosynthesis and more respiration. But, my experience suggests you shouldn't have much concern about oxygen depletion...for several reasons.
First, as temperatures drop, so does oxygen demand by living organisms. In other words, fish don't require as much oxygen...neither do most other critters with metabolic rates.
Second, with a higher affinity for oxygen, the risk of a fatal drop in oxygen is seriously minimalized...not likely to have a fish kill due to low oxygen in east Texas this time of year.
It is wise to continue to monitor visibility and I agree to confer with Bill Cody to identify what you have to project what to expect in late February or March, when water temperatures begin their spring rise there.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#484030 - 12/12/17 08:34 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Bob, Thank you for Pond Boss. If it were not for you and what all you have done, I would have never met you or your people. Eric, along with others, have always been very helpful. Too much sometimes because I have to go back a re-read most things he post or wrights in the Mag. He can be like a library of information, sometimes over my head, so I re-read. And esshup (Scott) and Allen(Fireishot) I could go on.

I have done a lot of reading recently pertaining to plankton (algae). And have watched the pond looking for things that would contribute to it's excess or dense growth. I believe it has come down to this. Decaying plants(leaves etc) in the water from cutting down many many willow trees that grow along the banks. Another would be due to feeding the fish (to much feeding). And because of the drought I have run a lot of well water in the pond. Well water comes from 160' down and may have added some additional phosphates to the pond water. And when running all the well water I added a little too much agg lime which raised the pH up to the 8 which may have stimulated the plankton growth. The pH will come back down over time.

So, I have tried a biological treatment from an advertiser here (BioCycle). I met them at their booth in the PBC. We will retreat the pond with their product. They are standing by their product and have offered to retreat at no cost to me.

After all the research I am thinking of adding Easy Pro Natural Phosphate Binder to work with the BioCycle product. This phosphate binder is slow acting and should not cause the problems that a product like Phosclear might cause in my situation. I am concerned with the possibility of clearing the water up too much, where I have no plankton and zooplankton to feed my TFS and my soon to come fish fry. And so I would ask if anyone has any experience with the natural Phosphate binder I mentioned?

One more note here. I checked the water temp and DO levels throughout the pond depths yesterday. Water temp was at 52.5 in all the water except the wind blown shoreline where it was a 60F. The DO was an 8.7mg/l or 76.6% at all depths except the wind blown shore line where it was 97%.

Thoughts here guys? I will sample the water but have not done so yet. I think it will tell me I am in the medium range of phosphates because that is the range where algae grows best. I would have thought it grows best in high phosphate but my research tell different. Any one see any problems in adding a phosphate binder? And maybe Bill Cody might jump in if he has the time.

Thanks again for any help or suggestions.


Edited by TGW1 (12/12/17 09:53 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#484036 - 12/12/17 10:51 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19920
Loc: Miss.
TGW - facts are critical to any understanding especially complicated ones like pond chemistry. There is an excellent article by Dr. Boyd in the recent PB mag - please read it. It is best to go slow on pond chemistry/productivity issues unless the problem issue is at the critical (low DO < 5 and dropping for example) stage. It is common in ponds with a limiting factor (low alkalinity , low N or low P) when augmented (lime or fertilizer) to grow like crazy. That is not a good thing and can cause problems like you described especially if other factors are involved.

What can you provide us as to alkalinity , hardness and N & P. Any info on well water. I have found that while nudging mother nature can give excellent results , total war against her is futile. One of the comments above is about large scale changes in pond chemistry. A prolonged fight between you and your dirt and water (pond chemistry) could be a wreck. You need facts first and you may have them. Here is but one example dealing with many southern ponds from the quoted Fact Sheet. Note the differences with respect to groundwater (well).

Problems with high pH seem to occur most often in ponds where total alkalinity (the amount of bicarbonate and carbonate in the water) far exceeds water hardness (the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water). For example, it is common for freshwater prawn ponds at the Mississippi State University aquaculture unit in Starkville to have high pH in late spring. The groundwater supply for these ponds has a hardness of about 30 mg/L as CaCO3 and an alkalinity of about 90 mg/L. An even wider disparity between hardness and alkalinity is found in many other waters, particularly those in the southeastern coastal plains where many groundwaters have alkalinities exceeding 150 mg/L and hardness values of less than 10 mg/L.
Deficiencies in hardness relative to alkalinity can be corrected by adding gypsum (calcium sulfate). The effectiveness of gypsum treatment in reducing pH is subject to debate; at best, it is a preventive procedure rather than an emergency treatment. Hardness deficiencies should, therefore, be corrected before stocking, preferably as soon as the pond is filled in the spring.
The amount of gypsum needed to roughly balance hardness and alkalinity can be calculated by subtracting hardness from alkalinity and multiplying that value by two. For example, if hardness is 30 mg/L as CaCO3 and alkalinity is 90 mg/L as CaCO3, then 120 mg/L of gypsum will be needed. This would require about 2,500 pounds of gypsum in a 2-acre pond that is 4 feet deep. This is a large amount of gypsum, but the results of treatment should be long-lasting because calcium is lost from ponds only when waters are diluted by excessive rainfall or by the addition of water with a low calcium content.

From another Fact Sheet - Agricultural limestone can be used
to increase calcium concentrations
(and carbonate-bicarbonate alkalinity)
in areas with acid waters or
soils. However, at a pH of 8.3 or
greater, agricultural limestone will
not dissolve. I would be surprised if ag lime caused your water to go to 8.5.


Edited by ewest (12/12/17 11:12 AM)
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#484043 - 12/12/17 12:14 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
highflyer Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 1892
Loc: East Texas
What a great thread. The information concentration here is good for those who overstock, overfeed and have little outflow of water containing nutrients.

The answers will be interesting.
_________________________
Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%

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#484087 - 12/13/17 09:34 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Eric, Thank you for the info. I have to agree on one thing and that is I do not believe the agg lime raised the pH to an 8.5. pH was monitored pretty close for spikes and I have seen no pH spikes during the day after recent additions of the agg lime. I have seen spikes during the day prior to the last lime additions. The pond has had pretty much a constant 8pH. But, it's possible I missed a higher pH spike during the day, I guess. My last water ck, when I had a similar pH, I had 110 alk and the calcium was 40ppm. I am not saying that is where it is right now but I bet it is close to those figures. And I just received my PB mag yesterday, (guess it was lost in the mail) smile I requested another from PB office, the PB office jumped right on it and it arrived in a couple of days. I always read cover to cover as soon as it arrives. And I will re-read it when I have questions come up from time to time. I did read Dr. Boyd's article on Microbial additives for ponds. It may not sound like it, but I am not really into dumping chemicals into my pond water. However I like the possibility of adding Gypsum to increase my water hardness and in fact mentioned gyp in a recent post about stocking my daughters pond.

So, right now, when fishing, I catch some nice looking healthy fish. HSB and CNBG are doing well and the lmb, I don't know, I have not caught one recently. It's just the water visibility is not good and like Mr.Lusk said, I will continue to monitor. But I was looking ahead prior to this upcoming spring and what I might do to reduce the algae growth. It seems to be almost out of hand now and will or may get worse this spring. So would one just wait and see? And what about adding a phosphate blocker, any experience with that? Like I said, I don't want to kill of what feeds my little ones. And one more question please. what if the water remains too green due to a mild winter, should I give consideration to light treatment of algaecide while DO levels are high in this colder water?


Edited by TGW1 (12/13/17 09:37 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#484109 - 12/13/17 10:03 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1837
Loc: East Texas, USA
Tracy, might it help for you to harvest a good number of fish? Less need to feed, less waste products.

My forage pond is stuffed with fish & has a strong green color, visibility less than a foot, even when I don't feed.
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8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19





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#484117 - 12/14/17 08:46 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thank you Frank. I have considered that. Removing fish, Mother Nature just did that for me. The best I can figure, I have just removed somewhere around 100 or maybe 200 lbs of fish through Tp die off along with eaten up by the lmb and hsb as the water cooled down. Using the lower number, I believe that would be somewhere around 30 Tp per acre. And I think my Tp numbers were higher than that low number. I do not think I am overstocked when looking at lmb, I have never had lmb recruitment in this pond, so what lmb are in there, I stocked. Based on fishing and shocking I think hsb numbers are in the middle but I am not sure about those pounds per acre but I don't think they are overstocked. But, there are quite a few cnbg along with res and there are good numbers of TFS. Another thing is I have fished many ponds where fishing lmb is better than my place.

Highflyer, I think you hit the nail on the head. A combination of things have contributed to the high nutrients and dense green water. I am leaning more towards the drought as the biggest contributor.

For now I guess I will wait and see but I may have to add some algaecide before all of this is over. And I really don't want to.



Edited by TGW1 (12/14/17 08:48 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#484156 - 12/15/17 10:59 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I am going through a learning curve at the pond. And I would like to ask a question concerning algaecides and applications. So, can small additions of an algaecide, something like 1/4 or less of the pond area be sprayed, reduce a dense algae bloom to where the waters visibility improve throughout the whole pond? If it is possible to do? What product would one use? How big of a risk is it to the fish when doing such a small area? And my second question is, what or how is the best way to reduce the phosphates and by doing so, will it be a risk to the fish in the pond? I would like to know how to do this with out killing my fish, can it be done? I am still in the watch and see but I would also like to know "how to do or what to do" if necessary.

Thanks
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#484158 - 12/15/17 11:32 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5464
Loc: SE Kansas
Have you considered low concentrations of dye to reduce algae growth?
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#484186 - 12/15/17 10:16 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12889
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Before you start manipulating the phosphorus you should have results of current (baseline) SRP (soluble reactive phosphorus, aka dissolved P, ortho-P) and nitrate. Baseline information will allow you to evaluate the process of nutrient management.

Alternatives. Addition of a blue based dye (a non algaecide) to reduce or slow the bloom would be IMO the best way to start to thin or trim the bloom. 2nd best way would be to use a product called Green Clean-Pro or Phycomycin which has an active ingredient of sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate which is an addition compound of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The nominal amount of sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate in these products is 85% which corresponds to 27.6% H2O2. A copper based algacide applied correctly would be my 3rd best way to thin the bloom.
Use of a secchi disk would IMO be the simplest way to measure the density of the bloom and monitor your results.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/15/17 10:18 PM)
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#484193 - 12/16/17 09:19 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thank you Mr. Cody. As per yours and ewest recommendations, plans are to send a water sample to TA&M. I know the information is available here in the archives or somewhere, but does anyone have an address for sending the water sample to? Should I make a request for certain testing or just a normal water sample request?

My water is pretty dirty looking right now with a light olive color that looks like it is holding a cloudy colored suspended clay with 9 to 10" visibility. Really discouraging after having 3 yrs of really nice dark olive colored water. Thanks again guys.


Edited by TGW1 (12/16/17 09:21 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#484269 - 12/18/17 02:56 PM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19920
Loc: Miss.
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#484336 - 12/19/17 11:15 AM Re: plankton and water temps [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2826
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thanks Eric, I will get a sample sent off after Christmas. And a Merry Christmas to you and yours.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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