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#507165 - 06/10/19 03:29 PM wood ashes for pond
4CornersPuddle Offline

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 318
Loc: southwest Colorado
I cannot recall posts concerning benefits or detriments from adding wood ashes from a stove to our ponds. So I'm throwing out a few questions.

Recently I began testing our pond water with strips marketed by Atlantic Water Gardens, specifically their Trion-TS ionizer test strips.

I am a little puzzled by the readings. pH is approx. 6.8, copper negligible, total alkalinity 40 or less. As our soils here are sticky, gooey clay, a product of Mancos shale weathering, and reportedly alkaline and basic, it surprises me that the pond water is not the same.

The main water supply for the pond is mountain derived river water delivered as irrigation water through a pipe available April through October. I have not tested the incoming water; I'll do that ASAP.

My understanding is that wood ashes are highly alkaline and basic. I have no idea if it matters what species of wood have been burned. We burn all sorts of stuff-oak, maple, two kinds of pines, aspen, elm, cottonwood, cherry, apple, plenty of others. I'm an arborist and bring home wood all the time from job sites.

So my questions are is it acceptable to add ashes to the pond, how much is enough/too much, what do I watch for other than measurable changes in chemistry?

If there are threads on the forum, please don't hesitate to link them.

Thanks. BTW three nights ago I removed a 4 pound even, 19" LMB, and a 6.8 pound RNBT from our 1/4 acre puddle. Both of these are pond records. It was great to get the bass out of there, as I have YP and am trying to continue to grow edible sized ones. The trout succumbed to the stress of capture. It was saddening to see her die. But there are more rainbows and tigers out there growing to replace her. Optimal BG.

#507167 - 06/10/19 03:45 PM Re: wood ashes for pond [Re: 4CornersPuddle]
wbuffetjr Online   content

Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1098
Loc: in the mountains
Holy cow!! I would be doing back flips over an almost 7lb trout!! Congrats to you 4Corners!!

Sadly, I am no help on the wood ashes...
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#507169 - 06/10/19 04:02 PM Re: wood ashes for pond [Re: 4CornersPuddle]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8279
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Hey mountain buddies!

Congrats Roger on those fish - your pond size, geographical location and elevation make these all that more impressive!

I have excessive wood ash from making/using homemade lump charcoal and also our home fires in Autumn/Winter, and I've always wanted to repurpose it. I apparently know about as much as you do - it would raise PH which isn't necessary for my gardens, so I remain at a loss for where to use it. If one has acidic garden soil I believe the ash would be a helpful amendment - not sure how you're sitting there, but imagine the conifer forests have rendered your native soil on the acidic side? You could certainly handle a spike in the PH of the pond, but 6.8 is well within safe parameters...so, perhaps you would be safer simply broadcasting it in the field. Sorry not more help...but also wanted to just say "Hello"!
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

#507182 - 06/10/19 11:13 PM Re: wood ashes for pond [Re: 4CornersPuddle]
4CornersPuddle Offline

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 318
Loc: southwest Colorado
Thanks you two, TJ and wbuffetjr. Yes, it was an amazing evening,a definite Big Fish Day.

I'm thinking I'll try some ashes in a bucket of pond water to see what changes occur in that very small, controlled environment. Then if I'm feeling brave, I'll mix some into the inflow water for the pond. Hopefully there won't be an FA explosion.


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