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#514858 - 12/12/19 10:42 AM How Many Inches of Visibility?
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 112
Loc: Huron OH
I was wondering what the ideal visibility for a healthy pond would be. If I put an aluminum beer can on a yard stick, my pond has 23" of visibility. At 23" the aluminum beer can is completely gone and not able to be seen whatsoever. Is this good, bad, normal? Just wondering.. I prefer to have the pond as clear as possible for swimming / fishing etc. It's located in northern Ohio and built in 2016.. until recently it has always been muddy and turbid..


Edited by KRM1985 (12/12/19 12:18 PM)

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#514859 - 12/12/19 10:59 AM Re: How Many Inches of Visibility? [Re: KRM1985]
Zep Offline
Hall of Fame 2014


Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 3418
Loc: Dallas & Wills Point, Tx
mine tends to be real clear this time of year and it is now
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#514860 - 12/12/19 11:13 AM Re: How Many Inches of Visibility? [Re: KRM1985]
RStringer Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 558
Loc: Parsons KS
I have never had close to that much. Just a few inches at best. Sounds like its getting better as time goes by. I am no expert so take it for what it cost ya (free). There are ways to get it to clear up faster. Alum, lime, gypsum im sure there are several more options. The more vegetation you have the better also. Some plants work at clearing the water a lot better than others. If I knew how to post a link for plants I would but I can barely type let alone do all that. I'm sure more knowledgeable people will chime in.
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#514861 - 12/12/19 12:23 PM Re: How Many Inches of Visibility? [Re: KRM1985]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 112
Loc: Huron OH
The pond sees a lot of run off from the inlet pipe that comes off of a large field. I have lots of rocks under that inlet pipe and quite a bit of tall grass from the rocks to where the pond is so there is definitely lots of filtering going on. I'll probably do some jar tests to get an idea of whats going on. This is as clear as the pond has ever been and I would like to continue to clear it up as much as possible.

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#514868 - 12/12/19 05:11 PM Re: How Many Inches of Visibility? [Re: KRM1985]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 865
Loc: Paris, TX
Beer can test is good, but the secchi disk is a little better.

My water started first year very turbid. Less than 12 inches. Year two water cleared up a little more. During the spring/summer it was 12-20 inches. Year three, with an increase in vegetation, it cleared even more. 18-30+ inches. Then this year. Brushy pondweed showed up , and water went from 22" in the spring to over 11 feet by end of summer. Crazy clear but a lot of BPW. Bought 4 carp to hopefully help control the BPW next year.
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#514871 - 12/12/19 05:29 PM careful what you wish for [Re: KRM1985]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5587
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: KRM1985
I was wondering what the ideal visibility for a healthy pond would be. If I put an aluminum beer can on a yard stick, my pond has 23" of visibility. At 23" the aluminum beer can is completely gone and not able to be seen whatsoever. Is this good, bad, normal? Just wondering.. I prefer to have the pond as clear as possible for swimming / fishing etc. It's located in northern Ohio and built in 2016.. until recently it has always been muddy and turbid..


As the favorite saying goes here on PBF, it depends. If you want to grow fish a nice 2-3' visability caused by a plantonic algae bloom is desirable. If you want clear water for swimming it is something different.

Be careful what you wish for concerning clear water. If your water is nutrient rich, it is going to grow SOMETHING. It might be plantonic algae, it might be fliamentous algae, it might be submerged weeds, but it will grow something. If you clear the water up enough so the light hits the pond bottom, you may have an outbreak of FA or some undesirable submerged pond weed.

Sometimes in the quest for clear water, you trade one problem for a different problem.



Edited by snrub (12/12/19 05:30 PM)
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#514876 - 12/12/19 07:25 PM Re: careful what you wish for [Re: KRM1985]
RStringer Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 558
Loc: Parsons KS
I might not want it after I get it. But I want to see the bottom of my pond once. Even if it's only out to 2 or 3 feet deep. I would like to see the fish once n while. I only see catfish whiskers when they are feeding.
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#514877 - 12/12/19 07:33 PM Re: careful what you wish for [Re: KRM1985]
Flame Offline


Registered: 09/12/14
Posts: 1253
Loc: Deep East Texas
I'm with RStringer it has become very disappointing that I still only have about 4-6 inch visibility. I have proven it to be clay particles but have not solved the problem. I would like to be able to see some fish also. Kinda takes a lot of the fun out of the pond after 5 years!!
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#514884 - 12/12/19 11:42 PM Re: careful what you wish for [Re: Flame]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24188
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
KRM1985, like others have noted, be careful what you ask for.

Is the lack of clarity due to a planktonic algae bloom or clay turbidity? The recommendation to clear one will not work on the other......

For growing fish, you want between 18"-36" clarity of planktonic algae of you are not feeding the fish. If you are feeding the fish you can get by with clearer water and still have the fish growth. If it's clay turbidity, and it's not caused by mechanical disturbance, look into aluminum sulfate to clear the pond water.
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#514887 - 12/13/19 07:22 AM Re: careful what you wish for [Re: RStringer]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5587
Loc: SE Kansas
I helped my old pond, which was turbid from suspended clay, by adding some ag lime and later adding some rock lining along the shore lines that were subject to wave action from wind.

Those two things helped considerably. As I understand it, ag lime can help with some clays but for others alum is needed. I have no experience with alum.

Then it seems like the pond naturally got clearer as it aged.

Oh, the other thing is we had a number of BH catfish early on. Now the LMB have mostly cleaned them out as we hardly ever catch one. I think they kept it turbid while they were in there in numbers.
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#514904 - 12/13/19 11:14 PM Re: careful what you wish for [Re: snrub]
esshup Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24188
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
It's amazing with a BOW how little mechanical disturbance can keep clay/sediment suspended. A neighbor has a 1/2 acre pond and it was continually turbid, visibility was around 10". All from 1 pair of white ducks continually dabbling around the shore digging up grass roots and other tubers.

Once the coyotes did away with the ducks, the pond cleared up.
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