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#67450 - 03/30/06 09:17 PM aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Hi, I've been reading old posts about aluminum sulfate and understand that it is safe if your ph is greater than what mine is-over 8.2 without buffering. Maybe this is a premature post, as I have just added my first application today. I first added 50lb. the p.h. dropped to about 7.6. Hours later I tested p.h. again and it was over 8.2 again. Added another 50lb. the first time it coagulated a deep green mess that was unnetable. After the second it was more like an ice color. I'm afraid I have added way too much and that my problem was algea, rather than what I thought before I added any- suspended clay particles. There are very few fish anyway, however, if I have killed the bass my husband is going to be upset. It is a sand bottom most of the way around with shell and clay underneath, that are exposed in several areas, that all ranges from 1" to 5' then there is an area that is probably 7' deep about 12X12 area. That deep spot is where the spring is and we filled it with roofing tile directly after digging out the 2 years of settled muck, when we had it drained to build a huge waterfall. Made out of limestone, hence my outrageous p.h. I'm so worried, I forget what my question was. How am I going to get rid of the coagulated stuff? All I have are 6 mudpots at the bottom of one of the shallow sand areas. No filters, just leaf baskets filled with aquarium fiber on the inside. Any comfort or comments would be greatly appreciated. God willing I will just wake up to some new perfection in the morning!

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#67451 - 03/30/06 10:47 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19493
Loc: Miss.
I am not sure what your situation is but here is some info.

The recommended
pH range for aquaculture
is 6.5 to 9.0 (Figure 1).
Fish and other vertebrates have an
average blood pH of 7.4. A desirable
range for pond water pH
would be close to that of fish
blood (i.e., 7.0 to 8.0). Fish may become
stressed and die if the pH
drops below 5 (e.g., acidic runoff)
or rises above 10.
Pond pH varies throughout the
day due to respiration and photosynthesis.

You could try to get the stuff out by scooping it out with a plastic tub with holes in the bottom to let the water out. Get it in the tub put on the top on and drag it out slowly to let the water seep out.
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#67452 - 03/30/06 11:27 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
I think I'm still okay on the p.h. as it never went below 7. I just have not read anything about adding way too much like I did. I like your tub with holes idea, I'll try it with many other desperate attemps tomorrow. If you don't know what I mean by mud pots, they are similar to bottom drains on pools: one suction covered by a lid with slits all around the edges so no one can get their guts sucked out. Each pump has two in the slime chance that someone could cover all those holes at once. There are six of those, two for each of three pumps, that is where the leaf baskets with the aquarium filler are.
I'm thinking maybe I could take one of those lids off and retro fit it to a pool size cleaning hose with a leaf basket in the middle and fill that with a lot of aquarium mesh stuff. To try to catch it with some suction behind it.
Thanks for responding.
Sara

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#67453 - 03/31/06 11:02 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
If anyone cares...this morning the pond was back to the big green clumpies. I tried my - which worked- attachment to the interior of the mud pot. However, then I was left with a two inch intake end, have not figured out what would widen the intake area. I don't think the aquarium fiber in the leaf basket (between the hose areas) or the fiber in the leaf basket of the pump was very effective. Upon deciding that was not working I used expired barley hay in a pool net. That made enough surface area that the green would be nettable. It took all day, but I got it all. Now the water lookes exactly like it did before I applied the aluminum sulfate! Spent a lot of time sucking with one of those nets that enters fresh water and shoots the existing water into a net. That worked a little, but got stuff against the rock waterfall out into the open area. I don't know where I can find any more time to mess with this mess. All I wanted was a waterfall, not to be a biologist! No offence to you bossers but the temptation is to put in 45 lbs. of chlorine and say to heck with it!

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#67454 - 04/01/06 12:16 AM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
Sara, I think the reason you haven't gotten more responses from the experts is that they are having a hard time picturing your scenario. I know I am. Can you describe the size, depth, previous stockings and when? Any other thing about the pond you can supply. Surface aeration? Maybe Bill Cody or one of the other aquatic vegetation pros will read it this weekend. I doesn't sound like the alum killed a plankton bloom, as you said it is still green. Can you describe or take a pic of the stuff you are taking out? It would really help.
_________________________

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#67455 - 04/01/06 12:46 AM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
I can't take a picture now, and this weekend I am super busy and need a break from it. I have spent two entire days out there, to the neglect of many other things.
It is a 90' wide waterfall about 20' high made of lime stone rock, with three 1.5h.p. pumps with no filters other than leaf baskets, pumping water over and through all this lime stone. The pond in front of this is a clay bottom with a layer of shell, then covered with sand. The center is 12x12 @7 ' depth. that part is filled with roofing tile. the rest is a gradual incline from beach to the 7' depth area.
The stuff I am gathering is a fine green. So fine the net does not want to keep it until a build up starts. Old barley hay was a big assist in giving it something to cling to. At that point it also had a snap crackle pop white foam to it.
Don't feel obligated to respond, I know my situation is not duplicatable or found in nature.

The good news is I did not kill the bass. Oh yeah, there are a whole three or four of them my boys caught with a cast net from a nearby lake, along with a few shell crackers and brim. Now I have some schools of minnows that jump(to get away form the net) and a turtle or two.
Thanks

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#67456 - 04/02/06 01:33 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3102
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Sara,
Sounds like you have several types of algae, maybe some planktonic algae and several different types of filamentous algae. Sounds like a small pond with recirculating water, since you have a waterfall and can also suck stuff out of the pond.
Here's two suggestions. First, add some beneficial microbes. See if that helps. If not, you may want to aerate with air as well as water movement.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#67457 - 04/03/06 09:10 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Planktonic, I agree. Filimontous: I hope not! Can you reccomend a product that doesn't cost a fortune? We believe it is 60,000 gallons total, which comes to a lot of money. I did try two bails of barley straw-bagged into 12 bags and had a lot more clairity with that. It is just hard to tell when it has expired. I'm thinking it is because when I move it gray stuff comes out, similar to the same stuff on the bottom that alternates between gray and green in color. I think I am going to try that again as it is the only thing that has worked at all thus far. I did try microbial lift, not nearly enough though. I'm just too cheap to spend that kind of money on something that may or may not work. Any opinions about that? Is it worth it?
Sorry I still have not taken any pictures.
Sara

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#67458 - 04/04/06 03:07 AM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
h20fwlkillr Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 320
Loc: Holden, Mo
It sounds to me like there is a lot of nutrient buildup to create an algae bloom that is bad enough to give you problems. Try taking away some of the nutrients from the algae by using aquatic plants. Any nutrients they uptake will be that much less for the algae and may make the algae levels acceptable to you.
There are algaecidal products made to treat problems like yours that are affordable. Probably much less than you paid for the aluminum sulfate. The problem with them is when the algae is killed off the nutrients are released again and another bloom will occur unless you are willing to keep applying it.
_________________________
I'll start treating my wife as good as my dog when she starts retrieving ducks.
http://geocities.com/h20fwlkillr/

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#67459 - 04/04/06 09:19 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Ive read things that have made me believe it was not an algea problem, but suspended clay particle. ALthough the residual of the aluminum sulfate being so green has made me agree with what you are saying.
If I estimate it is about a third of an acre, how many plants would I need to accomplish this effect? I must admit I have almost no plants. Just a few things I have gathered from around the property. The alminum sulfate struck me as cheep @ $89.72 for 3 50 lb. bags. iF i USED SOME KIND OF LIFT product it would be way more. I so desire to keep it simple, I will try the plant thing right away, along with more barley straw. I could see the fish right after I did that last time.
THe sand edges are looking a lot clearer and I could see minnows from a distance today. It's been a long time since that happened.
I had also left the well water in all night last night, so the clarity could be as much from that.
At the risk of an oxygen drop, I am leaving the falls off tonight to see if I get a lot more setteling. Then I can try to get it off the bottom.
I know I'm long winded but I have to ask:
Can anyone think of a way to extend the suction from a two inch hose. I have figured out how to attach a pool type suction hose with a leaf basket between the pieces to the intake of the "mudpot" bottom sucker. The suction is great, but a two inch intake is no good for a sand bottom 1/3 acre lake! I have all the typical pool equipment to work with if anyone can think of an easy rig up. I'd like to get leaves of the bottom and the remainder of the floating gunk from the alum. sulfate, which is now a white bubbly layer that blows around to different areas.
Thanks for your interest and help.
Thanks

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#67460 - 04/04/06 09:32 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
Sara, one thing, the well water is not oxgenated; that plus not running the fall may be a little too much risk all at once. As far as microbes, you can get a 6 pack of septic bacteria at Walmart. It is in the plumbing section and comes in a red foil bag with 6 packs inside. Mix with a bucket of warm water, let set for a while then pour in. Use 1 bag per week and see what happens.

One other thing, you dont want the water really clear if you want fish. They need the plankton, but I'm sure you knew that.
_________________________

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#67461 - 04/04/06 09:53 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
M Spinhirne Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 210
Loc: Montgomery, Texas
Sara,
Alum, like all aluminum salts, works to clarify water by coagulation. It it classed as a metal salt inorganic coagulant that is most effective (least solubility) at a pH of 6.5. Above or below that, the solubility increases, and the effectiveness drops off.
While it is a coagulant, it requires quite a bit of settling time to separate, and makes a fluffy floc particle that easily breaks apart if you try to scoop it out. The best way to remove it will be to let it settle (turn off the circulation) and suck it off the bottom (it should sink in time). Alum is not in itself an algecide like chlorine or commercial algecides. It would only kill algae from settling and coagulation. It will work on most solids by trapping small particles in the AlOH floc that forms. pH depressions to 6.5 from repiration may cause aditional floc formation, while pH rise will resolubilize the settled floc, thus you may see additional formation of settled solids after you remove what is there now. Filtering through a very small pore size filter might work, but the filter will quickly blind off unless you have a deep bed filter like used on a swimming pool.
Good luck
_________________________
Mike

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#67462 - 04/04/06 10:03 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Okay, my son is headed out to turn one pump on and tom. I'll head to walmart. aLTHOUGH THAT kind of grosses me out. Is it safe for humans?: I go through great length to keep animal fecees(sp) away from the water.
As to the really clear water and fish needing plankton, your right. I need to reconsile in my mind either that I can't have it all. Or perhaps that I am so blessed I can have both, that's what I am believing for currently.
Can you use the septic stuff with new plants?
ANy thoughts on my suction rigging?

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#67463 - 04/04/06 10:10 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
. I'll head to walmart. aLTHOUGH THAT kind of grosses me out. Is it safe for humans?: I go through great length to keep animal fecees(sp) away from the water.

OK. I knew that was coming. It is the same bacteria/enzymes as used in pond microbes. There are several strains that eat cellulose, fats, lipids, oils, etc. It or the very expensive microbe lift will take a while to do any good and work much better when aeration is used since they are aerobic(needs O2)to work.

I think you are beginning to understand, you can swim in a fish pond, but hard to keep a fish pond looking like a swimming pool. ;\)
_________________________

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#67464 - 04/04/06 10:26 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Hi M Spinhirne,
Your note just slipped in there.
Are you saying that the green solids were not algea? I'm with you with the setteling idea. My son is headed back out to turn off the pump. I really want to work on suctioning tom. I think if you could see how powerfully and well dispersed the water falls are everyone would come to the conclusion that there is no way the water couldn't be well airated. I had one on for most of the day.
The only form of small pore filter I have is that green/white aquatic sheet. They have been dirtier(greener) than ever since I did the aluminum sulf. I realize they need to be cleaned or replaced repeatedly. I'll even put one in the leaf basket between the hoses.
I have never caught the ph being below 8 and that was very momentary. Your right about the additional floc formation. I had most of the green chucks off the top from using the old barley hay in the net, this new stuff is different, white and foamish and fine. wHILE all the green is setteling. That is what I'm after tom.. Maybe I'll try putting a fine screen over the pool bottom tool with the wheels to widen the suction surface, that could get the green and leave the sand. I wonder if they make minny pool filters that I could put in the pump; where the leaf baskets are now? I'll check on that too.
I make out like I don't enjoy the work, I do. It would just be nice to get it down and have time for everything else in life, like gardening!

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#67465 - 04/04/06 10:29 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12383
Loc: Central Ohio
I thought she meant "Is Walmart safe for Humans?" \:D
_________________________
"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling

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#67466 - 04/04/06 10:32 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Okay Burgmeister/ I'll try it! Did you hear I turned off the pump? The family concensus is that there is no way the water could not be airated. Now you do realize I don't have a biological filter?
My husband will be glad to see this new revelation that I have one of them cement ponds if I want perfectly clear water!
I don't think he planned on being married to a pond obsessed, ph testing, pond junky.

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#67467 - 04/04/06 10:38 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
I'm thinking "Non carborundum illegitimatus" is something I shouldn't put in my water... what does that mean? Good question about walmart!

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#67468 - 04/04/06 10:51 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
M Spinhirne Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 210
Loc: Montgomery, Texas
Sara,
The green is definitely algae. The algae will floc and settle as will all the solids. If you have mostly algal solids, then the floc will be green, but will darken as this dies off and leaves the dead mass behind. The filters will blind off and have to be cleaned frequently.
_________________________
Mike

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#67469 - 04/04/06 10:59 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Good! That means I was right to think that the green is the living/dying algea and the gray kind that settles in the barley straw must be the dead outer membrane of the plankton.
UNFORTUNATELY I'm out of brand new aqua filter and am using cleaned ones, but at least they were prior to the green abundance.
Okay so my list is septic stuff, plants, small pool filter, aqua mat sold locally.It just doesn't come easy I guess!

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#67470 - 04/04/06 11:46 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Just tried to paste a picture, can't get it to do it. Can't find specifics in the rules, except to provide an outside site, that I don't have. I have a nice slide show of the building of the waterfall I would have shown you. It is pretty cool. Shows the water when it was perfect. Chlorine really is a wonderful thing, I'm sure that is a popular comment. Don't worry I'm going to hang on the hard way with the rest of you. I'm not heavy I'm your pond brother.

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#67471 - 04/05/06 11:18 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Today's update: depressing, tried a filter sock on the pool bottom wheel cleaner thing, just sucked concave full of sand into the two inch opening. One good thing was I found a filter at a spa store that fits the pump if the leaf basket is removed. It has to be hammered in and pryed out as I did not take into account that the inside of the clear lid has protrusions, so it needs to be down in a little. It got a lot of green. washed it twice in less than an hour.
Walmart was a bust. The one I went to did not have the septic stuff and they were having some plant special in the parking lot...couldn't make myself go there, so looked around in the dead inside garden area but only found things i can get for free on my own property, and some water lillies, I can't go that high maintenance 'til the green takes less time. just ordered more barley straw. Looking for talapia as some ohter category was raving about them.
Who knew a girl could have fantasies about clorox?

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#67472 - 04/07/06 12:13 AM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Burgermeister, does it matter what brand of septic treatment? as I have not found anything in a six pack.

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#67473 - 04/07/06 01:59 AM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
"Who knew a girl could have fantasies about clorox?" "I'm not heavy I'm your pond brother"

Cute! You might just make a PB. Home Depot has ZEP brand in a 1 lb. cylindrical box that is made by same people and is the same. They have many times more bacterria that the more advertised Rid-X. Now, the vehicle for the bacteria spores is bran that looks like small oatmeal, so dont get grossed out. You could get the liquid, but they are usually more diluted. I have researched this because I am a cheapskate. We all have committed a pond boss sin, we have forgotten the most basic question; what is family goal or goals for the pond. I have had both the concrete and dirt pond. Concrete pond: clorox good, algae no good. Guess what, fish pond: algae good, clorox no good. Please dont say that word again. ;\)
_________________________

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#67474 - 04/09/06 08:11 PM Re: aluminum sulfate /water clarity
sara Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 24
Loc: sarasota fl
Okay, I'll never say that word again. I'm pleased to announce I have fled temptation and added no -------. After seeing the shipping of a one gallon jug of something on the internet I went to home depot site and saw the zep stuff. I love the zep orange clean, so I had high hopes. My husband put in 30 bags on Sat. and things are much improved already. DO you think that is enough for 60,000 gallons?
The family goal is a house divided! But, if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy! As long as the bass are in there I am enjoying catching them. If they were not there I would enjoy looking at it more, either way I'm in it constantly. As there is almost as much rock under the water as above it, I want to be able to see it. Not only for the magnificeince of it, but so kids are not jumping off into shallow rock. So wish I could post a picture, then you would understand, and be torn too.
Those bass were biting today! Between the overcast and the rain and the new clarity I caught all three of them!
Thanks for everything! I've got Barley straw coming too. If the combo of these things doesn't work I'm going to start that fantasy life again.
Sara

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