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This growth is in a pool surrounding a tree, just up the bank from my pond. As rain water drains from the field towards the pond it collects in this small pool and then continues into the pond. The water draining from this pool is stained the same rust color as in the photo. The other runoff from the same field is relatively clear.



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Jelly Blobs (bryozoans)?


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We need Bill on this one. I have not seen bryozoans that look like that. My guess is some form of algae.
















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I was concerned exactly because I thought it might be some form of algae, and red seems like a bad color for algae.

I started doing a little reading about bryozoans which is pretty interesting anyway. It turns out that fish like to eat them, especially BG.



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Bryozoan's are cool animals GW. If you have them, it genearally means you have good water quality. I think they can even improve the water clarity.

Those critters aren't bryozoans though. They're far too delicate looking. Bryozoan's are usually more ball shaped, and are quite tough and rubbery.

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It's probably relevant that the water has only been there for about 10 days or so. During that time there has been a constant trickle into and out of the pool, and then into the pond.

Here are more pics:











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Scratch the Jelly Blob idea.


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It might be golden filmentous algae, or perhaps it's just std. FA that is starting to die. Has there been a recent hard frost or freeze in your area GW?



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It did go down to the mid 20's a few days ago, but this stuff never did have a green stage.



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Food for thought....I have only seen that color in water when there has been long term, considerable oil contamination in the ground that the water passes through. And it never creates an oil slick. There is an area I know of about 3 miles downstream from a 75 year old car dealership that had grease pits that caused a VERY similar looking area, but it also stained the rock that color too.



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 Originally Posted By: Rainman
Food for thought....I have only seen that color in water when there has been long term, considerable oil contamination in the ground that the water passes through. And it never creates an oil slick. There is an area I know of about 3 miles downstream from a 75 year old car dealership that had grease pits that caused a VERY similar looking area, but it also stained the rock that color too.


Interesting Rainman, this runoff is downhill from a cotton/peanut/rye field and pecan orchard. My neighbor has lived next door for 50 years and this has only been used for agriculture in that time.

We haven't had rain in a few weeks now and there is still a trickle coming from this spot. There are a handful of "springs" that are still running into my pond and I'm a full pool while my neighbor's pond has dropped a few inches lately. It's very possible that these springs are normally active when we aren't in a drought. We've only been here for two years and it's been very dry during that period.

Also, I have noticed what looks like an oil slick in these little streams.



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Does it appear to be a gelatinous, reddish "slime" that is really jelly like? It would not be filamentous, but look like jelly blobs that are red iron colored. If so, it could be iron bacteria. It is common where a natural iron deposit exist's in an aqueous solute. You see it a lot where well water with high iron content and high enough BOD exist's to allow it to culture. It is anaerobic and is found together with sulfate reducing bacteria as the H2S that is produced by the SO4 reducing bacteria helps produce the acid condition needed for the iron bacteria to feed on the iron. A stagnant water area with high iron content (spring fed area) with decaying organic matter will produce this bacteria. It will not live long in aerated water, but will live in damp open air. You sometimes see this around wells in the midwest where surface contamination of the well has occurred and then water from the well leaks around seals and collects in pools around the well head.


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Thanks Mike. It really isn't jelly-like. When you try to pick it up it falls apart completely. I'll go take another look tomorrow.




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