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#113912 04/01/08 09:41 PM
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I want to thank everyone for helping me prioritize and giving me inputs. I have done quite a bit of reading in this forum and have studied on my own with pond boss literatures, magazine and Bob's CD.

Now I have prioritized my goals.

My most important wish is to have a clear water lake with very few to no aquatic plants and fishes. I noticed that most of the discussions on this forum are on ponds or lakes that raise trophy bass.

My number 1 goal would be clear water and aesthetics. I understand that water clarity is very much based on several factors. From previous discussions I learn that my pond should be 10-12 feet deep. I will need a 2:1 to 3:1 slop with quick drop off into 3 feet to discourage to much aquatic plant growth.

Also, I plan to use irrigation water that may have been fertile. However, I will probably need some chemicals to change the PH and alkalinity to minize growth of the organism and keep my lake oligotrophic. I will need help with water chemistry to prevent the clumping of clay and other particles in the soil to keep water clear.

I will need to minimized run offs and protect the lake as much as possible to keep the phosphorus low.

This is how I am planning to create my 3 acre clear water lake. I am looking for the kind of lake that will reflect the blue color of the sky on a clear sunny day.

I notice that in the forum there are very few discussion on creating an oligotrophic lake. Therefore, I would like to ask for help by opening the discussion as to whatelse I should know to achieve the goals above and what I should look out for. I also will be very thankful in any wisdom that will help me design my lake.

I know this is my third post on the topic. Sorry, but it takes some time to finalized my goal.

Thanks.

ArJay #113914 04/01/08 09:45 PM
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It's possible that I've missed this before, and if so, I'm sorry. But have you determined if there's an optimal pH for discouraging algae and plant growth? It seems to me that this would be a big key.


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The information I found here
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.9809/msg00201.html
it sez below pH 7. That will make it acidic.

some other sources like this
http://www.vnwg.com/culture_tips01.jsp

sez:

"..PH can also affect the ecological balance of the pond. The average pond should maintain a PH of 7.5 to 9.5 with 9.5 giving the least amount of algae growth. In exceptionally acid ponds, Water Clarifier may be used to return the PH to 9.5. In exceptionally basic ponds, use Water Clarifier as a PH stabilizer. ..."


I am still gathering information as to the pH balance. I am afraid I don't know enough. Maybe there is no magic pH as different species may thrive on different pH. What is your thought on the pH?

Last edited by ArJay; 04/01/08 10:09 PM.
ArJay #113924 04/01/08 10:23 PM
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I'm no chemist, but it was my uneducated impression that you wanted to be more acidic to suppress algae growth.


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i'm thinking that if you want to maintain oligotrophic conditions, temperature and stratification will be yer biggest battle. most oligotrophic lakes around me have neutral pH.


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This is way out of my league but that has never stopped me before. How will you supress naturally ocurring planktonic blooms?


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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ArJay if you're wealthy enough to chemically maintain a 3 acre pond like a swimming pool then I suggest you pick up stakes and move to the Texas Hill country were the water you are desiring is a natural occurrence. Is this what your looking for? Some of the most clear blue turquoise water north of the Caribbean.



http://www.briangreenstone.com/austin/nueces/index.html


By the way plenty of fish and plants grow in these oasis in the desert.

With a lime stone bottom your on the right track already. I believe by simply preventing runoff water from entering your pond you will be 99% of where you want to be plants or not. I pm'd you never replied. Again what do your neighbors cliché pit ponds look like in your area? Murky or clear? How are they filled, runoff or ? I believe your water source is the secret to having what you desire not man induced chemicals. Look at the photo below.



The pond in the upper left corner is a 3 acre frac pond built by the O&G folks exploring natural gas in our area. The 2 ponds in lower right corner are mine. Notice any color differences same soils? My 2 ponds are fed by runoff and shallow wet land springs. In these photo's the ponds are down from drought conditions. The pond in front of my house normally has visibility down to about 8 feet below the surface. Extremely clear. I believe because of the spring and water table that feed it. Note the color of the pond in the upper left. It is filled 100% with deep spring well water. The trinity aquifer I think. That is what clear blue deep water looks like from the sky. Light green. Just my 2 cents but I highly dought you can get what you want by just adding chemicals. If your water source is clear so will your pond be.



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I was involved in a pond remediation of a gypsum stack collection pond. there was a lot of single cell algae growing in the pond at a pH of 1.4. the pond water was high in PO4 due to the nature of the run off from he phosphogypsum stack, but it grew algae big time. I think it depends on all water chemistry and not just pH. There is a small lake near Huntsville Texas that is extremely alkaline. It sits amid acres of pines. It is extremely clear and so is used for open water scuba tests. No fish or plants grow in the lake due to the high pH. It appears to be a natural soda ash deposit that causes the high pH and sterile condition. although it is clear, he water will cause your skin to dry and will irritate the eyes.
Depending on your finances, the best way to create a clear water pond might be to consider filtration. Coagulation and flocculation to enhance settling will work, but if you use for swimming, it will stir each time and need to be allowed to re-settle.


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I agree with Mike. Its about the chemistry. I posted earlier on the possible effects on a pond in a calcite pit. As a general matter pond water in the end reflects the nature of the dirt upon which it sits (including its watershed). Recall that water is a tremendous universal solvent. As Bob says if it can dissolve it will in water.

Here is an example. Central Fla has good rain water - clean, clear water that precipitates through sand and pines . At that point in its journey it is acidic with low productivity. The water being acid should be unproductive and crystal clear . But Fla is land deposited on a limestone reef from long ago and the acid water as it precipitates down leaches out (dissolves) the limestone. Parts of central Fla also have phosphate deposits (the middle # in fertilizers which is what is missing in most unfertile ponds) that are mined leaving great holes (lakes). When the ground water (springs) emanates from ground with the dissolved limestone and gets into the excavated phosphate pits it acts as a solvent and picks up the missing P and is as near perfect as possible for productivity. Nice plankton blooms for most of the year. While most good well managed fertile ponds can produce fish (carrying capacity) at around 400 lbs per acre the phosphate pit lakes can produce/ carry 3000 lbs per acre. Why - because the water reflects the soil from which it comes and in this case near perfect. Clean water with great alkalinity and the right nutrients (P). The perfect natural chemistry for growing fish.

What is the source of your water ? Calcite (lime source) can be either dissolved by groundwater or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations. Although calcite is fairly insoluble in cold water, acidity can cause dissolution of calcite and release of carbon dioxide gas. Calcite exhibits an unusual characteristic called retrograde solubility in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. When conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together or it can fill fractures. When conditions are right for dissolution, the removal of calcite can dramatically increase the porosity and permeability of the rock, and if it continues for a long period of time may result in the formation of caverns. If youe water comes through the calcite and picks up alkalinity it may be very clear good quality but lacking P. If it picks up the P from any source you could have a tremendous plankton bloom and be very productive (for fish). If that occurs you will have to change the chemistry to have clear non-productive water.
















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Everyone,

Thanks for your help. Everyone here are so helpful it makes me feel bad to ask question!

I am sharing some of the pictures to help answering some quetions. Yes, my goal is to have a clear lake for my house. If there happens to be fish, that is okay, but my primary goal is the aesthetic. Also, I would LOVE to move to the hill country, but my business and my fiance are here. We want to build a new home on this land. Unless she breaks my heart soon, I will have to settle for building the lake in Deep South Texas.


A-- the irrigation canal for water source
B-- my land
C-- Proposed Lake site, 3 acres. this area is 10 feet lower than the rest and is previously dug for caliche. The caliche is dug out and sold for construction purpose.
D-- A giagantic caliche pit nearby that was previous dug for caliche. The pit holds some shallow water (ground? irrigation?) and never seems to dry up according to the neighbor. It is shallow so the water doesn't show on the map.
E-- Pond that is filled with water. I assume this is also caliche based. My realtor told me that pond has been dried since. But no one has been putting water in it either.


Picture of the irrigation canal


Close up of water quality


What the ground looks like.


Nearby 20 acre lake build by a local contractor

I will share some pictures of the caliche pit in "D" tomorrow. It is at my work place.

Thanks
RJ



Last edited by ArJay; 04/02/08 09:26 PM.
ArJay #115591 04/16/08 03:01 AM
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The greater or more costly the goal dictates the most reliable plan or design. Consider the basic cost of construction, then weigh that against the quality of the design.

I think a lake without some submerged plants is simply not attractive.


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