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#133844 09/28/08 11:52 AM
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i never really thought i'd be here.

but here i am.

there is about 5-6 ft max left in deep end gradually shallowing to inches, total coverage ~0.5-0.7 acres. until yesterday the water quality appeared good. dark olive phyto bloom, active fish. as of yesterday, pond has assumed a very light hued and murky green color. with the shallowness of it all, the bottom aeration is appearing to kick up some of the clay band aid so there is now some suspended sediment adding to the apparently increased nutrient bloom creating the increased murkiness.

last night the BG appeared lethargic, but the GSF still seem fine.

at this juncture i am torn -
1) do i keep aerating? turning off aeration will stop the suspended sediment load, but may de-oxygenate what little water is left. heybuds wonderful question of "how fast does the thermocline redevelop?" rings in my mind.

2) do i try to add well water from my domestic well. i can get somewhere between 5-10 gpm in but the groundwater is cold, not oxygenated, and VERY HARD. i was thinking of running it through a rainbird and splashing it on exposed pond bottom rocks, but am concerned the hardness and temperature of it will be debilitating to the fish....or is there enough existing pond volume to buffer the fresh hard well water.

3) do nothing, sit and wait

we have (what will probably turn out to be nothing) a chance of rain next friday, the first since 5/24/08.

edit.... p.s. i hope this is a better question and response session than the "help me pic my paint color" \:\)

i'll be down at the pond trying to remove fish on this 95 degree day......moving what i can to the ranch pond.

Last edited by dave in el dorado ca; 09/28/08 12:54 PM.

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PM sent.


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That's very sad DIED.
Is it possible that the little bit of suspended clay could be a help rather than a hurt? Water clarity will suffer but if it's due to suspended clay it should act like dye to diminish your bloom which is good in your sit. The danger of low clarity is when it's due to excessive bloom isn't it? ... the bloom consumes more oxygen than it creats & crashes early am consuming more oxygen = fish kill.
I'm certainly no expert so maybe someone can show the er of my thinking.

Last edited by Ric Swaim; 09/28/08 02:13 PM.

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thanks ric, i'm thinkin you have a good point.

up to now i havent done anything different....i have the aerators running from 11 pm to 8 am nightly when air temps are down. being 90 to 100 the past couple days and into the next couple days, i dont want to circulate during the day, but leaving the aerator running 24/7 once it cools down might be an option?

i was able to move only about a dozen fish over the late morning/early afternoon, and feel like i need to move alot more, problem is only the GSF are biting (tough lil buggers) and what i need to get rid of are the BG. i'll try again this evening once sun is down. if i could get 100 fish or so out and down to ranch pond at least i'll "feel" better about the whole thing.

p.s. thanks bruce, checking it.

Last edited by dave in el dorado ca; 09/28/08 04:27 PM.

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I'm really sorry as well DIED! Is it possible you have lost so much water that the biomass requires more O2 than can be provided? Are you any good with a cast net?

Know any CFD chopper pilots that can make a few accidental water dumps? Throw Dry ice in the pond and get them to dump water till the smoke stops!

Seriously, we'll pray for some reasonable rain for you, don't need any mudslides.



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DIED one option is to raise the diffuser off the bottom a foot or to. Another is to use a black plastic run to dump the well water on and let it run down the hill (100 feet) into the pond. Put some rocks on the plastic to break the flow and pick up O2. Another idea is to use a soaker hose to spread out the O2 around the pond.
















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thanks very much for the input eric. another thought i had was to use a high pressure nozzle and spray the stream high into the air and arch it over so it splatters into pond. (i have a very steep slope extending some 40 feet above pond to a water supply, so the water would be dropping in from 50 or 60 feet above current pond level).

i spoke w/ bruce offline, he gave me another idea to very slowly and incrementally add dye (well below normal dosages) over a 10 to 20 day period to slowly kill the thick plankton bloom and ward off a plankton or vegetation die off and O2 crash (should we get a cold front or something). his recommendation was to maintain the aeration schedule as is and dont artificially cause large temperature shifts (which might cause a sudden vegetation/plankton kill).


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 Originally Posted By: Rainman
I'm really sorry as well DIED! Is it possible you have lost so much water that the biomass requires more O2 than can be provided? Are you any good with a cast net?

Know any CFD chopper pilots that can make a few accidental water dumps? Throw Dry ice in the pond and get them to dump water till the smoke stops!

Seriously, we'll pray for some reasonable rain for you, don't need any mudslides.


thanks rainman, low volume of water, lots o fish, yes thats the problem although nothing has happened yet (no floaters) my gut is just sensing that a fish kill is close based on water color and fish behavior.

even though a i volunteer in the local fire council, i dont know any chopper pilots....fun thought though \:\)


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I don't have any more to add than our resident experts, but I hope all turns out well for you DIED!

Please keep us posted--there are many people pulling for you and learning quite a bit from this thread.


"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."
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 Originally Posted By: dave in el dorado ca
...another idea to very slowly and incrementally add dye (well below normal dosages) over a 10 to 20 day period to slowly kill the thick plankton bloom and ward off a plankton or vegetation die off and O2 crash (should we get a cold front or something). his recommendation was to maintain the aeration schedule as is and dont artificially cause large temperature shifts (which might cause a sudden vegetation/plankton kill).


Another way to look at it is that you're not really slowly killing it off as you are inhibiting reproduction of the phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton is always dying off anyway. Very short life span. But in the case of an increasing phytoplankton bloom, you are getting reproduction more rapidly than individual units die off. If you added the dye really slowly, you're inhibiting reproduction from the bottom up. You'll have a narrower and narrower band of adequate light penetration, so utimately you should be able to reach the tipping point at which your bloom will begin to recede. I'm just nervous about seeing it go all at once when the weather starts to cool.

For some reason I can't seem to find any holes in this idea. It's cheap, easy, and should reduce the possibility of a pond-wide algae crash, which I believe to be the most significant possible cause of a massive fish kill.


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i was able to move about three dozen small to medium sized gills (mostly females) and about a dozen more small to medium GSF to the ranch pond this evening.

when i let them go in the ranch pond, and after the dust settled, they all schooled up and sat there looking at me. when i went to walk away, they followed me (like they do in my pond). the ranch pond is thick w/ YOY lmb and a few surviving sub-adults.....8 to 10-inch class, so my gills will be struggling for food or be food, although they wont be a part of a potential massive fish kill in my pond.

it was really kind of sad.

am i a wuss?


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No, you're not.

I've felt the pain of fish loss, and gone to great lengths to prevent it, only to see it happen again.

I understand, fer sure.


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You're doing the best you can for them, DIED.
 Quote:
when i let them go in the ranch pond, and after the dust settled, they all schooled up and sat there looking at me. when i went to walk away, they followed me (like they do in my pond).

Excuse me, there's something in my eyes.


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sorry for my emotional outburst. afterwards, i laid on a bed of nails, killed a mountain lion bearhanded, got drunk, got my butt kicked in a barfight, woke up this morning and did ten reps with 600 pounds......i feel better now.


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 Originally Posted By: dave in el dorado ca
sorry for my emotional outburst. afterwards, i laid on a bed of nails, killed a mountain lion bearhanded, got drunk, got my butt kicked in a barfight, woke up this morning and did ten reps with 600 pounds......i feel better now.


\:D

No one is going to question your manhood here my friend. Losing fish is heartbreaking and to see it happen must be much worse. At least when I lost mine I didn't have to watch it.

I'm so sorry to hear about this turn of events Dave. We both knew that you needed to get many more fish out of your pond than we had so far. Let's hope that with the expert advice here you can ward off the fish kill.

I'll call you later this morning.


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I agree with Ewest, raise up the diffuser only slightly, or place it in a bucket to prevent stirring up sediment. Aerate 24/7 or more if possible. Good luck, my friend. Here's a long distance manly hug.


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thanks burger, DWIED patted me on the head this morning and said "good luck honey"....that's all i need.

i could see needing to raise a bottom laying stone type diffuser but mine are already on a platform (vertex style) and are somehwere between 1 and 2 feet off the bottom. raising them more would put them within a foot or two of the surface. i strongly do believe it is the aeration that has kept the fish alive this far.

i'm encouraged this morning, the super light green murkiness has given way to a more normal medium olive green, and the fact i was able to catch fish last night was good (they are hungry and feeding). i think with as little water as i have, there will just be those days when it kind of turns bad and i have to hope the fish make it through. our weather is supposed to cool off some which should slow down fish activity some. right now the plan is to keep the aeration on same schedule, suspend any supplemental feeding, give the pond some occassional shots of well water, keep culling fish as best i can, keep fingers crossed, and wait til we get some rain.


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While 5-10GPM is not that much, I would be adding well water after letting it splash around and soak up some oxygen.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think splashing the water around when it comes out of the well helps get rid of some of the dissolved minerals?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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it helps get rid of dissolved gases like methane and H2S, but no dissolved minerals.

i figured i have about 3 to 4 half acre feet left.....or roughly 1.5 to 2 acre feet, so there is still in excess 500,000 gallons. the amount of well water i'd add is more of a feel good measure but dont believe it'l have any significant impact on the temperature or chemistry.


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Thanks for the clarification on the gases vs. minerals. I think I knew that, but.....well.....I agree on the feel good thing.

Sometimes it's just the little extra bit of effort that makes a difference.

On a side note, should DIED suspend feeding for now?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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He said he planned to "stop supplemental feeding". That's what I'd do, preventing more potential water quality problems from entering the system.


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Thanks Theocity, I missed that.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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its good timing too, just finishing a 50 lb bag of aqmax, and i wont buy another just to sit all winter.


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Not trying to specifically contradict anybody, but the slightest disturbance of the placement of that aerator could change the whole dynamic of something that's probably already working extremely well.

It has crossed my mind more than once that the silt may actually be benefitting Dave because it's inhibiting light penetration, which in turn is probably supressing the algae growth. Keep in mind that fish don't die from a slight increase in silt suspension. I personally wouldn't touch the aerator or the aeration schedule.

IMHO, a microphytic or macrophytic crash is the only thing that will kill these fish, short of a near complete loss of water. And if that happens there ain't nuthin' that's gonna save 'em anyways.


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At least they'l be in that better place....sunfish heaven, where even the hybrids are welcomed \:\)

lets hope it doesnt come to that.


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