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Gentlemen,
I recently took over management of our 6 acre lake from a small management firm. I over the last few weeks, I have killed all of the algae and aquatic weeds in the lake. I then fertilized and got a great plankton bloom going a few days ago. All has been well, until this morning. About half of the lake is covered with small green bubbles. There does not seem to be an plant matter mixed in with the bubbles. I don't know what it is, or what to do next. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We do have a new aeration system. Could that be causing the bubbles? Thanks in advance.

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Some sort of algae maybe?
Do we have any chance to see a photo? That might be useful in this case...

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David, first off Welcome to the forum. Do you have a secchi disc? How many inches of visibility do you have? It sounds like a huge bloom.


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Hey guys. Thank you so much for your quick responses and the warm welcome. It looks like I may be around this forum for a while. I will make a secchi disk and measure the visibility this evening. I will also take a few pics. Are you saying it might be a huge planktonic algae bloom? If so, would I have to kill it and try to reestablish it? Thanks again.

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Dave:

If it is a huge bloom, and you kill it, it may create a fish kill because of using up O2 during decomp. When you kill weeds, it frees up the nutrients for a bloom, so fert. isn't always needed. If visibility goes below 6" you should have aeration and other ways to oxygenate the water in place or you risk a fish kill.


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Any chance it weakens and returns to a normal bloom? We have quite a bit of freshwater inflow from springs throughout the lake. Also, we just installed an Aquamaster aeration system with 5 diffusers spread around the lake. Hopefully that will prevent a fish kill from lack of DO.

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The aeration will help a lot. Just don't add any more fertilizer! wink


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Well, here are the latest developments. I went by the house around noon yesterday and the "foam" was entirely gone. No sign of it anywhere what so ever. However, around 3pm, it started coming back. By the time the sun set, there was some on the surface, but not much. And when I woke up, it was everywhere again. Hopefully it will disappear again, when the sun hits the water. Here are some photos of what it looks like:









Any ideas??? Thanks.

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My guess from two states away and not seeing the 'stuff' first hand is you have an algae bloom that tends to be mobile in the water (flagellated - surface then subsurface) and the bubbles are from either oxygen bubbles from DO supersaturation or from dissolved proteins in the water (from lots of plant decompostion) appearing as surface bubbles from the aeration similar to a protein skimmer. One of the species of dominant flagellated alga is getting "caught up" in the bubbles when it is at/near the surface. It is possible that the "problem" algae is a Euglenophyta since some of them tend to bloom when dissolved proteins and the right nutrient concentrations are fairly abundant.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/04/11 05:12 PM. Reason: omitted opinions abt HOA

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Thanks for your discouraging words...but no complaints yet. There are only 14 of us and they are pretty forgiving. Especially since the lake looks beautiful right now and for most of the day. The problem only comes up in the morning. I don't know what could be decomposing, since there was nothing in the water when I fertilized. I am going to turn off the aeration tonight and see if that helps. If anyone has any thing non-condescending to say, i would appreciate it. Sorry I am not an expert. I thought this forum was for everyone.

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I was not trying to be condescending - just trying to explain how complex aquatic systems can be for someone to try and keep them looking like pristine waters. Quite a difficult task which I assume is why the small management firm is no longer doing the management - poor results. No need to be sorry that you are not an expert, there are very few if any experts when it comes to properly managing Mother Natures waters. They are very complex interactive ecosystems. I still think you will need some luck to get that problem cleared up. Sorry you did not like my advice. There very few easy simple answers to problems similar to those of your BOW. Maybe someone else can provide some easy answers. Decomposing stuff is probably all the algae and weeds lying on the bottom that were killed a couple weeks ago. It takes time for a lot of that coarser material to decompose.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/04/11 05:14 PM.

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It could be planktonic cytoplasm. When a bloom ramps up it gets heavy during the day and dies back at dark. The dead cells exsude cytoplasm which can move to the surface and look like grayish jello. Hard to tell from the pics.




Last edited by ewest; 06/04/11 05:06 PM.















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Wow. "Easy answers"...the condescension continues. I don't think Bob Lusk and Pond Boss created this forum as an avenue for so called "experts" to demean "novices" such as myself. I am an honest guy looking for honest answers, without commentary or attitude. Also I have a BS in Biology and Chemistry, so I do have an understanding of the natural world. Thanks to those who have offered their honest, unopinionated advice. It is greatly appreciated.

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Amazing that you edited out half of your first post, as well.

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Welcome to PB. One of the answers we most often give is "it depends". As a biologist you understand just how complicated a bio-system can be. It is a giant web with many interactions. Every pond I have ever looked at is different form the one before due to that web and the dirt and water involved. I trust you can understand how hard it is to give good advice on such complicated systems without having ever seen it. Often even when seen in person there are no easy surefire answers. Please understand that our first concern , like a Dr. , is to do no harm. We have to be careful that we don't give advice that will cause a major problem like a fish kill.

I think that if you take Bill's description and mine - we are both describing a vigorous plankton bloom and what happens and what factors effect it. I have seen what you are describing on our ponds and others and it is ok as long as the water does not get thicker and it goes away during the day. The aeration should help. Monitor the situation and if there are any changes post it here. But keep in mind it is our opinion and just the best we can do under the circumstance.

I have know Bill for years and I assure you he is not condescending and is trying to give you the help you request. For example see this thread.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=20172&Number=259527#Post259527


One suggestion that would help is a brief description of a daily cycle - what you see over the course of a day ( 7 am , 10 am , noon , 3 pm , 6 pm and at dark). Visibility , color , thickness (stuff floating or not) and anything else you see which might have a bearing on water quality.

Last edited by ewest; 06/04/11 07:19 PM.















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With all do respect, none of those were condescending Mr. David. Bill was exactly right with what is going on, and how complex aquatic systems are. There is no such thing as an "easy answer" when dealing with aquatic ecosystems. The bubbles could definitly be from the decomposition rate, from the aquatic veg and algae you sprayed (from 1st post). Filamentous algae, for instance is completely controlled by the amount of nutrients in the water, especially phosphorus. Which is why essup had recommended no more fertilization for right now, as the algae and aquatic plants you sprayed, put some more phosphorus back into the system, probably causing the increase in your surface algae. Do you run the aerators at night? If so, this can cause the algae to come to the surface as Bill eluded to,as with increased oxygen, oxygen could get caught up underneath the algae mats, making them float, when there is less oxygen there, say if your not running your aerators during the day, you might not see it, as it will be less buoyant, same goes for plankton. This is just my two cents. This forum is filled with great minds, and even better people. No one here, is trying to be mean, condescend, or mislead you. We are all here to help eachother out. I hope you find what we said useful, and I wish you luck with the pond. If you figure out how to control it, or have any new updates, keep us updated!


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Thank you all for your excellent input. Fortunately, the phenomenon has subsided substantially. There is hardly anything on the water this morning. The lake looks fantastic. One of our neighbors is a Biology professor at one of our local universities. He took some water samples yesterday. I will let you know if he finds anything interesting. The good thing is that the "foam" is on the decline. Hopefully this trend continues. On another note, I didn't come to this forum to make enemies. If I did so, I apologize. Thanks again for your help. I hope to use this forum for years to come.

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Hi David Wingo and a belated welcome to the Pond Boss forums. You have not made any enemies on this forum. We all know how frustrating it is to try to manage a pond and bend mother nature's will to our purpose. Sometimes we express that frustration on these forums. We are all here to help each other and I don't believe that anyone would purposely demean another member. Heck I'm a bean counter, what I knew about pond management when I came to these forums could barely fill the cap of a pill bottle. (Now perhaps I could fill the entire pill bottle, well at least if it was a small pill bottle, not one of those 5,000 pill aspirin bottles).

Stick around have fun and keep posting, we all learn from each others experiences.


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No apology needed. We are all here to learn and help each other. This is a friendly forum and we all park our egos and attitudes at the door before we sign in. Let us know what the Prof says as we can learn from what he finds. My guess is you had a big surge in the plankton bloom and thus the dye back and grey goo on the surface.

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Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
Hi David Wingo and a belated welcome to the Pond Boss forums. You have not made any enemies on this forum. We all know how frustrating it is to try to manage a pond and bend mother nature's will to our purpose. Sometimes we express that frustration on these forums. We are all here to help each other and I don't believe that anyone would purposely demean another member. Heck I'm a bean counter, what I knew about pond management when I came to these forums could barely fill the cap of a pill bottle. (Now perhaps I could fill the entire pill bottle, well at least if it was a small pill bottle, not one of those 5,000 pill aspirin bottles).

Stick around have fun and keep posting, we all learn from each others experiences.


I think with that one recent post that had value, you could probably fill one of those small pill bottles. Heck, you'd probably even do better than a free sample bottle at this point! You're on a torrid pace!


Todd La Neve

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