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#529087 12/22/20 09:58 PM
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
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A bit concerned about this..
In the area my diffuser sets in, in about 3.5' of water-runs midnight for 15 min and noon for 15 min, there is a grey foamy area around the 6' diameter hole that stays open. My lead biologist says the only time he has seen craws come up on top of ice was with serious bad water quality issues..
Anyone have any ideas or thoughts on that?

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Several years ago I observed 10 or so adult crayfish wandering our onto the ice from the small hole of open water. If I recall correctly, they all had light greyish fuzzy growth on them.
That following spring when the ice left the pond, there were two trout floating dead, a brown about 3 pounds, and a rainbow of about 4 pounds.
As well as I can remember, I was not aerating that winter.
Each winter since then, I've run aeration. I have not seen the phenomena again.

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Yeah.. Got something funky happening. Going to try and catch Lusk and see what he thinks about this.. Had about 30 some craws up on the ice today.
I've always noticed a fuzz on the craws coming out of winter but this is foamy, sticky looking stuff, kinda like a soap ring after draining the tub.

Last edited by Snipe; 12/23/20 01:17 AM.
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"Special on Frozen Mudbugs in Aisle Six"


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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I'm going to try and get a water sample here in about an hour and do some testing..

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I did get to talk to Lusk.. His feeling is possible water quality issues as well.. where in the world is this coming from..??

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Any chance there is a problem in your air system before it goes to the diffuser?

I am thinking snow/rain into your pump air intake, or a crack in the air line somewhere. With water in the system, the sub-freezing air is making ice slush in your line or in your diffuser. Diffuser air output could be severely hampered in that scenario.

Other factors could be environmental. I think you have multiple ponds. Is only one pond indicating possible bad water quality, or is it all of your ponds?

I am sending you some positive vibes. Hopefully you can find the problem soon and mitigate possible damage to your pond ecology!

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Looking at the pictures, your ice has lots of air bubbles. It may may be acting translucent, rather than transparent.

Any chance the ice is blocking out the sunlight? Thinking of an analogy to a pond with a layer of snow on top of the ice.

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I have never seen this before and don't know what to suggest. I hope all is well.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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I think I'm in a situation where the cause is likely the cold snap we had in late september (teens for 2 days with snow) and after that we had a terrible explosion of algal growth, in part due to fallout of ash from colorado fires. Water temps dropped 30 degrees in 2 days then only rebounded back to barely 70. Water never did clear back up after that.
I ran aeration 24-7 after that event until water temps were about 47-48 then moved diffuser up to 3.5-4' and run 15 min at night and 15 min in day to keep diffuser clean and a short cycle on batts. Diffuser and pump are normal-no funky stuff there.
Area around 5-6' diameter hole is a grey foamy "sludge". Craws have it on their shells but haven't seen any dead fish and no foul smell.
Lusk said running aeration daily now is not going to help anything so it's kind of a done deal right now, it'll be a waiting game I guess. Nothing I can do but wait it out. Not happy but not much I can do..

EDIT: jpsdad, Lusk's first comment was "That's weird" so no smoking gun there either. Removed a lot of fish this summer with culling efforts and as you know, I also pulled over 425lbs of craws out too, so my biomass should be slightly lower than last fall/winter.

Last edited by Snipe; 12/24/20 02:59 AM.
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Ken,

I don't think the standing weight of fish or craws is a problem. But your comment:

Quote
I think I'm in a situation where the cause is likely the cold snap we had in late september (teens for 2 days with snow) and after that we had a terrible explosion of algal growth, in part due to fallout of ash from colorado fires. Water temps dropped 30 degrees in 2 days then only rebounded back to barely 70. Water never did clear back up after that.

This causes me greater concern. I think most are unaware of just how high a standing crop of phytoplankton can become. The standing crop of algea can easily become > than 20 to 30 times the weight of fish or more. Even a small standing crop of algea can produce a daily crop of algae that exceeds the fish standing weight. Generally there are organisms that are cropping algae preventing its overabundance. This cropping also makes the metric of algae production difficult to determine because production is often unrelated to standing crop when the system is cropped heavily. Higher trophic organisms expose this production by demonstrating growth and maintenance requirements that ultimately depend on algae production which is not evident in the algae standing crop (e.g. deeper secchi).

From your observations, I think it is a plausible argument, that the cold snap prematurely seasonally shut down the zooplankton that normally crop the algae later into the fall. The algae populations bloomed subsequently but the populations of zooplankton could not recover to crop the algae. Now whether a die off of a large standing crop of algae killed fish ... I cannot say but I do hope this did not happen. I think it would be great, for cases of excessive algae standing crops, to have a treatment of organisms that can efficiently crop the algae while providing food for the fish and crays.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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I knew the algal situation was higher than it should have been and was contemplating an Alum treatment but water level was higher than I wanted to treat. I should have pumped it down a ways and done it.EDIT: Should have treated much earlier so algal bloom was less likely to occur with nutrients knocked down.

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I guess I have mixed emotions about Alum as a treatment for excessive algae standing weight. But likely this is just a symptom of not having sufficient knowledge about how and what to expect when using it. On the one hand, it will kill almost all at once all of the algae standing crop. On the other hand, by depositing the algae on bottom in a state of anoxia the potential for sudden drops of DO may be reduced significantly provided there isn't a lot of water mixing. Some of the deeper questions I have revolve on what it does to the nutrients that were supporting your food chain. Will the come back into the ecology of your pond by biological actions in the sediments are will they be lost entirely? I get the argument of such treatment as the lesser evil (the greater evil being a fish kill) but it doesn't seem free of risk. Ultimately, the treatment has to work and bio-mediation though often studied in the context of waste treatment system has not been applied in recreational fisheries settings particularly in reference to micro-algae control. Macrophytes, including macrophytic algae, have already be shown to be effectively controlled by consumers.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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it's a double-edged sword.. If i would have done it at a time there was remaining energy for a light bloom would have been best, and i missed that.

I will have to wait it out and deal with the consequences come spring.

We have heavy wind the last 2 days (45-55, gust to 73 yesterday and constant 35 today) it's eating ice off and a bit ago I was there to see fish carcasses pushing against ice. Grey foam all over south end of pond.

Last edited by Snipe; 12/25/20 01:41 AM. Reason: Clarify intent
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Kenny - this sucks. Let's talk this week, you sure have some weird stuff going on down there with your crayfish. I've never seen or heard of anything like this before.

Further, just to clarify as it's my job as a Mod: Alum doesn't "kill" algae, planktonic or filamentous, or etc. Alum acts as a flocculant and binds with free phosphorous [and clay] molecules and drops from column which reduces available nutrients for phytoplankton, FA, etc. [and also helps reduce turbidity]. It helps deprive algae of nutrients which can lead to partial or full management. One can include algaecide treatment [copper, peroxide] with alum to target existing algae issues [and hydrated lime to buffer PH drop for a 3 prong approach], but wanted to clarify alum is not an algaecide and does not kill algae, it operates as a flocculant to reduce turbidity and drop free phosphorous .


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TJ, could you explain how the water column could be cleared without killing the excessive standing weight of algae that Ken referred? There is a distinction of course between a toxin and something that deprives an organism of nutrients or other necessities of life. Either way, the absence of bloom would be evidence that the algae died as a consequence of the treatment.

Could any other moderators comment on whether Alum is indicated when a large standing crop of algae is present in the pond? I could see this as a preventative measure but it does seem somewhat risky if a lot algae is standing.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/24/20 08:52 PM.

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Just to be clear, I knew my pond was "hot" before the cold snap. I was hoping for a natural fall process but we had anything BUT a natural/normal fall.
I think I had spoken about the small 2.5 ac new community pond project freshly stocked this last year and was exposed to the same weather 30 miles away.. It KILLED it out. .08ppm the DO meter said 2 days into it.
BOD was more than pond could support.
And yes, My bad, I'm not killing algal growth with Alum, but knew the pond was hot and did nothing that I should have done at the right time. Mother passed away 9/24 and that in itself stopped my progress at that point-attention was pulled to more important things.. Had 400lbs of Alum right there with 150lbs of Hyd lime. Life got in the way.
Readings today pH 7.9, DO 6.3, saturation at 89%, Phos, just over .4ppm no measurable ammonia, slight trace of Nitrates but no reading on Nitrite levels.
11 SMB, 23 RES, No YP, couldn;t find anything else except a few shiners and low and behold 4 SFS.
Sparkle of light? Forage pond looks good!!!

Last edited by Snipe; 12/25/20 01:55 AM.
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Kenny - this sucks. Let's talk this week, you sure have some weird stuff going on down there with your crayfish. I've never seen or heard of anything like this before.

TJ, My #1 biologist that I trust that has taught me a big portion of what I know now to be true says the same as you.. WTH is up with your craws, Kenny???? He says he's seen this once or twice before in winter on known poor water quality BOW.
He also told me when I stocked just barely 2lbs of craws when I did-that it was a mistake. He was ABSOLUTELY correct.
He suggested waiting until spring of year 2.. That's why I'm recommending to anybody asking for advice about craws NOT to do it at first.
Thought that comes to mind is "what do you suppose 425lbs of craws need of what weight to grow like they did???"
I know I had Sago coming good, APW, Pickerel, Arrow head. It ALL disappeared, just started getting some Arrowhead showing up this summer, still no Sago.
Kenny has a long ways to go to fix his screwups.

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Originally Posted by Snipe
Just to be clear, I knew my pond was "hot" before the cold snap. I was hoping for a natural fall process but we had anything BUT a natural/normal fall.

The circumstances were unusual and this is not something one can plan for. In a near normal fall, this wouldn't have happened.

Quote
He also told me when I stocked just barely 2lbs of craws when I did-that it was a mistake. He was ABSOLUTELY correct.
He suggested waiting until spring of year 2.. That's why I'm recommending to anybody asking for advice about craws NOT to do it at first.

+1

Quote
Thought that comes to mind is "what do you suppose 425lbs of craws need of what weight to grow like they did???"

Crayfish are remarkably efficient in conversion. Brown & Wetzel found they could grow ~ 800 lbs in an unfertilized control pond. The thing to remember here is that under a cropping system (like when fish are removing craws every day) this level of production can be exceeded. In such a scenario there is a peak in standing weight with high numerical numbers of small individual followed by a decline in standing weight and number of individuals. An annual cycle of this can be expected going forward.

Despite a large standing weight and an early stocking, the crays I think, have contributed to the food chain. I have recently learned that they are more energy dense than BG. Nearly 50% more energy density. So 200 lbs of NCF are worth 300 lbs of BG in terms of the nutrition they provide. This might explain Lusk's comments that LMB eat few BG after a crayfish forage stocking. Crayfish provide more nutrition and somehow they know it.

The growth of your fish has been remarkable and I think the crayfish are a big part of this. Despite their overabundance being a anecdote this year, I don't think they can be credited as the cause or even part of the cause of the water conditions after the cold snap. You have to squarely place that fault on the weather and its effects on your pond community.


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It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Alum doesn’t kill algae - it’s a floc - we don’t want pondmeisters applying alum to fa expecting it to operate as an algaecide. I’m not under the impression anyone posting here doesn’t understand this I merely wanted to clarify for the forum at large. Alum doesn’t work that way and we want to avoid misinterpretation. Alum will help starve the planktonic or filamentous algae by binding phosphorous which may or may not effectively manage it. Merry Christmas.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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I thought it was a legitimate question TJ particularly because it will floc algae. I still can't make sense of how the flocced algae wouldn't die and especially if treatment greatly increases the clarity of green water and does so swiftly. To me this isn't a play on semantics. I have never said that Alum is an algaecide nor have I ever intended for anyone to interpret it this way. But to return to floccing algae when a large standing crop is present, I would personally be averse to doing it regardless of what you or anyone else thinks. I was just sharing my concerns about a treatment of Alum when the water is very green.

Anyways, Merry Christmas to you and also a happy and great New Year.


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It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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I am not weighing in on recommended actions only clarifying the role of alum for the forum at large. Kenny call you this weekend.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Sorry to hear of your troubles Kenny. Unfortunately that is about all I can add to the conversation.


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Hey John, just another day anymore. Way more unknowns than we think. I was out today, we broke out of the 30's and made 60 today. A long strip NW to SE opened up and water looks good now that it's open a bit. I found only 1 RES today and that was it. No HSB found so assuming no loss there but I really think the strange early, hard cold we had just jacked things up. Smaller the system the worse it was.
Presently looking at a wetland game plan going forward but it's going to cost more surface area exposed. If it requires a little more pumping that will also drop nutrient concentration so could be worse than just pumping a bit of water. Going to work hard getting some submersed plants going next year and will continue trapping craws taking the largest specimens out

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I like the idea of pumping anoxic bottom water into a wetland to cleanse and oxygenate it and maybe a waterfall back into the pond. Been a project on my list for a long time.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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