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#124005 07/04/08 09:19 PM
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Did you ever wonder what Aluminum Sulphate (Alum) will do to help clear suspended clay in a pond? Maybe these photos will help!

I started the morning with 3-5 inches of secchi visability.

The first 2 pictures are older shots from spring of 2007. The next 2 pictures are from the morning I put in the Alum The next 6 pictures were taken about 1 hour apart beginning 6 hours after the Alum application was done. It took 3 hours to mix and apply the Alum from a small boat using a 40 gallon sprayer. 1200 pounds of Alum and 600 pounds of Hydrated Lime were mixed with pond water and surface sprayed onto approximately 20 acrefeet of water. NOTE: the pond in reality is 1.48 acres (see below).












The clarity differance is absolutely stunning!!! secchi reading after 24 hours.....................over 72 inches (I only had a 6 foot rope) I haven't been back to the pond in over a month since the Alum was applied. I hope after the last 8 inches of rain that it has remained clear and that a good bloom has begun.

Rainman hint from 3-11-09:
If not using a sprayer, but ARE using a boat(gas or trolling motor) Mixing the alum into a slurry in a 5 gallon bucket first before pouring into the propwash will work better. Be sure to add 50% of HYDRATED lime seperately to keep the PH from dropping much.

As you only have about 1.3 ace/ft of water, I'd suggest 100 pounds of alum and 50 pounds of hydrated lime. If it doesn't clear in 24 hours, add 50 more pounds of alum, Hy Lime could be optional on the second app.

Last edited by Rainman; 08/05/14 06:31 PM. Reason: modified Bill Cody's added hint
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Darn nice looking 'gills.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Thanks Theo,
It's the first time in their 3 year life that they can now see their food from a distance further than their noses.

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Wow! How did you determine your application rate and did you monitor ph as you went. I've been playing with Alum to control algae but am reluctant to apply enough to be effective because of the potential ph crash.
By the way, where did you get your shepard. Until last year I had a male that looked just like yours and have been looking for a replacement.

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Most impressive Rainman. Thanks for the great pics.

You should be aware that you are going to be costing me much money and effort though because now I want to do the same thing

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 Originally Posted By: moryan
Wow! How did you determine your application rate and did you monitor ph as you went. I've been playing with Alum to control algae but am reluctant to apply enough to be effective because of the potential ph crash.
By the way, where did you get your shepard. Until last year I had a male that looked just like yours and have been looking for a replacement.


Moryan, you can do some searches on the amount of alum per volume and visibility. The best way is using a diluted mixture of water and alum to see how much it takes to clear a gallon of water. I will try and find a formula.
You can add 60-75% as much hydrated lime as alum to maintain the ph.


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Last edited by ewest; 04/10/13 05:21 PM.















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The cost of alum is really very cheap compared to other means like lime, gypsum, etc. General chemical is the primary mixer of alum, nearly all other companies buy from GenChem. You can email/call GenChem for a supplier near you. Cost will rang from 30 to 37 cents per pound. Most chemical suppliers require a $100 minimum purchase. Tell them you are a ranch (just use your initials such as R & S Ranch) otherwise you may have trouble getting them to sell to you. As for PH crash it is not nearly as big a concern as stated, BUT possible, so spend the extra $5 per 50lb pound bag and mix it in at half the weight of alum applied to be safe (That ratio makes it nearly ph neutral) The "trick" is to be truly effective is to pre mix the alum anywhere from 5:1 to 10:1 water to alum and SPRAY the mix evenly over the water. Dumping the alum in will not mix and you will waste your money (just as I did twice). If you have questions, send me a PM with your phone# and I will be glad to tell you more.

Rex

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Burgermeister,

I raised sheperds for years for the military and I searched for this one for 2 years. He came from a litter in Kansas City.
BTW he is 135lbs---60lbs bigger than the breed standard. 6' 2" from tip of nose to tip of tail!

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Im eagerly awaiting a test kit so I can doit this weekend.I spoke with Todd O and Bob Lusk about it at the conv. and they both said the same thing.Be careful,monitor and you should be fine.


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Some days you get the dog,and some days he gets you.Every dog has his day,and sometimes he has two!

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Tom G, If you have a pool supply store near you, they will do a ph and alkilinity test for free. If you have reasonable alkilinity, the alum will be buffered to where ph won't be a factor. Alum is not really very acidic and can be mixed in concentration with bare hands and not cause skin irritation (from personal experiance). I feel the lime is always a cheap insurance and can be spead dry either before or after applying the alum (I prefer after) also, I use pond water to make the alum slurry.

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Nothing is close to me.I think Ill be doing just what you did,how you did it.Sending you a PM


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UPDATE!!!

I have always thought my pond was 3.5 acres because the NRCS had listed that as the size of my pond when they supervised the repairs I had done. IN FACT my pond is 1.48 acres when using an aerial map to measure the area. I felt it important to update this thread because the amount of alum required will need to be doubled to get good results when compared to the earlier posts!

After seeing a TRUE 3 acre pond_ I KNEW mine was not as big as the NRCS had told me. Guess this happens to spatially challenged people and I SWEAR--This is the only size I exaggerated!

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 Originally Posted By: Rainman
I SWEAR--This is the only size I exaggerated!


and we SWEAR that we believe you. Heck I bet your dog only weighs 57 pounds. \:D


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Rainman, Thanks for the info. I just went into the site today to look see what I could do to clarify the water in my small, maybe 1/10 acre pond. I have a lot of clay suspended. It has never cleared up since it was dug a year ago. I just googled alum and aluminum sulfate and found a supplier and ordered a 50# bag via the internet as that looks to be enough to treat a pond this size that has water maybe 6 ft average depth. RubyCreekTed

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If your measurements were incorrect, then you acutally only had approx 8.5 acrefeet that you put 1400 pounds of Alum into. If the pounds required for a 0.5 ratio @ 4 acrefeet is 302 pounds, then 8 acrefeet would use 604 pounds. Since your pond is actually 8.5 acrefeet, lets call it 700 pounds needed at a 0.5 rate bucket test. You used around 1400 pounds, which would equate to approx a 1.0 ratio bucket test.

I'm doing tests myself and I seem to get little if any change at a 0.5 ratio 1 gallon test, but a 1.0 ratio seems to clear it VERY fast. Of course there is a cooresponding PH crash I will have to balance out.

Interesting thing is the more Alum added the faster it would clear and re-clear if shook up. Is there anything wrong with adding a higher Alum ratio (1.0+) if the potential of a PH crash is balanced out with lime?

When I state "clear" it means I placed it against the same container type which held bottled water and it looked just as good.

Last edited by neo; 09/28/08 07:04 PM.
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Neo, I'm not sure about the ratio thing. I just did the test using 1,2,& 3 level tablespoons of alum to 1 gallon of water as described http://www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/rec_fishing/pdf/muddypondstexas.pdf
My water cleared using the 2 & 3 tablespoon levels after waiting overnight. So, assuming approx 2 acres & average 8' depth = 16ac/ft x 60lbs = 960lbs/50 lbs per sack = 20 sacks alum @ $20.00/sack is $400.00. Haven't done this yet as I am waiting on small gas water pump & Alum, but let you know it turns out!..du


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david where are you getting the alum?

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James, I ordered it from Estes Chemical. They have an office in Carrollton where you can pick it up. I'm having mine dropped off at my herbicide supplier in Aubrey for convenience..du


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Thank you. do I just call them in Carrollton?

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Whoa! That's a big difference between the "recommended" charts.

The chart that EWest posted stated the HIGHEST ratio test was 0.5 grams of Alum with a 5 gallon bucket, which would be 0.1 grams of Alum with a 1 gallon bucket.

The chart David U posted above stated the LOWEST ratio test was 1 tablespoon of Alum with a 1 gallon bucket.

I had purchased a digital scale which will measure down to 1/100th of a gram (0.00). This allowed me to perform my test in a 1 gallon container instead of 5 gallon buckets.

I can tell you that 1/8th of a TEASPOON of Alum weights around 0.83 grams, while 1 TBSP (tablespoon) weights 24 grams!

BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!

Why are these so far off from each other????

I can also tell you that I had a pH level of 7.8 and using 1 gram of Alum in a 1 gallon bucket crashed the pH to 6.2.




Last edited by neo; 09/28/08 10:15 PM.
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http://www.ipmassociates.com/downloads/IPMA_Estes_Flyer.pdf

Here's a web page for them in Carrollton


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Neo, I am not familiar with Ewest posting, so can't offer an opinion.


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It's in the thread on page 1.

Interesting comparison of the two tables:

1. Tables use massively different Alum sample amounts to determine what should be used to clear the pond.
2. Table application rates at their lowest level are the same (30 pounds per acre), then they are significantly different butstill follow a doubling pattern (.2 = 1, .4 = 2, etc...) between the two tables and match the application amount per acre.

The table that EWest linked to on this thread:
0.2 grams in 5 gallon bucket = 30 pounds per acre
0.3 grams in 5 gallon bucket = 45.5 pounds per acre
0.4 grams in 5 gallon bucket = 60.5 pounds per acre
0.5 grams in 5 gallon bucket = 75.5 pounds per acre

The table that David U linked to on this tread:
1 tablespoon in 1 gallon bucket = 30 pounds per acre
2 tablespoons in 1 gallon bucket = 60 pounds per acre
3 tablespoons in 1 gallon bucket = 90 pounds per acre
4 tablespoons in 1 gallon bucket = 120 pounds per acre

My pond can fluctuate between severe (chocolate milk) and mild turbidity (tea colored), depending on the rate of inflow. Right now it is sitting in the "mild" area because the water has a light brownish tint.

The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center table (which uses a 0.X grams for the test buckets) IMO is basically useless. Given that I have a "mild" level of turbidity right now and their max bucket test of 0.5 grams for a 5 gallon container did nothing in my testing (used 1 gallon container @ 0.1 grams). I had to move up to at least a 1-1.2 gram test to make any progress to settle the suspended clay.


Does anyone know what happens to excess Alum introduced into a pond (assuming it is balanced out with lime to control the pH)?

I figure there will be loss from outflow of the water, but is there any advantage to long term clarity by over applying now to handle future issues (potential severe turbidity with spring runoff)?

BTW if your in the central region then GS Robins may be an option to get chemicals from.
http://www.gsrobins.com/locations.html


Last edited by neo; 09/29/08 11:19 AM.
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Neo, the COMPARISONS you give are not very differant at all. The link David U gives uses a teaspoon of SLURRY (1 teaspoon alum MIXED in 1 Gallon of water) and THEN using a teaspoon of the SLURRY MIX. 1 Gallon equals 768 teaspoons.

Using the weights that you provided for the alum, 1 teaspoon of alum should weigh 6.64 grams (.015 pounds). By dividing that 6.64 grams by 768 you get .00865 (rounded) grams per teaspoon of slurry mixed into the Gallon of test water.

By comparison, the chart showing .2 gram per FIVE gallons equals .04 gram per gallon. Since the alum becomes a slurry and never fully dissolves, the effective, DISSOLVED alum concentrations are very close in both tests.

The slurry test is more accurate because it uses the "dissolved" alum for results.

As for the APPLICATION rates, 30 pounds of alum equals .000092 POUNDS of alum per GALLON of water when applied to ONE acrefoot of water (326,700 gallons)----FAR less than the TEST concentrations.

As far as SAFETY concentrations, a QUART of dill pickles has an average of 1/6th teaspoon of alum in it, or 1.1 grams per gallon, or .002425 pounds per gallon, which equates to a VERY safe application rate of over 792 pounds of alum per acrefoot of water. Drinking water that has been treated with alum may contain a maximum final concentration of .000017 pounds per gallon after being filtered, but is treated at a rate of .0013 pounds per gallon (75 times greater than final product).

The only data I could find pertaining to aquatic life toxicity levels for aluminum sulfate found that quantities 1000 times greater than what is used to clear a pond only showed an "accumulation" of aluminum with no known problems.

Someone please check my math, but I am pretty sure it is accurate.

Also FWIW, alum becomes a solid and sinks to the bottom UNLESS the ph is lower than 6.0. Ph below 6.0 aluminum dissolves and becomes toxic to fish. Then again, a ph below 6.0 by itself is not too good for the fishies!

Now I need a vacation to let my brain cool down from recalling all the equations needed for this....



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