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I have a friend with a pond in central North Carolina that is slightly over an acre that receives runoff from a pasture and yard. It is a typical older pond very shallow at one end sloping gradually to about 7 feet on the dam end. The water is clear, he has not fertilized regularly. He has a very heavy infestation of Chara over a large part of the pond, especially in the shallower portions (maybe in the deeper, but I didn't get out in a boat to see. There is a heavy coating of filamentous green and blue-green algae floating around on the surface of the pond as well. There is no aeration on the pond. I did not have a chance to test pH, alkalinity, etc. He uses the pond as a recreational fishing pond for his family and grandkids.

I need to help him get it back in shape. My reading indicates that copper sulfate may be appropriate to kill the Chara, but could be harmful to the fish if the water chemistry isn't in certain parameters. I really don't know.

My thoughts would be to use the copper sulfate to kill the chara, then to begin a good fertilization program next spring to limit produce algae blooms that will limit the light to the bottom, and to also recommend that he stock a small number of triploid grass carp or maybe tilapia to help control these weeds should they start to come back next spring.

Does any of this make sense, or am I totally off base. I could really use some input from some experts.

Thanks

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Bump for the Chara-affected experts.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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I am no expert but have spent a lot trying to be one.

I sprayed with Cutrine plus...poor perfromence... the next year under advice from someone who knew more than me...I used it again, started earlier, higher rate, more often....same result only more expensive.

I changed to granular...figured why not...same result.

IPut in Grass carp in July....they have really done a lot of good already and they were about 8 inch fish when I put them in. I put more than some folks would but its still within the recs I have seen, just the high end...I put 10/surface acre.

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I have the start of a Chara crop on my 2 year old pond. It is covering an area about 300 square feet at a corner of my 2 acre pond. At first it was all shallow water - but now I am seeing it is 3 1/2 high in deeper water now. Does it grow in deep water also?

I am noticing that it is beginning around the edges in other areas of the pond as well. If I remove it with a rake - will it come back again next year? Is this something I should fear?


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I thought I had Chara but after examination it turned out to be Widgeongrass. So I have no experience with Chara.
Cecil takes a bunch out of his ponds & they have steep sides so I would assume it can grow in pretty deep water.


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Like I always say, make sure its chara! Chara will have a gritty feel when rolled in your fingers and emits a very strong musky/skunky smell when pulled out of the water.

I typically use Algae Defense (chelated copper) with very good results. Spray it on at about 1 gal/acre foot and you should be good.

The harder your water, the more chemical you need to use. I'm assuming theres no trout, but trout and koi can be REAL touchy with copper products, but usually if your hardness is over 50ppm youre in the clear

Aeration is also a huge factor when treating ponds. It can be your lifeline when you need to run high rates of pesticides in the heat of the summer when oxygen levels are low.

Ive also had real good luck with granular copper sulfate at 2.5 lbs / acre foot. Get the large grains if you can--less dusty and easier to broadcast.


Justin McLeod
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Yes, I definitely have Chara. It smells foul and when it dries out turns to white powder. I added Lime to my water to clear the suspended clay and establish the PH last year but I think that too much may be contributing to the Chara growth. I'll try the chelated copper. Thanks!


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Chara will grow as deep as there is light penetration. I've had it grow in my deepest water of my biggest pond which at one time was about 12 feet.

I'm still fighting Chara and probably will be indefinitely. Grass carp do not far well in my trout pond as the water is too cold and my state has made getting them almost impossible for the warmer ponds.

My water is so hard copper products don't work well especially with my established think heavy Chara.

I use an algae bloom to check it in my fingeling production ponds, and will use Aquashade in my biggest pond after refilling -- once I drain it down and dry it out a little. I will also use the dye in my trout pond over the winter when there is no flow going through.

I may use it in my fish production ponds over the winter if it breaks down enough to allow phytoplankton production by next spring.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 09/23/08 08:33 AM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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 Originally Posted By: Ric Swaim
I thought I had Chara but after examination it turned out to be Widgeongrass. So I have no experience with Chara.
Cecil takes a bunch out of his ponds & they have steep sides so I would assume it can grow in pretty deep water.


Yep here's one of many wheelbarrows full! \:D




If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Grass carp, while not supposed to eat it, have done a good job for me.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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