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I'm terribly fustrated with an algea problem. I've mentioned in other post that my 1 acre(average 4' depth)pond has been basically dormant for several years covered in a thick layer of Duckweed. My theory is that the duckweed allowed a muck of debris and leaves to build up in my pond. When I killed the duckweed last year I just added more debris to the compost heap already present in my pond.
My real problems began when I added my diffusers, a Vertex 1plus with two diffuser heads. On the days of intermittent use during the start up sequence you could smell the gases being pushed up from the bottom. Once the unit was running 24/7 I had horrible planktonic algae blooms and filamentous algae blooms all summer. The store I purchased my aerator from said it was normal for a pond to go through the "Ugly Duck" phase after initial startup.
As soon as the water warmed up this spring the FA came back, I have added "Beneficial Bacterias", Dyes, Copper Based algaecides and I have skimmed. Bacteria and dyes showed no results, I think these are more of a preventative than a cure. Skimming stirred up the mud and I added 480#s of gypsum to get it to settle. Latest algaecide was Cutrine 1 gals sprayed around the edge of pond 3 times. I spray half of pond and wait a week and any algea that has died the first couple of days after spraying has came back before the week is up. It's a neverending circle. I'm spraying the same half over and over. Could someone tell me what I'm doing wrong? I've read archives until my head hurts. If left alone would the FA eventually eat itself out of house and home, so to speak? Should I use more Cutrine? Will the aerators allow me to spray full dose on whole pond without a fish kill?

Sorry it's so long, I wanted to explain it clearly.


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Yikes...I feel for you, 7mag. Some aeration and herbicide experts will address this shortly I'm sure. Seems you must have a heavy nutrient load to keep facing these issues despite the aeration and herbicide treatments. What's your fish population situation? If your pond was dormant for several years, you may be open to draining and dredging the pond and starting over. Certainly seems a cheaper and more permanent option than continually apply chemical treatments?


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Sounds to me like an alum treatment is in order to tie up the nutrients in the bottom of the pond, or as TJ said a drain and dip.

http://www.marinebiochemists.com/phosarticle.html

Even if your copper based herbicides did work, you run the risk of sterilizing your pond using repeated applications with a build up of a heavy metal, which in this case is copper.



Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/12/10 09:40 PM.

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






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I restocked last year between killing the DW and adding aerators. LMB average 10-14" and BG average 6-8" now. I do have a good amount of sludge left mainly on the north end where the most trees are and the predominately down wind side, which is also the end where the DW would bunch up and I could spray it easiet.


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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Sounds to me like an alum treatment is in order to tie up the nutrients in the bottom of the pond, or as TJ said a drain and dip.



I looked into Alum in March when I had the issues with the suspended sediment. Fear of a fish kill and inability to find Alum led me to use Gypsum back then. How long would it take for the Aerators and some bnefial bacteria to remove the sludge, do the bacteria actually work or is this some gimmick? Are Tilipia a viable option, if so any ideas where I can get them in my area.


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I'm not an expert but I sprayed FA last week with Cutrine Plus, a store brand surfactant and a little bit of Diquat mixed in. It was all dead by the next morning. I think the Diquat was the determining factor in the quick kill.


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.

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7mag,

I'm no expert but you'll have to read the publication at the link. I do remember seeing you can buffer the potential PH drop with the gypsum.

I know this works as it has been done in a public lake in my state.

I can't believe you can't find any alum. Most water treatment plants use it and it's usually easily available from any local chemical company. The best part is it's not expensive.

Are you sure you're not over aerating and just recycling nutrients throughout you pond? If my pond was only 4 feet deep I'm not sure I'd even bother with aeration. Do you have a another nutrient source as in farm run off or something?


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






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Could you explain over aerating? 4 feet is guesstimated average, deepest areas are 12' using portable depth finder. I was looking at Feed and Seed stores. Thought it was an ag-product


Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary. ~Patrick F. McManus
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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
I'm not an expert but I sprayed FA last week with Cutrine Plus, a store brand surfactant and a little bit of Diquat mixed in. It was all dead by the next morning. I think the Diquat was the determining factor in the quick kill.


Used Reward to kill DW. I am just starting to get grass back where it was wind blown. It's more than likely instrumental in your success but I'm not sure I want to subject the marginal Plants along my ponk banks to it just yet. But I'll keep it in mind for a plan B.


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Originally Posted By: 7mag
Could you explain over aerating? 4 feet is guesstimated average, deepest areas are 12' using portable depth finder. I was looking at Feed and Seed stores. Thought it was an ag-product


7mag,

I was under the impression your pond was pretty much an average of only 4 feet all over as you didn't give the maximum depth of 12 feet unless I missed it. My bad for assuming.

I would consult with the aeration experts here but I've read in literatur a pond can be too circulated, which can make a problem worse by overcycling nutrients.

Is there any possibility your diffuser is picking up debris from the bottom? Are you sure they are upright? What kind of underlayment do you have?


Originally Posted By: 7mag
I was looking at Feed and Seed stores. Thought it was an ag-product.


If you're referring to the alum, no, it's not an ag product as far as I know. Water treatment, and like I said should be available in 50 lb. bags from any Chemical Supply Company. Or perhaps a local water treatment plant can direct you to a source.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/13/10 12:15 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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IMO it's time to put the chemicals on the shelf; place the diffusers in the deepest water at 2 ft. off the bottom to prevent stirring up the stuff, and give the aeration time to dissipate the excessive nutrients. It didnt happen overnight and will not be cured overnight. Let the O2 and aerobic bacteria do it's job and enjoy the fish you have. It may take 2 or 3 years for it to get right, but it will happen. For the FA to grow the pond must have been clear early this spring. Correct, or no? Usually sunlight must reach the bottom for FA to get going good.
Not knowing your water chemistry or the reason for the staining, or if it would have settled on it's own; cant say whether you even need alum, or how much. What is your depth of visibility? How about hardness, alkalinity, average ph? Have you done a jar test to see if the stain settles in 24 hrs. or if a specific amount of alum will settle it? Any feed and garden store should have aluminum sulphate enough to do the testing with.
Is this the pond with the rough fish in it?
I have been raking the FA out of my pond as the wind or aerator pushes it to the edges. I just put on the higher rated pump 2 wks. ago and it has caused the FA to start dieing. I will definitely start 24/7 aeration earlier next spring and possibly put in a little die after winter rains and clear water. My nutrients are high because it's full of fish now.


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Burgermeister is correct, aeration isn't going to solve your problems immediately, it may take some time to get the pond back into balance. It sounds like you have a properly sized system for your size pond, it isn't under or over-aerating. The gas being released upon start-up is normal, since your pond was anaerobic to start-out with, the shift came when you got rid of the duckweed and then the sunlight could penetrate the surface and cause filamentous algae growth and planktonic algae growth. Pond dye should help with the filamentous and planktonic algae is actually a much more desirable type of algae than many other types since it is the basis of the food chain. I wouldn't worry about the diffusers disturbing the bottom sediments, they are designed not to do so ~ and only in very rare occasions is the bottom sediment so loose and unconsolidated that it gets entrained into the bubble column. As for the bacteria you are adding... the jury is still out on whether or not it works ~ I would just give your pond a little time to work through its inbalance. Have you consulted a pond manager to take a look? Maybe adding tilapia would help control your algae in the mean time?


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Originally Posted By: burgermeister
IMO it's time to put the chemicals on the shelf; place the diffusers in the deepest water at 2 ft. off the bottom to prevent stirring up the stuff, and give the aeration time to dissipate the excessive nutrients. It didnt happen overnight and will not be cured overnight.
Should I run the diffusers at night only instead of 24/7? I'm mainly using aeration to remove the nutrients but it sounds like I'm doing more harm than good. I also use feed but it's a minimal amount, fish eat all in about 5-10 minutes.






Originally Posted By: burgermeister
Have you done a jar test to see if the stain settles in 24 hrs. or if a specific amount of alum will settle it?
I did the jar test using a control jar, one with vinegar and several different levels of Gypsum slurry. I've taken care of the suspended clay by adding gypsum and shutting of aerators for a weekend.


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No, you need to run the aeration system continuously. What harm are you talking about? The aeration system will continuously circulate the water from top to bottom, it will bring oxygen rich water to the lower region of your pond where it will support the break down of the organic material that has been accumulating for years. The zooplankton will be able to exist through out your water column and feed upon the planktonic algae, the small fish will eat the zooplankton, allowing your pond to support a healthier population of fish. Are you experiencing run off of fertilizers? What is your surrounding watershed?


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Just for the record I wasn't referring to using the alum to clear the water, although that may be a byproduct. I was proposing it to tie up the nutrients in the bottom of the pond, hopefully speeding up the reduction of your excess nutrient problem.

It's a sound principal and it was used on a state owned lake in my state with good success.


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






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Sue,

Thanks for the advice, I didn't see your comments until after I posted to Burger. I may have some nutrients from runoff but probably not much. It's an old cow pasture converted to home sites. I've noticed a considerable reduction in sludge so I know the aerators are doing their job, my problem is getting rid of the FA until the nutrient problem is gone.


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If you cannot rake it out, you might try the drill and pvc method. It is in the archives. You take an 8 foot piece of pvc (3/4 is what I used). I bought a nipple to put on the end so it would fit in my drill chuck. Then you stick it in the algae and run the drill. The algae will stick to the pvc and wind up nice and tight on it. Then you stop and slide the algae off on the bank. Works pretty slick !!!

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Originally Posted By: Mike Miller
If you cannot rake it out, you might try the drill and pvc method. It is in the archives. You take an 8 foot piece of pvc (3/4 is what I used). I bought a nipple to put on the end so it would fit in my drill chuck. Then you stick it in the algae and run the drill. The algae will stick to the pvc and wind up nice and tight on it. Then you stop and slide the algae off on the bank. Works pretty slick !!!


Does the algae kling to the PVC itself or do you have to add some type of hooks or knobs for it to catch on. Do you know how I might find this in the archives?


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When the pvc starts spinning, it just wraps around it tight !! Guess you could use longer pipe to get stuff farther out but it will get heavy. I will look for the archive. Seems like there was even a video on it in action.

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Man...I cannot find the post. I am horrible at searching the archives. I even went through my old posts back to 2006 and I cannot find it. Basically you need a pvc pipe. You need to be able to attach the pipe to your drill. I glued a threaded pvc piece onto the pipe. I then got a metal threaded nipple to screw into the threaded pvc piece. The nipple needs to be able to fit into your drill chuck. That is all there is to it. Cheap way to remove the algae. You can take out pretty good chunks at a time. Any fish or tadpole that is underneath the FA will more than likely get sucked up. Good luck !!!

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Good deal I'm gonna give this a try this weekend just for kicks and giggles. Maybe it'll be exciting enough that my son will want to use it.


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Question, if we rake it out or use the above drill method to get it out, what happens if we leave it on the bank to decompose? Will it turn into something that will later be undesirable? Or should we make an effort to remove it far away so it or its decomposed matter cannot re-enter into the pond?

Last edited by FarmerRick; 05/13/10 03:17 PM.

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I just let it dry up several feet from the bank and then run over it when I mow the yard. I always make sure the discharge chute is pointed away from the pond until I'm far enough away that no clippings get blown into the water, even when there isn't any dead algea on the banks. But I'm no expert for sure.

Last edited by 7mag; 05/13/10 03:28 PM.

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I hand rake my FA when I can, Rick, and just leave it right at the edge generally. It totally dries up and dies within a couple of days - or at least appears to - and I just mow over it as well, blowing it away from the water. I still have a good amount of it, but it's made a noticeable difference having only done this twice now.


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