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#320016 02/01/13 11:00 PM
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I have 1 1/2 acre pond that is about 5 feet deep. Last summer I had a serious algae problem. I used copper sulfate and tried tilapia. The tilapia thin out the algae and cleared up the water. Any ideas out there thanks

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If the Tilapia worked for you, that's the route that I'd go with this coming year. You can also use them for forage fish for your LMB.


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Kinda like an answer to his own post there wasn't it?


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Originally Posted By: Grubbm
I have 1 1/2 acre pond that is about 5 feet deep. Last summer I had a serious algae problem. I used copper sulfate and tried tilapia. The tilapia thin out the algae and cleared up the water. Any ideas out there thanks


I agree with esshup - go with the tilapia. While algae seems to grow in most ponds to some extent or other, you may also want to consider what sort of nutrient load your pond is getting and whether that could be a large part of the algae issue.

If you can identify the source - too much organic debris (such as leaves), heavy infusion of fertilizer, runoff from nearby livestock pastures, heavy geese populations crapping in your water, etc. - you can take steps to minimize that impact and improve water quality. Aeration can have a big positive impact, too, especially when coupled with other methods of control.

Just a few more ideas to consider, but at the most basic level, if tilapia worked before, I bet they'll work again!


Todd La Neve

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Great advise given by Todd & esshup. Let me add that a water test for (at least) nitrogens and ortho P would be a help also. From there consider beneficial bacterias if tests confirm need. Visit www.naturalake.com for some great bacteria information and the Nov/Dec PondBoss magazine starting on page 22 for more great ideas to address your situation.

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Grubbm - good opinions so far. Here is my opinion based on what you have told us. My opinion is realistic, not simple, not cheap, not a silver bullet, and probably not what you want to hear.

We have very little background about your particular pond such as age, type of water inputs from the watershed, amount of muck accumulation, water clarity, etc. Based on my experience with other northern midwest ponds, my "guesstimate" is the pond is old, nutrient enriched and receives nutrient laden water or nutrients from annual organic deposits. Five ft deep for a pond 1.5 ac is too shallow for trying to manage it other than as a glorified wetlands. Numerous wetlands and swamps are 4-5ft deep. The pond was probbly dug deeper than 5ft but years of sediment and organic internal and exterior deposits have accumulated and filled in the pond basin moving the pond in the direction of a wetlands or swamp - natural succession. This occurs slowly in deeper, well managed, aerated, good watershed ponds, and fairly rapidly in shallow unmanaged ponds that Mother Nature controls.

Whenever a pond that shallow has water clarity of 16"-2ft the sunlight will penetrate all across the 4 & 5ft bottom which will allow all sorts of plants to grow which is why it frequently has lots of filamentous algae. the pond in the past has probably had lot of rooted plants and you or someone has probably controlled those types of plants. Now nutrients are being used by filamentous algae. Based on the conditions,,,, Nature will always get something or put something to grow in that optimum plant growing environment. Eliminating the problematic plants by whatever means is just putting a temporary band-aid on the problem, or blowing your nose with a head cold. Neither method gets at fixing the basic or root cause or problem; too many nutrients, in too shallow of water. Fix those two features and the plant problems will be minimized if the purpose is to have an enjoyable water resource with great sportfish angling.

Now if the pond was drainable and had a firm smooth bottom, it would be ideal for annually growing fingerling fish for a fish farm. The pond would then be a money maker by cash renting it to a fish grower.

If cost is a problem in renovation consider rebuilding the pond smaller but deeper with a good clean water shed. For Indiana a good minimal trouble pond should be 12-18ft deep with steep sides slopes close to 3:1. Remember this rule: plant problems almost always occur in shallow water. Problematic pond plants rarely occur in the middle areas or deep water (8-18ft deep), so the less shallow water a pond has the fewer the plant problems. Water clarity and nutrients will determine where in a pond that plants grow.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/02/13 11:28 AM.

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Excellent advice here. I presume that since tilapia "thinned the algae and cleared the water" and there was no mention of a massive die off there are predators in the pond. I also presume that a pond in Indiana would have to be in the far south of the state, or have deeper areas that 4-5 feet or a typical iced over winter would cause huge winter kills....



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Yes lots of guess work so far since we have few details about the pond and its history. See my comments in your thread about growing fathead minnows.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=25224&Number=320082#Post320082

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/02/13 12:40 PM.

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And to link to your thread about growing big LMB, you'd probably be better off focusing on tilapia for forage, rather then FHM or even GSH in an established bass pond. Maybe could kill two birds with one stone, and convert some of that vegetation into forage your bass could use.

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I agree with YolkSac - fatheads just don't seem to fit at all with your situation. Tilapia do make sense and I'd also still look at adding a lot of golden shiners. Just seems that is a far better recipe for you than FHM at this stage of your pond.


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New to the forum so don't shoot...but I've been told by a few that cattails will help keep out FA. Is that true? I live in Texas with an acre pond 6-12 feet deep and have tried many things to knock down the FA. Most which have not worked. Any ideas?

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NOOOOO!!! Don't do it!! Cattails can easily get out of hand and invade your pond. I'll let the experts on aquatic plants chime in, but I'm sure they'll agree! Have you tryed dying your pond? Pond dye can shade out the sunlight that the filamentus algae needs to grow. Just one idea...


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I was using the prickly rope idea for duck weed removal over the weekend and noticed it is not only on the top! It is also on the bottom, kinda cloudy with the little leaves. UGH! Now looks like I have to get the Tilapia because the skimming doesn't work. So where do I get the fish in North Central Florida?


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Originally Posted By: CreativePond
New to the forum so don't shoot...but I've been told by a few that cattails will help keep out FA. Is that true? I live in Texas with an acre pond 6-12 feet deep and have tried many things to knock down the FA. Most which have not worked. Any ideas?


Hello CreativePond. Welcome to Pond Boss. Many friendly people here with a variety of opinions and helpful advice so please feel free to ask anything you wish. There is no such thing as a "stupid question"

Cattails will not directly control filamentous algae. The annual growing cycle of cattails will actually add to the overall nutrient budget of the pond or lake unless you cut and remove the leaves right before the end of the growing cycle.

That said, I do believe that a section of cattails adds to the beauty and biological diversity of the overall pond ecosystem. Cattails are easily managed with very small concentrations (3/4%) of glyphosate (Aquaneat, etc.) containing products.

One important issue regarding filamentous algae is that "not all filamentous algae are created equal". There are a variety of species that really need to be identified before a control program is put into place. In northeast Ohio for example, we have a Spring species called Spirogyra spp.. The life cycle of this species is relatively short and often does not require control. Summer species such as "Water-net" (Hydrodictyon) and Pithophora sp. require different management approaches.


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Originally Posted By: Sue Cruz
NOOOOO!!! Don't do it!! Cattails can easily get out of hand and invade your pond. I'll let the experts on aquatic plants chime in, but I'm sure they'll agree! Have you tryed dying your pond? Pond dye can shade out the sunlight that the filamentus algae needs to grow. Just one idea...


Hello Sue. With all due respect and as I mentioned to "CreativePond":

"That said, I do believe that a section of cattails adds to the beauty and biological diversity of the overall pond ecosystem. Cattails are easily managed with very small concentrations (3/4%) of glyphosate (Aquaneat, etc.) containing products."

Cattails IMHO provide significant value to aquatic ecosystems. I do understand however, that each and every pond is managed in a manner that is consistent the particular needs and wants of the pond owner. The common misconception that I want clarify is the fact that cattails are easily managed with small amounts (3/4%) of glyphosate and spreader/sticker. The same applies to our American White Water Lily.. "Nymphaea odorata"

I am a little surprised that you did not suggest the benefits of aeration for small ponds. Your Vertex diffused bubble aerators are the most efficient and effective means of aeration in ponds and lakes in my opinion. Here is a reference you may be interested in.......

Reference: John Madsen on LinkedIN
John Madsen • John: Aeration has been widely used to control filamentous and planktonic algae. Generally, it works best where aeration will prevent the formation of anaerobic conditions that cause the release of phosphorus from the sediments. CO2 don't have anything to do with it.

John Madsen
Associate Professor at Mississippi State University
Tuscaloosa, Alabama AreaResearch
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Minnesota State University, Mankato, Environmental Laboratory, U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Last edited by Jeff Gray; 02/19/13 11:12 AM.

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Know your algae before treating or trying to cure it - similar to dealing with a disease or illness. As J.Gray says there are numerous types or species of filamnentous algae each has evolved for different types of growing conditions. Very often filamentous algae grows because unused nutrients are available for its use plus water clarity, temperature, and space conditions favor its growth. Lack of other competition by plants for the available nutrients and space allow filamentous algae to grow "at will" or unrestricted and are "fed" by those available nutrients.

A pond covered across the entire bottom with cattails will likely eliminate severe filamentous algae problems, but that situation is not very practical. Other types of less problematic plants rather than cattails would be a better choices of helping consume excess nutrients.

We are in the infancy of this theory, but adjusting the nitrogen to phosphorus ratio (N:P) to favor phytoplankton growth shading the water and consuming nutrients instead of having filamentous algae be the dominant plant could be a viable solution.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/19/13 11:19 AM.

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Aeration in some instances has been reported to reduce internal nutrient recycling enough that sometimes it can help minimize some algae problems. Certinally aeration is one tool to try and use in managing ezxcessive nutrients. Source of nutrients is a big factor in the the whole problem plant picture. However aeration can only reduce nutrients (usu phosphorus recycling) a measured amount. If your pond has more phosphorus than the aeration can suppress then there is still excess amounts or concentrations available for plant growth depending on the type of plants and their needs / requirements.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/19/13 11:29 AM.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Aeration in some instances has been reported to reduce internal nutrient recycling enough that sometimes it can help minimize some algae problems. Certinally aeration is one tool to try and use in managing ezxcessive nutrients. Source of nutrients is a big factor in the the whole problem plant picture. However aeration can only reduce nutrients (usu phosphorus recycling) a measured amount. If your pond has more phosphorus than the aeration can suppress then there is still excess amounts or concentrations available for plant growth depending on the type of plants and their needs / requirements.


The amount of phosphorus reduction by aeration is directly related to the amount of Fe (iron) that is contain in the sediments. Soluble iron (ferrous) combines with P to form the insoluble (ferric phosphate). Aeration also plays a physical role in algal composition by altering water currents, temperature, etc.... Diffused aeration has been shown to increase phytoplanktonic algae by recycling large amounts of sapropelic sediments into the water column, thereby increasing the overall nutrient level in the upper layers (epilimnion/metalimnion) of the lake or pond. This increase in phytoplanktonic algae naturally reduces transparency which in turn controls many forms of filamentous algae through light limitation.

There has been some interesting studies done in adding iron to lakes in ponds for phosphorus "control". Of course, the addition of aluminum sulfate to lake and pond sediments has been shown to be effective in "controlling" phosphorus even in reducing environments such as in the lower water layer (hypolimnion) of lakes and deeper ponds.

In summary, there are a wide variety of techniques to control algae. Nutrient limitation is always the most effective but not always possible or practical.

http://www.thewaterplanetcompany.com/docs/10pdf/Phosphorus%20Chemistry.pdf
http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/308phosphorus.html


Jeff Gray (Aquatic Biologist)
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