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#34562 02/24/05 09:00 PM
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I have a 3/4 acre pond in WI. 5ft ave depth. I was wondering what the advantages of using a Cutrine type product VS using Cuso4. Cuso4 is much cheaper than the cheated. Does the cutrine stay effective longer in the water than the Cuso4. Are there some types of algae that cutrine is better at controling.

#34563 02/26/05 06:18 PM
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Let's await Kelly Duffie's reply. He is the best expert on this forum.
But, I know this much...in soft acidic water, copper sulfate is toxic to many species of fish. Chelated forms are much better.
Plus, chelated forms have a different impact on pond soils. Kelly will know this answer.
Also, copper is toxic to trout.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
#34564 02/26/05 09:33 PM
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Will the Cus04 affect fish at 2.7 pounds per acre foot? I do not have any trout in my pond. Also when applying cutrine for floating algae do you apply at .6 gallons per acre foot, or per surface acre? Ex: 1 acre pond 4 ft ave depth would I use .6 gallons of cutrine or 2.4 gallons to kill the algae? How long will the cheated copper stay effective in the pond? Thanks for your help

#34565 02/28/05 12:55 PM
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Bob - "expert"? Don't overdo it!

Weeds: CuSO4 (Copper Sulfate, "Blue Stone", etc.) will control many forms of contacted algae. However, the copper in CuSO4 has a tendency to rapidly bond with minerals in water, severely reducing its period of activity as an algaecide - since algae cannot absorb the bound copper. This mineral-bonding effect also causes the copper in CuSO4 to rapidly precipitate (fall out) to the pond's bottom - where it will become excessively concentrated after repeated use and cause problems with other organisms and natural processes that are vital for a healthy pond environment. From an ecosystem standpoint, CuSO4 isn't the friendliest of products (putting it mildly).

CUTRINE PLUS is a chelated ("kee-late-ed") copper formulation. The chelation process greatly reduces the necessary amount of applied copper, since none is lost to mineral-binding. Therefore, the significantly smaller amount of elemental copper in CUTRINE's formulation will provide more efficient and longer-acting algae control than the much higher concentration of copper found in CuSO4. "Longer-acting" is measured in days or weeks, depending on the dosage applied and the severity of the treated algae population.

With either product, the water's alkalinity will determine if the copper will represent a direct threat to fish. The lower the alkalinity, the greater the risk of direct-toxicity to fish and other organisms. Secondly, either product is capable of "indirectly" causing fish mortality through suffocation. If too much algae is treated at one time and/or if elevated water temperatures are low in dissolved oxygen, an oxygen-crash may occur due to the spike in biological oxygen demand (BOD) that is prompted by the dead and decomposing algae.

Your dosage question is well founded, and is very difficult to answer. You have obviously read the labels of both products - which is great. However, labels have their limitations on how accurately they're able to advise on "real-world" uses of such products. Technically speaking, the appropriate use-rate will vary according to the targeted algal specie(s) and its population density. You can achieve incremental benefit from multiple light-doses of copper, which is far better than using too much copper just once.

Without knowing any details regarding the various circumstances for your pond, and since I'm not familiar with treatment conditions in WI, I would suggest that you contact Applied Biochemist (the mfgr of CUTRINE, which is based in WI) @ (800) 558-5106. Optionally, you may want to track down a knowledgeable pond consultant or chemical supplier in your area for more assistance.

Appropriate preventative measures should be your primary defense against offensive levels of unwanted algae. Beyond that, CUTRINE is a much better option than CuSO4 for dealing with algae that cannot be managed through other means.
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Bill C.: you have probably been waiting patiently. Go ahead and expand on the above if so inclined.
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One more addendum: Here is an interesting site that discusses the characteristics of copper sulfate: Copper Sulfate - Cornell

#34566 02/28/05 08:39 PM
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Kelly - thanks for opening the door. I was standing outside waiting.

weedsnomore -- many waters in WI have soft water (total hardness less than 50-100ppm). Low hardness and clearer water makes copper more likely to kill fish. The lower the hardness the easier fish die when exposed to copper. This is primarily because there are fewer things in the water (carbonates and silt/detritus) than can bind-up the copper thus it is more available and more potentent. Different fish species have different sensitivities to copper toxicity. Trout most sensitive, then minnows, then walleye,perch,catfish, then sunfishes, then bass are most tolerent.

Kelly gives very good acurate advice. Do contact Applied Biochemists. They may be familiar with your region and might be able to better estimate the relative total hardness of your water.

Copper sulfate is cheaper than Cutrine but if you own the pond and plan to keep it in the family, I would not use copper sulfate. It never goes away when in the sediments. Heavy metals are stable in the environment. The more copper that is in the sediments the more buildup and impact it has in the long term "health" of the sediments. Always use as little as possible of copper products. Your pond is not that big that removal of quite a bit of the algae is not that hard work or time consuming compared to a 1 to 3 acre pond.

Some algae species are more resistant than others to being killed by copper. It is best to know which kinds you have before "blindly" treating the "green" problem. Because if you treat and it does not kill or significently knock back the problem then the user almost always repeats the treatment using more chemical the next time. Double or triple doses should be unnecessary, not to mention wasteful and the multiple accumulative affects tend to be more harmful than a proper first dose.

I assume your algae problem is with the filamentous, stringy pond scum type of algae. I rarely see planktonic algae a long term problem. Planktonic algae usually comes and goes during the season. Most plankton algae results in better fish populations and an improved fish food chain.

Do at least two things to reduce the need for future uses of needing more and more chemical. 1. remove most of the growth first before treating

2. try and locate or figure out the source of nutrients that are feeding the algae problem; i.e. where are the nutriets coming from that are feeding it. Then reduce that nutrient source.

Alternative. Allowing some bottom weeds to grow competes with the algae and then algae grows less. I would rather deal with a bottom weed problem than an algae problem. We in Ohio can use grass carp but they may be illegal in WI.

If you read about the affects of copper in the citation that Kelly provided above, why would you want to put that stuff into a healthy fish pond.


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#34567 03/01/05 07:20 AM
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Thanks for the in-depth info. It is exactly what I am looking for. I think I will go with the Cutrine and get on the algae early before it takes over. Thanks alot!!


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