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#34865 06/23/05 06:04 PM
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I've noticed that some PB posters utilize lake dyes in their ponds. Some folks use lake dyes to help reduce weeds/algae through sunlight reduction while others use them to simply enhance aesthetics.

I won't go into the pros and cons of using lake dyes in ponds being managed for fishing. However, generally speaking, lake dyes (used at levels needed to inhibit sunlight penetration) can be detrimental to phytoplankton production and will therefore have a negative impact on the "natural" food chain. That impact can be offset to some degree with a fish-feeding program. But, that discussion and debate is not the purpose of my post.

Instead, I simply wanted to offer some advice (or "public service announcement") to those who elect to use lake dyes - for whatever reason - after fully understanding the associated pros and cons.

I've noticed a significant increase in the number of lake dye producers over the past few years. Even so, there are only two lake dye brands that are registered with the EPA for weed and/or algae control: AQUASHADE and ADMIRAL. All of the other lake dyes make no pesticidal claims (or do so very subtly) and are therefore not obligated to obtain an EPA registration.

HOWEVER, strangely enough, the knock-off "generic" brands always seem to list the identical use-rate recommendation for their product as is listed for the EPA-registered brands (ie. 1 gal. per 4 acre-feet). Also, the non-registered products always APPEAR to cost sigificantly less than the registered products. So, it would seem rational for most folks to say "Hey, this no-name brand lists the same use-rate as AQUASHADE and ADMIRAL - but it is a lot cheaper. I think I'll just use it and save some bucks".

If this is "you", then you've probably just bought into a cleaver marketing tactic.

Case in point: When purchasing a lake dye, you are NOT buying a GALLON of dye. Instead, you are actually buying powdered pigment [usually acid-blue 9, and sometimes acid-blue 9 + acid-yellow 23] that has been formulated into a gallon of liquid that is usually packaged in a 1-gallon jug.

Now comes the tricky part. Different lake dye formulators use different types of analysis to indicate their product's "pure dye content" (PDC) - which is the only accurate means of determining the dye-concentration of any lake dye product. Many of the knock-off lake-dye formulators don't even indicate their product's PDC, since they're not required to do so unless they actually register their product with the EPA. Why do they not list their PDCs? Easy, because their PDC is usually a lot lower than the more expensive lake-dye formulations. Even so, they attempt what I consider "deception" by listing a recommended use-rate that is identical to the EPA registered lake dyes.

All this to basically say: Don't be fooled into comparing the cost-per-gallon of two or more lake dyes from different manufacturers. Just because the various products are packaged in 1-gal. containers and list the identical use-rates does NOT mean that they all contain the same level of PDC. In fact, it is comical how much the PDC's differ amongst the various lake-dyes on the market these days.

So, if you're using one of the cheaper knock-off lake dyes (which are virtually guaranteed to contain NO acid-yellow 23) and wondering why you have to use so much to get blue water OR why you have to retreat so frequently, now you know. There are many differences between lake-dyes - besides their price tags.

#34866 06/23/05 06:50 PM
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Fascinating post, Kelly.

I haven't used dyes personally, but I've wondered if this "marketing technique" isn't more prevalent than we realize. That's why I like Pond Boss - - maybe I won't have to make every major screwup when I try something for the first time.


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#34867 06/23/05 08:58 PM
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Bruce - I'm certainly not a fan of Big Brother's tendency to over-regulate so many aspects of our lives. However, I'm equally opposed to the tactics found in several non-regulated industries which take advantage of uninformed/misinformed citizens. On either side of the middle, consumers pay an unnecessary or inappropriate premium for goods and services.

I am quite certain that I am a victim of similar tactics to those outlined above for other consumer products of which I have little background knowledge.

Always remember: caveat emptor

#34868 06/23/05 09:26 PM
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I think the registered dye products that use acid yellow in the formulation do so for a GOOD reason. I suspect that the combination of acid blue and correct amount of acid yellow together produce a light filtering feature that inhibits most green plant growth. The light filtering ability of the blue & yellow combination removes red and orange wave lenghts of light. Red and orange wavelengths are primarily responsible for green plant photosynthesis. Blue dye by itself probably does not remove both red and orange light rays and thus minimal plant control results.

Also proper concentration of the dye is important for adequate light filtration. "Light doses" of dye no doubt have less affect on underwater plant growth. I also think bluegreen algae do not use the same light wavelengths as green plants for photosynthesis.


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#34869 06/24/05 06:25 AM
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Kelly, great post. Although, your purpose was not keyed to the overall dangers of pond dye, you put it pretty succinctly. I like the word "holistic' when thinking about the well being of a water hole. I don't believe a pond can be termed healthy when the phytoplankton base is inhibited. To me, pond dye ranks right up there with suspended mud; no matter what the cost.

#34870 06/24/05 02:43 PM
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Great thread guys .

Bill I have a question about the last sentence of your post regarding the light wavelengths used by bluegreen algae vs. those used by green plants. I understand the sentence but I don't want to draw the wrong conclusion from it. I will ask the question in a general way . What effect does the proper use of registered pond dye { that containing the correct acid blue and acid yellow content} in a pond have on the plankton base in the pond ? Does the pond dye block out those light wavelengths that are necessary for plankton growth ? Thanks in advance for any help on this matter. ewest
















#34871 06/24/05 03:29 PM
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Yep you usually get what you pay for!

I'm using aquashade in a small pond that I am feeding male bluegills in to avoid the dreaded onslaught of excessive macrophytes. The pond is so small I'm not sure how easy it would be to create an algae bloom and maintain it.

Anyway I would prefer not to use it and the bluegills in my bass pond that has clear water seem to feed better. Personally don't like the look either.

Maybe next year I'll refrain from the dye and put in some grass carp like Bruce does as a proactive approach.


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#34872 06/24/05 06:21 PM
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Kelly can you tell me what do I look for in a good dye for the money? Do you just like Aqushade? I thought I was getting a good deal but maybe I'm a sucker.


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#34873 06/24/05 07:56 PM
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As with many unregulated products, it can be extremely difficult to discern "value" (defined as the relationship between price and quality).

You can buy a poor quality product and still receive a good "value", IF that product is cheap enough. You may have to buy 2X more of it to equal the higher quality product. But, if the net-cost is less, you still received a good "value".

I'm digressing from your question with economic theory. Sorry.

As for lake dyes, I've seen lab PDC statistics that list AQUASHADE and ADMIRAL far above the other products (that were tested)- sometimes by as much as 50% more PDC.

AND, these two products contain a good dose of acid-yellow #23 (which is considerably more expensive than acid-blue #9 - and is usually missing from the cheaper knock-off brands.

Also, knowing that the repective manufacturers of AQUASHADE and ADMIRAL are either "basic" in pigments (producing their own) or in a dominant cost-position on pigments, I can't believe that any of the "bathtub formulators" have a signficantly lower cost on their own pigment-components, which are purchased in relatively smaller quantities from other sources or producers.

Suffice to say that AQUASHADE or ADMIRAL are two quality formulations and probably represent the best "value" - depending on your objectives and the price that you're being quoted relative to your purchase-volume potential (ie. retail, commercial, dealer pricing).

#34874 06/07/06 02:50 PM
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Is anybody aware if these products will stain pond landscaping, such as limestone?


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#34875 06/07/06 03:50 PM
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Kelly - I would be very interested to know your opinions about the efficacy of pond dyes keeping excessive weed growth down and under control. Especially your thoughts on how pond dyes might affect milfoil, chara, and coontail growth if applied early in the year before growth gets started.



#34876 06/07/06 04:24 PM
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Another quick question for Kelly (or anyone). I put Aquashade in a small pond right next to a larger pond w/o Aquashade. The fish that I catch out of the small pond are noticeably duller in color that than others caught from the large pond. Is this normal?
Thanks, Randy


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#34877 06/07/06 09:00 PM
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Randy :

Many things can affect fish coloration including water clarity and chemical composition, bottom color , mating , light penetration and intensity . Color is often affected by the current situation such as the fishes status as predator or prey, aggressive or passive, agitated or calm, angered or under attack etc. Their coloration scheme is often divided in categories such as warning coloration , cryptic coloration , disruptive coloration , or countershading . Much of coloration is controlled by cells called chromatophores and iridophores which react to the various stimuli. With the acid blue and acid yellow in the dyes it can and does affect light penetration and with it fish color. You could take those same fish and put them in the no dye pond and very quickly they would change to the same color as the fish already there. See Bill Cody's post above wrt dyes effect on light filtering.
















#34878 06/07/06 09:17 PM
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Bruce - Diluted Aquashade will not stain limestone but concentrated solution will stain if directly spilled on limestone. I am not sure about the other types of "pond landscaping" that you mean.

Shorty, Aquashade at label recommentations (1ppm) will suppress growth of milfoil, chara and coontail. But recomenations for milfoil suggest that concentrtations can go up to 2ppm for best control. Chara is suppressed at 1ppm. Keep in mind that green plant growth shallower than 2 ft will not be effectively controlled. Coontail is not truly rooted to the bottom so near surface mats of coontail will not be suppressed very much. Early application (before ice formation or just after ice off) of Aquashade for control these plants will be most effective. Keep in mind that monthly renewal of small amounts of Aquashade is the best for keeping optimum light attenuation. Once the standard 1ppm is reached, the monthy small dose should be the original dose divided by the number of ice free months, i.e. one gallon (1ppm) divided 9 (Mar - Dec) = 128/9= 14oz per mo. At concentrations less than 1ppm, expect a respective amount of less plant control associated with the reduced conc.

rmedgar - I would expect fish living in blue dye to be a different hue or color than those living in unstained water. The blue stain no doubt affects how the fish's eye perceives the sunlight. Natural fish coloration is adjusted autonomically by the fish's chromatophores in the skin under the scales.


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#34879 06/07/06 09:33 PM
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Thanks Eric & Bill. You guys are a very knowledgeable and interesting.


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#34880 06/07/06 10:12 PM
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Thank you.


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OK, new customer loves the pond dyes. I do whatever the customer wants. But I went with EcoShade and cannot find anywhere the exact amount or percentage of dye contents. Does anyone know?

Question #2. Says you can apply it diluted around shoreline, or spray surface. Which is more effective usage of the product?

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1. I wish we kenw the PDC of the dyes avialable.
2. TPF you speed up coverage by pouring in mutiple spots but if you pour in one location it wil dilute out all over the pond at some point. Spraying it woudl be a nightmare, you wil look like papa smurf. We dilute in bucket and sling out iin pond in mutiple locatiosn.

Actually now we throw in a dye packet, much easier to use to me. With a good water soluble pack that we sell the client can toss and never get the smurf aspect.


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Pond Frog, Your Ecoshade is like my Blue vail, neither state what the dye % is. I found that a big syrnge like a turkey injecter works good. Using gloves and the syrnge keeps if off of me and gets the product out in long thin lines in the pond. Is spreads very quickly when distributed this way. I've even used a kids squirt gun, it gets it out there a long way. The only problem was it found every possible leak in the toy gun and i looked like a smurf before i knew it \:\(

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Awesome, I always wanted to be a smurf. I picked up this stuff for $10 a bottle when it retails for around $30. I have used it before on fountains and small koi ponds, but this pond is kind of large. Probably go to Aquashade next treatment as that was a one time clear the shelf deal. I have a few of those turkey injectors around somewhere. No squirt gun, those things leak like hell. I have a sprayer also. I have to at least try that. Even better than a smurf I could end up like that chick on Willy Wonka and be a blueberry. A violet Frog. But according to my latest Pond Boss magazine article, dye is one of the better treatments. Get to fish pond for rest of day when I finish so I need to get this done. If there are any white muskrats will this turn them blue? Thanks for the ideas.

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I'm just not gonna ask why you "always" wanted to be a smurf... There are some things guys should not know about other guys. \:\)

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Well I did the dye deal yesterday with the Ecoshade. It is normally what I use for smaller applications anyway. I rigged up or invented this delivery system. Worked even better than anticipated. I got a 10 ft section of PVC. 1 1/4" schd 40. Inside of that I put a 10 ft section of steel pipe. It then had zero flex. It is my out rigger, and goes in my oar locks. I filed the PVC down both top and bottom at the oar locks so it would fit tight. It locks in place, no twist or lateral movement. Then I bored out my oak lock retaining pin holes and put in some ball locks pins to lock it down. On the rig I notched a couple of places about half way out from the end caps and the boat. This is for my bleed buckets. Each one has a different amount and different size holes. These are labeled also. I removed the plastic handles, bored them out and put medium thickness, 12" length bungee cords. I use the same buckets to pour mixed dye into them because they have a nice pour spout and internal measurement scale.

I then mixed 6/1 using clean pond water. Poured that into the already in place bucket on the outrigger and away I went. Around the edges of the pond. Since this is my first trip I went ultra slow with a 2 - 1/16 hole bleeder. Just worked like a champ. Two little trails dribbling a couple of inches above the water. Could easily see them what by boat seat and putt putted along in super slow around the pond edges. Round and round I went, only using one bucket. Apllied one gallon of dye.Without the ball locks pins holding the outrigger down and in I could not use just one bucket. One of the most picturesque ponds I have ever worked. Photos not downloaded onto puter yet, busy as hell. Most assuredly meets the Frog never seen two ponds alike. The fish population was a can't judge a book by it's cover. Pretty good time, super nice customer lady.

No smurf, actually no dye on me at all. Pretty clean method of applying.

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So what would be the difference between labeled organic and standard pond dyes?


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You know of all the products I have dealt with, the pond dyes are about the loosest labeling I have seen. It's hard to get any info, even data sheets or MSDS. In order to get organic labeling you have to go through a certification process. I don't think a lot of manufacturers care enough to deal with that. I know some algaecides are toxic to birds, and other critters. But this dye stuff is pretty much just a colorant. Not a cide. It is not meant to kill anything. It also says right on the label, nontoxic to fish. Something to shade the sun and prevent algae is better than nothing. Besides, I'd much rather go this route organic or not than use copper killer and sink the algae to feed another bloom. Today Italian marble fountain maintenance at a winery. I have aquatic gardens in there. But can't use dye there and risk staining.

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The EPA no longer requires registration of dyes for ponds. The contents, Acid blue 9 and Acid Yellow 23, that are listed in Admiral and Aquashade are exactly the same contents in many if not all dyes for lakes and ponds. The clever marketing technique is representing that the dyes need to be registered with the EPA to be used in ponds. That is what you are paying for, something that is no longer required. I do agree that there are many strengths of dye available on the market today and with a little simple testing one can determine the relative strength of the product you are buying.

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Originally Posted By: dye chemist
The EPA no longer requires registration of dyes for ponds. The contents, Acid blue 9 and Acid Yellow 23, that are listed in Admiral and Aquashade are exactly the same contents in many if not all dyes for lakes and ponds. The clever marketing technique is representing that the dyes need to be registered with the EPA to be used in ponds. That is what you are paying for, something that is no longer required. I do agree that there are many strengths of dye available on the market today and with a little simple testing one can determine the relative strength of the product you are buying.

Sorry, but I find your comments misleading - if not also inaccurate.
Under FIFRA (1972), ANY product that claims pesticide activity (by EPA's definition below), including lake-dyes, must obtain an EPA registration.
Pesticide claims are partially sanctioned by the definitive disclosure of the product's contents and efficacy-data; both of which are required for said registration. Other critical factors, such as environmental and toxicological assessments, are also evaluated during the EPA registration purposes.
If not for the requirements set forth in FIFRA, ANYONE could make a bathtub mix of ANYTHING and say it'll kill/control/inhibit SOMETHING, presumably in a SAFE manner, and never need to prove anything. Granted, if the product doesn't work, Joe-consumer probably won't buy it a second time. But, a few million gullible Joe-consumers could produce a sizable volume of single-purchase sales - not to mention a potentially huge impact on the environment.
True, there are many unregistered lake-dyes on the market - some good, some decent, some ???. But, to say that the EPA "no longer requires registration of lake dyes for ponds" is misleading at best, and is absolutely false IF the lake-dye makes any claim of impeding weed & algae growth.
Also, I would like to know what "simple testing" may be used to determine the pure-dye-content (PDC) of ANY lake-dye; registered or otherwise. Surely you're not suggesting that such tests be conducted visually - with the limited capabilities of the human's eye - ??
All dyes will appear extremely dark in their concentrated formulations. But, by no means does that appearance indicate their PDC - nor the ratio of individual pigments (with Yellow 23 being a relatively expensive component of the registered lake-dyes; and as a consequence, is usually low in content or completely absent from MOST non-registered lake-dyes).
When placed in a pond, all lake-dyes will generally turn the water blue - to some extent or another. But, unless you have two ponds (or sample vessels of water), to which equal amounts of two different dyes are added, then observed, compared and evaluated OVER TIME and under identical environmental influences, there is little means (to my knowledge) for Joe-consumer to verify that he received what he thinks he purchased. So please, let me know some details about the simple testing process - which presumably doesn't require lab equipment (i.e. a spectrophotometer, centrifuge, etc).
IMO, the "clever marketing technique" is often played by manufacturers of non-registered lake-dyes; who almost always mimic or benchmark against the 1-qt/acre-foot dosage that is recommended on the registered lake-dye labels - implying that they all contain the same amount of PDC (which the consumer simply can't verify).
I'll stop there, and await your response.....

Oh, one more thing: After April 11, 2011 - under the new NPDES guidelines, I believe dyes MUST be registered for (legal) use in lakes & ponds - period. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

EPA's DEFINITION OF A PESTICIDE
"A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for: preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest."
WHAT IS PESTICIDE REGISTRATION
The process of registering a pesticide is a scientific, legal, and administrative procedure through which EPA examines the ingredients of the pesticide; the particular site or crop on which it is to be used; the amount, frequency, and timing of its use; and storage and disposal practices. In evaluating a pesticide registration application, EPA assesses a wide variety of potential human health and environmental effects associated with use of the product. The producer of the pesticide must provide data from tests done according to EPA guidelines.

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This is a fascinating thread, thank you Kelly for creating it and monitoring it!


JHAP
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"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
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I attended the July 2010 meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society in Bonita Springs, FL. I met one of the presenters from the U.S. EPA
Ms. Allison Weideman
Branch Chief of the Rural Branch of Water Permits Division
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St. Sw
Washington Dc, District of Columbia 20460
United States
(214) 665-2200
(202) 252-0500 Fax
www.epa.gov
I asked her about regulations concerning dyes. She told me that dyes are not a pesticide and are not regulated. I also spoke with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources this summer and they reiterated the same statement. "We do not regulate dyes". While you may be true that back in the FIFRA in 1972, 38 years ago which you referenced, dyes were regulated, but I could find not such statement in the current FIFRA(FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, FUNGICIDE, AND
RODENTICIDE ACT)
[As Amended Through P.L. 110246, Effective May 22, 2008]
http://agriculture.senate.gov/Legislation/Compilations/Fifra/FIFRA.pdf As far as the NPDES guidelines it not applicaple since the dyes are not a pesticide.
Contrary to what you are saying one can purchase lake dyes with Acid Yellow 23. The Yellow 23 is not a significant contributor to the cost of the product, at 1-2% dye content it does not really alter the cost. In Fact because the Yellow 23 is not stable(it falls out of solution) at high concentrations, AQUASHADE is a weaker product than many dyes available on the market. If you try and make a concentrated product containing Acid Yellow 23 the Yellow 23 falls out and you are left with an off standard product. I have also heard of many complaints that the people do not like the Aquashade color, it looks too un-natural. The yellow makes it too green. You might try adding some black dye to the blue to make it more appealing and light absorbant over a wider light spectrum(Some black dyes contain yellow 23).
Now to a couple simple tests.
1. Take an eye dropper
2. Put a couple of drops of blue dye of the products in question in separate quart containers of the exact same amount of water (try and be as accurate as you can with the drops, the more drops the better as this will reduce the error. but not too many as the product will be too hard to evaluate) Try and get exactly the same amount of dye in exactly the same amount of water. As long as the dye solution is not too concentrated you should be able to see through the solution. The darker the solution the stronger the dye products. Repeat with as many products and compare side by side. You can determine the relative strength by diluting the product. For example the Aquashade is 50% when compared to Pure Blue Liquid dye. The solutions will look the same(minus the green tint for the Yellow 23) if the same amount of Pure Blue Liquid is in 1 gallon as compared to the same amount of Aquashade dye in 1/2 gallon of water. By the way the blue and yellow dyes used are the same dyes used to color easter eggs! Spectrophotometers are great as a tool but all they try to do is simulate the human eye.
As far as your other comments in a free market society competition is encouraged because it makes the system work its most efficiently.

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Readers - no legal advice is given on this forum. Dye Chemist do not give legal advice here. If you are an attorney you would know better if you are not then don't give legal advice. It is only fair to the readers that you disclose your financial interest , if any , in this discussion.

Readers never ever count on getting legal advice you can count on from a regulator because its your rear end that is at risk. I have had federal and state regulators assure me that something was ok only to have them take the opposite position later. Good thing for my clients that I knew better and confirmed the statements in writing. They were dead wrong when they gave the advice and also wrong in thinking the judge would agree with them. Problem is it is very expensive to fight a government
















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I'm back into this old and renewed topic. The newer information is interesting. First to answer an earlier question by ewest:
"What effect does the proper use of registered pond dye {that containing the correct acid blue and acid yellow content} in a pond have on the plankton base in the pond? Does the pond dye block out those light wavelengths that are necessary for plankton growth?"
ANSWER: Lack of light to the plankton generally inhibits it. The more the light is reduced the less the plankton grows. It is hard to put a number on the amount of plankton reduction due to several factors such as: concentration of dye, species composition of the plankton, natural stains in the water, water fertility variations, amount of suspended detritus (natural), and water chemistry. IT ALL DEPENDS.

Advanced reading.
Two kinds of plankton: phytoplankton - tiny, suspended 'free floating' plants in the water column, and zooplankton - the animal part, comprised of microscopic ones and those up to sizes visible with the eye. This includes one celled animals (Protoza), rotifers, and the larger more 'free swimming' crustaceans. simplistically, the zooplankton mostly generally feeds on the phytoplankton group. Bacteria and tiny organic particles are also commonly eaten by many of the zooplankton.

Lack of proper light reaching the phytoplankon generally inhibits its growth and development. The less light it receives the less it grows; similar to terrestrial green plants. As with terrestrial plants some phytoplankters are adapted to grow well in shade or low light. Some of these may not be good or edible food for zooplankton.

I generally think that when dyes are used at label dosages it reduces the plankton growth (overall natural productivity) by about 50%. The reduction may in reality may be somewhere in the 30%-60% range. I am currently conducting a few tests on this topic. More information will follow. If I'm successful, watch for it; probably in a Pond Boss article.

It was stated that the Yellow 23 is not very stable in aqueous solution and it readily percipitates. I am pretty sure this is why Aquashade brand utilizes Monoethanolamine (<1%)in their product. Monoethanolamine is a emulisifier and dispersing agent to keep both of the dyes dissolved and in proper suspension. I was told long ago by Aquashade representatives that the yellow dye is an important component to properly filter out red and orange wavelengths to achieve effective suppression of plant growth i.e. photosynthesis. Just becasue the water appears blue does not mean You are getting good or effective reduction of both red and orange wavelengths that are necessary for photosynthesis of green plants (weeds, FA, and I assume most of the phytoplankton species). The presence of yellow 23 and monoethanolamine in pond dye may be worth a little extra expense if you are using dye / colorant to achieve plant control.

Commentary. I would expect that you could contact the pond dye manufacturer for the PDC (pure dye content) and total contents / ingredients. If they will not provide that information I would be very suspect of the product and maybe the knowledge and/or integrity of the manufacturer.

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Eric: I've already emailed Ms. Weideman with an excerpt from DC's post. I'll await her reply to post that response. However, knowing the load she currently has on her plate, it might be awhile
Quite honestly, a technical loop hole has always existed regarding pesticide registration requirements. The looming issue in this thread, and in the marketplace in general, is whether or not a product's manufacturer MAKES a pesticide claim (i.e. does the manufacturer say it will impact a pest organism?). If so, it is the industry's long-held understanding that the product conforms to the definition of a pesticide - and thereby must be registered as such. If not, and if in this instance a lake colorant is simply marketed for "aesthetic enhancement", then a pesticide registration is not required. But, this scenario may also infer that the product's aesthetic benefits may not replicate the effects of a registered colorant for curbing weed & algae growth. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Either way, there's no regulatory oversight to validate the product's contents, safety and environmental impact - all of which, as in this case, are left to the discretion of the manufacturer's voluntary and non-verified disclosures.
This latent debate may become a mute point next April. When I last reviewed the proposed NPDES regulations, even microbial agents (commercial "pond bugs") would constitute a "pollutant" and thereby fall under the new NPDES statues. I'll double-check the latest version to verify that understanding in relation to lake colorants. For better or worse, the proposed regs have seemingly been written in pencil thus far, with a lot of erasure-marks.
From a slightly different perspective, would anyone want to apply a substance to their pond that has not passed through regulatory filters that are intended to protect the buyer and the environment?
I generally agree with Bill regarding the use of colorants (of any type) in ponds that are managed for fishing. There are other means for reducing sunlight penetration - besides colorants, which are more likely to benefit the natural food-chain rather than impede it. Urban ponds & lakes (where fish are not a primary concern) are another story.

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Originally Posted By: dye chemist
Contrary to what you are saying one can purchase lake dyes with Acid Yellow 23. I have also heard of many complaints that the people do not like the Aquashade color, it looks too un-natural. The yellow makes it too green. You might try adding some black dye to the blue to make it more appealing and light absorbant over a wider light spectrum(Some black dyes contain yellow 23).


Huh? Where did I insinuate otherwise?
Regarding the "relative cost" of Yellow 23 vs Blue 9, what would you estimate the cost per kg of each?
As for the use of black lake-dyes (which appear to contain red & yellow pigments), they're often applied 50:50 in relation to half the typical dose of certain blue lake-dyes to yield a much more natural appearance. But, in my experiences with this practice, I have yet to notice any notable suppression of submerged macrophytes.
And what is the PURE BLUE LIQUID to which you referred? And who, pray tell, produces it???

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Thanks Bill.

Kelly - no matter what Ms. Weideman says I don't want anyone here to think they are in the clear. Enforcement is at best arbitrary and sometimes totally off-base. No matter if one is correct they may be dragged through the wringer by regulators just to make a point.

It is ok to say "user you will probably be alright but there may be a problem so be careful". It is not ok to say "user you are in the clear" only later to find out the hard way that user was at risk all along just because of a remark by a regulator.



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Originally Posted By: ewest
Kelly - no matter what Ms. Weideman says I don't want anyone here to think they are in the clear. Enforcement is at best arbitrary and sometimes totally off-base. No matter if one is correct they may be dragged through the wringer by regulators just to make a point.

Surely, you're not implying that different government regulatory agencies try to referee from different rule books. crazy

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They often fight with each other over power and control so why would you think they would not use them on little old you.
















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I do not claim be a expert legal or otherwise about environmental regulations or the laws governing such regulations. I have done my research and stated my opinion to the best of my ability. I do know about the dyes used by consumers and applicators for lakes and ponds. I have done extensive testing on the various products available on the market. They all use or are based on Color Index Name Acid Blue 9, Color Index number 42090, CAS # 3844-45-9. The color index is a catalog published by the Society of Dyers and Colorists in conjunction with the American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists. It catalogs the various dyes and pigments. http://www.colour-index.org/ Acid Blue 9, which by the way is not an acid, but referred to this way because of the method by which it is applied to textiles, is the generic name of FD&C Blue #1. FD&C Blue # 1 is the same chemical as Acid Blue 9, but FD&C Blue # 1 has gone through a certification process by the manufacturer to allow to be used in Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics. Acid Yellow 23 is the Colour Index name of FD&C Yellow #5. I do not know what this process entails, nor do I know what the regulations are governing the use levels in foods, drugs or cosmetics. I assume that the reason that the dyes were chosen for use in lakes and ponds in the first place because of their approved status for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics. I believe that the EPA no longer offers registration of these dyes for lakes and ponds. The products mentioned in previous posts were registered when it was offered, but I could be wrong and have written the EPA a letter requesting clarification on this issue. It is my opinion that the various dyes on the market are the "generic" form of these products. They vary in strength, but they are the same chemical. There is nothing special about the dyes used in the registered products. As opposed to the generic brands, the registered products are the "Brand" names of lake and pond dyes. I use the analogy of generic versus brand name pharmaceuticals. The generics are usually cheaper. When I subscribed to the Pond Boss magazine this week I was told that it was discouraged to promote ones products on this forum, yet I saw that happening on various posts, so I felt it my responsibility to "as a public service" to state my views on the subject as one who has been in the dye business my entire professional career of 29 years. I could go on about the difference between dyes and pigments, why a formula cost is not significantly effected by a ingredient that is only 1 to 2% of the formula: For instance if a ingredient costs $10 and you double the content from 1 to 2% the cost of the product goes up $0.10. Ive tested products where the fancy packaging is worth more than the contents. The dye industry has always been a little secretive to protect ones own interests. It seems to me that nothing has changed in that respect.

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Thanks for the clarification and info. We try to discourage direct selling of products by the people with an economic interest in them , especially if the relationship is undisclosed. That should be done through advertising with PB HQ. We also are interested in all the facts being available to the readers here so they can make informed choices. Direct attacks against people or products by name or inference is strongly discouraged except in the rare circumstance where (mgt/mods)suspect the possibility of misleading claims which may harm the unknowing readership. Opinions are just that and are not facts. All of this can be confusing to new posters. As with all new things it is often a good idea to ask questions and get a feel for things before diving in head first.
















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At the risk of beating this horse any more, I'll simply paste the somewhat predictable response below. Interestingly, the two specific questions that I posed were written in such a manner that either a "yes" or "no" would suffice.
It is almost comical how many/most/all gov't agencies seemingly prefer to offer verbal responses to specific questions during off-the-record conversations.

Dear Kelly,
Thank you for your questions. The EPA is in the process of finalizing the pesticide general permit within the next few months. Any questions and comments that are submitted to the Agency after the public comment closed on July 19th, 2010, are being collected and will be included in our question and answer document that will be made available on our website shortly after the permit is published. Please look for our responses to your questions then.
Sincerely,
Allison Wiedeman
-----------------
Sent by EPA Wireless E-Mail Services


Originally Posted By: ewest
They often fight with each other over power and control so why would you think they would not use them on little old you.

My previous comment was posed quite facetiously smile Your assessment is very accurate!

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Kelly I knew you posed that quite facetiously. grin

Also you got about the reply from EPA that I expected. shocked

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Truth be known I was heavy handed on the Aquashade last year. I calculate the volume of our pond, 60'x160' by 7 feet deep with 3.5 pitch sides at about 188508 gallons. The water was crystal clear most of the time. Chara grew in the shallows areas and I knocked that down with Curtain-Plus. The pond is already heavily shaded. It is airly aggressively aerated with micro bubble bottom diffusers. By my volume calculation according to the manufacture it comes out to only 20 oz about every month. We have little flow through and none during most of the summer.

From what I read, the type of platonic algae is different in an aerated pond, What's that about?


So, how much platonic algae should there be? If I use a Secci disk, what would I be looking for? I'm dropping in 250000 golden shiner fry, I don't want them to starve.

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The amount of planktonic algae will vary from season to season. For the growing season, 18"-36" would be good. In some local lakes that now have visibility in the 60" or greater range, during the summer they only have about 18" of visibility.


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Missed this thread back int he fall.

Kelly do you feel the dropper test is a valid one? If so I might volunteer to do this for PB if it gives us some useful info. I would like to get my clients the "best bang for their buck product" so Love to know the answers myself on which brands are stronger.

DC I appreciate your input and perspective.


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Greg - I haven't personally attempted the dropper-method (quoted below from DC's previous post). But, any misteps in the process (i.e. inaccurate ratio-measurements or cross-contamination) could easily influence the results. You'd undoubtedly have a better go at it using your lab equipment. Also, exposure to sun + time might further delineate the levels and/or stamina of dye-content in each sample.
Let me know if you decide to pursue the matter. I have a couple of contestants to contribute.

1. Take an eye dropper
2. Put a couple of drops of blue dye of the products in question in separate quart containers of the exact same amount of water (try and be as accurate as you can with the drops, the more drops the better as this will reduce the error. but not too many as the product will be too hard to evaluate) Try and get exactly the same amount of dye in exactly the same amount of water. As long as the dye solution is not too concentrated you should be able to see through the solution. The darker the solution the stronger the dye products. Repeat with as many products and compare side by side.


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I could get my hands on lots of bottles-and add 1,2,3 etc. drops and take pics of each "products bottle" as we go. This of course will not have anything to do with the light absorption, algae, etc. However it would tell me what looks more blue, vs another. We use it for asethetics to help the muddy look of ponds after a rain to clear "mask" turbidity.


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This excerpt was taken from the web page http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/proposed_pgp_fs.pdf

Cultural Method
Cultural techniques include the use of pond dyes and water-level drawdown. Use pond dyes to manage filamentous algae and submersed (underwater) vegetation. Several pond colorants and one or two dyes are EPA-registered for aquatic-weed control. Pond dyes and colorants can be effective if there is little water outflow from the pond. Dyes and colorants intercept sunlight needed by algae and other underwater plants for photosynthesis. Therefore, they are generally ineffective on floating plants like duckweed and water lilies and emergent (growing above the surface) plants like cattails and bulrushes. Dyes and colorants are nontoxic and do not kill the plants, and they are safe for use in ponds for irrigation, fishing and livestock. However, they are not intended for use in large lakes with a lot of water flow or lakes used for
59
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2010 NPDES Pesticides General Permit Fact Sheet
public water supplies.8

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What am I missing here ?
















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Ok so I am reading this post and I am even more confused then I was. As ewest said here I am a reader that would like to know what the best dye to use is??? But don't want to do something stupid either because Mr. or Mrs Government Expert said this and this. Without getting into any type of issue here over a product in your non expert humble opinion what do you all think about Aquashade as a dye in general????

Thanks

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I hope to talk to Bob and do a colorant test with several products and present the data at PB conference.. I will let you know what comes of the idea.


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Thanks Greg that would be a cool test for sure. Hope you get time and the ok to do it.


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Greg, when doing your tests see if you can come up with some data to see if the water with dye warms faster that unstained water.


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Bill - temperature influence associated with dye-treatments is an interesting and likely concept; but might be hard to validate due to pond-variables beyond dyed vs no-dye.

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Kelly - one way to approach this temperature influence is to use the dye in above ground pools. Two similar small ponds at a fish farm, esp two that were filled at the same time ande the same depth, bottom shape, would have fewer variables than two ponds and possibly different ages several miles apart. Temp tests could be made and then in several days after temp tests the dye added to control pond assuming dye was to be used anyway.

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I understand the possible methods for narrowing down the variables, but wasn't sure if Greg was interested in a thesis project smile
It might be more feasible to take 1'-depth temp-readings from several similar ponds (some dyed, some not), at regular intervals over several weeks and then compare the variances within each pond - instead of directly comparing the temps from one pond to another. If the dyed ponds signifcantly increase in temperature (over their base-lines) more rapidly than the non-dyed ponds, I think the theory would be supported. Still, a lot of work.....

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Kelly all good ideas. I was just throwing out ways to reduce the variables. IMO the temp measurements would not have to extend for a very long time, probably two to three weeks until the dyed pond temps equalize and 'catch-up' with the control pond.

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ok Bob liked the idea. Now I want input. I want to ask as many pond dye manufactures for product. I have no pony in this race and want to know for sure what scores the highest. Im thinking we may not see a huge diff or maybe we will.

I want to test both liquid and powder. Tough to compare one to the other but like selling the water soulbe packets for ease of shipping so want to try a few of those.

I will use the KISS method and yes not a thesis being defended by a panel. No discussion of how much of yellow, etc. to prevent alage just the color change and persistence. To keep it cheap on my part I plan to use water bottles. If I have 15 manufactures I will need at least 60 bottles. That ok or I need glass? I will take pictures, etc. with different concentrations and monitor for a monoth or longer to see change.

input please. I will probably email you Kelly, Cody dye chemist and others.


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Having never attempted the dropper-method (I'm sceptical), and to possibly prevent too much time-investment for little benefit, may I suggest a preliminary "trial-run" to test the methodology?
Although water bottles may work fine (maybe not), it might work better to use rinsed plastic milk jugs with uniform volumes of water.
I realize plastic milk jugs are opaque. So, if they're not sufficiently clear to directly view/compare coloration variations, maybe you can run your dilution-ratios in the milk jugs (allowing greater dilutions and error-margins) and then transfer a portion of dyed water from each jug into clear glass cups for side-by-side comparisons (returning the samples back to the respective jugs between comparison-intervals).
If you prefer water-bottles for initial dilutions, go ahead. But, the typical "labeled" field-use ratio for liquid-dyes is 1:1,303,404 (= 1qt/ac-ft). If 132 drops = 1 oz (using my calibrated dropper, with each dropper being different), then 1 drop would treat 77.14 gal. at "labeled rates". Using 10x the standard (though subjective) labeled-rate would require adding 1 drop to 7.7 gallons of water. 100x "labeled-rate" = 1 drop to 9.86 oz.
Just trying to put things into perspective before you tackle this task. I'm simply guessing that color-variances will be more easily discerned at higher dilution-ratios; thus a greater volume of water per drop of dye.
It might be worth a trial-run with a couple of dyes that you may already have on-hand before casting the net for numerous samples.

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Thanks Kelly I had planned on doing some kind of dilution in 2 gallon bucket etc then transfer to bottles. The information is helpful. So do you think we would learn any useful information? I hoped to get handle on amount of concentration of dye at the least. If you the pro do not think that is the case then yes why go thru the trouble. I of course have tried being scientific and using dye in ponds but way too many variables to learn anything on how one compares to another. I planned on doing cost analysis as well based on suggesteed retail. Thanks for the info any others? I planned on sending email to manufacturers later this week.


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The main reason I use pond dyes these days is actually just to enhance the look of the water. Most of the time I use aquashade as my go to all around lake dye, but oftentimes we will add other shades of black and blue to get the exact color we are looking for. The combinations we use are site specific depending on what particles are suspended in the water to begin with.

With my own observations of using thousands of gallons of dye per year and trying every single brand of dye on the market it seems we get the most value for our dollar with Aquashade, but I am very interested in what you come up with Greg!


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Originally Posted By: n8ly
The main reason I use pond dyes these days is actually just to enhance the look of the water. Most of the time I use aquashade as my go to all around lake dye, but oftentimes we will add other shades of black and blue to get the exact color we are looking for. The combinations we use are site specific depending on what particles are suspended in the water to begin with.

With my own observations of using thousands of gallons of dye per year and trying every single brand of dye on the market it seems we get the most value for our dollar with Aquashade, but I am very interested in what you come up with Greg!


N8LY,

Thanks for that info. I was wondering if anyone was going to give me their opinion on the dye's themselves. I used a gallon of Aquashade last year and was fairly happy with it. I was suprised at how dark it was at first! The weird part is when it finally starts to lose some of it's shade it looks like left over color from dipping Easter Eggs! smile I never did maintian it though like it said. I just did a one time gallon and that was it. Sure worked good though and it kept my plants at bay for another 3 weeks to a month.

Last edited by RC51; 02/02/11 03:22 PM.

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after much debate Im sending email to some suppliers today to see what kind of response I get.


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When creating drops two features become important. 1. diameter of orifice. 2. Angle of dropper as one holds it. A 45 deg angle creates a larger drop than a vertically held dropper. Be consistant when holding the dropper.
Regarding Kelly's post above and drop dilutions, are you familiar with use of serial dilutions?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/04/11 12:13 PM.

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BC it will be serial dilutions we are doing to minimize the dropper effect as you mention.


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Greg,

If you want to be extremely accurate with your dropper I would suggest picking up a burette and putting it in some kind of a stand. You can get one for @ $20 or less at any lab ware supplier. The stand and valve would remove any inaccuracies from droplet size.

-HH

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Im actually plannig on using our digitial titrator. If not more response than i received today might not have enough wanting me to test their product.


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The digitial titrator idea did not work. HH burette might be in order.


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Did anything ever come of all of this?

Wish I would have found this thread before starting to use pond dye, but maybe best I did not. crazy For what it is worth, black dye has seemed to help me keep FA under control. Will know more next year as maybe FA was simply not as bad this year because of higher water flow through (less potential nutrient load).

My experience with black pond dye starting bottom of page 2 of FA thread


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