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Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37943 09/25/02 09:36 AM
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I just did a test on my pond and came up with the following numbers:
110ppm Alkalinity
ph 8.4

I know that Alkalinity and ph are tied together but at only 110ppm Kh my respective ph seems awfully high. Is there a good way to lower it without decreasing my buffering capacity?


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37944 09/25/02 07:59 PM
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Pottsy,

I'm in northeastern Indiana and my warmwater pond is 8.4. I have no problems with water quality. Why do you want to change the PH? If you did change it, it would be difficult to keep it down and a waste of time if you ask me.


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






Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37945 09/25/02 08:51 PM
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Pottsy. pH taken in the day esp later in the day will often yield what seems to be a too high pH depending on buffering capacity and algal density. 8.4 is not too high for your area of southern Ontario. Isn't there quite a bit of limestone bedrock there.?


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37946 09/25/02 10:18 PM
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Hey Guys, 8.4 seemed just a little too high to me, from what I understand something between 7.0 and 8.0 is a good place to shoot for. I have lovely green water, (Maybe a little too green), tons of forage fish and the like so I can't say that I am seeing a real need to mess with the ph for those reasons. However my water level is dropping due to drought conditions and I am afraid that as my water volume continues to drop my ph will rise to dangerous levels accordingly. There is indeed a lot of limestone bedrock and shale here... in fact part of my pond is built on it.


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37947 09/26/02 09:46 AM
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Hey, Pottsy maybe we should be calling you "Fred Flintstone"? What type of equipment are you using to test your PH etc. and are you happy with it. Maybe its about time I start seriously checking my water quality and characteristics? Any comments on a schedule for testing water and all its conditions and related cost for each piece of equipment. Thanks

Rowly

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37948 09/26/02 10:32 AM
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Hey Rowly, the name would have made sense for sure if you had seen me hammering away at the rock with my backhoe trying for just a few more inches of depth. But then again your pond/lake IS thanks to a gravel pit. : )
I am using the Hagen Master test kit, Tests for ammonia, calcium, nitrate, phosphate, nitrite, pH, iron, carbonate hardness, and general hardness. The only thing missing is test for DO, I have looked into test strips for oxygen saturation at around $30... or the electronic method which seems to be $400+.. but haven't made a purchase. I test the pond rather infrequently, but try to do it after either a long dry spell or lots of rain. Of course I haven't seen anything much for rain in a month. The test kit works well and is easy to use with good instructions. I believe it was around $100CAD.


Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37949 09/26/02 12:52 PM
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Pottsy,

Have you ever heard of the adage, "If it ain't brook don't fix it."It's always worked for me along witht he K.I.S.S. principal -- especially since I tend to be stupid at times. (Absolutely not referring to you of course).

Bill is right, you may see a difference in PH depending on what time of day you check it. Just because it is 8.4 doesn't mean you have problems. If you were raising fish intensively in a raceway e.g. trout, then you would be limited the number of consectutive raceways you would have as the ammonia would build up on you faster with a higher pH.


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






Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37950 09/26/02 07:36 PM
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Pottsy - Your greenish water indicates you have a good phytoplankton (high #'s microalgae) bloom in the pond. All these microalgae absorb CO2 (carbon dioxide) during the day and reducing the carbnonic acid in the water thus raising the pH. At night they release CO2 and it forms carbonic acid which lowers your pH. Since you have naturally hard and well buffered pond water your pH will on the low end, usu be high 7's low 8's and upward from there.
No need to worry (in your case) even with evaporation and water loss.


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37951 09/26/02 09:35 PM
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Cecil/Bill, I certainly don't have any issue with the 'green' water, I have found just the right amount of fertilizer and luck to keep it that way. I think Cecil is right, I am trying to fix things that are not broken. I have a good excuse though... there is not a thing I can do about my terribly diminished water level at this point in time.. so I am looking too hard to find other things I can fix. I appreciate the info lads and I will do my best to leave well enough alone. Now if only I knew how to make it rain...


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37952 09/27/02 01:47 PM
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Thanks Pottsy for the info., I will get one of those kits as well for future use..... We are getting a lot of rain today sent up by our friends south of the border and their tropical storm. How about you...?

Rowly

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37953 09/27/02 01:56 PM
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We are getting all of 1 inch or less... then nothing more until late next week according to the weather network even though I am not that far from you in relaitve terms. Does your pond stay pretty full regardless of rainfall?


Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37954 09/30/02 09:27 AM
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Pottsy, picture this- being in a large crater of lined clay (several miles in diameters) with sand and gravel inside this bowl. I am just one of several gravel pits/ponds in my area but the largest. The ground water moves through the gravel base with the help of some fresh water springs/streams etc. Because of the lack of rain this entire basin is down approx. 2' of water depth including my well and lake. However, my future thought is this, my large lake feeds other gravel pits down the line as I have a large overflow pipe allowing water to flow out of the lake and into a spillway that feeds my neighbors gravel pit and so on in the spring when the water level is high. If at the end of the day when the pit is completed I remove this horizontal overflow pipe and seal the area with clay that maybe I could get a extra couple of feet of total water height in my lake by blocking it departure. The end result would be if I gained a extra 2' or so in the spring etc and I lost 2' feet during the summer due to evaporation etc with drought conditions I will be 2' or so ahead of the game in summer water depth. The lake is constructed so I have 4-6' of sloped bank around the entire 16 acre lake, therefore allowing a great deal of excess water to pool and remain. What are your thoughts from you knowledgeable pondmeisters, can I increase the water depth by simply removing this horizontal overflow pipe, the sides of the lake are reinforced with clay to help seal it. Sorry for running on!!!!

Thanks

Rowly

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37955 09/30/02 09:36 AM
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Hmmm... with so many different sources of incoming water it sounds like a tricky thing to manage...
Now if you remove this overflow pipe will there still be some location for water to safely flow out once it goes up the two more feet? (i.e. another overflow or spillway area?) Will all of the bank areas around the pond be capable of handling the extra two feet of water or will it spill out somewhere else or cause erosion not normally experienced? You may find that you won't get the full two feet expected as the banks may not seal all the way around or be high enough all the way around. Oh and do you think the neighbours will notice their diminished inflow? : )

Once again... I will state my extreme jealousy in regards to the size and convenient existance of your water body.


Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37956 09/30/02 08:19 PM
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Good points Pottsy. I doubt the old banks are still tight or compacted enough throughout to hold the new water level clear around the lake. Got to be some highly potential leakage areas around the perimeter due to drying, cracking, new tree roots, poor first time compaction, lose soils, etc. I think if you fill it up 2 ft above the existing high water line the water will drop pretty fast once the inflow stops or slows.
The lake was probably built or designed to have 2 feet of free board. Thus the upper soil banks were not intended to hold water for very long; just a guess.


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37957 10/01/02 01:22 PM
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Great comments guys, sorry I don't have the answers. Because the aggregate is put through a screen to pile and remove by large trucks there is much discharge in non-usuable clay etc mixed in with the stone, sand and gravel. This material is spread around the edges of the lake embankment in great thickness and new berms are constructed elsewhere to hide and use this waste byproduct. I would easily have 4-6 feet of excess embankment until the top and main surface grade. Don't forget they are digging a large hole removing the aggregate and only the water level remains. I don't think I would need any overflow and have the ability to house another 10-15 million gallons of water. I think Bill is correct in saying that this new height in water could and would leak out into the surrounding ground. However, the great clay thickness 3-4'+ may seal the water and delay its departure from the lake. If this is true I could enjoy another 3-4' of water depth for a period of time or at least delay it from reaching its lowest level. Any thought on this.....?

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37958 10/01/02 10:03 PM
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I think I am going to have to come out some time and have a look at this pond/lake get a better mental image. : ) Did they put the clay etc. in the way they did with the intention of building a lake as part of a re-claimation deal?

Well if there is still about 4 feet+ of bank left then you might be safe at least trying to go up 2+ feet but you should plan for some sort of overflow tube/spillway to be safe.


Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37959 10/16/02 10:37 AM
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Pottsy, sorry for the late response but hockey got into the way...... you are welcome anytime. Picture this..... you have a saucer bowl 2/3 full of water. I was just thinking about filling up the bowl with a little more water as the land grade is at the top of the bowls edge. There is no embankment just a hole into the ground- a large 12 acre hole.

Rowly

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37960 10/16/02 10:44 AM
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Hey Rowly, well if that "saucer bowl" is lined with clay and you figure you have extra height all the way around, I don't see why you couldn't try raising the outflow a foot or two. Just try to keep a couple of feet from the point it will overflow in areas other then the spillway if you can. (I would definitely recomend a spillway still exist even after raising the water line... just to be safe)


Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37961 10/17/02 10:46 AM
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Pottsy, sold..... I will at some point install that spillway before I try to raise the overall surface water height. The pit guys are busy, I have another 1+ acre of excavated surface water this past week or so in the 8'+ depth at low water height due to little rainfall. The lake appears to be down about 3' overall.

Off topic.... I bought some native bluegill a couple of weeks ago 600 or so near here. They were so dark in color but beautiful marking(almost black) big and thick bodied! Any idea why they would be this dark color living in similar conditions as my lake a very short distance away but gathered throughtout the province for pond stock (gene pool)? Any pondmeister please pipe in. Thanks

Rowly

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37962 10/18/02 11:36 AM
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When hauling fish they usually darken. My bass really put on some great markings once I have had them in the tank for a few hours. Have not thought about why that is, but this is my guess why the bluegill were darker.


Greg Grimes
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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37963 10/18/02 11:49 AM
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Greg, thanks for your remarks and I would agree. In this case these fish were taken by seine net from their habitat pond a short time before with the same colour. In fact the seller had said the fish had lightened up? Maybe when they breed with my silvery/blue/light peach colored bluegill they will have great colors? What do you think Cecil....any thoughts

Rowly

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#37964 10/18/02 01:46 PM
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Hey Rowly,

Now that we know how to use picturestage.com, why not post some pictures of your operation. I am quite interested to see it.

gw

Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37965 10/19/02 07:45 AM
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I'm definitely not an expert but it has been my practical experience that fish will darken and show their true colors dependant on water clarity. I have bass taken from a crystal clear pond showing all the markings and color and put in my pond which is not super clear and the colors fade when I've caught the fish again. We catch bluegills and hold in a basket until cleaning and while in the basket which is in shallow clearer water they darken and their color gets very vivid. Maybe one of the experts can expound on this.

BMorris


Bill
Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37966 10/19/02 10:02 AM
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So this information is not buried and located under topic of: Lower pH without..... I am posting my comments about fish color under - General Questions & Observations topic: Fish Color - Oct 19, 02 . Go there to see it.

I like to use the posts here as helpful references and too many good bits of information are lost & difficult for me to find or retrieve in this board when they are buried & placed under different topics or subjects such as discussion of fish color under Water Chemistry - Lowering pH without....


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Re: Lowering ph without affecting Alkalinity
#37967 10/21/02 09:17 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts and Flatlander I will do that. As Bill has done see ya at Questions and Observations under "Fish Color".

Rowly


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