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Have some filamentous algae around the edge of the pond. It has covered my shallow "spawning area" that I had provided gravel and small rocks for the fish.

Was pulling some out today. Noticed that it is teeming with life. Snails, little critters that look kind of like tiny aligators, red worms, other worms......all kinds of living stuff.

I don't have any rooted pond weeds. Is The FA providing the cover for these tiny critters till some rooted vegetation takes over? Is "some" FA actually beneficial, as long as it does not get out of hand?

One bunch I pulled out had an 1.25" BG fry. So some fish must use it for cover. Is FA all bad and to be eradicated before it takes over? Or is it ok as long as it does not get out of hand?

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I would remove it one way or another. The sooner the better. It can cover much of the shore. One thing you don't want is eutrophication when it dies.

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It all depends, snrub! FA produces oxygen, but can die and consume oxygen after several cloudy days. FA provides shelter for small aquatic life, but is a bugger to get off a fishing line/lure. Producing oxygen causes bubbles to get trapped and pull large mats of FA loose from substrates to float on the water surface....causing some ponds to look like a sewage lagoon and blocking sunlight to oxygen producing, subsurface plants and phytoplankton. FA may be the new crude oil of the future....FA is being researched, and "designer fuels" are being created with algae.

Like I said...it all depends, on your opinion of the stuff.

In Kansas, you can add tilapia to consume the FA. The tilapia reproduce like crazy, LOVE eating FA, and all those T-babies feed your other fish. Less FA will give other aquatic plants a better chance to utilize nutrients to get established.



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Originally Posted By: Gavinswildlife
I would remove it one way or another. The sooner the better. It can cover much of the shore. One thing you don't want is eutrophication when it dies.


I have FA along the shore out three or four feet around my trophy pond and it keeps out the heron along with the staked lines. It's tough for them to wade through.

FA also metabolizes ammonia and nitrates but usually that's not in issue in ponds.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 04/05/14 10:20 PM.

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






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I think that Rainman Rex hit the major points. I love to fish the Shenandoah South Fork and Potomac South Fork rivers. At different times of the year, they become almost impassible, even in a kayak, with FA -- but the SMB fishing becomes incredible using top water baits, poppers, and flies.

I've probably caught more citation size SMB at these times than during any other times during the last 40 years. We usually do pretty well with trophy size BG during these same times. This happens about 2-3 times a year, starting shortly after ice-out, through August. Each time with similar looking FA.

When my main pond now gets hit with FA that floats up, it looks like a Senior's bus tour of old cows and steers that took a rest stop break. Nothing bites during those times.

With a lot of settling ponds in my major watershed areas, diversion wetlands, vegetation, and keeping my pond edges will vegetated, I've really cut down on FA in my ponds.

I think my oveall fishing is better -- but, we seldom keep records anymore, and just enjoy 3-4 generations catching dinner.


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I hate that stuff.. of course i have an acre of pond 3 ft deep or less that grows FA like crazy and best thing I've found to do is let it be because that's a battle i can't win..


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Ok, thanks everybody for the replies.

Catmandoo said "With a lot of settling ponds in my major watershed areas, diversion wetlands, vegetation, and keeping my pond edges will vegetated, I've really cut down on FA in my ponds."

That comment leads me to believe excess nutrients are at least part of the problem. I lined this pond when new with a layer of topsoil on suggestion of our local NRCS guy so we would not have as much problem with suspended clay causing the water to be turbid. It accomplished that goal as this pond was never as muddy looking as any regular new pond in the area that just left the clay exposed. But I have read recently (think it was last PB magazine) that it was not recommended to put topsoil in because of excess nutrient problems.

Seems like getting the nutrient balance right is a struggle. Some ponds need more, others need less.

Having read lots of different things when I built the pond (but not yet discovered PBF) the literature talked about fertilizing a new pond. So I put a couple scoops of manure mixture in as the pond filled. Also fertilized the banks for grass and let the dry fertilize throw out into the pond. Then also about half the runoff area of the watershed is farmland with pretty good fertility levels and we tend to have large rain events sometimes when we get rain so a lot of runoff.

What I am getting at is, even though this pond is only a couple years old, I seem to already have excess nutrient problems. Water clarity stayed about 18" last summer with a nice green cast. It is probably closer to 2.5 feet now but the water is still cold and I noticed just yesterday the visibility is dropping with an algae bloom.

My plan of action is to pull some more out in the shallow area created for spawning and some around the banks where it is floating up. Beyond that don't think I could keep up with it anyway. So will just pull out the worst areas and watch and see what happens with the rest. Hopefully will not need to resort to chemicals, although being a farmer chemical use is no stranger.

Thanks everybody for the input. I was just really surprised at all the bug life in the FA. Guess I should not have been.

Last edited by snrub; 04/06/14 10:24 AM.

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snrub #371347 04/06/14 11:09 AM
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Found this publication that shows a bunch of common bugs that live in ponds. Pond insects PDF

Looks like the FA had lots of Nymphs in it, Did not look closely enough but maybe Damselfly and or Stonefly. In the FA they were very tiny ones. I found larger ones in an old dead weed covered with FA. I have seen the larger Nymphs on the underside of rocks previously while looking at snails. Bunch of other tiny worm like things that were to small to identify without magnification.

I just saw the FA surface literally moving with activity when it was drug up on the pond bank. Thought it was interesting how much life it held.

Last edited by snrub; 04/06/14 11:10 AM.

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Oof yeah with topsoil in there you definitely have a head start on organic matter in a new pond!

Just wanted to issue a friendly warning -- be sure to wear gloves if you're handling the FA as the backswimmers bite really hard.

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Thanks for the warrning. Now what the heck is a backswimmer???
frown

Last edited by snrub; 04/06/14 12:31 PM.

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Originally Posted By: snrub
Thanks for the warrning. Now what the heck is a backswimmer???
frown


Crayfish, craws, damn finger pinching backswimming $$!!*^'s



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Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks. New one on me.


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snrub #371366 04/06/14 01:09 PM
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When mom would put out the backyard kiddie pool in the summer it would be full of these little suckers after after a few days. Between them and the horseflies we had to keep on our toes.

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I love being at my ponds and I know what I do does not work for every one. When I refurbished, " mucked out" my big pond on my moms property I spent a year non stop removing FA next year I had chare so thi k you could walk on it. Pulled it out non stop. Past two years the pond has been pristine . Added grass carp and have aeration but I believe as I removed the plants nonstop I removed what ever nutrient load that was in the pond. I can't argue with the success .

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Concerning removing nutrient load............

One thing that I may have done to make the FA problem worse around the edge of the pond is I feed the baby FHM's around the edge of the pond. Every day I would throw a little sinking feed in close to the shore (a few inches of water) where the small FHM's would peck at it till it softened enough for them to finally get it all eaten.

Makes me wonder if that wasn't also adding nutrients right in that shallow water. Fish probably got rid of waste same place they were hanging around feeding. Might have been fertilizing the FA by feeding the small fish.

Last edited by snrub; 04/06/14 10:45 PM.

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That feeding was not likely causing your problems unless you were throwing large amounts.. Also I don't think your feeding though in good intentions was doing much for your minnows IMHO I could be wrong but I don't think it's needed..


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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In my opinion FA is good when you look at it as food source and are converting it into animal life. Rainmans tilapia are a great example. Also KOI, Israeli Carp, tadpoles, snails and water plants also help to control FA. Plants help steal nutrients from the FA and the examples given eat FA while it is forming under the water before it can float to the surface. I like to have traces of FA just around the edges of the pond.


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I read somewhere that some FA is the sign of a healthy pond.


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






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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
I read somewhere that some FA is the sign of a healthy pond.


I think it really shows allot of dissolved acid nutrients. If you can tie up the excessive acid nutrients with lime they will sink to the bottom and become plant food and not algae food.

I hand spread hydrated lime on our FA and it gos away fast.

Cheers Don.


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I would say you are probably right about the minnows not needing it. There is probably plenty of natural feed for them without it, and them eating the feed means likely they are leaving an equal amount of natural life for something else to use (like FA maybe?). So I might of actually been doing more harm than good. These were the half grown FHM's that hung around the very edge of the water. The adults I threw the feed out in 2-3' of water where the 2-3" BG would also work on it (sinking feed).

Thing of it is, it was more for my benefit than theirs for the half grown FHM's as I liked to see them work on the pellets around the edge. Guess there is something about a pond that I put all those stocking fish out there and it is nice to see some reproduction and evidence. Most of it stays hidden from our sight.

Having said all that, all those tiny FHM's are not to be seen this spring so either A. the 3" LMB I stocked last fall ate them in the fall and winter or B. they grew up. I have harvested at least ten pounds of FHM's to stock sons and daughters ponds and doesn't seem like I made a dent in them. I can put some feed in a minnow trap and 30 minutes later have it a third full of minnows. Wait an hour and it is half full. So either on their own or with the help of the feed, they certainly did ok somehow.

I've been feeding the adult FHM's for two or three weeks now hoping to get one last good spawn year before the LMB get big enough to wipe them out. They go after the feed like pigs in a pen and will clean up any amount I have put out so far in short order. About 1-2 gallons of feed a day for a 3 acre pond, depending if I get out there once or twice. The BG are starting to get some of it the last week. I have definitely had minnow production. I feed a mix of sinking and floating, depending on wind conditions.

Put a camera in the water yesterday and dropped it on the bottom. Dropped some feed down where I could see it in about 5-6' of water. Occasional BG came by but a mass of FHM's came and mobbed the feed. I think it is going to be fun to watch this episode when the LMB get big enough and smart enough to come by at feeding time and feast on FHM's. I expect to see a mass of FHM's, see them scatter and the glimpse of a LMB streak by in front of the camera. A movie coming later this spring and summer. smile


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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
I read somewhere that some FA is the sign of a healthy pond.


Maybe "balance" is the key? Some is good, too much not so good?


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Originally Posted By: DonoBBD
Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
I read somewhere that some FA is the sign of a healthy pond.


I think it really shows allot of dissolved acid nutrients. If you can tie up the excessive acid nutrients with lime they will sink to the bottom and become plant food and not algae food.

I hand spread hydrated lime on our FA and it gos away fast.

Cheers Don.


Interesting!!! Might have to try that on small sections at a time. I would think maybe it not a good idea to do too much at once so as not to affect PH too much at one time, but samll sections might be beneficial for other reasons besides the FA. Thanks!


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Originally Posted By: John Monroe
In my opinion FA is good when you look at it as food source and are converting it into animal life. Rainmans tilapia are a great example. Also KOI, Israeli Carp, tadpoles, snails and water plants also help to control FA. Plants help steal nutrients from the FA and the examples given eat FA while it is forming under the water before it can float to the surface. I like to have traces of FA just around the edges of the pond.


Thanks John. Sounds reasonable to me.

Last edited by snrub; 04/07/14 01:46 PM.

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Originally Posted By: snrub
Originally Posted By: DonoBBD
Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
I read somewhere that some FA is the sign of a healthy pond.


I think it really shows allot of dissolved acid nutrients. If you can tie up the excessive acid nutrients with lime they will sink to the bottom and become plant food and not algae food.

I hand spread hydrated lime on our FA and it gos away fast.

Cheers Don.


Interesting!!! Might have to try that on small sections at a time. I would think maybe it not a good idea to do too much at once so as not to affect PH too much at one time, but samll sections might be beneficial for other reasons besides the FA. Thanks!


I use a small hand held grass seeder with hydrated lime in it. Weather I am creating a time bomb of nutrients I do not know but it gos away when I use it.

Cheers Don.


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