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1/4 acre pond (more or less), 12 foot deep, sand/clay soil.

I tested my water today and my alkalinity is very low, probably around 20ppm using a pool test strip. The ph on the strip indicated between 7.5-7.8, but when I used my wide range ph test kit it was closer to 9 (thinking that's probably more accurate) I'm going after 500 lbs of garden lime tomorrow and get it in the pond to try to bump the Alk. How long should I wait before checking the Alk level again....and if it comes up sufficiently, will this neutralize the ph automatically or will I have to do something else?

Visibility is approximately 20 inches, but the water has a good olive green color (finally) and I do have some sparse algae on the surface.

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 05/22/18 08:46 PM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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If pH is that high, and alkalinity is low, your high pH does not come from calcium.

As for when you'll measure change...It depends on the agricultural lime used....check labels to see what has the highest CCE and how many pound equals one ton of ag lime (these are on the package by law). Pulverized and pelleted lime will be the most finely ground and "fast acting"....if close to a powder, you will see results in days....

I do not think the ag lime will lower your pH.

Last edited by Rainman; 05/23/18 05:43 AM.


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Hey Rainman, thanks for the reply. I think maybe your post might be incomplete tho (last sentence). The lime I'm going to use is the Soil Doctor pulverized powder. It's supposed to add both calcium and magnesium.

Is this going to help lower my ph or will I need to do something else?

If I still need to do something to reduce the ph, can I use the ph reducing chemicals like you would use in a swimming pool?

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 05/23/18 04:50 AM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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The soil Doctor pulverized is the highest content calcium Ag lime I have found...and it's reasonably priced at Lowe's...about $3.40/bg and 10% off for getting 10 or more bags.

Sorry about the confusion on that last line...added "and" by mistake.



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That's where I'm getting it. My pond is 66x66 roughly with steep sides tapering down to 12 feet, 12 bags will be just shy of 500 pounds and from what I understand should be an ample amount of lime to buffer this size pond. I can always add a few more. Also considering dumping a bag of Pelletized in the inflow ditch to supplement when I get enough rain to cause runoff from the neighborhood.

I'm still not grasping the ph side if this tho. Will the addition of this lime help lower the ph, or will I need to use something else to neutralize it. I want to get it as close to 7.4 as I can.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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I am all aways butting heads with Rainman on this and I mean no disrespect.

Dolomite lime is not a good lime to use unless you have a magnesium problem. All heavy metals are just about impossible to remove from soil let alone a pond. Here in our area our land has lots of heavy metals and adding Dolomite lime to our land will destroy it for years. Its is bad enough putting chicken litter on our land.

What you most likely have is high potassium. It is the most abundant available high ph element after Calcium.

What I would look for an apply is Calcium Carbonate. Find the finest mesh size you can find. Finer the mesh size the more that will be instantly water soluble. Calcium Carbonate will bring your PH down and your alkalinity up in one fell swoop.

If you have a good cement plant close by ask if you can get your hands on some kiln dust. Have it tested. You can't make good hard concrete with to much calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is sucked off the tower at the right temp not allowing it into the cement. This product is high in Calcium Carbonate and 100% soluble. It is like water because it is pulled off the tower when it is a vapor and as it cools it becomes a solid again. Kiln dust is a waste product and is just dumped back into the cement pit in settling ponds. Yes you will be looking at allot of hydroxides in the dust but wow great stuff.

Here is you can neutralize the PH of your liquid manure with kiln dust as you apply the manure you have the ultimate fertilizer for the year.

Cheers Don.


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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.
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Good info! Thanks Don

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Thanks for the added information Don. Never in my life did I imagine having a pond and trying to manage it into something other than a hole full of water could be so frustrating. Do this...dont do that...it depends...dang! I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a soil test done to make sure I'm being a good little chemist. Most ponds down here just add lime if anything and let be what will be, but most aren't sitting at your front door either.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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Mike
Just for gins and griggles why not have a sample of your water actually checked by a professional to tell you exactly what you got. Then go from there. Some full service feed stores deliver ag lime by the ton, we had 6tons delivered and slung into the pond for about 350$, mainly cause we are 20+ miles from their store

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To be totally honest here, Pat, this is Mutt pond. I haven't spent a dime on stocking. With exception to a dozen or so native BG, Warmouth and a single LMB, every other fish in the pond was stocked either by birds or Hurricane Harvey.

While the area hasn't been known to flood, it has flooded twice in two years. That reason alone is enough for me to not spend exhorbadent amounts of money on creating a trophy fishery. I'm going to get what I can out of it for the least amount of $$ I can get by with.

I know it needs to be limed because the house I just built sits on top of the dirt that came out of it, and I've still got mostly dirt around the house. The soil is very acidic and needs to be neutralized.

The only feed store in my area caters mainly to the race horse industry, not farmers as all the pasture around us is non-agricultural. Just open fields. To get a lime truck to deliver means buying tons of lime I don't need, therefore I'm bagging it. It won't hurt anything as far as I can determine.

My question was to determine whether the lime I'm going to apply would reduce the ph to a more neutral reading, and if not, what can I do to get it down. Until just recently, it was in the 7s. Lack of rain and a lot of sun has been my biggest influence.

I had an issue with turbidity, which I addressed with wheat straw in floating baskets. Nothing else. My water went from less than a foot visibility to almost two feet with no other influences. My color is good and my fish are thriving. In the almost two years since the pond was dug, I've had 2 BG die.

I just want to reduce the ph without spending an arm and a leg.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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I dont quite understand that if the soil is acidic then y the high ph. Usually the ph would be in the 6-6.5 range. Am I missing something

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That does make sense. However, the spike just recently occurred.

As I said, the ph had previously been in the 7s. The main reason I'm liming is because my Alk level is measuring 20ppm. I need to bump it up to buffer such drastic swings. I think the spike is due to not having any rain for nearly 8 weeks. The pond depends entirely on runoff.

As I'm typing this it has started raining, so the lime will have to wait a day or two. I'm going to get fresh readings as soon as I can and see if this rain has had any affect on the ph.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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Ok. I've been reading up on calcium carbonate. I see now what Don was referring to is actually ag lime. (The going to a concrete plant part threw me for a loop.) I can get standard ag lime by by the bag at my local feed store for a little over $7/50lbs. Being that my soil makeup is 80/20 sand/clay mix with no rock at all, it makes sense now that I may need to pay the extra and get ag lime instead of garden lime.

However, I'd like to know if anyone in my area, (SW La/ SE Tx) has used garden lime and what kind of results they had, just out of curiosity as their soil makeup is going to be very similar to mine.

Y'all are gonna have to forgive my ignorance guys. Still learning there's a lot about pond management I've got to get my thick skull wrapped around.

On a side note...I just took another ph reading since the rain has let up. We didn't get a lot, and no runoff due to the ground being so dry, but the level did in fact drop to 8 with the little rain we got and almost constant cloud cover since mid morning.

Visibility is 28 inches and still very olive green.

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 05/23/18 04:02 PM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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I thought I found a source for Ag Lime. My local feed store said they carried it, but upon further questioning, it turned out to be hydrated lime. So I kept searching. Turns out Tractor Supply carries 50# sacks of Calcium Magnesium Carbonate for $2.99 a bag. In the Q&A section, they stated this was NOT HYDRATED LIME and can be used to balance PH in a pond. I guess someone was looking out for my little finned buddies. Found the right stuff for an even cheaper price. I'll be working near that store tomorrow, so I'm hoping they have 10 sacks.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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Does the bag compare to this? If so it will work as ag lime




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Last edited by ewest; 05/24/18 10:45 AM.















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Hey Mr. West,
Thanks for sending those pics. Especially the second. What Tractor Supply carries is obviously a different brand, but I haven't seen the actual ingredients on it yet. I was looking at the Soil Doctor in a powder form from Lowe's also. Both are Calcium/magnesium carbonate blends. Now I can compare labels to see which has the highest calcium content and hopefully lowest magnesium. I don't think the Mag level will hurt me any as my hardness has been immeasurable on a litmus stick. Biggest difference I can readily see is TS sells 50# sacks for $.50 less than the Lowe's Soil Doctor 40# sack. But if Soil Doctor has higher calcium content, it may still be a better buy. I think I'll only need about 500#. If I need more, I can add some later. I'll know later today.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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Mike, it's a good thing you got thrown for a loop on the concrete plant...as Dono said, kiln dust has lots of "hydroxides", Calcium Hydroxide, which would likely kill every fish in the pond unless you knew what you had.

I have asked for, but still never gotten a single empirical study on harmful results from Dolomitic Ag Lime, and considering millions and millions of acre of the most productive farm land has magnesium containing ag lime applied to it yearly, I think it is a bunch of hooey on any concerns...Plus, Dolomite is the suggested Ag Lime to be used....Calcite is second.

Most Lowes stores have a "pulverized" limestone supplied by Soil Doctor....it is very high in calcium and finely ground....only about $3.43 per 40 pound bag

Last edited by Rainman; 05/24/18 11:36 AM.


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Hey Mr. West,
Thanks for sending those pics. Especially the second. What Tractor Supply carries is obviously a different brand, but I haven't seen the actual ingredients on it yet. I was looking at the Soil Doctor in a powder form from Lowe's also. Both are Calcium/magnesium carbonate blends. Now I can compare labels to see which has the highest calcium content and hopefully lowest magnesium. I don't think the Mag level will hurt me any as my hardness has been immeasurable on a litmus stick. Biggest difference I can readily see is TS sells 50# sacks for $.50 less than the Lowe's Soil Doctor 40# sack. But if Soil Doctor has higher calcium content, it may still be a better buy. I think I'll only need about 500#. If I need more, I can add some later. I'll know later today.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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Rainman, I'm glad I did more research too. Especially with my local feed store. Their hydrated lime could have been a disaster.

I see the calcium CCE on Soil Doctor is 95%. My thoughts are that if the TS brand is relatively close I'll still come out ok with it as I'll be getting 20 more pounds for less money.

Thanks again everyone for y'alls input


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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The Tractor Supply here doesn't carry the brand of lime that's shown on their website...naturally. But they did have something at a higher price. All it says on the bag is Pro Ag Lime, 50# powder. I bought it anyway. Here's why....
CCE = 99%
ENP = 1768#/TON
TNP = 99%
All the other variables were comparable within a few % here or there.

I think even with the higher price I should get a little better bang for my $50. If I could get my phone to post a picture, I'd post a pic of the bag.

Of course it's threatening to rain, so I don't dare start slinging dust right now.

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 05/24/18 04:04 PM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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I got the lime thrown out yesterday afternoon. Man, my 58 y/o shoulders, back and legs ain't what they used to be, but it's done. I don't know how you guys manhandle tons of this stuff.

Today, visibility is about 12 inches,maybe more. And the water is starting to get more green again. It looked like coffee with way too much creamer when I was finished. Fish that were on the bed are still on the bed. I did have two floaters when I got home. I'm assuming they were already pretty stressed to begin with. The turtles are enjoying them tho. I'm going to give it the weekend before I check the ph and alk again.

Walking the bank I noticed 3 or 4 small black clumps floating on top. Slightly larger than a golf ball. They looked solid but when I tried to net one out, it just dissolved into nothing. Anyone have an idea what this crud might be? Some kind of algae, maybe?

How long should it take before the water gets back to being green again? Its greenish gold now.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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If the water had suspended clay, the Ag Lime won't help much with that issue.

It all depends on the water chemistry as to whether or not an algae bloom will start for you, but if things are good for one, within a week using the powdered, high quality, ag lime would be reasonable.

The black "balls" may have been some form of Bryzoan.



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I dont "think" I've got a suspended clay issue, but who knows. The clarity was pretty good before liming and is coming back. That's not typical of suspended clay, is it? Color's just off. Looks more like it did after the Harvey flood, only not as tanic brown. I did a jar test a while back tho and could see something suspended in the water.

I Googled Bryozoan, definitely haven't seen anything like that!!

At first glance it looks like black floating mud and I hadn't seen anything like that prior.

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 05/25/18 07:26 PM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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It's been 7 days since I applied lime to the pond. The color is back to its pretty green shade of olive again and visibility is 28 inches using my white coffee mug on a string. Bad news is, my Alk and Ph hasn't been affected at all. Still reading around 20ppm on the litmus stick and wide range tester indicates a Ph of 9 (checked at around 6pm). Hardness is 0. Looks like I've got other issues contributing to my water chemistry.

About 10 weeks ago I built 6 wire baskets and stuffed them full of wheat straw and a piece of Styrofoam to keep them afloat. I know there isn't anyone who thinks wheat has any where near the clearing factors as Barley, but it's what I can get so figured what the heck. Prior to this my visibility was less than a foot. We've had no rain and abundant sun for nearly 8 weeks,so I'm thinking if anything, I should have a lot less visibility than what I have.

If the wheat straw is in fact dispersing hydrogen peroxide, would this be contributing to my high Ph?

Just for "gins and griggles", I've pulled all the wheat out to see what happens. If the clarity diminishes but my Ph gets better, then I'll know what was causing it. If the clarity diminishes but the ph stays bad, I'll replace the baskets and see if the water clears again. At least I'll satisfy my curiosity about wheat straw and visibility.

If my Alk and Ph isn't being calcium driven, what else could it be and how do I fix it?

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 05/30/18 06:32 PM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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I called the ag extension fisheries agent for the area and discussed what my pond was doing. He told me to give the liming more time, but I may have to add more, but interesting enough, he suggested throwing sheetrock in the pond being it is pure gypsum and that would help bring my hardness up.

I work for one of those home improvement stores and broken sheetrock is pretty easy to come by so looks like my straw baskets are about to be repurposed!!


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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