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I have very muddy water. I was wondering and its prolly already been talked about a lot but here goes. If I get the alum. and it gets all cleared up how long does it last? Is it like pond dye and go away when the rain hits. A little background pond is about 10 years old and always muddy. Maybe 6 inches is all you can see at best. I would love to get this cleared up some just don't want to dump money into it for it not to last.

Last edited by RStringer; 08/16/19 01:58 PM.

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I had muddy water for quite awhile. Things got better for me when pond filled completely, got well-rooted ground cover on banks, and got control of the watershed flow into the pond. I had dry dams built and seeded to slow the ag runoff and keep bare ground to a minimum.

Many other things can cause muddy water, have you done a jar test yet?

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I have done zero testing. Mine has been full for 10 years now. Bank is all grass. The run off is just my yard and its all grass as well.


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Lime and gypsum helped clear my pond up.

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Perform jar test and provide photos. We need to determine if turbidity is caused by ionic imbalance or mechanically. That’s where you start.


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Ok my plan is this weekend to start the jar test. What is the best way something like 3 big clear glass jars? Date them and take pictures. Do I put anything in them? Sorry for the questions iv heard of it but havnt really looked into that yet.


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What is your clarity/visibility on pond? 12" or less?


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I doubt i'v ever been able to see 12" of vis. There is times around the side you can see down a few inches but only really shallow water only.


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I doubt turbidity is being caused by phytonplankton/zooplankton blooms - but to be safe, fill two jars, place one in darkness [closet, basement, under a towel, whatever] and leave the other one exposed to sunlight.

Record water clarity with photos over time by placing jars against a white background [sheet of paper] and let us know what happens - if one jar clears faster than another, etc. If you have an ionic imbalance your turbidity will not improve. If turbidity is caused by something mechanical [fish, wind, erosion] the water will clear.

If you have an ionic imbalance, you'll need to address the water chemistry through alum, lime, gypsum, or hay treatments. It can be done and we can help.


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Photo tips: take the pics the same way every time... It's Best to use a room with no windows so that sun light does not change the results. Flash can be difficult to use, so don't use the flash. Get good light and use the same lights every time. Try to take it from the same distance and at the same angle. Avoid reflections.

My 2 cents...I look forward to your process...I have a muddy pond too.


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I cant think you guys enuff. I will get to it this weekend for sure. Jars with lids right?


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Right.

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Iv tired posting this a few times so if its pops up with a bunch pardon my ignorance please. Here is the test starting on Aug 16th at noon. It has rained off and on all morning. Dont know if it matters or not.

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Ok keep an eye on the jars - eventually we're hoping for the material to be sitting on the bottom of the jar and the water to clear. We need to make a note of how long this takes. If it settles out you have a mechanical issue...what species of fish do you have? Do you have lot's of wind action and erosion issues? Tell us more, please.


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Some wind not much of erosion. I have mayb 4 catfish left,lots crappy,lots bass and fathead minnows. Iv caught some kind of perch but not 100% sure on wht it was. Do I need to burp the jars or leave them closed.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
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Doesn’t matter on lids but I always keep mine shut


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The smaller the silt, clay detritus particles the longer it will take for them to settle in the jars; sometimes 7-10 days.


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Ok I had an issue. Kids dumped the "nasty water" out. Cant say i blame them it just looked like dirty water. So retaking the pictures.

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You can see the white thru the glass but that's about it. Where do I go from here?


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Since its only been 6 days, I suggest keeping those jars on the shelf and check on them for settling.

In the meantime you might want to start reading up on treatments available. This is a good document: http://baylor.agrilife.org/files/2011/05/Control_of_Clay_Turbidity_12.pdf

To get inspired, take a new quart jar of muddy water and put a pinch of alum (from the spice dept of walmart) into it and shake it up. In a few minutes it will clump up and eventually turn gin-clear.

For doing you own testing to determine quantities of additive needed, you will need to find a very accurate scale. I used a scale in a lab at work to find it took 1.1 grams of aluminum sulfate to clear a 5 gallon bucket of water. Which worked out to 165(?) pounds to acre-ft.

You will also need to estimate the acre-ft of water in your pond.

For your original question, I don't think anyone can tell you how long the treatment will last beyond "it depends". Rainman recommended a minimum of 200 lbs per ac-ft.

Last edited by Redonthehead; 09/17/19 08:55 PM.

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You should check out floc logs...they use polymer to clear turbidity, longer lasting than alum I believe.


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The second picture of the jars taken after the first looks very consistent on the turbidity level....I suspect colloidal clay, but time in the jars will tell for sure. Given your 10 year history of "always been muddy", only reinforces my belief the turbidity is from colloidal clay.

To answer your question on how long Alum treatments last, the solids removed in a proper treatment, is permanent, HOWEVER, if new colloidal clay enters the pond, it can, and eventually will cloud up again. Once Alum clears the water, an algal bloom should begin. This bloom is nature's filter for "average", new turbidity entering the pond...if the turbidity clouds and kills the algal bloom, the solids in the water clump to the dead algae and go to the bottom, clearing the water and allowing new blooms...

Turbidity is the "symptom" of Colloidal clay, Alum treats the symptom....The cause of the disease is erosion from your watershed...bare spots of clay, creeks with exposed clay sides in the watershed. If you have established grasses around the pond now and inflow area soils are stable, your pond should, and likely will clear in 3-7 days after a heavy rain.

Floc logs require water flow to work. The results, if done properly last no longer than any other treatment...the "floc logs" themself last longer, and dissolve slower, releasing a very highly positively charged ion (+13 to +18 depending on the most effective formula for your specific water chemistry {Alum plus H lime is a +4 ionic charge})

Last edited by Rainman; 08/30/19 08:07 AM.
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That's alot of info for my small mind. I'm in the middle of redigging it now. So I would say all the new dirt isnt going to help it. Will some clay never settle down and always stay suspended in the water without treatment? My watershed is all grass from my yard. When it's raining you can see clear water flooding the pond. But the clear wont go very far into the murky abyss. Thank you for all the help.


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New ponds with all dirt clay shorelines will always tend to stay turbid especially after rain events. Wind action against exposed shorelines continually resuspend settled clay particles. Frequent or constant aeration will also help to keep tiny particulates suspended in the water column. As these pond age they build up an organic bio-accumulation layer that over time tends to cover the exposed bottom soils. This bio-layer including algae and weeds separates the clay from the overlying water and aged ponds often become more clear. In ponds with more sandy soils this constant resuspension of colloidal clay particles does not happen as much due to lack of clay bottom sediments.

Lots of ponds in NW Ohio get the entire shoreline lined with gravel or large crushed limestone down to a depth of 2 to 4 ft. These ponds quickly become clear 4 to 8ft even in clay bottom soils providing no sediment disturbing fish are present. It is not uncommon for some of these ponds to have water clarity of 10ft to 18ft. This often occurs in ponds with only bass.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/30/19 09:09 AM.

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I added 1 teaspoon of alum. This is after only 5 minutes.

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