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Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
#524238 08/03/20 06:16 AM
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Or is it all or nothing?

I live in a very hot climate. 3 months out of the year it's north of 100F every single day. My pond is very cloudy with suspended clay so the top 18" are very warm but since sunlight doesn't get through the bottom is super cold which my LMB will probably like. So I'd like to clear it some, but not so much that the sun penetrates to the bottom.

It's only 8' at the deepest.

Curious if that's even possible? I did an Alum test in both a 1 gallon and 5 gallon bucket and it cleared it no problem. I'm just curious if I use a little bit less than is needed can I partially clear it so that I get decent visibility for the LMB while giving the sun a hard time reaching the bottom? Or will I just be wasting money and that not work at all?

Last edited by Dilley; 08/03/20 06:17 AM.
Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524527 08/09/20 05:42 AM
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Hi Dilly....the answer to your question is not quite that simple...while it is "possible" to partially clear the water, it means it will get bad again quickly...Alum, if used, should always be used to clear ALL clay from the water column!!! Clarity should only be reduced via a planktonic algae bloom, never from suspended soils! The clay is a gill irritant for fish, but worse, the reduced light penetration from clay, greatly reduce oxygen production from a planktonic algae bloom, The algae bloom is what give the water the deep green look of healthy, fertile water...it is also the base of your food chain for your fish! Clearing ALL the colloidal clay allows sunlight to penetrate deep enough to start an algae bloom...this bloom produces a LOT of oxygen and limits the light penetration in the proper way an ecosystem needs it done...The algae bloom also acts as a filter to keep colloidal clay from suspending again, assuming bare exposed clay is not washed into the pond on evey rain event....


Btw, that "cold" water you think your bass will like, is actually an acid and hydrogen sulfide filled toxic soup that your fish avoid like a plague! Add some cover such as felled trees or add a floating island or two. Bass do just fine in the Texas heat as long as there is enough plant life, aeration, or wind/wave action to keep your water well oxygenated.

Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524532 08/09/20 08:37 AM
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Rex, thanks for this good, clear explanation of these facets of pond management.

Dilley, there's some real wisdom in what the Rainman has written. You're in a position to plant some desirable macrophytes before invasive, weedy plants and FA get going like gangbusters. Please let us know how you proceed.

Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524545 08/10/20 05:57 AM
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Thank You for the info rainman. I do have a floating dock in the middle of the pond with my feeder on it and I created some artificial habitat that I sunk. I will go all in with the Alum. I definitely don't want to have to keep doing this. I created a rocky dam at my main runoff area to hopefully keep sediment from continuing into the pond when it rains.

Fingers crossed this works. Only thing I'm unsure of is my average depth and thus my acre feet calculation. I bought the max amount of alum for my calculations though. I was planning to do it in phases, but I guess as long as I balance out the PH I should be OK to just go all in and try to knock it down.

Thanks again

Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524605 08/12/20 06:57 AM
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I would highly suggest that you add some grass carp shortly after clearing the water with Alum. My experience using Alum was after the water cleared and sunlight hit the ponds bottom, vegetation showed up and alot of it. It's better to have the grass carp than not to have them. After the plants took off at my pond I spoke with several people on how or what and when to add chemical for controlling the vegetation. The very first question I was asked by all of them was do I have grass carp, if not get some.


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Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524608 08/12/20 08:40 AM
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TGW1 has a pretty good suggestion about adding grass carp(GC) after the water clears from an alum treatment. HOWEVER be cautious about adding too many who will make your water cloudy again directly based on how many grass carp are in the pond and pond being denuded. A few bottom plants are very good none is not good in that no bottom growing plants make the pond very prone to turbidity problems.

Grass carp are very easily added when more are needed, but they are very difficult to remove once they become pond residents. I suggest that when no submerged plants are present then add only 1 or 2 per acre.Then these 1 or 2 fish can often keep rooted vegetation from becoming over-abundant. Note that 2 or more GC per acre with no plants could contribute to some pond turbidity. Pond bottom aeration will play a role in pond turbidity problems. Some pond sediment turbidity is natural pond dye and helps reduce submerged plant growth in deep water. Many pond owners have sediment turbidity that keeps the pond visibility at 12" to 30" and they mistakenly think the most of the cloudiness is plankton. Not true. Water color or hue is a good indication of the amount of living plankton. If water has a hue of your local soil color then turbidity is very likely mostly suspended sediment.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/12/20 08:45 AM.

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Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
TGW1 #524735 08/15/20 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TGW1
I would highly suggest that you add some grass carp shortly after clearing the water with Alum. My experience using Alum was after the water cleared and sunlight hit the ponds bottom, vegetation showed up and alot of it. It's better to have the grass carp than not to have them. After the plants took off at my pond I spoke with several people on how or what and when to add chemical for controlling the vegetation. The very first question I was asked by all of them was do I have grass carp, if not get some.


I was considering going the dye route. I know there is plenty of debate on that, but I have a lot of good american pond weed around the edges of the pond and i feed the heck out of these fish and have a hatchery near by if I ever feel I need more.

Sort of feel like it would be easier to manage fish population with feed and adding new ones versus fighting this pond weed at the bottom of the pond.


It's good stuff but I don't enjoy fishing in it.

Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524739 08/15/20 09:39 PM
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I would second the above recommendation on Grass carp.. use the tools available to properly manage the pond and the populations of desired species will provide you years of fun-without having to stock new fish every year.


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Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Snipe #524804 08/17/20 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
I would second the above recommendation on Grass carp.. use the tools available to properly manage the pond and the populations of desired species will provide you years of fun-without having to stock new fish every year.


I will look into this, but they are banned in Texas. You need a permit and can only stock sterile grass carp. Which I'm not even sure where you'd even get that. Unless the state of Texas actually sells them.

Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524810 08/17/20 02:37 PM
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I think most grass crap are sterile. Around here atleast that's what they sell off the fish truck.


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
Re: Can I partially clear a pond with alum?
Dilley #524841 08/18/20 06:38 AM
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Contact your fish supplier for an application for GC. If you don't have a fish supplier then contact Bob Lusk he might have some in his office and can tell you where to get them or contact Overton;s fisheries, that is where I got the app and the fish.

Last edited by TGW1; 08/18/20 06:39 AM.

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