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I'm curious of this because this year I have more than ever. Not sure if next year will be worse. So I'm thinking ahead. I understand theres different chemicals. I would rather not use them but would if necessary. Would prefer to manage with fish if possible. Tilapia I understand are the best. But they die off every year here. Still want to try them 4 a year to see what happens. Snipe has told me catfish will eat it also. Only have a few catfish left now. I want to get them out also. Just for the simple reason they muddy up the water. My water is the best it's ever been. Prolly alot of the reason for the FA. Also have an area of my pond that fairly shallow. Guessing 2-3 feet normally. So my question is kinda what all fish options is there to maintain it? I understand some is good so I dont really want it wiped out either.

Last edited by RStringer; 05/05/21 07:47 PM.

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Rusto, another option would be to plant some beneficial rooted vegetation along the shoreline that would take up some of the nutrients in your pond (and deny some nutrients to the FA).

As I recall, some of the beneficial plants are very pretty and spread very slowly. I don't know which ones are the best choices, but if one of the experts gives you some good options, I believe you have several ladies in the house that might help you pick!

This alone will definitely NOT solve the problem, but it might make the job easier for the Tilapia, etc.

[Obviously, you need to pick portions of your shoreline that will not be altered during your long-term expansion plans.

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Possible FA controls:

1) Pond Dye - must be applied early in the year, not useful if lots of water flows through
2) Tilapia - must restock every year
3) Herbicides
4) Nutrients used by other plants
5) Phoslock Nutrient sequestration (supposedly there is a way to permanently lock up excess phosphorus in a pond)

My pond mgt company pushed #5 to me last year, but I stuck with Tilapia which I have used for about 10 years. I like the extra forage for predators, and when the buzzards and raccoons eat the dead Tilapia in November, it permanently removes nutrients.

Last edited by Theo Gallus; 05/07/21 06:01 PM. Reason: Remembered "PHOSLOCK" name

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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
I like the extra forage for predators, and when the buzzards and raccoons eat the dead Tilapia in November, it permanently removes nutrients.

You know that Theo's advice is always good, especially when he is giving the same advice as Clint Eastwood!

"Buzzards got to eat, same as the worms."

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Theo,

I think most people these days to want to avoid strong chemical interventions whenever possible.

When the pond management company was pushing #5, did it seem less likely to upset your pond balance than the herbicide option on FA?

For people that cannot get on top of their FA with tilapia, etc., was #5 reasonably priced, or did they want an arm & a leg for the treatment? What was the chemical reaction they were seeking?

Thanks,
Rod

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A start would be some Arrowhead, pickerel weed, maybe soft stem bulrush, sedges, etc, but these are all border/bog plants and will establish in 10" or less. Sago pondweed tubers added in early spring in cheese cloth will help. Broad leaf or american pond weed would be beneficial as well but hard to find. Some lilies wouldn't hurt as long as they are not lotus of some sort that goes crazy.

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I would do a multi pronged approach, but since you have a bunch of water that is 2-3 feet deep, that area will be the problem child.

I would add as many plants as possible to utilize the nutrients in the pond. Use a good dye in the pond to limit light penetration to 36" max. Get Tilapia pre-ordered for delivery. Once the water is 60°F and you know when they are bringing the TIlapia, kill all the FA in the pond with Cutrine Plus. Then stock the Tilapia within 5 days. You have to stock a minimum of 40# per surface acre or they might or might not work. You HAVE TO kill the FA right when the Tilapia are stocked or they flat out can't keep up with the old and newly growing FA. Tilapia should be as small as you can get them, but still be large enough so they aren't eaten by the predators in there.

You can try other options, but after years of doing this in peoples ponds, that is the only way to guarantee that they will work. Stocking them at 1-2 per pound won't give you enough mouths to eat the algae that is growing and you most likely will have to kill all the FA in the pond after the Tilapia have their first spawn.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/08/20 10:15 AM. Reason: spell correct

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This is a great discussion thread. I am in MO so Tilapia are not allowed. I heard Bob L mention one time about floating planters and pumping water over the plants to absorb more nutrients. Is this a possibility?


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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Possible FA controls:

1) Pond Dye - must be applied early in the year, not useful if lots of water flows through
2) Tilapia - must restock every year
3) Herbicides
4) Nutrients used by other plants
5) Nutrient sequestration (supposedly there is a way to permanently lock up excess phosphorus in a pond)

Somewhere in there needs to be added:

X.) Remove from the pond 20 to 30 percent of nutrients that are sequestered in the fish biomass each year. (these nutrients are highly concentrated and good to eat) Note: This is something you probably do Theo as you remove 400 or so 6" to 9" lepomis annually from your less than 1 acre pond. Generally this level of harvest is appropriate for population management anyways.

Y.) Reduce or abstain from intentionally adding nutrients like feed and or fertilizer (fertile water needs less feed). Note: if one is harvesting sufficiently ... fewer added nutrients accumulate.

There probably should be a Z added but I don't know what it would be without restating in some form number 4 above.

I am not sure I agree with the order if it was intended to be a preferred order. At the top of the list I think that thoughtful control of added nutrients should placed. Then I think biological control, which would include tilapia, some species of shiner, crayfish, etc. Then competing plants. These will control fish production and so then harvest comes next. At the very bottom of my list are Pond Dye, Nutrient Sequestration, and Herbicides.

I've seen how Pond Dye can greatly limit the natural fertility of a pond. The effects I have observed are extreme because the application is extreme and persistent throughout the growing season. They no longer have FA problems but have completely destroyed the best trophy BG water I have ever fished in DFW. Add to this making the pond bottom oxygen deficient as well as other detrimental effects. I would want to find solutions that leverage natural production in beneficial ways. I would not want to limit natural production in any way. I would want that energy directed to community members to increase the health and diversity of the entire system.

Nutrient Sequestration. Where would one begin? They push feed for "nutrientition" then say you must eliminate the nutrients you paid for. Really? Sounds like a great way of taking you both coming and going. Who would want a sterile pond where the only nutrition is from feed?

Herbicides. It can't be done in a vacuum where only FA is controlled and affected. What about kids, grandkids, friends, and even oneself. I would rather not eat that stuff.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/07/20 09:30 AM.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Theo,

I think most people these days to want to avoid strong chemical interventions whenever possible.

When the pond management company was pushing #5, did it seem less likely to upset your pond balance than the herbicide option on FA?

For people that cannot get on top of their FA with tilapia, etc., was #5 reasonably priced, or did they want an arm & a leg for the treatment? What was the chemical reaction they were seeking?

Thanks,
Rod
I don't believe I even had the management company price #5.

IIRC #5 is a straight forward chemical reaction, causing phosphorus to be bound up and precipitate down to the bottom, thereafter unavailable for plant growth. To me, that might be less "nasty" than herbicides.

I am honored by the Eastwood comparison. “There’s plain few problems can’t be solved with a little sweat and hard work.”


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I have put dye in before. Mainly was just playing. Found it at the farm store. Turned my whole pond bright blue. It was pretty cool. My issue with it is I want to be able to see the fish. Im not against any method besides dragging it all out by rake. I did some of that (basically just a workout) and it was right bk the next day. I do have some plants started and will add more this spring. Thank you for all the ideas hopefully this will helps others as well. Is there more fish that will eat it also? I see that crawdads will consume some. Not sure how many millions it would take to eat all of this stuff.


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And if you had enough crawdads to eat it all, they would keep the water muddied up. That is why I don't put any in my pond.


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Yeah not wanting to muddy up the water anymore than necessary. I already have some crawdads in their. I dont think theres a lot (not much rock structure) in their.
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My crawdad overpopulated pond has no FA, but I think you are right that it would take so many that the water would stay murky. My pond had a FA outbreak the first year, but not since the crawdad population explosion.

It's a catch 22, for us and them...Crawdads keep the FA eaten and then muddy up the water. The muddy water reduces the likelihood that more FA will grow and the crawdads loose their food source. What's next? I'm not sure as I still have many, many crawdads, muddy waters, and no FA...3 years in.


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One thing I found out about feeding the fish. If you use a great food, the fish actually metabolize more of it and less passes thru the fish to be food for FA. I saw roughly a 50% reduction in FA in my pond when I switched to Optimal Fish food. Feeding the same amount poundage wise per month during the growing season.

Not being able to add Tilapia means that you have to have enough plants in the pond to utilize the nutrients, or use copper based algaecides. OR have the water thick enough with dye or a plankton bloom that the secchi disc reading is 12" or less. In the ponds around here, I see no FA in ponds that have approximately 40%-50% coverage in Curly Leaf Pond Weed. Once that dies back the FA explodes.

Since you want clearer water, you need to get rid of as many nutrients as possible now, when the plants are not growing and the majority of nutrients are in the water column. Now is the perfect time to apply a nutrient binder and make plans to source a LOT of underwater plants to plant in the pond as soon as the water temp warms up enough that you can get in the water to plant them. Marginals won't remove enough nutrients for you to notice a huge difference.

Don't want to use copper based algaecides? Not a problem, just break out the wallet and buy Phycomycin. You have to buy it locally because it's considered an oxidizer and has to be shipped HazMat. It cannot be put on a plane, ground transportation only.


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One thing I prolly messed up on is this. The food I was feeding is from the local feed store. The last couple weeks I was feeding prolly to much also. I didn't want to keep the feed for next year. So maybe it was 2 things between the junk feed and over abundance of feeding. Next year im switching feed for sure. Before I never really cared just wanted to see some activity.

Hopefully I can get an excavator in to dig my shallows and couple feet deeper. What is the min depth you want the pond to be? I was hoping to get 4-5 feet down before it filled in.


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Switching to better fish food may reduce the amount of nutrients you add to your pond, but it won't reduce the amount that is already there.


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With regard to anecdotes, I urge everyone to maintain a skeptical stance. To be sure, if you do one thing, (e.g. change feed), you might observe coinciding things, (e.g. less FA). In as much as this is true, the observation is coincidental. This isn't science. There are other things happening that were not noted that has an impact on FA. None of the ponds I frequent have feed inputs, yet many of them have issues with FA or Bushy Pondweed. The cause is the nutrient load and/or insufficient competition for those nutrients.

It has been long established that the assimilation of nutrients when a animal consumes prey is very inefficient. Generally no more than 10% can be assimilated. So how much of dry weight of feed can be assimilated into the dry weight of a fish or used in metabolic processes? That's it, no more than 10%. The rest passes through along with wastes of the metabolic processes. There is no way feed can be the cause of a 50% reduction of FA. It just can't be the cause even though we have a coinciding observation.

The nutrients in your ponds are going to support vegetative growth. Its up to you to control those nutrients and to direct those nutrients by whatever means you have available and find desirable. But this I guarantee. There will never be a reduction of vegetative growth arising from the deliberate introduction of nutrients to your water ... UNLESS ... you do something to mitigate them (e.g. bind the nutrient, smother the sunlight from the vegetation, harvest vegetation or fish, stock TP or GC, etc)

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/08/20 08:13 AM.

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This is a very thoughtful informative discussion. I will put a link to it in the Common Pond Q&A Archives section.

The main important scientific fact noted by 'jpsdad' so far is: "The nutrients in your ponds are going to support vegetative growth. It is up to you to control those nutrients and to direct those nutrients by whatever means you have available and find desirable."

Practically all natural growth activities of plant and animals within the pond are based on nutrient accumulation and nutrient availability. These “feed” or stimulate the growth of all living things in the pond. Sometimes more productivity is actually desired for specific goals usually those are for more and bigger fish. Although too much of anything then becomes a "problem".

Ponds and lakes even very large lake systems are nutrient traps especially those that do not have flow through systems. Flow through water flushes out some nutrients and also it adds nutrients depending on conditions. Even the large lake system of Lake Winnipeg drainage basin in Manitoba Canada has this nutrient accumulation fact of nature that is not considered problematic.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0380133015000532.
TN stands for total nitrogen, TP = total phosphorus.

As noted in the discussions above, once nutrients are bound-up in the pond the only way to get them out is to take something containing nutrients out of the pond. Everything that grew in the pond contains nutrients. The fewer nutrients you get in the pond the less organic material that needs to be removed to maintain a steady balance of nutrients which I don't know is even practical to do. PONDS ARE NUTRIENT TRAPS BECOMMING MORE ENRICHED WITH NUTRIENTS EACH YEAR! Ponds are collection basins. More nutrients means more plants of some sort that will grow.

No.5 above Nutrient sequestration. Sequester means to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.

Ponds deal with or remove nitrogen, phosphorus, and dissolved chemicals from water through a combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes. These naturally occurring processes adsorb/absorb, transform, sequester, and remove the nutrients and other chemicals from water in the pond. The main biological processes are uptake (or assimilation) by plants, algae, and bacteria and transformation processes conducted by microbes.

Natural sequestration of nutrients has been discussed in a few articles about Floating Islands in Pond Boss magazine. Floating islands provide added substrate for rooted plant growth that can sequester dissolved nutrients to improve water quality, increase fish production, while reducing the amount of algae growth, all dependent on size of the island/s and concentration of nutrients in the pond.

Floating islands nutrients Mar-Apr 12 TRADING NUTRIENTS FOR FISH. Using Floating Islands Moving Water and Microbes. Bruce Kania tells about turning excess nutrients into fish using floating islands. Discusses yellow perch harvest.

Jan-Feb 2016. HARVESTING THE BOUNTY BEYOND THE SHORELINE. Bruce Kania explains how harvest can produce more harvest. Innovative methods to recycle excess nutrients into harvestable fish.

Dealing With Phosphorus.
Here is another version of phosphorus accumulation in ponds that I modified and enhanced from Midwest Ponds blog about Pond Phosphorus.
Phosphate (P) is the most growth limiting nutrient in freshwater environments. Although now, nitrogen (nitrate) is being recognized and learned to play a big part in the bluegreen algae toxicity realm. Phosphorus is rare, but it packs a HUGE punch for plant growth. Varying the amount of phosphate in any aquatic environment will have very large impacts on the overall ecological state and health of the water body especially for the amount of plant growth.

Most management strategies are implemented to limit or at least reduce phosphorus from entering any watershed. If you ever test your water (and you should test your water), any level of dissolved P (ortho P or soluable P) above 0.03ppm (0.03mg/L as 30 micrograms/L) is considered high and in need of a change in management strategy especially if you are dealing with plant / algae problems. This is why most lake associations, municipalities, and even whole states have banned phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers; as the phosphate easily runs off into streams that eventually empty into lakes making them over fertile (eutrophic).

On the small scale, adding fish food to the pond is also a big contributor to fish manure and increasing P. This is a consequence of feeding the fish or actually adding fertilizer to the pond to produce more and bigger fish. Nutrients when out of “balance” result in nuisance over abundant problematic plant growth, usually algae. NOTE: some goals for the pond deal with actively adding fertilizers to the pond to create plankton blooms, decrease light penetration to minimize rooted vegetation AND increase food chain productivity to grow more fish and hopefully bigger fish. Too much plankton bloom can produce problems. This practice of increasing the productivity adds more accumulated nutrients and organic sediment to the pond that speeds the pond aging process and increases the rate of organic muck accumulation. Organic muck and nutrient accumulations, result in lower water quality and eventually more harmful algae blooms. All consequences good or bad of both eventual natural enrichment and long term artificial fertilization.

If you can manage more of your phosphate input, you are ahead of the nutrient management game if fewer plants are desired. Plants use phosphate to build roots, and algae needs it to grow its cell walls and other cell parts, so if we can somehow cycle it out of the pond environment, you will have more clear water and less overall plant growth in the pond.

Many ponds with a planktonic algae (green water) problems are high in phosphates. The planktonic and filamentous algae reproduces as high plant biomass in high phosphate environments and can become very hard to manage, especially if the algae is troublesome, over abundant and not the beneficial types.

So where does dissolved phosphate come from?
Any manure…..and urine…..and any dead material inputs (mostly leaves), fish foods, and it can be a big portion of your supply source or watershed water. Phosphate moves through the environment. Phosphorus can be tied up in all types of plants, animals, and insects and a majority of it collects as dead materials in the bottom sediments. For managing P our job is to store as much phosphorus in the critters as we can and then do a diligent harvest of materials out of our pond. That means developing and maintaining a healthy, stable ecosystem. The more critters a pond has the more P is bound up in animal materials. Invertebrates that grow in the pond and then emerge as adult insects out pf the pond remove some P that they accumulated while growing before emerging or leaving the pond.

We can also tie up phosphate with flocculating agents; most commonly alum as aluminum sulfate, and a few other products. These products are fantastic at grabbing phosphate and making it inert. That is, the flocculate does not allow the trapped phosphate to react or be absorbed by anything. Flocculate products can effectively remove reactive dissolved phosphate from the water column and sink it to the bottom. It also will grab anything that has open phosphate sites in its cell structure. Planktonic algae have these open sites, and are susceptible to flocculates. The flocculating products used properly will “glom” the detritus, silt, and microscopic critters together and eventually sink them to the bottom. HOWEVER THESE TREATMENTS ARE TEMPORARY because new phosphorus sources and nutrient inputs are continually being added to the pond from many sources. Reducing as many nutrient input sources as you can helps reduce the annual input of more phosphorus.

Proper aeration increases your pond’s ability to sequester and concentrate nutrients including phosphate because aeration allows more critters who accumulate phosphorus (sequester) to grow in the pond (fish, insects, etc.). Aeration can increase the fish and critter biomass that live in all the pond habitats by as much as three times more biomass. Removing fish then removes phosphorus that has moved up through the food chain of the pond. As ponds become very old, removing tons of bottom sediment in a pond rebuilding process returns the pond back to the low phosphorus condition. It is then up to you to properly manage a rejuvenated or renewed pond toward your goals. Too bad we cannot rejuvenate our unhealthy old aging human bodies.

Here is some advanced and a little technical reading material of how the chemical processes work within wetlands and ponds for the main nutrients N, P and available carbon (C). The link discusses wetlands but the facts also apply to ponds and informs you how phosphorus and nitrogen, as teh main plant foods, behave in your pond. Basically all the shallow areas of your pond with plants function the same as a wetland.
http://www.wetlands-initiative.org/nutrient-removal

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/09/20 10:45 AM.

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Thanks Bill, great post!

One thing that I didn't elaborate on is the food. jpsdad, here is some info that I didn't post, that leads me to believe that the reduction in FA that I saw the first year of switching food brand wasn't coincidental.

A PB member here did a feed test in which he had (roughly) the same number of fish in a cage, of the same size and weight. IIRC 3 different cages with identical "standing crop" loads. 3 different feeds. He monitored the fish and the food that was fed to the fish. He was specifically looking for how much food to feed to achieve the same weight increase in the fish. His results were (again IIRC) 40# of Optimal BG or BG Junior feed, 60# Purina Aquamax 500 or 120# of Sportsman's Choice from TSC. all put the same amount of weight on the same amount of fish. I switched from Purina to Optimal and saw the difference. Was it coincidental? Maybe, but then again maybe not.

I was able to reduce the amount of feed going into the pond by 33% and still have the same fish growth. I have observed the same lower level of FA growing in the pond ever since switching food brands. So in essence I reduced the amount of nutrients going into the pond. That might be coincidental, but I don't think so since the FA has been less ever since switching food, and that has been 1 year before Optimal hit the retail market. Would I have reduced the amount of FA in the pond if I had stopped feeding completely? Probably. My pond is also a groundwater pond, so there is water flushing in and out of the pond through the bottom of the pond. Can I prove that? No. But anecdotal evidence shows that this is happening. Sand bottom, same as other ponds in the area, and some of those ponds are designed NOT to receive surface runoff and those ponds will rise and fall more than they should from only rainfall. How much water is exchanged? Not sure, but my pond, at approximately 1.1 to 1.2 surface acres will drop between 36"-50" every year before winter, and this year it is down 69", and is approximately 0.44 surface acres now.

Now reduction in nutrients will help greatly, but you have to reduce the nutrients and especially the P in the pond by a considerable amount to show a difference in the crop of FA that is grown. You can also reduce the P in the pond by raking out all the FA that is growing and get it out of the watershed for the pond. It's not enough to rake it out of the pond and leave it on the ground next to the pond.


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Originally Posted by esshup
Thanks Bill, great post!

One thing that I didn't elaborate on is the food. jpsdad, here is some info that I didn't post, that leads me to believe that the reduction in FA that I saw the first year of switching food brand wasn't coincidental.

A PB member here did a feed test in which he had (roughly) the same number of fish in a cage, of the same size and weight. IIRC 3 different cages with identical "standing crop" loads. 3 different feeds. He monitored the fish and the food that was fed to the fish. He was specifically looking for how much food to feed to achieve the same weight increase in the fish. His results were (again IIRC) 40# of Optimal BG or BG Junior feed, 60# Purina Aquamax 500 or 120# of Sportsman's Choice from TSC. all put the same amount of weight on the same amount of fish.

I am not familiar with that feed test. I do know that Greg Grimes posted results of test that sounds very similar to the one you refer, however, Optimal was notably absent. Instead Purina Aquamax topped his list at an FCR of 1.85. At the bottom was Purina Game Chow with an FCR of 3.22. If the referenced test achieved a 33% reduction of feed inputs over aquamax, and if Greg did a fair determination of FCR for Aquamax, then the FCR according to that other PB member for Optimal is 1.23. Given my respect for Greg, I am skeptical of this claimed FCR of 1.23. I think PB members without a pig in the poke should try to replicate these results. Not to expose any bad science but seek true knowledge because that FCR (1.23) just doesn't make sense for BG of the sizes that Greg grew.

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I switched from Purina to Optimal and saw the difference. Was it coincidental? Maybe, but then again maybe not.

If it coincides, it is coincidental. The thing to remember, is this, we want to understand causal relationships. Causal relationships also coincide and are therefore also coincidental. Co-occurrence doesn't demonstrate causality and especially when the presumption of causality rests on invalid assumptions or violates other known truth.

Quote
I was able to reduce the amount of feed going into the pond by 33% and still have the same fish growth. I have observed the same lower level of FA growing in the pond ever since switching food brands. So in essence I reduced the amount of nutrients going into the pond.

Not really. You have reduced feed input but this could, without other mitigating factors, increase the nutrients standing from year to year. If your nutrients are not increasing but leaving the pond at the rate you are adding in feed, then these factors ... or other factors like TP use, progression of the plant community diversity, etc ... are responsible for the modest FA you have seen since changing feed.

My response to the anecdote was intended for everyone and so I am also urging you too to be skeptical that the observation has a causal relationship with the change of feed.

By reducing the weight of feed by 33% going into your pond, you did no doubt reduce the accumulation of nutrients relative to the 'imagined continuation' of the prior weight of feed . You may have a case, though I am not fully convinced, that one brand of feed will create more gain on less feed. Even so, one of the pieces you are missing is the manuring effect of feed which doesn't come into play in cages. This effect can greatly enhance growth by increasing natural foods. I'm not convinced either that more nutritious food wouldn't result in more nutritious waste. From my perspective, the argument that more nutritious food results in less nutrients in waste reaches too far without corroborating evidence under controlled conditions. This would be necessary in order arrive at sound conclusions about this hypothesis.

In cases where nutrients are not excessive, I would not in any way discourage feed use. On the other hand, when they are already excessive ... then that is a different situation. Using feed ... no matter who manufactures it ... cannot be a remedy for excessive nutrients. If the nutrients are excessive ... and one feeds in spite of this ... then he can go about mitigating it, as I said before, by whatever means are available and desired to find his remedy. To be sure, we shouldn't categorize these actions independently (TP, GC, binders, herbicides, dye, plants, raking, etc.), they are all a cost of feeding a pond with excessive nutrients. In this sense ... once the nutrients are excessive ... feeding becomes the tail that wags the pond dog.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/09/20 12:23 PM.

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I reread this and have another issue. Well for starters the algae has got much worse. Was reading about the Cutrine plus and it cant be used with koi. I only have one in there at the time and don't want to kill it. Is there another product I can use before I put tilapia in? Read that they cant keep up with it when its over grown already (which it it). My biggest problem I believe is about 1/4 acre is 3 foot or shallower. Would love to get an excavator over and dig it out some. Might be able to pull that off before summer is over who knows for sure.


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Can you manually remove some?
















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Rusto,

You are going on 3 years and so I'd think its not too early (in the life of your pond) to add some crays that are well adapted to living in ponds and lakes. Northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis) in your locale. If you can obtain adults right now, the females will produce between 250 and 400 offspring as the temp warms up. With all that FA, the cover should allow enough of them survive to produce a crop of young crays. Their activity could provide some control once the younglings leave the moms. The additional forage for your LMB and BG will more than compensate their initial cost. This is preferable over adding copper (is toxic) which will accumulate in your ponds sediments. By the time your TP are reproducing the craws will have provided some control and the action of the TP offspring on the FA will expose the remainder of the crayfish to predators.

If you know of small pond without fish nearby, you can trap local open water crays and move them to your pond in larger numbers. The dominant cray in these environments in your area will likely be the Water Nymph crayfish (Orconectes nais). It will work too but isn't as hardy against fish as are the Northerns. With a strong predator fish population, you may have to strengthen the population each year, so a local source where you can seine or trap adults and offspring would be a big help.


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Yes I have been removing some (when not covered in ice). Theres a creek on the backside of my places. I have taken lots of them (maybe 500) and put in the pond. Most of those were only 1/2 - 1 inch long. So who knows if they had a chance to survive or not. My pond is 12 years old now. It started out as about a 1/4 acre or so. Deepest part is the original pond. If I have to I can drain it down a few feet and burn that shit off. Not sure if that's a good idea or not but an option.


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Rusto:

I use Cutrine Plus LIquid in a customers 5/8 acre pond that has 10' max depth, shaped sort of like a rectangle with rounded corners. I will use 1/2 gallon at a time, mixed with 5 gallons of water and sprayed with a backpack sprayer around the edges of the pond to kill the FA before we stock Tilapia, and maybe once more in the year if needed.

There are a dozen Koi in the pond along with LMB and BG.

I've been doing this for about 8 years now with no ill effects to the Koi. I wouldn't try a stronger dose of Cutrine Plus though. Some Koi in this pond are approaching 20 years of age.


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Thank everyone for all the tips and ideas. This year will be alot different then the past years for me. The pond is full and just bout 2 hit the over flow spot (within inches). Lots more plants than last year and plan on adding more varieties also. I know I want some kind of lillies or lotus. Also going to make some floating islands at some point. Thinking about making 1 or more with just water hyacinth in it. Maybe like hula hoop size.


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I ordered a gallon of Cutrine plus and a lake rake today. I have removed all of it I could reach with a lawn rake (not ideal for the job). Hopefully it works a lot better than what im using now. Got my fingers crossed. When the cutrine kills the algae do you still need to remove it ?


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If you remove the algae, that is all the less nutrients that are in the pond for more to grow.

The answer is no, you don't "have to" remove it, but will help the pond if you do. If you do, place it in an area that won't see water running through that area back to your pond because as it decomposes, the nutrients could run right back to the pond. Just pulling it out of the water won't do much good.


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Can ya give me any dos or dont about spraying this stuff. Do you give all a good soaking or just alil spray like weed killer? Any tips or tricks I'm all ears. By the way we just a new lil paddle boat. So I could use tht to get on the deep side of it and spray towards the bank which is were most of it has gather. I'm sure if it matters just an idea in my head.


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If anyone is dealing with FA this tool is a must. Iv been using the small rake a couple weeks now. Pretty sure I just pulled more moss out in the last 30 minutes than athe last couple weeks.
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The pond is looking great Rusto!

Are you going to have lumberjack shoulders the next time we see you?

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Originally Posted by RStringer
Thank everyone for all the tips and ideas. This year will be alot different then the past years for me. The pond is full and just bout 2 hit the over flow spot (within inches). Lots more plants than last year and plan on adding more varieties also. I know I want some kind of lillies or lotus. Also going to make some floating islands at some point. Thinking about making 1 or more with just water hyacinth in it. Maybe like hula hoop size.

Rusto, I'd think twice before adding water hyacinths. They are highly invasive & can take over a lake incredibly fast. Nearly ruined one of my favorite Texas cattle tanks, almost got unfishable.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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I had some a couple years ago. They spread fast but I didnt have very many. Planning on put them on a floating island type of thing. Will watch them for sure. If they start to get carried away I will remove some for sure. Here they die off in the fall also. Even tired to keep some on my shop over the winter and they died also. But as always thanks 4 the heads up I will keep an eye on them.


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Just received this also. Brings another question up. I have read the bottle but it dosnt give me an answer. Will this be safe to swim in when it gets warmer out?
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Rusto,

From the product information sheet for Cutrine Plus:

Restrictions & Regulatory Information
Waters treated with this product may be used for
swimming, fishing, further potable water treatment,
livestock watering or irrigating turf, ornamental plants or
crops after treatment.

Do not use in waters containing Koi and hybrid goldfish.
Not intended for use in small volume, garden pond
systems.


I would STILL wait a day or two before swimming.

Also, esshup has a post (2/26/21) in this thread on his treatment protocol with the koi in his pond. I would hate for you to lose your old happy koi!

Good luck,
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I dont want to lose it either. They FA is almost completely gone now. Havnt used the product yet. Wondering if I still should. I got prolly 90% out from taking. Dont mind some of it cause it sounds beneficial just dont want it taking over again. Also if the koi dosnt make it tht wont cause any lost sleep. I do look for the big fella every time I walk the pond. Havnt seen it yet since Thanksgiving day. And thanks you for researching tht for me.

Last edited by RStringer; 03/12/21 01:14 PM.

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Keep posting your stuff!

I am pretty sure I will have the exact same problems 4 years from now.

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Wanted to ask if Cutrine Plus could be used in our pond that was stocked with trout. We are getting FA starting around the banks. I read you can’t use copper based products with trout in the pond. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


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From one of the manufacturer's web pages,

"Cutrine Plus Granular can be toxic to trout if water hardness is less than 50 ppm. While most bodies of water are generally above this level, it is best to test for hardness using an economical and readily available hardness test strip if trout are present."

I would assume a similar caution would be applicable for Cutrine Plus Liquid.

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Originally Posted by RStringer
I dont want to lose it either. They FA is almost completely gone now. Havnt used the product yet. Wondering if I still should. I got prolly 90% out from taking.

Were it mine, I would not use the Cutrine if you can live with the current state of things. Good work getting it out. Going forward I do think it will help to grow and remove some TP each year. Such harvest should remove nutrients. Other types of cropping might help too. Like possibly circulating the pond water to grow champion tomatoes with outdoor aqua-ponics of some sort. I don't know of anyone doing this who is active at the forum but perhaps you could try it if you like to grow garden stuff too.

Last edited by jpsdad; 03/15/21 02:43 PM.

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I like my tropical plants. Several different spots on my yard that have bannana trees and elephant ears. Those are the kind I do. My kids want to try pumpkins this year. So sounds like a pumpkin patch in my future. I'm sure it would be cool for someone but I'm gunna pass on that sounds like alot of setup and work. I enjoy projects but I like the one and done ones.


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Prize winning 4H project for one of your girls?

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Last year I did some experimenting with horizontal aeration and it seemed to impact my FA to a significant degree. From my understanding, FA is kept afloat by gas bubbles trapped under the FA. In my pond I had 2 circulators (de-icers) pointed the same direction to keep the water moving in a lazy river type of flow around my pond. When the FA got near the circulator, the current would 'tear' the mats of FA and the pieces would appear to sink to the bottom. Full Disclosure: I didn't do this all year and in fact I started it AFTER the peak of my FA season. This year I plan on starting as soon as air temps warm up.

Now this doesn't impact nutrient load in a pond to my knowledge, but it may put it to work in a different form (plankton possibly?). I can report my water clarity since turning off the circulators has been better than any other winter.

If anyone else is interested in similar, I do have some Do's and Don'ts to abide by.


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Please post the Do's and Dont's!


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https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=526643&page=1

I'll try to add more to this later when I get time. I didn't have time to read through this thread as I'm headed out the door after paddlefish. I'm guessing I've learned a bit since that post.


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I have to admit I was wrong dead wrong. When is said 90% i was off big time. We had some big rains and it was just under the water then. Every time the wind picks up alil the bank is covered. So tomorrow its getting the chemicals thrown at it. I plan on mainly doing my shallow side. I will post the results.


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Here is some before pictures. This is Saturday morning. Sprayed maybe half a gallon around about half the edge.
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Last edited by RStringer; 03/28/21 08:38 PM.

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Good luck in your battle!

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RS, if it's truly that bad, maybe treat a third and wait 10 days. By the time the entire pond is done we'll have some tilapia for ya.

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Yes I'm hoping by the time they arrive I will have it at a better level. Yes I do want some but not overwhelmed with it. It is much better since i got the lake rake. Hoping the chemicals not it down as well. Also want some left for them to get fat n full also. To be honest I like the whole journey. Kinda neat to be able to adjust to what conditions come at us.


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I did a second dose of chemicals today. It's looking way better today. Getting some clarity back from the rains.
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Rusto, how is your battle with the FA going? What do you think helped the most, the rake or the Cutrine Plus? Can you tell me what brand of rake you bought?
I've got more FA this year than the last years put together! I know I need to and plan to get some Cutrine Plus in the next few days. I tried raking some the other day with a yard rake but my pond is still low and the sides are really steep making it really hard to do. Maybe a better rake would help but it will still be hard to get it out and off the banks.
I wonder if a pool skimmer would work?


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Not sure bout the brand. Will look and see if it has a brand name on it. I think the Cutrine Plus prolly helped the most for sure. Raking does make a huge difference also. Yeah I used a yard rake at first also. If I would have used a pool skimmer I would have been cleaning it all the time. Prolly would have burnt up a few pumps also. Wish I would have took pictures before I started removing it. It was prolly covering half the pond or so.


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Thanks Rusto! When I was talking about a pool skimmer, I was talking about the net I use to skim stuff off the top of the pool. Sorry about that.


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Bob, I think you would work yourself silly using a pool skimmer net...removing one square foot at at time would be a test in patience and backbone.

Rusto's landscaping rake looks to be a long handled version and could remove many square feet per pull. Mine was a short handled one that I adapted to throw out into the pond. It works well. Here is how I have done it in the past...

The FA rake made from a landscaping rake, pool noodles, and some rope is the best way have have found to remove it from the pond. Throw the rake out into the FA mats with the rope around your wrist or ankle and then pull it back. There is no sense throwing really far, just 20 feet or so. As you drag the rake back in (rather slow), the FA further out will kinda follow the rake in so that it will be closer for the next throw. Also, take some 5 gallon buckets and drill about twenty 1/2" holes in the bottom. I used this to put the FA in at the shore, squish it down to de-water it so that it can be taken elsewhere. It's amazing how much surface coverage fits in a bucket. I utilize the wind to push the FA to one side and get what I can, then check daily for it to congregate again. Of course my BOW is small and I've only had a couple small outbreaks.

Here's my rake that I bought from Menards (the angle of the photo makes the handle look really short - It's probably 6-7 feet long)...

[Linked Image]


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I'm not finding a name on it. Looks just like QA's rake. Mine came with the pool noodle and 25 foot rope. The pole is a 2 pcs deal with 10' sections I think. I ordered somewhere online for like 90 bucks. Yeah a pool skimmer would be exhausting work lol. That stuff is heavy when you get alot of it.


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Thanks guys! Another thing I worry about is my LMB have been on beds for a few weeks now and I don't want to disturb them by raking and spraying. How far do you guys think I need to stay away from the beds? I also worry about where all the beds are since FA is getting bad enough that it is hard to tell.


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Is it a big deal if it rains a day or two after spraying Cutrine Plus? Do I need to make sure there is no rain in the forecast?


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I picked up a landscape rake yesterday and plan to pick up some Cutrine Plus today or tomorrow.
Rusto can you tell me how you mixed it?


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I put it in a sprayer. Mixed about a ¼ of a gallon to 2 gallons of water sprayed about ⅓ of the pond and did that again that day. Waited about a week and did the rest of the pond. Feel like I got pretty good results from that.


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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Thanks Rusto! Can you guess at how many square feet you covered with 2 gallons? I picked up the Cutrine Plus today and plan to try some after this next patch of rain goes by.
When I went over to feed the fish I tried the landscape rake out for a few minutes and it was way better than the yard rake!

Last edited by Bobbss; 05/08/21 08:38 PM.

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I'm really not sure but just guessing 10,000 square feet would be a pretty close guess. A rake made for it is so helpful for sure. Glad it's working out 4ya. Good luck and stay with it and you will win the battle.


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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Thanks again Rusto! I figure I will remove what I reasonably can fairly fast with the rake from a hard to do section then treat. Then take a little more time and remove as much as I can from the next section until it is safe to treat.


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Your are welcome. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. Remember when you remove the FA to also remove it from your watershed.


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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Have you tried tilapia? I put in 7 last summer and they cleaned my 1/4 acre pond quite well. Tilapia can't survive northern Indiana winters (where I am) so we'll see if they knocked it back enough for this summer. It's slower but no chemicals.

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My plan for this spring is to get some. I never have used them before. They dont over winter here in kansas either. Not sure if the cold spill everyone got this year maybe hurt the supply.


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I wish I could have Tilapia here.


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I sprayed some yesterday and when I went back today there was no doubt it was working. The area I sprayed was already brown instead of green like the rest of it.

Last edited by Bobbss; 05/12/21 11:17 PM.

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Yes it works very fast. Within hours I could tell a difference in color. I hope it works out good for ya. Mine is starting to come back already.


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We've been having cooler weather which I think is helping me also. For a while there everyday I went over I could tell it was growing and getting worse. The last few days before I sprayed it looked like it quit growing and maybe even died back just a little.


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It was starting to get out of control again. About 15 minutes with the lake and we are back in business. Man those rakes make a world of difference.
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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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Originally Posted by Bobbss
I wish I could have Tilapia here.

So bizarre that we can have them in Texas but you can't in Missouri.


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I dont understand that either. They are legal in kansas also. Something that's makes no sense at all is. They cant even over winter in Missouri. So basically zero chance of being invasive as far as I know. Maybe theres someone smarter than me who can explain it.


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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The only thing that I can think of regarding the legality of Tilapia in Missouri (or other states where they cannot overwinter) is...what if they get into the river system and work their way into areas where they can overwinter. I'm not for or against the idea, but it may be the "thought" of why they are restricted.

Humor has it that a fish farm near the center of our state (very near the Missouri River) flooded out in '93 and that's how the Asian Carp got loose. Apparently, they were pond farming them as a food source (they are good to eat, btw) and the flood waters overtook the pond/s and the rest is history.


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See page 3 of this document re: how/when the asian carp got into our river systems.

https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairi...arpintheMissouriRiverReport2003-2007.pdf

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Tilapia aren't legal to stock in Illinois ponds either.


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Originally Posted by esshup
Tilapia aren't legal to stock in Illinois ponds either.
They need better lobbyists in Springfield, with big checkbooks.


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If someone needs bigger pocketbooks to get something changed that's sad. Sounds like someone should be a lawmaker if that's the case.


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Rusto you know BS walks and money talks.. sad but the way it is. What’s sad is those folks know that up that far north there’s not a snowballs chance of tilapia living through the winter

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 06/01/21 03:48 PM.
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