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First off, thanks for all that post here. I have learned a lot.

This is a new pond. It is about 1+ years old. There are very little nutrients. I did the aluminum sulfate lime thing again this spring, worked great. With the water overly clear, I decided to sink a bucket of 15-15-15. It was in there about a week before this bloom. I don't think the 3 gallon bucket did this. Not much was gone when I pulled it out.
I think the bulk of this is fertilizer runoff from where I am trying to grow grass. I used probably 4 bags of triple 15 and 3 bags of 46-0-0.
It has been raining and overcast the last few days. This bloom has gotten worse the past 2 days. What is it going to do when the sun pops out tomorrow? What are my options? It is also in the spillway.. See the pictures below.

It is loaded with fish. I do have a fountain.

<Img src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51172085650/in/dateposted-public ; " /><br>

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51171220828/in/dateposted-public/[/img]

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51170318582/in/dateposted-public/[/img]

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51170987141/in/dateposted-public/[/img]

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51172085905/in/dateposted-public/[/img]

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51171776174/in/dateposted-public/[/img]

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/193037682@N08/51171221328/in/dateposted-public/[/img]

Last edited by Michael37090; 05/11/21 10:27 AM.
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It appears that I no longer know how to post pics...

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Originally Posted by Michael37090
It appears that I no longer know how to post pics...
I can paste the URL into my browser and see the pics, but couldn't get them to show up here with moderate levels of manipulation.

Awaiting a smarter or gutsier member ...


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i.pinimg.com]
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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Originally Posted by Michael37090
It appears that I no longer know how to post pics...
I can paste the URL into my browser and see the pics, but couldn't get them to show up here with moderate levels of manipulation.

Awaiting a smarter or gutsier member ...

Yeah the HTML code is correct. Maybe this will be easier. Click the link below..

main pic page

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Your not alone. My pond has done this every year since it was renovated 4 years ago with the first year being the most explosive green. I still get very heavy blooms, but they tend to be much more brown now. I have no good explanation besides nutrient loading from the surrounding cattle fields. ~90% of my watershed is cattle pasture that gets fertilized once a year and, of course, cattle manure. It has not caused any problems that I have noticed, besides being rather unsightly.

Here's my old thread the first time it happened...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=35937&Number=470475#Post470475


Fish on!,
Noel
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I thought the bloom looks healthy but if too much you can determine by measuring the clarity. If a white object disappears at less than 15" then you should be concerned and monitor closely. Otherwise let it run its course and see the benefits of this food at the base of the chain.[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

In order to get the pictures to show use the address of the picture (as opposed to the flicker page). Right click in the picture and select to copy the link location in order to get the images address.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/11/21 08:40 AM.

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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I have the same problem and lost 99% of my fish. I’m treating with Cutrine Plus. First time in over 25 years that I’ve had a problem with my water.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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Often there is a limiting factor to pond fertility. Many times it is not the lack of N,P, K - common in fertilizer. Often it is lack of alkalinity and sometimes there are other limiting factors (not including fertilizer). The reason I note this is your water can be fully fertile (not needing fertilizer) and when the limiting factor is removed the pond will bloom. This can be for example the adding of lime. The danger is adding to much fertilizer when not needed and when the limiting factor is removed the pond goes fertile crazy leading to a DO crash. Water tests and soil tests are a good idea so you will know the status of the pond first including the limiting factor.

Last edited by ewest; 05/14/21 10:53 AM.















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Is there anything I can do to curb this bloom. It is getting worse. The pH was hovering around 7.0 the last time I checked it. If I could swing it a point up or down, would it help? Copper sulfate? Should I run the fountain 24/7? Any guidance would be appreciated. I think I am on the verge of a fish kill and the pond is LOADED...

Thanks.

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I forgot to mention that a white looking scum is starting to develop on the surface. It looks kinda like bubbles. I am not sure if it is related but, I have never had any type of scum.

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Our ponds must be related. The last few years I get plenty of surface scum after a heavy bloom.

It starts with a heavy bloom, then turns to this...

[Linked Image]

Then this...

[Linked Image]

Then...

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

THEN...

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

I'm not trying to scare you, just prepare you should your pond follow suit. And, possibly comfort you by saying that I have not had any fish kills due to these unsightly occurrences. The only thing that changes the above course of events is a thorough flush of the pond by heavy rain events. I have done nothing but worry about them in the past.

Here is a thread that I started that has plenty of water chemistry info, links, and pond scum discussions....

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=508352&page=1

Look at the Pond Scum Field Guide link in the very first post. I believe the above photos shows a combination of algae blooms, Diatom Blooms, Protozoan Scums, and (maybe) Bacterial Scums.


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Yup, mine looks just like that except for the last picture. I guess I should be expecting that. We do have rain supposedly coming. It gets plenty of runoff. However, I think that will wash more fertilizer in. I'll never fertilize the yard again.

Thanks for the reply.

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Often blooms go through a cycle green first , then brown - different species blooming. If the bloom is heavy you can get that goo look (see duck pic). That is caused by burst and or dead plankton cells in their diurnal cycle. It is cytoplasm. The jellylike material that makes up much of a cell inside the cell membrane, and, in eukaryotic cells, surrounds the nucleus. I have little concern with the pics above until the last one which is different.

Last edited by ewest; 05/13/21 10:49 AM.















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Originally Posted by Michael37090
First off, thanks for all that post here. I have learned a lot.

This is a new pond. It is about 1+ years old. There are very little nutrients. I did the aluminum sulfate lime thing again this spring, worked great. With the water overly clear, I decided to sink a bucket of 15-15-15. It was in there about a week before this bloom. I don't think the 3 gallon bucket did this. Not much was gone when I pulled it out.
I think the bulk of this is fertilizer runoff from where I am trying to grow grass. I used probably 4 bags of triple 15 and 3 bags of 46-0-0.
It has been raining and overcast the last few days. This bloom has gotten worse the past 2 days. What is it going to do when the sun pops out tomorrow? What are my options? It is also in the spillway.. See the pictures below.

It is loaded with fish. I do have a fountain.

I think your pond has way too many nutrients in it and no plant life to utilize the nutrients.

My advice to you is to do the aluminum sulfate/lime thing again and this time do NOT add any fertilizer to the pond after the treatment.

Before doing that I would hit about 1/4 of the pond with Cutrine Plus Liquid mixed according to the label. Keep the aerator/fountain running 24/7 and in 3-4 days hit another 1/4 of the pond, and repeat until the bloom is reduced. You can have a fish kill at night when all the phytoplankton is using O2 instead of producing it.


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I feel like I am missing something here. Looking at the pics I thought the bloom was strong but that there was sufficient clarity so as to be a low risk for the fish. I had missed the part where the OP had previously applied alum but it was not clear whether this was in response to suspended clays or too much bloom. If the former, sunlight itself may have been limiting to forming a bloom or a combination of this and the co-treatment of lime with alum. I guess my sense was that the bloom would stimulate a bloom of phytoplankton grazers ultimately lowering the standing weight of phytoplankton while feeding the fish and insects in the pond.

It's a young pond entering its second year and the OP didn't think it carried a large load of nutrients so for those who expressed a great deal of concern and suggested corrective action, I am interested in understanding why you felt alarmed and in particular the evidence you are relying on to make the determination.


It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Originally Posted by jpsdad
I feel like I am missing something here. Looking at the pics I thought the bloom was strong but that there was sufficient clarity so as to be a low risk for the fish. I had missed the part where the OP had previously applied alum but it was not clear whether this was in response to suspended clays or too much bloom. If the former, sunlight itself may have been limiting to forming a bloom or a combination of this and the co-treatment of lime with alum. I guess my sense was that the bloom would stimulate a bloom of phytoplankton grazers ultimately lowering the standing weight of phytoplankton while feeding the fish and insects in the pond.

It's a young pond entering its second year and the OP didn't think it carried a large load of nutrients so for those who expressed a great deal of concern and suggested corrective action, I am interested in understanding why you felt alarmed and in particular the evidence you are relying on to make the determination.


The alarm is by seeing the pictures of the algae. No mention of the water test results that was done to determine that there are very little nutrients. If the alum treatment was done to reduce turbidity, and no time elapsed after treatment to determine if getting more sunlight to the pond would generate a bloom and the OP added fertilizer, the bloom in the picture is alarming due to it's density. It is early in the bloom cycle and I am afraid it will get denser. Also, the ducks will add a bunch of nutrients to the pond.....


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Thank you esshup, I appreciate your perspective. The question of when a bloom is dangerous to fish or has created conditions where a kill is imminent has always intrigued me. One of the things that perplexes me is what are outcomes of various treatment and what are the outcomes if untreated. For any case, we can't really say when one path is chosen over another. We just don't know because we chose one path and didn't allow a different path and so what would have happened is a WAG.

After reviewing the pics, I notice that the OP has been sodding the dam and that he thought fertilizer laid for this has washed into the pond. I originally thought it was the yard he had fertilized. I still remain puzzled as to the weight of fertilizer used and the footprint of the pond and just don't yet have sense of the nutrient density. The 46-0-0 .. I wondered if he meant 0-46-0 where the nutrient was phosphorous. If so, this 69 lbs of phosphorous (if 50 lbs/bag) is probably the primary contributor to the bloom and is excessive as a single application. The question is how much got into the pond.

Most members here seem to have bows well along the path of eutrophication. This saddens me to some extent. To have a pond that is well along the path of dying after only a few years of age seems to lack appropriate stewardship unless the soil itself or other uncontrollable factor is the cause. In the OP's case, I wonder if the remedy is any better than letting it run its course. What are the risks of killing fish by controlling the bloom? In other words, is there risk of depleting oxygen by killing the bloom. Is it cheaper to repurchase the fish or apply the remedy in a 1 year old pond? If there is a time of year that one can be patient with a bloom like this ... it is this time of year when water temps are moderate and the daytime length is long and getting longer. Anyways, one has to choose a path and if one does nothing about it and there is a kill he will probably always think it was the lack of action that did it. If one does something about it and there is a kill, some will say he didn't do the remedy correctly and that they would have died anyway. It is a kind darned if you do and darned if you don't scenario. I hope whatever path the OP takes it works out well.


It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Thanks for all the replies. I can guarantee I am reading both sides.

Update:
I am monitoring it closely. The bloom seems to be lessening. The water was probably 10 to 12 inches clarity. I think it's closer to 18 now, estimated.
I had my first fish ever die today or at least very close to dead. It was a Triploid grass carp about 12 inches long. I have no idea if it is related. It had been in there about a month.

It was 46-0-0 I used on the yard. It's called urea. I believe the 46 is nitrogen. Turns grass on.

The scum is getting worse. Little green patches now.

Maybe a healthy bloom. All I know about ponds, I learned here.

Thanks guys.

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jpsdad, I worked with a Homeowners Association a few years ago. 18 ac BOW, max depth 9'. Basically what I think happened is that a developer built homes around a swampy area, and built up the outflow a bit to get deeper water. Highly eutrophic water. They would have both winterkills and fish kills in the summer. Long story short, they didn't have a big enough budget to properly take care of their water.

They needed an aeration system and at least one treatment to help strip out nutrients from the water. We put an aeration system in half the pond and in August the half that didn't have it experienced a summer kill one night. Visibility was 12" due to planktonic algae. By the end of August, the pithophora was bad, the coontail was getting really thick and in the areas that didn't get wind the duckweed/watermeal was a solid blanket.

It didn't help that half the homeowners liked the 100+ resident geese that were on there ALL year......... The next year they said they didn't have the $$ in the budget for the 2nd half of the aeration system, and we just treated the problem but didn't do any work to fix the problem. Year 3 we just threw in the towel, and didn't submit a bid to keep treating the pond.


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I feel as frustrated as you with that client. Much of the water I fish in receives water from subdivisions. Subdivision rules and people's perceptions are an enemy to clean water relatively free of heavy nutrient pollution. Their impact goes far beyond their subdivision retention water. For some reason, people hate diversity and love monocultures and uniformity. I haven't figured out how to change that perspective but as long as it prevails there will be more of the same. IMHO, since they are the cause of the cess pool, they should be required to ameliorate the pollution through waste treatment. They should be penalized for taking shortcuts and metrics should be applied so that the water meets a standard. IMHO, that subdivision has a moral obligation to do the recommendations you made particularly the aeration and any nutrient sequestration recommended (e.g. alum). When THEY have to pay the cost, maybe THEY would decide to make life a little easier on you by curtailing the use of fertilizer and herbicides. The end result from saving that waste of money would be cleaner water and a cheaper water management bill. The problem is that people are often pigs and they have to be made to do the right things. We need to enforce laws that would prevent this kind of abuse. The pond you described is essentially a cesspool and there is no cheap option for treating it appropriately.

Off the soap box. On to something that affects most members on their private water. Where possible, most should focus investment in more water rather than more fertile water and higher fish density. Any water which consistently maintains blooms of less than 2.5 feet is eutrophic. Some say less than 2 feet others 3 but once water reaches this fertility, it produces the most fish ... up to a point. The benefits rapidly decline as nutrient loads increase and primary biomass standing weights rise. Eutrophic water, though it will produce the greatest fish density, also is subject to periodic fish kill. Eutrophic water should be aerated something which will reduce stress on fish and reduce muck buildup.

It may surprise some that the difference between food limited carrying capacity of eutrophic water and mesotrophic can vary as little as 50 to 100 %. Mesotropic water tends to have more bio-diverse plankton and insect communities. Their fish are subjected to less stress. 50 to 100% sounds like a whole lot but in the broader picture that extra comes at a much greater cost when one considers costs of aeration, nutrient sequestration, herbicides, and ironically ... sometimes even feeding. Some soils and water sheds won't allow moderately productive water and are intrinsically eutrophic due to soil fertility or nutrients in runoff. These folks are going to have to deal with eutrophic water with the methods you've outlined in numerous posts and that goes with pond's location. But back to investment, if a person can make more water he can still have as many fish and have substantially less management costs and much longer pond life.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/16/21 04:07 AM.

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers



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