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Joined: May 2022
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Hello everyone! I know this is not a new topic, but I’m experiencing a unique problem. I have a 1 acre pond that’s about a year old. Like most new ponds I still have a fair amount of clay sediment making my pond cloudy. I have about 6-10” of clarity, and it’s not improved over the last 6 months at all.

I’ve been testing out the best solution to get the suspended clay to settle. I’ve been using the jar test with 4 1-gal glass jars. I tried gypsum first, but didn’t see any results.

Here’s where I’m struggling. I tried the jar test with aluminum sulfate. The aluminum sulfate does a great job bonding with the suspended clay, but instead of the larger particles settling at the bottom of the jar they actually rise to the surface. The water is extremely clear, but now I have all the sediment sitting at the surface. Does anyone know why that’s happening, and more importantly how to fix it? The water is testing to be extremely hard as well. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

PH: sitting about 8
Carbonate ppm: 240
Total Alkalinity ppm: 180
Hardness ppm: 300

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I can't imagine a reason for the clay particles to be floating. (But that definitely doesn't mean it isn't true.)

However, it sounds like the particles making your water cloudy might be something organic.

Hopefully you can get an expert to chime in on this thread and give some advice on the next test you should try.

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Very common issue with clay suspension.
The first thing to do is find the cause. Is it mechanical disturbance-something causing it, such as wind/wave action working on the shore, dogs swimming in it, etc.. or is it really suspended clay from the basin not settling out.
The rising of the material is not unusual. It's flocculation-colloidal clay particulates that "flocculate" by means of the agent you are clearing the water with.
I don't remember the exact chemistry but I believe Alum has negatively charged ions that attract and combine particulates and sink them-eventually.
When using Alum you have to be careful of the pH before you begin because Alum is acidic, so to counter this you can run/dump/pore Hydrated Lime into the Alum treated water as a buffering agent. Here's the plus with that...Hydrated Lime (Calcium Hydroxide) has 1 additional negatively charged ion, adding more clearing power to the Alum and a very stable pH. General rule of thumb is use Hydrated lime at 50% rate of Alum, but depending on your average pH, you may not need that much.
If you are serious about clearing this up, we need to get to the bottom of the cause, which you pretty much have if it settles in the Jar test or not.
Figuring the total volume of your pond is very important in getting the correct ratio.
I've used this in my main pond several times and just treated one of my growouts yesterday.
Take a look at this thread...
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=124005#Post124005

Last edited by Snipe; 05/22/22 11:59 PM.
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Snipe hit the nail on the head. I had a customer with the exact same problem, Did the jar test and had it float. He shook the jar up and let it sit for 2 days and it all settled to the bottom.

I'd go the alum/hydrated lime route.


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Thank you for the responses. The initial cause I believe was due to it being a brand new pond with soil runoff until it became filled. Once it was filled I still had runoff from soil erosion until I was able to get grass growing to secure the soil. It’s been about 6 months since that point and the water hasn’t cleared.

The Alum test definitely showed better results than my test using gypsum with my water PH level floating around 8 I believe I’d be a good candidate to use aluminum sulfate.

My concern after reading so many posts and videos regarding the jar test is that nobody had mentioned the suspended sediment floating before. I feel better knowing other people have had that issue. I will give the jars another 24hrs to see if things start to settle.

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As esshup said, if you shake the jar it ends up on bottom. Flocculation is normal-it's part of the process. In a pond setting, wind and other factors cause the disturbance that sinks it.

Last edited by Snipe; 05/23/22 12:27 AM.
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Qetjustin,

Before you add lime with the Alum to your already hard and alkaline pond water ... Read this article.. The protocol for discovering the goldilocks treatment is there. The suspension should break at a safe treatment of Alum (also tells you how to determine this). If the suspension will not break within this limit, then lime would be needed to increase the treatment.


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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....

Last edited by Snipe; 05/23/22 12:04 PM.
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Kenny,

You are taking my post in the wrong way. I did notice the alkalinity is substantial and that it is likely he can clear his pond without the addition of lime. The reference is what made me aware of this and so I wanted to post the reference. I did like their method which was very concise and simple to follow.


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 Snipe
I'm not sure why I even post to these threads.. Trying to get some answers from OP on pH to tell him rates he needs to use and you chime in with an out source like our experience of actually doing this, is not good enough...
I took it the same way.


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Stop the personal attacks in all forms. The Forum rules don't allow any personal harassment or comments.

Last edited by ewest; 05/23/22 11:38 AM.















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Come on guys . We need all you guys to play well together. We are family!

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Kenny's answer is right on. The article Phil refers to is good general reference info for a starting point. If you know the source of turbidity, you can figure it out. Alum works well, but listen to what Kenny is saying. Eliminate the source.


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Originally Posted by jpsdad
Qetjustin,

Before you add lime with the Alum to your already hard and alkaline pond water ... Read this article.. The protocol for discovering the goldilocks treatment is there. The suspension should break at a safe treatment of Alum (also tells you how to determine this). If the suspension will not break within this limit, then lime would be needed to increase the treatment.


jpsdad, I have one question, how many times have you used alum to clear a pond that had suspended clay in it?


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