I've been lurking here for about two years and wishing my pond was more clear. Water this year looks like chocolate milk. Was murky in spring of last year and seemed to clear up alot, but not enough for my liking.
Pond is 3 acres, 4.5 ft avg depth, 16 ft at deepest. I have three aerator heads that i turned off a week ago and i dont see any difference. I put in 10 triploid grass carp (8") last april to help with weeds.
I brought home three jars of water from my pond. Put two on the counter and one in a dark cabinet. Dark one looks the same as the other two.
This morning, after ten days, they had some sediment but still seem dirty. I put a small amount of alum in one jar and within one minute it had flocked up a bunch of stuff. I have attached a pic of two jars, one with alum, the other without. Both jars have a red circle and black x on the paper behind them.
What does everyone think? Do i need to take the alum plunge?
I stocked bluegill and largemouth bass two years ago. I added 10 8” triploid grass carp in April of last year and the previous owner put in “some” grass carp in 2014. I have caught three very large crappie. I have used some bluegill as cut bait to pull out some snapping turtles and have never seen or caught a catfish, so I don’t think there are any in the pond. I also put in about 30 2-3” koi last year, none of which I have ever seen since.
My goal now is to catch large bass. My goal over the next 15 years will be to have a fishing paradise for grandkids (if those happen, hence the koi)
First, Koi are just a colored variant of Carp, and as std Carp do, they will work the bottom sediment and keep it turbid. If it's turbid, weeds won't grow well that grass carp feed on and they too will revert to bottom sediment and add to the problem of turbidity. Koi are also highly reproductive in this type of environment and would scare me a bit knowing they are there..Best deal would be if the Bass were big enough to consume the Koi. Sounds harsh but would be best if they did get them. 3 big Crappie? Blacks or Whites..??? How are your shorelines for erosion protection from wind/wave action? If you truly have turbid water, find the source for sure before wasting money on Alum treatment, you may be fighting an uphill battle if Carp are present and causing the issue.
I attached a pic of one of the crappie. I think its a white.
I learned about the koi problem after i threw them in. I assume with how small they were compared to the bass at the time that most if not all of them were eaten. Fisheries guy told me to put the ten grass carp in because the coon tail was bad. It seems to have helped a bunch. I haven't had a lure get caught on any submerged weeds this year, but I may have traded one problem for another.
My pond is down at least four feet since i bought it, and the weeds have filled in nicely around the entire banks. There is no rock or anything beside weeds/plants along the edges. The one place where runoff has come in in the past has not been a problem this year because the pond is so low the small amount of runoff coming in has a ways to go over a flat and level area before it gets into the pond, and i assume sediments would fall out in this area. It is the first part of the pond to dry out when the water level drops.
My point in posting the pic of the jars is that i guess i dont know what turbid water is. I know that i can only see a couple inches into the water when i'm at the pond. I also know that the water in the jars is much more clear than it seems to be in the pond, BUT the alum made a BIG difference in the jars. AND the amount of sediment in the jars without alum added is VERY small until i add alum.
So based on all this info AND the pic of the jars, where should i focus my efforts? I do not think i have a runoff problem, and the mud that would be stirred up by koi/carp is much more brown than yellow, and the jars seem to be more yellow than brown. My sense is that i have a clay problem.
I like to throw my cast net and see what i can catch....maybe a few throws around your pond will help determine if you have a koi overpopulation? Throwing mine around I found out I have a mudcat problem dangit.,
I throw a cast net regularly to check things out. I've never caught anything besides bluegill and LMB. I brought out some corn the other day caught a few bluegill pretty quickly with a pole and hook. While floating around on my floating platform i saw a decent sized fish come to the surface with it's lips poking out of the water (like normal carp do). The fish appeared to have multiple whiskers. It could have been grass, but it was on both sides of its mouth. The fish did not appear golden or silver like normal carp or grass carp do, so I'm guessing it might have been a koi that has gotten MUCH larger than when i put them in.
I added more gypsum to my test jar before work yesterday morning and when i got home it had cleared up significantly. It is still not as clear as what alum does.
I'm going to work on eliminating the koi for now.
one more question....I know that if you don't add enough alum you've wasted what you've added, its all or nothing. Is Gypsum the same? Can i throw out 4 bags each time I visit my pond? OR do i have to put out four tons all on the same day?
Koi/carp are the same fish with different pigment, both have the same barbels. The Alum is not an all or nothing... This only applies when locking up Phos. vs colloidal clay. How much of your visibility issue is algal and how much is suspended clay??
It depends on the amount of suspended particles.. The purpose of the jar in the dark is to kill photosynthesis and the algal growth dies. If suspended particulates settle in the light-it's dirt/clay. If it only settles in the dark-it's algal in nature, or both. Generally, in my experience if suspended clay is the issue and you have serious turbidity, the highest rate is best, like 200lbs per ac ft, just don't forget the buffer of hydrated lime if you already have fish stocked. The added benefit of 1 more negative charge the HL provides helps clear even more and keeps pH stable. Phos takes less Alum than clay suspension does so the idea of the jar test is 2-fold...is it mechanical disturbance, is it colloidal clay (which tends to stay in suspension) or is it algal in nature.
Figured I'd follow up since i actually did the alum / lime...
So far the results are great. I had less than 3 inches of visibility before and now have at least a foot and a half. fishing has dramatically improved.
I bought an old pontoon and removed all the seating and steering console. I had a 250 gallon tote which i placed in the center of the boat. I added a 2" bulkhead and shutoff valve about halfway up on the opposite side from the outlet on the bottom, then I piped in a trash pump to the bottom valve. On the other side i hooked up 10 feet of 1.5" pvc pipe that ran out to the bow of the pontoon. I had two ten foot 3/4" pipes coming off a T (forming a sort of spray boom) but that was WAAAY to slow.
So i used one trash pump, pushing pond water IN to the tank and letting gravity push the mixed water/alum out. It seemed to work pretty well, even though it was a lot of work. I would never want to do it again, especially without a helper or two, but im glad i got it done. Happy to answer any questions if anyone has any.