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I have a small approx 1/4 acre pond. I dug the pond almost 10 months ago and have been struggling with 2” visibility on a good day! I finally found some alum, and added my around 25 lbs via mixing and spraying evenly over surface. I followed that by 10 lbs of hydrated lime. All went well and within 2-3 hrs the results were unbelievable! I had 2’+ visibility and all the fish seemed happy and normal behavior aside from a little shy. It’s been 3 days since and I’m noticing my water is starting to cloud up again, but it’s not the same brown cloud, but rather a teal / grayish blue color. Visibility is down to 1’(+\-). My ph is balanced at approximately 6.8. I have pond loaded with bluegill and a few perch. No catfish. I plan to stock with some largemouth in the fall, but am waiting for the bluegill to spawn. Please help me

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Able to share a pic of the water?


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It would depend on the reason it was cloudy. Was it algal growth or suspended sediment?
Thursday I completed an alum treatment on a 1/4ac pond that was down about 2', I used 200lbs of ALUM, 75lbs of hydrated lime.
I think 25lbs was not nearly enough.

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I agree, 25# was most likely not anywhere close to being enough. Did you do a test in a 5 gal bucket to see how much you needed to clear the 5 gallons, then extrapolate that figure to see how much you needed for the pond?


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I tried sending pics but it wasn’t letting me. I will definitely try again though.
Latest update I added the other 25lbs of alum and did 10lbs of hyd lime about a week after the initial treatment. This time is cleared the water back up, and remained this way for a few weeks. We were in a 7 week drought and when the drought finally broke, on Sunday my pond, rose 3 1/2 feet overnight and the amount of sediment and washout into my pond turned it right back to square zero with less than 2 inch visibility. Today I picked up another 50 pound bag of Alum and a 50 pound bag of hydrated lime. my pH was remaining at around 6.8. I made a mistake and listened to a pond builder who suggested I raise the pH to at least eight before doing the aluminum. The prior treatments I did I use the aluminum first sprayed the slurry evenly over the surface of the water and then immediately after a slurry with the lime sprayed that evenly over top. But since I did it his way this time I feel like I might have stressed out the fish and possibly gonna wake up in the morning with a lot of dead fish. All the big bluegill are hanging up by the shore, and they are all lethargic and their movement. I was able to pick one up out of the water. my reading between 7.2 and 7.4 right now, which is my desired range, but I’m nervous to jump to 8 may have caused too big of stress on them. Any thoughts on what I can do here or what I should do here? I was thinking about adding more aluminum. Try bringing it back down to the 68 that the fish were comfortable in.

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Curious NC. Have you tested alkalinity / hardness since the second treatment?


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I have, hardness has not been effective and stays at a healthy range. (I’d be lying if I know the terminology) and my allk came up a bit since the treatment, but not like the ph did. When I added the it was more like 40lbs of lime before the allum aNd had a ph spike to over 8 for at least 20-25 mins… I’ll check the tester though and get the actual #s for hardness and allk. I know ph stabilized at 7.2-7.4… will see what happens now that the suns down…

Last edited by N.C.PondJoe; 07/03/24 09:51 PM.
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I'm curious as I was reading that the treatments can lower the alkalinity/hardness of the water. That likely compounded if you've had a big rain event adding a lot of new water to the pond.

What I've seen on my pond is that after a rain my standard tests of PH and Alk/Hardness fluctuate quite a bit and it takes a week or so before they get back to normal. Throw in high water temps (summer) and a lower ability of the water to hold 02, I'd be really cautious about treating again right now. That's just me though.....I have no experience in pond treatments with alum/hydrated lime.


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I agree it’s probably not the best time of year to do this, but my water stays relatively cool, because I pump water from the bottom far side up to a 6’ deep X 12 long x 15 wide lined bog system that then flows down a series of waterfalls and through vegetation to help clean the water. I also have a fountain in the middle that pulls from about 2.5’ below, so I am constantly mixing the water levels in ever height so avoid any problems with O2 deficiency in the water column. Only real reason to do it was the water is too murky to allow any plant growth below the surface and I want to establish a self sustainable ecosystem that only runs the waterfall and foundation as backups, and not as a primary source of O2. Another issue I have is stability on the hill above the pond. I finally got grass to grow but the last storm all the new seedlings are either washed into the pond or buried under excess soil erosion. It’s always something isn’t it boys! lol you guys have been a lifesaver though and being able to go read past treads has really improved my pond game, and it’s official I’m addicted! Haha

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Boondog-
My hardness was between 200&250ppm
Alk approx 90ppm

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Sounds like you are in good shape.


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Yea just really concerned about waking up to a big fish kill, and this was the first time the larger BG huddles by the edges and seem very lethargic. Is this normal and will they usually bounce back? I also have some minnows in there, and they seem to be completely normal, but the pirch, BG, and pumpkinseed are all huddled up on the sides just below the surface,… how long should I expect them to recoup if they ever will from a PH spike shock like that? Before treatment 6.8
Added hyd lime first (big mistake) ph went to above 8.2 and had to remain that high for 20-30 while I got the Alum sturry going
After Allum now my ph is steady at 7.2-7.4 (which is where I want it, but idk if it will hold)
I will report back in the am and let you know what I see and what the leaves are.

Last edited by N.C.PondJoe; 07/03/24 10:39 PM.
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Only 3 dead fathead minnows and 2 small 2” BG. Water visibility is about 2.5-3’ fish all seem to be behaving normally. A little sluggish, but that’s summer time… PH a little high at 7.8. May use a little more Allum to lower it and clear the water a little more, but chances are I’ll let it be and see how things settle over the next few days. Happy Independence Day everyone & God bless our soldiers!

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Long-term suspended clay (to be treated) and murky water immediately after a big rain raised the pond level 3.5 feet overnight are NOT the same thing!

I would let the pond "relax" for several days after that big rain before performing any treatments. One of the ways a fish kill occurs after a big rain is that the cold rain water on top can cause the pond to turn over and the unoxygenated bottom water is now raised to where your fish are living. Also, bringing in some organic matter can use up some more oxygen in the water column as that material is oxidized as part of the normal decay process. Finally, even a few days of heavy clouds can set back the oxygen production from the photosynthetic organisms in your pond.

If you are drawing bottom water from your pond to feed your bog system, then your pond should not have much anoxic water on the bottom, even if the rain did turn over your pond.

However, that big of a rain event was almost certainly stressful on your fish.

A portion of the current murkiness is probably some silt and some non-charged clay particles that will remain in suspension for just a few days. I do not believe a chemistry analysis performed NOW would be indicative of the "normal" state of your pond. If you want, you could take samples over the next few days and chart the changes in your pond subsequent to a big rain event. When your readings stabilize, that will be more indicative of the normal state of your pond, and you can use that information to guide your treatment plans.

Good luck on getting your fish through this stressful time! It sounds like you have put in a lot of effort to create a good pond environment for them.

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Thanks for that, and you are definitely correct about the dramatic change and effect of that big rain. I don’t think I have to worry much about turning over the low oxygen from the bottom because that was my primary concern when I build the pond at the bottom of a hill. I made sure with the construction of the bog that I have the pump pulling the water from the bottom 1.5-2’ with a 10,000 gph pump Also the fountain I have pulls 4,000 gallons an hr and is suspended about 2-1/2’ below the surface so it does a good job of mixing that top water layer. My issue is for every inch of rain, get about a foot in the pond. I know my initial alum treatment was not nearly enough, but my thought was I will gradually keep adding 25-40 pounds at a time until I reach the 200lb recommended amount. I know the amount of washout and sediment I received this last storm buried the initial 50lbs of aluminum, but like you said I need to stabilize the area and then be patient and let it settle down before I do anything else. We went from not a drop of rain in 7 weeks to 3.8” in 6hrs! The grass I was able to start growing stood no chance!
My main reason for clearing the water in the first place was I couldnt get any plants to grow on the bottom due to relatively low PH and 1” visibility. I think with this oops treatment I did yesterday, the water is clear enough to allow light to get through and plants to grow. Also has the PH up if even just a bit.
I also know i need to seal the bottom more, but considering it’s a water table/ retention pond I may just have to deal with and manage the drastic water fluctuations. Unless of course someone has a suggestion for me. I loose about a 1/8-1/4”a day for the first 2-2.5’ then it slows down to about 1/4” every 3-4 days. I wish I could show pics, but it wont allow them to upload.

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Finally found a way to add a photo… but new problem is aside from the awful dye I was talked into using… I hate it! But now my water has green suspended algae. I recently seeded the banks and fertilized with a starter lawn fertilizer that was 20/20/8 or something along those lines… what should I do?

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Did you have a nutrient test done to determine if you needed to add fertilizer? What is the pH and alkalinity of the water, and what time of day did you take the water sample to test for pH?


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Sorry about the dye color. There are some old threads about people dying their ponds. In my recollection, it took many of them a few "experiments" to get the dye tints and concentrations correct. Keep good notes, so you can replicate your treatment and schedule when you finally get it right.

Is your posted picture DURING your algal bloom? It doesn't look bad to my eye since I can see your rocks a fair distance below the surface of the water.

I don't see any reason to worry about accidentally fertilizing the pond, unless there is some unknown issue? Yes the algae took up your fertilizer more quickly than the rooted plants. However, when the algal bloom is over, the resulting organic remains will provide some fertilization effect to the rooted plants.

It may be that getting your lawn/ground cover established is your most important task. You do NOT want a big rain washing sediment into your nice pond.

I do like your pond contours and your rock edging!

P.S. Your water loss rates might not even be a leak at this point. A 1/4" loss over 3-4 days is probably pretty close to your evaporative losses. The greater losses at full pool might be due to a slight leak, but could be just due to your topsoil imbibing some water and your grass utilizing it.

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Thank you very much for that fishinrod, that picture was before the algae bloom / lawn treatment. I agree that the stability of the surrounding soil is my #1 priority at this point. I picked up a pallet of Bermuda sod, and put it all around the waterfall & down the slope that flows directly into the pond. That is when I also seeded and fertilized. We have been getting a good amount of rain lately, and that caused some of the fertilizer to wash into the pond and then the bloom. It happened quick, and I was nervous is was going to get out of hand. Since it started haven’t been able to get home from work during the daylight hrs to get a decent picture, but the water is now green more than anything, and I’m sure the dye is making it appear worse than it is. I am going away for a week, but plan to add some beneficial bacteria to help eat some of the algae in the bog, but I will report back and hopefully with an updated photo when I return. If there is anything else you recommend I should do before leaving it for the week please let me know. I thought about some copper sulfate, but it’s raining now and not sure if I’ll have time to do it. I do have a little of the Alum left offer and I hear that it can help by lowering the phosphate levels in the water and essentially starving the algae. Again I really appreciate your help, and will definitely keep you guys posted!

Essup - I didn’t fertilize pond on purpose, I was treating my lawn, and have been struggling getting the ground stable on slopes to pond.

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I didn't realize/remember that your bog was fully "operational" yet.

In that case, I would not worry about a little lawn fertilizer run off going into the pond. Whatever gets circulated through then bog is going to help those plants.

My only advice (which I am sure that you know) is that a week without water is too long for new sod. If you don't have good rains in the forecast while you are away, do you have any family members or a neighbor kid that can water your sod and newly-seeded grass? Hate to see your most recent hard work wither and die.

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Thank you FishinRod, I did setup a bunch of sprinklers on a timer and have them go off 2x a day.
As far as the “bog” I have is small, but then again the pond itself is t tremendous. The system I have is a 9000 gph pump near the bottom of the opposite side that pumps the water to the bottom of a 6’ deep x 12’ long by about 6’ wide pit. I filled the pit up with stone using large rock on the bottom and gradually decreasing the size of the stone as I filled it. I have some water grasses that took off as well as Lilly pads and recently planted some elephant ear. The water then flows from that down into a smaller gravel filled pool that’s only about a foot deep but same length and width and I have medium sized river rock and gravel in that along with some of the grass. Then it flows into a very shallow area with all small pea sized gravel before dumping back into the pond. In short it is a 3 tear waterfall. If you see any design flaws in this please don’t hesitate to tell me! I’m open to as many suggestions and criticisms as possible! I am far from sensitive!

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Thank you FishinRod, I did setup a bunch of sprinklers on a timer and have them go off 2x a day.
As far as the “bog” I have is small, but then again the pond itself is t tremendous. The system I have is a 9000 gph pump near the bottom of the opposite side that pumps the water to the bottom of a 6’ deep x 12’ long by about 6’ wide pit. I filled the pit up with stone using large rock on the bottom and gradually decreasing the size of the stone as I filled it. I have some water grasses that took off as well as Lilly pads and recently planted some elephant ear. The water then flows from that down into a smaller gravel filled pool that’s only about a foot deep but same length and width and I have medium sized river rock and gravel in that along with some of the grass. Then it flows into a very shallow area with all small pea sized gravel before dumping back into the pond. In short it is a 3 tear waterfall. If you see any design flaws in this please don’t hesitate to tell me! I’m open to as many suggestions and criticisms as possible! I am far from sensitive!

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