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I have a 1/3 acre pond not more than 8 feet deep in central Ohio. It's about 4 years old. Stocked with YP,SMB,RE,GS,FH.

The pond is really pretty w/ very nice clear water November - mid-April. However during the warm months I have less than 6" of vis. Sort of like a chalky light brown. I do a regular application of EccoBoost prx which has dramatically reduced the FA, I have purposely planted emergent plants and I run two bottom diffusers.

I suspect the color is somewhat impacted by the fact that my kids swim in the pond occasionally during warm months, but we're going on more than 2 weeks since they've in it and the clarity is still as if they just finished. I understand that mechanical mixing is going to cause dirty water but it seems like once it gets dirty it remains so until the water temps drop in late fall. Is there any way to make the dirt fall out of the water column faster? Would a dose of Alum help with this? Should I do chemistry test on my water?

It's been a couple of years but I did a jar test and don't really remember the results other than at some point I put a little Alum in one of the jars and it immediately cleared.

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Jar test is certainly your place to start.

If kids stir up silt, it will settle relatively quickly. If the kids stir up clay particles with electrical charges, that can stay suspended for a LONG time.

Here is a link where I give some instructions for a jar test.

If you scroll down a little farther, you will see where esshup gives some links on what to do after you get the results of your jar test.

Thread with jar test

Good luck on your pond!

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I wonder if the aerators are not allowing the dirt to settle or settle fast enough since it only occurs in the warmer months after the kids stir it up.

Do you aerate when it's cooler or ice covered?


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If turning over the entire pond, the aeration is going to keep clay particles suspended.

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I've wondered this too given that about the time I turn the aerators on my water becomes murky. Can you aerate a pond too much to the point of over circulating the water into a mud soup?

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Originally Posted by jludwig
If turning over the entire pond, the aeration is going to keep clay particles suspended.

At one point I calculated it and I think it was turning my pond more than 2x per 24 hour period. Is over aeration a thing?

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Are your diffusers sitting right on the bottom?

Putting them on a stand 1' off bottom might have some positive effects for your water column.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Are your diffusers sitting right on the bottom?

Putting them on a stand 1' off bottom might have some positive effects for your water column.


Yes, they are sitting right on the bottom. They are vertex 9" diffusers.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Jar test is certainly your place to start.

If kids stir up silt, it will settle relatively quickly. If the kids stir up clay particles with electrical charges, that can stay suspended for a LONG time.

Here is a link where I give some instructions for a jar test.

If you scroll down a little farther, you will see where esshup gives some links on what to do after you get the results of your jar test.

Thread with jar test

Good luck on your pond!


I started the jar test last night. I'm surprised at how the water is more 'chalky/milking' than 'dirty'. I guess we'll see what settles out over the next several days.

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UPDATE:

24 hours into the jar test and nearly all particles have settled. At 48 hours the water is nearly as clear as drinking water w some sediment on the bottom of the jar. So I apparently don’t have a clay turbidity problem. I can only assume I have a mechanical mixing problem.

I was prepared to dose with Alum, but now maybe not needed!


After 24 hours and hedging my bet that this was a mechanical issue, I turned my aeration off. I had less than 6” on a sechi. Now 48 hours later I have close to 10” on the sechi, so I have to assume this chalky water is the result of over mixing (is that a thing) from my Vertex aerator of my pond water. I turned aeration back on due to high water temps and inbound rain. Best I can tell is that my pond is being completely turned 5-6 times in a 24 hour period. I turned one of my air stations off which should reduce the turnover to around 3x and I’ll monitor clarity over the next few days.

I’m also considering running aeration w two stations but for only 4-6 hours per day to get aabout an 2x turnover every 24 hours.

Does anyone have experience with this that might shorten my learning curve?



Picture is both jars. One on left was in complete dark at 24 hours.

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Hard to tell from the pics. Does the dark jar look essentially the same as the "in the light" jar?

I thought your whitish particles might be something growing (organic). If the jars are the same, then probably not?

Do you have a microscope (or a buddy with one)? Might be enlightening to see what the white particles look like under magnification.

If not, then perhaps dry them a bit after you end your experiment and run them through your fingertips and see what you think.

Finally, if mechanical agitation due to your aerators is causing the murkiness, then perhaps put them on a little platform off the bottom.

(I do not have aeration, so definitely NOT an expert. I can't remember if the archives have some threads about aerators off the bottom?)

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Hard to tell from the pics. Does the dark jar look essentially the same as the "in the light" jar?

I thought your whitish particles might be something growing (organic). If the jars are the same, then probably not?

Do you have a microscope (or a buddy with one)? Might be enlightening to see what the white particles look like under magnification.

If not, then perhaps dry them a bit after you end your experiment and run them through your fingertips and see what you think.

Finally, if mechanical agitation due to your aerators is causing the murkiness, then perhaps put them on a little platform off the bottom.

(I do not have aeration, so definitely NOT an expert. I can't remember if the archives have some threads about aerators off the bottom?)


Jars are identical. I don’t have a microscope, but I do feel like there’s hope that w some adjustments this might be cured.

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I think the first time I did an unofficial jar test it took my water approx a week to clear up sitting in the garage on a shelf. The first time I tested it with Alum it was clear in about 15mins. I haven't moved any further than that though. I was just about to pull the trigger on applications and for whatever reason the water cleared up and has been 12-24" visible on the secchi disk ever since (very strange).

Curious, how much water clarity are you looking to get out of the pond?


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Originally Posted by Boondoggle
I think the first time I did an unofficial jar test it took my water approx a week to clear up sitting in the garage on a shelf. The first time I tested it with Alum it was clear in about 15mins. I haven't moved any further than that though. I was just about to pull the trigger on applications and for whatever reason the water cleared up and has been 12-24" visible on the secchi disk ever since (very strange).

Curious, how much water clarity are you looking to get out of the pond?


I’d be happy with 15-18”.

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Originally Posted by bcraley
Originally Posted by FishinRod
Are your diffusers sitting right on the bottom?

Putting them on a stand 1' off bottom might have some positive effects for your water column.


Yes, they are sitting right on the bottom. They are vertex 9" diffusers.


Get them up off the bottom. I built a stand out of 3/4" PVC pipe and cinder blocks. After using it for a few
years I figured out the pool noodles aren't necessary to keep it upright.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

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Augie - Do you have a DO meter? Test the DO especially after July 4 or end of July below the lowest float noodles like on Augie's diffuser stand. .

The last time I did testing on an aerator head located up off the bottom the DO was low to none below the depth of the diffuser. This is what I think is happening. As the circulating water moves down the sides of the basin because it is warmer than the deep water below the diffuser bubbles,,,, the returning descending warmer water moves stops moving downward and moves laterally toward the upwelling bubbling action. Thus the deepest water does not get lifted and mixed into the upwelling water. This causes a water stagnation and eventual DO loss below the height of the bubbling diffuser.

If someone has a DO meter and a diffuser located up off the bottom like Augies do some testing and report the results in this thread or another new thread.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/05/24 03:02 PM.

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I do not have a DO meter. I do have a thermometer with a 10' probe lead. Previous years' observations show only a couple degrees difference between
surface temp and temp at 10' depth. The swim test tells me there is likely a thermocline somewhere between 10' and the max basin depth of 16' - cannonball
off the dock brings up a boil of noticeably cooler water.


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