View Full Version : New pond: Lime????

04-20-2008, 07:36 PM
I had a new pond dug last fall. I know that after it filled it would be cloudy. Now, my son was fishing at his uncle's pond last week and told him that we could put lime in the water to help clear it up faster. Also he said it won't hurt the newly stocked fish. Has anybody ever heard of this and how does it

Just found this site last week. OGF has answered a lot of questions that have bothered me this spring.

Thanks for all your information!!! I really appreciate it.

04-20-2008, 08:37 PM
cloudy as in murky with sediment? or murky with algea?, would make a big difference, if murky from rain runoff, lime wont help you any. I have not heard about using lime so I would talk to some experts before you do anything like that.

04-20-2008, 08:56 PM
Salmonid, It's murky with sediment. There is some algae but very little because i assume the pond is only 5 months old. Also the dogs are having a blast keeping the geese away. I know that they stir some of the silt up. It's just that I have never heard of anyone putting lime in a pond. I think you're right. I need to talk to some experts and find out how this works.

Even without the dogs... Thanks

04-21-2008, 01:24 PM
I used hydrated lime on my pond the spring after it was dug. I've heard that it will kill any fish eggs present and can also knock back the filamentous algae. It does have clearing properties but I couldn't tell much and didn't take any sechi disk measurements. It doesn't mix with water readily so you have to premix it with water before dispersing in the pond. In the South, they have boats built for this equipped with a platform to pile the lime on and a gas powered pump to hose it into the water. I tried dumping a little at time into an old cooler and pumping water into it, letting it overflow in areas around the pond. It was a pain to do, really messy, and took forever. Your time and money would probably be better put toward improving the runoff areas.

If you decide you want to try it anyway, you can do some simple experiments to see if lime will help and estimate how much it will take. If your pond is like mine, the cloudiness is probably from suspended clay particles. You'll probably want to try alum too, the two work differently and if it works it usually takes much less alum. The way I understand it, both work to bind the clay particles so they settle to the bottom. Take three gallon jars and fill with pond water. 1 will be the control, add 1/4 teaspoon hydrated lime to the second, and add 1/4 teaspoon of alum to the third. Wait 24 hrs and see if there's a difference. Increase the test jars by 1/4 teaspoons until until you see some results. Shake all three jars after additions. Once you reach the desired clarity you can do a little math and see how many lbs. of material you'll need.

04-23-2008, 03:55 PM
Thanks guys, I went over the Ohio department of natural resources and talked to a guy there that hadn't heard of lime treatment either. But he gave me an Ohio Pond Management Handbook. The handbook has a treatment using Hydrated lime. Also other treanments listed are hay bales, Aluminum Sulfate (Alum), and agricultural gypsum. I think I'm going to go with the hay bales first since I can get it right down the road.

This handbook is pretty interesting. It covers everything from pond construction up to wildlife habitat enhancement around the pond.

I'll get back later and let you know how the hay worked.

04-23-2008, 09:04 PM
If I understand it right, its not Hay, its Barley, which will be harder to find then you think, it kills a lot of the weeds so Im not sure its really what you are looking for.
Most use it in late summer to kill filimentatios algea

04-24-2008, 02:28 PM
Salmonoid is right. It's barley straw and pretty hard to find in sufficient quantity. Sometimes the Amish have it. It has a chemical in it that supposedly keeps algae from growing or kills it. I've never pursued because there seems to be some controversy on how well it works and it's hard to get. Regular hay is used sometimes to jump start the planktonic algae but it will also grow filamentous algae which you don't want. Planktonic algae usually doesn't have any trouble getting started on it's own in because Ohio's ponds are generally pretty fertile.

A new pond shouldn't have any silt. Silting occurs from water picking up topsoil and depositing it in your pond, usually from a creek, ditch or surrounding landscape due to lack of surrounding vegetation. Noticeable silting at 5 months would be a major concern. Silt usually settles pretty quickly, just after sand but long before clay. Suspended clay particles are the usual culprit of cloudy water.

In hindsight you should probably scoop up a gallon jar of water and leave it undisturbed for a few days. If it clears up and the suspended particles settle then your problem is most likely due to something stirring up the bottom, wave action or something flowing in. If it doesn't clear up, then you may have an issue with how the particles are "charged", preventing them from settling. If so, then try experimenting with the products listed in the manual to determine what will be most cost effective. There are also various clearing chemicals available for ponds that are more user friendly but most are not economical to treat a large pond.

My water gets cloudy when I don't feed my fish because they stir up the bottom while foraging.

04-24-2008, 10:30 PM
Okay, I didn't try the hay yet. But I took your advice and scooped pond water into a 1 gallon glass jar. Now I'm wondering if I'm being to picky. The jar is approx. 12'' tall and 6'' wide. If I put my hand on the backside of the jar, I can see my fingers pretty clearly (no creases). The water looks like weak lemonade. I'm going to try it after this weekend and see how big of a difference there is.

Thanks for helping me guys!!!

04-25-2008, 08:16 AM
Weak lemonade color sounds about right in a jar that size. If the pond was just finished, you probably don't have much grass growing around the pond yet. You're efforts are probably best focused on that. Use the recommended amount of seed, 100 bales per acre of straw for mulch or use the straw mats. The mats are much better on slopes especially where there's wind. Burlap works too. Use starter fertilizer sparingly and use a good quality slow release type. Filamentous algae loves phosphates even more than sprouting grass. Start mowing once it's 4-5" tall with freshly sharpened blades (dull blades will pull grass seedlings roots and all). Dense grass around the pond will filter particles and take up nutrients before they enter the pond as well as stabilize the banks from erosion. Your water will probably turn green before it turns clear. If you want clear water, that takes a different approach. It can be done but you'd probably be better off installing a swimming pool.

04-25-2008, 08:23 PM
Thanks Salmonid and PondFin@tic for putting up with me.

I guess I'm being to picky. The pond does have grass around 3/4 of the sides. I planted grass on the bare side plus the mounds from the excaveted dirt. Now I'm hoping for more rain than we got last night.

I don't want anything to do with swimming pools anymore (used to take care of them). This is my first and only pond I ever have (I hope). Hopefully I do it right. Again Thanks

04-25-2008, 09:26 PM
filimentatios algea

Although Mellon deducted 20 catfisherman points from you for saying aesthetics, you get 40 back for the way you spelled that :D

05-31-2008, 12:01 PM
Pondfin@ic is very knowledgeable, I work at a water treatment facility and was going to tell ya about the same thing Pondfin@ic said. Aluminum Sulfate works great but there are other chemicals that can also be used, I don't know if you can buy them at the local stores or not but a few other chemicals that can be used to bind everything together and solve the problem would be sodium aluminate, or polymere. Polymere is the best product to bind the particles together. Each of these chemicals used in the right dosages should not hurt your fish in any way. We also use lime in the water, but lime is mainly used as a water softener and causes clouds. That is why we use the other chemicals to take out the lime that we actually just put into the water. That's my two sense and I hope it helps you out.

06-01-2008, 07:20 AM
your pond is only five mons old , just hang in there , in about two yrs it;ll clear up good ,

06-02-2008, 06:28 PM
we have always had great success with alum. sulfate. It's affordable in large volumes and works fairly quick. Afterwards we follow up with monthly shading treatments. With some polarized sun glasses you should be able to see bottom if its not to deep of course.

06-04-2008, 07:36 PM
The water was clearing up pretty good. I could see approx. 18" down off the dock. All the rain last night kind of flooded it. The pond overflowed into the yard and the overflow drain couldn't keep up with it. I know it will be cloudy for a while until everything settles down again.
I waded around the edges of the waterline checking for fish I stocked and didn't see any. Hopefully they stayed ''home''.

One plus is that I stocked up on nightcrawlers.

I want to thank everyone who responded to this thread. You've helped a lot and relieved a lot of stress off of me...Thanks again!!!