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GDT: Carp vs. Pond Scum

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  • GDT: Carp vs. Pond Scum

    The arrival of spring often presents a problem for pond owners as the beautiful, clear green water of their ponds disappears beneath a blanket of lime green, slimy, stinky pond scum. "Pond scum" is actually a popular term for aquatic algae, which tend to "bloom," or grow excessively in the early months of spring, spreading over the surface of the pond in unsightly and odorous mats of green and brown.

    Aquatic algae are primitive plants, having no true roots, stems, or leaves. Pond algae can be found either floating on the pond surface or attached to other plants, bottom sediments or other hard surfaces. There are thousands of species of aquatic algae, but for simplicity they can be classified in three categories: microscopic algae, filamentous algae, and attached-erect algae.

    Microscopic algae, also called phytoplankton, are tiny, free-floating algae that give the pond water its characteristic green color. Microscopic algae are the primary producers of dissolved oxygen in pond water. The presence of a healthy level of microscopic algae in a pond is important for maintaining good water quality and health of the aquatic organisms in the pond, such as fish. Microscopic algae can undergo excessive blooms during mid-summer months, rising to the surface of the pond as a layer of yellow-green or reddish scum. A sudden die-off of microscopic algal blooms, caused by a change in water temperature or a stretch of several overcast days, can deplete dissolved oxygen levels in ponds to a critical level for the survival of aquatic organisms.

    The clue for the pond owner in the control of microscopic algae is to look for a change in the color of the water that might signal that a bloom of microscopic algae is taking place. This color change would be from the clear green water of the healthy pond to a bright, pea-soup green.

    To quickly check the density of microscopic algae in a pond, nail a light-colored object, such as a coffee can lid or aluminum pie pan, to the bottom of a yardstick. Place the yardstick in the water and observe the depth at which the light-colored object disappears. In a healthy pond, the light-colored object should be visible at a depth of 24 inches. If the object disappears before a depth of 24 inches is reached, a bloom of microscopic algae is taking place in the pond. If sight of the light-colored object is lost in less than 10 inches of water, the bloom is heavy and the pond owner may want to seek advice about control of microscopic algae.

    Attached-erect algae are a less common problem for pond owners, but excessive blooms of submerged attached-erect algae may occur across pond bottoms causing difficulties for anglers or swimmers. Attached-erect algae, commonly called stonewort or muskgrass, is often mistaken for more advanced pond plants because it resembles a higher plant with leaf-like structures arranged about a long stem-like structure. Attached-erect algae have a gritty texture due to surface calcium deposits. A positive identification of attached-erect algae is important for chemical treatment because chemicals used to treat many submerged aquatic plants often do not provide good control of algal species.

    Green filamentous algae are the last category of pond algae and the one which gives pond owners the most headaches. Many species of green filamentous algae are tolerant of cold water temperatures and undergo blooms in early spring. Typically in West Virginia, ponds having recurring problems with filamentous algae begin to exhibit algal blooms as early as March, although some blooms in late February have been reported.

    Blooms of filamentous algae begin in clear water in shallow areas where sunlight can penetrate the water to reach the soil of the pond bottom. Algal cells join together in long stands resembling green hairs, which grow in fur-like clumps along the pond bottom and edges, breaking off and floating to the surface to form dense mats. Sudden die-offs of dense blooms of filamentous algae can create serious water quality problems, not to mention unattractive and odorous conditions as the dead algae decays.

    Identification

    Control of pond algae begins with an identification of the type of algae causing the nuisance in the pond. This identification can usually be made through the WVU Extension Service or through the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. To collect a sample of microscopic or filamentous algae for identification, use a jar with a lid that seals tightly to collect a sample of the algae and some of the pond water. This sample should be refrigerated until delivered to an office for identification. If the alga is a submerged attached-erect species, the pond owner should wrap several branches of the alga or aquatic plant in a wet paper towel and seal the sample in a sealable plastic bag. This sample should also be refrigerated until delivered to an office for identification.

    Control

    There are a variety of options for controlling pond algae once it is identified. Algae growth is stimulated by light penetration in water and the availability of nutrients needed for plant growth, such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Light penetration to the soil of the pond bottom occurs in the shallow areas. These shallow areas are where growth of pond algae and weeds typically starts. Carbon and nitrogen are generally abundant nutrients in ponds. The lack of available phosphorus is usually a factor that keeps algae blooms at bay. Ponds that receive loads of nutrients, especially phosphorus, tend to experience chronic problems with algal blooms.

    One method of controlling pond algae is to deepen as many shallow areas of the pond as possible so that light does not penetrate to the soil of the pond bottom. Water depths of three feet or more will help to control the start of aquatic weed and algae problems in ponds.

    Controlling the amount of nutrients carried into the pond during periods of heavy rain can also assist in controlling algal blooms. Reducing the use of phosphorous-rich fertilizers close to the pond and/or planting a buffer strip of high grasses or shrubs around a side of the pond with a steep bank or drainage area can help to reduce the amount of nutrient laden run-off entering the pond. Diversion trenches to redirect run-off around the pond banks can be used in some situations.

    More recently, the use of triploid grass carp, also called white amur, as a means of biological control for pond algae and weeds has received attention. Grass carp are native to the river systems of north]ern China and southern Siberia and were first imported to the U.S. in the early 1960s. Grass carp are herbivorous, feeding entirely on soft plant material that may include filamentous algae.

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  • #2
    hey

    Can I start for today
    Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

    Comment


    • #3
      I finally got the formatting right.

      That's what happens when you drink and post.

      Official Lounge Sponsor of Lou Brock (really) and Ryan Franklin (really)*

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      • #4
        I am mad because I thought you got blocked because you started too early.

        I am pretty pissed though.
        Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cardinalgirl@Sep 7 2005, 11:57 PM
          I am mad because I thought you got blocked because you started too early.

          I am pretty pissed though.
          I suggest we co-start this thread, then.

          And really stick it to those a-holes in New York.

          I REALLY hate the Mets. More than I hate Reb's wanky feet.

          Official Lounge Sponsor of Lou Brock (really) and Ryan Franklin (really)*

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          • #6
            Love wins over hate, and maybe I shouldn't explain how much I love Carp.
            Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cardinalgirl@Sep 7 2005, 11:02 PM
              Love wins over hate, and maybe I shouldn't explain how much I love Carp.

              Wait a minute. Is it more than your love for the Badgers' shortstop?
              Dude. Can. Fly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dvyyyyyy+Sep 8 2005, 12:02 AM-->
                QUOTE(dvyyyyyy @ Sep 8 2005, 12:02 AM)

              • #9
                I hate the fucking Mets. Hate them.

                I won't accept anything less but total annihilation.
                RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
                You'll never be forgotten.

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                • #10
                  do they still have mo vaughn and mike piazza?
                  Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by cardinalgirl@Sep 8 2005, 12:10 AM
                    do they still have mo vaughn and mike piazza?
                    Vaughn ate himself into retirement. Piazza's playing his last month in the National League.

                    He's done as a catcher and his contract is up after this year, so he'll probably end up as a DH in the American League next year.
                    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
                    You'll never be forgotten.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I say we just pin every thread....

                      "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                      Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                      -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by *007*@Sep 8 2005, 12:15 AM
                        I say we just pin every thread....
                        duh...
                        Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by JWB+Sep 8 2005, 12:14 AM-->
                          QUOTE(JWB @ Sep 8 2005, 12:14 AM)

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by ElviswasaBluesFan+Sep 8 2005, 09:08 AM-->
                          QUOTE(ElviswasaBluesFan @ Sep 8 2005, 09:08 AM)
                          Originally posted by [email protected] 8 2005, 12:14 AM
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