No one likes a muddy pond, not even fish. But too much water clarity can mean problems, too. Ask Magnolia Fisheries.
Does your pond resemble chocolate milk? A muddy pond is usually caused by commercial or residential development nearby. The disturbance of established soil during development can cause problems for nearby urban lakes and ponds, as muddy runoff makes its way into your water. If you use ground water to keep your pond full, that source could also be contributing to the problem. Muddy water is unattractive, and it can hurt fish populations by interfering with normal feeding habits. It can reduce primary food sources (phytoplankton) and oxygen levels.
However, if your pond water is too clear, it can cause excessive aquatic plant and algae growth. That’s why water clarity, dependent upon how you use your pond, is usually a delicate balance between “pretty” and “healthy”.
We can clear your pond, and recommend strategies for keeping your water clarity balanced year-round for maximum enjoyment.
Causes of Muddy Water
Muddy water is usually caused by runoff from surrounding land, made worse during periods of heavy rain and nearby soil disturbance from construction. Clay particles are suspended in your water, turning it brown. Well water chemistry, and even an overpopulation of bottom feeder fish like catfish or carp, can make it worse. Read this article on Water Quality.
Spraying Alum to Precipitate Dirt
Methods of Control
Erosion control strategies including berms, silt fencing, vegetation buffer zones and ground source water treatment can help prevent muddy water. When water turns muddy, it usually means negatively-charged dirt particles are floating in the water, repelling each other, and that prevents them from settling to the bottom. Applying a positively-charged product like alum binds the particles, increasing their weight, allowing them to settle out. Because alum can quickly affect the pH of your water, application should only be done by a professional.
After Alum Treatment