Liming and Fertilization

Much like a farmer has to fertilize his crops in able for them to thrive, so does your fish pond or lake. Fertilizing your pond provides it with nutrients at the base of the food chain all the way up to your prized large- mouth bass. Fertilization also provides weed control by supporting a large phytoplankton population that prevents sunlight from reaching the bottom of the lake. If sunlight cannot reach the bottom of the lake then larger rooted plants cannot grow. Ponds with weed problems should not be fertilized because the nutrients increase problem plant growth.

Fishpond fertilizer is available in two forms, liquid and granular. Both forms have their advantages and disadvantages. Pond owners should quickly decide which form works best for their situation. It is not necessary to use a fishpond fertilizer to fertilize a pond; any agricultural fertilizer will work as long as the granules do not sink to the bottom of the lake. If the fertilizer does reach the bottom of the soils, they are absorbed into the soil and not into the water. Because fishpond fertilizers are much more water soluble, they are considerably more effective with very little cost difference.

Ponds with acidic waters may also require liming. Lime is a neutralizing agent that buffers pond waters against sudden pH changes by increasing the alkalinity of the water. If a pond is too acidic, it will bind the phosphorus in the water or bottom soil, and not let it be used by the phytoplankton. This situation can be so serious that it will prevent fertilization from helping a pond at all.

Ponds can be tested in two ways to determine if liming is required. The first method is to collect a sample of the bottom mud and test it like a normal soil sample. This method works well on new ponds, but once the pond is full it becomes more difficult. The other method that can be used is to test the Total alkalinity of the pond water. This method is much easier when the pond is full. If either test says the pond needs liming, the pond can be limed by distributing the lime evenly on the bottom of the pond. This can be done with a spreader truck in newly built, empty ponds, but in filled ponds it has to be added using a liming barge. The lime is placed on the barge and then washed off into the pond using a high-pressure hose. This method is, by far, the most effective method that can be used to apply lime to an existing pond.

A well managed liming and fertilization program will improve your ponds. The pond will support more fish, your fish will grow faster, and the water quality will be much better. Lime is just as important as fertilizer for the program to be successful. At The Lake Doctor, we can determine the best way to add lime to your pond. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists please do not hesitate to contact The Lake Doctor at 972-523-3232 or for your convenience you may request information from this site.

Thank you for your interest in The Lake Doctor and we look forward to serving you and your lake in the future!

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