Pond Liming is prevalent in certain parts of the U.S., particularly the southeast. There are three key benefits to it, which are an increase in available nutrients, a way to sterilize the pond before stocking and to enhance pH levels while reducing pH fluctuations daily. Below are additional details regarding this practice, as well as how it should be performed.
Boosting The Availability of Nutrients While Enhancing pH
When limestone is applied to ponds that are rich in acid soils, the amount of nutrient availability will increase, especially for plants. Phytoplanktons, which consist of plants that are free floating, perform an essential part of the food chain to pond dwelling creatures. Both dolomite and calcite can be used to boost the overall hardness and alkalinity of the environment, ensuring that pH levels remain consistent.
While pH levels can stretch from one to fourteen, between six and nine is the most optimal level for freshwater species of fish. The water found in a pond is a reflection of the soil quality, and for acid soils, ponds will tend to have lower alkalinity, pH and hardness. Carbon dioxide results from the respiration of both animals and plants, and it functions as an acid within aquatic environments. It will lower pH, particularly in the evening. During the day plants will perform photosynthesis, taking in carbon dioxide which will result in higher pH levels.
How To Determine The Proper Liming Requirements For Your Pond
To determine the liming requirements for your pond, you will first need to take a soil and water sample. Determine the complete pH, alkalinity and hardness levels. This will tell you whether or not liming is necessary. You can purchase a basic test kit locally that can allow you to analyze water samples, or you can send in a sample to a lab. Liming should be performed in cases where total alkalinity is beneath twenty ppm (parts per million).
Choosing Materials And Applying Them
Limestone is easy to find in certain areas of the U.S., particularly in the southeast. However, be aware that it will vary in terms of quantity and grade. Miniature bags are usually sold at garden centers, and those with larger ponds may need to have the limestone delivered via truck. The solubility of the limestone, along with its reaction time will determine the size of the particles. It is recommended to buy particles which are as small as possible.
Limestone can be applied during various times of production cycles. Despite this, it is best to apply it during autumn and winter, as fertilizer during these seasons is no longer being placed in the pond. It can take several weeks for the limestone to take effect on the quality of the water, so it should be applied about a month before the start of your fertilization program for spring. Limestone should be placed in the pond directly, on the bottom before it’s filled up with water, and should be evenly spread.