How Does Liming Stabilize Water Quality?
Water quality is essential to fish health. It makes the difference in a stress-free environment. Key parameters that influence water quality are alkalinity, hardness, and pH. Without balanced levels, fish experience mood swings, activity fluctuates, and health declines. When readings remain stable, fish are more energetic and catchable.
Ever wonder how liming influences water chemistry? Imagine being in a humid space without air conditioning. Throughout the day, comfort levels fluctuate with humidity swings. During low humidity, conditions are tolerable. As temperatures rise, humidity creates sultry, uncomfortable surroundings. Fish respond the same with pH swings. Plus, if we install air conditioning, we enjoy climate-controlled comfort. If lakes maintain good water chemistry with fewer fluctuations, fish respond the same. Folks notice improved fish activity after lime treatments.
Liming helps maintain healthy soil on the lake bottom. It may be applied in the lake basin during construction. For existing lakes, lime is placed on a pontoon boat deck, hosed into the lake with a water cannon, and it settles to the bottom. Placing bulk lime around the shoreline or upper end of the watershed and expecting it to wash into the lake is not successful. Typically, it does not travel far from where placed. Regions with acidic soils and high annual, flushing rains must be treated every 5-years. Application rates range from 3 to 5-tons per surface acre. We recommend 5-tons for longer treatment life. If you add 3-tons and experience an unusually wet year, lime must be retreated sooner than required if using 5-tons. With many products, adding more is not better. With lime, adding more is not harmful. In many cases, it’s more cost effective. Delivery trucks transport 24 to 28-tons. Lime costs vary with delivery charges from the nearest quarry.
Lake owners striving to grow trophy bass sustain optimum forage by–fertilizing. Fertilization success is influenced by alkalinity and water flow from rain events. Frequent rains flush the water column and dilute important chemistry traits. If alkalinity is low, lakes can’t produce optimum plankton with fertilization. As a result, newly-hatched fish have yoke sacks that help them survive several days. Once consumed, they must feed on plankton. If plankton is not present, survival rates decline drastically. If present, survival rates soar. Lake managers agree, fertilization can double or triple productivity by increasing the food chain base.
Typically, a lake must have 20+ ppm alkalinity and be fertilized to stimulate a plankton bloom. The first fertilizer application is 10-pounds per surface acre when water temperature reaches a sustained 60-degrees. After two weeks, measure visibility. Desired clarity is 18 to 24-inches. If month-to-month conditions push visibility to 30 or more inches, apply 5-pounds per surface acre to maintain 18 to 24. Therefore, fertilization is stopped around December 1 when water temps drop below 60. We recommend Perfect Pond Plus fertilizer. It’s easy to apply, comes in 25-pound bags, and is $40 per bag.
Liming is a significant investment. Results pay significant dividends. Please contact us here for a further explanation to determine if your lake is a candidate for liming.