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Mud Pond Maintenance

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  • Mud Pond Maintenance

    I have been looking for an article I read some time ago about use of lime in mud ponds. As I recall, there were three uses mentioned: (1) fertilization to increase desirable micro foods for fry; (2) control of pH; and (3) application to the soil when the pond is emptied to disinfect disease and parasite organisms. In the course of reading old Japanese mags, I came across a 4th use, but it is not well explained. (Translations can be problematical.) A breeder was describing the life-threatening low oxygen condition that can arise in a deep mud pond when cool bottom water laden with "malignant gases" is covered by a warm layer. Weather events can then trigger an upwelling of the lower water, resulting in aphyxiation of the fish. To counter this risk, the breeder said he applied powder lime, which would "absorb the bad gases". He kept some freshwater shrimp in his ponds, which would come to the surface margins of the pond when conditions in the bottom depths were "bad". That would be the sign that it was time to apply lime.

    Can anyone explain how lime (and what kind of lime) would neutralize "bad gases"??
  • #2

    The breeder was applying lime went conditions cycled to a point where certain things happened?

    Sounds like a type of PH and KH control mechanism without the test kits.

    Although some type of hydrogen sulfide (bad gas) control as part of lime might be it as well? Dunno how lime (or anything else for that matter) would counteract the hydrogen sulfide.


    • #3

      I am freaked out now. right now. What the heck are you doing using my bathroom? And how the hell did you do it without the wife, the daughter, or the two dogs alerting me?
      It's bizarre. If you were sitting down on my toilet you could have read that exact article. The magazine is folded over to it. I have only read about the first page of it. Actually it looks like it is little more than a single page. RINKO AUGUST 1990, vol.16-4(No. 158), page 24. It is a continuation from the previous month and is the 12th topic about "A Discourse On An Open Pond", and is titled "Lime is like a cure-all for an open pond". In it he talks about using shrimp as canaries in the pond so that they alert him to poor water parameters. If he's the shrimp at the edge of the pond in the morning he goes home and gets a bag of lime, and sprinkles it around the pond.
      I haven't read a more current Rinko. I'm working through a couple of yrs worth I got off of ebay; but then you know that since you are living within me. Am I you? or are you me? I've figured out I'm the evil Mike, but which is the "normal" mike.

      How weird is that?

      I am showing this to my wife. Maybe she can figure out who is who? and at the very least I'm going to blame you for the seat being left up.


      • #4

        Well, if you'd stop turning the pages over to that doitsu ochiba, I'd not forget!


        • #5


          Guys,... strike a match in there, or at the very least open a window!!! Geeezzz!

          Best Wishes,


          • #6

            page 36, a beauty ain't she and virtually scaleless.
            So you found it in your own copy, as I have had mine at my side, in the livingroom, since I posted earlier today. Glad I could help....if I did?


            • #7


              The situation described is called "stratification" and it occurs in summer. Bottom waters become depleted for oxygen becuase they do not mix with upper layers. A cold rain, strong wind, hail storm, or other factor that mixes this ater to the surface creates oxygen deprivation. Lime helps to alleviate this by "sweetening" the water and removing carbon dioxide.

              However, lime is used for another, similar situation where a combination of factors increases the carbon dioxide content of the water. Adding lime removes CO2.

              It also allows for the bottom muds to maintain a hihger pH and calcium content which in turn favors the microbes that makes the mud pond work.

              All types of aquatic farming operations utilize lime. Depending on what water chemistry and soil chemistry, lime will be used as calcium hydroxide, calcium oxide, or calcium carbonate.

              IN Japan I saw several types of liming materials. The two most common were hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) and crushed hens eggs (calcium carbonate).



              • #8

                Thanks, Brett. I understand how lime would "neutralize" CO2. I'd been thinking of hydrogen sulfide etc ...


                • #9


                  I have seen lime used on a dugout and the water turned all milky and every bug and critter that could get out of there left or died. It the long term it improved the water cleared it up and improved chemistry but I would use it before putting in the fish or use it very sparingly
                  Doesn't aeration keep the layers mixed adequately?
                  The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!


                  • #10

                    While searching for something completely different I ran across an archive at Mostly it is links the SRAC documents.

                    One discusses the use of lime as part of the document:

                    There are others, of course. And advanced Google search of for just lime will probably turn up more info than you'd ever want to know.


                    • #11

                      Sanke56: Good to hear from you. Hope all is well with your Sakai beauty. .... 'twas referring to natural mud ponds w/o aeration. The addition of aeration to natural deep waterbodies does marvelous things to improve water quality, and would be better than lime if only there were a power source nearby. Fortunately do not have to worry about thermoclines in our filtered koi ponds.

                      JasonS: So, you're searching out alkalinity & bio-filters? Sounds like the on-going thread in the "other parish" on milk crates & lava rock has your interest? (Last I checked it was up to 18 days to cycle, but only if so much ammonia used as a starter that nothing could survive the ammonia & the nitrite spike except the desired bacteria.) THANKS for the links. Good references.


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