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Duck pond gone red


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Apoligies if this is the wrong section - it was 50 / 50 between here and wildfowling.

I've been feeding a pond up, and when I came to shoot it about two weeks ago, found that it had turned red and smelled off. It was the same the next day, and it was the same yesterday.

The first time I shot it, about 20 birds it so got off the pond (when it was not red), the time after (when it was) about five birds got off. Yestetday (still red) there were no birds, and the duck weed was undisturbed. 

We spoke to the farmer, and he says he hasen't put anything it in, or on the feilds yet - so it's a toss up between something natural (algae?) and something that's been put in to make it unpalatable for the birds.

Perhaps by coincidence, a drone appeared out of nowhere when I was feeding it last week, and then disappeared just as fast.

Just for refrence, the two close up photos were taken last week, while the one with a wider feild of view was taken yestetday. The pond was dug for the purpose of shooting ducks over and is shallow enough to sometimes dry up over the summer.

Any info greatly appreciated

Peter

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Edited by PeterHenry
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What sort of trees are around? Would a lot of leaves have fallen in? Rocks about with iron in?

my thoughts would be algae, iron or tannins. 

No idea how you’d counter it though.

a water test isn’t hugely expensive though I don’t think

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Red algae looks a good bet or something called euglenoids, which are  single cell flagellates, and can be pretty harmful. But as above too, if the pond is in a naturally irony soil that could do it. What have the temperatures been like of late? What sort of smell? metallicy, or more like rotting vegetables? The latter would be more typical of a bacterial/algal infestation. 

As Southeastpete suggests, I'd get the water test done. It could be useful in the long run. 

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There’s a short stretch of abandoned canal at the bottom of my street that’s gone red as well, same thing happened last year. I thought vandals had tipped something in the first time. It started stinking first then the smell decreased but the red colour appeared. There’s still ducks and coots on it as far as I know.

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2 hours ago, Vince Green said:

well, red ink would be a possibility

I did think that, but I have not seen any red ducks

2 hours ago, islandgun said:

Possibly decomposing leaves, what sort of trees around the pond [red algae]

A lot of trees around the pond, but I dont know what type - nothing with red leaves from memory though

2 hours ago, southeastpete said:

What sort of trees are around? Would a lot of leaves have fallen in? Rocks about with iron in?

my thoughts would be algae, iron or tannins. 

No idea how you’d counter it though.

a water test isn’t hugely expensive though I don’t think

Leaves have deffinatly fallen into the pond,  but no idea why type. Not many rocks about either - it's all clay soil.

2 hours ago, chrisjpainter said:

Red algae looks a good bet or something called euglenoids, which are  single cell flagellates, and can be pretty harmful. But as above too, if the pond is in a naturally irony soil that could do it. What have the temperatures been like of late? What sort of smell? metallicy, or more like rotting vegetables? The latter would be more typical of a bacterial/algal infestation. 

As Southeastpete suggests, I'd get the water test done. It could be useful in the long run. 

The temperatures have been fairly mild.

The smell isnt metallic. It's almost exactly like the smell that I've encountered when near an old, silted / mudded up harbour on an estuary - pretty potent.

56 minutes ago, Mighty Ruler said:

There’s a short stretch of abandoned canal at the bottom of my street that’s gone red as well, same thing happened last year. I thought vandals had tipped something in the first time. It started stinking first then the smell decreased but the red colour appeared. There’s still ducks and coots on it as far as I know.

That good to know - fingers crossed they will be back.

 

I've gone and fed it up again this afternoon - only part of it is red now, the rest is murky green, and it still smells the same.

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Red algae bloom is my guess, you could get the water tested, chuck a bale or two of barley straw in, it's great for controlling algae.

If you want to clear it quickly put barley straw liquid in. Would needs loads the size of your pond.

Edited by figgy
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Could well be from leaves then. Don’t think the colour of the leaves matter, it’s the tannins in them.

Or could be iron content from within the clay. But if it’s seasonal, if guess from leaf drop, as the clay has always been there. After leaves, algae. 

As above, chuck a

bale or two of barley straw in, in case of algae. Get a water test just to be safe. Maybe figure out a way to oxygenate the water a bit more?

Edited by southeastpete
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Excess food going rotten / algae bloom? I got a bit over excited and tipped a load of wheat and peas in before the ducks had really built up. Smelt terrible and went a cloudy orange colour. Cut the food back and plenty of rain has cleared it up 

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On 20/11/2020 at 16:06, figgy said:

Red algae bloom is my guess, you could get the water tested, chuck a bale or two of barley straw in, it's great for controlling algae.

If you want to clear it quickly put barley straw liquid in. Would needs loads the size of your pond.

I think this might look at throwing some bales into it

On 20/11/2020 at 16:07, Walker570 said:

Get it tested.  Anglers Trust/ Wild Trout Trust or even BASC may be able to advise.  The WTT are usually very helpful where water quality is a problem.

👍

On 20/11/2020 at 19:27, southeastpete said:

Could well be from leaves then. Don’t think the colour of the leaves matter, it’s the tannins in them.

Or could be iron content from within the clay. But if it’s seasonal, if guess from leaf drop, as the clay has always been there. After leaves, algae. 

As above, chuck a

bale or two of barley straw in, in case of algae. Get a water test just to be safe. Maybe figure out a way to oxygenate the water a bit more?

That all makes sense. I'm going to try and dig out some old photos and work out what some of the trees are.

On 20/11/2020 at 20:15, kennett said:

Excess food going rotten / algae bloom? I got a bit over excited and tipped a load of wheat and peas in before the ducks had really built up. Smelt terrible and went a cloudy orange colour. Cut the food back and plenty of rain has cleared it up 

I'm fairly sure it not over feeding - I've been throwing four small bags of barley in per week, and it's a fairly sizeable, is shallow pond. I'm keep an eye on it to make sure though.

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That looks like a red algal bloom. As Figgy suggested put in barley straw.

The pond looks very enclosed with shrubs and vegetation. If that is the case the wind will not get in to move the water about. Clear away some of the vegetation to let the wind in. Those willows will respond well to being cut down to 1m or so.

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