Theses and Dissertations

Title: The effects of basic slag and agricultural limestone on the chemistry and productivity of fertilized ponds

Name: Pamatmat, Mario Macalalag

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. Homer S. Swingle

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1960

Pages: 113

Keywords: Basic Slag,Agricultural Limestone,Chemistry,Productivity,Fertilized Ponds.


An experiment to determine the effect of basic slag and agricultural limestone on the chemistry and productivity of fertilized ponds was conducted from April to November, 1959. Six 0.25-acre ponds were used, two each for basic slag, limestone, and control. Basic slag was used at the rate of 1000 pounds per acre, limestone at the rate of 2000 pounds per acre. The ponds were fertilized with 8-8-2 fertilizer at bi-weekly intervals in the spring, thrice weekly in the early summer, and once a month in the end of summer and in early fall. Ten days after the first fertilizer application, the ponds were stocked with 2-inch bluegills at the rate of 1500 per acre. Water samples were taken periodically throughout the experimental period for analyses of pH, free dissolved carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, carbonate, total alkalinity, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, and dissolved inorganic phosphorus. Pond bottom soils were sampled twice for determinations of pH, calcium, magnesium, calcium phosphates, adsorbed phosphorus, phosphorus held as Fe and Al complexes, and organic matter. Standing crops of plankton were measured at frequent intervals. Standing crops of bottom organisms were determined on three collection dates. At the end of the experimental period, the ponds were drained and the fish were sorted into inch-groups, counted, and weighed. The most conclusive results obtained were those concerning the chemistry of pond waters. Liming was shown to increase pH, carbonate, bicarbonate, total alkalinity, calcium, magnesium, and total hardness, and to decrease the free dissolved carbon dioxide of pond waters, but had no effect on the rate of inorganic phosphorus disappearance from the water. Basic slag and limestone were shown to have dissimilar effects. Liming with basic slag and limestone raised the pH of the bottom soil and increased the rate of mineralization of organic matter. Only basic slag was shown to increase the calcium content of the soil. No effect on the different inorganic phosphorus fractions could be demonstrated: the pond bottom soils in all six experimental ponds were extremely rich in phosphorus. How much of a factor this high phosphorus content of the soils was, in producing the same standing crops of bottom organisms regardless of lime treatment, could not be determined. Basic slag seemed to have a beneficial effect on plankton production: limestone did not. One of the basic slag-treated ponds gave the highest increase in weight of original fish stocked but the other gave one of the lowest increases. Due to this wide variation, no definite statement could be made concerning the effect of liming on fish production under the conditions of this experiment.

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