Aquatic Herbicides with Cary Martin | Pondcast Season 1 – Episode 1

Hey it’s Richard here with Platinum Ponds & Lake Management and wanted to share a special podcast today. I had an interview opportunity with Cary Martin. Cary Martin is like the forefather other aeration and also knows a lot about aquatic weed
management now that he works for crop productions in developing your aquatic division. As far as maintaining aquatic weeds helping with the muck layer. Specifically today I wanted to button hole him on some questions about retention ponds. What impact does
bottom aeration have on retention ponds? Where does aquatic weed
control come into play and on what about these
dredging cost? Is a fountain good investment, I hear
this question all the time. Do you sell fountains or repair them? I wanted to get to the bottom from a biologist perspective. So without
much more delay I want to introduce you to Cary Martin.
Hey its’ Richard here with Platinum Ponds & Lake Management. Today I have special guest Cary Martin a
dear friend of mine with crop production seasoned aquatic
specialist, he calls himself an aquatic pharmacist. I want to give a
shout out to you Cari, I appreciate all your friendship and help in the pond and lake management field.
How are you today? Cari: I’m doing well thank you Richard. Richard: What
you up to today? Cari: We are sitting here in the nice raining storm gives us to be in the office instead of out in the field and take care of the office work. Richard: Today is march twenty-fifth the 2015 and we are kind of in the peak of algae season, I am sure you are selling a lot of aquatic herbicides, a lot of algae treatments. Cari: Yes Richard: What are you selling the most of? Cari: Right now it is algae, we are selling a lot of products to take care the algae
blooms that are starting to take off. A lot of the customers are trying to get ahead of the game by using a granular product for the algae to get it before
it comes up to the surface. Then following up with a proactive approach using like a bacteria. Richard: So how many cases and how many pallets have you sold? I’m sure your selling a lot of this stuff. Cari: That’s a good question, it is pretty close to 26 pallets of the product so far. Richard: So you know a lot of people in a lot of places, you travel all the way up to to the top of
the North Pole. It look like you’re even doing some reconnaissance in Canada and you know
people clear down to Florida back over to the west coast. How far do you reach out with crop productions, tell us a little bit about it. Cari: We have a total of four product
specialist for the actual company, three of them are in Florida, so that leaves me for the rest of the U.S. Richard: I got ya, so your focus is specifically in aquatics. What do you sell from A to Z? Cari: We start off with the, if you look at
the actual price we sell is specific to what problems the lakes have. So let’s say we have all the algaecides that are out there, from like coppers to your diquats, to your hydrothols or endothall salts to even a green product called Green Clean, which is actually hydroperoxide. Then we get into immersed problems, immersed plants is where we do most of the glyphosates. When I say glyphosate most people know the name “rodeo.” Well we have an aquatic version of that called Round Up or there are other generics of glyphosate as well for emergent plants. We get into submerged plants, one of our main problems is Hydrilla, there are two different species of Hydrilla. One is actually found in Florida more and mostly in the southeast called Dioecious Hydrilla. Coming from the north there is a new one Monoecious Hydrilla. Unfortunately it tends to be able to stay green even in ice problems So it doesn’t go dormant, so that is one that is really starting to take off. So I guess your question, back to what we have. We have products that are specific to
the plan that we have a problem with in the lake. Richard: Wow that sounds like
quite the list of products that you have. Of course you are a biologist, went to school for biology and love nature, love water in
particular. You scuba dive, you enjoy being out fishing, and so the love of water sounds like it’s in your in your blood, but today I kinda want to answer some
questions specific to retention ponds. Everyone seems to want
to live on a body of water and whether that could
be Lake Norman up near Charlotte or whether could be just a retention pond
in the middle the subdivision that a developer sells at a premium, because it’s supposed waterfront property. You know particularly if we have a
small farm ponds that are less than five acres sometimes they have storm water running
into the. Sometimes there in closed systems but we see some recurring events that take
place. Kind of just take us through just where a pond starts, where it’s
headed very quickly, and just the life of a pond. Cary: Ok, really the life of a pond can be broken down into two stages. During stage one the pond has either been recently dug or has been rehabbed, where it is has been dredged and back into like a new condition. Organic matter from plants, birds, and animals do accumulate in the pond, but the ponds nutrients loading is very low. So you don’t get the algae blooms and the aquatic weeds like I talked about earlier growing on the pond. It looks really nice and that is the way the homeowner wants it to look. Unfortunatley that only lasts about 3 to 5 years. Then we go into what we call stage two.
During stage two of the ponds life cycle we start to see the algae blooms, when you start to see noticeable emergent plants and the grass is growing on the bottom of the pond. This is because the pond starts to divide. If you have ever swam in a pond you feel that warm water by your shoulders and your cold water down by your feet it is called a thermocline. When the thermocline blocks the amount of oxygen that could be throughout the entire water column, therefore we do not have enough bacteria growth to consume those nutrients that are washing into the pond. Again, the result is a large amount of algae, aquatic weeds that are in the bottom, and a muck build up. This is when a company like yours Richard, is called in to actually do a reactive approach and follow up with a proactive approach. Richard: So on a time-line, you know from beginning a
brand new pond maybe move into a subdivision and its freshly made to where we are,
fast forward now eight ten years from now what are we typically seeing? Cary: You are seeing re-occuring algae thats happening and you are seeing plants that are coming in. If you don’t have a company like yours to take care of it because a ponds whole goal is to eventually become a meadow. It is going to fill in with that muck and get deeper and deeper and deeper or I should say shallower and shallower makes the water shallower. Eventually grass is going fill in and your not going to have your pond anymore. Richard: Sure we see that with deltas and storm water systems forcing a lot of erosion out that form these deltas that rise up. How long do you think it would take for
a pond to fill in and become a meadow? We see empty lots in neighborhoods that
become you know grass and then before you know you
come back ten, twenty years and it’s a complete woods there. How long does it take underwater? Cary: Underwater it could take as little as ten years, depending on how deep the pond was initially. That algae keeps building up and especially if there is litter around the side, that can actually help fill it in. So it could be about twenty years. Richard: So let’s kind of switch gears here, obviously we have a problem you stumbled out to some ideas of how to
solve this problem. What do you think is kind of, maybe
something that most people have not heard of because they have been copying everyone else as far as having a floating fountain like their golf course
or traveling abroad across the world seeing
lots have bellagios and beautiful things. What was the aha moment that unlocked this kind of silver bullet for you? Cary: Well for me
it was actually working at SeaWorld of Florida in the aquarium department actually. We used to use aeration. When we are talking about aeration there are different types of aeration which is what you’re alluding to. We used to use the aeration to solve problems that we in the water gardens through out the park. So I started taking that idea that we used in the aquarium and water gardens and making it larger to see if we could make a large scale aquarium out of a lake. The reason we do this is first of all when we had a lake, we have the algae and aquatic weeds in there. We will spray it with the right herbicides that are approved by BPA aquatic use. The problem is when we kill that weed, we release that nutrients back into the water column. Then the stuff starts building back up again, so it is a big cycle. We need to break that cycle once we spray it or when we treat it I should say, then we want to follow up with a proactive approach. The proactive approach is a combination of three things really subsurface aeration, biological
inoculations, and lakes/ponds dyes as well as your native plantings as well. Richard: So you mean to tell me that by throwing a bunch of dye in your pond to shade it does not solve your algae problem?? Cary: It can lead to maybe the algae problem may be solved but you still have a lot of muck that is building up in the bottom as well. Richard: So that is kind of where bottom aeration comes in. How does that change to managing retention ponds? Cary: Well bottom aeration, everything good needs oxygen. We need to make sure we have good
oxygen from top to bottom of the pond. At the same time circulate the pond by elimination that thermocline that I talked about earlier. That cold water/warm water
separation. So we look into a bottom mounted aeration system that will push that bottom low-oxygen water to the
surface and absorb good oxygen and bring it back down to the bottom. When we do that we’re providing habitat
for the good beneficial bacteria that is stronger or 15 times faster at breaking down those organics that cause the muck in the bottom of the lake. Then the what we call aerobic digestion or bacteria without oxygen, is a lot slower and produces the toxic gases such as
hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide, which is that rotten egg smell that you smell when you walk around the muck. A lot of people, you mentioned a floating fountain verse a bottom aeration system. If the room that you might be sitting in
right now, lets consider that is the pond. You are in the pond, you are in the bottom of the pond, sitting down at the bottom. The ceiling of you room is surface of the pond. Lets say you have a ceiling fan in your room right now, that’s the
fountain floating at the surface. The water would be pulled into that fountain about two feet below your fan and thrown up into the air, a lot energy to throw it up into the air to make it look pretty. That same water gets circulated over and over again, but down by the bottom your sitting here suffocating and your not getting any oxygen. So how do we
solve that? We put a diffuser at the bottom on the floor here and as bubbles rise they are affecting the entire water column instead of just the top. Richard: Sure, absolutely and we have a whole section that explains that as well as a lot of statistics. I know you were kind of at the forefront of the industry in inventing some of these and actually doing some private studies for bottom aeration and how that unlocks the pond. It’s very powerful how much you can actually decompose and reduce muck and the number inches of muck that can be reduced. You know back to the aquatic weed
control cause now your with the crop productions and you’re in the business
of selling aquatic herbicides. How does
aquatic herbicides work hand in hand with this bottom aeration? Because you know we are in the field with out Pond & Lake Management business and we’re seeing a lot of
aquatic weeds. In fact most people are calling us in the 11th
hour to get these weeds under control. How is bottom aeration and aquatic herbicides work together? Cary: Well it is kind of symbiotic relationship I guess You are going to go out there in the 11th hour and you are going to use the right herbicides or algecide to take care of the problem that they are having. Like I said, your going to eliminate the weed problem, the problem is when you eliminate that weed you release that phospherus nitrogen back into the water. So that is where your aeration comes in to help. When we aerate, I am going to get a little scientific here. When we oxidize the water the contest
the water has is several different things but one of the main things it has is what we call pharos iron, iron that is soluble in the water. When an oxygen molecule attacks that pharos iron molecule it loses two electrons and becomes fair to iron. So now we lost two electrons the phosphorus and nitrogen have a
positive charge and they bond to that newly formed to the for pharoc iron molecule. It is no longer soluble in the water it sinks it down to
the bottom and locks up into the bottom sediments. What happens then is that the algae does not have a food source because we’ve locked up it up. It is unavailable to be used as a food source. So thereby we eliminate our algae problem by eliminating the food source. Richard: Very interesting, so lets say we are an HOA for instance and we’ve got a two-acre
retention pond like most neighborhoods. We’ve gone through 8 to 10 years of just
you know banging our head against the wall. What would you see far as the priorities of an HOA to tackle this monster in their backyard of this two-acre retention pond. What steps
should they take in order of priority to solve this this monster that has
risen its head. Cary: Well eliminate the source of the problem. Number one especially on these HOA’s is twice a year they are fertilizing heavy to get nice green turf or even the residents are fertilizing their yards. So let’s start off with what we call BMP’s best management practices and kind educate the homeowners about what we
call a 10 ft. buffer around the pond. First of when you are putting the fertilizer out don’t get near it. 10 ft or greater from the pond. Become 10 feet or greater from the pond when you fertilize. So it does not spread the fertilizer right into the water. Same thing with the residents as they are out there fertilizing and they get the fertilizer on the sidewalks or out on the street, they blow it out and it washes right into the lake. So that helps to solve the algae problem, but lets say they already have the problem. The next step is to like I said, reactive approach, treat the problem initially. It is kind of like going to the emergency room and you have a large cut. Well the first thing that they are going to do is going to clean it out. Then we are going to sew it up with the right products or right items Sewing it up will be actually us putting oxygen into the water. So we are going to put an aeration system in. We want to follow up with antibiotics like you would in a hospital. To make sure that you don’t get an infection. We will follow up with our bacteria, the bacteria is going to help double its population every twenty minutes to help consume any of those extra nutrients that are washing in also to break down the muck levels in the bottom. Lastly, we want to kind of make sure the scar tissue isn’t too bad so we sometimes people put coconut oil on that scar from that cut. Well we are going to put dye in there to make we don’t have too much sun spectrum to penetrate the water column to promote new aquatic weed growth. Richard: How does and HOA figure all this out? I mean this this sounds easy sounds like
something you can do. Can you just run down to the tractor supply store and
despite aquatic herbicide or call you in getting an aquatic herbicide and just throw it in their lake and do some mowing like once a year
to create some buffers? How do you go about this? Cary: That would be
actually where they would want to talk to a professional such as your company. Even if they called my company I would be forwarding that information onto the person who is or company that is nearest them that is licensed and knows how to use
the products and and knows how to design the products. Like the aeration system, because each one each person or each company has to go
through extensive training to learn how to properly use and apply these products. So they would go to someone like you. Richard: sure sure and that’s one of the things
that we’ve kinda found ourselves being steward’s water. Just educating our HOA’s or members to be able to get the right priorities in line. Often they’ll come to us you know wanting a fountain for their
pond, wanting their fountain fixed in a pond. Where would you see that being in the list of priorities. I didn’t hear you say anything about a fountain. Is a fountain a great investment when your spending 5 to 8 to 10 thousand dollars for something
that squirts water up in the air. Your a biologist, tell what would be your professional opinion?
My professional opinion is, no it is not a great purchase to effect ecology of the pond or lake. My whole scenario there where I was talking about the room you’re only going to aerate maybe 20 percent of the water. It is only the top 20 percent of the lake. It is not going to effect the entire water column. A fountain at 2 horsepower can only move 900 gallons a minute. Richard: So even if it had a draft tube if we give the you know the benefit of the doubt to a
fountain company , their draft it goes all the way to the bottom of the pond. Your telling
me 900 gallons a minute compared to wha? Cary: 4500 gallons a minute with a 1/3 horsepower compressor. So the electrical cost is is incredible, you know savings that you would have on
a bottom aeration system verses a fountain. Richard: So bottum aeration really is a unique phenomenon that has happened to the pond and lake industry that
has revolutionized or changed it not only for power consumption, but
efficiency unlocking the whole ecosystem of the pond and what I call setting the pond on fire. When did that start? Cary: Well actually 1940’s when it really
started when they started looking at aeration and wastewater industry. They would just pump air through a PVC pipe and let it bubble out. Then in the late 70’s a company in Florida decided to look at well if we go to smaller bubbles we would have a greater surface area and more water movement and more efficiency. It just took off after that, there are different types back in the 70’s and 80’s we used to use stone type diffusers, even now they are still a good option. There are membrane
diffusers, disc diffusers there all kinds. That’s
where it really comes into play that you want to find the right company that can help you design the right system for each lake. Richard: Well I wish we could go on and on about all these different things. perhaps
we can get together another time to talk a little bit more about the backyard pond and the retention pond and exactly what it
takes to manage these things properly. Whether it’s good pond or lake management practice
certainly appreciate you giving up us your time today. Cary Martin here with
Crop Productions, aquatics specialist, also a pharmacist for these ponds. His number is 704-305-7752. Again that is 704 305 7752. The man
travels the world body is located up in Charlotte North Carolina. I’m sure he would love to hear from
you if you want to buy aquatic herbicides or want to know of someone nearby maybe not in our neighborhood. Platinum Ponds & Lake Management we are here in the Charlotte, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Asheville markets but in order to take care of our members, we have not extended ourselves all around the country. Well we certainly would love to hear
from you as well ,you can find us online, certainly look at our blog and look at the resources that we have
their. As always Cary it’s great to talk to you again hope your
family is doing well and wish you well this season. I know you are in the peak of the season and it is coming fast. Hopefully we hit your sale goals for this year and cudos to you for finding this job here at Crop Productions and we wish you all the best. Cary: Thank you, thank you Richard.

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