Pond Liming and Fertilization


Liming is essential maintenance for ponds with aquatic life because it maintains the alkalinity and pH at levels that are optimal for fish health and a thriving food chain. Ponds with low alkalinity are subject to wider swings in pH throughout the day, which is stressful to fish. Ponds with alkalinity below 20 parts per million typically do not respond to fertilization, which in turn severely limits the food chain of the pond and therefore the pond’s overall carrying capacity.

Agricultural lime should be applied at a rate of two to six tons per acre depending on how low the alkalinity is at the time of application. The best way to apply lime to ponds already containing water is by use of what is known as a lime barge, which employs a high-pressure sprayer to disperse the lime evenly throughout the pond. Trophy Pond can lime your pond for you so you have one less thing to worry about!


Monthly fertilization is a key component of successful management of fish ponds in the South. Fertilization is simply feeding the phytoplankton, the microscopic plants found in any pond, so that they greatly increase, creating what is known as a plankton bloom. This bloom provides two major benefits: it prevents sunlight from reaching the pond bottom, thereby short-circuiting the photosynthesis of most aquatic vegetation which begins its life on the bottom; and it turbo-charges the food chain, allowing the pond to support two to four times more fish than it could unfertilized.

Phytoplankton are the foundation of the food chain in a pond; so when their numbers greatly increase, so do the numbers of zooplankton that feed on them, as do the numbers of invertebrates that make their home in the pond, as do the small fish that eat the invertebrates…Simply put, in a properly-managed pond, fertilization will allow more quality-sized fish to be produced.

Southern ponds should be fertilized twice a month in early spring, beginning in February or March depending on weather, and once monthly thereafter through September. Trophy Pond offers monthly fertilization as a service for ponds and lakes in middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, and southwestern Kentucky.