Monday, February 7, 2011

Refilling Weevil / Giant Salvinia Tanks

We are currently in the process (half-way complete) of replacing the well water in our weevil tanks with actual Caddo Lake water. This water replacement is being done with the help of the Karnack VFD and their pump truck; the guys at the Karnack VFD have been extremely helpful in this project and are much appreciated. Lake water is being pumped from the "Starr Ranch" area of the lake on the shore of Goose Prairie.

The reason that we are converting over from well water to lake water is that the well water chemistry was too far from what giant salvinia prefers. The pH and alkalinity of the well water were such that we could not feasibly change the quality of  the water with the typical peat moss and muriatic acid amendments. As you all know, the water in Caddo Lake seems to be more than hospitable for giant salvinia growth, so this is the route we are going to take from here on out.

In addition to a conducive pH and alkalinity, Caddo Lake water also contains higher levels of essential nutrients and minerals as compared to the relatively sterile well water. Nitrogen and iron are critical giant salvinia growth, especially in the weevil tanks, and the lake water will give the salvinia the boost it needs to grow well in the tanks. When the spring growing season arrives, rapidly growing giant salvinia in the tanks will uptake much of the nutrients thus requiring the addition of supplemental fertilizers.

The well water does have the potential to be used in smaller, movable tubs that will be used for a "salvinia nursery" in order to re-stock the weevil tanks once the weevil-infested material is placed out on the lake. Smaller volumes of water are much easier to amend than our 6,000 weevil tanks are.

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