Green Algae Control Lake Management

Sonar - Fluridone Treatments

     Sonar is a very versatile chemical that can be used to control nearly all types of rooted vegetation or can be manipulated to control only one or two types of vegetation (depending on vegetation tolerance). Fluridone is the active ingredient in Sonar and works by inhibiting plants from producing Carotene. With out this substance ultra violet rays from the sun rapidly degrade the plants chlorophyll and ultimately lead to the death of susceptible plants. Sonar is a very valuable lake management tool because of it’s longevity of results and its potential selectiveness. Properly applied a single Sonar application can provide results for up to one full growing season. The first step in doing a Sonar treatment is proper identification of target plant species. This is critical as all plants have different tolerance levels and therefore require different treatment rates. For example, if you were treating Water Milfoil you could use a treatment rate as low as 10 PPB (Parts Per Billion) where as Salvinia requires 90 PPB. After properly identifying your vegetation and determining your required treatment rate you have to consider what Sonar formulation is best for your specific situation. When determining this you should look at water flow, potential runoff, time of application, stage of plant growth, and all other factors that could affect your investment. The different types of formulations have distinctive characteristics that may make one or a combination of these perfect for your lake or pond. The types of Sonar currently available are as follows: Sonar AS – Aqueous Suspension Sonar Q – Quick Release Sonar SRP – Slow Release Pellets Sonar PR – Precision Release
Sonar formulation chart
Pictured left is an illustration of a few of the different types of Sonar, the Blue line represents Sonar AS, as the Red line represents Sonar Q. Both of these are good products and can be affective at controlling vegetation, but as you can see by the Black line the proper combination of these products will help maintain the concentration for longer periods ensuring full results.
    The end result of a Sonar treatment is usually evident by 45-90 days but results can last for up to ten months. The first signs that the chemicals are taking effect can be seen in seven to ten days from application. The first signs are often white (chlorotic) or pink to purple coloration in new growth, this happens because the new growth has developed with out chlorophyll. The existing vegetation, that already contains chlorophyll, is now incapable of replenishing this substance and gradually will follow suit, appear to be bleached and eventually die. This process takes time and patience but this slower action will work in your favor. Should the entirety of your vegetation had died overnight there could be major fish losses due to low dissolved oxygen levels. One advantage of a slow kill is that the scenario above will be avoided in most cases; this also allows time for the chemical to completely penetrate the entire plant and provide a more complete die off
Pictured Right: Bushy Pondweed 20 days after Sonar application. The first signs of Sonar are pink to white coloration at the tips or growing points.
Bushy Pondweed after Sonar
    As the target plants begin to die and decay the nutrients that were previously locked inside of them are now available for consumption by nontarget species. Algaes are in no way susceptible to Sonar and are the most common type of growth that occurs during the decomposition process. Filamentous Algae can form thick mats on top of decaying plants and make the situation appear worse than it really is. If you see this happening do not be alarmed as it is a natural part of the process and will be short lived. As the rooted vegetation continues to dye and sinks lower into the water the algae will most likely not be able to support itself in water over 2-3’ deep and will then be confined to the shallow areas of the lake. 
    There are some restrictions that go along with a Sonar Treatment. There is a 30-45 day irrigation restriction. We reccommend not watering your plants or grass with lake water. Still if you must do so a charcoal-based filter will remove Fluridone residues from the water. There are no restrictions on swimming, fishing or fish consumption for Sonar treated waters. Consult the label and MSDS sheet for a complete list of restrictions and general safety issues. 
    When all variables have been evaluated and Sonar is applied properly the results are simply amazing. This is one of the most cost and time effective treatments that can be performed and provides results that just can not be duplicated with any other type of treatment. Should you be considering treating your pond with Sonar consult with a specialist to ensure timely and proper application. If your pond has already been treated with Sonar this season, sit back, relax and enjoy your lake.
Wonder how much it would cost to treat your lake or pond with Sonar? User our FREE Sonar Calculator