Step 2. Get an empty 5 gallon bucket and put a cloth (we find an old t-shirt works quite well) over the top to use as a filter.
Step 3. Pour the cloudy, mucky water from the full bucket onto the cloth covering the empty bucket.
If the water goes through the filter and the cloudiness is filtered out, you most likely have dead organic vegetation.
Dead vegetation can be broken down by raking and turning up the sediment and “muck” at the bottom on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. You can also use a beneficial pond bacteria product to speed up the biodegradation of the dead weeds, algae and leaves that have built up over the years. (Note: beneficial bacterial and aquatic weed killers may counteract each other.)
If the water filters through the cloth and remains cloudy, leave the water as is for 24 hours. If the water has not cleared and the clay has not settled at that point, you have colloidal suspension. Colloidal clay suspensions are made of tiny clay particles, often smaller than bacteria. Due to their low density, they often take a long time to settle to the bottom and can be stirred back up without much agitation. But, the real problem is that these tiny particles have identical ionic charges and repel each other so they continue to bounce off each other and will not settle out of the water column.
There is an easy way to solve this problem as well called Alum. Aluminum Sulfate, or Alum, provides an attachment surface for these tiny clay particles causing them to settle to the bottom. Visible results occur in 1 to 2 days.
Please feel free to email me or post questions you may have and I will respond accordingly.