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#286222 - 03/31/12 11:54 AM Small trout raceway... can it be done?
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Ok here are the good things..

My spring flows at about 20 gal a min year round much faster most times of the year. I will figure on 10 Gal tho.The water is clear and cold. 52F all year.
I have about 3 feet of fall. So I should be able to setup a waterfall for aeration.

The bad...
The water is 52. Really too cold for most trout to prosper.
The water grows filamentous algae.
Funds are limited and most work will be done by me in manual fashion.

My plan.
I will install a pipe in the spring. Using one foot of the fall. I will drop this about 1' into the raceway tank. The tank will be 15' long x 4' wide x 3' deep. I will use stone (I have this by the ton)for the structure with a liner to make it water tight. I plan on putting a screen over the top to prevent the algae and keep out birds. I also plan on fencing it to keep out the furry woodland creatures that would like a fish dinner.

Questions..
How many pounds of fish should I expect to produce?
Should I go with brook trout? the water is COLD!
Any thing else you can suggest about my plan?


I will be posting photos of the spring in a bit. So you can see what it is now.


Edited by Stanb999 (03/31/12 11:55 AM)

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#286232 - 03/31/12 01:20 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Ok here are a few pictures..
Source of spring.



I installed this pipe just to be able to check the flow rate. It doesn't capture all the water but gets enough to check the flow.





Area where the raceway will be.





Should I leave this area in or get a greater drop into the raceway? It loses a bit of potential elevation about 2 feet, but the water travels over rocks and I'm sure it's getting aerated... It has that babbling brook sound. The issue is the vegetation near the spring has a tendency to grow over it and choke out the flow spreading it out and making it difficult to capture the flow. So keeping it clear will be an on going task.



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#286235 - 03/31/12 02:39 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
adirondack pond Offline
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Stanb999, looks like a great project, hopefully you won't get alot of silt during heavy rain.
Screening and fencing will help to keep the critters out and maybe some plywood over half to give some shade, also keep a thermometer in it to monitor summer temps.

As far as trout, brooks and rainbows would be a good start cause you really can't be sure of the summer temps. yet.
Untill you see how they fare I would keep the number low, maybe 15 or 20 total in the 10" range.

Are you going to use a feeder or do it by hand?, you could also throw in some minnows if you have access to them.

Good Luck and keep us updated.
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#286240 - 03/31/12 05:10 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: adirondack pond]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
I hope to use a feeder. Their are battery powered ones right?

The spring doesn't really flow a great deal more or less with rains. It's not static.... Just a bit faster if it's a rainy month or a bit slower if it's a dry month. Where I would get the water is within 15' of it's start so silt shouldn't be an issue.

I tested the temp of my pond just down hill from the spring at mid summer the water got to a balmy 62 right at the surface 6" down it was 55. The pond is full sun, max depth of around 2' with most of it being 18" 80x60..(It's silted in real bad. and full of organics.) If I had a small fortune I could fix it.. The temps are a concern. But I believe in regards to the reverse. I know the summer temps are cold... Ever wade in a creek to your ankles and have it cool your whole body, the spring is 2100 ft in elevation.. Last night we had snow and today we have a little bit of an ice storm.

My concern is the 50 degree water may be too cold for good growth of rainbows. That's why I'm leaning towards the brookies. It may be too cold for them on average to grow good as well. I can't seem to find much info on that. It's all based on it being to warm.


P.S. before you say it. The pond won't work. The pond was designed for irrigation/livestock watering. It has the spring and field run off. The water level can rise and fall a foot+ in a few days. The numbers I gave you above is it's static level after no big rain for a few weeks. I get a good rain.. like 1-2 inches in a day. It becomes a torrent. The water leaving the spillway will be 6" deep and 8' wide and rushing.. After few days it falls back to it's regular level. I just don't see it as manageable.

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#286241 - 03/31/12 05:12 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
I was thinking of using those agriculture row covers for shade.. They make them for field planting shade loving plants like Ginseng. They block a % of the sun light.

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#286242 - 03/31/12 05:20 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
CJBS2003 Offline
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I don't think you'll have an issue with the water being too cold... Keep it simple the first year and see how things progress the first year. Try 10 brookies and 10 rainbows. See how each does... They do make battery powered fish feeders. What part of PA are you in? We have land in Bedford County.
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#286243 - 03/31/12 05:35 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: CJBS2003]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Northern Wayne County, 6 miles from the NY border.

We are the farthest north and eastern county..



Edited by Stanb999 (03/31/12 05:38 PM)

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#286244 - 03/31/12 05:52 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stanb999


Questions..

How many pounds of fish should I expect to produce?
Should I go with brook trout? the water is COLD!
Any thing else you can suggest about my plan?




Typically raceways produce about 50 lbs. of trout per gpm but they use much higher flows than 20 gpm. I see a lot more flow there than you are extracting. If it was me I'd try a little harder to get more flow -- especially to counteract the times when your flow will decrease.

Water temp is typical at your latitude. Contrary to popular believe, temps don't vary from spring to spring or well to well, but are more associated with latitude.

Your water will warm a little with use; I wouldn't worry about it being too cold for any species of trout.

If it was me I'd go with an economical way to build raceways. Probably raised wooden one(s) with cement blocks to elevate them and an EPDM liner(s),which can be purchased from a building supply store in six foot widths that are used for under layment for roofing. Contrary to what some of the aquaculture catalogs will tell you, they are safe for fish and should say so on the liner itself. I bought some a while back at Menards and it said in distinct white letters, "Safe for Aquatic use" or something to that effect.

Another option are circular tanks that make better use of the water resource and can be made to be self cleaning with a standpipe inside another one. You can build them yourself if you're handy or pick up some stock tanks.

The concerns I would have are low flow and high flow events. Low flow could leave you with dead fish and a flood event could wash away your hard work. And as mentioned silt could be an issue. I would engineer some kind of filter if need be and a bypass in case of a flood event.

If you P.M. me your name and mailing address I can send you a discount coupon you can mail in for a book that covers what you are contemplating. It's called Small Scale Aquaculture by Steven VanGorder (the author lives in PA) and with the coupon you can get the book for $16.00. I don't make any money off it this, just want to make an outstanding book available that was written by a friend. He has a chapter devoted to flow through systems.

I produce trout in a 100,000 gallon earthen pond flowing 45 gph of well water into it 8 months of the year. It produced much lower production rates than a raceway at only 500 lbs. upon final harvest.






Edited by Cecil Baird1 (03/31/12 06:08 PM)
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#286247 - 03/31/12 06:10 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: Stanb999
I was thinking of using those agriculture row covers for shade.. They make them for field planting shade loving plants like Ginseng. They block a % of the sun light.


Shade cloth is good but you might consider plastic mesh in a PVC frame underneath it to keep out mink, otters, and Great Blue Herons. You could easily fasten the PVC frame on top of the raceway so you can take it on and off.
_________________________
If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.







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#286248 - 03/31/12 06:18 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Thanks...

You just made this actually cheap and easy!

I was thinking wood but had second thoughts. LOL
What do you think if I used rough sawn 2" planks for the floor. with a heavy foundation of 4x4's on the blocks. For the sides I could use 1" planks with supports every 2 feet. Cover it with the membrane.. Do you think it will work?

I was thinking of putting it off to the side of the main spring flow so I wouldn't have to worry about a "flood" event. I would put the pipe into the spring it's self so if the pipe is full it's all she gets. I was thinking a 3" pipe. The one in the picture is 6" drain tile. I don't want that kind of flow into it.

I figured the "flow" at half of what it is. The slowest flows are in winter when the ground is frozen. Summer is pretty steady at the 20GPM.. I was thinking 10 GPM for the safe side. With a tank the size I describe would 100 trout be out of the question? I know it has to do with the flow.. But they need some room right?

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#286250 - 03/31/12 06:22 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Great Blue heron's....

I went and put some perch in my pond during the warm spell last week. I just went up the state pond and caught them with barb less circles... Any way. I put in thirty. The next morning I go down and here in the pond, A heron. The JERK!

P.S. You would love these perch... Averaged 10" had a few of the girls more than 13". So long they didn't look right in a five gallon pail.


Edited by Stanb999 (03/31/12 06:26 PM)

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#286253 - 03/31/12 07:50 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: Stanb999
Thanks...

You just made this actually cheap and easy!

I was thinking wood but had second thoughts. LOL
What do you think if I used rough sawn 2" planks for the floor. with a heavy foundation of 4x4's on the blocks. For the sides I could use 1" planks with supports every 2 feet. Cover it with the membrane.. Do you think it will work?


Sounds like a plan. You may not have to engineer it as sturdy as you think.

Originally Posted By: Stanb999
I was thinking of putting it off to the side of the main spring flow so I wouldn't have to worry about a "flood" event.


Good idea.

Originally Posted By: Stanb999
I would put the pipe into the spring it's self so if the pipe is full it's all she gets. I was thinking a 3" pipe. The one in the picture is 6" drain tile. I don't want that kind of flow into it.


I would go much larger than 3 inch, probably the 6 inch. You could always put in a homemade designed gate value to divert any excess flow. My 4 inch pipe with 45 gpm is full. Gravity flow water takes up more space than pressure flow. I would always go bigger than needed to play it safe.

Originally Posted By: Stanb999
I figured the "flow" at half of what it is. The slowest flows are in winter when the ground is frozen. Summer is pretty steady at the 20GPM.. I was thinking 10 GPM for the safe side. With a tank the size I describe would 100 trout be out of the question? I know it has to do with the flow.. But they need some room right?


Sure looks like a lot more than 20 or 40 gpm. Are you sure?I would try and capture as much flow as possible. More flow is always better than not enough.
_________________________
If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.







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#286256 - 03/31/12 08:38 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1


Sounds like a plan. You may not have to engineer it as sturdy as you think.


Yeah, I was talking it over with my father inlaw. He seems to think 1/2 plywood would work. I just worry about plywood and the water. 1 inch plank will be plenty. It's really just the base that needs sturdy I guess.



Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1

I would go much larger than 3 inch, probably the 6 inch. You could always put in a homemade designed gate value to divert any excess flow. My 4 inch pipe with 45 gpm is full. Gravity flow water takes up more space than pressure flow. I would always go bigger than needed to play it safe.


I have more of the 6" so I will use that as suggested.

Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1

Sure looks like a lot more than 20 or 40 gpm. Are you sure?I would try and capture as much flow as possible. More flow is always better than not enough.


The only way I have to check is a five gallon pail. It fills it in 12 seconds... So 5 x 4 = 20.

I was also thinking of putting in a small pump to move water from the pond back up to the tank for a bit of extra flow if needed. Something like a bilge pump.. 1500 an hour would be a nice addition. The reason I can't do a big pump is it's 800ft from the house..

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#286262 - 03/31/12 09:14 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: Stanb999


Yeah, I was talking it over with my father in-law. He seems to think 1/2 plywood would work. I just worry about plywood and the water. 1 inch plank will be plenty. It's really just the base that needs sturdy I guess.


Your sides are important too. You don't want a blow out.

Originally Posted By: Stanb999
The only way I have to check is a five gallon pail. It fills it in 12 seconds... So 5 x 4 = 20.


No, it's 25 gpm. 5 gal. to 12 seconds = x to 60 seconds. x = 25 gpm.

I wasn't talking about what's in your pipe though. I was referring to the entire flow I'm looking in your picture. Look's like at least 100 gpm to me.

Originally Posted By: Stanb999
I was also thinking of putting in a small pump to move water from the pond back up to the tank for a bit of extra flow if needed. Something like a bilge pump.. 1500 an hour would be a nice addition. The reason I can't do a big pump is it's 800ft from the house..


I suppose you could do that if you had an emergency but I'd stick to gravity if you can and exploit as much via gravity as you can. The book I referred to that's in it's second edition, that's coming out soon, shows you how. It could save you some money and time at $16.00. I'd be happy to send you the coupon. You can just throw it away if you change your mind. It goes to the author, not me.


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (03/31/12 09:18 PM)
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If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.







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#286264 - 03/31/12 09:22 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Cecil, so glad you found this post... You are the man to answer this type of stuff!
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#286266 - 03/31/12 09:30 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: CJBS2003]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA
Cecil, the thing with the pump is it will give piece of mind.

And the father in laws house is closer. So the price of power is very reasonable. grin

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#286270 - 03/31/12 09:40 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
Stanb999 Offline


Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: PA

I will be ordering planks and beams on Monday. Should have this going in a few weeks. Depends on the schedule at the mill.

To review for structure.

For floor
blocks for a base. 4 on each side. 8 total.
on that 2x6 stringers.
On that 4x4 "joists" every foot.
On that 1" plank

For sides.
2x4 every foot vertical.
2x4 wailer at base and 2' up.
Use all tread to tie sides together at top and under base.
Planks for wall.





Edited by Stanb999 (03/31/12 09:40 PM)

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#286278 - 03/31/12 11:05 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Stanb999]
esshup Offline
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Don't forget the HDPE liner material (same as the rubberized roofing material that is made for flat roofs). Oops, make that EDPM. Thanks JKB!

Brace it well, even running a few ties over the top of the raceway to hold the "walls" together. Each cubic foot of water weighs 62#.


Edited by esshup (04/01/12 07:17 PM)
Edit Reason: Oops
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#286284 - 04/01/12 06:33 AM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: CJBS2003]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Cecil, so glad you found this post... You are the man to answer this type of stuff!


You're being modest. You know a lot about the subject too.
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If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.







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#286309 - 04/01/12 11:31 AM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: Cecil Baird1]
CJBS2003 Offline
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I'll put you and AP in leagues way above me when it comes to trout knowledge. I am just glad the poster had you two chime in.
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Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#286313 - 04/01/12 11:57 AM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: esshup
Don't forget the HDPE liner material (same as the rubberized roofing material that is made for flat roofs).

Brace it well, even running a few ties over the top of the raceway to hold the "walls" together. Each cubic foot of water weighs 62#.


HDPE is High Density Polyethylene.

I think esshup means EPDM.

Kinda easy to get all these acronyms mixed up. smile


Edited by JKB (04/01/12 01:13 PM)

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#286314 - 04/01/12 12:07 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: JKB]
JKB Offline
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Sounds like a plan Stan!

If it were my shot at this, I would shoot for Coho grin


Edited by JKB (04/01/12 12:09 PM)

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#286316 - 04/01/12 12:43 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: CJBS2003]
adirondack pond Offline
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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
I'll put you and AP in leagues way above me when it comes to trout knowledge. I am just glad the poster had you two chime in.

CJ don't put me in your or Cecil's league, I'm more of a trial and error learner grin, it's great to see people experiment with fish raising methods that are out of the norm.

Originally Posted By: JKB

If it were my shot at this, I would shoot for Coho grin
, or Cecil's favorite TIGER'S.
Kokanee would be interesting too. wink


Edited by adirondack pond (04/01/12 12:53 PM)
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#286318 - 04/01/12 12:57 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: adirondack pond]
JKB Offline
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It is not out of the norm. Raceway systems are quite antique. It is out of the norm for pond people, to an extent.

Sure is fun tho! smile

Go get em Stan!

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#286321 - 04/01/12 01:01 PM Re: Small trout raceway... can it be done? [Re: adirondack pond]
JKB Offline
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AP> Along with Arctic Charr!

Illegal in MI tho frown

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