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#480089 - 09/18/17 03:05 PM New member - pond almost dead
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Greetings,
I need to restore my 1 1/2 acre pond after having it go dry 5 years ago and neglecting it since.
When I first decided to take action on the pond condition 3 months ago, there were no fish, no plants and very murky water. It has hundreds of bull frogs, lots of snakes and turtles and scads of crawfish.
Till this pond went dry, I kept it stocked with largemouth bass, bream and channel cats. My intention now is to grow very small fish - golden shriners for bait, and gambusia for mosquito control. I released a few hundred small fish into the pond in late June and they just disappeared. I finally realized I had almost no oxygen in the water and started emergency aeration with a trash pump/venturi setup and a week later, the fish showed up and started coming to food.
The pond is 7' at its deepest and my most pressing need is to get a permanent aeration system going. I need advice on what type is most effective. I'll have to have the pump in my barn and run 600' of tubing to the pond in order to get air down there. After I get the aeration going, I'd like to try to grow some aquatic plants to get the thing in balance again.

Thanks for whatever help you can give me and I'll also search the PB archives for relevant posts.

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#480096 - 09/18/17 05:40 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
4CornersPuddle Offline


Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 187
Loc: southwest Colorado
Welcome! You are in an enviable spot in pond management, i.e. practically starting over but with something more than just muddy water.
Check the posts re:sediment pond starting with #480067 today. GSH (golden shiner) questions.
I got a chuckle out of the typo "golden shriners" as I grew up back east and am familiar with the Mummers Day Parade and Shriners parades.
Roger

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#480108 - 09/18/17 08:37 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1602
Loc: West Michigan
If your goal is to have a forage ONLY pond, you might want to sample vigorously to be sure you ONLY have frogs, snakes, turtles and crayfish. It seems that almost any puddle somehow ends up with LMB or BG (or green sunfish) in the northern states and I hear in the southern states, tilapia tend to show up uninvited.

I don't know how 'dry' it went or what type of fish you stocked (the few hundred small fish?) You might drag a seine net through to get a better idea?

But if you don't mind having a mixed species pond from the start then I agree, just load up on your forage, add different types of shiners, minnows, tilapia if you want them as forage and then let the pond fill and let the forage base grow.

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#480134 - 09/19/17 10:18 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: 4CornersPuddle]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Thanks, Roger.
I'll check out the posts and avoid stocking with Shriners - can't afford their preferred feed

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#480135 - 09/19/17 10:41 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: canyoncreek]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
thanks for the input, canyoncreek.
The pond went completely dry and didn't fill back up for 2 years. I seined my initial stock this year from nearby BOWs and know that some unID'd sunfish under an inch and 3 CCs of 3 inches and a bunch of tiny freshwater shrimp got in there with the gambusia and shiners. The gambusia population has exploded and they are feeding like crazy in a 10' ring. I would recognize the CCs feeding if they were. The sunfish might be feeding but I haven't actually seen them doing so.
As late this year as the beginning of August, I thought I had some kind of fish in the tank because there was a lot of top water activity through the day. I finally figured out that first year bullfrog tadpoles were surfacing to gulp air and that was a heads up that the DO level is way too low (I'd attach a photo but I don't see the option on this reply page). The tadpoles stopped hitting the surface after emergency aeration and a heavy rain.
I'm ready to spend around $1,000 on a aeration system but need some help getting the most effective type. I'll check the sediment pond posts, but if you've got a suggestion I'd appreciate it.

Thanks again.

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#480140 - 09/19/17 12:03 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1602
Loc: West Michigan
I missed something, why did you say you were giving up on shiners? They are in the pond already, probably will always be there since they have a headstart?

Also if this is a forage only pond will you be removing the CC?

What will be your population control measure for the sunfish?

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#480150 - 09/19/17 04:06 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3577
Loc: Emory TX
fowells, what would you say is the average depth of the pond, and how much does the water level fluctuate annually? I'm not an aeration guy, but I'm wondering if a bottom diffuser aeration system will give you enough lift in 3-4'of water. Just from my research, a big and shallow pond may respond well to surface aeration. That's in essence what you were doing with the trash pump.

Oh, welcome to the forum.
_________________________
AL

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#480163 - 09/19/17 08:30 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: canyoncreek]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
canyoncreek,
The Shriners comment was in reference to Roger pointing out a typo in my initial post.
I let the 3-3" CCs go into the pond just because they were cute. I doubt they'll reproduce with all the crawfish and frog presence in the pond and they are not coming to the feed (very unusual behavior for CCs if they're still alive).
Maybe a dozen sunfish got into the pond in the initial releases. I'll hope they're small mouthed species until I become aware that they're interfering with the forage fish program. If they grow at all, I'll recognize them feeding and try to trap them out. Is there a better way to control them?
Thanks.

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#480164 - 09/19/17 08:47 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: FireIsHot]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Al,
The deepest part is 7', average is 3'. In an average year, the surface level of the pond will come down from spillway elevation 3 to 4 feet. Of course it's been a long time since we've had an average year.
The pond seemed to respond well to the trash pump aeration, but I was thinking diffuser aeration because running power to the pond will take up most of the $ I can devote to aeration but I'll do surface aeration if it is the most effective method.
Also, can you give me a tip for attaching a photo to a post? I'm not seeing the opportunity on this post page.

Thanks for your help,
fowells

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#480167 - 09/19/17 10:51 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
Bobbss Online   content


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 147
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Use the Switch to Full Reply Screen option instead of the Submit,and it should let you add a picture.

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#480174 - 09/20/17 07:22 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: Bobbss]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Bobbss,
I don't see a Switch to Full Reply Screen option but I used File Manager and attached a photo. Hope this works.


Attachments
IMG_3888.jpg (167 downloads)


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#480199 - 09/20/17 08:56 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13130
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
It works. Where are you in North Texas?
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#480211 - 09/21/17 11:04 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: Dave Davidson1]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Near Decatur.

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#480212 - 09/21/17 11:12 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
RussinTX Offline


Registered: 06/26/17
Posts: 31
Loc: Cedar Creek, TX
I was on leave in the Navy and wanted to visit a shipmate that lived in Decatur, Alabama. I had an envelope with his address on it and was on my way there.

As a young kid, I was driving, not really paying attention to much but all of a sudden I see an exit for Decatur. I take it and think to myself... "wow.. that was a lot faster than I thought"...so I pull over to ask directions... (pre-cell...)

I show the guy behind the gas station counter the envelope and he is like, "what is this "AL" stand for?"

I am thinking, "man, what a dummy.." That is Alabama...

"You're in Georgia..."

Yea, my Decatur story...

Young, not a care in the world, on liberty.. and not a clue.. heh

Yes, I made it to Alabama eventually :P

Russ

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#480392 - 09/26/17 06:27 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: RussinTX]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Good one, RussinTX.
I've been spending my weekends in Galveston County doing flood damage repairs so I haven't been able to search the PB posts for aeration tips.
I need to find out what to feed my little fish. I've been feeding them goldfish pellets and multi species fish pellets from Tractor Supply but the the pellets are so big that they take an hour to wrestle them down and are still ravenous. I don't want to overfeed and exacerbate my low DO problem. Any suggestions?
Thx

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#480513 - 09/28/17 01:45 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1835
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
I have been feeding the cheap stuff, game fish chow. The fish like it well enough, though it is not optimal on protein. If you need it smaller, perhaps a cheap coffee grinder set on maximum size will knock it down a little for them.
_________________________
Bear with me, just learning...

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#480552 - 09/29/17 12:00 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: liquidsquid]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Thanks for the tips, Liquidsquid. I just ordered a coffee grinder. I'll feed 2/3 game fish chow and 1/3 goldfish pellets (for the high plant content).
Next question is what do I do to winterize? Change feeds? Stop feeding altogether? My water temp has dropped 20 degrees in the past 2 weeks.

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#480556 - 09/29/17 02:19 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18987
Loc: Miss.
For most pond fish (LMB, BG, CC, RES, FH etc.) feeding slows at 60 F water temps and is minimal in low 50s. Most stop feeding pellets in the south at 55 +-.
_________________________















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#480563 - 09/29/17 08:32 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: ewest]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Thanks, ewest.
My water temp is 65 degrees now and the little fish are still feeding well. I'd like to keep feeding to encourage reproduction and because I've rigged a net under the feed ring that I'll raise in order to do a census of the number and types of fish coming to the feed. Guess I'll shut her down when the temp gets to 55 as you suggest.

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#480580 - 10/01/17 09:40 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18987
Loc: Miss.
Let the fish tell you - is a good general guideline for feeding. When they slow down feeding then stop feeding as much. If you put out food and they don't eat much/any then stop. 55 is a guideline only.
_________________________















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#480777 - 10/06/17 09:31 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: ewest]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Will do, ewest.
Apparently my forage fish are too well pellet trained now. I got the coffee grinder as liquidsquid suggested and am feeding 1/3 ground feed and 2/3 pellets. The fish ignore the ground feed that sinks to the bottom and still wrestle the pellets till they are gone. The bullfrog tadpoles and crawfish and turtles come in and graze on the ground feed. If I put some of the ground feed near brush cover near the bank, forage fish fry will eat it. I take my BB gun with me when I feed and discourage the big red-eared sliders with it. I can't bear to shoot the baby turtles, they're too cute.

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#480811 - 10/07/17 08:13 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Anyone else have a problem with Pied Billed Grebes? I got them and need for them to leave. Wood hate to shoot them. Also have a Kingfisher but I don't think he lives at my pond the way the grebes do.

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#480839 - 10/09/17 06:44 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13130
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I'm just North of you and never seen a Grebe. Like you, I don't like to shoot birds or anything else without a good reason. However, if I was raising chickens and a hawk was getting them, I'd shoot the hawk. But, I would dang sure keep my mouth shut about it.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#480860 - 10/09/17 12:08 PM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: Dave Davidson1]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
I thought it was a cute little duck and got hopeful that I may have some submerged plants growing in the pond. I went and ID'd it on Google and found that all they eat is crustaceans, fish and amphibians. I haven't seen them for a few days - I think they didn't like the sound of me discouraging turtles with the BB gun.
I'm thinking about buying a diffuser aeration system from Northern Tool. I can keep the pump in the barn and run 300' of pex for airline to the pond. I can do this for way less than half of what I would spend to run power to the pond and buy a surface aeration system. May not be optimal, but I need to get some aeration going ASAP.

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#480994 - 10/12/17 11:22 AM Re: New member - pond almost dead [Re: fowells]
fowells Offline


Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 25
Loc: North Texas
Finally dropped off my 2 jugs of pond water at Overton for testing. Maybe I'll find out why there are no plants growing. I used to spend a lot of time and effort fighting cattails and I've got old cattails along much of the shoreline but it seems like they are afraid to get their feet wet in the water. I've been blaming the scads of crawfish for the lack of plants but there may be another reason. Will plants show up volunteer when I start aerating? Anyone seen this happen? In the past I've had pondweed and algae issues but nothing wants to grow since the pond went dry and then refilled.

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