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#488665 - 04/16/18 02:09 PM Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH!
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
What's up with the wide range of stocking opinions from fish suppliers and why does it seem so far off from the experts here?

It's time to stock my 1/4 acre pond and I am calling a few places to see what's currently available and get a feel for their over-the-phone customer service. I have highly considered a PB members (Rainman) suggestion from my previous "what to stock" thread of...

500 HBG
25-50 RES
25-40 HSB
10-20 CC

Without getting real windy here with the details of my pond's characteristics and such, I will say that I have done all my research here at PB for my stocking plans until today. I called 3 different suppliers and they wanted to suggest the typical BG, LMB, and CC. They seem to think that my hybrid plan was out of line, but "it's your pond and so on...". And, their stocking numbers were far less than what I had in mind so they weren't trying to over sell me. It was almost hard to keep them on the phone to get the rest of my questions answered once they deemed me Coo-Coo.

It was almost like they were offended that I had a plan and did not want to take their advice.

What gives?



Edited by Quarter Acre (04/17/18 08:44 AM)
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488667 - 04/16/18 03:23 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 137
Loc: Missouri
I think you are right to tell the suppliers what YOU want, based on your own research. Although perhaps its worth listening to what they have to say.

Re: They seem to think that my hybrid plan was out of line, but "it's your pond and so on..." Are you referring to they think its too many HBG for the pond? Or are they questioning the use of HSB exclusively (no LMB)?


Edited by Redonthehead (04/16/18 03:24 PM)
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#488672 - 04/16/18 03:58 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
beastman Offline


Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 218
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Get those fish in now, start feeding and watch them grow, you will enjoy from your new dock . Also, by supplying feed they will not do as much damage on the FHM.

I like your selection, not sure on that many HBG but do you plan to harvest some each year?

CC would be only over-population issue if they successfully spawn. I would personally skip them, as I'd rather have more space for the HSB.
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3/4 Acre Pond: HSB,SMB,YP,HBG,RES

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#488673 - 04/16/18 04:07 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
I told one guy the plan, as above, and he said "that's not what I would do". Then he said that the LMB would eat the BG YOY and the BG would eat the LMB eggs, that they would balance out just fine.

The other place said that HSB won't work in a small pond. He implied that there would not be enough for the HSB to eat even after I said I would be supplemental feeding.

They both were pushing the standard farm pond package of LMB, BG (or HBG), and CC. I suspect that the HSB comments were due to their lack of knowledge regarding them and they do not breed them at their facility. They merely order them, stock them, and then sell them, probably at a smaller profit.


At this point, I am sticking to my guns. I will buy from one of these places , hopefully on Sat. But, I may cut the numbers of each fish type down by 10-20%. I assume too little is safer than too many.

Heck, I don't know, I feel like I am custom ordering a guitar and I don't even play one.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488676 - 04/16/18 04:17 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: beastman]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: beastman
Get those fish in now, start feeding and watch them grow, you will enjoy from your new dock . Also, by supplying feed they will not do as much damage on the FHM.

I like your selection, not sure on that many HBG but do you plan to harvest some each year?

CC would be only over-population issue if they successfully spawn. I would personally skip them, as I'd rather have more space for the HSB.



I have ordered the Optimal Junior and Starter Feed #4 (Per Clayton at Optimal's advise) as the largest available sizes for the pan fish are 3-4" and the HSB = 4-6". He also said that the reverse effect can be seen with regards to the fish eating food vs minnows. Clayton suggested that the fish may not take to the food as quickly because of the available minnows. We will see.

I do not plan to do a lot of harvesting, but will harvest as much as necessary to properly manage the pond.

I have added and removed the CC from the list many times over the last year and had scratched them off, again, for the same reasons prior to your (Beastman's)reply . I still might add one?
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488686 - 04/16/18 07:18 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Rainman Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6890
Loc: St Louis, MO area
The stocking numbers are fine for your fish. But I do agree the CC should be ignored altogether or reduced to only a few.....One, or even several CC that have a KNOWN sex would be great!

I'll be stocking a Bonner Springs lake soon with several hundred pounds of tilapia and 100 grass carp...
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Rainman

www.TilapiaStockers.com


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#488697 - 04/17/18 10:25 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
N.TexasHalfAcre Offline


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 176
Loc: North Texas
I guess some of us take for granted living within driving distance of a reputable and knowledgeable fish supplier like Overton's. Todd is a busy guy, but he may give you his opinion if you give him a call or shoot him an email.

There was another thread on here about HSB being the only predator in your pond. I am not sure what the conclusion of that was, but it may be worth reading through that, if you haven't already.
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM

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#488698 - 04/17/18 10:41 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Rainman Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6890
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Since HSB will not spawn, the best part of having the HSB as the apex predator now (CC will become tops if present in this mix) is that other predators, forage, or more HSB can be added if needed....unless killing a pond, you can't remove a problem species...
_________________________
Rainman

www.TilapiaStockers.com


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#488699 - 04/17/18 11:00 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
I really feel set on the OP plan minus the CC. I am second guessing the quantities, however. I do not have enough expertise to evaluate my pond's environment so that carrying capacity can be considered.

My novice mind says that fish stocked this year, with some feeding, will be mostly full grown in a few years...

If I ignore any recruitment biomass and assume 0% mortality (thinking this comes close to balancing out), I get 638 pounds of fish. That's using 1 lb for the HBG, 2.5 pound HSB, and 3/4 pound RES. I realize my approach is very basic, but 600+ pounds of fish sounds like an Oxygen Crash.

I hope to add aeration next year which should help. Harvesting might amount to 20 pounds a year which would help also.

What more should I be considering? Part of me wants to cut the quantities way back.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488704 - 04/17/18 01:01 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24021
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I agree with ditching the CC. As for the total pounds of fish in the pond later, that is impossible to calculate. Not all the fish will live, not all fish will grow like you think. Fish eat other fish. I would stock like you had planned, minus the CC.

Monitor the fish growth and get the aeration system in this Fall, not next year. If the fish take off growing, and you don't have the aeration system in. you might have problems. What is the mas depth of the pond?

Feed a good quality food, since a poorer quality food has more of it go thru the fish and end up in the pond to create water quality issues.

I believe you are on the right track with stocking hybrids, as in a small pond non-hybrid fish take a more "hands on" management plan to keep their numbers in check.

Talk to Rainman, he should be able to supply HSB up in the 12" range.
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http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#488706 - 04/17/18 02:01 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
Thanks for the vote of confidence Esshup!

The pond is about 10 foot deep and I would say that it averages 6 to 7 feet. The sides are very steep due to the ravine that it was created from.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488712 - 04/17/18 05:40 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 252
Loc: Iowa
I tell ya what, my Missouri sourced hsb were excellent and are hopefully going to grow very well this year. The only bad advice I got from the fish farm was to put in FHM - I flat out refused to pay for them.

Are you going to add some YP to mix as well?
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#488740 - 04/18/18 08:20 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
No yellow perch at this time. Maybe after aeration and if there seems to be room for them. I think they would be a cool fish to have, but I am a bit overwhelmed just getting off the beaten path with HBG and HSB.

I have been talking to three fish suppliers and should make a decision today. Leading the race is Harrison's Fishery in Hurdland, Mo. due strictly to phone customer service even though they are an extra hour away.

Harrisons wants me to bring 55 gallon barrels (which I have). I was assuming bagged fish. This will make it a bit more cumbersome when it comes time to acclimate the fish to the pond. I think I will have to siphon water from the barrels into 5 gallon buckets, net some fish to the buckets, set buckets in pond to equalize the temperature, add some pond water to equalize the water chemistry, and then dump them into a floating net contraption that I made so that I can sort through them to ensure no hitchhikers. We will see if the 2.5 hour drive and the extra finagling allows for the extra stress of being sorted.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488748 - 04/18/18 09:43 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2204
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I guess I am just spoiled when it come to bringing fish to the pond or having them delivered but I don't care much for a fish stocker that would tell me to bring 55 gals drums for fish transfer. I know through experience I can save 3 or 400 bucks if I go get my fish some 3.5 hr drive away from me, but to transport them back to the pond in 55 gal drums, I would be concerned they would make the trip. I have kept fish in my boat livewell for trailering to weigh in and have seen the fish be in bad shape when I arrived and that was with aeration. Course they fish were larger but there was a lot fewer fish to keep alive for an hr or two. Todd Overton (a reputable fish supplier here in Texas) bags and boxes up the fish and they are very healthy after the 3.5 hr drive. I have done it with sizes up to 10" hsb with no problems. But if you have to use the drums I would look into some type of aeration for travel.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#488753 - 04/18/18 10:42 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
I wish I were spoiled with a good fishery near by. Just got off the phone with my best option and he is very adamant that 2 - 55 gallons drums and 2 - 35 gallon drums will be fine. He can bag and O2 the fish and said that the 500 HBG (3-5") and 50 RES (3-5") would be good candidates for the bags(if I insisted), but he would rather put the HSB (4-6") into the barrels to reduce the stress. I don't see his point and I did not feel compelled to pressure him for a better explanation.

Sometimes my ignorance/inquisitiveness and their expertise/lack of time for questions butt heads and I choose to laydown to avoid a bad relationship for a business transaction.

I think I will take an extra 2 - 55 gallon barrels and have them spread the fish out so that I have less fish per gallon (more O2 for the ride home). He says 3 hours in barrels will be fine. Thank goodness the temp will be favorable.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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#488756 - 04/18/18 10:58 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 76
Loc: Edgefield, SC
I'm not sure if he gave aeration recommendations or not, but I've been impressed with the amount of air these little guys put out. They will run for many hours on 2 AA batteries. There's a larger one that runs on D batteries that I imagine provides even more air volume, but have always preferred rechargeable AA batteries. At $5 each, these are cheap insurance and convenient to move from one container to another without wiring consideration.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Baby-Bubbles/37825661


Edited by ColdSpringsFarm (04/18/18 10:59 AM)
_________________________
-Jason

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#488758 - 04/18/18 11:16 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4612
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
What's up with the wide range of stocking opinions from fish suppliers and why does it seem so far off from the experts here?

It's time to stock my 1/4 acre pond and I am calling a few places to see what's currently available and get a feel for their over-the-phone customer service. I have highly considered a PB members (Rainman) suggestion from my previous "what to stock" thread of...

500 HBG
25-50 RES
25-40 HSB
10-20 CC

Without getting real windy here with the details of my pond's characteristics and such, I will say that I have done all my research here at PB for my stocking plans until today. I called 3 different suppliers and they wanted to suggest the typical BG, LMB, and CC. They seem to think that my hybrid plan was out of line, but "it's your pond and so on...". And, their stocking numbers were far less than what I had in mind so they weren't trying to over sell me. It was almost hard to keep them on the phone to get the rest of my questions answered once they deemed me Coo-Coo.

It was almost like they were offended that I had a plan and did not want to take their advice.

What gives?



As far as what seems like high stocking numbers to you, keep in mind when you are stocking HBG what you stock is what you get. When stocking BG you are expecting recruitment so the initial stocking is just the "jump start" of what eventually will be your fish population. With HBG you are hoping for little to no recruitment so whatever you stock is what you end up with. Minus whatever you loose from normal predators like GBH, Cormorants, etc. A flock of cormorants move in and they can thin your population pronto. Not so bad with BG because they will quickly fill the void but with HBG what you stock is what you get.

So I would not worry about what seems like a high stocking rate. You are going to loose some fish and after you feed for a while if you feel like you have too many HBG, simply start culling by taking out the poorest performers.

Also when you take the 55 gallon drums to get your fish, take some ratchet straps and strap two or three together. One thing you do not want is for a 2/3 full 55 gallon barrel to tip over because some jerk pulls out in front of you and you have to swerve or stop quickly. Strap two or three in a group and they will be much more stable.


Edited by snrub (04/18/18 11:18 AM)
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I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#488761 - 04/18/18 11:41 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 252
Loc: Iowa
I'd use the barrels. The other fish will be fine bagged but the hsb from harrisons need some extra care.

I moved 175 hsb from their truck to my pond (1/8 mile down a steep ravine) with roughly 15-20 fish per 6 gallon bucket - it was no fun. I can tell you that those were by far the hardest fish to move to the pond due to how active they were. Once they get in the bucket they go nuts - I couldn't imagine stocking them from bags. Anything you can do to reduce their stress during transport is going to pay off big time when you put them into the pond. I had about 10 stunned when put in the pond due to my cool water temps at the time - if you have a way to acclimate them go for it. Mine were 10-12" HSB maybe the smaller ones will be easier. I know when they brought the truck to my pond the HSB had a huge area in the tank compared to my YP, RES, LMB and WE. They load the HSB into the truck last, and they were unloaded last to reduce stress.

Harrisons were very helpful, even hauled down half my fish to the pond, always nice on the phone, and stuck around to bs after we finished up. The quality of the fish was excellent



Edited by Matzilla (04/18/18 11:41 AM)
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#488763 - 04/18/18 11:48 AM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Dam'dWaters Offline


Registered: 10/05/17
Posts: 89
Loc: Iowa
Not exactly on topic, but Cold Springs I clicked on your baby bubbler link. Looks like a great product for this application, but I couldn't get over the disclaimer at the bottom.

With all due respect to any Californians on this site...... is there literally any consumer product those westcoasters do not believe will cause cancer?!? smile
_________________________
J Waters
Dam'd Waters Farm
2/3 ac dam'd stream pond
BG, HBG, RES, LMB, YP

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#488771 - 04/18/18 03:39 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Matzilla]
N.TexasHalfAcre Offline


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 176
Loc: North Texas
I made the 3.5 to 4 hour drive down to Overton's to pick up my fish last March. I purchased 20 HSB in the 10-12" range. They split them up into 3 bags/boxes (6, 7, 7) to limit stress and maximize oxygen. But, they said it was mainly to give each fish more room to move. If you pack them in too tight they will stab each other with their sharp fins and you will open the bag to a bloody mess and some dead fish. I got all of my fish home safely and didn't have a single fatality. So, it can be done. I am not saying the 55 gallon drums are a bad idea, but I would think it would be easier to acclimate them in bags/boxes than the drums.


Attachments
3-11-17 Stocking Fish (1).JPG (29 downloads)



Edited by N.TexasHalfAcre (04/18/18 03:41 PM)
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM

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#488775 - 04/18/18 04:40 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19227
Loc: Miss.
My experience as well with LMB & BG.
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#488788 - 04/18/18 09:03 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Rainman Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6890
Loc: St Louis, MO area
If you have electric at the pond and a smallish sump pump, just let the pond water exchange into the barrels...only takes 15-20 minutes per barrel. You could be sorting/confirming while barrels are acclimating and tempering.

A 1000 watt power inverter will operate a 1/2hp sump pump if no electric pond-side....


Edited by Rainman (04/18/18 09:05 PM)
_________________________
Rainman

www.TilapiaStockers.com


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#488824 - 04/19/18 12:50 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Rainman]
esshup Offline
Moderator
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24021
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Rainman
If you have electric at the pond and a smallish sump pump, just let the pond water exchange into the barrels...only takes 15-20 minutes per barrel. You could be sorting/confirming while barrels are acclimating and tempering.

A 1000 watt power inverter will operate a 1/2hp sump pump if no electric pond-side....


Or a 12v battery and a bilge pump.....

From dealing with fish suppliers, picking up my own fish, and now delivering fish, I like the easy way out. Bring 'em to the pond and put them in for me. All the risk of killing the fish during transport rests on the person transporting the fish.

Also, remember that when transporting the fish to have a tight lid for the 55 gal barrels that you can clamp on. The highway patrol and DOT frown on water sloshing out of containers onto the roadway as you are driving down the highway.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#488833 - 04/19/18 04:29 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 252
Loc: Iowa
Speaking of you should get 10-20% more fish than ordered to cover loss during transport...make sure you get your extra fish. Since you're picking up see if you can hand select the extras
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#488836 - 04/19/18 05:00 PM Re: Stocking Opinions Vary SO MUCH! [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 424
Loc: West Central Missouri
Excellent tips, I had not thought of strapping 3 barrels together for stability and I did order my quantities on the high side of the suggested ranges so I do not think I will add more for transport losses. I seems that the few fisheries I have dealt with a pretty generous with the numbers, we'll see.

It looks like my fish purchase has been put off by a week due to the fishery's busy delivery schedule (and I am a small buyer, I am sure, compared to the Dept of Conservation). This will give me a bit more time to figure out the other nuances.

My current plan is to secure the barrels with fish, get them to my pond, bucket out enough water from each so that me and a buddy can get the barrels out of the truck and into the pond (up to the point that they are sitting in the water, but not floating off), and add the water back in that was taken out. Then, if the fish are not struggling, give them 20-30 minutes to temperature acclimate, then start adding my pond water to the barrels over the next 20-30 minutes to acclimate them to the chemistry change...Then transfer the fish to a floating net circle that I made so that they can be confirmed, kissed, and released into the pond.

Who would have thought there would be so much to it?

A pump would help, but I do not have one borrowed just yet. I figure 1 and 5 gallon buckets should work. If the temps of the fish and water closely match my shore temps I can speed up the process my skipping the time for temp acclimation and get right to adding my pond water.

Picking up my own fish is all due to the sorting and confirming "thing". If I could trust that I would not get any hitchhikers, I would just have them back up to the pond and dump them in. I have seen pictures of fish trucks with the dump valve open and fish and water just gushing into the pond. No acclimation at all! Am I missing something here? Am I just used to my old aquarium days when it would take a half an hour to acclimate a fish and get it into the tank.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel


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