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#494728 - 08/10/18 12:29 PM Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
I'm not sure how to quantify the amount of plants that would be needed to reduce the nutrient level in my 1/4 acre pond or how to describe the nutrient levels to begin with, so, I thought I'd start this discussion and see if it leads me to a new pond project for next year.

My pond is 1/4 acre, 10 foot at the deepest, with an average depth of about 6 to 7 foot (very steep sides). Secchi transparency started out this year over 36", but as soon as spring was in full swing it dropped to range between 18 and 22 inches ever since. I feel like the pond is running on the edge of a fish kill should an algae bloom get out of control. I feed this years 2 to 6 inch stockers daily about 1/2 pound in the evening and aerate from 9pm to 9am. The recent water temps are pretty consistent being 78 deg F at the bottom, 82 at 18" down and 86 at the top 6 inches.

Side note: The pond gets flushed out a few times during the rainy seasons so much so that the 15" drain pipe can get submerged. I am thinking that chemical or mineral treatment could be a waste of money especially during fall, winter, and spring.

I have thought about using water hyacinth and floating pvc containment corrals to help with nutrient levels, but certainly cannot afford the time to manage if a large portion of the pond would be consumed with floating plants.

My goal is to determine if the nutrient levels need babysitting and, if so, how many and what type plants wound be best suited. Thanks for reading through my windy post!
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#494732 - 08/10/18 02:28 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 505
Loc: Louisiana
Hey Quarter,
I've been considering the hyacinth corral project myself. Our ponds are very similar, yours being slightly bigger. Sounds like they're built exactly the same tho. I started out the spring with around 18" visibility, but going into summer it increased to over 4 feet for several weeks of very dry weather. Now that we've gotten back to more consistent rains, the visibilty has come back to around 18-24 inches. I'll be installing aeration in the coming weeks and am interested to see how that affects blume and temps. I've had as high as 99 degree surface water this summer. Luckily, with a small deep hole, my mutts have been able to get below the heat.

I'm not sure how all this pertains to nutrients as I'm still very novice to pond life. My interest in the hyacinth was to provide shade and cooler water, as well as more hiding places for forage. I'd really like to be able to introduce some grass shrimp, but there's no place for them to hide currently.

I would think, with hyacinth being as prolific as it is, it would consume a lot of excess nutrients, maybe too much if not controlled, and your visibility would improve. Control is definitely the key tho. Left to it's own devices, your nutrient levels may plummet to the point of endangering your phytoplankton as well as any other wanted vegetation.

My less than $.02!!!!


Edited by Mike Whatley (08/10/18 02:30 PM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epidomy of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, FHM, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia and apparently, now crappie.

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#494935 - 08/16/18 04:55 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Mike Whatley]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
I'll be installing aeration in the coming weeks and am interested to see how that affects blume and temps. I've had as high as 99 degree surface water this summer.


I bit of a highjack to my own thread (I guess I can do that)...I can't say what adding the aeration to my pond has done to the blooms as my old cattle pond is so freshly renovated that blooms have been heavy, consistent, and, at times, scary even after the diffusers went in. The water clarity (18-24")has been very consistent since adding aeration with the color varying every few days. But I can tell you that before the aeration system was added I had temperatures at the bottom in the lower 70's and surface temps in the mid/lower 90s. My pond has a lot of shade which helps temps, but is bad for wind action. After adding air, the bottom has risen into the mid to upper 70's, but the surface stays in the mid to lower 80's.

It makes since that if you raise the bottom temps by circulating the water, the upper temps will fall...until you over circulate and super heat the whole pond. I just run the air from 9pm to 9am right now.

I'll check my records (I take temps at the surface, 18" down and at the bottom by the end of the dock,7 feet down about every other day) and may post some "before/after air" readings.

Besides sideswiping my thread, I'm still interested in hearing from those hyacinth and/or water lettuce lovers.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#494939 - 08/16/18 10:00 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 505
Loc: Louisiana
Interestin info QA.

I've had my aeration in for 3 days now. Still breaking the pond in. Ran it for 4 hrs earlier, and have the timer set to run for 6 hours later tonight. I have noticed the water clarity has reduced a bit, which is probably from bottom silt. I'll need to check my surface temp when I get home tonorrow. It has been lingering in the mid 90s. It'll be interesting to see if its dropped any after a day of summer heat.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epidomy of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, FHM, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia and apparently, now crappie.

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#494941 - 08/16/18 11:33 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Mike Whatley]
anthropic Online   content


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1389
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Last time I checked surface temp during hot afternoon it was 87. Hotter than fish like, but less than you are "blessed" with down in southern LA.

Hopefully we'll get some cooler weather soon. Up here we're still in a drought...
_________________________
7 acre pond in east Texas, full pool reached March 2016. CNBG, RES, FHM stocked Nov 15; TP May 16; LSL bass 30 June 16. Added 100 12 inch N LMB and 1,000 shiners Oct 17, 150# TP and 70 HSB May 18




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#494959 - 08/17/18 10:55 AM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
We got 1-1/4" of rain last night, pond is now 11" low instead of 12". I look forward to checking the temps this evening to see the effects (if any) and I'll try to remember to post the before/after aeration temp records.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495000 - 08/18/18 02:08 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
I checked the temps last night and very little noticeable temp change due to the rain. The bottom was one degree cooler while the surface and 18" down were two degrees warmer. I can't conclude anything from that. At any rate, I have started a separate thread to document and discuss the before/after temp associated with my aeration start-up this summer. It's located here...

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=494996#Post494996

I am still hoping to here from some hyacinth lovers...
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Fish on!,
Noel

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#495224 - 08/23/18 11:39 AM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
I have had very good luck with water hyacinth. I have a 6 foot diameter floating ring made of PVC pipe with foam pipe insulation over that. Last winter I took 3 plants a friend had in his garden pond because they were just going to freeze anyway. I overwintered them in a bucket of water in a bright heated room and after last frost this year in early June, I put them in the ring. They looked pretty lonely in the ring, 3 plants and a 6 foot ring but this is a picture from mid July.

The ring is tethered to the bottom to keep it from drifting all about but it seems to attract floating duckweed which collects behind it. The good thing is it makes netting out duckweed easier.

I will remove some of the hyacinth soon to get the biomass out of the system and leave room for it to continue to grow until it gets cold. Then I will rescue 3 lucky plants for next summer and compost the rest.


[img:center]http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.ph...7c08d6&f=15[/img]


Attachments
hyacinth.jpg (50 downloads)
Description: summer 2018


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#495233 - 08/23/18 01:59 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: PaPond]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 344
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: PaPond
I have had very good luck with water hyacinth. I have a 6 foot diameter floating ring made of PVC pipe with foam pipe insulation over that. Last winter I took 3 plants a friend had in his garden pond because they were just going to freeze anyway. I overwintered them in a bucket of water in a bright heated room and after last frost this year in early June, I put them in the ring. They looked pretty lonely in the ring, 3 plants and a 6 foot ring but this is a picture from mid July.

The ring is tethered to the bottom to keep it from drifting all about but it seems to attract floating duckweed which collects behind it. The good thing is it makes netting out duckweed easier.

I will remove some of the hyacinth soon to get the biomass out of the system and leave room for it to continue to grow until it gets cold. Then I will rescue 3 lucky plants for next summer and compost the rest.


I can't tell from the picture; are the plants sitting on something? Or do they just float inside the open ring?
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#495235 - 08/23/18 02:11 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
Good Question DrLuke, AND, do they ever escape ?

EDIT: The last thing I need to be doing is chasing rogue plants around the pond come fall. Not to mention the potential for taking over the pond.


Edited by Quarter Acre (08/23/18 02:53 PM)
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Fish on!,
Noel

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#495239 - 08/23/18 02:25 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 344
Loc: Grinnell, IA
I continue to look for ways to mitigate nitrogen washing into my pond, as it is fed from Ag run-off across the road. I have sediment ponds on both the inlet fingers, but am not sure what if any impact this is having. I've looking into the floating island of plants concepts, to potentially use in the sediment ponds OR in the inlet fingers where water flows in.

Something like this:
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#495241 - 08/23/18 02:32 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 344
Loc: Grinnell, IA
The primary downside is expense. The biohaven islands shown above cost $35 per square foot. So even a relatively small 7' x 5' island is 35 ft square, which would be $1225. That's before adding plants!
So, I've been thinking of experimenting with 'something else' to float and plant on. Any of our plant biologists have some hard earned experience to share?
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#495247 - 08/23/18 04:34 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 847
Loc: in the mountains
I actually have a floating tangle of logs that broke free and floated around our pond this Summer. It is 100% made by Mother Nature. The logs are webbed together with some type of sedge grass that grows along the banks of the pond. Watching it float around this year really made me think it would probably be pretty simple to build a DIY floating island. I meant to take a pic of it, but never did. I'll try to get one in September.
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#495251 - 08/23/18 06:04 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 505
Loc: Louisiana
Dr. LUKE / QA,
Hyacinth are self floating as their stem system has bulbous bases and act as flotation. If you cut it open, it looks like closed cell foam inside. No need for any kind of screen or platform. Just a ring of some sort to keep them contained.

As to whether they ever escape, that's always a possibility and if you're not able to keep tabs on them at least monthly, you could have a problem as they are very aggressive. I've seen them completely choke canals in the marshes here to the point of being impassable. (Thats where I plan to get mine) Containment, in my mind, should be relatively easy tho with a ring with high enough sides. I'm considering using 1" PEX laced thru 4" pool noodle to make a ring, anchored out in front of the main spawning area.

The upside is they provide loads of shade and provide excellent hiding habitat for small fish and grass shrimp as their roots hang down a foot or more under water. How much nutrient load they consume....no clue. But they sure do grow fast and down here...all year long.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epidomy of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, FHM, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia and apparently, now crappie.

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#495252 - 08/23/18 06:23 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 90
Loc: Texas
My understanding is that WH leaves seeds around and keeps spreading and coming back. I'm not convinced a ring can really confine it?

At least here in The South, WH is too scary and illegal to use in a decent sized pond. (Class B misdemeanor in Texas for possession.)
_________________________
3+ acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18

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#495253 - 08/23/18 06:24 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
The plants are floating in the water contained in the ring, when I want to pull some out I can row over in my boat and fill a basket or at the end of the season, I untie it from its mooring and tow it to shore to empty it out. Never had a plant escape and there are no rogue plants floating in my pond. The roots interweave and the chances of an escape are even less.

I understand water hyacinth can be invasive but up in northern Pennsylvania it gets cold enough for long enough (sigh!) that they die off. So even if a few did escape they won't survive the winter. The big plus is they absorb nutrients but are easily removed from the pond before the freeze so they don't release their nutrient load back into the water. They give it to my compost pile.

Does anyone know what the matrix is for the plant base to float in on a floating island?


Edited by PaPond (08/23/18 06:29 PM)
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#495254 - 08/23/18 06:28 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: PaPond]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 344
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: PaPond
The plants are floating in the water contained in the ring, when I want to pull some out I can row over in my boat and fill a basket or at the end of the season, I untie it from its mooring and tow it to shore to empty it out. Never had a plant escape and there are no rogue plants floating in my pond. The roots interweave and the chances of an escape are even less.

I understand water hyacinth can be invasive but up in northern Pennsylvania it gets cold enough for long enough (sigh!) that they die off. So even if a few did escape they won't survive the winter. The big plus is they absorb nutrients but are easily removed from the pond before the freeze so they don't release their nutrient load back into the water. They give it to my compost pile.


It would seem no floating substrate would be needed then for water hyacinth. I'll have to see if the Iowa DNR has an opinion on their use. Thanks for the info!
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
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#495255 - 08/23/18 06:29 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 90
Loc: Texas
Makes sense. Not an option down here. I find WH to be very attractive, too bad it can't be managed in The South.
_________________________
3+ acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18

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#495260 - 08/23/18 08:03 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
It seems safe for most of the U.S. to use. Note I said most. Here is a map that shows the "bad" areas to try to use the plant. Discalimer: other areas may be illegal to have as well.



Kelly Duffie posted it back in this thread...

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=267151

Now, My question is...If I remove, let's say 100 pounds of Hyacinth from my pond at the end of the growing season,...did all that mass come from my pond water? If so, that seems like a LOT of nutrient stuff being removed. But I have heard (somewhere) that plants get some of their mass from the air. Any vegetarians out there? smile



Attachments
Hyacinth112.jpg (206 downloads)

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495261 - 08/23/18 08:38 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
anthropic Online   content


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1389
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Water hyacinths increase water evaporation and water temps, though they do furnish good cover for YOY fish. Very aggressive, I do NOT recommend their use unless you are in cold climate.

By the way, if you take out WH, be prepared to see it come up again the following summer. It sends down seeds that can germinate for up to 14 years!
_________________________
7 acre pond in east Texas, full pool reached March 2016. CNBG, RES, FHM stocked Nov 15; TP May 16; LSL bass 30 June 16. Added 100 12 inch N LMB and 1,000 shiners Oct 17, 150# TP and 70 HSB May 18




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#495262 - 08/23/18 08:58 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 90
Loc: Texas
Quarter Acre. Photosynthesis makes simple sugars such as glucose and fructose (C6 H12 O6). These are combined to make polysaccharides including cellulose. This is what a 2x4 is made of.

Inputs for photosynthesis are water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) plus light. Oxygen is released as a byproduct.

Cells of a plant, like an animal are mostly water.

So almost all of the plant, even a redwood, starts as water and air. It also burns or decomposes back to the same.

Nutrients allow for the complicated stuff like proteins, electrolytes and such that make all this work.


Edited by Vortex 4 (08/23/18 09:13 PM)
_________________________
3+ acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18

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#495274 - 08/24/18 09:28 AM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: anthropic]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 808
Loc: West Central Missouri
Anthropic and Vortex, Thanks for chiming in, that's some good stuff to think about.

Originally Posted By: anthropic
By the way, if you take out WH, be prepared to see it come up again the following summer.


anthropic,that sounds pretty scary! Why are they not considered invasive in Missouri? I can imagine the creek down hill from my pond getting taken over and all the way to the Missouri River. I'd feel soooo bad!

Vortex, So, the plants get their mass from everywhere. I can get that, but any idea how much, ratio-wise, comes from the pond water. I guess that I am trying to generate an idea of how much plant-life is needed to reduce "X" amount of nutrients. IF, for example, it takes 1000 pounds of plants to "suck up" 5 pound of nutrients from the pond...why bother?! My back does not have it in it.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495287 - 08/24/18 01:04 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
Quote:
By the way, if you take out WH, be prepared to see it come up again the following summer. It sends down seeds that can germinate for up to 14 years!


I would assume that is limited by just how cold your winters are. Here in Northeast PA it isn't uncommon to see 18" of ice on the pond in winter.

Looked at the plants earlier and they are flowering! Nice purple flowers. So if they are about to produce seeds I expect they will be in there next summer. I will keep an eye out for returning plants outside of the ring next summer. I've got to get out there with a camera and take a picture.

I spoke to the guy who gave me the plants from his garden pond. He told me his flower every summer and he doesn't always get new plants (for no reason than he forgets to do it) and has never had new plants just arrive from seed.
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#495302 - 08/24/18 11:39 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Quarter Acre]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
As Kelly Duffie as referenced in another WH thread, these are called "Fatal Beauty" in areas where they are invasive.

[img:center]httphttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthread...5bed3e&f=15[/img]


I can see why!


Attachments
image1-1.jpg (45 downloads)

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#495327 - 08/25/18 01:59 PM Re: Reducing Nutrient Levels in Small Pond with Plants [Re: Vortex 4]
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Originally Posted By: Vortex 4
Inputs for photosynthesis are water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) plus light. Oxygen is released as a byproduct.
Cells of a plant, like an animal are mostly water.
An interesting side-note: Contrary to conventional assumptions, the O2 released during plant photosynthesis isn't sourced from the CO2 input. Instead, the released O2 originates from the H2O input.

Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
So, the plants get their mass from everywhere. I can get that, but any idea how much, ratio-wise, comes from the pond water. I guess that I am trying to generate an idea of how much plant-life is needed to reduce "X" amount of nutrients. IF, for example, it takes 1000 pounds of plants to "suck up" 5 pound of nutrients from the pond...why bother?! My back does not have it in it.
As referenced by Vortex, a plant's live-weight mass is largely comprised of water. When assessing or quantifying a plant's nutrient reduction efficiency, dry-mass (after desiccation) is the measure upon which to focus.

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