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#507045 - 06/08/19 11:12 AM over night fish kills
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
This month I had 2 over night fish kills. The 1st was on June 6 with 15 dead BG. And then again this morning, June 8 with 31 dead BG.
History: if you don't remember from my last post of the fish kill when I stocked.
I have a new 1/2 acre pond I just stocked with BG and minnows in April. Had a bad batch of sick fish and lost around 200. The fishery replaced my fish and I hadn't had any lost fish since. I've been running an aerator on the bottom at the deepest part, about 12ft, shortly after I stocked. Alabama temps been rising to the upper 80s. We hadn't had rain for a couple months until this week. 1st fish kill happened the day before our 1st rain and it rain 1inch last night during the second fish kill. I checked PH, ammonia, nitrite, and phosphorus levels after both fish kills. All is good. I don't have a dissolved oxygen tester. I checked temps at all depths throughout the pond. 84 near the surface to 83 at bottom. I have 10in of visibility in water. New house, new pond, trying to get grass growing.
This morning I unplugged the aerator. I'll go get a timer and start running at night. I've been reading up on aeration post and I think I'm aerating too much.
Whats everyone's opinion on what may be going on?

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#507046 - 06/08/19 11:24 AM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
some pics


Attachments
IMG_2852.JPG (239 downloads)
IMG_2999.JPG (227 downloads)
IMG_8956.JPG (219 downloads)


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#507048 - 06/08/19 12:44 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Clay N' Pray Offline


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 255
Loc: Caswell co NC
My guess is super heated water due to daytime aeration. Hot water cant carry any oxygen.

New grass...any thoughts on fertilizer used on lawn? Some grass seed is pre-treated but that seems like a stretch.

I'm grasping at straws but since this is the 2nd time, might be time to think outside the box.

ETA, total poundage stocked?
Go out at dawn and see if any fish are gulping air at the surface.


Edited by Clay N' Pray (06/08/19 12:46 PM)

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#507049 - 06/08/19 01:22 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Clay N' Pray]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Clay N' Pray
My guess is super heated water due to daytime aeration. Hot water cant carry any oxygen.

New grass...any thoughts on fertilizer used on lawn? Some grass seed is pre-treated but that seems like a stretch.

I'm grasping at straws but since this is the 2nd time, might be time to think outside the box.

ETA, total poundage stocked?
Go out at dawn and see if any fish are gulping air at the surface.

bermuda grass seed that was coated, pelletized lime, high nitrogen fertilizer (don't remember the exact numbers) Covered seeds with hay.
Initial stocking in April was 500 BG, 50 SC, and 1000 FHM, lost around 200 BG, restocked 250.
BG are eating feed and spawning.
I think its a temp, dissolved oxygen problem. Where should water temps be and what is dangerous temp levels?

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#507050 - 06/08/19 02:09 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4395
Loc: Raymond, NE
Have you been using any land based herbicides around the pond?
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#507053 - 06/08/19 02:28 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Shorty]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Shorty
Have you been using any land based herbicides around the pond?


None.

I don't think its a chemical problem or I'd think the fish kill wouldn't be just over night, one night here then a few days later another night kill.

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#507054 - 06/08/19 02:58 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4395
Loc: Raymond, NE
How does the water color look in the evening compared to the next morning?
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#507055 - 06/08/19 03:38 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Shorty]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Shorty
How does the water color look in the evening compared to the next morning?

I can't tell the difference but I'm colorblind. lol
No one else mentioned it looking different.

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#507058 - 06/08/19 06:28 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1210
Loc: Louisiana
I dont think the temp is too warm as far as BG tolerance is concerned, but its ability to hold oxygen is greatly reduced. The fact that the variance in temp from top to bottom is so close indicates you are getting a thorough mix in turnovers, but you definitely need to shift to running at night.


Edited by Mike Whatley (06/08/19 06:29 PM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#507060 - 06/08/19 06:47 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Clay N' Pray Offline


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 255
Loc: Caswell co NC
One other clue with low 02 is the largest fish usually die first. I'm guessing yours are all the same size slot since stocked at the same time.

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#507061 - 06/08/19 06:57 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 147
Loc: Wisconsin
No offense but I doubt you received "sick fish" from your supplier, considering 25% (probably more) of the restocked fish have died already. Your pond has a lot of bad variables. In my opinion, you have either high ammonia (bad ammonia NH3) and or low dissolved oxygen. The gills on the bluegill in your photo seem a deeper red, a sign of both.

Stocking your pond so quick never allowed it time to build a favorable ecosystem.
The high water temps are bad for the development of NH3, low DO and in general, the fish.
There is no growth around your pond and no trees for shade. Not good for anything.

Try testing your pond in the early evening to see if you have a rise in pH, nitrates and ammonia. The higher the temp, nitrates and ammonia, the lower your DO and higher your NH3 will be. A temp of 85F, pH above 7.5 and I would guess, high NH3.

You should also autopsy fresh, dead fish.
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#507070 - 06/08/19 08:56 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Joey Quarry]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Joey Quarry
No offense but I doubt you received "sick fish" from your supplier, considering 25% (probably more) of the restocked fish have died already. Your pond has a lot of bad variables. In my opinion, you have either high ammonia (bad ammonia NH3) and or low dissolved oxygen. The gills on the bluegill in your photo seem a deeper red, a sign of both.

Stocking your pond so quick never allowed it time to build a favorable ecosystem.
The high water temps are bad for the development of NH3, low DO and in general, the fish.
There is no growth around your pond and no trees for shade. Not good for anything.

Try testing your pond in the early evening to see if you have a rise in pH, nitrates and ammonia. The higher the temp, nitrates and ammonia, the lower your DO and higher your NH3 will be. A temp of 85F, pH above 7.5 and I would guess, high NH3.

You should also autopsy fresh, dead fish.


What should I look for in an autopsy?

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#507071 - 06/08/19 09:07 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Went do a water test at 6pm.
Water Temp 84
PH 7.5
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Phosphate .25

Had a short shower at 12:00 only 1/8in of rain. Don't know if having the aerator off all day did anything but I have a lot more debris in the water. Is this dead algae? Also had 13 more fish dead.
I'm thinking lack of O2. Dead algae using up what O2 I have. I'm using this aerator. https://www.amazon.com/Rootscape-Large-P...way&sr=8-13
Possibly not putting out enough DO. Doing a good job of mixing the water though. Should I get a better aerator?


Attachments
IMG_0337.JPG (168 downloads)
IMG_3099.JPG (164 downloads)
IMG_4142.JPG (73 downloads)
IMG_8447.JPG (77 downloads)


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#507072 - 06/08/19 09:43 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4395
Loc: Raymond, NE
Any black walnut trees in or around the pond?
_________________________


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#507073 - 06/08/19 09:55 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Shorty]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Shorty
Any black walnut trees in or around the pond?

No walnuts on my property. Do have lots of hickory. No trees in pond or right on the bank.

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#507074 - 06/08/19 10:27 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 147
Loc: Wisconsin
I doubt it is your aeration. At 85F the ability of the water to hold DO is drastically reduced. No matter how much you pump in, water at 85F will max out at about 7ppm, in optimal conditions. It is hard to believe, with your water temp and fish kill, your ammonia is at 0? However, it is looking more like a DO issue.

Are you feeding the fish? Can you get a better picture of the pond scum?

In your case, I would look specifically at gill color and blood color. Red/Lavender gills may indicate high NH3 and brown blood would indicate high nitrates. Also, fraying of the fins, is a sign of high ammonia. Catch a live one and compare the necropsy to the autopsy.

https://akffa.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/performing-a-fish-autopsy.pdf
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#507075 - 06/08/19 11:17 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Joey Quarry]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Joey Quarry
I doubt it is your aeration. At 85F the ability of the water to hold DO is drastically reduced. No matter how much you pump in, water at 85F will max out at about 7ppm, in optimal conditions. It is hard to believe, with your water temp and fish kill, your ammonia is at 0? However, it is looking more like a DO issue.

Are you feeding the fish? Can you get a better picture of the pond scum?

In your case, I would look specifically at gill color and blood color. Red/Lavender gills may indicate high NH3 and brown blood would indicate high nitrates. Also, fraying of the fins, is a sign of high ammonia. Catch a live one and compare the necropsy to the autopsy.

https://akffa.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/performing-a-fish-autopsy.pdf


I feed the fish by hand, 2 cups a day. I walk around the pond throwing a little all the way around. They are not setting the water on fire but eating. Iím sure plenty still doesnít get eaten. I was wondering if that little of feed waste would be an issue.
Iíll see what I can do on a pond scum pic. The fish look perfectly fine to me. No frayed find or tail.

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#507080 - 06/09/19 08:51 AM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Had 16 more dead this morning. Only ran aerator at night. Water temp still is 83 at 6ft.
Noticed what I thought was scum mostly all sank. When I paddled off shore, I could see tons of these gel balls stir up off the bottom. Thatís what was floating during the day yesterday that I called scum. Could it be soil floc residue? Sure feels like it but I didnít expect it to float when my aerator was off during the day. I did notice one fish gulping for air this morning. He was weak, but dove when I went to catch him.


Attachments
IMG_0897.JPG (179 downloads)
IMG_7218.JPG (163 downloads)



Edited by swampsnyper (06/09/19 08:54 AM)

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#507081 - 06/09/19 09:06 AM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1210
Loc: Louisiana
Looking at your first pics, it appears the size of your aeration boil is sufficient. I would consider relocating it to a more centralized location in the pond tho. Maybe even elevating it off the bottom to try to create a thermocline of deep cooler water.

I've seen that diffuser, but not familiar with its bubble production. You need a lot of tiny bubbles to create adequate lift of deeper water.

Surface of your pond is much cleaner than mine, and I'm running 12 hours at night, and still have a lot of phytoplankton scum on top. I took surface temp readings this morning and will be reducing run time for a later startup to let the surface cool more before it comes on.

Where are you taking your temp readings from? They should be from where your diffuser is currently located.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#507086 - 06/09/19 12:55 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: Mike Whatley]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
Looking at your first pics, it appears the size of your aeration boil is sufficient. I would consider relocating it to a more centralized location in the pond tho. Maybe even elevating it off the bottom to try to create a thermocline of deep cooler water.

I've seen that diffuser, but not familiar with its bubble production. You need a lot of tiny bubbles to create adequate lift of deeper water.

Surface of your pond is much cleaner than mine, and I'm running 12 hours at night, and still have a lot of phytoplankton scum on top. I took surface temp readings this morning and will be reducing run time for a later startup to let the surface cool more before it comes on.

Where are you taking your temp readings from? They should be from where your diffuser is currently located.


My diffuser is in the deepest part of the pond. A little over 10ft. Bringing it to a shallower spot may be a good idea to allow the deeper water not to mix and stay cooler.
Yesterday I took temp readings all over the pond at different depths and it was all the same temp or very close to it. It's obviously mixing all the water well. I keep my thermometer on one of my duck decoy strings. I can slide it up and down. This morning it was in 6ft of water on the bottom still reading the same as yesterday. About 83. I don't think I have a dying algae problem. With only 10in of visibility, I'm probably not getting much sun light penetration to get a good bloom. I think that gel I seen floating was just soil floc thats all over the bottom. Why it started floating yesterday with no aeration going, then was sunk again this morning after aerating last night, I have no clue. The more I read, the more I'm thinking its a DO problem exaggerated from the high temps. Hope running aeration just at night solves my problem.


Edited by swampsnyper (06/09/19 12:58 PM)

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#507088 - 06/09/19 01:22 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1210
Loc: Louisiana
Your pond is in much the same condition, temperature wise as mine. This morning my surface temp was 81f. I know the variance from top to bottom is about 5 degrees, so I have backed my start time off 3 hours.

That being said, we have also determined that my system is giving me one complete turnover in 3 hours of runtime. By reducing my runtime to 9 hours I'm still turning the pond over 3 times, but I'm allowing the surface to cool more before I start mixing it up.

If you move the diffusers shallower, and elevate it off the bottom a little, you may be able to create a cooler area in the deepest part of the pond. The fish cant live there, but they can visit it long enough to cool off then move up to better DO and go back when they're ready.

Just a suggestion here, but you may also consider using a little dye. It will assist the deeper levels in staying cooler as well.


Edited by Mike Whatley (06/09/19 01:24 PM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#507098 - 06/09/19 07:00 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
tim k Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 305
Loc: lampasas texas
had this happen twice to me - oxygen deprivation - pond turns over and no air for your fish - my experience is the only way to prevent in the future is to pump oxygen into the water -

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#507106 - 06/09/19 09:43 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
DarrellSimpson Offline


Registered: 06/06/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
Did you test for ammonia levels . With no plants and a fresh pond biological filtration can be a problem plus excess feeding plus a lot of fish at one time , it would be easy for ammonia to spike .

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#507107 - 06/09/19 09:48 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: DarrellSimpson]
swampsnyper Offline


Registered: 02/17/17
Posts: 50
Loc: alabama
Originally Posted By: DarrellSimpson
Did you test for ammonia levels . With no plants and a fresh pond biological filtration can be a problem plus excess feeding plus a lot of fish at one time , it would be easy for ammonia to spike .

Yes. Test color matches 0.

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#507110 - 06/09/19 10:05 PM Re: over night fish kills [Re: swampsnyper]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 585
Loc: NW Kansas
Darrell, his biomass would be extremely low right now compared to several yrs down the road at carrying capacity. Ammonia should be nill.
I question the involvement of the soilfloc and would like to hear from TJ on this. I know nothing about this product but I have talked with one of the reps and considered this for a 15 ac impoundment. It "may" or may not have any influence on this situation.


Edited by Snipe (06/09/19 10:08 PM)
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