Pond Boss
Posted By: Johnny MAX Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 03:43 PM
I have a pond I dug about 10 years ago. Most of what fish are in the pond are fish I added, but not all.

Fish I added:
Ghost shrimp
Mosquito fish.
Bluegill perch
Channel Catfish
Crappie (the crappie did not survive)

Fish Added by Nature & Birds:
Large mouth Bass
Bowfin (I have not caught a bowfin in a while, but I am sure they are still there and I do not want them.)
Crawfish
Red Ear Slider Turtles

Things I plan to add:
Scuds (arthropods) I read that when you add scuds to a pond it increases the fish population all the way up the food chain.
Japanese Trapdoor Snails (they sell for over a dollar each online)
Sailfin Molly
Tilapia adding in the spring (I am breeding them in aquariums. They will reduce the plant life and give predator fish more to eat, They will not survive winter, so this is a maintenance thing.)

Things I am considering but afraid to add:
Clams (but I heard they can filter too many nutrients out of the water hurting population all the way up the food chain)
Salamander (but not sure where to get any. I have never seen any in the wild. Are there drawback to having them in a pond?)

Question: What other species would be cool to add? I am located in SE Texas
I consider my pond to be a big aquarium.
Here is a picture of my pond with 3 of my grand-monsters catching minnows.
I just started to build our home on the north side of the pond and I am so excited.

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Attached File
Pond Monsters.jpg  (404 downloads)
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 04:02 PM
I like the pond as your "big aquarium".

However, it appears that you may be adding some species that will extirpate some of your other species. (Like adding two angelfish to a tank full of guppies.)

Your ecosystem is VERY complicated with lots of moving parts. Hopefully, you can get an expert to reply. Even with expert help, I think you will need to plan on lots of trial and error attempts.

Have fun with your new pond project!
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 05:24 PM
Hi JohnnyMax,

Good to have you here. Good looking pond and great photo with munchkins too. Looks like you have a really nice mix. I like that you introduced some small prey like the Hyallela Azteca, PK shrimp, and Gams. Not sure what to suggest cause I don't know if it can be improved. I say put in what sounds fun and just enjoy the pond with your family.

I am curious, have you transplanted plants into your pond? Also, your source of gams and shrimps, were these cultured or collected from the wild? If you collected them, the LMB and Bowfin may have been introduced with Gams as they occupy the same habitat when fry. Also, Bowfin eggs and even the yolk fry will attach to plants. This has commonly transported Bowfin to new water.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 05:53 PM
Originally Posted by jpsdad
Hi JohnnyMax,

Good to have you here. Good looking pond and great photo with munchkins too. Looks like you have a really nice mix. I like that you introduced some small prey like the Hyallela Azteca, PK shrimp, and Gams. Not sure what to suggest cause I don't know if it can be improved. I say put in what sounds fun and just enjoy the pond with your family.

I am curious, have you transplanted plants into your pond? Also, your source of gams and shrimps, were these cultured or collected from the wild? If you collected them, the LMB and Bowfin may have been introduced with Gams as they occupy the same habitat when fry. Also, Bowfin eggs and even the yolk fry will attach to plants. This has commonly transported Bowfin to new water.

The mosquito fish and shrimp came from a pond in a local park.
The Bluegill perch & Channel Catfish were purchased.
I have been very careful not to introduce and aquatic plants and that I do have is more of a hair algae.
The bowfin just showed up a couple of years ago.

I have shallows and long flat ditches that are part on my pond system. I feel eggs attached to birds legs while walking in shallows of other ponds and they transferred them to my pond while walking through grass on my shoreline.
I have a 700' ditch that runs along my west property line. It tees into my pond. The ditch is dug flat, so it always retains water. This ditch has two purposes. One to be a breeding ground and two to catch runoff and direct it to my pond.
I will try to capture pictures from Google earth of the pond....
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 06:01 PM
For orientation East is up.
You can see when I dug the pond the long 700' ditch running along the bottom. Before it was grown up you can see that it holds water.
This is the refuge I put in to be a breeding ground for small life.
The ditches have dried up a couple of time over the last 9 years.
The ditch is on the low side of the property so runoff goes into the pond.
In the picture where id has not filled in yet, you can see how deep it is in the middle.
It is (was) 30' deep. I plan to sink a copper coil in the bottom for hydronic cooling.
I captured pictures from Google earth using the timeline.
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Attached File
Pond 2010.jpg  (358 downloads)
Attached File
Pond 2011.jpg  (356 downloads)
Attached File
Pond 2013.jpg  (368 downloads)
Attached File
Pond 2014.jpg  (364 downloads)
Attached File
Pond 2017.jpg  (361 downloads)
Attached File
Pond 2019.jpg  (357 downloads)
Posted By: Theo Gallus Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 06:05 PM
Quote
Question: What other species would be cool to add? I am located in SE Texas
Pickerel?
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 06:32 PM
I really like your small critter refuge. Really cool stuff. Like also how you innovated the water collection from your own property. Cool stuff indeed. So after seeing this it may be reasonable to rule out high water migrations of fish?

Theo has a great suggestion. I understand pickerel are very active through winter and the fishing good at that time.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 06:55 PM
My 2 cents on salamanders...you do not typically see populations of salamanders in ponds with fish in them too. Not to say that they do not frequent these ponds, but will rarely establish a successful reproducing population...they just get eaten by the gamefish too quickly.

Your ditch may improve your chances, however...if you can find an affordable source. I would consider putting in a screen at the ditch to pond junction so that after the ditch goes dry (occasionally) it would help keep the salamander predators out).

The ponds that I have seen with good populations of salamanders in them are the old small ones that have filled in over the years, have had trees grow up entirely around them, and tend to dry up most years. This keeps any fish from getting established, provides plenty of cool shade and lack of light for much vegitation, and has alot of nutrients for producing bugs.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/03/20 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Quote
Question: What other species would be cool to add? I am located in SE Texas
Pickerel?

That is a cool looking fish. I have never seen or caught one.
I live down by the Gulf Coast.
Can they survive the summers this far south?
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 02:12 AM
Here's the answer to that question.

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Attached File
Chain_Pickerel.png  (311 downloads)
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 02:16 AM
This pickerel is smaller but is likely in your area. Look in oxbows and small shady creeks for it.[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Attached File
Redfin.png  (317 downloads)
Posted By: ryjohn Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 02:37 AM
Southern Newts are common in weed matters similar to where grass shrimp reside. Newts in general seem more resistant to predators than other salamanders, likely because they are poisonous. Pickerel are an option that I like, because they are some of the best eating warm-water pond fish, but you need to know how to filet out the y-bones. Snow White meat and better than panfish in many cases...
Posted By: anthropic Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 03:00 AM
Ryjohn, I've caught northern pike up north but never pickerel anywhere. Do they compete with bass?
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 02:46 PM
Thanks for the response. (More is welcomed)
I am going to source me some Pickerel, and I am excited.
My pond is so deep, they should do ok. The map helped me decide to go for it.
Where did you find that?
Also, I may consider getting me some newts (Maybe)
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 03:23 PM
Originally Posted by Johnny MAX
Thanks for the response. (More is welcomed)
I am going to source me some Pickerel, and I am excited.
My pond is so deep, they should do ok. The map helped me decide to go for it.
Where did you find that?

Any time you want to find a map like that go to Google and type nas 'fish name'. From the google list choose the one that includes 'profile' in its description.

If you find it is in texas, then Google 'fish name' texas then choose the one that has "fishesoftexas.org" in the address. This latter resource is a great online resource. If one lives in a state that has common species, it is good for them too.
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 03:28 PM
As 1/4ac says, Newts and salamanders are basically inhabitants of woodland pools without fish. Fish of many species will prey heavily on the tadpoles to eliminate the population. You can try adding them but do not expect them to thrive in your fishy pond. Leave the trap door snails out they will be a problem species for the pond ecosystem. It is very hard to find anyone that sells pickerel. Good luck.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 03:44 PM
Originally Posted by Bill Cody
As 1/4ac says, Newts and salamanders are basically inhabitants of woodland pools without fish. Fish of many species will prey heavily on the tadpoles to eliminate the population. You can try adding them but do not expect them to thrive in your fishy pond. Leave the trap door snails out they will be a problem species for the pond ecosystem. It is very hard to find anyone that sells pickerel. Good luck.

I just tried to find pickerel for sale. NO LUCK! frown
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 03:48 PM
Try this place. http://www.aquaculturestore.com/Pickerel/
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 04:09 PM
Originally Posted by jpsdad

I had found that one, but they are more for aquariums I thing, because they charge over $20 for one fish.
Not really an affordable stocking option for a pond.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/04/20 04:24 PM
Yes pretty rich indeed but if your have to go out and collect them ... what will that cost in time, gas, and wear and tear?

In a new 1 acre pond, one would probably only need around 10 of them to establish a population. That's affordable. You will probably need to collect them and transport because they need to be big enough to be safe from your LMB.
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/05/20 11:01 AM
Not sure anything is really safe from LMB predation. Lusk says that a bass needs prey from 1/4 to 1/3 it's size. And they can eat bigger stuff.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/05/20 02:15 PM
I wonder if you can breed pickerel in a tank like tilapia?
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/05/20 04:34 PM
If you can figure out how to breed pickerel in a tank like tilapia or even like BG you will be well on your way to making a large fortune. It will be many, many times easier and quicker to go out and fish waters with stable populations of pickerel and collect them by angling. Then you need to be smart enough to transport them as very healthy individuals home to your pond. Both tasks will be very educational adventures. If you can figure out how to consistently catch them, that alone will be rewarding.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/06/20 01:45 PM
Does anybody have a pond with chain pickerel they would allow me to fish on. I live on the very edge of where they are found. I have fished 50 years in this area and I have never seen one.
Posted By: Snipe Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/06/20 06:42 PM
Originally Posted by Johnny MAX
Originally Posted by jpsdad

I had found that one, but they are more for aquariums I thing, because they charge over $20 for one fish.
Not really an affordable stocking option for a pond.
I have to be 100% honest about this.. This IS how many get started in this. I've spent a heck of a lot more on less poundage trying to get other forage started. Sometimes it's the only way.
Posted By: nvcdl Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/06/20 08:09 PM
Originally Posted by Bill Cody
As 1/4ac says, Newts and salamanders are basically inhabitants of woodland pools without fish. Fish of many species will prey heavily on the tadpoles to eliminate the population. You can try adding them but do not expect them to thrive in your fishy pond. Leave the trap door snails out they will be a problem species for the pond ecosystem. It is very hard to find anyone that sells pickerel. Good luck.

My pond has a good population of Eastern Red Spotted Newts. You can see them swimming around in shallow areas. I think the bass ignore them except when they are spawning as they will eat eggs.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/07/20 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by Snipe
I have to be 100% honest about this.. This IS how many get started in this. I've spent a heck of a lot more on less poundage trying to get other forage started. Sometimes it's the only way.
Are you saying that you bought fish people sell for aquariums and used them to stock your pond.
I can net off a section (ditch) and put them in there to breed, but it is not deep in the ditch as they prefer.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/07/20 02:09 PM
I think he is saying that these suppliers are viable sources of some species of fish. People don't just stock them in a pond with existing fish but rather use them in an initial stocking or use a grow out facility to grow them to adult sizes where they can reproduce.

If the LMB and Bowfin are reproducing in your pond, you should look at the pickerel as a bonus fish that you might catch from time to time. You don't have a lot of water so maybe around 3 or 4 of them every 3 or 4 years? Stock 10" to 14" Chain pickerel and take what they give you. They do not like water without weeds and might not do as well competing with LMB and Bowfin. Just add them for fun. If you can learn to sex them, try to select females. They tend to live longer and can grow to larger sizes.

The redfin would be more at home in your ditches than in the pond with the other fish. They "might" form a self sustaining community in your ditches but be much less common in your pond. The redfin, even at 2 to 3 years of age, could be prey for LMB and bowfin (and chain pickerel for that matter). I see the redfin best as standalone sportfish that doubles as panfish (8" to 10") and apex predator (>10" but less than 15"). They only tend to live 5 years (much like BG tend to) and aren't going to be large. (1 lb will be an exceptional specimen). They would be best combined with things like small shiner, Gams, dollar sunfish, killifish, etc. In a pond where they are the apex predator, they will utilize all spaces and become the dominate biomass but where other species fill the apex predator role and/or large lepomis represent competition, they will only exist at the margins in low densities or be extirpated.
Posted By: Johnny MAX Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/07/20 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by jpsdad
clip....They would be best combined with things like small shiner, Gams, dollar sunfish, killifish, etc...clip
I only considered pickerel because it was suggested here.
I do like your list "small shiner, Gams, dollar sunfish, killifish"
Is there a long list of small fish stocking options?
I recognize small shiners.
Sorry to sound ignorant, but what is Gams short for.
Also, what type of sunfish is a dollar sunfish.
And.... killifish sound interesting.
BTW, I did not stock the Large Mouth Bass and Bowfin..... Damn birds did! mad
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/07/20 03:31 PM
Originally Posted by Johnny MAX
Originally Posted by jpsdad
clip....They would be best combined with things like small shiner, Gams, dollar sunfish, killifish, etc...clip
I only considered pickerel because it was suggested here.
I do like your list "small shiner, Gams, dollar sunfish, killifish"
Is there a long list of small fish stocking options?
I recognize small shiners.
Sorry to sound ignorant, but what is Gams short for.
Also, what type of sunfish is a dollar sunfish.
And.... killifish sound interesting.
BTW, I did not stock the Large Mouth Bass and Bowfin..... Damn birds did! mad

A few chain pickerel > 10" in length are worth the try even if they don't reach their potential. Diversity adds additional flavor to the experience.

You should be able to source Gulf killifish locally. Gams are Gambusia ... something you already have. Dollar sunfish are interesting because they remain small, don't live long, and evolved with redfins in waters that favor redfins. There diet is primarily FA and detritus. They need lots of vegetation and/or water with a weaker apex predator. Here are some interesting options that tend to maintain populations in waters with existing fish populations especially with the help of your ditching system. Don't over look things like dwarf Cajun crayfish which could be fun addition also.

http://txstate.fishesoftexas.org/fundulus%20notatus.htm

http://txstate.fishesoftexas.org/cyprinella%20lutrensis.htm

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=687

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=684
Posted By: RAH Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/07/20 04:00 PM
It is likely that something that has 2 legs did the stocking of the LMB and bowfin...
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: Adding to my pond's ecosystem... - 12/08/20 01:00 PM
Agree with Rah
© Pond Boss Forum