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Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
david u #135057 10/07/08 12:53 PM
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Just some thoughts about cost and effort in pond mgmt. We have a 3/4 acre pond with approx 48 feed trained northern LMB (bought them that way), 16 Fla LMB (not feed trained), 50 HSB, 100's CNBG and Tilapia. We started stocking in Oct 2007. We hand feed about 3 lbs of AQMX 600 in one spot every night, then walk around the pond feeding AQMX 500 to the smaller fish. I don't mix the feed because the target audience for the 500 won't get in the area of the big guys. We aerate 24/7, and use well water to keep pond full (well is for the house also). The feed trained LMB, HSB, Tilapia, and CNBG have really grown, with LMB RW > 1.2, and some HSB now over 3 lbs (started at about 7 oz in Dec 2007).

All of this may sound like a lot, but it really isn't. I used the info on this site to build a very low cost aerator system. A GAST rotary vane pump (housed in simple plastic storage bin with vents), 9" membrane diffuser in homemade bucket support, and weighted 1" flexible PVC tubing. Total cost < $150 and draws less than 1 amp. Since the pond is at our home, I saved the feeder cost by hand feeding so I can keep an eye on things. The tilapia were a great investment. Bought 10 lbs for $100, and they really kicked the LMB weight up. Yes, there are a few days the fish go unfed b/c I have no feeder, but they don't seem to suffer any, and I still have that $600 in my pocket. All of my structure was obtained as "junk" from other people, and hurricane Ike provided a wealth of big limbs and stumps to collect around south Houston.

I have not removed any fish yet, as they are all less than 2 yrs old. I plan on reducing the number next summer as I catch LMB that have not grown well. The Fla LMB do not eat AQMX, but are still growing well b/c feeding the Tilapia and CNBG keeps them spitting out young'uns. I wont remove any of the Fla LMB as their purpose is to add good genes to pond.

What I am trying to say is that you don't have to spend a huge amount of money to have an above average pond, but just be willing to do a little hunting/research for bargains and spend some time managing the forage base. I certainly don't have umlimited funds, but this site can give you unlimited ideas.


Thanks,

Darryl
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
archer #135063 10/07/08 02:00 PM
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Ryan, why do you think the bass overate their food source? I was under the impression that a RES/CNB forage base along with maybe TFS establishment & a few Tilapia every year would keep LMB & HS well fed with proper predator culling as needed...du


Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
david u #135068 10/07/08 04:06 PM
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I stocked 25 BG the October of 2003 then 200 BG, 25 HBG, 15 CC and 10lbs of fatheads in March of 2004. I fed all summer and had tons of forage, a minnow trap would catch dozens of little fish in just a few minutes so the fall of 2004 I stocked 25 4" LMB. Everything was growing great. Bass were 12" and fat by the fall of 2005. I stocked tilapia as soon as the water warmed enough and had successful spawns in 2006 and 2007. In late July of 2006 I discovered several schools of Gizzard shad so early that August, 6"-7" HSB were added to cut down their numbers and keep them in check. I have been feeding pellets by hand once per day since the beginning. In 2007 I added an aeration system and began to notice that my bass weren't looking as fat and my minnow trap wasn't filling as quickly as in previous years so I started feeding Aquamax Largemouth that fall. This year I've been culling all bass that aren't showing good weight and have removed all but two channel cats.

David U, your impression is right. In my case, I think the lack in growth is/was combination of several factors. I have limited structure, basically 6 pallet stacks that have now mostly collapsed and two bowling ball sputniks (like porcupine fish attractors)and my pond is shaped almost like a bowl except for 1/3 is sort of a spawning shelf. There is no weeds. I didn't remove any of the LMB offspring from my original stocking, except for a few that died from swallowing hooks, until this year so I really have no idea how many are in there. The 15 channel cats quickly grew into large predators and were competing with the LMB as were the HSB and I could maybe even give a little credit to the HBG that are now around 10". This fall and winter, I'm going to start harvesting eating size male bluegill to encourage more spawning.




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
Ryan Freeze #135112 10/07/08 08:39 PM
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"Ryan, why do you think the bass overate their food source?" They overate their food source because that is what bass do. Bass are pigs! Most of us want large numbers of large fish in our ponds and just like Jeff said that doesn't usually happen in nature. So we push the limits because we want more and bigger. What Jeff is doing is probably safer and maybe even better but just like most people I want more and so I feed. I run the risks of a fish kill. Taking bass out of my pond is hard and so I run the risk of loving them so much I kill them all. David some of the best ponds that I have ever fished never fed their fish a single pellet but you can really ramp up the production by feeding them like Ryan is doing. I have never seen a fish in nature as fat as the ones that Cecil Baird is raising on pellets.

Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
Ryan Freeze #135160 10/08/08 08:34 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Ryan Freeze
JHAP, I didn't even know you and Theo had posted. It took me over an our to write and send what I posted. ....and work kept interupting \:D


I hate it when that happens. I have yet to find a way to have money just arrive in the mail without actually doing anything.


JHAP
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"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
james holt #135166 10/08/08 09:01 AM
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 Originally Posted By: james holt
"Ryan, why do you think the bass overate their food source?" They overate their food source because that is what bass do. Bass are pigs!


While that is true, as Ryan stated a lack of protection (structure) in his pond probably severly limited the opportunity for his BG to survive. He has two significant predators, LMB and Channel Cat, both are eating machines and the lack of places for the fingerlings to hide probably made for easy hunting. Ryan's stragegy is working for him. Look at his fish - the relative weight of them is fantastic!


 Originally Posted By: james holt
What Jeff is doing is probably safer and maybe even better but just like most people I want more and so I feed.


My management strategy is founded on the principals of lethargy. (Lethargy: a deficiency in mental and physical alertness and activity, sluggishness, drowsyness, dullness). It's not that I don't care, it's just that I live 500 miles from my pond. I can't feed, aeration is out of the question (no electricity on the property and I've looked into a solar aeration system and that cost big bucks and a windmill system doesn't seem to be a good option in my particular area). Like everyone else I want more fish and bigger fish but some of us don't have an option to have a hands on management approach. And the Lethargy Management Approach is not without it's faults. Last year (due to a series of unfortunate events) I didn't thin the Elodea out of my pond, it multiplied uncontrollably and when it died off it caused a massive fish kill. But that was through my negligence.

It's all about balance. You have to find a management strategy that will work in your life. As I said before, I'm not critizing a more hands on management approach, lord knows if I lived at the pond I'd be messing with it everyday, I'm simply saying that a person can have a very fun fishing pond without a lot of management time and expense.


JHAP
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"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
jeffhasapond #135209 10/08/08 03:17 PM
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 Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
 Originally Posted By: Ryan Freeze
JHAP, I didn't even know you and Theo had posted. It took me over an our to write and send what I posted. ....and work kept interupting \:D


I hate it when that happens. I have yet to find a way to have money just arrive in the mail without actually doing anything.


You just have to figure out a way to get people to pay you taxes ;\)




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
Scott Krehbiel #160006 04/21/09 02:36 PM
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Just thought I'd put in an update and show the progression. Several factors are contributing to the healthy fish: Fall of 2007 addition of Aquamax Largemouth, heavy reduction of small LMB and all large CC in 2008. No trophy's but appear to be moving in the right direction

May 2007-a little thin


September 2008- getting fatter


April 18 2009 - much fatter than Spring of 2007





"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
Ryan Freeze #160022 04/21/09 04:50 PM
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That is great evidence of your managment plan and good feed. Thanks for posting pics.


Get out and fish.
Re: Aquamax Largemouth results
Theo Gallus #160038 04/21/09 07:41 PM
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Yes that makes sense and is mostly right. I do want to point out that natural fertility (normal carrying capacity without feeding or fertilization) varies hugely from location to location. In some ponds 100 lbs per acre is all that can be grown and in some locations over 3000 lbs per acre are carried naturally. It all depends on each location and owners goals as to how , if at all, those goals can be achieved. But you are absolutely right about the concepts. A pond is like a engine , sun, water , nutrients and it produces fish and , plants. Like an engine the longer and harder you push the rpms the more likely it is to break. The more you know and the better you manage it and take care of things the better it runs but it can still break.
















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