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8 acre pond. Central SC. Water is pumped from neighboring creek and we installed a well in 2007.

The quick background. Stocked with bass and bream in '03. Little to no structure in the pond other than the trees and grasses on the dike/edges. One small island in pond. Otherwise, we have trouble getting a "bloom" each year. Limed and fertilized regularly with little result. We have an infiltration of mussels that come thru pump. I had a local fisheries guy come out and test water and look at pond. He was worried that the density of the mussels might be high enough to be filtering our water and therefore negating the bloom. Bream are pellet fed and big. Bass have been caught in the 3-5 lb range but that is rare. Stunted bass likely from overpopulation. We are trying to get some bass out this spring to help out.

My question/dilemma: we drew the water waaaay down. some dry land in the middle of pond. We did this after discussion with biologist in an attempt to kill some of the mussels. we would like to take advantage of the drawdown to establlish some aquatic vegetation before we bring the water back up. we have entertained the idea of planting some 12' cypress trees in that area from a local nursery at $50/per, as well as using some water shield or lillies that I feel certain I can get from another pond. If transferred, will they take root? so...what do you suggest for our situation to increase the structure in the pond during the drawdown as well as suggestions/comments on the water quality in terms of getting a bloom in the spring and summer and the relation to the mussels in the pond?

thanks in advance!

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Be careful with putting lilies in the pond, they could get outta hand and trying to control them wouldn't be fun. Have you looked at the cover thread in the archives? This one

I'd consider stocking a bunch of RES, they would help with the mussel problem. What type of mussels are they?

If you have a large water inflow and outflow, that may be a large contributing factor in not being able to sustain a photoplankton bloom. If that's not the case, have you tested the water for alkalinity and pH? What type and how much fertilizer are you using?


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I see you are from SC? Have to be careful in warm weather states, even Mid Atlantic. I am taking some photos of how to deal with propagation of water lilies. But the only way to manage them well in a earthen pond that is always full is to keep them in containers. And you have to pull those out and recontainer them every two-three years depending on the size of the containers. The lilies will root, if you take a crown or a rooting piece of rhizome. If you plant them directly in the pond and do not drawdown annually to maintain them they will get out of control.

Freshwater mussels? What a bummer. Shellcrackers might keep the population in check, might. Can only help. I think many of them or different species are on the endangered species list. I know they are in NC. Can't help you there. I assuming the biologist said they were not endangered.

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Good suggestions. The 'lilies' could also be lotus, or some invasive wild lilies. Go to Texas Water Lilies website, pick out 3 or 4 varieties and buy in groups of 5 to get wholesale prices. They can tell you what will or will not overspread.

http://texaswaterlilies.com/hardywaterlilies.htm


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i will check the archives but gee-golly that's a lot of stuff to "weed" thru. (pun intended)

yes-freshwater mussels. I will find out the name. they are mostly black with small ridges. about 2" long. the bream dont eat em but was told a catfish might. we had some catfish in the pond in the past but they died. trust me. i have been asked if they were blues or channel cats or other, but all i know is that they died of old age or overheated in grease.

water was tested for pH and alkalinity. I think i can get the actual numbers but we were told we were "ok on the water test but might need some lime" so we limed.

we have been using a granular fertilizer on platforms (2) and some liquid fertilizer we dilute and pour out in front of the pump when its on. fertilizer platforms are loaded from march-september and the liquid is used maybe 2-3 times spring into summer. I will get more detailed info on fertlizer.

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I do the majority of my business with Dusty at Texaswaterlilies. Could not deal with a nicer guy. It's offseason for him so he probably has the time to answer questions, he always takes the time to answer mine. That is a good point as you really do not know what the neighbor has. Also if you do get a slow spreading variety you can cut them back and starve the rhizomes if they ever get out of control. Keep in mind when you order like that you are getting bare root plants that must be dealt with immediately. The order 5 get the wholesale discount is outstanding. That is always my minimum. I think my most is well over 200. Best lily supplier in the US.

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Take a peek here for fertilizing tips/information. It may help diagnose the bloom problem.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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While most mussels or many are endangered there are the invasive zebra mussels. The black and white does not sound too good. They had a huge outbreak in Virginia, and wiped them out completely with Potassium. It's non toxic but just destroys mussels. Potassium Chloride is also widely used as a water softener. You have to positively identify what you have as you cannot just completely eradicate an endangered species, or if they are invasive, state may do it for you. If they are just some common mussel, you can do it yourself and it won't hurt your fishes. And just regular bluegill won't help to keep them from coming back. Red Eared Sunfish are specifically equipped with bone crunching abilities or shellcrackers. Nice fish to stock anyway.

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http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/fms/sumter/maps/documents/SCMussellFieldGuide.pdf

neat read i found. looks like mine are from the genus Elliptio or maybe one they call the "pondmussel."

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mine are definitely not zebra mussels.

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the literature was a little disappointing. Much about the shell, not 1 photo of the critter inside or pre-adult stages. There a lot of varieties in SC.


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That case study in Virginia was one of the few success stories about the plague zebra mussels. But an isolated success. Hey if they are common pond mussels and you can eradicate them, I would try potassium overload. A real nightmare as we have truly become global. Things are from other side of the world, in the Caspian. So they rape all of the sturgeon, which inhale billions of them, and they go crazy and make it over here. Unstoppable, will cost us billions upon billions with no real solution. I'd knock the mussels out because they filter eveything other animals need and throw the pond out of balance. A bottom of the food chain disrupter. The mussels would be my top priority.

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Bill Cody has lots of success with water lilies and a thread or 2 here about them. Containers are a good idea.

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=34713&fpart=1

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=36767&fpart=1

Here are some pics thanks to Bill.














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I really like Colorado, a solid peach. But that Peaches and Cream looks very nice also. Those are some very nice lilies. The super expensive Almost Black has to come down in price for me. The bicolors are coming on strong. My goal as far as the normal sized hardies is white, pink, yellow, peach, red and a few bicolors. I already have just about every mini there is. The tropicals are the best but in my climate they die off in the winter unless you pull them. Too much work for a pond. If you do containerize them make sure you get pond or river botton soil. Not the local supersoil/miracle grow. That won't work nearly as well and may just float out of the pot.

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Good advice re: the sticky dirt needed and some rocks on top. I just ordered 5 each of Colorado, Lemon Mist, Panama Pacific and Mungkala Ubon from Dusty at Tx. water Lilies. He said in an earthen pond it's best to just plant them directly into the pond or else have to mess with them a lot to get good results; only problem is, the rains have come early and pond is at full pool. It will be down 3-4 ft. by the time the fish really need some shade. I will toy with placing some in semi-floating pallets for a while. He gave me a little discount on 10 ea. Nymphea Odorato just to even out the order; I will start the expensive ones in containers and probably will play with the Odorato's.


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I am growing Colorado, Lemon Mist and Panama Pacific. Holding off on Ubon until prices come down. Same as Almost Black. Just thrilled with the Colorado, bit disappoited with the Lemon Mist. Too light of yellow for me, I have a more yellow yellow if that makes sense. The Panama Pacific is outstanding, even though a tropical. I may get it to overwinter without pulling them this season, trying at least. I have a bunch of photos of an old beaver pond that has the ultimate soil for lilies. But I will post them in a lily thread. One of my favorite mini yellows is the Helvola or Yellow Pygmy. I ordered a bunch of those right before offseason at clearance prices. It is a tough plant, great flowerer for a mini.

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Look for two articles in Pond Boss magazine (Mar-Apr, Jul-Aug) this year about growing water lilies in ponds.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management
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2thDoc, do your mussels look like this?





If so, they are not mussels but rather Asiatic clams... They can overpopulate a pond at times. However, these are usually yellowish in color but are sometimes black and rarely grow much bigger than 1.5" allowing them to stay in a size range where RES and catfish can more easily prey on them so I doubt they are it.

They are most likely Eastern Elliptios. They are common species in the coastal and piedmont areas of the south eastern states. They survive well in ponds and can sometime get out of control. Do they look like this?





If so, that is what you got... Eastern Elliptios



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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
the literature was a little disappointing. Much about the shell, not 1 photo of the critter inside or pre-adult stages. There a lot of varieties in SC.


my apologies. I liked the pictures since it really helped narrow down the type of mussel I have.

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BUT, i really like the talk about the pretty lillies. Now can get onto the important stuff? how do i get rid of the mussels and what can i plant that wont take over and wont require a container?

and CJBS2003--those are not what i have. those are too round. mine are more oblong....more like the elliptios....

i have a poor quality pic someone took for me if i can figger how to post it.

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Posting Pictures: Read this or email pic to someone who regularly posts pictures and they can post it for you.
http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92443#Post92443.
Eradicating mussels. Not an easy thing to do. How big is the pond again with maximum depth, average depth and acre feet of water?
Several lilies and submerged plants are available that are not rampant and rarely cause problems. All plants spread which is natural, trick is, know the plants and to pick those that suit ones needs. What are the goals for the plants?


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goals for the plants are for cover/structure.

the pond is 8 acres. max depth is 12 feet. average depth is 6+/-? when the pond was built there is a distinct hump in the middle that averages 4 feet deep. that is the area that is dry now and also the area that holds the most mussels. with the water clarity like it is, i cant see mussels in the areas that were the deepest when water is at full pool. My goal is to establish a bloom. i wish i knew as much as all of you about what the heck i mean by that...but from the reading i have done and consult with a patient of mine who happens to be a fisheries biolgist, he thinks the mussels are the problem in that they filter the water and no amount of fertilizer or lime will help unless we eradicate the mussels. the water clarity is so clear there is rarely a time of year that i cant see the bottom in 8ft of water...

i would like to find an indigenous (sp?) species of plant from another pond nearby. my thoughts are to "harvest" a known plant and let it establish in my pond on the areas that are muddy now and bring the water back up. I was told the mussels that are exposed would die after a couple of weeks and we are nearing that timeline. I would hope to find an aquatic that will do well in this shallow(er) spot that might not want to grow in the adjacent deep(er) water.

i would also like to consider restocking some catfish that can live in harmony with my LMB, bluegill, and shellcrackers and still eat some mussels.

thanks for the help. I know its a work-in-progress...

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Be very, very careful of transferring plants from local bodies of water (BOW)if you don't know exactly what they are. For instance, if you accidentally transfer Eurasian Water Milfoil, you could end up with the majority of the pond covered with growing weeds from the pond bottom all the way to the surface, so thick that you can't get a trolling motor thru them.


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 Originally Posted By: esshup
Be very, very careful of transferring plants from local bodies of water (BOW)if you don't know exactly what they are. For instance, if you accidentally transfer Eurasian Water Milfoil, you could end up with the majority of the pond covered with growing weeds from the pond bottom all the way to the surface, so thick that you can't get a trolling motor thru them.
Good point. Also some of the local water lilies could turn out to be lotus and take over the pond. They could have invasive plants attached to them.
At least get someone very knowledgable to indentity what you intend to plant. You have been forewarned. Just trying to be helpful.


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