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#19541 12/04/06 11:25 PM
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I was thinking about stocking some wild caught SMB into my pond this summer. If I caught 5-10 SMB and transfered them to a grow out tank and used aquarium parasite medicines to treat the fish, would it be safe to add them to my 1/10 acre pond?

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I'm not a parasitologist by any means, but I wonder if SMB are carriers of any significant parasites. I know that bluegill, LMB and YP regularly carry parasites. I also know that I've never seen a single parasite in a RES or SMB. You'd think that I would have seen one by now. Of course I may be ignoring the possibility of parasites too small for me to see. What you're saying is that you want to quarantine the fish. This is Pond Boss herecy, but I think you could find information on a koi forum or aquarium forum on appropriate quarantine meds and duration. Good quesiton.


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Just isolation and observation before putting them in the pond, if you can't get any information on possible preventative treatment, sounds like a good idea.


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I have been involved with fishkeeping (Aquariums) most of my life. Your chief concern will be the external parasites during this treatment period. Next time you hit the grocery store go to the seasoning isle. Get you some salt MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET THE DEIODIZED! Morton and all major brands offer it....it will say "this salt does not contain iodide a necessary nutrient". Treat one teaspoon for every ten gallons of water. Then you want to add a product called "Pond Fizz Tabs Parasite Treatment" this product is made by the Jungle Lab Company. You can order it online here~
Pond Fizz Tabs Parasite Treatment

Or most pet shops either carry it or can order it for you. This is a good product...most of the products offered in your smaller mom and pop pet shops are good! This item is great as it treats both the internal and external parasites at the same time! Skinny or strange acting fish should be thrown back in the water they came from. Good luck.


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Bender - here is a picture of a LMB I transfered many years ago into our pond, it has a unique spawning scar on it's tail. She holds the pond record at 8lbs.




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In addition to parasites there are many other pathogens you could be transferring in that appear in healthy looking fish. See CB1 recent threads on this at :

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=003496;p=1

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=003524;p=1

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=003586

See CB1's first link wrt VHS (Viral Hemmorhagic Septicemia)which has been found in some fish and areas of the Great Lakes and note the order covers SMB. That alone would concern me without more info. LMBV is one that can easily be transported by healthy looking fish. I don't know (not sure anyone knows) how long you would need to quarantine fish for all of these.
















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Bender - what other fish are in the pond? Is the pond new or older? What is max depth and what is the available forage items? Goals for the fish in the pond will have a large bearing on if I would transfer wild fish into it or not.

Scott & Crossman (Fishes of Canada) list the known parasites of SMB to be: 12 protozoans, 49 trematodes, 12 cestodes, 13 nematodes, 9 acanthocephalans, 9 leeches, 1 mollusk, 9 crustaceans. Most common of the parasites of SMB from Great Lakes area were bass tapeworm, black spot and yellow grub. Whenever transferring fish in to a pond one should also consider what could microscopically be in the water that may be added along with the fish.


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It is a newly dug 1/10 acre pond 15' deep max, still filling with water. The goal is to have good fishing and I wouldn’t be upset if there were some trophy sized SMB in there.

I am planning on stocking this spring with Fatheads and a couple months later I will put in whatever is left of the 100 4-6" perch I am growing out inside. I am also planning on stocking 25-50 SMB if I can find them in MI. I have a couple sources lined up that said they might have some if they have a successful spawn.

It is due to the difficulties of finding a reliable source of SMB and being impatient for them to grow, that I was thinking about putting in some wild caught SMB. I was thinking I would quarantine them and treat them for parasites. Then after couple weeks (months?) I would release them into the pond and have some fun re-catching those SMB while I was waiting for the stocked SMB to grow out.

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As a fish taxidermist and an angler I've seen bass tapeworms a lot in smallmouth bass for some reason. Another thing you may have problems with is putting wild fish into a tank environment. It's very stressful to wild fish.


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Bender - This will be a learning experience for you. Try out your theory. But consider this advice.

1. Since your pond is small (0.1ac) it will not be very hard to physically start over when the original fishery has problems with parasites, disease or improper density. A 1/10 acre pond can be quickly drained and refilled. Sanitation efficiency depends on the specific problem but the smaller the pond the easier it becomes.

2. AS Cecil mentioned "putting wild fish into a tank environment" and medicating them may be more stressful than it is worth compared to just catching and releasing them directly into the small pond. Keep in mind that U have to catch, exhaust, hold, and transport these wild fish. Plus the bigger they are the more the stress level is compounded. Catch & transport is plenty of stress for them to endure even without an added chemical bath stress in a confined space. Personally with your small pond, I would take my chances with disease/parasite risk and just do my best to maintain high water quality conditions, keep food forage levels high and then rely on the fish's natural ability to cope. Adding wild caught fish to a larger pond definately becomes a larger and larger problem and it is not advisable unless U can readily clean out and adequately restart a disease free fishery.

3. The fairly deep pond (15') for that small surface area will not significantly increase the carrying capacity of this small 0.1ac pond. The depth of 15ft will primarily only be a benefit to U in reagards to the amount of oxygen that it can store during winter.

4. For the size of pond that you have (0.1ac), you are planning to stock way too many wild caught (5-10) or hatchery predators (25-50 SMB) that will have to rely or subsist on natural foods. This stocking density is equivalent to up to 250-500 bass per acre which is a very high density in a non-aquaculture situation. Plus to this fish load you are likely to add as many as 50-80 adult yellow perch (500-800/ac) that were eating pelleted food. Highly eutrophic conditions are likely to occur in your small pond. Some YP will definately go off feed when stocked into the pond. This commonly occurs. This will put extra competitive pressure on all fish that are relying on natural foods either produced internally or externally added. It will be difficult to maintain adequate food reserves for these fish and maintain healthy water quality conditions due over crowding.

If you go through with this plan and after you get SMB stocked, you should check the individual weights & lengths of the fish you catch, to monitor their general body condition. Whenever they fall below about 80% standard weight you need to be making adjustments to the fishery. Standard weights are available for SMB. The fish will provide signals or indicators as to how they are doing, it is up to you to read the messages to manage and maintain healthy fish. A good way to begin is to weigh & measure each wild SMB as it goes into the pond. As these fish gain or lose weight at each respective length then this info will tell you how things are progressing. Gaining weight or maintaining same weight is acceptable conditions, if losing weight then adjustments to the numbers should be made.

Good luck and let us know how things go with your plan.


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Is it feasible economically to replace water in this pond, i.e. flow through situation using well water?

Bill Cody's post is dead on, but you can increase the number of fish if you push water through the pond with supplemental fresh well water. Kind of like a big raceway. That's what I do in my .15 acre pond and I'm currently supporting 100 YP, 7 SMB, 80 BG, 18 RES and 2 RES X BG, all growing and healthy. The price I pay is 4 dollars per day to add 5-15 thousand gallons daily, which then flows into my bigger pond. This is the equivelant of replacing all of my pond's water every month. If I had a static system I would have to vastly reduce the number of pounds of fish as Bill Cody suggests.

The total number of pounds my .15 acre pond is supporting currently is 150. That's a ridiculously high rate of over 1,000 pounds per acre. I'd like to know Bill's estimate of how many pounds per acre I could support if I wasn't adding 3.5 million gallons per year. I think my surface aerator running all night helps quite a bit too.

Keep in mind that a special bonus on SMB is that some of your smaller hatchery fish may adapt to pellet feeding.


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Bender, just keep in mind that Bruce is one wild and crazy guy.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Bruce I would also be interested in Bill's thoughts. I will say that a lot of (it all) depends on natural water quality. Here are a couple of examples. In 2 of our ponds we can run 500 lbs per acre with little feeding and minor fertilization and no aeration because of the good water quality and small springs. In the other pond with no springs and no fertilization and no aeration or feeding we have about 150 lbs per acre. In some places in Fla. (phosphate pits) with springs that flow through natural limestone into the pits (all natural) they have in the several thousand lbs per acre range with no feeding ,aeration or wells. I have seen underwater video of these pits and the water is so full of fish that it is dizzying to watch. Huge schools of shad , tilapia , BG , RES , shiners (emerald and golden) and minnows of many types along with LMB , gar and cats.
















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That's exciting! When Lusk was at my pond the last time he guessed that my pond might still be only at one half of total pounds it could support. My secchi readings were in excess of 2 meters in October, so I think I haven't over enriched the ponds just yet. Do you think Bender should have water quality analyzed?


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Ya crazy like a fox!

I am putting in a 500 sq ft biological filter that I will be running 11000 gph through to help reduce wastes and nutrients. This will then spill into an 80' stream and then back into the pond. I was thinking about putting in a well to help regulate temps and flush out wastes but $100+ a month to pump it won’t fly with the wife. Maybe I will get lucky and find an artesian well on my property.

When I picked up the perch at the fish farm they showed me there ponds, all fed by an artesian well. They said the artesian wells collectively put out somewhere around 120gpm. At that point I drooled a little bit...

BTW their winter temps in all their ponds are in the 50s because of the steady flow of 50 degree water.

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 Quote:
AS Cecil mentioned "putting wild fish into a tank environment" and medicating them may be more stressful than it is worth compared to just catching and releasing them directly into the small pond.
When transporting the wild SMB would a dose of Tricaine-S (http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/5752/cid/1613) help relieve the stress after it is caught? Then during transportation I could put the anti-parasite tabs in the tank with them and release a couple hours


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For the size of pond that you have (0.1ac), you are planning to stock way too many wild caught (5-10) or hatchery predators (25-50 SMB) that will have to rely or subsist on natural foods.
What would be a good ratio to stock? I am planning on the buying pellet trained SMB, any hope on training the wild ones? How big of a perch can a SMB eat? I am a little concerned that if I stock the wild SMB that they will wipe out all of the Perch that I will be stocking this spring.

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One comment Bender...just because your SMB are (or will be) pellet trained, they will still eat other fish.

I would think a 5" Yellow Perch could get taken by a 14" or 15" SMB.

Also, I don't think you would have much luck getting a wild SMB to go to pellet feed, but you never know.


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My opinions were based on a static pond system. Standing stock, carrying capacity and or fish biomass can be increased as suggested by using flow through and or biofiltration. Various biofilters have various remediation efficiencies so the ability of your filter design should be taken into account with estimating its ability to remove nitrogenous wastes. As I understand the main function of most biofilters, they are designed to remove primarily nitrogenous wastes. Other metabolic waste products will continue to acccumulate in the presence of a biofilter. Crowded fish are not stressed by just ammonia, which is why the flow-thru system in small ponds works so well for Bruce Condello, Cecil Baird, and others.

I do not have a lot of experience with fish tranquilizers such as tricaine-S. I think fish sedatives are more for active manipulation or handling of fish than just normal holding and transport. Whenever I now move fish, I just use my biological-chemical background education, some past experience of killing fish, ssome good common sense, and experience watching other successful transporters as a basis for transporting. The cooler the ambient air & water temperatures the better, the more water per fish the better, and the less time confined in containers and transport the better. Consant aeration or air diffusion is a necessity. Infusing pure oxygen by diffused air pressure during transport is very beneficial, but not necessary. It depends on amount of crowding, ammonia build up, length of travel, temperatures, etc, etc. If you can maintain fish with constant flow through conditions or in uncrowded conditions until transport the less stress that occurs. Salt additives such as Shure Haul or just uniodized salt dissolved in hauling water can help maintain slime layer during fish crowded conditions.

Addition of antiparasite tabs or similar medications may or may not help based on the required chemical-to-fish exposure time and the development stage of each respective parasite or pathogen. Some parasites are only vulnerable to chemical baths or treatments at certain life or developmental stages. During other times treatments are useless. Some treatments are not allowed if fish are to be eaten at any future time. Lots of variables come into play when trying to treat fish for parasites or pathogens.

My experience with training wild fish to eat food is that the younger or smaller the fish is, the more readily it will accept artificial food. Fish species also affects how well it will accept artificial food. I think you will have a pretty hard time getting SMB larger than 11"-12" to eat fish food. You will have much better luck having SMB consistantly eat pellets and stay on pellets if you start with pellet trained SMB. You mentioned that your YP suppler had artesian wells - was it Laggis Fish Farm, Gobbles MI? He often sells YP & SMB pellet trained.

" What would be a good ratio to stock? " Ratio of what? Wild to fingerling SMB? SMB to YP? Forage fish to SMB-YP? Lots of ratios to consider. Count on SMB eating a YP that is 45-50% of the SMB length. So in the example of Sunil's above that 5" YP can actually be eaten by a 11"-12" SMB. This may not always or may not regularly occur and it depends a lot on the density, availability and types of other forage items.

As I said earlier, you have a small, readily drainable pond that is condusive to starting over. The populations in a small pond will fluxuate, sometimes dramatically, despite your efforts. Since fish communities are quite dynamic and constantly changing, you can "easily" or fairly quickly make complete adjustments whenever necessary.

If it were my pond, I would stock feed trained YP feed them and watch them grow all summer. YP 4"-6" in spring that are consistantly fed high protein pellets can be 7"-11" by fall. When YP are stocked, also stock 10-20 feed trained fingerling SMB into a cage about the size of a 55 gallon barrel. Raise them all summer in the cage. Watch the 2007 upcoming issues of Pond Boss Mag about raising fish in cages. Release the SMB into the pond in fall with the YP. Manage this little pond as pellet trained sport fish. Enjoy the experience.


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I enhanced my above post on Friday 3:37pm.


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You have given me a lot to think about. I am flirting with the idea of adding a well for the pond but it might not happen for a year or two. The more I have read about it the more advantages I see to putting in a well.

The fish farm I went to was Stoney Creek in Grant MI. They do not sell SMB so I will probably get them from Laggis this summer, if they have a successful hatch.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Cody:
also stock 10-20 feed trained fingerling SMB into a cage about the size of a 55 gallon barrel. Raise them all summer in the cage.
How large would the SMB get by Fall 07 if I stocked in this years hatch and grew them in a cage throughout the summer? I am thinking about growing them out in the cage until fall and then moving them to one of my indoor 110 gallon tanks for the winter if they are still small enough. I suppose I could always split them up between the two tanks if they were too big.

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""if I stocked in this years hatch"". It all depends. I have done exactly what you described above including moving them into a RES indoor system for winter. I assume you mean by this yrs hatch, you mean the 2006 year class; YOY fish. Well how big are those fish when stocked? YOY SMB at year's end can be 1.75" to 4" and up to 6" long. It all depends. If stocking fingerling and juvenile fish into a cage and raised in proper conditions in early spring, expect them to double in size, plus or minus a inch or two. Look for my upcoming articles about building and raising fish cages in PBoss mags of 2007.


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I look forward to seeing the articles!

Unfortunately, I could not find any SMB available when I called around acouple weeks ago. I wanted to grow them in my indoor system this winter to give them a head start, but the farms said that I would have to wait for the 07 hatch as they were all sold out.

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Bender - The response you received was a typical one for very late fall or spring. To begin with SMB are raised by only a few hatcheries. SMB are always a prize to locate as fingerlings. Juvenile SMB are even harder to locate. Consider yourself lucky if a hatchery near you raises good quality SMB and does it consistantly.


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