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Overwhelmed! Where to start?
#253595 04/01/11 10:32 PM
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Hi everyone, I'm reletively new to the pond world and very new to actually taking care of one! We purchased a house on a small pond almost 2 years ago. Last April we decided to stock our little 1 acre pond. So at that point we started trying to figure out how to aerate it. We are the only ones who have purchased a lot on the pond so far so we wanted to wait and hopefully go in with some new neighbors for an aerator. In the mean time, I had the bright idea one day of backing our tractor to the edge, lowering the bushhog into the pond and letting it run for a couple hours. Well my HOA didn't like my idea. They said they got too many noise complaints. (of course I couldn't hear it in my own home, but apparently my neighbors 2 blocks over could). Today I added even more fish and got the news that the bank that owns the forclosed on lots surrounding the pond accepted my offer on 3 more lots! So now I will own a majority of the pond and I'm ready to purchase an actual aerator.

Where do I start? This is all very confusing. The pond is only about 5' deep throughout most of it. There is a very small area, maybe 1/8 of the pond, that is a little deeper. I'm thinking we should go with something solar powered, but living in a neighborhood, it will have to be something that is not too stand outish, so a windmill is out. Any suggestions that could help our fish and keep my notsonice neighbors from getting their pantaloons in a bunch?

Thanks in advance! ~Heidi

Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
TwoTigersMom #253596 04/01/11 11:38 PM
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Hey Heidi! Welcome to Pond Boss. There are some real experts that will give you all the advice you need soon! You may want to prepare yourself for some of the questions they are sure to ask. How old is the pond? Got any pics to post? (they/we love pics!) What is water quality? condition of the dam? pond bottom composition....muck/clay/? Water source? Vegetation? What type and # of fish currently in pond? Goals? Why do you think you need to aerate? etc
Congrats on those other 3 lots, in a perfect world you should buy all the lots on the pond. Read the HOA agreement VERY CAREFULLY as well as the deeds...Hoa people can be very difficult...very stressful to invest lots of time and money to create a nice pond only to find out that you don't own or control a single grain of sand or drop of water. However being a glass is half full kind of guy I'm sure everything will go smoothly for yall.Keep us posted and good luck!


" EVERY DAY I'M AMAZED BY HOW MANY THINGS I DON'T KNOW AND HOW MUCH STUFF I DON'T UNDERSTAND"
Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
findfoolfight #253605 04/02/11 12:43 AM
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Wow, see how new I am at this. Tons of things I didn't even think to tell yall about LOL... Here goes...

How old is the pond? The HOA says it's a retaining pond only and was created when the neighborhood was built 3 years ago. I have seen topo maps and aerial pics that date back at least 10 years prior. My veterinarian also says he fished in this pond when he was young...50+ years ago. I do know that when the neighborhood was being built, they completely drained the pond and added a huge drain tube thing so the overflow can run down to a nearby stream.

Got any pics to post? I'll get some good ones in the morning.

What is water quality? Not sure what you're asking for here. I can see to the bottom most days. After a hard rain it's muddy/murky for 2-3 days

condition of the dam? The dam is the main road in our neighborhood I guess. I'll take some pictures over there too, because I'm really not sure that there is a dam.

pond bottom composition....muck/clay/? Last year the bottom seemed to be really mucky. We had a LOT of leaches, as evidenced by the many times my kitchen looked like a murder scene after my 9 year old would go for a swim. The soil around here is red clay. This year the bottom doesnt look as mucky and I can see firm clay in most areas.

Water source? I believe it's mostly run off water. The pond went down quite a bit last summer. One of the new lots we're buying has a marshy area on it. I believe that's being fed by an underground spring. If it is, we plan to figure out a way to tap into it and run it to the pond.

Vegetation? There's lots of rush around the edges and some in the pond. There's also a lot of algea, but not sure what kind. During the summer there's one area that grows taller grassy looking stuff.

What type and # of fish currently in pond? Last April, I purchased 25 2-3lb catfish, 100 2-3 inch catfish, 100 1-3 inch hybrid bluegill, 50 2-4 inch large mouth bass and 5 grass eating carp. The smaller cats and the blue gill are about 6 inches now. The large mouth bass....WOW! They are all about 15 inches long and weigh 2 1/2lbs. Today, I put in 1000 4-6 inch cats, 50 2-4 inch large mouth bass, 100 BC (some sort of crappie maybe?), 100lbs of FHM, 500 2-4 inch copper nose blue gill and 200 readear (they told me these will eat leaches). Prior to last year, the pond had a TON of minnows and frogs & tadpoles. There's also a lot of crawfish and turtles. Last summer, my son began a relocation program for the snapping turtles LOL. He's catch them, put them in a baby pool and we'd release them on the weekends a large lake. We have alligator snappers, red ear sliders and painted turtles.

Goals? We moved into town to be closer to my boys' school. We left 365 acres so the pond in the back yard was a HUGE compromise for my older nature loving son. Last spring he bought 4 mallard babies from the feed store and raised them then released them into the pond. He just got 6 more mallard babies and 4 pekin babies earlier this week. He and his "babies" had a nice relaxing soak in the tub this evening! Yes, 10 ducklings and a 9 year old in my tub! We feed them and the multidues of geese that stop by for visits. We have one heron that enjoys frequent visits and several hawks and owls. My oldest basically lives by that pond. He turns over every rock, inspects every hole, nook and crannie. He LOVES to fish and tought himself to cast last summer. He uses an open reel (the line is not all closed up in it's own lil compartment?). However, when he catches something he holds it very gently, pets it and tells it to hold very still so he can get the hook out. Then he very gently lowers it back into the water. You can see the worry in his face that he's hurting his "babies". We just want to create a thriving little ecosystem here. He and his friends have so much fun fishing. The bass basically jump on the bank when they see him going toward the pond!

Why do you think you need to aerate? Honestly, I just assumed that was something that needed to be done.

As for the ownership of the pond... each lot surrounding it actually goes into it and meets in the center. The owners of the lots own the pond. The HOA has no control over it at all. They don't want to pay for it, but it sure irks them that they have no ownership of it LOL. They threw a tantrum when they saw us fertilizing it off the back of a jet ski one day. They tried to tell me I couldn't stock it because they didn't want people showing up to fish in it. When I explained they had no say in what I did with the pond, they backed off some.

Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
TwoTigersMom #253607 04/02/11 04:41 AM
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First, Welcome to PG Heidi.

Second, stop stocking. The larger bass and cats are currently happily murdering all of the new arrivals. You have way too many catfish. The bass and larger cats are probably helping to thin them. If you catch a crappie, remove it. They can ruin anything that's not a public lake. I'll let you figure out how to deal with your Sons baby crappies. He needs to learn, at some point, about the predator/prey relationship in ponds.

Third, contact a Real Estate Attorney to ascertain what your rights, responsibilities, and liabilities are. Show him/her the deed and HOA covenants.

Fourth, learn something about aeration. Contact Sue Cruz who posts here.

Fifth, take a picture of the plant life and post them. We can tell you what they are and how to or whether they need to be controlled.

Sixth, build a sechi disk to determine the ponds clarity on a non muddy day. This is an indicator of the ponds fertility regarding the planktonic base. Make a sechi disk out of the top of a white bucket or anything like that. Poke a hole in the middle, run a string through it and tie on a weight. Lower it into the water and determine the depth that the white thang disappears. It should be 18 to 24 inches. Tell us what it says.

Seventh, take a water sample in a clean new baby bottle or something like that and have it analyzed. I have no idea who does that in Alabama. You're mostly looking for alkilinity, PH levels and possible nasties of some sort or another. Post the results here.

Eighth, contact the Pond Boss office and buy a couple of books. Buy "Raising Trophy Bass"(it's about a lot more than bass) and "Perfect Pond...Want One?". These books will answer questions that you won't know enough to ask about for years.

Ninth, start reading the topics on this site. Start with the archive area. Don't worry about the bantering that goes on. We're friends here. Believe it or not, all of the Yankees on here are actually nice guys. BTW, have your Son read on this site. we are very family friendly and not a Mens Club.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 04/02/11 06:47 AM.

It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
Dave Davidson1 #253616 04/02/11 07:55 AM
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Wow. Your kid is Cool!

Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
vamaz #253619 04/02/11 08:46 AM
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Hey Heidi..You did a good job on your second post. I agree with everything Dave recommended, especially "stop stocking". The sheer volume of information here can be overwhelming to anyone new at this pond management stuff. Just stay calm, take what you need and leave the rest. It will be important for your family (especially the boys) to understand that there is a LOT more involved in creating the perfect little ecosystem you desire than just adding more fish and stirring up the water. I am very excited for yall and envious of the great adventure you are about to begin! In many ways you and your situation are the very reason this site exists. Please keep us posted! Ken S


" EVERY DAY I'M AMAZED BY HOW MANY THINGS I DON'T KNOW AND HOW MUCH STUFF I DON'T UNDERSTAND"
Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
TwoTigersMom #253653 04/02/11 11:03 AM
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Hi Heidi,
I manage ponds and lakes in Michigan. First I would look into using bacteria and sub surface aeration systems. I use Airmax Ecosystem products for all my needs. They have a new shallow water system called AM10 and AM20 that would work great for this application. You can find all these great products and more at www.thepondguy.com.

Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
BrandonK #253664 04/02/11 01:05 PM
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This is dome of the algea we have







This is the large drain tube thingy. Not sure what the white pvc pipe is for to the left of it.



This stuff just started to spring up a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what it is, but it's only on the far road side and I don't recall seeing it at all last year.





This is the entire pond. Our house is the only one on it. Currently we own to the middle in the back of the pond and up to the little point that comes out on the left side of the picture. We are purchasing from the middle back around the right side to the landscape tarp that you can see on the right. Also the lot on the left that is out of the picture, but includes those drain tubes things.



This is what I'm assuming is the dam.



Re: Overwhelmed! Where to start?
TwoTigersMom #253666 04/02/11 01:10 PM
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Thanks for all the info so far! I'll work on that list this week, Dave. I actually have an appointment with the lawyer Monday concerning HOA junk, so I'll make sure to bring my deed and such with me too. Something is telling me that I should have stayed a farm girl instead of trying to become a city girl! LOL Or should I say...stayed in the country instead of trying to bring the country to the city!

Last edited by TwoTigersMom; 04/02/11 01:10 PM.

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