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Losing 10 BG a day???
#505045 04/30/19 06:50 AM
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Background: New 1/2 acre pond 15ft deep on deepest end in Alabama, dug last year. Finally filled but was losing water at 2in per day. Applied soilfloc in March. Reduced leakage to 1/2in a day. Applied another dose 3 days before stocking last week. Reduced leakage to 1/4in a day. Pond is surrounded by food plots that get fertilized and limed twice a year. Soil test for food plots stated the ph was at 6. I used a ph test strip for the pond water and it reads 7. Pond is muddy. Always has been. Around 10in visibility. Stocked 500 BG, 50 SC, and 1200 FHM. Bass are coming in June. I need help figuring out what is killing my fish before I stock the bass. I see schools of FHM in the evening at the surface. They don't seem to be affected or I can't see the dead. Pond is full of tadpoles. No turtles or any other fish in pond. I have an aerator system on order. Yesterday I put a hose with 1/16 inch holes drilled down 25ft of it and sunk it just to get some movement and air in. I don't know if I have an oxygen problem, just wanted to try something while waiting on my system. Water seems healthy except for being muddy. No scum or vegetation. I scoop the dead fish out daily.
I'm clueless. All I can imagine is the soilfloc is killing a few a day. Any ideas?

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505048 04/30/19 07:57 AM
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Be carful with the air system when first starting it up. I realize that your home-made system may or may not be moving the same amount of water that a store-bought system would, but you are supposed to bring those up gradually. If you just turn it on, you will likely be bringing up deep waters that are void of 02 and will also have toxins in them.

My GUESS is that you are losing some fish due to the stress associated with transferring them into the pond. And, you may have added to the stress by mixing up the pond waters. The fish go from one type of water/pond being jarred around in transit, all the while using up the 02 in the containers and soiling it with there urine and feces, then go into your pond waters. Temperature changes often occur during this process, then to add to it an aerator changes the water conditions(02 levels, temperature, biologics, and chemistry)yet again.

How deep is your aeration hose?

Did the aeration system cause a septic smell?

Are there any signs of illness on the fish (dead or alive)? (spots, fungus, white blotches, swollen gills, etc)

Did the aeration system cause a septic smell anytime after start-up?

Did you acclimate the fish slowly to get them used to the different water chemistry and temperature while stocking?

Answers to these questions will help the forum help you.

All I can suggest is the you keep a count on the dead fish so you know how many to replace and as far as the aeration is concerned..that's a toss-up. Did it do any harm? If so, is the worse behind you? I can't say for sure. If it is in shallow water then it's not a strong risk, but if it's in deep water (the lower 2/3rds or 1/2), it could be bringing up nasty waters and should be turned off and/or moved to the shallows.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505049 04/30/19 08:15 AM
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Good points on the aeration. I just started it yesterday after lunch. It is in the deep part of the pond. I only ran it for 30min at a time and only about 5 times total so far. It gave off no smell. The pond is new, so I don't think there is much decaying muck on the bottom. I've been loosing fish since last Wednesday when I stocked them, at a rate of 10 per day. I let them acclimate for 15 min in their bags before releasing. I expected to loose some from stress the 1st couple days, but didn't think it would continue for a week. I'll have to inspect the fish better for the points you questioned.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505050 04/30/19 08:16 AM
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There should not be any significant amount of toxins to kill fish in a new pond. I used an aerator in my newish pond and no dead fish.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505051 04/30/19 08:32 AM
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I missed the "new pond" part, but deeper waters would be void of O2 and by mixing it up too fast would reduce the O2 per volume of water. But, it starting to sound like you are experiencing something else. Stress can easily cause illness to take hold...definitely look over the conditions of the dead fish and maybe even trap/net some lives ones.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505060 04/30/19 11:24 AM
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I just got a response from the fish hatchery that the amount I'm losing is not acceptable. That they think their bluegill was sick from the pollen this year and they will replace or refund me for them.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505064 04/30/19 11:40 AM
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Hi Jason:

Glad to hear the polymer treatment was successful - that's what I love to hear! Congratulations on the recent fish stocking also - now the fun begins.

I've witnessed some small fish [fatheads, small BG] suffocate due to polymer coating gills in windblown corners of ponds immediately following treatment [within 1-2 hours], but typically less than a dozen fish if any at all. The polymer sinks pretty quickly, within a few hours the window of risk is over as the polymer becomes part of your main basin/sidewall soil structure. If gill coating was responsible you'd see all the fish at once, not a few daily.

I suspect your BG morts are due to some stressed fish responding negatively to some other environmental factor - change in water chemistry, temps, low DO, or perhaps the fish were pretty stressed upon stocking. Thankfully you're dealing with just a few BG and they are cheap and easy to replace, but losing fish is still always a bummer - I've killed more fish than I can remember, unfortunately.
Feel free to contact me anytime I'll help however I can.

Congrats again on getting your leak issues under control and launching your fishery.

TJ



Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505065 04/30/19 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: swampsnyper
I just got a response from the fish hatchery that the amount I'm losing is not acceptable. That they think their bluegill was sick from the pollen this year and they will replace or refund me for them.



That pollen will get them every time......


Glad they are being replaced, but it wasn't the pollen. Likely handling stress and stocking them shortly after applying the soilfloc.

Last edited by Acoursey; 04/30/19 11:43 AM.
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505069 04/30/19 01:10 PM
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Who were the fish from ? How long had they been out of the hatchery (in truck)? Doubt it is your water but rather stressed fish. Glad they will replace - a good sign.
















Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
ewest #505075 04/30/19 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: ewest
Who were the fish from ? How long had they been out of the hatchery (in truck)? Doubt it is your water but rather stressed fish. Glad they will replace - a good sign.

Alabama fish and pond. I just emailed them and asked if I should be seeing this kinds of numbers daily. They said no and took the responsibility whether it was really theirs or not. If it was sick fish on delivery then that is fine by me, but if there is something wrong with my pond, then I need to get it taken cared of before I put the bass in in June.
The fish truck said they would be at the store for 2:30. I got there a bit earlier and they were already there so i don't think they were there long. Within 30min of paying for fish, bagging them and the drive home, the bags were in the pond in the shade acclimating for 15 min. The fish truck may have had close to an hour drive to the feed store.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505076 04/30/19 03:05 PM
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I took 15 dead fish out this morning. I see some more floating now.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505082 04/30/19 05:23 PM
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I may have missed it, but how often do you test your water? Do you see trends in DO, TDS, EC, Temp, pH, Ammonia, Nitrite,Phosphate, etc? No offense but spending thousands on a pond and fish and not testing the water at frequent intervals is a recipe for disaster.

I tested my water for two years before the first FHM ever wet a fin in it. I continually test my water and log it on an Excel spreadsheet. To date, I have yet to have a dead fish.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and a heck of a lot cheaper.


2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
Joey Quarry #505083 04/30/19 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Joey Quarry
I may have missed it, but how often do you test your water? Do you see trends in DO, TDS, EC, Temp, pH, Ammonia, Nitrite,Phosphate, etc? No offense but spending thousands on a pond and fish and not testing the water at frequent intervals is a recipe for disaster.

I tested my water for two years before the first FHM ever wet a fin in it. I continually test my water and log it on an Excel spreadsheet. To date, I have yet to have a dead fish.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and a heck of a lot cheaper.

How do I test for all of that? Is there a test kit with everything included that I need?

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505084 04/30/19 08:26 PM
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I will tell you testing pond water is pretty much a waste of time. Tested mine just for kicks and nothing exciting came about. That was the last time. I don't lose sleep over minor things. My fish are still alive and well. I've kept fish for most of my life and never did I test aquarium water except for ammonia. Rarely did I have any fish die. I have done aquaponics and the only time my Tilapia died was due to high ammonia. Do you think mother nature test her ponds, lakes and oceans? Let mother nature take care of herself when it comes to water chemistry. Don't lose sleep over ph, etc. Just enjoy your pond!

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
Acoursey #505098 05/01/19 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: Acoursey


That pollen will get them every time......


Glad they are being replaced, but it wasn't the pollen. Likely handling stress and stocking them shortly after applying the soilfloc.


Curious, what do you base your speculation that polymer use influenced, or played a role in the fish mortality? Is it based on your personal experience losing fish following the use of polymers to seal ponds? If so, please share your experience - this would serve as new science for the forum as I've never witnessed a fish kill event days after pond treatment in over 150 projects. I always remain open to new feedback on polymer use and their influence/effect on fisheries.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
ewest #505101 05/01/19 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: ewest
Who were the fish from ? How long had they been out of the hatchery (in truck)? Doubt it is your water but rather stressed fish. Glad they will replace - a good sign.

It could well be how the fish were handled going IN to the truck as well, you just never know for sure.
One other item I've seen in the past is tank cleaning agent that doesn't get properly rinsed from tanks, mainly bleach compounds with the current day concerns of invasive species.
It can happen..

Last edited by Snipe; 05/01/19 12:26 AM.
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505105 05/01/19 05:27 AM
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I've been communicating with the hatchery. They are willing to replace my fish but said they haven't had any other complaints form customers. They suggested I get a water test, just to be sure, before they replace my fish so I don't lose them as well. What ever route I decide, they will replace them regardless of the out come. They seem to be great people and really want me to have a successful pond.
What I don't understand is if it was a handling issue, will I still be loosing fish daily a week later? I guess they could have developed a sickness from the stress and now the sickness is taking its toll. I pulled a total of 20 dead fish from the pond just from yesterday. It's really upsetting. I'll call the extension service today to see what I need to do to get a water sample tested.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505117 05/01/19 09:55 AM
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What is your total BG loss as of today? I think a water test should be sent in, but that takes time... You can get https://www.amazon.com/API-POND-MASTER-Water-500-Test/dp/B0002DJNN0 and do some yourself. But I would still send in a water sample.

and

https://www.amazon.com/API-STRIPS-Water-Strips-25-Count/dp/B000K0QFKE

I use both

Last edited by BrianL; 05/01/19 09:58 AM.

1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505133 05/01/19 02:04 PM
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Jason

I wouldn't stress on your water quality...I've lost fish many times in exactly this scenario you're describing and it was due to handling , transport, and stocking stress [early career mistakes]...had new morts daily popping up and it had me all colors of freaked out. I'm 99.9999% certain a fresh batch of BG will be just fine provided you temper them appropriately into your pond to eliminate chemistry and temperature shock. The fact your hatchery didn't seem surprised you had morts suggests to me they've been having similar problems with other customers lately - so I wouldn't lose sleep over the BG issues.

Lastly, consider pushing your LMB stocking until the Autumn or 2020 to allow your BG and FHM to proliferate and provide an ample forage base leading to quick LMB growth. Call anytime we can walk through all this stuff together.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505136 05/01/19 02:41 PM
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I have never understood the aversion to testing water quality? I enjoy sitting on the banks of my lake and during that time, I test the water. I am a firm believer in knowledge. I can't change mother nature but I can gain some insight.
Do you phosphates and ammonia increase after a heavy rain? Do your total dissolved solids go through the roof? If you don't know the answers to the basic questions of an ecosystem you are trying to manage, you aren't a very good manager.
For less than 100 bucks you can buy a pond test kit, a digital thermometer that will give you temps to 25' and a TDS meter. A DO meter is expensive but I use a 30 dollar test kit with 50 tests.
I spend 50-100 dollars a year tracking my water, all while sitting in the serene environment of its shores. My fish kill is zero. Seems like a good deal.


2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505138 05/01/19 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: swampsnyper
.... Pond is muddy. Always has been. Around 10in visibility. ...


On the subject of water quality, I would think the extremely muddy conditions could be a stressor to newly stocked fish. Do you know why the water is so muddy and are you doing anything to correct the problem? Have you performed the jar test? The jar test is simply taking a large jar full of the pond water and placing it in the dark for a few days to see if the "mud" will settle out.

You stated your FHM are doing fine. FHM are extremely hardy and can survive in very poor quality water.

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/01/19 03:20 PM.

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Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505140 05/01/19 03:34 PM
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JQ - We all have different levels of pond management drive. No real right or wrong level, just what an individual wants to do. I would venture to say 90% + of private ponds nationwide have 0% management. Everyone who comes to this site is making a conscious effort to improve their body of water. To me that is a mark in the plus column for overall environmental consciousness and respecting the land.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
swampsnyper #505146 05/01/19 04:26 PM
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You're probably right, Roundy. In my defense, my lake is way more than a personal fishing hole. When people see it for the first time, the first question is, "Can we swim in it?" the second is, "Are there fish in it?"
My lake is made for recreation, swimming, kayaking, jet skis, cliff diving, etc. Fishing is just a bonus. I don't want someone I love going home sick because I didn't know my lake was safe for swimming.
I don't manage my water at all, I manage the influences on my water. That way, when I retire, I won't have a job of managing something that is meant solely for enjoyment.


2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry
Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
Joey Quarry #505153 05/01/19 05:15 PM
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No harm - no foul JQ. I love forums for learning about most any hobby, but I see that all types are here to enjoy fellowship and learn. Not many absolutes in pond miestering, as they mostly say "it depends." You're a welcome addition and look forward to hearing more in the future on your project.

Re: Losing 10 BG a day???
BrianL #505164 05/01/19 06:35 PM
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about 125 as of today dead.

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