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Call us impatient. The pond is dug, rocks around the rim, and pond is filling with a water hose. It's about 110,000 gallons. 60 x 50, 8 ft deep. Is that 1/8 acre?

So, now comes the hard part. I don't know!

Is it absolutely necessary to aerate a small pond?
Is it absolutely necessary to begin aerating it right away?
If so, what size bubbler do I need to get?
Do I have to wait long before I get it ready for fish?
What should I do to get the water ready for fish?
What else?

Janan

I hear the gasps among all the seasoned pond owners. lol. I had a pond years ago and I don't think we did anything except dig, fill with water (well) and add fish! We enjoyed it for years with no real problems!

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/26/20 07:56 PM. Reason: Renamed more appropriate
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60x50 is 3000 Sq Ft which is between 1/14th and 1/15th of an acre.

The main thing aeration affects is the amount of fish you want your pond to hold. Is it 100% necessary? No, but it helps.

As far as adding fish, once you see that the water is holding and you have a few feet in there, I'd think it'd be safe to start adding FHM. Just remember, you're using clean water from a hose, and newly added fish (minnows/bait) will need some microscopic critters to eat, if you're not going to feed them. I think the experts will probably say to wait until next spring before adding fish, though.


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An acre is 43560 square feet. A 60' x 50' pond would be 3000 square feet. So, 43560/3000 equals approximately 0.07 acres. If we assume a 4' average depth, it would be about 4000 cubic feet. That is about 30,000 gallons.

Pool water in my area costs about $450 per 10,000 gallons.

If you want to fill it fast, and it was in my area, I'd buy the water rather than possibly running my well dry.

Purchased pool or well water will be pretty pure. I'd suggest you Google "aquaponics" to see how a combination system of raising fish and vegetables gets started up. It will guide you to getting the water conditioned for fish.

It needs oxygen -- I can't be much of a help in adding aeration. But there are a lot of experts here.

It needs nutrients to provide what the fish need. There are many ways to do it.

Don't put all the fish in at one time. You need to build it up like a pyramid to what you will be trying to raise, unless you plan to buy fish that are already accustomed to eating commercial feed. Then you would need to establish a feeding program.

I'd strongly suggest you buy a copy of the book Perfect Pond ... want one? You can get it directly from Pond Boss or from Amazon.

Good luck,
Ken

Last edited by catmandoo; 07/22/20 08:42 PM. Reason: grammar

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Bottom line is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


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
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Originally Posted by catmandoo
An acre is 43560 square feet. A 60' x 50' pond would be 3000 square feet. So, 43560/3000 equals approximately 0.07 acres. If we assume a 4' average depth, it would be about 4000 cubic feet. That is about 30,000 gallons.
???
3000 sq ft x 4 ft deep = 12,000 cubic feet.


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catmando!! after about 9 months of radio silence, welcome back!!
Please update us if you have time on how things are going pond related and I am happy you can be here to share in your knowledge again!

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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Originally Posted by catmandoo
An acre is 43560 square feet. A 60' x 50' pond would be 3000 square feet. So, 43560/3000 equals approximately 0.07 acres. If we assume a 4' average depth, it would be about 4000 cubic feet. That is about 30,000 gallons.
???
3000 sq ft x 4 ft deep = 12,000 cubic feet.

I forgot to say that I looked at it as a tetrahedron rather than rectangular. because I was assuming that the sides didn't go straight down 8 feet. It is probably somewhere more than 4000 cubic feet and something less than 12,000 cubic feet.


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Originally Posted by catmandoo
I forgot to say that I looked at it as a tetrahedron rather than rectangular.
Well, its definitely not a tesseract. smile


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The pond is more round than rectangular. The photo makes it look more rectangular. The Pond Guy recommended Airmax® PondSeries™, PS10, 115V, 100'. It will cost $1500. Does that sound right?

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The Pond Guy recommended Airmax® PondSeries™, PS10, 115V, 100'. It will cost $1500

Does this sound right? We are ready to make a purchase.

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/24/20 08:38 AM.
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Here are some answers IMO to your questions. Plus a few of my questions

Is it absolutely necessary to aerate a small pond? AERATION OF AN 8FT DEEP POND IS BENEFICIAL FOR LONG TERM OVERALL HEALTH OF THE POND BALANCE, TOTAL WATER QUALITY TOP TO BOTTOM AND POND ECOSYSTEM.

Is it absolutely necessary to begin aerating it right away? NO. IMO DO NOT RUSH. I OFTEN RECOMMEND TO LIVE WITH THE POND WHEN IT IS FULL FOR AT LEAST A YEAR SIMILAR TO LIVING WITH A LIFE PARTNER TO LEARN ABOUT IT BEHAVES - IN YOUR CASE WITHOUT AERATION. NEW PONDS USUALLY HAVE A VERY LOW OXYGEN DEMAND SO AERATION IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS IN AN AGING POND NUTRIENT ENRICHED POND. THE CLEARER A POND IS WHEN NEW AND FULL THE LESS NEED FOR AERATION. I CAN EXPLAIN WHY IF NEEDED. ALSO NEW PONDS ARE OFTEN MUDDY SO IMO LET THE SUSPENDED SEDIMENTS SETTLE OUT FOR A FULL YEAR TO SEE JUST HOW CLEAR IT WILL BECOME AS BUILT AND LOCATED. POND ARE USULLY THE CLEAREST IN LATE WINTER EARLY SPRING AT ICE MELT.

If so, what size bubbler do I need to get?
SINCE IT IS A SMALL POND, COMPRESSOR DOES NOT NEED TO BE LARGER THAN ONE THAT PRODUCES 1CFM PER MINUTE. MOST MEMBRANE BUBBLERS REQUIRE 1CFM TO OPERATE "NORMALLY" - AS STANDARD. MORE AIR CFM CAN MEAN YOU TURN OVER THE POND FASTER AND RUN AERATOR FEWER HOURS PER DAY. TRY TO ACHIEVE ONE TURNOVER PER DAY WHICH CAN TAKE 1 HOUR OR 24 HOURS DEPENDING ON SIZE OF POND AND AERATOR/S. THE WATER QUALITY OFTEN DETERMINES HOW FAST THE DISSOLVED OXYGEN IS CONSUMED AND NEED FOR LENGTH OF AERATOR RUN TIME. THERE ARE GOOD CHARTS FOR DETERMINING HOW MUCH WATER A DIFFUSER MOVES WITH 1CFM AT A SPECIFIC DEPTH - IN YOUR CASE 7-8FT. SIZE OF DIFFUSER (SQUARE INCHES) ALSO MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN WATER MOVED PER MINUTE OR HOUR. I'M NOT SURE THIS airmax IS THE BEST AERATOR FOR YOUR NEEDS. PROVIDE A LINK TO SEE DETAILS. i COULD NOT FIND IT ON THE WEBSITE WHICH IS NOT REAL USER FRIENDLY TO ME.

Do I have to wait long before I get it ready for fish?
WHEN POND IS FULL IT IS usually READY FOR FISH HOWEVER IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHAT FISH YOU WANT. NOTE --- THE FISH YOU WANT MAY NOT BE THE BEST FISH FOR HELPING / ALLOWING THE POND TO EXIST WITH THE FEWEST PROBLEMS TO MEET YOUR GOALS. GOALS FOR THE POND REALLY DETERMINE WHAT FISH ARE STOCKED!!

What should I do to get the water ready for fish?
DEPENDING ON THE QUALITY OF THE SOURCE WATER AND ITS CONDITION OR STATUS IN THE POND DETERMINES IF THE WATER IS "READY" FOR FISH. SPECIES OF FISH WANTED DETERMINES WHO TO ADD WHEN TO STOCK
What else?

ITS IT A MEMBRANE LINER POND? DIRT CLAY BOTTOM?
YOU PLAN TO FEED THE FISH? DO YOU PLAN TO HARVEST FISH? WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR FISH?
DO YOU PREFER QUICK CHEMICAL PLANT CONTROL OR NATURAL MANAGEMENT EFFORTS?
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND FOR MANAGING AND DEALING WITH PONDS?
BASED ON CALCULATIONS ABOVE 12000 FT3 IS 88,800 TO 91000 GALLONS AT OVERFLOW - 0.27 ACRE FEET OF WATER.
USUALLY PLAN ON A CLAY LINER POND TO BE USUALLY MINIMUM 1FT LOW

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/24/20 09:37 AM.

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First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for answering my questions!



ITS IT A MEMBRANE LINER POND? DIRT CLAY BOTTOM?
It is a dirt clay bottom. So far, holding very well. The water is clear.


YOU PLAN TO FEED THE FISH? DO YOU PLAN TO HARVEST FISH? WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR FISH?
We will feed the fish, with pleasure. I will sit at the pond for hours. We will mostly catch and release. Pure pleasure. The thrill of the catch.

THE BEST FISH FOR HELPING / ALLOWING THE POND TO EXIST WITH THE FEWEST PROBLEMS TO MEET YOUR GOALS. GOALS FOR THE POND REALLY DETERMINE WHAT FISH ARE STOCKED.
Please give me recommendations for what fish, how many and what size is best for the pond.

DO YOU PREFER QUICK CHEMICAL PLANT CONTROL OR NATURAL MANAGEMENT EFFORTS?
Quick chemical plant control.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND FOR MANAGING AND DEALING WITH PONDS? Practically none.
Our last pond was exactly this size. We initially stocked it with 100 channel cat fingerlings, 100 bluegill, and 10 lmb fingerlings, which was what recommended.

I depended on this forum as I had issues, but we enjoyed it tremendously for about 5 years. Long enough for the cc to get plenty big. Abundant blue gill, but not very big. Very little luck with lmb, which was disappointing.


BASED ON CALCULATIONS ABOVE 12000 FT3 IS 88,800 TO 91000 GALLONS AT OVERFLOW - 0.27 ACRE FEET OF WATER.
Thank you!

USUALLY PLAN ON A CLAY LINER POND TO BE USUALLY MINIMUM 1FT LOW
Thank you!

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/24/20 11:36 AM.
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A mini-pond in Texas will have different fish combos than more northern ponds. I will discuss one now.

Keep in mind that feeding fish increases the prod productivity and tends to cause more than 'normal' algae / plant growth that you will have to deal with. This type of problem happens quicker in a small pond vs larger pond; all this is based primarily on water volume pond design. Having lots of fish per unit volume requires more food to keep them growing well,, which gets you into a viscous cycle of feed, more fish manure, kill plants, feed more, kill more plants. This in one of the negatives of feeding fish and increasing productivity beyond its natural amounts.

For starting in a tiny mini-pond, I would not stock fish that have prolific tendencies that will tend to overpopulate the small pond with too many fish that do not grow well. Maintaining a balance with constant reproduction is difficult. It is much easier to manage numbers when the fish are not "heavy' reproducers or do not reproduce. If you initially stock species that do not reproduce or reproduce sparingly ,,,, numbers will be much easier to manage due to lack of annual reproduction and those that are present will usually grow really well and faster as they usually get ample food with less overall competition from same species and other species. A fish grows as long as it lives IF it gets ample food, more that subsistence, each day.

With this philosophy it can be basically a put and take fishery. Then when and if you decide to change course of the species present, it will be basically easy to make the change by just stocking the new species such as BG, LMB or maybe CC. CC without significant predation from bass will reproduce and overpopulate!!!! I would only stock these three species as a last resort when other species fail to meet your goals in this mini pond. These main 3 will usually prevent stocking of other species. that successfully thrive and produce high quality individuals n the mini-pond.

Numerous other fish species besides BG, LMB and CC can thrive in a small mini pond.


Occasionally adding more non-reproducing individuals as old ones die or are harvested is relatively low cost, low maintenance, to produce ample high quality fish when the pond is small.

IMO one good fish combination for a mini-pond is only tilapia in warm season and then trout in fall, winter, early spring. These two fish provide great year round angler action and never cause overpopulation problems for the mini-pond. Enhancing this fish combo is FHM who reproduce and produce lots of small minnows for growing the cool-cold season trout. Tilapia grow fast eat lots of algae and delicate invasive water plants to keep the pond surprisingly clean.

Tilapia(TP) are great angler action on light tackle plus they are great invited guests for dinner. What better way to get rid of pesky pond plants/algae and then later,,, eat the plant controller.?? It is sort of like raising sheep and goats for grass / weed control and then having meat for the table.

Tilapia aggressively eat fish food and are fun to feed, some pellets helps them grow fast @ 2" per month, and keeps them familiar with pellets so you can easily catch them on artificial pellets (Stubby Steve brand) in early fall. We have best luck catching them as water temps fall to low 70F high 60's when they are all still concentrated spawning in the beach area. As you remove the TP the water temp decreases to 60-65F and trout can then be stocked. Tilapia will die when water temps drop to 50 and 45F. I suggest you remove as many tilapia as possible because this removes, out-of-the-pond plant/algae bound nutrients in fish bodies that if left in the pond to fully decay would assist to grow more algae problems next year and beyond.

Trout grow fast especially with pellet feeding and top end size is based on size of stocker trout. 10" stocked trout with ample food can grow to 16" maybe 18" by May-June. This provides lots of angler action until water temps increase toward 70F in spring when tilapia can again be stocked. Trout will die in 70+F water so remove them as dinner guests in spring. Have family fishing parties with prizes for most caught and largest caught to harvest tilapia and trout.

One option to try is not use the trout and just stock tilapia each spring and angler - remove them in late summer - early fall. You get a Clean pond, few algae plant problems, minimal chemicals to buy and contaminate the pond (maybe some pond dye), no fish overpopulation problems, fun feeding fish, food for the table, good angler action; all for a reasonable annual price once a year.


As I get more time I will return to discuss another fish stocking combo for the Texas -southern US mini-pond. As you have read this in not a simple short discussion if done thoroughly with adequate detail. I have some friends in DentonTX.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/24/20 10:29 PM.

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I have a mini forage pond, maybe 1/8 acre, which I stock with CNBG. Goal is to raise forage for my main BOW, so I am willing to risk overfeeding & nutrient overload. A fish kill would be sad, but not that big a deal. But that's very different than raising fish in a mini pond for the sake of fishing.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/24/20 10:46 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



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Thank you so much. Please keep the recommendations coming! Can we put something in right now? Just a little?

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Great info.
I can get tankers of pool ready water....

My 1/2 acre pond is a year old with addition of lmb, cc, fhm this year in upstate New York.
It’s losing water due to drought from dry spring and sun all day.
Do you think 54 degree water addition of 7000 gallons from tanker would upset the fish I have?
I appreciate any input!

Laura

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Choosing the best fish for mini-pond can be a challenge. Choices will depend on pond location and GOALS for the pond and fishery. It is really about your goals. Forage pond? Sport fish pond? Swimming - aesthetics pond? General recreation?

The most common fish combo suggested for the mini pond has been catfish. with or without some forage fish. Catfish feed 'em and harvest 'em. This works but what if you are like me and don't prefer catfish. Plus I have never seen a small pond with several to numerous larger catfish that had water clarity more than a few feet. Many pond owners like clearer water to better see the fish. Clear water IMO tends to be more appealing. Thus my suggestions will be to use fish that will allow clearer water and do not have a strong tendency to cause problems associated with over over population.

Bass only. This can be any one of largemouth(LMB). smallmouth(SMB) or hybrid striped bass (HSB). Each of these species by themselves in a small pond will usually not grow much larger than 12" and often be 9"-11" unless you do some sort of regular supplemental feeding. Numbers of only non-pellet fed bass per acre usually range from 50-90 and each close to 0.7-1 pound. The easiest supplemental feeding is high protein fish pellets. Without supplemental feeding the bass have a subsistence diet of invertebrates and eating baby bass; exception is the HSB who usually do not reproduce in ponds. Bass only ponds rarely have very many frogs unless there is a fair amount of shoreline vegetation or cover.

Feeding pellets can allow more bass numbers or bigger to live in the pond and average to be larger sizes. The more bass per acre in the pond generally the smaller the average size to be. Fewer bass generally results in larger individuals because each gets more food per day. Bass only numbers should be monitored annually to watch for overcrowding which will be displayed by smaller average sizes. Bass only ponds tend to be clear water ponds; some in my limestone based clay soils have water clarity to 16ft - very clear, although the average clarity is 5-8ft. Pond clarity is usually closely related to pond productivity (fertility) and amount of nutrients. Pond conditions, pond inhabitants, base soil composition, water shed, and wind exposure and blown in materials can have a strong influences on water clarity.


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An acre-foot of water is apx 325,850 gallons.

7000 gallons/325.850 gallons/acre-feet is 0.021 acre-feet. For a half-acre pond, multiply by 12 inches/foot and by 2 (since its a half acre) and 7000 gallons amounts to just over a half an inch of water depth.

You may be losing twice that per day from evaporation.


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Chandler1 says "Can we put something in right now? Just a little?". Yes you can put fish in anytime. However if the WRONG fish are added for your final goals then those fish can be impossible to get back out unless you kill the whole pond. Those premature fish if not the best specie can cause problems with fish and pond balance. Chose your fish wisely not from a lack of education as to what problems they could cause. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU GET APPROVAL FROM US ON PBOSS FORUM BEFORE ADDING ANY FISH. Otherwise I cant help much with future fish management and pond problems caused by problematic fish.

WHAT SPECIE OF FISH YOU THINKING ABOUT???? . LET'S DISCUSS YOUR CHOICES.

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Thank you so much for your answers. We bought 5 lb of FHM today so I could at lease see something swimming in the pond and to start developing an eco system.

I'm glad that was the only investment we made because it didn't take long to lose about 1/4 of the fish. I bought some pond balance, but this place didn't have much, so it probably didn't really help. It was probably the heat, like y'all warned me about. I'm feeding them floating fish food. I crush some of the pellets so they can get them better. How much should I feed them? 2 cups? Less? Once a day or more than once a day?

Now that the pond is full, the borders changed from what we thought they would be. I would say the pond is a little smaller. About 50 ft by 55 ft. Still 8 ft. deep in the middle.

The thought of just bass sounds pretty inviting. I would like the pond to be clear plus I would also like to catch something beside catfish. The number of fish doesn't matter much to me. I would rather have a few bigger ones.

Bluegill are also fun to catch.

Thank you for you help? We are not going to add any more until we hear more recommendations from you guys.

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2 cups seems like a bit much for a few pounds of FHM's. I would feed them gradually over a 15 minute period trying not to feed them so fast that they can't keep up with eating it all. If they stop feeding before the 15 minutes is up...stop feeding. You could do this twice a day if you wanted to, but once is fine too. I am thinking that a 1/2 cup per feeding is more like it, but that all depends on their appetite, size, numbers, and other available natural foods.

Definitely put in some egg laying structure for them. Anything flat and horizontal will work. They need a flat surface to lay eggs on the under side. Some have used sheets of plywood, foam board insulation, cinder blocks, buckets, barrels, lengths of pvc pipe, etc. Here is a pic of one of my FHM spawning structures that has worked very well now for a few years. I have 6 of these in my 1/4 acre pond...some 2 pallets, some stacked 3 high..Use more than the weight of one cinder block per pallet in the stack. 2 blocks per pallet would be a safe approach..don't ask how I learned that lesson...

[Linked Image]

If you go the bass only route, I recommend the HSB or a single sex LMB stocking with my preference being the HSB. Do your research on the HSB, Texas waters get hot and HSB may not be the best choice. Here's a short testimony on the growth of my HSB the first season...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=38025&Number=494998#Post494998


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That was a good read, Noel!

There was more dead fish around the edge of the pond, but I saw a nice little school of them when I threw out the floating food. I doubt I fed a full cup, so I will feed again this evening.

I'm looking forward to more advice. Should I take a water sample somewhere? We bought test strips at Walmart, but they are mostly for pools or acquariums.

This morning I drug several of the large rocks that were around the pond to the edge of the water. There are many areas now where the minnows can hide. The man at the fishery recommended I get a few cedar branches to put at the water's edge for them to hide from predators. What do you think? I also like the crate idea on Noel's thread. Advice please?

Thanks,
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The "API Pond Master Test Kit" is a very good kit and will last a few years of regular testing should you wish to get into the water chemistry. Here is a thread that I started to "talk" chemistry...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=39072&Number=508352#Post508352

The very fist post is the important one. It has several links and info pertaining to pond water testing and such. The remaining threads are just records my water testing journey...I still don't know much about my ponds water, believe it or not...chemistry is not my strong suit.

Get your FHM's to breeding this year with plenty of flat structure. By next spring, you should have gobs and gobs of them...then put in your bigger fish. These minnows will feed your stocked fish for the next couple years. I wouldn't worry too much about adding branches to the pond unless you end up stocking fish that you want to recruit, meaning breed AND survive to adulthood. With HSB, it would be a put and take pond (no reproduction)...probably so with CC too unless you added spawning structure for them.

First off, you have to decide what your stocked fish goals are and then add structure to suit. With this small pond...your only talking about stocking 10 larger predators and 100 plus smaller panfish max.

You could stock 20 CC or 20 HSB or 60 HBG and grow them, harvest them, and ladder stock most yearly. Little to no breeding/recruitment would happen especially with the CC and HSB. The HBG would spawn, but would be the more manageable than LMB. Going with one of these fish, I would not want any places for YOY to hide. They would need to be eaten to help keep the pond from overpopulating.

OR, on the other end of the scale, you could only stock a few HBG (like 20) and hope for some recruitment. Then you would want some places for the young to hide so that you could populate the pond more naturally. Should you go this route, I would use Osage Orange limbs and such. It will outlast even cedar in the water.

The options are endless. A small pond is best suited for CC, but could be used for other types depending on how much you want to manage the BOW. Check into how HSB do in your neck of Texas and consider them as a fast grower and an exciting catch on rod-n-reel (even though they can be difficult to get to bit...but when they do...hold on).


Fish on!,
Noel
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 103
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Thank you for the advice!

So far the FHM that survived are doing well. God blessed us with a little rain and cooler weather (it's only 81 degrees!)

I am enjoying all the posts. I am so excited about adding fish, but I will wait for the right time and the right decision on what fish.

I will say that I'm not interested in raising a bunch of fish. I like the idea of hybrid. I want bigger fish that will give me a little fun now.

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/28/20 01:59 PM.
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Is it normal for the sides of a new pond to be muddy? Or am I having a problem with the pond?

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com][img]

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/30/20 01:13 PM.
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