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Posting pond construction pics?
Yes - that is okay to put them on the forum. I hope you find that process smooth and relatively easy. Posting is a little too technical for me in that one needs to use a stepwise process and an outside provider for storage of pics such as I think its called imgur. Here is a link for lots of "ole" posts and suggestions of how to do it. The last post (included below) on 21/04/21 with a link is probably the best and most current way to post pictures. Old thread and old methods first -
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92443#Post92443

Here is the newest way to post pics.
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=534153#Post534153

For new ponds in my area, my advice to the owner with a new pond especially for a swim use pond or a domestic water use pond is to live it for a full year. No or minimal fish. This is similar to a partnership or relationship of a marriage. This way ...... one learns a lot about how the pond will behave and it altogether will provide a baseline of information before it has any fish or a significant amount of fish. IT IS THUS A BASELINE OF WHAT THE POND IS ALL ABOUT AND WHAT TO EXPECT AS FUTURE PROBLEMS AFTER THE FIRST YEAR. Is it clean and easy going or is it green and full of problematic green stuff?.

Watch for water clarity changes, various types of plant growth, and colonization or progression of invertebrates and larger critters such as frogs & turtles as the pond ecosystem moves forward as a "clean" or newish water filled basin. This then serves as a starting point with its minimum basis of nutrients. In many of these cases the only fish I suggest are a few tilapia and or minnows. Several tilapia in a new low nutrient pond will keep it swimming pool clean all summer. If they do not do it then the pond initially had a "FLUSH" of too many nutrients from the very start. In these cases the pond will be a cantankerous plant / algae problem every year. Too many initial nutrients with too much fertility for a good easy to care for swimming type of pond.

Normally a new pond quickly springs to life developing numerous life forms due to the amount of initial nutrients that are incorporated in the 'dirt' basin and from any nutrients coming in with water runoff events. This first year will be the baseline of annual pond activity. This then serves as a comparison to the continual changes that will happen as the pond ages. Organisms from tiniest microscopic algae to larger aquatic bug types; they live, grow and die daily in a pond. Normally the first year, the pond will be the nutrient and plant cleanest basis that it will be as it ages into the future. Thereafter plant growth increases because of more plant growing nutrients are being added each year even if it is just one duck or goose visiting and placing in manure or tree leaves dropping or blowing into the pond. A dugout basin having and collecting nutrients without a frequent overflow means there is a constant accumulation of more fertility in the basin. No losses of nutrients unless something such as plants or fish/critters are removed. Nutrients are trapped inside and are continually being used and recycled to continually grow more and more "STUFF". This is called Eutrophication aka aquatic succession or pond aging.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/17/24 05:57 PM.

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Bill, that last bit is very true for me. I have not had any water exit my pond for going on 4 years, and I still am not near full pool. I turned on the well back in January and it's been pumping 25 gpm into the pond 24/7 ever since. I have a 3' band of FA around the edge of the pond and I can see lots growing on the bottom in shallow water. At least the pond isn't 9' low any more, it's only about 24" low. The Tilapia will have their work cut out for them this summer.


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Just adding a note on eutrophication from one of my ponds.

We had a hundred year old groundwater pond at our farm that had been slowly filling with sediment and leaves. The 2-year drought in our area had dropped the groundwater level in the area BELOW the bottom of the pond. The pond essentially looked like a marsh with zero standing water, but heavy plant cover in the damp mud.

I dug the pond about 8' deeper this fall and got the bottom back below the groundwater level. The pond then re-filled with beautiful, clear groundwater for our wildlife to utilize this winter.

I went by the pond on March 5th to see how it was doing. Still had beautiful clear water, but it was a fairyland of filamentous algae! There was lots of algae that had started on the bottom and had even established a few floating mats, with tendrils of algae connecting the two.

When I dug out the pond with the excavator, I certainly went deep enough to remove all of the rooted plants. I don't know where the initial algae starter cells came from, but the FA is essentially the only thing in the pond that is currently utilizing all of the accumulated nutrients. The pond is partially shaded, and we haven't yet had that many warm days, but the FA has already kicked into high gear!

(I just added this off topic note, because the pond was kind of an unusual "experiment" compared to the more typical ponds on the forum.)

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Posting pond construction pics?

Here is the newest way to post pics.
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=534153#Post534153

For new ponds in my area, my advice to the owner with a new pond especially for a swim use pond or a domestic water use pond is to live it for a full year. No or minimal fish..... IT IS THUS A BASELINE OF WHAT THE POND IS ALL ABOUT AND WHAT TO EXPECT AS FUTURE PROBLEMS AFTER THE FIRST YEAR. Is it clean and easy going or is it green and full of problematic green stuff?.

.....If they do not do it [/u]then the pond initially had a "FLUSH" of too many nutrients from the very start. In these cases the pond will be a cantankerous plant / algae problem every year. Too many initial nutrients with too much fertility for a good easy to care for swimming type of pond.

No losses of nutrients unless something such as plants or fish/critters are removed. Nutrients are trapped inside and are continually being used and recycled to continually grow more and more "STUFF". This is called Eutrophication aka aquatic succession or pond aging.

I will post pics...thanks. About 3/4 done, but going S L O W L Y for awhile now w/just one excavator guy working steadily (main guy has a lingering illness), and it's solid rock continuously; like WW1 trench warfare: feels like gaining an inch a day sometimes.

Re: "live with it for a full year"- yeah, I've heard advice on initial stocking all the way from this recommendation (leave it alone for a year), to "wait a few months, let it settle, see what happens,") to "as soon as it's 4' deep, STOCK IT!" (from suppliers.) I understand the desire to get it stocked, enjoy all the fish being in there, etc. etc......I REALLY get that; it's how I feel. But honestly....I am inclined to go with your advice on this one....just LEAVE IT, maybe a few minnows or a few Tilapia along the way..... I believe the process of watching the pond develop from nothing will be fascinating. I want to study how it develops; who/what shows up, how the whole ecosystem starts to form. And of course you and others make it very clear that seeing how the eutrophication process develops will be critical.

If I didn't live on all this acreage now, with plenty of room for a pond, I would have settled for a garden pond of some type....with koi or goldfish.....so I'm pretty jazzed I'll get to "have it all" (hopefully, knock on wood, etc.)

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You don't even have to throw Tilapia in there but throwing Fatheads and Golden Shiners will help you out next year.


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If you go back to my note above one of my options was to stock: "In many of these cases the only fish I suggest are a few tilapia and or minnows. Several tilapia in a new low nutrient pond will keep it swimming pool clean all summer." If you are planning to stock any type of fish eating predator I would stock in a 1/4 ac a few pounds of fathead minnows and a pound or two of golden shiners as noted by esshup. And for the most algae free pond with the minnows, I would stock at least 2-3 lbs of tilapia for algae control so you are not needing to add some form of chemical algaecide. IMO the more chemicals that you keep out of the pond the better it will be or swimmers.


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^^^^ What Bill said. BUT be aware that if there isn't algae in the pond for the Tilapia to eat, and they can't find enough food by sifting through the detritus they will eat the minnows to survive.


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That sounds like an excellent plan. Plus I imagine one benefit is that the minnows/shiners will presumably spawn, so there'll be a good supply when I ultimately stock the SBS/RES/HSB.....is my thinking right on this? As with everything, I recognize there's no guarantees.

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Originally Posted by BJ Nick
That sounds like an excellent plan. Plus I imagine one benefit is that the minnows/shiners will presumably spawn, so there'll be a good supply when I ultimately stock the SBS/RES/HSB.....is my thinking right on this? As with everything, I recognize there's no guarantees.


You are correct


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Because the SBS and or RES are not significant predators of the minnow population, they can be stocked when minnows are stocked. HSB in this fishery are intended to control the limited recruitment of this type of panfish. IMO do not add an over abundance of the panfishes if you want them to grow large. Basically the fewer of these panfish that you initially stock the faster and larger they will grow. For your 0.25 ac pond I think 40 is a low number and 80 is a high number for the total panfish, initial stocking. This is mainly due to the number of panfish living in a small 1/4ac low productivity non-pellet fed pond. If the new pond has no snails or very few snails observed on underwater surfaces, as snails are the main food for growing of RES, then I would skew the numbers toward more SBS than RES. SBS will thrive better on invertebrates in a 'snailess' pond compared to RES who are naturally adapted to eating small mollusks (snails - clams).

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/22/24 11:10 AM.

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I don't think this will be off topic for what he's doing so i'll jump in with a question. How many HSB do you recommend for his pond? His pond is only a little smaller than mine, and about 1 hour away. I'm to the point of deciding on predator fish as well. Was thinking of bucket stocking a couple SMB and then buying a few HSB to go in as well.

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I've had anywhere from 5-10 HSB in my 1/4 acre neighborhood pond, and I do feed quite a bit in that pond.

In this 1/4 acre pond, the HSB get over 20" long, and 4-5 lbs.+.


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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Bob-esper12 - Number of HSB to be adding to a 1/4 ac pond has a lot to do with ones GOALS for the fishery and what other fish are in or gonna be added to the pond. Do you have a PBoss stocking thread or history of the pond? You could have provided a link to the past discussion of your pond for an informational reference . For stocking HSB or any predator, a lot has to do with goals for the fishery. My stocking experience with stocking HSB - just because you stock 10 does not mean 10 will survive after 30 days. HSB can be "touchy" regarding survival of fish less than 8"-10" long. The unknown cloudy waters of a pond make if extremely difficult to know exactly who survived the stressful experience of transportation and stocking.

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Originally Posted by Sunil
I've had anywhere from 5-10 HSB in my 1/4 acre neighborhood pond, and I do feed quite a bit in that pond.

In this 1/4 acre pond, the HSB get over 20" long, and 4-5 lbs.+.

Nice sized fish.....that's encouraging......

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As the fish get bigger and bigger they eat measurably more and larger foods to keep growing. When managing for growth it is important to take this into account. Pellet feeding does help keep large fish growing when there are periods of forage shortages.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
As the fish get bigger and bigger they eat measurably more and larger foods to keep growing. When managing for growth it is important to take this into account. Pellet feeding does help keep large fish growing when there are periods of forage shortages.

Noted. Makes sense. I will hope to avoid "periods of forage shortages." And I may break down and decide to feed them; we'll see how things go.....

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One truism to remember when stocking.

Only bluegills can spawn enough to feed bass.
And, only bass can effectively control the booming spawns of bluegills.

Another: Too many fish can cause an O2 shortage. Don’t hesitate to catch and eat or otherwise cut down on the numbers.


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.

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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
One truism to remember when stocking.

Only bluegills can spawn enough to feed bass.
And, only bass can effectively control the booming spawns of bluegills.

Another: Too many fish can cause an O2 shortage. Don’t hesitate to catch and eat or otherwise cut down on the numbers.

Good to know. I won't have any BG per se....rather SBS, RES.....so does the "only bluegills can spawn enough" comment apply to its sunfish cousins? Not sure if this just means BG, and not other sunfish. I'm assuming you're saying JUST BG.

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Redear Sunfish will not, and neither will Hybrid Bluegills.


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Yep, only bluegills.


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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BJ for your current planned fishery stocking, when using the correct numbers of fish stocked, you should not encounter forage fish shortages in your 1/4 ac pond. When a pond gets out of balance of fish numbers is when growth rates of fish are slow. Your current plan without feeding pellets is for a "good" fishing pond (not focused on developing lunkers), AND a fun swimming hole that visiting family/kids will enjoy. Good swimming pond means doing your best for introducing fewest nutrients as possible for the natural soils where the pond is built. All nutrients that get into the pond usually results in increased algae and plant growth.

BJ Look at this UT website about the nine soil fertility regions of Tennessee. Try and figure out in which region your pond is located. This information will help determine the natural carrying capacity of fish and numbers to stock for your pond.
https://utcrops.com/soil/soil-fertility/soil-ph-and-liming/


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I'd love to look at the "soil types" map, but the text is too small, and if enlarged loses resolution. However I researched it a little and I'm definitely in the "Mississippian" and/or 'Ordovician" areas....meaning sedimentary: limestone, shale, chert, sandstone, dolomite, etc.

You characterize my goals for the pond perfectly: that is exactly what I want. I know I'll have to learn to manage the nutrient levels and all it entails.

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Here is the link to the excellent USDA soils site.

Web Soil Survey

Just click the green button that says "Start WSS".

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