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#214685 04/28/10 05:29 AM
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I've been reading everything I can on FHM and gambusa minnows, both of which I have in my pond. I want to set up an area in my barn for a tank for nothing but growing gambusa minnows. It's interesting to note that while there has been much debate about how to set up FHM's so they can spawn but no where near the same for the gambusa. Is it because its the same for both? If the gambusa is so much better at surviving in a lmb pond, why has there not been the same amount of threads with associated data for them? Am I missing something crucial? Where can I find data related to building a small fishery geared towards supplying my pond? Im not thinking big time, just something extra for my fish without having to pay $16.00 a pound for them in town. I know I dont have to do this and could just use the feeder to make up the difference. I already feed, and will continue to do so even if i get this idea off the ground. I want to do this so I can learn and most of all try to get my kids more interested in biology involved with a pond. I feel pretty confident that I could do this for a small amount of money. If it pays off and the kids decide to follow a path similar in higher education then its money well spent. I dont want my kids to do this because I want it, I want them to see that there is so much more out there than just what they learn in school. If it inspires them at all then I have accomplished my goal.


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Gambusia, being live bearers, have no special spawning needs. All they need is a little shallow water to keep from being eaten out of existence. I suppose gams aren't real popular among LMB fishermen because of their unimpressive size. Although large bass will eat them, they're not large enough to be a primary source of forage. I think they're pretty important as forage for smaller bass, because they're so reliable. Not only do the LMB eat them, but so do most other fish. Their feeding requirements are also minimal. They do quite well in a muddy, seemingly barren water hole. Without predators, they breed amazingly fast because live bearing is so efficient.

Good luck with the kids. I think an hour of "hands-on" experience is worth many classroom hours.

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I swear by Gambusia. Others don't. I think pound for pound or weight ratio they are one of the toughest fish in the world. They can live in brackish water, O2 depleted water. Warm water. But they do need open surface. I have a rather large pond dedicated to them, and I put in 200, and now have 10's of 1000's. Unlike FHM, they don't lay eggs, don't need anything special. And when they are bearing those young live, you might like some vegetative cover for them to hide. I have seen them kick out five to six breedings a season. Little tiny 1/4" guys swimming everywhere.

Big lmb don't chase them, but little lmb inhale them, as do other small forage that end up lmb food also. To me, a critical link in the food chain. Where fhm eventually vanish, those gambusia hang in there, as long as the have shallow water cover. Also, they readily take pellets, and will even just peck away on large pellets.

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> I put in 200, and now have 10's of 1000's.

I was fishing over the weekend, and when my Roadrunner was reeled in close to shore, I saw what I thought was the water fizzing like it was carbonated. I soon realized it was thousands of baby gams fleeing ahead of my bait, flying out of the water. My BG and baby LMB will be eating well this summer. grin




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Thanks for the help guys, now I know enough to start. I had a feeling the reason for fhms being of more interest was due to size. Due to those feelings I also felt that even if no lmbs ate the gams then at least it would be additional forage for the smaller fish, which would in turn go to the lmbs at a dinner time of their choosing smile I took my daughter to the local bait shop to let her see the container that fhms swim in. As luck had it there were 1000's of them, big and small. I got the wide eyed look of amazement followed by the onslaught of questions. Hook, line, and sinker! Now its time to get to work before the interest is lost...


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I had the pleasure of watching the gambusia at work in the food chain yesterday. They were all the way up against the shore, trying to hide in weeds, and this baby 4 leaf clover stuff. Maybe one inch of water, or less. A lot of fat females. Full grown they are not much smaller than FHM. Just a few inches from them were bg and baby lmb. Waiting for a dummy. The entire time I was there these hungry waiting fish were popping. Going into the shallows after these gambusia. Sometimes I like to just sit back and watch the show.

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Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
Sometimes I like to just sit back and watch the show.


I'm a big fish watcher too.

Gams seem to be among the smartest fish in my pond. You can fool the once, but
seldom twice.

Every time I transplant gams into my pond, they huddle up on the surface and
refuse to leave the immediate release area. It takes them a good while to get
comfortable in their new surroundings. They are terrified to swim below the
surface for ~24 hours. I believe they learn every feature in their surroundings
in minute detail. I believe they can memorize at least 1000 feet of shoreline.

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Ive also been thinking of making some kind of tank system to grow out some bluegill and other fish in my barn until they are big enough to go in the pond. Heres a link to a system that I found. Its more than I wan to pay but I was thinking of building something like this.
http://www.kens-fishfarm.com/c-56-tank-fish-farms.aspx

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Have you thought of digging a "mini pond"?

Mine is around 10x15x3' deep, and is about 20 feet from my big pond. A small, inexpensive solar pump pulls water from the main pond to keep it full and cool. The purpose of my little pond is to grow my own fishing bait, (fathead and shrimp in my case). But I suppose you could use it as a grow out pond for almost any species.

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Holy sheet! Talk about DIY. You could put something together custom made for what you want for some time and 1/4 of those prices. Might even be some threads here already. I'm working on several growout tanks. My starting tank is the 300 gal commercial rubbermaid. Koi guys really use a lot of them. I'm making a few this year, whenever I time, which is not presently.

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Gambusa are actually extremely important. They feed your baby Bass, Bluegill, Catfish. When your baby Bass grow too large for Mosquito larvae but not quite big enough to consume a 3-4" FHM what are they going to eat? They eat Gamusa minnows in the shallows. This excels your fishes growth and the fact that the only thing Gambusa's need is shallow water(5" to 1ft deep) and some shallow water plants, they will feed your pond year in and year out. They are very important controlling your Mosquito populations and their hardyness is unbeleiveable. They are exactly like FHM, just they are livebearers and only get .5" to 1".

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FK1, are you sure that fatties are livebearers?


Just do it...
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I agree with thier place in the food chain 100%. However I see them inhabit areas where no other fish go. Less than 1/2" of water, and right on the shore. And I have mixed tanks with both FHM and gambusia, they spend all of thier lives in different stratas. Gambusia mainly on the surface, they are built like guppies with upward or surface facing mouths. And one more thing, females can get up to 2 1/2". I have 100's that big.

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I went to the local fish store today and talked to them about building my own system using those 300 gal. Rubbermaid water tanks. The pump was around $600.00 and tanks were about $200.00 each and then I would need a UV sterilizer and the stuff to make my own filter using a 100 gal rubbermaid tub. All together a 3 tank system with everything would be about $1500.00-$2000.00 so that way was a good bit cheaper. How many pounds of fish could be kept in each 300 gal. tank? I was thinking of a three tank system and have BG in one Bass in one and something else in the last one and just use it to grow them out until I could put them in the main pond.

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You know I think there are many variables as to how many lbs. of fish you could keep in each tank long term. Plus, It might be best to keep that constant by growing them out and letting some go weekly and bimonthly while others gain weight.

Just some of the variables off the top of my head:

Species
pump capacity
filtration capacity
filtration maintenance frequency
water temp
dissolved or readily available O2 ratios
even the set up itself

I am debating just getting one giant pump/filter system and running a series of tank with ability to isolate for infrequent maintenance. Also having a venturi/drain center of each for manual morning flush out. I think you could get down to $1,000 per tank. Or close. I have 7 tanks now but they are dedicated for lilies and more lilies, plus one open for fish farm gimme's. I need at least 3 more dedicated for that system. But as it stands now I have countless gambusia and am starting fhm in them with the lilies. Each tank has some type of fry safe zone such as a parrotfeather area, frogbit ot hyacinth. Each day I see new ones. I might start a fry only tank also.

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Originally Posted By: jsand13
I went to the local fish store today and talked to them about building my own system using those 300 gal. Rubbermaid water tanks. The pump was around $600.00 and tanks were about $200.00 each and then I would need a UV sterilizer and the stuff to make my own filter using a 100 gal rubbermaid tub. All together a 3 tank system with everything would be about $1500.00-$2000.00 so that way was a good bit cheaper. How many pounds of fish could be kept in each 300 gal. tank? I was thinking of a three tank system and have BG in one Bass in one and something else in the last one and just use it to grow them out until I could put them in the main pond.


Tell me more about this 600.00 pump, like specs and mfg.

And then, if you will: Tell me why you need a UV system, and what is it supposed to do?

Rubbermaid stock tanks are just that, stock watering tanks. They are dark and hard to clean, and have too many bumps and obstructions to good water currents. You would be better off epoxy coating some galvanized steel stock tanks. The lines are much cleaner, and you will be much more able to adjust currents.

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Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
You know I think there are many variables as to how many lbs. of fish you could keep in each tank long term. Plus, It might be best to keep that constant by growing them out and letting some go weekly and bimonthly while others gain weight.

Just some of the variables off the top of my head:

Species
pump capacity
filtration capacity
filtration maintenance frequency
water temp
dissolved or readily available O2 ratios
even the set up itself

I am debating just getting one giant pump/filter system and running a series of tank with ability to isolate for infrequent maintenance. Also having a venturi/drain center of each for manual morning flush out. I think you could get down to $1,000 per tank. Or close. I have 7 tanks now but they are dedicated for lilies and more lilies, plus one open for fish farm gimme's. I need at least 3 more dedicated for that system. But as it stands now I have countless gambusia and am starting fhm in them with the lilies. Each tank has some type of fry safe zone such as a parrotfeather area, frogbit ot hyacinth. Each day I see new ones. I might start a fry only tank also.


Did you know that Temperature is a constant in every Engineering Equation, with regards to having fish in tanks!

Why would you want a giant pump and filter system if you have multiple tanks?

Just curious.

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I don't think a UV sterilizer would be needed if your RAS was indoors out of the sun, Too much UV can kill the bacteria in your filter and then you've got Nitrite problems, been there done that with my backyard mini-pond.
The 100gal RAS I have works fine without a UV sterilizer and my fish are fed very heavily.



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Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: jsand13
I went to the local fish store today and talked to them about building my own system using those 300 gal. Rubbermaid water tanks. The pump was around $600.00 and tanks were about $200.00 each and then I would need a UV sterilizer and the stuff to make my own filter using a 100 gal rubbermaid tub. All together a 3 tank system with everything would be about $1500.00-$2000.00 so that way was a good bit cheaper. How many pounds of fish could be kept in each 300 gal. tank? I was thinking of a three tank system and have BG in one Bass in one and something else in the last one and just use it to grow them out until I could put them in the main pond.


Tell me more about this 600.00 pump, like specs and mfg.

And then, if you will: Tell me why you need a UV system, and what is it supposed to do?

Rubbermaid stock tanks are just that, stock watering tanks. They are dark and hard to clean, and have too many bumps and obstructions to good water currents. You would be better off epoxy coating some galvanized steel stock tanks. The lines are much cleaner, and you will be much more able to adjust currents.



Huh? Bumps and obstructions? May I ask how many do you have? I have no idea what you are talking about, and I have many of them. Also, they are probably the #1 choice for koi enthusiasts dyi's. And thier fish are worth about 100 X what I am using them for. But I will have a mixed butterfly normal koi carp tank soon. They arrive ready to go, all you have to do is bore out a center drain. Bang for the buck best tank on the market. And extremely easy to clean. Galvanized stock tanks are too expensive, and are not premade with an inlet/outlet. They even have a float shutoff for the 300 gal stock tank.

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Originally Posted By: adirondack pond
I don't think a UV sterilizer would be needed if your RAS was indoors out of the sun, Too much UV can kill the bacteria in your filter and then you've got Nitrite problems, been there done that with my backyard mini-pond.
The 100gal RAS I have works fine without a UV sterilizer and my fish are fed very heavily.


I am going to go without the uv. Rely solely on benficial bacteria and sediment flushes. May I ask to you use sand, bio balls or?

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Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: jsand13
I went to the local fish store today and talked to them about building my own system using those 300 gal. Rubbermaid water tanks. The pump was around $600.00 and tanks were about $200.00 each and then I would need a UV sterilizer and the stuff to make my own filter using a 100 gal rubbermaid tub. All together a 3 tank system with everything would be about $1500.00-$2000.00 so that way was a good bit cheaper. How many pounds of fish could be kept in each 300 gal. tank? I was thinking of a three tank system and have BG in one Bass in one and something else in the last one and just use it to grow them out until I could put them in the main pond.


Tell me more about this 600.00 pump, like specs and mfg.

And then, if you will: Tell me why you need a UV system, and what is it supposed to do?

Rubbermaid stock tanks are just that, stock watering tanks. They are dark and hard to clean, and have too many bumps and obstructions to good water currents. You would be better off epoxy coating some galvanized steel stock tanks. The lines are much cleaner, and you will be much more able to adjust currents.



Huh? Bumps and obstructions? May I ask how many do you have? I have no idea what you are talking about, and I have many of them. Also, they are probably the #1 choice for koi enthusiasts dyi's. And thier fish are worth about 100 X what I am using them for. But I will have a mixed butterfly normal koi carp tank soon. They arrive ready to go, all you have to do is bore out a center drain. Bang for the buck best tank on the market. And extremely easy to clean. Galvanized stock tanks are too expensive, and are not premade with an inlet/outlet. They even have a float shutoff for the 300 gal stock tank.


Don't get your skivvies all tied up into a knot.

I am not going to argue with you, just ain't worth it.

J

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Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog


I am going to go without the uv. Rely solely on benficial bacteria and sediment flushes. May I ask to you use sand, bio balls or?


I have a bubble bead filter, it works great.
Funny story, I bought the filter used last summer from a lady who had her Koi pond enlarged and she bought a larger filter, it was a beautiful double pond which was filled with all kinds of lilies, she offered me all I wanted cause they were chocking the ponds, like an idiot I said no thanks. Now after seeing lilies costing 20 bucks, I should have listened to my wife.
This woman has a 1500 gal tank in here basement and brings the Koi in for the winter.



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where can you purchase gambusa?

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Originally Posted By: adirondack pond
Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog


I am going to go without the uv. Rely solely on benficial bacteria and sediment flushes. May I ask to you use sand, bio balls or?


I have a bubble bead filter, it works great.
Funny story, I bought the filter used last summer from a lady who had her Koi pond enlarged and she bought a larger filter, it was a beautiful double pond which was filled with all kinds of lilies, she offered me all I wanted cause they were chocking the ponds, like an idiot I said no thanks. Now after seeing lilies costing 20 bucks, I should have listened to my wife.
This woman has a 1500 gal tank in here basement and brings the Koi in for the winter.



You would not believe the amount of koi enthusiasts that bring thier prized possessions in for the Winter. Makes sense though. Some people have thousands of dollars invested in them, and even worse emotional attachments. I think the koi on record lived 224 years. Not many pets outlive thier owners. What's even funnier is these people don't even think about money, it is no object to them and thier koi. I'll look into the bubble bead. It's amzing the money I make off of lilies. 2 gal potted are retailing for $37 now out here.

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Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: jsand13
I went to the local fish store today and talked to them about building my own system using those 300 gal. Rubbermaid water tanks. The pump was around $600.00 and tanks were about $200.00 each and then I would need a UV sterilizer and the stuff to make my own filter using a 100 gal rubbermaid tub. All together a 3 tank system with everything would be about $1500.00-$2000.00 so that way was a good bit cheaper. How many pounds of fish could be kept in each 300 gal. tank? I was thinking of a three tank system and have BG in one Bass in one and something else in the last one and just use it to grow them out until I could put them in the main pond.


Tell me more about this 600.00 pump, like specs and mfg.

And then, if you will: Tell me why you need a UV system, and what is it supposed to do?

Rubbermaid stock tanks are just that, stock watering tanks. They are dark and hard to clean, and have too many bumps and obstructions to good water currents. You would be better off epoxy coating some galvanized steel stock tanks. The lines are much cleaner, and you will be much more able to adjust currents.



Huh? Bumps and obstructions? May I ask how many do you have? I have no idea what you are talking about, and I have many of them. Also, they are probably the #1 choice for koi enthusiasts dyi's. And thier fish are worth about 100 X what I am using them for. But I will have a mixed butterfly normal koi carp tank soon. They arrive ready to go, all you have to do is bore out a center drain. Bang for the buck best tank on the market. And extremely easy to clean. Galvanized stock tanks are too expensive, and are not premade with an inlet/outlet. They even have a float shutoff for the 300 gal stock tank.


Don't get your skivvies all tied up into a knot.

I am not going to argue with you, just ain't worth it.

J


I'd say that also if I was talking out my anus. My skivvies never get into a knot about an Internet post. How could they? I've been driving a fast attack sub trailing a Rusky missile sub during the Cold War. Almost sank going through Straights of Juan de Fuca in a sea state of 8. Internet forums are milquetoast in comparison. I pick up these tanks delivered to my door for under $200 a unit if I order 3. They pay for themselves in one season. I like you, I appreciate blissful posters.

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Originally Posted By: MRHELLO
where can you purchase gambusa?


Gambusia or mosquitofish can purchased on-line from a couple of dealers. You can also sometime find them mixed in with feeder fish at pet stores. However, gambusia are not native to OK. I would not introduce them to OK and it is probably illegal anyways. There are native fish that would be better suited anyways.

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We must be talking about two different tanks. The ones I have seen at TSC have two vertical protrusions (bumps) on the inside that are larger at the bottom and taper up. Plus they only have a drain, no inlet. Having had a number of recycle systems in the past, I felt that the ones I had observed would not be suitable for my goals. However, I might use one for a holding tank. I have some new systems in the works and should have them later this summer. I'll post a picture then.

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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Originally Posted By: MRHELLO
where can you purchase gambusa?


Gambusia or mosquitofish can purchased on-line from a couple of dealers. You can also sometime find them mixed in with feeder fish at pet stores. However, gambusia are not native to OK. I would not introduce them to OK and it is probably illegal anyways. There are native fish that would be better suited anyways.


They are illegal in MI also. I wanted to get some for my moms small pond for mosquito control, but found they are on the no-no list. About the only thing available in our area are FHM so I'll give that a try.

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They naturally appeared in my pond.


Get out and fish.
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Mosquitofish have a way of doing that...

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I think we cought one out of a stream today as well. So not sure how they got there either.

Plus why are they illegal in OK?

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I am not saying they are illegal in OK. I don't know. You need to check though. Mosquitofish/Gambusia are nasty little buggers that harass, pick, snip and bite at anything they can get their mouths on. They often out compete native fish. There are two species of mosquitofish. An eastern and a western species.

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Would Gams eat away at yellow perch egg ribbons?? I assume we can't have them here in PA either CJ, since the commonwealth doesn't want RES to be stocked here either. I'm still looking for a source for them.

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My first memories of gambusia are from the small fishing pond on the Hollidaysburg Sportsman Club in PA near Altoona. My grandfather used to take me fishing there all the time. They had a small but self sustaining population of gambusia in the pond. Farthest north population I have seen that wasn't along the coast. I am not sure if they'd survive much farther north. I don't know if they are legal in PA or not. If you want some, I can catch you a few and mail them to you for use in your aquarium... wink I'd look at some banded killifish over the gambusia. They should handle the cold better and do pretty well under predation. They just aren't livebearers like gambusia are.

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Just from a quick read it appears they down't spawn as prolifically either. I am having good luck at present maintaining forage with FHM for my perch but it's possible down the road I will be searching for options.

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Does anybody know where I can get gamx in iowa

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Ovation, where do you live in Iowa? Im from the Fort Dodge area. I think CJBS2003 is right about the northern latitudes. They may natively live in southern Iowa, up to about Red Rock Reservoir. Here is a website I found that had the native distribution of gambusia. I don't think anyone grows them in Iowa, but I could be wrong.

http://maps.gis.iastate.edu/iris/fishatlas/maps/165878.jpg


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I live in charles city about 2 hours from you just was wondering about stocking them in my 2.5 acre pond. I just want to add more forage/bait to the pond.

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Originally Posted By: JKB
We must be talking about two different tanks. The ones I have seen at TSC have two vertical protrusions (bumps) on the inside that are larger at the bottom and taper up. Plus they only have a drain, no inlet. Having had a number of recycle systems in the past, I felt that the ones I had observed would not be suitable for my goals. However, I might use one for a holding tank. I have some new systems in the works and should have them later this summer. I'll post a picture then.


I think that is them. Those are reenforcements for the flats, which makes them take up way less space, as they can be pushed up against a straight line wall. Also they stack, great for storage and shipping, so if I order three instead of one, $60 shipping is ony $20 per.

Right now I have most of mine set up for triple tanks. No recirc at all. Lilies/fish/polliwogs. I have one standby for fish farm gimmes. That one I just put a Weston recirc 110V on top for temp holding. I made a cover system for shade and jumpers. The drain works for end of season washdown, with hp washput, then drain. I even recycle whatever is on bottom for new lily planting. The fish may be goldfish, gambusia or fhm. Even a couple of free one eyed koi. Pirate koi free from Petsmart. I have a pallet under mini lilies, a real hot item. That is for the fhm to hang out and breed.

The drain is actually used as an inlet by koi guys. They center drill the bottom and install shower type drains and put them on cinder blocks. A lot of guys overwinter thier koi in them indoors, or in a barn or garage and heat the tanks. The flats will create minor dead spots at the bottom I suppose. But fish tend to roll into those once in a while to get a break from moving water. If you have a venturi type of drain center not much gets stuck on them. I am going for 3 more soon. First I need one each for hardy lilies, color coded. Red, White, Yellow, Pink and Peach. I need one for tropicals, one for minis. I need one open for fish farm gimmes. So I can probably get away with a double tank or maybe a triple tank system. They do manufacturer float valves for them also.

Right now I have gambusia in every full tank. I wish I had not accidentally put some in my fhm tank, I'll fix that on a drain maintenance. Usually I make a safe zone out of parrotfeather or hyacinth for the fry. But I might just make a growout tank for them. Everyday I can I drop some Sturgeon pellets in there, and they just nip at them constantly until they are gone. I like to watch them occupy thier zone. Without predation they take over and dominate. They do bully fish 10X thier size. And they will wipe out fragile native species. Because they are not fragile. I never put them in places where they might do that. At least I hope I don't.

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There are numerous for free sources where I am at. Besides any pond of body of water that has them, you have to check local regulations about transporting them. We have vector control for mosquitos. They used to just give them to you if you lived in the same county and had a need. Some places got abused, especially during West nile scare. But mostly they just give you some and you put them in. Does not take many, I am on my third and fourth broods in many of my tanks already. I have hatches daily. You just need a safe zone for the fry. I am also hand dip netting a few dozen per day and moving them into fry tanks or empty tanks where they can all grow together. You do not need to buy your starting stock, and you do not need to start with many. I have a customer that bought 6,000 of them. I asked him why? he said he wanted as many as possible. I told him they would have gotton to the max population point starting with 100 or so pretty quick. As long as they have cover. And in his pond his entire shoreline has cover. Gambusia tend to max out pretty quick. I have to feed mine. Best thing to watch is letting some stagnant water fill up with mosquito larva. Dump that in and watch them frenzy. Big females will eat dozens in minutes. Little fry will attack larva thier own size. Then I can take those Gambusia to a LMB pond and release them on the shore and they get frenzied on by LMB fry. Just a perfect fish for low end food chain.

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I was thinking about stocking some of these, and wanted to know how well they do over winter?


I may just try to grow some in an aquarium I think the kids might like to see them have babies.

Thanks


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I know they survive under ice. I planted 50 ro so in one of my customers ponds today for free. Just a follow up gimme. Things are prolific breeders, fun aquarium fish, but not good with other fish. They are bullies in small environments. Just too aggressive. Especially the big females. And they will eat thier own young if nothing else is around. I'm having better success sperating them at birth and providing cover for them in my 8 tanks. Once I put them in a pond, they are in long term. But I'm making inroads on FHM as well. Next is to get shiners reproducing in good numbers.

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A lot of it may depend on where the parental fish are originally from. Although mosquitofish or Gambusia don't have listed subspecies, they are wide ranging in their native range, from the tip of southern FL up the Atlantic coast to coastal NJ. Obviously, if you are looking for cold hardy ones, you'd want to source your fish from nortern parents, not ones from FL. I have seen them winter just fine in a pond in central PA and have many winter in northern VA where temps get below 0 and 12" of ice is possible...

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That's a great point, that I always try to emphasize. I stick with local fish because they are normally acclimatized. There are two species of gambusia if I remember correctly. Eastern and Western. I don't think there is a lot of difference between them. You never know but it migh take several generations and numerous morts just to get a strain from warm water to acclimate to freezing waters. Why bother on a common fish practically everywhere. I had a hard wineter for my parts this season. Lows to 24F. 1/2 inch ice in tanks. My stock had never seen that before and they did fine. But complete coverage of tank with azolla/duckweed mixed wiped an entire tank out. They can survive no aeration, incredible heat, but they need that surface water open.

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Yes, you're correct there are two species of Gambusia. If ichthyologists studied them more, I would bet they would divide each species into a couple of subspecies as well.

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So what are the drawbacks to adding these to your ponds?

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Once their in, their in. If they escape to native fisheries, they can be very destructive. They don't make friends easily. They don't play baseball. They don't wear sweaters. They're not good dancers. They don't play drums.

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I see you like to be funny. Can you go into more depth on destructive please?

I really would like to put some of these in but if they cause more harm than good I will stay away.

Also can you tell me a little more about raising them in an aquarium?

Thanks

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They are nasty little buggers that will harass out compete other forage species. Now if your pond has no other forage species then it may not be that big an issue. Personally I think there are better options out for for a forage fish. But, in some cases Gambusia may be the only option. It seems no matter how over populated a pond is with bass, they can always maintain a small population at least. If they are not native to your area, they can escape and out compete native species.

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Would you mind giving me your options for forage fish?

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It depends on the dynamics of your pond... But if you are referring to your pond that has an over abundance of HBG and others, it may be tough to get any forage fish to take hold to include Gambusia.

Personally I like banded killifish though.

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Not familiar with Killifish, what makes them a good choice?

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Type banded killifish into Google Search engine and read up on them. Lots of good info on the net. If you still have questions, let me know and I will try to answer specifics.

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Well are they also hard on BG, CC, LMB, Crappie?

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I have had them in all my ponds and am adding more in those that don't have them. They outcompete native forage species, fragile endangered crap. To me they are a vital link in the lower end of the fry food chain. They really benefit recruitment of desirable species like LMB. That and FHM. Otherwise those bigger lmb go cannibal. BG are also great, I tend to stick to three easy to deal with species for forage. And inexpensive. Gams, Tuffies and bg. Where gams have a lsight advantage is they really can make it without too much forage cover. They live on the surface, on the edge. Plus that partners up well with other species that don't. Would not be much there anyway if they were not. They have never adversely affected any of my bg or fhm populations. Two tactical advantages I like, live bearing and plant and forget.

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I have an open lagoon as a sewer. Wonder if I could raise gams or fatheads in it and transfer them to my pond periodically?

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A sewer? Open water? I don't even want to know. I prefer not to raise and or net my baitfish in open sewers, just does not appeal to me.

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Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
I have had them in all my ponds and am adding more in those that don't have them. They outcompete native forage species, fragile endangered crap. To me they are a vital link in the lower end of the fry food chain. They really benefit recruitment of desirable species like LMB. That and FHM. Otherwise those bigger lmb go cannibal. BG are also great, I tend to stick to three easy to deal with species for forage. And inexpensive. Gams, Tuffies and bg. Where gams have a lsight advantage is they really can make it without too much forage cover. They live on the surface, on the edge. Plus that partners up well with other species that don't. Would not be much there anyway if they were not. They have never adversely affected any of my bg or fhm populations. Two tactical advantages I like, live bearing and plant and forget.

PF,

So what would you consider fragile native crap?

I am still trying to consider why I would not use these in my pond, they seem like a wild minnow that the fish would enjoy. If I can not get FHM to take and my GSH may be gone as well, than maybe these will.

I do however want to know what they are hard on in Oklahoma? Are they any OKIES that have experience with them?

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Originally Posted By: MRHELLO
Well are they also hard on BG, CC, LMB, Crappie?


If you're referring to gambusia, no.

The above fish spawn in open areas at least a foot deep. Gams are afraid to go into open water, where they would be eaten instantly.

Gams stay close to shore in very shallow water, or hide in weeds. If game fish hatchlings survive for 2 or 3 weeks, they are too large and fast for the gams to catch.

Personally, I haven't found any downside to gams. I can see where they may be a problem in a koi pond. I can definitely see where they would be a problem if they got out in the wild in non-native areas. Don't assume you can contain them in a non-native area, you can't.

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That is what I am saying what are they bad on, harm, destroy, etc.?

Why would they be bad in a Koi Pond?

I am not sure if they are considered native or not, but I have dipped some up out of more than one BOW here.

If I run across some I may try to put them in.

I have seen where you can buy some, and I had thought about trying to raise a few, has anyone had success with them in an Aquarium?

Thanks

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Originally Posted By: MRHELLO
That is what I am saying what are they bad on, harm, destroy, etc.?

Why would they be bad in a Koi Pond?

I am not sure if they are considered native or not, but I have dipped some up out of more than one BOW here.

If I run across some I may try to put them in.

I have seen where you can buy some, and I had thought about trying to raise a few, has anyone had success with them in an Aquarium?

Thanks


If they're native, no problem.

Gams won't hurt adult koi, but in a small pond with lots of cover, they could possibly interfere with other small fishes breeding.

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If there are gams in a pond, can they be caught in a regular minnnow trap? If so, what should be used for bait? A friend has a couple of ponds that have just Gams, GHM, GSH and a few RES in them. There are multiple schools of small Gams (10-15 fish per school), and some basketball sized schools of tiny minnows (1/4" - 3/8") visible near the shoreline.


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You know I have never tried that because they are so easy to catch in a pro baitfish net. But after some time, I have them breeding everywhere I don't even have to do that anymore. I imagine from most of the minnow traps I have seen the mesh would be a bit too big for many of them. Plus how high can you go without being out of the water becaue gams rarely venture deep or far out. Plus they are real surface feeders, with their upturned mouths that is what they are built for. I do have them pellet trained, and I do feed mine mosquito larvae for entertainment. I guess my short answer would be, a good net is better than a trap.

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They are easy to catch with a dip net because of their surface hugging tendencies. I catch them in minnow traps set like I normally would for catching FHM, etc... Same baits work, dog food, fish pellets, etc. I usually just use a dip net though but catch them incidental while trying to catch other species with the minnow trap.

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Agree they're very easy to catch in a dipnet. They are also very catchable in a trap. I caught hundreds in a cheap, sorta cylindrical Wal-Mart trap.

You have to mind the trap though. Unlike fatheads, they find their way out of the trap in an hour or 2.

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Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
I have had them in all my ponds and am adding more in those that don't have them. They outcompete native forage species, fragile endangered crap. To me they are a vital link in the lower end of the fry food chain. They really benefit recruitment of desirable species like LMB. That and FHM. Otherwise those bigger lmb go cannibal. BG are also great, I tend to stick to three easy to deal with species for forage. And inexpensive. Gams, Tuffies and bg. Where gams have a lsight advantage is they really can make it without too much forage cover. They live on the surface, on the edge. Plus that partners up well with other species that don't. Would not be much there anyway if they were not. They have never adversely affected any of my bg or fhm populations. Two tactical advantages I like, live bearing and plant and forget.


So how many would you recommend adding to a 1/4 acre pond?

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It's not a sewer, it is a lagoon. It is a holding pond that catches the water after it has gone through the septic system. All kinds of frogs and other aquatics thrive in it.

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