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Thanks!


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Happy birthday Marc! You should invest in a dip net and see if you can catch a few of those fish hanging around the CD's. Sorry to hear the fish trap failed so badly... I have never had an issue like that with the ones I have bought. I guess at $10 they probably aren't the best made.

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My wife is going to replace the zipper and it should work fine going forward!


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I have a second stocking of bluntnose minnows and spotfin shiners being delivered tomorrow, 50 of each. I probably don't need to spend the money on them but I wanted to be 100% sure that they get established this summer.

I have not seen enough evidence that the bluntnose have spawned but a lot of that might be due to the massive spawning of the fhm. There are fhm all over the place, I have put on goggles while swimming with the hope of seeing deeper in to find the shiners but I did not have enough light penetration to see below 12". All I could see were fatheads. I have seen a few spotfins spawning near the CD structures but I figured another 50 could only help.

For anyone else attempting to have a varied minnow forage base in a SMB/YP pond I would recommend stocking the Bluntnose/spotfin/GSH/Banded killifish/darters first and waiting on the fhm. At this point I do not plan on stocking my YP and SMB until fall of 2013, I could have waited until spring of 2013 to stock the fhm and still had plenty of them in time for the predators. From what Travis has experienced the bluntnose will spawn rapidly in the absence of fhm and are a more hardy forage fish that will not be totally wiped out like the fatheads. I hope the bluntnose are already spawning like mad in my pond but I really want them to be established and am willing to shell out the $ to make sure it happens and I just cannot be sure with the fhm everywhere.

Mark at Jonah's Aquarium is also sending me 20 2" guillback carpsuckers to try out. If anyone does not think I should stock these please let me know ASAP! They appear to reproduce well but they also appear to get large so I am hesitant to stock them without LMB to prey on them. If nobody reples by tomorrow I will keep it safe and stock the quillbacks into my neighborhood LMB pond.

Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 07/12/12 11:57 AM.

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Put the quillbacks in the LMB pond. As the SMB and YP thin out the FHM which will not take long once the YP have spawned the first time and smallies are added the BNM & SFS will gradually become more abundant. As the smallie numbers increase all forage numbers will decline esp without good submerged vegetation cover. Don't let the smallies get too abundant. Maintain a balance or have YP-SMB eating pellets.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/12/12 02:13 PM.

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The quillbacks will most likely be a snack if stocked with larger LMB. It is possible they may spawn in pond conditions, but I wouldn't be sure on it. They are generally found in larger rivers and reservoirs. They spawn in back water areas, so it is possible they could spawn in ponds. They reach about 5-6" by the end of their first year and mature at 3-4 years of age. I would make sure you had plenty of mouths big enough to feed on them so not too many made it through their first year. If you get the SMB in by next year, they would be 2-3 years of age when the quillbacks first spawned if they do successfully. That would mean they'd be 8"-12" in size. Whether they could eat enough to control them, I am unsure...

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Thanks guys!


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Hi guys, I went to the pond over the weekend as we are starting to dig the trench to bring power to the pond in order to aerate. The pond seems to have had more algae recently as the clarity was down and fish were way less visible (until the feeder went off). I think we might have had a small fish kill as I found two floaters, I am pretty sure the first is a golden shiner and the second is a spotfin, can anyone verify?:



I am bummed that some have died but on the other hand these are the first shiners I have seen in a long time, so at least some have survived! I pulled one of the CD structures out of the water and saw eggs all over three of the CDs so hopefully they are still multiplying! Aeration should be done in the next two weeks.


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Top one appears to be a GSH. The bottom one is a spotfin shiner and a huge male one at that! It is very likely he simply died of old age after pulling off several spawns.

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Excellent!


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So that shipment of BNM and Spotfins that was sent back in July arrived in pretty bad shape. The spotfin bag appeared to have sprung a leak and all the spotfins were DOA, the bluntnose did not fare much better and 2/3 of them were dead. Fortunately Jonah's Aquarium guarantees live delivery, we waited for temperatures to come down a bit and on Friday a new shipment (which was free BTW) arrived and all the fish were in great shape and swam off quickly! I cannot recommend Jonah's Aquarium enough for anyone looking to get some alternative forage fish established!!!

After I acclimated and released the fish I walked around the pond looking for signs that my corkscrew eelgrass had taken hold. I was able to find three spots where the eelgrass was established and spreading but all the rest of the grass had died. Fortunately two of the spots had mats that were 3'x4' and looked very green. All of my lillies were eaten by the pesky geese but hopefully the roots are still there and they will return next year.

I increased the feeder settings from three intervals of 1 second, to three intervals of two seconds. The feeder goes off at 7:00AM, 1:00PM, and 7:00PM. I was able to watch the 7:00PM feeding and the fish went ballistic! All the food was gone in 20 minutes.

We have run power to the pond but the electricians have a little more work to do before we can install the aerator. I hope to have it up and running in two weeks.

Here are some pictures

Established eelgrass:



The feeder 10 minutes after going off:



Here are the power lines brought to the dock:


Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 09/04/12 10:47 AM.

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Keep up the good work... Set any traps to see what forage is doing well?

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I did not have time to set any traps as I came down to release the fish then drove back home. I should be there again this upcoming weekend and I will definitely set some traps.


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Let me know what day and time and I may be able to come out for a couple hours and seine your pond if you want...

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Awesome! I will let you know!


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Marc, the pond looks great! It's amazing the number and kinds of creatures that will so quickly colonize or just make use of a new pond. Very cool! If you do seine it, I'd love to know how the bluntnose minnows are doing. I suspect they are in there, but difficult to distinguish from the fatheads. They have similar behavior. Bluntnose will likely school up and hang out in the shallows, especially if they are young. Check, especially, where the little creek flows into the pond. This is a likely place to find the BNM hanging out. In streams, young BNM can be found in water only an inch or two in depth, feeding on algae and whatever else is there. It's a refuge for them from predators. So the quillback didn't go in there? I'd think that they would be a good reservoir of forage as they spawn and the adults are too big to be picked off. It seems unlikely that they would overpopulate as their young should be pretty easy pickings for SMB or even YP. And they could be culled in the same way that the game fish would be culled. They will take a baited hook and can be seined. I understand that spotted suckers, Minytrema melanops, are better at reproducing in lakes and ponds. They can use vegetation as spawning medium similar to chubsuckers. I'm going to grow some spotted suckers next year for folks to try out. I also have a bead on some Lake Chubsucker brooders for next year too. If folks want those, let me know so I can plan for how many I might need to produce: jonah@jonahsaquarum.com


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I definitely want those lake chubsucker brooders!!!!


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I know I haven't been updating this in a while but the past year has been insane and I have not been able to get to the pond as often as I would like. The wife and I bought a fixer upper in Virginia and spent lots of time and money bringing the house to life so pond concerns were put on the backburner. So now that the new place is done and the move complete I can get back to worrying about this pond. Here are my main questions/issues:

In October I stocked 50 yellow perch and I am worried about the lack of grass for them to spawn on.

I have not been able to establish any grass on a permanent basis. In 2012 I finally got an area of corkscrew eelgrass to establish after 3 attempts but it was gone by the spring of 2013 (once it died off it never returned). I planted two rounds of new lillies and eelgrass in spring of 2013 and none of it established. I know that geese are eating some of it but I also worry about the soil not being able to support the grass and lillies. When the pond was in its first year I did get some lillies to establish but as soon as the geese came by they wiped it out.

The soil has lots of small rocks in it, some parts are like a sandy beach. The shallow area where the stream flows in has a mucky bottom (when it was dug this area had a good clay bottom) as leaves and sediment have been deposited there as anything that flows into the stream ends up in that shallow area. Throughout 2013 the muck covered the middle of the shallow area and the clay bottom I succesfully planted lillies on in 2013 has been inundated by muck. The pond is aerated and as I understand it the aeration should prevent the muck buildup; however, the diffusers are not located in that shallow area (one is near the dam in 3' of water and one is in the middle in 11' of water). I have a feeling that the lillies and eelgrass I planted in the shallow stream inflow area were blown away in a storm or covered in muck (if the geese did not get them).

The more that I think about it we have not had any success getting plants established since we installed the aerator. The water went from being visible to 3' to now being visible to .5-1.5'. Is it possible we are doing something wrong with the aerator and causing the water clarity to suffer? Could this be a result of excessive feeding?

My Dad is quite particular with how he wants this pond to look and has not been thrilled with the shallow pallets I laid down since he can see them if he looks in that area. I was thinking I could weigh down a large portion of a pine tree or a bush and put it in the shallow area to give the YP a spawning area for 2014 but it won't be able to stay there long as my Dad won't be thrilled.

To date I have only seen one Golden Shiner and it was dead (August 2012) and that was 5.5 months after stocking. I know they are tough to trap and I did see bigger splashes in the summer when the feeder went off so I think they are still there; however, the total lack of vegetation makes me worry about their spawning success. Dead Shiner:

So I guess what I want to know is:
1) Are there plants that will survive in a sandy/rocky substrate in Northern Virginia?
2) Can I plant anything in the muck and if not what is the best way to prevent the muck from building up?
3) Is it normal for aerators to reduce water clarity and if so how do I get my water clarity back to where it used to be?
4) If I cannot get plants established what should I do to ensure that my YP have a succesful spawn next month (they tend to spawn in late February in this area, at least on the tidal Potomac)?
5) What can I do to ensure my GS have a succesful spawn in 2014 (reminder my Dad would probably insist that a sunken xmas tree or bush be removed as soon as it's warm enough to walk in and grab it)?

Thanks for any and all help!!


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Any ideas?


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Lilies wont thrive in flowing water, so it may be why you had trouble near the stream.

You are going to have to protect the plants with cages, and they must be large enough to keep geese necks from getting at them. Also will need to protect lilies from turtles.

Eel grass should love your conditions, so protection is important. Also water clarity is important so you can plant deeper to keep out of reach of the geese.

Lastly lift the diffuser off of the bottom, you dont want to circulate bottom material, just O2. This will help clear water.

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Thanks!! I will try to plant my next batch of lillies elsewhere and put some chickenwire around them (I assume putting larger holes on the underwater part of the cage will be necessary to allow the larger GS and YP to access them). I am really frustrated with the eel grass and at this point I am looking for another alternative. I think my pond water is too cold as it has a spring in the bottom and the stream that feeds it is entirely spring fed. Maybe I am just planting them too early or my crayfish are wiping them out. Any ideas for alternative plants?


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I have had good success with protecting my eel grass with plant cages.

once it is good and esablished you should be able to remove the cages, If not then you will just have pockets like I do.

algea quickly covers the orange so it will not sick out so bad under water andfter a short period.



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With a second little one due in April for me my time will be limited. This summer, I'll try to make it out to your pond and do a seine survey and general look over.

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Here are a few other I have made for eel grass, the low profile ones might work to protect roots of lillies too. I spryed these black.



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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
With a second little one due in April for me my time will be limited. This summer, I'll try to make it out to your pond and do a seine survey and general look over.


My second little one is due in March so I am with ya!! Congrats!


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