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Joined: Sep 2012
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With OUT OF THE BOX thinking and proper planning there are risk that sometimes yield great rewards. I will explain a pond I have talked about on here before and how it came to be.

A 1/2 acre pond with a couple tons poundage for carrying capacity per surface Acre.

The thought process went like this. I have a very wet piece of land with high volume of water going thru it. Clay hills on one side and elevated road way towards the other. Lay of the land would be perfect to excavate and pile dirt around to dry up area around pond towards road side. Soil Samples show clay no further than about 6' down all over that goes down several feet. Decided would dig deep enough to get enough clay to put in a core along the road side of the pond. Had a water flow test done was told it exceeded 300 GPM. Survey shows it will be about 1/2 acre big. In the planning stage of doing the math we decided we would average about 8' deep to get the extra clay we wanted out of the pond site. That meant we would have about 4 acre feet of water when done and it would fill up in about 72 hrs. Getting the proper people onsite and research showed that I could pretty much forget having plankton blooms. The fine clay would nearly always mean the water would have a muddy appearance (even more so with catfish). Also that volume of spring water would mean I would need to build in some water fall aeration (see attached pick of 1 of the simply pipe drop aeration). Basically I knew at building time I was going to basically have some of the conditions of an Oligotrophic lake. However the water volume meant I would have the annual water capacity of at least a 60 acre lake 8' deep. This was the key to my capacity. I also wanted the pond not to cost me a lot to keep up. I decided I would design it for Catfish so I could sell some of them to cover some expenses. With the water flow it was going to be like raising cage fish if I wanted it to be. Well we got it built and it went just like it was laid out. Water at discharge was still 300 GPM (pic of 48" exit pipe water flow attached). Nothing green in pond, water was either very clear or muddy. Put in 1000 6" catfish to start with to see how things would go. Started feeding heavily. About 3 months later was catching and eating some of the best catfish I ever had from a pond. It seemed to me that the high water flow also made the catfish taste shall we say less fishy than a regular pond fish. Outside of feeding I drain the pond and remove silt from bottom and spread in pasture about every 10 years. Occasionally I will put salt in the stream when I have higher density / capacity in the pond. A little Salt from time to time added is kind of like a medicine for fish as I learned from local fisheries. I have since stocked at times over 2,000 catfish in this little hole. I lost a lot of fish one time when the county decided to flush a new water line they put in and put massive amounts of chlorinated water into the pond. They cleaned the line flushing it straight into the ditch. Little did the water authority realize I had allowed the Phone company that laid new lines there to put in a pipe running straight to the pond. Anyway when I tell people I sometimes may have up to 5,000# of fish in a 1/2 acre pond they look at me like I am crazy. Little do they understand annual water wise it is the same as having less than a 100# of fish in a 1 acre pond 8' deep. Basically I have a pond that could be considered a natural cage system. All I do is put in fish, feed, do a little maintenance, and have fun catching them back out.
There is several other details I did not go into. Like my 4 staged drainage system for the pond Via 4 different stand pipes. Etc....
Any questions feel free to ask. With the Holiday I do not know what day I will answer back, but I will get back with you.

Happy New Year

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Originally Posted By: Tums
Occasionally I will put salt in the stream when I have higher density / capacity in the pond. A little Salt from time to time added is kind of like a medicine for fish as I learned from local fisheries.


Interesting Tums.
I love "Out of the Box".
Hey what's up with the salt, never heard of that?


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Very nice Tums. Any more overall views of the pond? Some before and after shots? I guess with the pics I'm interested to know how the water is coming in, how it's leaving, and your "four stage pipe system". Your current photos are close-ups that are hard to get the feel for much of the situation. You mentioned every ten years cleaning it out. How old is the pond?


Last edited by fish n chips; 12/31/13 06:10 PM.
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Zep, i will post some links about salt when i get back in the office on Friday.
Fish, it is hard to see the size from those picks without a reference. I will see what else i got when i get back in. One thing that is decieving is the large sizes make things look like they are zoomed. Like the exit pipe is a 48" pipe in about a 10'reference wide pool of water. I see what u mean about it looks zoomed, but is actually a several foot wide stream. I am on my phone traveling and will answer more of your questions. When i get back in the office. I cantremember for sure but that splash drop pipe is 12" i think.
Happy new year

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Oh yea built pond in 1993.

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Originally Posted By: Zep
Originally Posted By: Tums
Occasionally I will put salt in the stream when I have higher density / capacity in the pond. A little Salt from time to time added is kind of like a medicine for fish as I learned from local fisheries.


Interesting Tums.
I love "Out of the Box".
Hey what's up with the salt, never heard of that?

Here is a quick link I looked up that talks about salt use in aquaculture.
http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/AS/AS-458.pdf

Salt is used as a drug in aquaculture. I use Salt when I know fish are stressed for some reason. I personally believe the addition of salt to pond management allows fish a more stress free environment. Any response or adaptation to stress requires the expenditure of energy that would otherwise be utilized for maintaining normal body functions such as growth. wink

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Fish, here are a few more picks I have on file.
I will see if I can find some more this weekend. I do not have any before and after pictures. I lost most of my stuff in a house fire well over 10 years ago. The pond was built in 1993.

I have 4 10" pipes Installed in concrete at bottom to drain water down to different intervals. (attached is a pick of their exit side during inspection last Feb. while pond was being dredged some. They are designed / cut on the top stand end so that as all 4 can except water at near the same time. As the water level increases the more they will except with the 4th reaching max outflow just before water starts out the run around. Note in picture the one on the far left reaches max output first and that is why there is more water flowing out of it. The 4 stage draw down is why I went with 4 pipes. Each PVC stand pipe is cut to a length to where I can pull the stand pipe to drain to a certain water level all the way to empty with a stream flowing thru. As seen in beaver repair pic I dropped it by 3ft. I also use this level for Silt removal near the 48" entrance pipe coming in under the dirt drive. I designed all of this in so I could do work in stages as I needed by draining to different levels. At the by 5ft drained levels my 2 2" gravity flow crop irrigation pipes are exposed for any repair work. The 7ft down level is for Removing fish before completely draining. The last level is so I can drive in and out of the pond on the hard bottom with tractors and pans to remove sediment.

Attached Images
Beav Repair.gif dredge 2013-02-10_.gif Spring typical day.jpg Pipe Insp 2013-02-10.gif
Last edited by Tums; 01/02/14 12:14 PM.
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Here is another Pic I found showing from the bridge where my water discharges into the creek (creek not seen in picture).

Edit: you can see the Dam for my 3 acre pond in front of the house in the Back ground across the pasture.

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Creek Discharge.jpg
Last edited by Tums; 01/02/14 11:10 AM.
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Originally Posted By: Tums
Salt is used as a drug in aquaculture. I personally believe the addition of salt to pond management allows fish a more stress free environment.


Interesting link/info Tums....thanks.


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Thanks Zep


Fish, Here is a couple picks showing the connection point for the underground 4" irrigation pipe, irrigation pump & discharge pipe at dock of 3 acre pond. I can connect up my PTO powered irrigation pump and pump over 1000 GPM across several hundred feet away to the 3 acre pond to generate currents, aerate or fill.
Note the connection is a 4" flex connected to 4" green sewage run under ground.

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4in insp 10-12.gif pump.jpg Discharge pipe insp Dock 2012-10-25.gif
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Nice work Tums. Great management to match the biological situation/circumstances to the goals. Outside the box like this is true fisheries management !

Another reason the CC may taste better is their food.

Good to check water quality including salinity. Sufficient salinity helps fish slime coat and other biological processes.


Last edited by ewest; 01/03/14 10:09 AM.















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Thanks Tums, I never realized that your water source for the other pond was from this one. I had thought you were pumping from a well. Where does the water come into this small pond? I am assuming a spring? Is it underneath the water surface, or is it flowing from above and into the pond.

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Tums, what part of Alabama are you in?

I grew up in Barbour County. Family is still there, bit I haven't lived there for 30 years now.

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Thanks for the kind word Ewest.

Mobilus i am one county west in south Pike County.

Fish it is spring fed from upland. I do also have the big well & there isto a smaller backup well on the 3 acre pond. Maybe one day i will go into the story of why i have a pond set up to get near 2000 GPM of water introduced via alternate water sources. Trust me when i say i will get way out of the box.

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2000 gpm!.......I would love to hear how


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