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March secchi reading were 31" as spring approached. April 1st added 6 lbs of water soluble pond fertilizer in this 3.5 acre pond.. Within 10 days sushi readings went to 18" of green water and by the 20th of April I started seeing small flakes of green algae that was floating on the ponds surface. Lots of green flakes, this did not look to be Duckweed because it just did not look like duckweed but was very small flakes like glitter might look like and it fell apart when one would attempt to feel it. So I figured it might be filamentous algae. That lasted for about a week and then heavy rains came and now this week the sushi readings jumped up to 34" but water is still pretty green.
I am feeding at three TH feeders @ 28 seconds each per morning and 28 seconds in the evening on two feeders and 10 second total on the 3rd feeder. Fish food is gone in less that 2 minutes with CNBG just tearing the water surface up.
So I am thinking another fertilization treatment with 1 lb per acre or 3.5 lbs.
What do the experts say?

Thanks

Tracy

Last edited by esshup; 04/26/16 06:43 AM. Reason: changed sushi to secchi

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Tracy,

I'm curious...how many days does 50 lb of chow last when your feeder is throwing 56 seconds a day?


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Bill, a sk of feed goes fairly fast and that is why I am asking about fertilizing again. 2 of the TH feeders are @ factory setting and these will hold 250 lbs of Cargills 1/8". The 3rd feeder setting has been set to throw more or larger sized feed and so that is one of the reasons it is set @ fewer seconds. So I have not set down and or looked @ how fast will one sk last. It more about getting the cnbg where I want them. I want cnbg to spawn as many times as possible, so they need to be healthy, and I will need size pretty soon. I have seen some lmb in my pond grow to 2.8 lbs (from fingerling) in just 10 months. Those Texas legacy LMB jumpers can grow pretty fast, so I need the cnbg to do the same.

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A commonly used measure is that a normal infertile southern pond (including east TX) will naturally produce/carry 100 lbs of fish per acre. Proper fertilization will increase that to 300-400 lbs of fish per acre and supp feeding will add another 200 lbs per acre. So in a common situation your pond can increase from 100 lbs per acre to 600 lbs per acre using fertilization and sup feeding. However you have to watch for water quality problems and carrying capacity issues when you ramp up production. Its like running an engine at 85% rate rather than 20 %. That is a general measure and ponds can vary a lot from that norm.

Last edited by ewest; 04/26/16 08:14 PM.















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Ewest, Thank you once again. As I said I am thinking I will reduce the fertilizer additions again from my last. I am truly concerned I might over due it and that will not be good, EVER!! But I hope to have air added by July and that may help if I mess up, but man I do not want to kill these fish, fish are not cheap !! And from your post, I was thinking I was limited to 300 lbs per acre if fertilizing and feeding, so once again, as always your information is appreciated.

Thanks

Tracy


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Originally Posted By: TGW1
Ewest, Thank you once again. As I said I am thinking I will reduce the fertilizer additions again from my last. I am truly concerned I might over due it and that will not be good, EVER!! But I hope to have air added by July and that may help if I mess up, but man I do not want to kill these fish, fish are not cheap !! And from your post, I was thinking I was limited to 300 lbs per acre if fertilizing and feeding, so once again, as always your information is appreciated.

Thanks

Tracy


Every pond I've personally seen where the fish are fed and the capacity is beyond normal due to artificial feeding has resulted in a fish kill at some point.

I would tread very cautiously overstocking, and I would be prepared for the inevitable cleanup mess of rotting dead stinking fish after the kill.

Note I'm sure there are those who have a capacity well beyond and never experienced a fish kill, I'm only saying in 5 ponds where the owners feed feed feed and overstock all of these ponds have suffered a fish kill at some point. And it is always the largest most valuable and coveted fish that die first.

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Yes that is a real risk. A pond is an engine that runs on sunlight . If you run an engine too long at a high rate it will eventually break .
















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Basslover, thanks for your experienced story out here and in front. Fish kills are not uncommon here in Texas and Louisiana lakes. Texas has, in the majority of my life, has lmb lakes that rated #1 in the USA, Toledo Bend, Rayburn, Fork, Falcon etc, etc. Most all of these lakes and many other lakes here, have experienced fish kills and none of the lakes were fish feed other than someone who might have a feeder on a doc.

For me, I have never been conservative in risk taking in life or business, but most times I do take educated risk and gambles. Life is peaks and valleys and I love the peaks, the valleys, not so much smile

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The good thing is feeding and fertilization are not all or nothing propositions. You can regulate the amount of both to find the right mix. Just go slow until you know how your water reacts and how that mixes with your goals. Keep in mind folks that the vast majority of ponds are naturally fertile (don't need fertilization). In the ones that are fertile you can run into the same problems with natural fertility coupled with supp feeding as ponds that are fertilized.

For example if you have a naturally fertile pond (no fertilization) in OH you may normally carry 300 lbs of fish per acre. If you supp feed that may go up to 500 lbs per acre with out a single grain of fertilizer added. Be sure you understand carrying capacity and water quality in relation to fertility and supp feeding. If there is any doubt how this works please ask.

Last edited by ewest; 04/27/16 09:09 AM.















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Understanding the theory is not too hard. Knowing how many pounds of fish per acre that actually are out there is tough.


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snrub, looks like you may have tried, like me, to figure lbs per acre by sight and swag.
Ewest has already opened my eyes to the lbs of fish per acre, in fact almost doubled what I believed was @ 300 lbs when feeding and fertilizing.
I started fertilization in my pond when it was just 1/3 full and every since then the water visibility has been @ or around 18" except early March when it would go to 31+" an then I would fertilize again.
So most 10 to 11 months of the yr it is 18" to 21". If memory serves me, I fertilized four times last year to maintain. What concerned me this yr is I am feeding a bit more due to numbers and size of the cnbg and others here have posted fertilization is not necessary when feeding, but with me, I find it is necessary or desired for optimum conditions. Another experience I had last year was the clarity went to 12" @ one time in the heat of the summer and I had to crank up the water well for dilution and I hope not to do that again this year, so I am asking more questions. My water seams to be stable when it comes to pH of an 8, alk 120, hardness 50ppm, it has been here for most all year. I could use some harder water.
Plans are to go a little slower this year and see, but again the feeding rates are up there.

Tracy


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How in the dickens would you estimate pounds of fish per acre? I've never tried or considered it. I probably should.


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.

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Here is some good basic info from The MS Pond Mgt book. It was developed by the Ext service (Universities) Fisheries Science programs. Many decades ago the first scientists started doing experiments on pond production. They would take a clean pond , add fish , manage the water (feed/fertilize etc. ) for a time period and then seine/drain the pond and measure the results. This was replicated thousands of times by different University programs for food production purposes and the results shared , tested and retested. Literally hundreds of published studies using these concepts exist. That plus aquacultures’ continued use of the data/concepts for food production have provided good general guidelines like those below.

Link -- http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/p1428_0.pdf

TO FERTILIZE OR NOT
TO FERTILIZE?


The decision of whether to fertilize a
fishing pond should be considered very
carefully. Proper fertilization significantly
increases the total weight of fish produced in
a pond, often by as much as three to four
times.
But there are many reasons not to fertilize,
including potential water quality issues,
high expense, and the fact that it is a
long-term commitment. Consider the following
when making your decisions.

Fertilizer stimulates growth of microscopic
plants, called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton forms
the base of the food chain, and small animals eat
these small plants and serve as food for bream,
which in turn are eaten by bass. Phytoplankton
makes the water turn green, or “bloom,” which also
shades the bottom and discourages growth of troublesome
aquatic weeds.

Most ponds should not be fertilized. If only
a few people fish a larger pond, it does not necessarily
need fertilization to have good fishing. But in a
heavily fished pond, proper fertilization produces
the best fishing. Fertilization significantly increases
the total weight of fish produced in a pond, increasing the number of fish that need to be harvested. In
fertilized ponds, increase harvest as needed to control populations.

FEEDING
You do not normally have to feed fish in a healthy
bream and bass pond to produce good crops of fish.
Natural food organisms are typically abundant
enough to feed fish. But you can increase growth
of bluegill with a supplemental feeding program.
Bluegill readily accept feed and can be attracted
quickly to feeding areas.

. Here are some points to consider
about feeding:
•Feed at the same time and place each day.
•Use floating feed, with a pellet size small enough
to be easily eaten.
•Never feed more than the fish will eat in 5 to 10
minutes. Keep in mind that uneaten feed may
pollute the water.
•If fish quit eating, stop feeding for a few days.
Watch for signs of disease.
•Do not feed in very cold or very hot water.
•Reduce the feeding rate as winter approaches to
about one-fourth of the feed rate of the previous
summer.
•Automatic feeders give good growth results
where small ponds are unattended for long
periods.
•Do not try to feed fish up to large sizes without
some harvest to reduce the number of fish. Otherwise,
crowded large fish may become diseased
and die.
Following these simple rules will provide good
growth rates while minimizing the risks of deteriorating
water quality.



Last edited by ewest; 04/28/16 07:49 AM.















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ewest, thanks for the information here. For some reason, I can't get the Missstate link to work (load) for me this morning. So, I will go ahead and post that I did add and additional 1# per acre of powdered pond fertilizer yesterday. After checking the visibility and seeing an increase visibility from 31 to 36". I received another good rain the day before. Last year I would have added at least two pounds per acre at this point, so again I am going slower this year. The green floating glitter looking material/alge, I found after adding the fertilizer last time got my attention. Am I correct when thinking the floating green glitter is FA and taking up the fertilizer? I will go slower.

Thanks

Tracy


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My guess is that is plankton not FA. Can you post a pic ?
















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Originally Posted By: ewest
My guess is that is plankton not FA. Can you post a pic ?


I do not see it now, it lasted a week and after the rains, and I no longer see it floating on the surface. it was green as green can be and did not look like duckweed but more like a flake or like green glitter.

Tracy


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I got that too after fertilizing,just thought it was some form of percipitate from the plankton bloom.Almost neon green flakes that float around,most in deeper water.I didn't think it was FA at all and thought it was just coalesced plankton??


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