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#467485 03/23/17 09:18 AM
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I have a little pond in the front yard that is about 10ft in diameter and 1.5ft deep. I live in KS, we have 100+ temps in the summer. No shade over the pond.

Is if feasible to raise Fathead minnows in this pond?

What would it take? Do I need to add some nesting cover? Aeration?

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I'll be watching for someone to answer as well, because I've considered it. I'm in Texas and we get H-O-T here too. I've got lots of shade, but I had also considered freezing 1 gallon jugs of water and just dropping one or 2 in to keep the water a nice temp. It would take a lot of monitoring and it might not work too well. It's just a idea.



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Heat would be an issue but O2 would be a killer.


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Where does the pond get its water? I'm assuming a 1.5 foot pond would go dry fairly quickly unless the water is being replenished from somewhere.


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My wife has a little cement pond with plastic liner that butts up against our house. It faces the south which is exposed to sun most of the day. The water does get hot, although our air conditioner system condensate water drips into the pond to help with make up water so that may help keep the temps down a little. It has filtration and a small flowing water fall, along with an air pump for aeration. Only about a foot deep at the deepest and less in part. Maybe 4'x8'.

I have thrown in various fishes in there at times, FHM being among them. At other times 2" BG and RES. She usually keeps some goldfish and a Plecostomus.

Have not really had a problem with the fish dying. Surprising actually how they mostly lived. Edit: she only keeps this pond going in the summer. It is drained for the winter.

Now reproduction I'm not sure about. The FHM might only reproduce when the water temps stay in a suitable range. FHM place eggs on the under side of things, so some substrate they can use as a nest and as shade would be important.

If you go to youtube and search for "Fathead minnows breeding like crazy" there used to be a video that showed them laying eggs in an aquarium, and usually other videos of raising fatheads will pop up in the right margin. Or a search for "raising fathead minnows" will get lots of videos.

Here it is

Last edited by snrub; 03/25/17 07:46 AM.

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I have a dedicated FHM pond. It is about a 50 x 40 foot oval and 4 feet deep, but average depth probably 20 inches. I had it built in November 2015 and stocked a few pounds of FHM in March 2016. It is now wall to wall FHM. I trapped probably 500 in the past few weeks to stock into my new 1/4 acre pond. No problems with mortality last summer. It does have a heavy plankton bloom compared to the two 1/4 acre ponds. It's in all clay and holds like a tub. I put in plastic flower pots strung on a rope for spawning.

See the attached Google Earth pic. The pond I renovated in Aug 2015 and the minnow pond show in the pic. The new pond is highlighted in blue.

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You can grow fathead in that pond...your issues will be oxygen levels, predators, and rapid temperature fluctuations due to shallow water.


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Originally Posted By: Bob Lusk
You can grow fathead in that pond...your issues will be oxygen levels, predators, and rapid temperature fluctuations due to shallow water.


I guess you are referring to the original poster's pond?

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Sorry I haven't replied sooner (busy weekend).

The pond kept water most of last summer but we have unusual regular rainfall. When we do get rain it gets plenty of runoff so it fill quickly. Otherwise I would have to top it off with a hose at times. I suspect that might kill FHM...

Predators would certainly be a problem. Frogs, turtles, snakes, and coons, all visit regularly. Haven't seen a heron in it yet...

A winter ago I left a batter powered aerator in it for a couple of weeks to see if it would keep the ice off (it worked well). I could run one in the summer with no problems...

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I have been trapping a lot of FHM out of my dedicated FHM pond. There are so many in it and such a plankton bloom I am concerned about oxygen. I fed very sparingly early, and none in past two weeks. I can put out a small wire mesh minnow trap baited with catfish pellets and trap 70 to 100 minnows in an hour or two. I have probably trapped 600 and transferred them to the new 1/4 acre catfish pond.

Catscratch, If I had a little pond like yours, and wanted to raise FHM I would pump it dry and get a backhoe out there and dig it to about 4 feet deep in the center, and taper it toward the sides, enlarging it to at least 15 to 18 feet across. That would at least allow for some cool water shelter near the bottom. Run aeration at night if it gets too hot.

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Originally Posted By: John F
I have been trapping a lot of FHM out of my dedicated FHM pond. There are so many in it and such a plankton bloom I am concerned about oxygen. I fed very sparingly early, and none in past two weeks. I can put out a small wire mesh minnow trap baited with catfish pellets and trap 70 to 100 minnows in an hour or two. I have probably trapped 600 and transferred them to the new 1/4 acre catfish pond.

Catscratch, If I had a little pond like yours, and wanted to raise FHM I would pump it dry and get a backhoe out there and dig it to about 4 feet deep in the center, and taper it toward the sides, enlarging it to at least 15 to 18 feet across. That would at least allow for some cool water shelter near the bottom. Run aeration at night if it gets too hot.


It's a done deal, the minnows are ordered and some of them will be put into the little pond. I'll let you guys know how it turns out; if they make it then great, if not then I'll know what not to do next time.

John, it's as deep as it can get without hitting the massive layer of rock that sits under it. It's also on a hilltop and drainage into it isn't great so I fear making it bigger diameter would just lead to a pond that was seldom full. Otherwise I would dig it out in a heartbeat.

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I suspect there are lots of ways to keep most of the predators out of that size pond. Heck, IMO even a Koi pond cover would probably work.


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Or...a 8x10 of Bill posted nearby.


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Put about a pound of small fhm in yesterday. We shall see what happens. I'm hopeful that with the pond being in my front yard that I can keep close enough tabs to address any issues.

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It's been about 3 weeks and I still have minnows in the pond. I don't see them but we ran a seine through it and caught a pound or so. Temps have been very mild and rain has kept it full with fresh water so this really isn't much of a test yet.

On a side note; the pond attracted tons of frogs shortly after putting the minnows in and now it's almost black with tadpoles.

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catscratch, post pictures of the 'tadpoles' if you can. if the young tadpoles are truly black then they are likely toads and not frogs. Toadpoles are often jetblack and often swarm in the shallows making big black clouds. These 'frogs' won't stay in your pond but will one day all leave at the same time and head for the woods.

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I had/have a gazillion of those in my sediment pond the last couple weeks. Starting shortly after hearing the peeper toads sing in the early spring. Like you say, jet black and tiny.


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This page shows pictures of the 'toadpoles' They congregate by the zillions and can really clean algae off the shallows the few days they are there.

American 'Toadpoles' life

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I'll take some pics the next time I'm home in the daylight.
I found two types of eggs; some in clusters and some in strings.

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I got lots of them right now by soon you will have to watch your step around pond or you will smoosh them

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I bought some fatheads to put in my res pond got them from a bait store.they are doing very well, multiplying like crazy. But I have noticed that they don't resemble the ones I put in originally, they don't look like the jumbo minnows at the bait store. I am sure that they are from the original stocking. Does the environment have something to do with their appearance.

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Their appearance will change as they get in spawning mode, especially the males. Immature ones would look different than adults in spawning colors.

Blunt nose minnows look similar but get a little bigger.

Bait stores around here sell GS a lot for minnow bait, but they look considerably different.


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They are definitely fhm I contacted the company they get them from. But being in California I can buy them and use for bait but if I want to get some to stock my pond I would have to apply for a permit and have my pond inspected by fish and wildlife. You have to love the state they want money for everything.the pictures I have seen of fhm resemble mine but the difference between what you buy and what they look like in spawning colors is quite different including the physical shape.


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