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#492122 06/18/18 03:49 PM
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Hi Pond Boss Forum -

Been reading for about 6 months - first time posting - first time pond owner.

Back in March we dug about a 1/2 acre pond on 5 acres that we built a home on in central ohio. Deepest spot will be about 15 feet. Pond is filled with with run-off. It's about half full thanks to some crazy spring rains we had.

My plan is to use this pond for swimming (we will have a beach area) and to have a fun fishing hole. BG and LMB. I have no interest in CC.

I put 3 lbs of FHM in it after it had enough water at the end of April. Problem is that we've not had more than 3 days in a row of dry so I've not been able to plant any grass around the pond so the water has been really muddy since putting the FHM in the pond. I've not seen a FHM since I dumped them in. Is this normal? I assume if they would have died I would have seen them around the pond?

What I do see is a bunch of tree-frog tad-pools that have now developed into tree frogs. They are everywhere! I assume this to be a good sign that the pond is healthy?

I did the jar test with some water and the clay settled out in less than 4 days resulting in crystal clear water and clay on the bottom of the jar.

I guess I'm looking for some re-assurance that with time and grass being planted around the pond that it will eventually clear and not be the gross mud pit that it is currently. Also, do I need to be concerned about treating it for mosquito this first summer before I have any large number of fish in the pond?

The pond occasionally gets a weird green film on the surface, which the next day disappears. I guess I'm just nervous, I spent a bunch of time and money so far. Just put down grass seed this weekend... so hopefully things get better from here?

bcraley #492124 06/18/18 04:19 PM
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Welcome bcraley, you'll fit right in around here.

Put some RES in your stocking plans to reduce the snails that lead to parasitic grubs that end up in the flesh of your fish and, I think, the snails contribute to "swimmers itch" as well. Double check me on that!

Start planning a dock in your ponds future. They are preferred by swimmers over sandy beaches as they tend to get rather mucky in small ponds and take a fair amount of labor to keep them decent.

FHM will disappear and rarely be seen until they breed and then the explosions starts. I rarely see a full grown FHM in my pond, but the YOY are very numerous, ridiculously so. Look into adding some breeding structure to aid the FHM's spawning. This is crucial to getting a strong population started. Here's a thread to help with that...(the second page shows some pallet structures for the FHM's which has worked very, very well for me.)

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=458150&page=1

Tadpoles are a good sign of a healthy pond and they can be overwhelming until you get some fish that will eat them in the pond.

Your jar test results sound very positive and should be a good indication that the pond will settle out on it's own. Plants around the edges will likely occur on their own, but transplanting some native ones from other nearby ponds can help them get going. Just try not to bring in any hitchhikers that you may not want getting ahold in your BOW. AND, research the type of plants you find, some are not good to have and can overrun the pond. Get some sprinklers on the the grass seed, the dry days of summertime are here.

The film could be pollens and dusts. I notice that on my pond all the time and it tends to be gone the next day and back again a day or so later.



Fish on!,
Noel
bcraley #492134 06/18/18 08:41 PM
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Welcome bcraley! And congrats on the pond.

I can't add much to Quarteracre's post, just wanted to say hi. Oh, I wouldn't worry about treating for mosquitos, the fatheads and frogs should take care of any mosquito larvae and birds and bats will be attracted to the water and keep most flying pests to a minimum.

Enjoy and keep us updated on how the planting goes.


CMM

Quarter Acre #492150 06/19/18 08:17 AM
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Dock has already been built and overhangs the deepest part of the pond so we can jump off of it without worry. Just added gravel to the 'beach area' and we'll top with sand next spring. The hope is that the compacted gravel will prevent the sand from mixing with the clay and keep it nicer than if it was put directly over the clay.

I do have a couple of pallets floating around the edges of the pond and have a brush pile in a shallow area that currently has a few inches of water around it.

I'll try to get some pics of the progress to this point later this week.

Last edited by bcraley; 06/19/18 08:18 AM.
bcraley #492181 06/19/18 11:07 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

One observation I will give is that if swimming is your primary goal infertile water works best. If growing fish is your main goal fertile water grows more fish.

The more fertile the water the more you will have problems with FA and "green" water that is less inviting for swimming. But those same nutrients are what grows a food chain to support a healthy fish population.

My main 3 acre pond has become very fertile from four years of feeding fish. It is not as inviting for swimming as it once was and sometimes has some bluegreen alge (cyanobacteria). My relatively new one acre RES pond is much more clear and looks better to swim in.

This is something I have not seen talked about much on this forum, but raising big/numerous fish is sometimes at odds with the goal of a good swimming pond. There may be a mid way balance achievable.

Welcome to the forum, congratulations on the new pond and good luck.


John

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bcraley #492182 06/19/18 11:16 AM
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I think that for a dedicated swimming pond of 1/2 acre, to keep nice for swimming, the fish should be limited to FHM and a few (no more than 20) CC. That way, you don't feed very much and can still have some fun catching the CC out before they get too big and become pellet hogs.

If the bottom is kept free of heavy structure, the CC won't reproduce, and the numbers can be controlled.

Bluegill or LMB, uncontrolled, will have a population explosion, that, with feeding, will cause a fertile pond conducive to FA and other algae blooms.

Both my 1/4 acre ponds now have considerable amounts of FA. I think it is the result of substantial feeding.

bcraley #492184 06/19/18 11:22 AM
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Bluegill will nibble on swimmers, so if swimming is really important I think I would stay away from bluegill.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
bcraley #492188 06/19/18 11:40 AM
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I guess the question then is can you have the best of both worlds? Has anyone been successful in a 1/2 acre pond?

Can I have an inviting swimming hole while also having a decent fishing hole. I didn't say I wanted to grow trophy specimens. Just a place to wet a line and have a good time.

bcraley #492191 06/19/18 12:03 PM
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Yes, but realize it is MUCH harder to have a decent fishing hole, than a great swimming hole. Where you are I think I would go perch and smallmouth bass.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
bcraley #492192 06/19/18 12:03 PM
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Yes, but realize it is MUCH harder to have a decent fishing hole, than a great swimming hole. Where you are I think I would go perch and smallmouth bass. Maybe a few HSB...


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
BrianL #492197 06/19/18 12:43 PM
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My new 1/4 acre pond would have made a great crystal clear swimming hole the first year had I kept it unstocked except for a few CC. With all the FHM, BG, RES, and now LMB, plus feeding, the visibility has been reduced to a few inches, and it has FA on the edges.

Plus, I think the abundant crawdads stir up the bottom.

If the main purpose is a swimming hole, why not build a lined, filtered pool of maybe 30,000 gallons or so?

Ponds around here will get too nasty to swim in within a couple of years even if unstocked due to abundant crawdads, aquatic plants, and algae, probably due to the runoff from fertility in hay and cattle fields surrounding them. Many ponds don't receive all their inflow water from the property they are on. YMMV.

BrianL #492198 06/19/18 12:49 PM
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Iím sure some real experts will chime in here, Iím just a guy with a small pond. About 3/4 ac with current drought and small leak. Iíve got a lot of fish, run a feeder, and we love to swim in our pond. I will echo BrianLís comments above. Careful with BG, or HBG and swimming. I have a variety of fish. The only ones I wish I wouldnít have introduced are the HBG. I will say, I like to grab a couple of noodles and a cold one and float around. Nobody else gets bothered. The wife is on a raft, and the kids are actively moving around. Itís just the floating old guy that seems to really attract them.
Our water has about 12 to 18Ē visibility. Thatís fine with me and my wife, who really runs the show. Our water is generally on the cool side, and that works well. The kids donít care, and the wife floats on the warmer surface.
As far as fishing goes, we can always catch fish. Either YP (generally early or late in the day) but they love worms. SMB are a total blast. Weíve been doing catch and release with those until bigger. Just caught a 2 pounder a week or so ago. The HBG are always biting (not just swimmers) and easy to catch. None of them get returned.
My grandkids absolutely love the pond. As do I.
Hereís a link to the build of our pond. Itís lengthy, but thereís some good info there. We like our stocking program with RES, YP, SMB, and some HSB that have yet to be seen. The HBG, not so much..
Just an FYI, so far we have gone without aeration. Itís a challenge at our place, so it hasnít fit into the budget. Our water quality has remained good, In my opinion. Itís only three or almost four years old though.
Good luck with your pond. Mineís been a love hate relationship, but Iím glad we built it.
Jeff

Link to my build. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=374020

Last edited by SetterGuy; 06/19/18 12:51 PM.

8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
bcraley #492200 06/19/18 01:02 PM
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I'm not really one for swimming in ponds or in anything really. My pond is a lot like John F. describes...low clarity, FA floating around, muddy banks, and all the things that make nature real, like snakes, leaches, horseflies, chiggers, etc... IF I had a ladder on my dock I'd swim it more often, not often, but on those really hot days when you have found yourself brush-hogging and your too filthy to even go in the house without hosing off first.

With a all that said, I would hate to have the HBG, BG, or GSF nipping at me while I try to float around in a tube to cool and rinse off AND relax!. Certainly look for a stocking plan that avoids the biters. Some say their pond is horrible for swimming because of the BG nips, while others say it's no big deal.

Maybe a stocking of HSB with catch and release and/or ladder stocking could work along with a forage fish to feed the HSB. Do yellow perch bite and are they a good fit for your area? I hate to say it, but will BH's fill the forage needs of HSB? Hmmmm!


Fish on!,
Noel
bcraley #492210 06/19/18 03:07 PM
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I think when I read through this thread, when I say swimming pond I think everyone has a different idea of what water clarity is acceptable for swimming.

I think SetterGuy hit the nail on the head. The teenagers aren't going to hold still long enough to care... they've already been in the water with less than 2" of visibility. I don't need gin clear water to consider it swimming water. 12-18" of visibility would be great water for swimming IMO. What I don't want is matted algae.


The dock will have a ladder and I imagine most of the swimming will likely be jumping from the dock and maybe floating around with a cold one on a hot summer day to cool off after an afternoon or working outside.

bcraley #492212 06/19/18 03:28 PM
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Suggest a ladder that flips up out of the water if you can swing it.

bcraley #492214 06/19/18 03:57 PM
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I only recently jumped into my pond a week ago after about having a heat stroke chopping thistles. Helped - but surface water was bathtub warm. Enter from a dock but walked out on my rocked boat ramp which was a bit harsh on the tootsies. Then got feet muddy. Already bought a ladder, and went with one made for either dock or pontoon which is removable. I have assembled it and might get the mounting clip installed this weekend:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JAJW7CQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by Redonthehead; 06/19/18 04:05 PM.

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bcraley #492216 06/19/18 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: bcraley
I think when I read through this thread, when I say swimming pond I think everyone has a different idea of what water clarity is acceptable for swimming.

I think SetterGuy hit the nail on the head. The teenagers aren't going to hold still long enough to care... they've already been in the water with less than 2" of visibility. I don't need gin clear water to consider it swimming water. 12-18" of visibility would be great water for swimming IMO. What I don't want is matted algae.


The dock will have a ladder and I imagine most of the swimming will likely be jumping from the dock and maybe floating around with a cold one on a hot summer day to cool off after an afternoon or working outside.


You will be fine. I did not mean for my comment to be discouragement. Just an FYI to perhaps help you in your management on something you may not have thought of.

I cleaned out an old pond for my son and his kids are in it all summer long. And it is high fertility. When I was a kid we swam in "cow ponds" that were built for watering cows (was there any other reason to build a pond back then?) and they were so muddy you could not see 6" sometimes.

Rebuilding an old pond for my son and family

As long as your expectations are for a pond and not swimming pool quality water it should work well for you. As has been mentioned, a ladder on the dock is a must. Mine is fixed but one that could be flipped up so the algae did not grow on it would be wonderful too.

Last edited by snrub; 06/19/18 04:12 PM.

John

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Redonthehead #492217 06/19/18 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Redonthehead
I only recently jumped into my pond a week ago after about having a heat stroke chopping thistles. Helped - but surface water was bathtub warm. Enter from a dock but walked out on my rocked boat ramp which was a bit harsh on the tootsies. Then got feet muddy. Already bought a ladder, and went with one made for either dock or pontoon which is removable. I have assembled it and might get it installed this weekend:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JAJW7CQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I wish I had bought one with wide steps like that on. My steps are too narrow


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
snrub #492245 06/20/18 07:50 AM
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No discouragement at all taken. I have a vision of what I want and its good to hear it all so I know what I'm up against in managing this thing to meet my vision.

But first... there has to be grass, sprinklers running around the clock. Hopefully we have some grass spouting by next week at this time.


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