Hi all!. I'm a recently new owner of a 20 year old pond, my wife and I just bought our first house and the 3/4 acre pond was (what I thought at the time) a wonderful bonus. Don't get me wrong I still think its a wonderful bonus, I'm just realizing I have no clue as to what I'm doing. So the first thing I did was scour the internet for information, lets just say this turned out to be way more stressful and confusing than I hoped it was going to be. I finally ended up here, and after much thought decided to register, hopefully all of you will help we learn a little... or A LOT! The basic info that I can give is this. The pond size as stated earlier is 3/4 acre, I'm unsure of the depth (I haven't had/taken the time to get out there to take measurements), and the pond has 2 diffuser aerators. I know there are fish in the pond, I've seen small ones swimming around the edges, however I have no clue as to what kind or how many, I've never been fishing before and know some basic fish names but couldn't put a description with a name to save my life. The pond itself has a shallow side with a small beach area that needs some TLC, we've noticed in the summer we get a decent amount of filamentous algae. We have been here for a little over a year, and so far the only things I have done maintenance wise is applying blue pond dye as needed, spraying the algae with cutrine plus, and keeping the weeds at bay around the stoned edge. So my initial questions are. A.) What am I not doing that I should be B.) I've read up some on how to reduce/eliminate the algae, and I guess I became confused. From what I've read it sounds like adding Tilapia to my pond would help with the algae but I'm uncertain if they would get along with the other fish that I have. I've also read that adding beneficial bacteria to the pond would help by using up some of the nutrients before the algae can. Should I use both or, just try the tilapia, or am I just completely wrong on everything?
Any help I can get would be great, I'm here to learn as much as I can.
Welcome to the family MC in these trying times. Sounds like you have a nice pond there and a willingness to learn.... that will be a fun ride, there are a lot of smart folks on here to help guide you in the right direction. Ask lots of questions and the experts will also ask you to provide information on types of fish ( catch some and take pix of them for id and go from there . My opinion of tilapia is that they will get rid of a lot of filamentious algae while helping to feed predators with their own young , I don’t think they harm other fish
Welcome, 1st off. Nest you really dont have to do anything at all to it if you dont want to. Donyou have any goals for your pond? If you want it to look better I would add tilapia so they will take care of the FA.
I guess I forgot to mention my goals/ideas in my original post.
Short term: Goals/Plans
1.) I would like to get the algae under control preferably with little to no chemicals, I have nothing against them I just prefer to take a more natural approach first if its available. I will try the tilapia this year, is there a specific type/amount that I should get? From what I've researched it seems like Blue Tilapia is my best bet but I would like input from others. I would also like to confirm that 30lbs per acre is a good amount to get, since I'm only looking to get them for algae reduction do I need this many or will less do the job/ how is the amount of fish to algae ratio determined? Also do the Tilapia just eat the algae on the top of the pond or will they eat it off the bottom too? What should I pay attention to/look for when buying tilapia/fish?
2.) Maintain our current fish population and learn what we have...Yes to do this I must get out there and do some fishing! That is a must for this year, and will post some pictures of what I catch, so I can learn what I have and what I can do to help keep them around.
3.) We have a 2 year old lab that loves to swim, we certainly want to keep everything in good order for him to enjoy the pond as much as us, and hopefully not come out smelling like the bottom of our septic tank.
Long Term: Goals/Plans
1.) Add a Dock. The pond currently doesn't have one but we would like one, I am thinking of adding a cantilevered dock, but haven't really made up my mind, I'm open for suggestions or options.
2.) Revive/Restore the beach area. We bought the house in the middle of summer and the pond itself was surrounded by weeds, come to find out that fall/winter with things died off we have a Beach Area!! I've attached a photo (not the greatest will take a better one when I have a chance). The area is a little deeper (distance from yard to edge of pond) so I would like to make it a little shorter. The first 10 to 15 feet into the water gets a lot of weeds and algae during the warmer months, and your feet get sucked into the ground (is this a muck issue?) I would like to eventually turn this in to a nice but small little beach area that we can enjoy. Hopefully I described this well.
WRT Short Term Goal #1, Blue Tilapia would live the longest this Fall (fatal temp = 45 degrees IIRC), but IF you can still get in on Tilapia delivery this year I'd take whatever the supplier has. My Tilapia dealer (Jones Fish) will supply either Blue or Nile, whatever they get shipped up from (somewhere) down South.
I am using 20 lbs/acre for FA control with no chemicals, but that is in a stable situation rather than starting from a bad infestation. The recommended 30lbs/acre might be a good idea at first; adjust future stocking levels based on how it goes.
I suspect that Tilapia mostly eat the FA growing on the bottom before it floats up, but I see them eating at the surface (mostly around pond shoreline) often in warm weather.