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draining and muck removal
#523593 07/14/20 02:46 PM
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I have about a .4 acre pond it is fed by runoff from ditches , there is about 5 ft of black mick in the bottom, the water is only about 7 ft deep now, my plan is to drain it, net the fish out and go to town on cleaning all the muck out, so I have dug a new pond next to my old pond to put the fish in while I work on cleaning out the main pond, so the fish may be there for a couple months , I dug it just big enough to keep the fish alive with good aeration and feeding, my question is when can I put the fish into the newly dug hole? My soil is all clay, so I plan on getting a huge pump and pulling water from the old pond to fill the new and then throw the hose over the spillway to drain the rest, I’ve heard that fresh clay can harm the fish if put in too soon, once I’m done clearing the pond I’m going to break the temporary dam between the two and make it one

Re: draining and muck removal
Fishinillinois #523611 07/15/20 07:23 AM
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I've not heard that fresh clay and harm the fish, but would be interested to hear from the more experienced on the topic. With that said, I would consider letting the freshly renovated pond fill naturally for the most part, then pump the temporary holding pond water back into the main pond. This would allow for some aging and settling to occur of the new hole and get the holding pond down enough to seine out the fish for transfer. Consider putting FHM's in the renovated pond as soon as it has a few feet of water in it along with some floating spawning structure. Given a few months before adding the fish back could produce many minnows for forage and seed the pond biologically. All this would depend on how well the fish are doing in the holding pond.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: draining and muck removal
Quarter Acre #523622 07/15/20 01:20 PM
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Thanks for the reply, I have a ton of questions but it seems nobody really responds when you make a post, yeah I thought about pumping water into the hole to make sure it is sealed and will hold water, I just stocked the pond this spring so the fish are still relatively small I didn’t know anything about ponds or I would have just waited to stock, I have done a tone of research since then, my ground is literally clay from the top soil to as deep as I dug which was about 12 ft, my real question is since all of my ground is clay do I need to go through the process of packing layers of moist clay on the bottom and sides, I would think since it’s all clay I could just dig a hole and it wouldn’t leak, when I dug it was very packed stuff, I did two test spots with a mini excavator and when I took a scoop out the hole looked like a smooth clay pot, when it rains the water usually just puddles on top of the ground it hardly soaks up any water, I mean I may have 3 inches of top soil if that, as the hole has been opened the clay has dried out and crumbles up, so another question I have is when you go to pack those moist layers to line the pond wouldn’t you have to keep spraying it with water untill the pond fills up? Wouldn’t it just dry out and crack since it’s so hot and sunny? I have lots of other questions so if any of the experts would message me I would really appreciate it

Re: draining and muck removal
Fishinillinois #523626 07/15/20 02:41 PM
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I have not heard that clay when fresh will harm fish. Stocking into new clay ponds happens all the time without a problem. Trout may be an issue - did you stock them ?
















Re: draining and muck removal
Fishinillinois #523627 07/15/20 02:56 PM
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The drying of clay wont hurt anything, most of the clays we have here in the midwest are extremely high shrink swell clay, which means when they dry out they will shrink exponentially, hence the cracks in it, but when wet they will expand and seal up tighter then Dick's hatband, and your cracks wont go very deep and will only serve to introduce water, moisture, to the subsurface, creating your sealing expansion.
There are many experts on this site, of which I'm not one, but have worked with dirt and clay for many years as an excavator, and have built and repaired a number of ponds in this area over the years, My theory is to pump it full of water and allow the cracks to seal themselves, and put your fish in directly afterwards, Ive actually done that before, upon completion of the pond, pump some water into it and threw the baitfish in without any problems.
I'm assuming during these hot dry summer months most of the experts are probably busy working long hrs and might not get on here as much,,,, Good Luck!


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
Re: draining and muck removal
ewest #523636 07/15/20 08:01 PM
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No trout, just bg, cc, lmb, and red ear sunfish,

Re: draining and muck removal
gehajake #523637 07/15/20 08:06 PM
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Gehajake , so did you do all the tamping and compacting with a sheepsfoot roller or is that unnecessary with the clay I have, also it just rained and halfway filled it up it’s clay brown water I’m assuming because it’s fresh dug and we aren’t complete and there were lots of dried crumbled clods in there, I’m assuming you don’t want to throw fish into water that they can’t see in, how long will it take for that to clear up


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