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Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
#523860 07/22/20 05:38 PM
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Call us impatient. The pond is dug, rocks around the rim, and pond is filling with a water hose. It's about 110,000 gallons. 60 x 50, 8 ft deep. Is that 1/8 acre?

So, now comes the hard part. I don't know!

Is it absolutely necessary to aerate a small pond?
Is it absolutely necessary to begin aerating it right away?
If so, what size bubbler do I need to get?
Do I have to wait long before I get it ready for fish?
What should I do to get the water ready for fish?
What else?

Janan

I hear the gasps among all the seasoned pond owners. lol. I had a pond years ago and I don't think we did anything except dig, fill with water (well) and add fish! We enjoyed it for years with no real problems!

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/26/20 07:56 PM. Reason: Renamed more appropriate
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523864 07/22/20 06:58 PM
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60x50 is 3000 Sq Ft which is between 1/14th and 1/15th of an acre.

The main thing aeration affects is the amount of fish you want your pond to hold. Is it 100% necessary? No, but it helps.

As far as adding fish, once you see that the water is holding and you have a few feet in there, I'd think it'd be safe to start adding FHM. Just remember, you're using clean water from a hose, and newly added fish (minnows/bait) will need some microscopic critters to eat, if you're not going to feed them. I think the experts will probably say to wait until next spring before adding fish, though.


"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice." - Donny Miller
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523871 07/22/20 08:39 PM
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An acre is 43560 square feet. A 60' x 50' pond would be 3000 square feet. So, 43560/3000 equals approximately 0.07 acres. If we assume a 4' average depth, it would be about 4000 cubic feet. That is about 30,000 gallons.

Pool water in my area costs about $450 per 10,000 gallons.

If you want to fill it fast, and it was in my area, I'd buy the water rather than possibly running my well dry.

Purchased pool or well water will be pretty pure. I'd suggest you Google "aquaponics" to see how a combination system of raising fish and vegetables gets started up. It will guide you to getting the water conditioned for fish.

It needs oxygen -- I can't be much of a help in adding aeration. But there are a lot of experts here.

It needs nutrients to provide what the fish need. There are many ways to do it.

Don't put all the fish in at one time. You need to build it up like a pyramid to what you will be trying to raise, unless you plan to buy fish that are already accustomed to eating commercial feed. Then you would need to establish a feeding program.

I'd strongly suggest you buy a copy of the book Perfect Pond ... want one? You can get it directly from Pond Boss or from Amazon.

Good luck,
Ken

Last edited by catmandoo; 07/22/20 08:42 PM. Reason: grammar

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523880 07/22/20 10:14 PM
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Bottom line is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


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.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
catmandoo #523895 07/23/20 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by catmandoo
An acre is 43560 square feet. A 60' x 50' pond would be 3000 square feet. So, 43560/3000 equals approximately 0.07 acres. If we assume a 4' average depth, it would be about 4000 cubic feet. That is about 30,000 gallons.
???
3000 sq ft x 4 ft deep = 12,000 cubic feet.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523900 07/23/20 09:16 AM
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catmando!! after about 9 months of radio silence, welcome back!!
Please update us if you have time on how things are going pond related and I am happy you can be here to share in your knowledge again!

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Theo Gallus #523909 07/23/20 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Originally Posted by catmandoo
An acre is 43560 square feet. A 60' x 50' pond would be 3000 square feet. So, 43560/3000 equals approximately 0.07 acres. If we assume a 4' average depth, it would be about 4000 cubic feet. That is about 30,000 gallons.
???
3000 sq ft x 4 ft deep = 12,000 cubic feet.

I forgot to say that I looked at it as a tetrahedron rather than rectangular. because I was assuming that the sides didn't go straight down 8 feet. It is probably somewhere more than 4000 cubic feet and something less than 12,000 cubic feet.


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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
catmandoo #523916 07/23/20 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by catmandoo
I forgot to say that I looked at it as a tetrahedron rather than rectangular.
Well, its definitely not a tesseract. smile


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523922 07/23/20 05:47 PM
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The pond is more round than rectangular. The photo makes it look more rectangular. The Pond Guy recommended Airmax® PondSeries™, PS10, 115V, 100'. It will cost $1500. Does that sound right?

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523928 07/24/20 08:15 AM
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The Pond Guy recommended Airmax® PondSeries™, PS10, 115V, 100'. It will cost $1500

Does this sound right? We are ready to make a purchase.

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/24/20 08:38 AM.
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523929 07/24/20 09:18 AM
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Here are some answers IMO to your questions. Plus a few of my questions

Is it absolutely necessary to aerate a small pond? AERATION OF AN 8FT DEEP POND IS BENEFICIAL FOR LONG TERM OVERALL HEALTH OF THE POND BALANCE, TOTAL WATER QUALITY TOP TO BOTTOM AND POND ECOSYSTEM.

Is it absolutely necessary to begin aerating it right away? NO. IMO DO NOT RUSH. I OFTEN RECOMMEND TO LIVE WITH THE POND WHEN IT IS FULL FOR AT LEAST A YEAR SIMILAR TO LIVING WITH A LIFE PARTNER TO LEARN ABOUT IT BEHAVES - IN YOUR CASE WITHOUT AERATION. NEW PONDS USUALLY HAVE A VERY LOW OXYGEN DEMAND SO AERATION IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS IN AN AGING POND NUTRIENT ENRICHED POND. THE CLEARER A POND IS WHEN NEW AND FULL THE LESS NEED FOR AERATION. I CAN EXPLAIN WHY IF NEEDED. ALSO NEW PONDS ARE OFTEN MUDDY SO IMO LET THE SUSPENDED SEDIMENTS SETTLE OUT FOR A FULL YEAR TO SEE JUST HOW CLEAR IT WILL BECOME AS BUILT AND LOCATED. POND ARE USULLY THE CLEAREST IN LATE WINTER EARLY SPRING AT ICE MELT.

If so, what size bubbler do I need to get?
SINCE IT IS A SMALL POND, COMPRESSOR DOES NOT NEED TO BE LARGER THAN ONE THAT PRODUCES 1CFM PER MINUTE. MOST MEMBRANE BUBBLERS REQUIRE 1CFM TO OPERATE "NORMALLY" - AS STANDARD. MORE AIR CFM CAN MEAN YOU TURN OVER THE POND FASTER AND RUN AERATOR FEWER HOURS PER DAY. TRY TO ACHIEVE ONE TURNOVER PER DAY WHICH CAN TAKE 1 HOUR OR 24 HOURS DEPENDING ON SIZE OF POND AND AERATOR/S. THE WATER QUALITY OFTEN DETERMINES HOW FAST THE DISSOLVED OXYGEN IS CONSUMED AND NEED FOR LENGTH OF AERATOR RUN TIME. THERE ARE GOOD CHARTS FOR DETERMINING HOW MUCH WATER A DIFFUSER MOVES WITH 1CFM AT A SPECIFIC DEPTH - IN YOUR CASE 7-8FT. SIZE OF DIFFUSER (SQUARE INCHES) ALSO MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN WATER MOVED PER MINUTE OR HOUR. I'M NOT SURE THIS airmax IS THE BEST AERATOR FOR YOUR NEEDS. PROVIDE A LINK TO SEE DETAILS. i COULD NOT FIND IT ON THE WEBSITE WHICH IS NOT REAL USER FRIENDLY TO ME.

Do I have to wait long before I get it ready for fish?
WHEN POND IS FULL IT IS usually READY FOR FISH HOWEVER IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHAT FISH YOU WANT. NOTE --- THE FISH YOU WANT MAY NOT BE THE BEST FISH FOR HELPING / ALLOWING THE POND TO EXIST WITH THE FEWEST PROBLEMS TO MEET YOUR GOALS. GOALS FOR THE POND REALLY DETERMINE WHAT FISH ARE STOCKED!!

What should I do to get the water ready for fish?
DEPENDING ON THE QUALITY OF THE SOURCE WATER AND ITS CONDITION OR STATUS IN THE POND DETERMINES IF THE WATER IS "READY" FOR FISH. SPECIES OF FISH WANTED DETERMINES WHO TO ADD WHEN TO STOCK
What else?

ITS IT A MEMBRANE LINER POND? DIRT CLAY BOTTOM?
YOU PLAN TO FEED THE FISH? DO YOU PLAN TO HARVEST FISH? WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR FISH?
DO YOU PREFER QUICK CHEMICAL PLANT CONTROL OR NATURAL MANAGEMENT EFFORTS?
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND FOR MANAGING AND DEALING WITH PONDS?
BASED ON CALCULATIONS ABOVE 12000 FT3 IS 88,800 TO 91000 GALLONS AT OVERFLOW - 0.27 ACRE FEET OF WATER.
USUALLY PLAN ON A CLAY LINER POND TO BE USUALLY MINIMUM 1FT LOW

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/24/20 09:37 AM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523934 07/24/20 11:32 AM
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First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for answering my questions!



ITS IT A MEMBRANE LINER POND? DIRT CLAY BOTTOM?
It is a dirt clay bottom. So far, holding very well. The water is clear.


YOU PLAN TO FEED THE FISH? DO YOU PLAN TO HARVEST FISH? WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR FISH?
We will feed the fish, with pleasure. I will sit at the pond for hours. We will mostly catch and release. Pure pleasure. The thrill of the catch.

THE BEST FISH FOR HELPING / ALLOWING THE POND TO EXIST WITH THE FEWEST PROBLEMS TO MEET YOUR GOALS. GOALS FOR THE POND REALLY DETERMINE WHAT FISH ARE STOCKED.
Please give me recommendations for what fish, how many and what size is best for the pond.

DO YOU PREFER QUICK CHEMICAL PLANT CONTROL OR NATURAL MANAGEMENT EFFORTS?
Quick chemical plant control.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND FOR MANAGING AND DEALING WITH PONDS? Practically none.
Our last pond was exactly this size. We initially stocked it with 100 channel cat fingerlings, 100 bluegill, and 10 lmb fingerlings, which was what recommended.

I depended on this forum as I had issues, but we enjoyed it tremendously for about 5 years. Long enough for the cc to get plenty big. Abundant blue gill, but not very big. Very little luck with lmb, which was disappointing.


BASED ON CALCULATIONS ABOVE 12000 FT3 IS 88,800 TO 91000 GALLONS AT OVERFLOW - 0.27 ACRE FEET OF WATER.
Thank you!

USUALLY PLAN ON A CLAY LINER POND TO BE USUALLY MINIMUM 1FT LOW
Thank you!

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/24/20 11:36 AM.
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523954 07/24/20 10:18 PM
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A mini-pond in Texas will have different fish combos than more northern ponds. I will discuss one now.

Keep in mind that feeding fish increases the prod productivity and tends to cause more than 'normal' algae / plant growth that you will have to deal with. This type of problem happens quicker in a small pond vs larger pond; all this is based primarily on water volume pond design. Having lots of fish per unit volume requires more food to keep them growing well,, which gets you into a viscous cycle of feed, more fish manure, kill plants, feed more, kill more plants. This in one of the negatives of feeding fish and increasing productivity beyond its natural amounts.

For starting in a tiny mini-pond, I would not stock fish that have prolific tendencies that will tend to overpopulate the small pond with too many fish that do not grow well. Maintaining a balance with constant reproduction is difficult. It is much easier to manage numbers when the fish are not "heavy' reproducers or do not reproduce. If you initially stock species that do not reproduce or reproduce sparingly ,,,, numbers will be much easier to manage due to lack of annual reproduction and those that are present will usually grow really well and faster as they usually get ample food with less overall competition from same species and other species. A fish grows as long as it lives IF it gets ample food, more that subsistence, each day.

With this philosophy it can be basically a put and take fishery. Then when and if you decide to change course of the species present, it will be basically easy to make the change by just stocking the new species such as BG, LMB or maybe CC. CC without significant predation from bass will reproduce and overpopulate!!!! I would only stock these three species as a last resort when other species fail to meet your goals in this mini pond. These main 3 will usually prevent stocking of other species. that successfully thrive and produce high quality individuals n the mini-pond.

Numerous other fish species besides BG, LMB and CC can thrive in a small mini pond.


Occasionally adding more non-reproducing individuals as old ones die or are harvested is relatively low cost, low maintenance, to produce ample high quality fish when the pond is small.

IMO one good fish combination for a mini-pond is only tilapia in warm season and then trout in fall, winter, early spring. These two fish provide great year round angler action and never cause overpopulation problems for the mini-pond. Enhancing this fish combo is FHM who reproduce and produce lots of small minnows for growing the cool-cold season trout. Tilapia grow fast eat lots of algae and delicate invasive water plants to keep the pond surprisingly clean.

Tilapia(TP) are great angler action on light tackle plus they are great invited guests for dinner. What better way to get rid of pesky pond plants/algae and then later,,, eat the plant controller.?? It is sort of like raising sheep and goats for grass / weed control and then having meat for the table.

Tilapia aggressively eat fish food and are fun to feed, some pellets helps them grow fast @ 2" per month, and keeps them familiar with pellets so you can easily catch them on artificial pellets (Stubby Steve brand) in early fall. We have best luck catching them as water temps fall to low 70F high 60's when they are all still concentrated spawning in the beach area. As you remove the TP the water temp decreases to 60-65F and trout can then be stocked. Tilapia will die when water temps drop to 50 and 45F. I suggest you remove as many tilapia as possible because this removes, out-of-the-pond plant/algae bound nutrients in fish bodies that if left in the pond to fully decay would assist to grow more algae problems next year and beyond.

Trout grow fast especially with pellet feeding and top end size is based on size of stocker trout. 10" stocked trout with ample food can grow to 16" maybe 18" by May-June. This provides lots of angler action until water temps increase toward 70F in spring when tilapia can again be stocked. Trout will die in 70+F water so remove them as dinner guests in spring. Have family fishing parties with prizes for most caught and largest caught to harvest tilapia and trout.

One option to try is not use the trout and just stock tilapia each spring and angler - remove them in late summer - early fall. You get a Clean pond, few algae plant problems, minimal chemicals to buy and contaminate the pond (maybe some pond dye), no fish overpopulation problems, fun feeding fish, food for the table, good angler action; all for a reasonable annual price once a year.


As I get more time I will return to discuss another fish stocking combo for the Texas -southern US mini-pond. As you have read this in not a simple short discussion if done thoroughly with adequate detail. I have some friends in DentonTX.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/24/20 10:29 PM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523955 07/24/20 10:45 PM
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I have a mini forage pond, maybe 1/8 acre, which I stock with CNBG. Goal is to raise forage for my main BOW, so I am willing to risk overfeeding & nutrient overload. A fish kill would be sad, but not that big a deal. But that's very different than raising fish in a mini pond for the sake of fishing.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/24/20 10:46 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #523963 07/25/20 08:53 AM
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Thank you so much. Please keep the recommendations coming! Can we put something in right now? Just a little?

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
catmandoo #524007 07/26/20 07:34 PM
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Great info.
I can get tankers of pool ready water....

My 1/2 acre pond is a year old with addition of lmb, cc, fhm this year in upstate New York.
It’s losing water due to drought from dry spring and sun all day.
Do you think 54 degree water addition of 7000 gallons from tanker would upset the fish I have?
I appreciate any input!

Laura

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524008 07/26/20 07:51 PM
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Choosing the best fish for mini-pond can be a challenge. Choices will depend on pond location and GOALS for the pond and fishery. It is really about your goals. Forage pond? Sport fish pond? Swimming - aesthetics pond? General recreation?

The most common fish combo suggested for the mini pond has been catfish. with or without some forage fish. Catfish feed 'em and harvest 'em. This works but what if you are like me and don't prefer catfish. Plus I have never seen a small pond with several to numerous larger catfish that had water clarity more than a few feet. Many pond owners like clearer water to better see the fish. Clear water IMO tends to be more appealing. Thus my suggestions will be to use fish that will allow clearer water and do not have a strong tendency to cause problems associated with over over population.

Bass only. This can be any one of largemouth(LMB). smallmouth(SMB) or hybrid striped bass (HSB). Each of these species by themselves in a small pond will usually not grow much larger than 12" and often be 9"-11" unless you do some sort of regular supplemental feeding. Numbers of only non-pellet fed bass per acre usually range from 50-90 and each close to 0.7-1 pound. The easiest supplemental feeding is high protein fish pellets. Without supplemental feeding the bass have a subsistence diet of invertebrates and eating baby bass; exception is the HSB who usually do not reproduce in ponds. Bass only ponds rarely have very many frogs unless there is a fair amount of shoreline vegetation or cover.

Feeding pellets can allow more bass numbers or bigger to live in the pond and average to be larger sizes. The more bass per acre in the pond generally the smaller the average size to be. Fewer bass generally results in larger individuals because each gets more food per day. Bass only numbers should be monitored annually to watch for overcrowding which will be displayed by smaller average sizes. Bass only ponds tend to be clear water ponds; some in my limestone based clay soils have water clarity to 16ft - very clear, although the average clarity is 5-8ft. Pond clarity is usually closely related to pond productivity (fertility) and amount of nutrients. Pond conditions, pond inhabitants, base soil composition, water shed, and wind exposure and blown in materials can have a strong influences on water clarity.


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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524015 07/27/20 08:56 AM
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An acre-foot of water is apx 325,850 gallons.

7000 gallons/325.850 gallons/acre-feet is 0.021 acre-feet. For a half-acre pond, multiply by 12 inches/foot and by 2 (since its a half acre) and 7000 gallons amounts to just over a half an inch of water depth.

You may be losing twice that per day from evaporation.


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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524018 07/27/20 11:02 AM
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Chandler1 says "Can we put something in right now? Just a little?". Yes you can put fish in anytime. However if the WRONG fish are added for your final goals then those fish can be impossible to get back out unless you kill the whole pond. Those premature fish if not the best specie can cause problems with fish and pond balance. Chose your fish wisely not from a lack of education as to what problems they could cause. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU GET APPROVAL FROM US ON PBOSS FORUM BEFORE ADDING ANY FISH. Otherwise I cant help much with future fish management and pond problems caused by problematic fish.

WHAT SPECIE OF FISH YOU THINKING ABOUT???? . LET'S DISCUSS YOUR CHOICES.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/27/20 06:19 PM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524044 07/27/20 10:06 PM
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Thank you so much for your answers. We bought 5 lb of FHM today so I could at lease see something swimming in the pond and to start developing an eco system.

I'm glad that was the only investment we made because it didn't take long to lose about 1/4 of the fish. I bought some pond balance, but this place didn't have much, so it probably didn't really help. It was probably the heat, like y'all warned me about. I'm feeding them floating fish food. I crush some of the pellets so they can get them better. How much should I feed them? 2 cups? Less? Once a day or more than once a day?

Now that the pond is full, the borders changed from what we thought they would be. I would say the pond is a little smaller. About 50 ft by 55 ft. Still 8 ft. deep in the middle.

The thought of just bass sounds pretty inviting. I would like the pond to be clear plus I would also like to catch something beside catfish. The number of fish doesn't matter much to me. I would rather have a few bigger ones.

Bluegill are also fun to catch.

Thank you for you help? We are not going to add any more until we hear more recommendations from you guys.

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524051 07/28/20 07:39 AM
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2 cups seems like a bit much for a few pounds of FHM's. I would feed them gradually over a 15 minute period trying not to feed them so fast that they can't keep up with eating it all. If they stop feeding before the 15 minutes is up...stop feeding. You could do this twice a day if you wanted to, but once is fine too. I am thinking that a 1/2 cup per feeding is more like it, but that all depends on their appetite, size, numbers, and other available natural foods.

Definitely put in some egg laying structure for them. Anything flat and horizontal will work. They need a flat surface to lay eggs on the under side. Some have used sheets of plywood, foam board insulation, cinder blocks, buckets, barrels, lengths of pvc pipe, etc. Here is a pic of one of my FHM spawning structures that has worked very well now for a few years. I have 6 of these in my 1/4 acre pond...some 2 pallets, some stacked 3 high..Use more than the weight of one cinder block per pallet in the stack. 2 blocks per pallet would be a safe approach..don't ask how I learned that lesson...

[Linked Image]

If you go the bass only route, I recommend the HSB or a single sex LMB stocking with my preference being the HSB. Do your research on the HSB, Texas waters get hot and HSB may not be the best choice. Here's a short testimony on the growth of my HSB the first season...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=38025&Number=494998#Post494998


Fish on!,
Noel
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That was a good read, Noel!

There was more dead fish around the edge of the pond, but I saw a nice little school of them when I threw out the floating food. I doubt I fed a full cup, so I will feed again this evening.

I'm looking forward to more advice. Should I take a water sample somewhere? We bought test strips at Walmart, but they are mostly for pools or acquariums.

This morning I drug several of the large rocks that were around the pond to the edge of the water. There are many areas now where the minnows can hide. The man at the fishery recommended I get a few cedar branches to put at the water's edge for them to hide from predators. What do you think? I also like the crate idea on Noel's thread. Advice please?

Thanks,
Janan

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524066 07/28/20 12:52 PM
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The "API Pond Master Test Kit" is a very good kit and will last a few years of regular testing should you wish to get into the water chemistry. Here is a thread that I started to "talk" chemistry...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=39072&Number=508352#Post508352

The very fist post is the important one. It has several links and info pertaining to pond water testing and such. The remaining threads are just records my water testing journey...I still don't know much about my ponds water, believe it or not...chemistry is not my strong suit.

Get your FHM's to breeding this year with plenty of flat structure. By next spring, you should have gobs and gobs of them...then put in your bigger fish. These minnows will feed your stocked fish for the next couple years. I wouldn't worry too much about adding branches to the pond unless you end up stocking fish that you want to recruit, meaning breed AND survive to adulthood. With HSB, it would be a put and take pond (no reproduction)...probably so with CC too unless you added spawning structure for them.

First off, you have to decide what your stocked fish goals are and then add structure to suit. With this small pond...your only talking about stocking 10 larger predators and 100 plus smaller panfish max.

You could stock 20 CC or 20 HSB or 60 HBG and grow them, harvest them, and ladder stock most yearly. Little to no breeding/recruitment would happen especially with the CC and HSB. The HBG would spawn, but would be the more manageable than LMB. Going with one of these fish, I would not want any places for YOY to hide. They would need to be eaten to help keep the pond from overpopulating.

OR, on the other end of the scale, you could only stock a few HBG (like 20) and hope for some recruitment. Then you would want some places for the young to hide so that you could populate the pond more naturally. Should you go this route, I would use Osage Orange limbs and such. It will outlast even cedar in the water.

The options are endless. A small pond is best suited for CC, but could be used for other types depending on how much you want to manage the BOW. Check into how HSB do in your neck of Texas and consider them as a fast grower and an exciting catch on rod-n-reel (even though they can be difficult to get to bit...but when they do...hold on).


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524074 07/28/20 01:57 PM
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Thank you for the advice!

So far the FHM that survived are doing well. God blessed us with a little rain and cooler weather (it's only 81 degrees!)

I am enjoying all the posts. I am so excited about adding fish, but I will wait for the right time and the right decision on what fish.

I will say that I'm not interested in raising a bunch of fish. I like the idea of hybrid. I want bigger fish that will give me a little fun now.

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/28/20 01:59 PM.
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Chandler1 #524125 07/30/20 01:12 PM
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Is it normal for the sides of a new pond to be muddy? Or am I having a problem with the pond?

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com][img]

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/30/20 01:13 PM.
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524129 07/30/20 02:00 PM
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I would say that is capillary action wicking the water from the pond up the bank. Shouldn't be a problem.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524133 07/30/20 02:43 PM
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Are all those shoreline rocks supposed to be underwater? is the high water mark the top of the wet dirt area? I would put a stake in the water with tape at the water line and monitor how fast the water level is going down. How old is the pond again?. Water normally wicks upward from the waterline. Was the entire pond basin compacted with a sheepsfoot roller? A bulldozer is not a soil packing machine which is why road building crews use special compaction devices to make road beds and to stabilize, compact soil for construction projects. In hot sunshine midsummer a pond can lose 1/2" of water per day. Faster than that there is a leak. All ponds without a membrane liner leak. The amount of leakage is the test how well the pond was built.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/30/20 02:46 PM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524134 07/30/20 03:12 PM
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We put the rocks around where we thought the shoreline was going to be. I will post another picture showing the true shoreline once the pond was full. These rocks were dug up when they cleared land for the house and I wanted to use them because they were unique. May not have been the best choice, but they are mine. lol

I have one rock that I have kept my eye on for water evaporation, but I will put a flag out. That's a good idea.

[img]https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=16426&filename=pond3.jpg.png

Last edited by Chandler1; 07/30/20 03:15 PM.
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Chandler1 #524136 07/30/20 04:26 PM
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Bill, the pond has a clay bottom and is not lined. It was dug out and built by my husband's cousin, who has an excavation company. He built to allow for runoff from neighbor's yard and to protect from flooding our yard. He packed it the best he could with the equipment he had. You can tell in the picture that by the time the water got to the rocks on the right (which is where he designed the spillway), the pond had to be considered full. That being said, there has not been much change on the waterline near the rocks on the right, which is good, I guess? I put a flag there just now to keep track.

I suppose this changes the calculations of how big the pond is and the water volume. It should still be 8 ft deep in the middle.

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524160 07/31/20 10:22 AM
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The HBG are robust and grow quickly. Here's my progress over the last year. After reading this thread, anyone know where I can find trout in North Texas?

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524174 07/31/20 09:11 PM
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Chandler in a private message asks:
“ “I would love to introduce bass only, but I need to know how to feed them. You say they will eat their own fry, but what if there is no fry in the beginning. I have pellets. Is that enough?””
Note – This pondowner has already stocked fathead minnows so small minnows are available. YES - high protein pellets are enough if the bass are pellet trained direct from the fish farm otherwise, if they(LMB) do not eat pellets, by themselves in a pond results in them staying around 9”-13” long. Bass as predators need lots of food to grow – 10 lb of live food per fish is needed to gain a pound. YES for eating primarily pellets applies more as a YES with HSB compared to LMB. See below for more info about pellet trained LMbass.

Or
“Can I have bluegill and bass?”
“I was thinking 15-20 bass and 50 bluegill.” A prey predator ratio of 1:3.
“My grandchildren would get a bang out of catching the bluegill.”

ANSWERS

First the fish density - He is thinking of adding 15 LMB and 50 BG = 1:3.3
One bass to 2.5 or 3.3 BG. In a 50ftX55ft which is 0.06 ac, this equates to 240 bass/ac and 800 BG/ac. This is way too many stocker fish in a tiny pond. Way fish over crowded for healthy water and healthy fish. Current most common stocking guidelines are 100 LMB and 500BG / acre. Thus the 240LMB to 800BG is way too many fish for 2700ft2. Maybe not too many initially as fingerlings, but as soon as the fish are 1 yr old problems are very likely to begin. If these all these fish are fed pellets there will soon be water quality problems and likely fish deaths from too much fish biomass for the limited water volume. Your grandkids will not get much of a ‘bang’ from seeing lots of dead fish. Quality fish balance based on size of pond is much more important than having lots of fish.
Pellet trained bass can exist on a primary diet of pellets providing the pellets have high protein and nutrient balance, at least 40% protein. Free ranging bass only eating pellets will get an added low amount of nutrition from the small amount of natural foods they find in the pond.
Mixing BG and LMB In A Tiny Pond, This is the traditioinal pond stocker fish combination. However in a pond less than 0.2 ac (many say one acre), it becomes a difficult time especially long term when managing the reproduction from both BG & LMB and keeping a balance where both species grow well and are angler quality. A pretty difficult feat in a tinypond. Fish balance with growth is hard to achieve without lots of frequent management effort and then 1 or 2 bass would not be much bigger than 2 maybe 2 lbs – 14”-15” and the remainder mostly 8”-12”. One specie of the BG-LMB very often tends to overpopulate for one reason or another which often happens in many ponds even larger ponds. However the smaller the pond is, the more prone it will have an overpopulation of the BG or the LMB. This also tends to be true with most of the other common sportfish combos used in tiny ponds. This is why catfish only is often used as the main fish for small ponds. However even catfish can reproduce in a pond and overpopulate when adequate predators are not present or adequate harvest does not happen.

The other problem with the BG-LMB small pond combo is if the LMB original stockers are pellet trained, most of their offspring will NOT eat pellets. Thus the majority of these bass offspring grow very slowly and top out at around 11”-12” due to lack of food and crowding for space and food. After your original stocker larger pellet eating bass die, you have slim chances of getting LMB bigger than 10”-12” because the LMB usually will keep reproducing, and then tend to become crowded, overpopulate and over eat the food source. When overcrowded they over eat the small BG. As the biggest oldest BG begin to gradually die from old age, you eventually have no or too few BG and overcrowded small bass. This is a management dilemma and problems to deal with providing if you want quality size fish especially if one wants larger sized fish. Growing larger fish in a mini-pond is a special management situation that IMO requires a unique stocker fish combination and good management.

Bottom Line. The BG-LMB combination is a very difficult for one to be successful in a small pond unless special management is used or you are satisfied with numerous small fish.

Some on the Forum have used the redear sunfish(RES) as a panfish. They reproduce sparingly although they, direct from the fish farm, are not pellet trained. Plus they are hard to pellet train. Often RES do not grow fast when proper foods are not present. RES as the main forage fish do not reproduce enough for bass to grow over 12”-13”. It is often said on the Forum that RES do not overpopulate and stunt. RES overpopulating is rare, but I have seen it happen. Anglers say they (RES) are fairly difficult to catch which makes them a poor choice for young anglers.
The best plan IMO for the small pond to have primarily larger sized fish is to not use fish that can cause overpopulation problems which means all they basically do is grow if they have enough food. One should think of finding and using sport fish that will not reproduce or don’t reproduce. The other key to success of big fish in a small pond is to stock fish that grow well on pellets thus you do not have to rely on small fish to feed the predators to make them grow big. Limited or stable numbers, feed quality pellets, and watch them grow.

If one is really serious about having catchable edible panfish and some larger quality predators in the mini-pond, I refer back to my earlier post. For panfish use tilapia (TP) and predators use hybrid striped bass HSB.
Tilapia are available in larger sizes. 6"-7" stocker tilapia can grow to 12-15" by late summer in Texas. Big panfish indeed! They readily eat pellets and grow faster than any other panfish 2” per month. The bigger the stocker size the faster they are ready for exciting the anglers. A 14" tilapia fights as hard as a 14" LMB. They are very hard fighters for their size. Plus they eat your algae problems and you can later eat them; a win, win. You never have to worry about overpopulation because they all die every late fall with water drops to 50F, They need to be replaced each spring but this is a low, well money very spent cost compared to ALL the great benefits they provide based on goals of quality fish for the mini-pond. Great panfish for a low maintenance mini-pond.

For the large fish use hybrid striped HSB. They do not reproduce in ponds - so no overpopulation problems. Put and take as needed. They eat pellets very aggressively with lots of surface splashing. They grow fast and big, plus pull on the fish pole like a race car.

Both of these pellet eating specialty fish can be readily caught by anglers using highly flavorful artificial fish pellets. The best brand is from Stubby Steve.


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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524175 07/31/20 09:14 PM
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I think trout in fall are available in northern Texas from Overton's Fish Hatchery also known as Overton Fisheries. this is one of the best places to buy your Texas fish. They have a great reputation, are very customer friendly, helpful, and have very high quality fish, and a good supporter of the Pond Boss family. They have a very informative website. Check them out.
https://overtonfisheries.com/

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524181 08/01/20 06:51 AM
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Bill said it all.


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.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Chandler1 #524192 08/01/20 10:00 AM
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Ok. I will go with HSB in September. I want them to be big enough to put a rod out so how many and how big? The number of fish is not as important as the size of fish.

When you mentioned tilapia, were you mentioning that as a choice for "tilapia only" situation? So you mean that if I did not go with HSB, I could go with tilapia. Is that what you mean? If I did go with tilapia, would I put them in now or wait until September? It seems if I wait until September, I wouldn't have much time before they die. Would I put some in now and then introduce HSB in September?

I know I sound confused when Bill is educating not just me, but other readers.

So Bill, I want to go with your suggestion.

1. Is it HSB in September ONLY? What size and how many?
2. Is it tilapia now (size and number) and add HSB in September (size and number)?

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Chandler1 #524193 08/01/20 11:15 AM
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HSB in September or October or Spring - any size when stocking a new pond with no predtors. Often the larger HSB are mostly available in Fall. The larger ones you are able to stock the faster they grow to catchable or angler preferred size. BE sure to buy a small amount 5-8 lbs of the SAME fish food that the Fish Farm is using to feed the HSB. They should be willing to sell a small amount as in a few pounds to use until the HSB grow to eat large pellets which will be one year later. Try hard not to buy a whole big bag of fish food for your small pond. It will go bad, mold and loose nutrition before you are able to use the whole bag. Plus larger or bigger HSB (12"+) do not do well when eating tiny 1/16" or 1/8" pellets.

Tilapia are stocked primarily in Spring as soon as the water temperature stabilizes at 68F-70F. Try to buy ones at least 5" and better 6"-8" long. Tilapia can be used as the only fish or they work very well when combined with HSB and most other fish species. Both species will be a very good fun combination for your small pond. Give me a day or two to find time to create a discussion for a couple stocking number / densities. I will return soon. All these posts take time to create when details are provided. .

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/01/20 11:19 AM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524199 08/01/20 03:42 PM
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So my plan now is to wait until September and try to get HSB.

Should we install a bubbler before we stock the fish? Originally I was told that new ponds had enough oxygen for awhile, but if we need to do it sooner rather than later, then what kind and what size?

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Chandler1 #524203 08/01/20 05:49 PM
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I wouldn't stock fish if the water is over about 75 to 80 degrees.


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.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Chandler1 #524204 08/01/20 06:31 PM
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I will buy a pond thermometer

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Chandler1 #524207 08/01/20 08:35 PM
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Yes Davidson1 has good advice for stocking TX ponds wait until the water is 70-75F all fish will have better survival. Your killing the fatheads a week ot two ago is good testimony for what he is saying. Heed the good experienced Texas advice.


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Chandler1 #524211 08/01/20 09:40 PM
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I will listen. And pray for an early fall. lol

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Chandler1 #524224 08/02/20 11:42 AM
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All of a sudden, the pond is covered with green algae. I may have been feeding the minnows too much? I feed about 1/'2 or a little more a day. I read some posts on algae and have ordered Cutrine-Plus. How long do I have to feed minnows?

Is there a thread that covers treatment for my mini pond?

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Chandler1 #524228 08/02/20 04:20 PM
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I know it was suggested new ponds usually have enough oxygen in the beginning, but we have decided to go ahead and aerate the pond. I really need help knowing what to buy. Do I just take the recommendation from the sales person based on pond size and potential water volume? We want to buy a bubbler.

Last edited by Chandler1; 08/02/20 04:20 PM.
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Chandler1 #524256 08/03/20 11:14 AM
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Adding air now will help you get used to it, understand it, and get it set up right where you want...before you need it. It has taken me almost 3 years to get a good grip on what my aeration system does to my pond. So, getting it going now will, not only be exciting, but allow you to experiment before it is actually critical.

Forgive me for not reading back through the thread entirely, but....

Did you ever estimate how many gallons it contains?

What type and brand of diffusers are you looking at buying?

I will assume that you will only be aerating at night during the summer months which means the system has to do its job in much less time. This means a larger system than a generic sales chart will suggest.

We will also need to know what depths you plan to put the diffusers in and how many. I suspect 1 or 2 diffusers will be enough....your thoughts and desires? The more diffusers, the better the surface conditions (if needed) and the bigger the pump will need to be.


Fish on!,
Noel
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Chandler1 #524278 08/03/20 02:48 PM
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The pond is basically round. Now that it's full, I would say it is 48 ft x 48 ft and 8 ft deep in the center. We want a bubbler.

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524303 08/03/20 09:39 PM
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Get three estimates from good aerator people one of them Vertex. Watch for cfm (air volume) of the compressor. The more air the larger the diffuser and quicker it can turnover the pond. If the pond stays reasonably clear you would not have to run the aerator 24/7. A good aerator should easily mix one pond turnover in 1-2 hrs. Then run it twice a day turning it over twice a day.

An aerator will not eliminate the green string algae as you will learn. Cut back on feeding the minnows. maybe 1/4 cup a day or just 3 days a week.

Now saying 48x48 is 2300 sqft if pond is square 0.05ac ave depth 4ft = 65000 gallons ; And a round pond at dia 48ft is 1800 sqft. = 0.04ac = 53000 gallons.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524312 08/04/20 12:03 AM
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I bought this aerator kit on Amazon a month and a half ago. About $400 and makes a lot of bubbles. Says its only good for 7 feet deep though. I'm about 5.5 feet deep and it works great. EasyPro PA6SWN Single Diffuser Shallow Pond Aeration Kit .

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524681 08/13/20 07:13 PM
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This is a fish stocking follow up for Chandlers tiny new pond.
Chandler asks
“Can I have bluegill and bass?”
“I was thinking 15-20 bass and 50 bluegill
ANSWERS
First the fish density - He is thinking of adding 15 LMB and 50 BG = pretator to prey ratio 1:3.3. The common ratio is 1:20 or greater for good fish balance and growth.
I discussed the option of fish density and the BG-LMB combo in an above post. Now I want to discuss fish density also known as fish number per acre or carrying capacity. There is a very good thread and informative and educational discussion about Carrying Capacity in the Common Pond Q&A (archives) Pond Boss Forum. It is well worth ones time to read it.
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92440#Post92440

Ponds and farm ground have what is called carrying capacity or production amount. This is the natural ability of the area or size to grow or produce a certain or determinate amount of pounds per acre.The limit is based on soil fertility. This is all based on available nutrients in the ground or pond. Fertility can be measured by testing the amount of nutrients in the water or soil. Generally the more fertile it is the more nutrients that are present in the water/soil, the more crop it can grow per acre.

In water and soil, the ability to NATURALLY grow fish or a crop is basically based on the how available the nutrients are for use by the plants / plankton the base of the food chain. Not all nutrients present are readily available for use by plants. . To make the nutrients most usable by the plants, lime (alkalinity, pH ) needs to be at least a minimum concentration for allowing optimum plant growth.
In ponds and for grazers on the farm we can bypass the need to grow plants as food for the bottom of the food chain and just feed the animals some external food material, In our case fish, we use a high quality, high protein prepared food and this becomes simple farming of fish or animals.

For Chandler’s tiny pond it’s final size is 48x48 is around 2300 sqft or 0.05 ac. He says it is more round than square so maybe in reality it is 1800 sqft (0.04ac) as in the area of a 48ft diameter circular pond.

Stocking this tiny pond for some sort of maintained balance will be a real challenge.

Fertile limestone based soil ponds can generally produce food for growing up to 300lbs of all the sizes of fish at carrying capacity. With good aeration and pellet feeding the fish, poundage can be boosted to 800 to 1000lbs of fish PER ACRE. The higher the fish poundage per acre the more water quality problems will occur and the greater chance there is of a fish kill. Be prepared physically and mentally for this sad day. The most prominent indicator of this happening is the fish will stop feeding on the pellets. Then expect to start seeing stressed fish, then dying fish.

For chandler’s tiny pond, let’s assume maximum poundage of 1000lbs/ac if there is good, careful management. Pond is 0.04 to 0.05 ac X 1000lbs/ac = 40 to 50 lbs of total fish maximum. KEEP IN MIND THAT THE 1000 lbs/ac IS A HIGH POUNDAGE OF FISH FOR ANY SIZE OF POND. Risky business indeed and with this type of fish density a fish kill is always imminent. Those professionals with good experience and preparedness can regularly maintain the 1000lbs and greater high fish densities.

Fish community in small ponds I think is best served with fish that do not reproduce with the exception of using tilapia and maybe minnows or some sort of small forage fish. Reproducing most used larger fish are always increasing their numbers to OVERLOAD the carrying capacity or upsetting the balance of predator prey ratio to the point the results are often poorer growth of fish. Fish overload also trends toward more commonly occurring ill or sick fish, lower water quality, and more algae problems. All often occur together. Always remember - lower fish density and lower carrying capacities always result in overall better pond conditions including the fish.

When using tilapia, pond predators will utilize for growth some of the young-of-year tilapia. Winter water temperatures kills all tilapia and restarts and renews the fishery by annually reducing the total fish poundage. The next years tilapia numbers stocked can be adjusted based on last year’s results.
Stocking of fish numbers can vary based on the fish species used and ones goals. Chandler desires some nice, fun sized predators and good panfishing results for the grandkids. The tilapia and HSB are an excellent fish combo for these goals.

For this tiny 1800 to 2000sqft pond, I would start with 10 HSB and 12 to15 tilapia.
Here are my calculated fish weights for HSB each year when the initial HSB grow to 23-24 inches after 4 years. For tilapia in Texas, I use 14” (1.8lb) as a final end of year size. When do you ever catch a 13”-14” bluegill? So being able to annually catch a 13”-14” trophy bluegill sized tilapia is a real treat.
Plan to have a few HSB die each year due to angler caused deaths. Also realize an oxygen sag due to an over enriched, over capacity pond will first cause death to HSB. Tilapia are pretty tolerant of low DO so they die later if low DO persists.

Year 1 10 @ HSB 12” = 8.7 lbs + 15 tilapia 27lbs = 35.7lbs. A safe capacity
Year 2 10 @ HSB 16” = 21.0 lbs + 15 tilapia 27lbs = 48.0 lbs At capacity
Year 3 8 @ HSB 20” = 34.4lbs + 10 tilapia 18lbs = 52.4 lbs. Over capacity
Year 4 6 @ HSB 23”(6.5lbs) = 39lbs + 8 tilapia 14.4lbs= 53.4lbs. Over capacity.
Year 5 better think about harvesting all HSB and restarting. Fewer HSB to catch, smarter hook shy HSB and less chance to catch them.

Commentary Note. Keep in mind my suggestions above produce a risky high carrying capacity and a good chance of a fish kill if all things do not happen correctly. There is quite a bit of chance for error with this plan.

Fish at this density in small water have to be regularly fed to keep them growing well because this small of a pond cannot produce enough natural foods to feed this capacity of fish. High food inputs, gradually over time increase the biochemical oxygen demand of the pond.

The good thing about this plan is the pond is new and the annual Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) is the lowest it will be in a new low organics accumulated pond. As organics from internal and external sources accumulate, the annual BOD increases with pond age. Aging ponds have greater chances of fish kills for various reasons but mostly from low dissolved oxygen conditions due to the overall high BOD. BOD can vary throughout the year depending on conditions.
If you want to test this fish growing plan with less chance of having a fish kill, then reduce the fish density by any percentage. The lower the fish capacity the less chance there will be of a fish kill and the better the water quality.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/13/20 07:25 PM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Bill Cody #524688 08/13/20 11:09 PM
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Thanks, Bill, for the thorough explanation with concrete examples of carrying capacity and its relationship to keeping a small pond successful.

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Chandler1 #524696 08/14/20 08:38 AM
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Thank you, Bill! I will wait until cooler weather before I decide ratio. Are HSB snd tilapia easy to get in this part of Texas?

Btw, the pond is doing well and minnows thriving on the fish food. I’m glad I didn’t put any fish in yet. It is supposed to reach 106 degrees this afternoon.

Last edited by Chandler1; 08/14/20 08:41 AM.
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For the best fish go to Overton Fisheries about 1 hr southeast of Dallas on I45 to Buffalo TX. They will do the best for your needs of HSB and tilapia. Check with them when they have the larger 'advanced' sized HSB (maybe 8"-10") available which is probably in March-April which would be a very good time to stock both HSB and tilapia together. Tell them Bill Cody from Pond Boss sent you to them. You will be well treated. Be sure to get about 15-20 lbs of the appropriate sized feed for the HSB while there. Tell them you have a tiny mini-pond and do not need a whole 40or50 lb bag of pellets. It will take you too long to use it up before is starts to go "bad". Try not to hold pellets longer than 10-12 months. The advanced size HSB stocked in spring will have benefits for you: 1. they are very pellet habituated better than smaller fish, 2. they will be fun to catch right away, 3. you gain one year of growth using larger ones, 4. You don't need a lot of them so cost is still relatively low. 5. HSB and tilapia together will be a very good start for your mini-pond, and fishes can be very easily be changed if you don't like the results. This is not true with BG - LMB. KEEP US UPDATED AS TO YOUR PONDS PROGRESS SO OTHERS CAN SEE IF I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!

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Chandler1 #524755 08/16/20 06:33 PM
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Water clarity

Attached is a picture of the water in my pond. You should be able to see how clear it is. Does this look good?

We haven't had any rain since the pond was filled and with the temperatures being well above 100 degrees, we have had some evaporation, but the pond is holding very well! The rocks are well above where the water line should be so don't let that be your guide.

The best guide is the green grass line (we planted Bermuda seed). I hope to keep the pond right below that green grass line.

Since I have to wait until cool weather to stock fish, what is the best way to take care of the pond and prepare for the fish?

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Chandler1 #524758 08/16/20 07:18 PM
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The first video is a fun clip I wanted to post of two minnows spawning. If you zoom in to the top of the screen under the small rock that is in the water, there are two busy minnows making a way for more baby minnows!

Spawning activity under the little rock


This video is of the minnows busy eating the fish food. Question... Can there ever be too many minnows in this mini pond?

Minnows and more minnows

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Chandler1 #524761 08/16/20 07:40 PM
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I think there is always a limit on how much fish a pond can handle. But minnows would take an enormous amount I would think. How big is your mini pond? It's hard to tell from pictures sometimes how big they are. Anything else in it?


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
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Chandler1 #524762 08/16/20 08:01 PM
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It's very small. 0.04 acre. There are only minnows until fall when I will add a very small number of HSB and tilapia according to Bill Cody's plan for my mini pond.

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Chandler1 #524778 08/17/20 06:58 AM
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Never seen a fish creating a nest under a rock.


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.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Dave Davidson1 #524785 08/17/20 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
Never seen a fish creating a nest under a rock.
To be fair, DD, how many rocks have you turned over to look for them? smile


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #524828 08/17/20 09:04 PM
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After you add the HSB and if they are 8"-12" all those abundant minnows will be come scarce minnows. You will be surprised how fast they disappear. Each of those HSB will eat at least 10 to 20 maybe 30 minnows a day even when you feed the HSB pellets daily. HSB are eating machines when they are growing well. When they don't get much food they do not grow or they grow slowly.

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Chandler1 #524886 08/18/20 09:08 PM
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Hey, I did see one a couple of days ago. A minnow ofsome kind was digging around under a flat rock


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.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Chandler1 #525121 08/24/20 11:28 AM
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Pond weeds are beginning to grow around the edges of the west side of the pond. I raked some of them out and took pictures for identification please.

The first time it rained my pond was muddy and developed a green film that floated to the west edge. That film disappeared after a few days, but meanwhile, I bought Cutrine-Plus Professional Strength Aquatic Algaecide, 1 gal on Amazon. I just put the Cutrine-Plus in storage until you guys tell me when it's necessary to use it.

We will be putting in the bubbler in a few weeks. The temperature of the water was 79 degrees this morning. I am so impatient for fish!

So my question is... What should I do about the weeds while they are still on the edge?

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Last edited by Chandler1; 08/24/20 11:34 AM.
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Chandler1 #525163 08/25/20 06:27 AM
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No idea what it is and plants are OK as long as they don't take over. Use caution with herbicides. They can kill algae that you do need. If you see a noxious plant/weed that you don't want either pull it or spot spray it.


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.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #525168 08/25/20 08:32 AM
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It looks like you have Mud Plantain...

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

That's a very nice plant to have. It's not aggressive here in Missouri, usually stays on the small side and in shallower waters if not on the muddy banks. I'd be thrilled to have it in my pond as I have tried to transplant some...it did not take. The smaller size of this plant makes it susceptible to being crowded out by taller plants.

I cannot say what the other photo is of. If could be the same thing, but I have no size reference or close-ups. It kinda looks like a type of Pond Weed, or maybe arrowhead. Too hard to tell in it's infant stage.

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Last edited by Quarter Acre; 08/25/20 08:37 AM. Reason: added second pic

Fish on!,
Noel
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Chandler1 #525171 08/25/20 09:05 AM
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Quarter Acre, That's exactly what it is!

With the second picture I backed up and took a picture of what the plant(s) look like from the shore view. I don't know if the "moss" is Mud Plaintain in its infant stage or another variation of weed. So should I rake the "infants" out to keep it under control the best I can?

Now my question for you knowledgeable guys out there... Does this mean my pond is producing well? Silly question, but remember, I am a grandmother trying to prepare her pond for fish.

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Bill Cody #525176 08/25/20 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Year 1 10 @ HSB 12” = 8.7 lbs + 15 tilapia 27lbs = 35.7lbs. A safe capacity
Year 2 10 @ HSB 16” = 21.0 lbs + 15 tilapia 27lbs = 48.0 lbs At capacity
Year 3 8 @ HSB 20” = 34.4lbs + 10 tilapia 18lbs = 52.4 lbs. Over capacity
Year 4 6 @ HSB 23”(6.5lbs) = 39lbs + 8 tilapia 14.4lbs= 53.4lbs. Over capacity.
Year 5 better think about harvesting all HSB and restarting. Fewer HSB to catch, smarter hook shy HSB and less chance to catch them.

Commentary Note. Keep in mind my suggestions above produce a risky high carrying capacity and a good chance of a fish kill if all things do not happen correctly. There is quite a bit of chance for error with this plan.

Bill, I really like this plan. It affords for some large fish and it is amply conditioned with the challenges. I would like to add some thoughts as they pertain to tiny ponds. These thoughts arise from my own considerations about potentially constructing a tiny pond in the city and are shaped by my own enjoyment of harvesting and eating fish.

A pond can reach capacity in a single season given a stocking rate that will support it and if the fish reach a harvestable size by the end of the first growing season, they can be harvested and restocked the following year ... or in the case of HSB which are available in the fall ... be stocked in the fall and harvested the next fall. This type of stocking program doesn't allow for multi-year growth which means one is harvesting fish at smaller sizes. Depending on goals, such a plan can be a non-starter. On the other hand, it ensures that carrying capacity isn't breeched, it is less prone to learned hook shyness, provides a greater number of fish to catch, and it maximizes the production of fish. Also because the harvest is large compared to carrying over large standing weights year to year, the harvest serves to slow the accumulation of nutrients. This is also a benefit of harvesting tilapia which sequester nutrients that can be harvested as opposed to allowing them to recycle through a winter die-off

Another, idea I have had with tiny ponds is to have both a winter and summer growth season. So after a bountiful fall harvest a winter trout grow out is also possible for good springtime fishing.

Last edited by jpsdad; 08/25/20 09:48 AM.

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Chandler1 #525177 08/25/20 09:43 AM
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The mossy stuff is not Mud Plantain. Hard telling what it is.. A type of algae I'd bet. I would let it be along with the Mud Plantain and see how it all develops.

The fact that your pond is growing plant-life is a good sign that it is not polluted..that's always good to know. Beyond that...these plants are the start of it's life cycle and you will just have to wait to see what happens.

You could try to control (or direct) the progression by adding some other plants for diversity. Arrowhead, Thalia Dealbata and Pickerel Weed are also nice to have in the shallows along the banks. I have had good luck with these here in Missouri. I cannot advise much on submerged plants as I have not had any luck at my pond getting those established (yet) and some can get pretty thick. Submerged plants are not on everyone's wish list, but I think I would like some (American Pond Weed seems to be a favorite of those who want submerged plant life).

Should you chose to add plants to your pond...I suggest looking at other ponds/lakes in your area, talk to the owners about the plants and how they like them, identify the plants, research them, and transplant them to your pond if you like what you have learned about them. This can be a fun task and can save some money. It's amazing how fast a few purchased plants can add up to a hundred dollars and if they don't make it...then I feel cheated and out the money. Also, plants that like growing in your neighbor's pond have a better chance of liking your pond compared to ones raised in another state even though they are "supposed" to live in yours.

Last edited by Quarter Acre; 08/25/20 09:45 AM.

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Chandler1 #525179 08/25/20 10:18 AM
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Thank you for all the great information! jpsdad, I enjoy learning about different options.

Quarter Acre, I especially needed to know more about plants. I will leave what I didn't clean out and watch it carefully. I have wanted to add some bog plants, but I didn't know if this was the right season, or what plants to plant. I have found one nursery that has bog plants, so I may just go look at what they have.

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #525180 08/25/20 12:12 PM
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Consider stocking a few FHM this fall.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/16/21 08:46 AM. Reason: added M to FH















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Chandler1 #525199 08/25/20 05:53 PM
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ewest, I have already stocked some FM and feed them fish food. They are doing great!

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Chandler1 #525259 08/27/20 01:20 PM
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I called Overton Fisheries and they are closed until September 3rd. The recording said they had tilapia available in the fish market. Since I plan to do HSB and Tilapia, can I go ahead and get some Tilapia? I will stick to the plan and only get about 15. Then when HSB are available I can add those. Or should I put the bass in first?

We plan to put the aerator in this weekend.

Last edited by Chandler1; 08/27/20 01:21 PM.
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Chandler1 #525265 08/27/20 08:40 PM
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Chandler, there is about 2 months left to grow TP this year. By the end of October, the growth will slow way down and you will need to harvest them before dying. Given the short time this year, if you do get TP, get them as big as you can and feed them once released.

HSB are usually available in the fall and fall is a good time to stock them.

Last edited by jpsdad; 08/27/20 08:42 PM.

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Chandler1 #525268 08/27/20 08:49 PM
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If you have any algae or thin delicate leaf/stem weeds then tilapia will do you some benefit eating that stuff for the remaining summer. They won' eat the plants in your pictures above. If you up rooted the plants the tilapia would eat the roots but not coarse stems and leaves. Feeding some some fish fish food is also fun and interesting plus it enhances their growth. They are aggressive eaters of pellets. Feed them up to 3 times per day. If you want some good panfish type fish to catch, then do as jpsdad suggests buy the largest ones available. With ample food they will grow 2" each month so by end of October they should be close to 4" larger. As a panfish they are very aggressive and scrappy on the end of a fish pole. Fish for them before the water drops into the mid 60F temps. 70F and above is best temps for catching tilapia.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/27/20 08:53 PM.

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Chandler1 #525281 08/28/20 09:18 AM
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It's a three hour drive to Overton Fisheries. Will the tilapia survive the drive back?

Does anybody know a closer place that might have some tilapia?

Last edited by Chandler1; 08/28/20 09:27 AM.
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Overtons will prepare the fish for the drive home; just tell them the drive time going home. Make it a nice day trip. Keep the fish out of the sun and don't stop for dinner on the way home. Tilapia like 90F water and tolerate low oxygen. Trust Overtons - they will treat you well. I've hauled fish longer than 3 hours packaged the proper way. Tell them Bill Cody @ Pond Boss sent you to them. Also ask if you can buy 5 -10 lb of their food. They are probably the only TX place where you can buy the larger HSB if you want to start with larger HSB. You can check with Overtons with a pond call if it is okay to haul tilapia for 3 hours now in TX. They will confirm.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/28/20 12:56 PM.

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Chandler1 #525586 09/05/20 02:46 PM
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After the torrential rain we had this week, the pond is full and the runoff created a new bank. Is there any hope this bank won't get bigger? We are having our property fence in a couple of weeks and there will be screening to keep the dogs in. Will it keep the silt out?

Suggestions?

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Chandler1 #525603 09/06/20 06:49 PM
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Runoff will continue to move silt/sediment into the pond and enlarge this aresa until there is a good stand of some sort of grass or ground cover on the area surrounding the pond.


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Chandler1 #525632 09/07/20 06:58 PM
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Bill, our neighbors have not put sod down yet, so we are victims/beneficiaries of rain runoff. We thought we had prepared the watershed well, but it looks like a silt fence is our next purchase until we get some ground cover planted. The pond is extremely muddy looking ever since the rain. We have the aerator now, but should I get something to clear the pond?

I talked to Overtons and they have some adult Talipia I will pick up this Wednesday. They recommend I get some bluegill when I get the HSB, even though I said I would be pellet feeding them regularly.

A grandmother question: the minnows have slowed down eating the pellets. Are they finding food in the pond now? Or is it the muddy water ever since the torrential rainfall. I do see tiny, tiny minnows now so the spawning under that rock worked! lol

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. My husband said today he has never seen me this excited.

Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #525633 09/07/20 08:19 PM
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For your goals and tiny 0.6ac pond DO NOT PUT BLUEGILL IN. They will cause too many carrying capacity problems and fish balance problems in this tiny pond. Go with my plan first - minnows, tilapia, and HSB. Then if you are dissatisfied, you can always at a later date add some bluegill. Once you put in bluegill you are stuck with them and you cannot get them out to where they are not reproducing and causing fish balance issues. BG are a good fish BUT NOT for your pond goals and tiny pond. I can't help you any more if you put in bluegill. Go to those that told you to put them in for the help.

If Overtons again ask you to put bluegill in - ask them if you are unhappy with them will they come and get every last one out for you. Of coarse the answer will be no. If you decide you want more panfish for kids to catch just add more tilapia when you buy them in spring. After many years of experience stocking and managing fish,,,,, the customized plan of tilapia - HSB combination will be a very good fishery for your goals in this tiny 2700 sqft pond. Regularly feed these fish and they grow fast and will give all of you lots of enjoyment. Don't forget to get a small amount of appropriate size of fish food, not a whole bag, when you buy your fish. A bag of 40 -50 lbs of fish food is way too much for your tiny pond. It will spoil before you use all of it. Ask for the higher protein food even for the tilapia. Better quality food causes less manure waste, fewer algae / plant problems, and grows your fish faster.

If Overtons will not sell you less than 50 bs of fish food, I will send you some high quality pellets.

The muddy water could be affecting the minnows feeding on pellets. Have you tried crushing / pulverizing some of the pellets for the smaller minnows?.
I would turn off your aerator for 7-14 days and see if this gradually and slowly helps clear the pond. Continually mixing the sediment laden water tends to keep it more turbid and does not let it settle out as quickly. Historically the pond has proven that it will allow your sediment / soil composition creating murky water to become clear. Not running the aerator until the pond clears should not hurt the minnows nor tilapia.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/07/20 08:56 PM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #525780 09/11/20 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Chandler1
...I talked to Overtons and they have some adult Talipia I will pick up this Wednesday. They recommend I get some bluegill when I get the HSB, even though I said I would be pellet feeding them regularly...

+1

HSB are like LMB. They'll eat anything that fits in their mouth.


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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #530498 02/11/21 12:03 PM
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Well, it's DO OVER time. In the fall, I went to Overtons and bought some beautiful HSB. The pond was extremely low, so my husband filled it to the brim. and we were excited to start fishing. The next day, all the minnows and HSB were dead. We decided that chlorine had killed the fish. Big lesson learned.

Fast forward to now. We treated the pond with Soilfloc and grass surrounds the pond. Success!

Wednesday, we put 5 lbs of fathead minnows in the pond. Mid March, we plan to put in about 12 HSB. Mid April, we plan to put in some talipia.

Will our timeline work? It's not too late to change it, so suggestions are great.

The pond holds water very well. So now I have a BIG question. There will be occasional times we will need to top off the pond, even if it's only for evaporation. Will small amounts of chlorine hurt the fish? I could add API Pond Neutralizer. I've also researched filters we could attach to the water hose that is good for 45,000 gallons. Has anybody ever used one of these filters?

Last edited by Chandler1; 02/11/21 12:17 PM.
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #530550 02/12/21 12:40 PM
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Your stocking timeline will work depending...The FHM's will not last very long ( a season and a half). I believe you are feeding the HSB pellets, so it's not a big deal really. FHM's like to have a full season or so by themselves to "do their thing" and create a pond full of forage (free natural food source). You need to stock large enough Tilapia so that your growing HSB don't eat them.

Have you estimated how much chlorinated water was added to the pond? What percentage of city water to pond water did it calculate too? I ask to help understand how long the filter would last. Make sure the filter removes chlorine. I bet that would be tough thing to get out at a water flow that would suit your needs. IDK.

I would bet that 3 things may have contributed to your fish loss. Water temp change, reduction of dissolved oxygen, and the introduction of chlorine The chlorine being the biggest suspect (and likely the only reason) if you are using city water to top the pond off. Fish don't like it one bit. I am sure that they can stand a little, but do not know how much. The safe answer is to remove the chlorine before putting the water into the pond. Chlorine will leave the water given about 24 hours given the surface area to breath. Adding small amounts of chlorinated city water daily MIGHT be the way to attempt keeping the pond full without de-chlorinator. That would be an experiment risking the fish, however. This is still not healthy for the fish even if it does not kill them. Chlorine = Bad for fish.

Other options would be...

Dig a well and use well water,

Let the make-up water sit in open top vessels, like watering troughs, for a couple of days before releasing into the pond,

Using the troughs to de-chlorinate the city water before releasing it into the pond, or

A filter may be an option, but sounds expensive long term at the size you would need to condition evaporated volumes of water daily. It would be interesting to look into though.

My 2¢


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #530586 02/13/21 11:04 PM
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You could also use this: https://pentairaes.com/cloram-xr-water-conditioner.html

You can calculate how much water you are adding from the hose and add the appropriate amount to the pond.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #530597 02/14/21 01:28 PM
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The top 2-3ft of pond water is close to 1/2 the total volume. Hopefully the Soilfloc will reduce most of the leakage and water loss will be due mostly to evaporation. Chlorinated water creates numerous trihalomethanes ((chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and dibromochloromethane) especially when it come in contact with associated in surface or natural waters. Trihalomethanes (THMs) are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting tap water and react with natural organic matter in the water. The more organics and chlorine in the water the more trihalomethanes that are formed. Trihalomehanes are stable in the environment, are bioacumulative, and can become a health related problem when lots of them are formed. Read about problems with trihalomethane on the web. One option is to first pump the water into an upground swimming pool allow the chlorine to dissipate then add it to the pond. The other option that I like is to dig some sort of well and use that water for pond filling. Lots of pond owners use well water to keep ponds full.


An interesting read:
https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/THM-DBP_BiomonitoringSummary.html

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/14/21 01:50 PM.

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Re: Fish Choices Mini-Pond Water Hose Filled
Chandler1 #531369 03/02/21 04:26 PM
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Thank you, esshup!

Our pond froze over during that Texas freeze a few weeks ago. It thawed about the time all the snow melted.

The minnows I put in just before the freeze are doing fine and I even see tiny little ones.

Before the freeze, the water was nice and clear. Now it is pea soup.

Is this a spring turnover? New pond syndrome? Will it correct itself or do I need to add a chemical? If so, what?

I had planned on getting a few HSB when they are available. Then a couple or more tilapia later. Can I still?

When we put Soilfloc in the pond, we took out the aerator. Should we put it back?

Thank you for your help!

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