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Too much TP
#529267 12/30/20 01:21 PM
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My sand pit pond in South Texas was over grown with FA so I put in a few pounds of TP. They have been very prolific (I constantly have new fry still to this date). I am concerned with the biomass. It does get down to freezing a couple of times a year and the high may not get above 50 for a few days in a row. Do I need to be worried? I am thinking of running my aerator after midnight until early morning to bring the temperature down.
1/2 Acre, 6ft deep, LMB, RES, CNBG and lots of TP

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529268 12/30/20 02:55 PM
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I would think the lower temps you're seeing would put TP into slow-mode (depending on species) and be extremely vulnerable to the LMB, which I believe is a good thing.
I guess if you're wanting to rid the pond of them, you will sure cool it off running aeration at night.
What is your concern here?

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529270 12/30/20 03:26 PM
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Did the TP consume most all the algae?? ??
Did they do their job? How abundant was the algae?
Do you remember exactly how many pounds and numbers of TP did you stock??
I think in TX you are supposed to stock Mozambique tilapia. According to my one study (JR Stauffer Jr. 1986) at 55F all your TP are supposed to die at all salinity concentrations of 30% and below. Keep your pond well mixed top to bottom maybe 12-16 hrs a day and monitor the water temperature. This time of year and 6 ft depth there should be very little thermal stratification with aeration. When the water drops be low 55F all your TP should be belly up or be inside bellies of other fish. As Snipe noted - as the water gets near and drops below 60F lots of the small TP will get eaten by bass.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/30/20 05:25 PM.

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Re: Too much TP
nbell #529271 12/30/20 03:29 PM
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Sounds like your first time with Tilapia? There may be several Tilapia using Texas Pondmeisters who are nearby you that could state whether or not they will survive a typical Winter there. Perhaps you could state which of Texas' 4900+ counties you live in.


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Re: Too much TP
nbell #529274 12/30/20 06:00 PM
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I put in 5 lbs TP and I have probably 20 that are a pound and a half, And fifty to a hundred 1/2 pounders
Yes they took care of the FA within a month and a half
San Patricio county

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529276 12/30/20 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nbell
San Patricio county

I would think some (maybe most) of them will survive the winter there most years.

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529284 12/31/20 08:16 AM
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Do Y'all think it is a problem if they survive? I am able to catch a few with a small hook, earth worm and bobber. They sure are feed hogs when it warms up

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529287 12/31/20 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nbell
My sand pit pond in South Texas was over grown with FA so I put in a few pounds of TP. They have been very prolific (I constantly have new fry still to this date). I am concerned with the biomass. It does get down to freezing a couple of times a year and the high may not get above 50 for a few days in a row. Do I need to be worried? I am thinking of running my aerator after midnight until early morning to bring the temperature down.
1/2 Acre, 6ft deep, LMB, RES, CNBG and lots of TP

Unless you are feeding them, I don't think there will be a problem with excessive standing weight. The TP should mitigate DO risks by preventing large standing weights of FA and algae. But the deeper questions will play into your goals for the fishery. Are TP a fish that you want as a prey/sportfish in you pond? If they survive winters in your area, they will likely become the most dominate fish by weight and numbers.

One thing that concerns me in your post. The description of the pond as a "sand pit pond". So if this pond is a ground water pond, the ground water may be of high enough temperature to support them year round. Depending on flow through, it may take a considerable cold snap to kill them.


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Re: Too much TP
nbell #529292 12/31/20 12:17 PM
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Thank you very much for your input, as always it is very insightful. I am or was managing for CNBG. I think if I throw a cast net when the feeder goes off I may be able to manage them

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529322 01/01/21 12:19 PM
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The winter just started a few days ago. So its too early to tell if they'll overwinter. If they are still there mid-March then you have water capable of overwintering them.

I don't know of any Texas members with overwintering TP. You would be treading new water if they make it through.

Anecdotes from member ponds with annual stocking/die-off seem to suggest that TP overlap the BG niche to some degree and inhibit BG recruitment. This is evidenced by good growth of BG in this environment. It is probably a combination of TP predation of BG fry and competition between TP and BG fry that introduces this effect. Another trend seems to be high LMB recruitment. This may result from a combination of lower BG numbers during the LMB spawn (BG help to inhibit LMB recruitment by egg raiding). Both of these effects seem to benefit BG by reducing recruitment of adult BG through predation.

I do know that Moz TP form the backbone of the LMB food chain in some South African waters. This particular species matures early and generally only grows slowly there after. From this perspective, they make excellent prey for LMB because YOY tend to stay within the consumption window (in terms of size of prey) for large LMB. Your biggest challenge if they make the winter will be preventing TP (and possibly the BG) from stunting. You will need to keep the number of mouths down. Probably need a larger mix of LMB than with BG. So I wouldn't remove a 16" LMB from a pond with overwintering Moz TP in the way I would a trophy BG pond. Ideally, the TP production would just exceed the maintenance of the LMB which would be concentrated by weight in lengths of 16" to 20". Given your pond is .5 acres, you could possibly drain it and start over if they are too difficult to control.

Just had a thought about netting them. I think the TP may be difficult to control by cast net. You may consider feeding close to shore and lifting a pre-positioned net to capture them. Some small home-use catfish farmers this method to harvest fish.


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It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: Too much TP
nbell #529427 01/04/21 05:57 PM
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Because it is a ground water pond draining it is not an option. I am concerned with my LMB population (Between A couple of resident GBH and occasional Water turkeys). I was going to fish for the LMB this spring to get a better feel of the population. If the LMB numbers are low (Which may be why the TP are so prolific) I was planning to restock this Spring

Re: Too much TP
nbell #529429 01/04/21 08:42 PM
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Re: Too much TP
nbell #529441 01/05/21 11:35 AM
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This groundwater temp map suggests the groundwater is warm enough to support TP year round. The average winter air temps are cold enough to kill them (just so no mods intervene ... temperature is not a piscicide smile ). So it will depend I think on flow through. If enough warm ground water is flowing it could provide warm water refuge or even keep the entire pond warm enough to carry TP. This will be interesting.

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It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: Too much TP
nbell #529443 01/05/21 12:29 PM
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Last edited by ewest; 01/05/21 12:33 PM.















Re: Too much TP
nbell #529580 01/11/21 07:53 AM
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I saw some Tp overwinter in my pond last year. Yesterday I found a large tp dead and floating. And that was before the snow we just had. I would have thought they died off back in Dec considereing the colder winter this year.


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Re: Too much TP
nbell #530801 02/19/21 08:51 AM
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Well I guess I know now. Low of 18 with a windchill 0, No electricity, water or internet for 60 hours. The buzzards move in and started the TP clean up. The coldest spell here since the late 1800s. My Mom always told me "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it"

Re: Too much TP
nbell #530965 02/24/21 01:40 PM
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One week later and it is 80 degrees. We had such a huge fish kill in the near by bays that all the scavengers have quit cleaning up at my pond. I was able to manually remove and bury about 100 lbs of TP ( interestingly none under 6"). Also now the FA has started to grow. I am hoping that there will be some TP to purchase soon

Re: Too much TP
nbell #530988 02/25/21 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by nbell
One week later and it is 80 degrees. We had such a huge fish kill in the near by bays that all the scavengers have quit cleaning up at my pond. I was able to manually remove and bury about 100 lbs of TP ( interestingly none under 6"). Also now the FA has started to grow. I am hoping that there will be some TP to purchase soon


When there is sufficient FA to provide limited cover, you might try adding 50 lbs/acre of red swamp crays (for your South Texas location). This may control the FA well enough to prevent it from being excessive. There is a balance between cover and predation and so this could hold the FA at an acceptable level.

Without cover they have no refuge as they will not be able to build successful burrows in your sandy soiled sand pit pond. It may be worth a shot. Crays are energy dense according to at least one reference (better than BG) so it is more affordable as a supplemental forage than other options on an energy basis. Just saying, if you don't observe them controlling the FA, they would at the minimum provide food for the LMB.

Its probably good that the TP succumbed. This will probably be beneficial to your goal of large BG long term.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: Too much TP
nbell #530993 02/25/21 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by nbell
( interestingly none under 6").

This may have been the limit in size that the LMB could/would eat.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers



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