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Getting started with a pond plan: should i aerate?
#532749 03/24/21 09:32 AM
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 2
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capty99 Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2021
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Hi Forum,

Just found you a week or two ago, and been reading up -- thanks for all the info! I need some help getting started on my pond. I figured this was as good a place as any to post since my main question is aeration.

I've lived here for 3 years, so I know this pond -- but I haven't owned the pond so I've never done anything to it. Now I own it and you'll see it needs work.

Notes:
It's a 1/4 acre pond in Connecticut. (surrounded by forest, so leaves are a thing)
It has an inlet that dries up in droughts but most of the year trickles in.
There is a dam and an old "spillway" <-- not sure my terms or type of dam for something like this.
It was dredged ~3 years ago to fix a leak in the dam.
It used to have fish in it, but now there is nothing but a huge frog population.
It fully freezes in the winter for a month or two (good for skating up here)
Obvious algae problem - this is Duckweed right?

Goals:
- Get it clear. obviously. The old owner of this property had hand-built a contraption for getting the duckweed out that I don't think worked. It's a pretty pond when clear.
- Potentially over time stock some fish in it, just for the neighborhood kids to throw a line in - type of thing.
- Make it more appealing. Clean up the area around it that is a bit unruly. Not sure which plants are good/bad yet.


Questions:
1) At first I was going to aerate this and get things moving a bit better in an attempt to get rid of the algae -- but then I read a thread or two on here last night that made me think that wasn't going to help. Looking for advice on how to clear the algae.
2) Do ya'll suggest water test or soil tests or anything like that for someone just starting out with a pond? I see some of those test results floating around the forum -- but haven't seen a guide for what's important to monitor or anything like that. Would love some reading.
3) Anything else I'm missing....


Much thanks!

(higher-res pictures: https://imgur.com/a/UxvKzOK )

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Re: Getting tarted with a pond plan: should i aerate?
capty99 #532769 03/24/21 02:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
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I'm no pro, but I would zap it with some cutrine plus to clean up that algae. I'd say yes aerate also if it's an option, but I don't think that alone will clear you up.

Re: Getting tarted with a pond plan: should i aerate?
capty99 #532774 03/24/21 05:02 PM
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capty99 Offline OP
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Looked it up and cutrine plus is banned in CT as far as I can tell. I know CT makes the chemical game harder than most states. -- but thanks!

Last edited by capty99; 03/24/21 05:02 PM.
Re: Getting tarted with a pond plan: should i aerate?
capty99 #533757 04/11/21 07:47 AM
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Grass Carp will eat duckweed. Eventually. It's a small pond so one or two would be enough.

Last edited by crimsondave; 04/11/21 07:50 AM.
Re: Getting started with a pond plan: should i aerate?
capty99 #533766 04/11/21 09:10 AM
Joined: May 2018
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I have just a few thoughts.

1. The dam may leak again. The photos seemed to show there is a tree growing on the dam.

2. Were it me. I would clear trees giving around 50 feet of space between the trunks and the water. The one on the dam, I am perplexed about what to do and will allow others to make suggestions. If you kill it, it may make the dam leak sooner as opposed to later. On the other hand, leaving it there will result in more extensive damage.

3. Aeration will reduce duckweed but won't probably help with what replaces it. It will change what grows predominately, but that's the extent of it. Herbicides are a really bad idea. They won't do anything about the nutrients in the pond and then other wildlife may be affected.

4. I'd go the path of least resistance. Do not pick a fight with your pond ... it isn't your enemy ... you just need to get to know it in order to appreciate its unique character. If it grows duckweed, leverage that with a fish that prefers duckweed and will grow fat on it. If it is subject to fish kill, then stock with a fish that kills out every year but grows large enough to harvest in the same year. Stock enough fish to fill the carrying capacity by fall and try harvest them all if possible to enjoy and subsidize the cost of their duckweed/algae control. Ideal fish for this purpose are blue or nile tilapia fingerlings about 15 to 30 days old. If you pond is 1/4 acre, probably 600 of them would be ideal ... and should be stocked after waters warm above 70 degrees. This would offer the following benefits:

1. Duckweed would be the preferred food for them and would be first to go.
2. The TP would be around 1/2 lb in weight and easily fileted or pan dressed.
3. The TP you remove will lower the nutrients in the pond.
4. A fair portion of the TP you don't harvest will feed wildlife (also removing the nutrients)
5. There will be no adverse influences from herbicides/algaecides in your pond or downstream. There might be fewer frogs and mosquitos, however, if you can live with that.

What not to do. Don't feed that pond with formulated feed. It's fertile enough. If after several years you've removed enough nutrients that the TP are not making acceptable gains by fall ... then by all means either reduce the TP number stocked or feed them enough to make up the difference.

I could not find information prohibiting TP in Connecticut. I think that they are probably allowed. You could call Solitude Lake Management, a company that manages water in your state. I am sure they would know whether they are permitted in your state or not.


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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