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Joined: Sep 2021
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I am looking for some guidance on how to go about starting my own pond management business for treating ponds for algae and weeds. I have some work experience in the field of pond management but not a lot. Also, I don't how to locate distributors in order to purchase chemicals and other products in bulk, I don't even know where to begin on how to price my services. I haven't purchased any equipment yet but have been looking into some backpack sprayers to start with, I would like to buy a small boat and equip it with a spray rig but not completely sure how to set it up. I also know that my closest competitors are almost 2 hours away, I live in southeastern Ohio and there are a lot of ponds in this area. Any advice or information is greatly appreciated.

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I suggest that you work several years for a established and reputable pond company. This assumes that the employer is well leaned and knowledgable. IMO there are lot of naive pond "jockeys" out there claiming to be pond managers. Ask and learn all you can while working on the job, then start gradually building customers until you can support it full time. It helps to have sound and good biological training with some chemistry background and learning experiences. You will and should learn that pond management business is not just killing plants and stocking fish. Part of your job should be educating the customer. Few do this IMO because the Pro Pond manager does not have good sound ecological knowledge in the first place

This on the job training would allow you to know many of the answers to questions you are asking and MORE. It should take lots and lots of learning and knowing all the thousands of the critters and plants involved, their ecological niche in the pond system and how having and not having them present, impacts the whole pond ecosystem and the associated food web. Ponds are a complex biological and chemical soup and a manager should fully understand what these chemicals are, how they interact, how to measure them and react and are impacted by the chemicals that you apply.

Be responsible that you do not turn ponds into chemical dumps that can definitely impact the later value of the pond for the owner. Ponds that just look good with dye and are all plant-weed free can easily become chemical dumps and continually building up unhealthy chemical deposits.. Most ponds are not toilets and do not get flushed regularly. What happens to the chemicals that are applied over time and their environmental fate? The pond ecosystem has to somehow "deal" with all the added chemicals. Know the ecological fates of the chemicals that you are suggesting, promoting and applying. Professional pond managers should IMO be legally liable of what they do to the long term health of the whole pond ecosystem. That day will come as the green society advances.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/25/21 08:07 PM.

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^^^ What Bill said above. You will also need to be licensed to apply chemicals (by the state) and have insurance.

By working for someone else and getting experience, you will get practical experience in the field and know the Why's and When's of what to do, and also get to see why when you get rid of this that "X" shows up in it's place.

Spray too much, or kill too much at once and you could cause a fish kill. Then who pays that bill? The biggest fish will usually die first from an O2 crash, and those are the most expensive fish to replace IF they can be found to stock.


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I have worked for a pond a lake management company before, the biggest issue is that all the companies that is somewhat close to me is 2 hours away and they all require employees to sign a non-compete. The company that I used to work for had an 18 month non-compete that I was required to sign. I will give a little more background on myself, I got my associates degree in fish management and aquaculture sciences and a bachelors degree in wildlife conservation. I have chemistry experience and I also worked for a fish hatchery for a little while during an internship.

How do I get around the non-compete issue? I won't be able to work on my own business if I sign that, and if I don't sign it they won't hire me. I also have my commercial applicators license but not sure what kind of insurance that I would need.

I do understand that this is not an overnight success and that it will take lots of hard work and time to get where I want to be at. I understand that there are many factors involved when it comes to managing a pond and I know that I don't have all of the answers.

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You say the no compete co. Is 2 hours away? That aught to be far enough? Did it specifically give a range? You might contact an attorney and get his ideas on it or just go for it and see what happens . Not sure how legal just signing something is…. Google it…..

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You probably have enough educational background to get started on developing some clients. Consider having another useful job and as the pond business grows work more hours per week on pond management eventually then having only one job. It will be difficult in winters of Ohio (Dec-Apr) to work 40hr/week with steady income on pond management. Be prepared. Remember you are liable for your actions which can really hurt your reputation especially if the customers are spreading the news. A happy customer is your best advertising and vice versa.


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Let us (me) know if/when you get in business.


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Sounds like you have an education for it, as far as the boat and sprayer setup shouldn't be too difficult, should be able to get a medium small flat bottom boat and mount a 12 volt tank pump and spray setup on it, with a hand held wand and a boom sprayer if needed.
a spray rig on a flat bottom boat is what I did with a friend in his pond, we had a huge lotus problem that was taking over the whole pond, and they are hard to kill, or they were with what we were using, a good trolling motor will run the pump and take you all over a decent sized pond, but a person might need two batteries for a bigger body of water. Good Luck!


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.

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