I haven't given any effort to raising fish since the fish kill in 2019. 2 issues kept me from getting back in the saddle, and that was nutrient loads from a neighbor's pasture, and massive flushes during storms. Both problems were fixed with the 20" culvert moved out of this pond, and changing my pasture contours to eliminate virtually all runoff of any kind. This pond had accumulated near 3' of muck over the years from oaks and silt from pasture runoff.
Heading to Buffalo in a couple of weeks to pick up 1K of CNBG fingerlings. Hopefully gypsum will have the water cleared up by then.
The pond got finished Monday night at 7:30 pm.
7:30 Tuesday morning after 2.5" of rain Monday night.
I'm actually excited to be back in the game. I'll have the pond at full pool tomorrow, then start getting the water ready to go.
Since we're talking water...
Big pond is adjacent to the hatchery pond, so refills are easy to do. Water is bathtub clear right now.
If moving water, always put a tarp under the hose outlet. It keeps turbidity in check, and dilutes the muddy water from the rain last night. Another 2', and I'll float the outlet. Also, if moving water from an older pond, use a Pentair mesh filter over the outlet to prevent weeds from entering the receiving pond.
It's been 3 weeks since the construction was finished, and I spent the first 2 weeks getting the water ready for stocking. That meant testing nitrate/nitrogen, alkalinity, hardness, and PH levels. 400# of gypsum was added, and it not only helped clear the water, it added the hardness I needed for the CNBG. 50# of pool salt was also added. Rainwater runoff from the pasture was right at 6, so 400# of ag lime was added. The PH didn't come up to the numbers I wanted, so I thought it was smart to add hydrated lime to speed things up. It did, but the ph hit 9 PDQ. I let the pond settle overnight, then "carefully" added aluminum sulfate until the numbers came back down to 7.5 a day or two later. The aluminum sulfate also helped clear the water. After letting everything settle, the pond now has a clarity of approximately 12", and has a nice olive color. By having everything I needed on site, the pond had plenty of time to settle before the fish were added.
We picked up 1,000 1-3" CNBG at Overtons last week, tempered their water, and released them in the pond. As is usual, I had decided they were all dead since none were coming to food for 4-5 days. I knew exactly where they should be, but there was no activity. Finally, they started feeding 5-6 days ago, but the numbers were extremely limited. Now, they're feeding in numbers that mean I'll start weighing food to get a feel for their growth, and actual numbers. I started with a tea spoon, then a table spoon, then 2 tablespoons, now weight by grams. I'm currently feeding a 1/8" and 2.2mm mix, so nobody's left out.
One of the best things I did when redoing the pond, was to leave one bank alone, and not regrade it. That was done specifically for the fish, and that meant reeds, emergent water primrose, etc. was left as cover for the CNBG, and that's exactly where they're at. Instead of trying to get the fish to come to food, I'm feeding them where they want to be. Because of that, a specific feeding schedule isn't needed. If I feed them at 7:30 in the morning, or 3 in the afternoon, they're always there and ready to eat.
I may have to. Ewest had posted about netting in a larger BOW, so I might try that also.
All I know is that if I bought a net big enough to handle that pond, I'd have to move to Kansas.
I picked up a 10'x50' Delta 3/16" mesh seine from Memphis pretty cheap when it was on sale as either a factory oops or a net that someone ordered but never paid for. Keep an eye on their website for deals. I think with shipping it was less than $200.00
Thanks Scott, they do have some good deals. Mine's 10X60, and it's still too small. I'm feeding near the dock, so most of the CNBG should be in that area. That'll help a lot.
It seems as though we've had our first spawn. I'm seeing dozens of 1/2 to 3/4" fry swimming in algae at the top end of the pond. I started feeding them fish food dust this morning. A few did come to it, so hopefully they'll train the others.
I always seem to have powder at the bottom of fish food bags. I save it, and use it for freshly spawned fry. It's protein/lipid numbers are 48/18 which is right in the wheel house of starter food. I sieve out the powder with my wife's favorite strainer. I figure if it's good enough for her, it will do just fine with dead fish parts. The leftover 1/4" pellets are ground up with my fish food Ninja, not my wife's, and I strain it also. The bigger chucks get added to the 1/8" pellets I'm feeding the stocked CNBG.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Fry are approaching 1", and are migrating to the larger CNBG.
Here's my "food factory".
Result used for fry.
Last edited by FireIsHot; 05/19/2205:24 PM. Reason: added pics