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Joined: May 2022
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I am finally digging around 1/4 acre pond (maybe slightly bigger) at my house monday. It will be 5 to 8 feet deep rectangle. I have had really good luck with my one acre pond at the farm. I stocked RES and FHM first then added CNBG. I feed everyday and will with this one. With this pond being smaller, and first hand seeing how prolific spawners they are. I fear they will over populate in this smaller pond. My plan for now will be to stock 5 lbs of Fathead minnows and 150 RES in late feb/march. Feeding them Aquamax starter for a couple of months and getting the RES to take the feed without other fish like I did before. ( RES reached 7 inches in 7 months)

I was thinking of then adding 100 to 150 Hybrid Bluegill. Is this a terrible idea? I do not want to use CNBG in a pond this small. I would put some bass in the next fall maybe 30 to 40.

My goal is just to have a place for the kids and me to fish and another place to feed fish. I would kind of like to be able to compare the growth rates of CNBG in the other pond with Hybrids in this one just to see the difference in growth rates with same food. Once the fish get up to 4 to 5 inches move to Optimal JR.

Would love to have big bream!

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IMO a small 0.25ac Indiana pond would be much better long term if it had 8ft-10ft or 12 ft depth. Once dug it would not take very much extra time and $$ to dig the small belly area 3-4ft deeper than 6ft-8ft because the bottom of the funnel shape area is a small square footage..

Instead of using regular HBG (BGXGSF) seriously consider using specklebelly HBG (BGXRES) SBS. I think this hybrid will grow bigger than the regular standard HBG. Another bonus to SBS will be the surviving offspring genetics will not revert toward the green sunfish genetics. There are a few places in IN where you would be able to get SBS. Jones Fish Hatchery and Shelby Fish Farm in western central OH. Steve at Shelby is raising some SBS overwinter inside aquaculture. He said they are growing fast and by Apr-May they should 6"-7".long. It is common with lots of food for the SBS to grow to 3 pounds. Once state record is 6 lbs for SBS.

Malones' suggests 25 to 50 SBS in 0.25 ac.

https://www.jmmaloneandson.com/specklebelly-bream-.html

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/23/22 07:46 PM.

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Thanks I can get specklebelly from Jones in Nashville. I am going to get a solar aerator any suggestions?

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Jones has a branch in Indianapolis, but they don't hold fish there. Very likely it is just a pond treatment office - site. As with their other remote sited they probably bring fish to that location once or twice a year. I know Jones buys some of their fish from Shelby FF. IMO fish from Shelby will be fresher, less preliminary handling, likely larger, better quality, better trained to eat pellets and cheaper... If any of those items are important to you and if you put high value in your initial stocker fish, it would be well worth your effort to make a day trip to Anna OH. Shelbyville to Anna 2.5hr - 146 mi. Anna is 1.5 hr for me. I have driven 3 hrs one way lots of times to get good quality fish. Show up and they bag them with oxygen for the trip home. As usually the case, the initial stocker fish will be the best and largest fish grown in the life history of the pond. This is because the initial fish do not have any existing competition and almost always grow the biggest and fastest of all later generations. .

Solar. How far is a power source from the pond?? . You can push air through airline to about 1 mile away With a pond of your small size in central IN and in my extensive experience, a good quality dependable low maintenance 1/4 hp compressor and best sized membrane diffuser would be able to easily turn over your 0.2 ac pond once a day in two hours operation. I have some guys running in mid summer the compressor in small yellow perch ponds 1 hr per day. Running a 1/4 hp compressor 2hr per day @ around 5 hrs per KW May-Oct is cheap electricity run time. 1KW per 2.5days. Do the math. Plus this type of system would / could be close to 3X cheaper than a solar aerator system. Most solar aerators today do not make the same amount of air volume (cfm) as a 1/4 hp rotary vane compressor. For your homework find out how much is involved in rebuilding the compressor. The longer a compressor runs the more it needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
My rotary vane has run 23 yrs operating 5 membrane heads on its initial set of vanes and its motor bearings should be good for 2 or 3 rebuilds. There is a significant difference between frequency of solar rocking piston rebuilds and rotary vane rebuilds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/25/22 09:18 AM.

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Another comment about growing fish to be as big as you can get them.

It is very important to get or buy the fish to be as big as possible in their first year of life because lost growth for the 1st year is LOST forever and never regained no matter how much they grow each year thereafter. Thus if they did not achieve maximum growth at one year old and were 1", or 2" or 3", or 4" short at age one, the final length at death will be 1", 2", 3", or 4 " shorter. So if you are interested in trophy class fish it becomes very important to get the biggest 1 year old fish that you can find.

For each year class or spawn of a fish species, the fish in that entire group at one yr old, will have around 15-20% runts, 60-70% regular or average size ones and about 10%-15% as largest fastest growing ones also known as 'shooters' or 'jumpers'. The entire year class is often graded but not always by the fish farm and each size group is then sold at a different price. Buyer Beware and informed as to what you are buying. The 'runts' will never get as big as the average size ones nor the shooters. That is why I always try and buy 'shooters' or the best fish from places that actually hatched and grew those fish. If those largest 1yr old fish cost a little more, they are well worth the added money if you are really interested in growing trophy class fish.

So if a fish farm receives fingerling fish in the fall and grows them indoors all winter,,, those fish will be much bigger than the other fall sibling fingerling fishes that were held in cold water ponds all winter. Both fish will be 365 days old on their first birthday. Those grown inside would be 6”-8” and those held over winter in the cold pond would be classed as fingerlings 2”-4” all one year old. Know what you are buying if high quality fish is your goal.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/26/22 09:02 PM.

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Well said Bill


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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