Fish that would live in acidic water

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Rita, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a lovely one year old pond. Crystal clear and about 7 ft deep. Frogs will live in it but when I have tried sunfish and goldfish they die. I tried taking some of the pond water and adding lime to raise the ph but it caused rusty sediment and slightly rusty looking water and I don't think I would like looking at that. Any ideas to cure it or fish that like a low ph environment? The runoff is from a forested area but about 40 yrs ago the area was mined for coal. Thanks Rita
     
  2. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    How big is the pond? One thing you can try is limestone rocks around the edges of the water and in the area water runs into the pond. You also put rocks in the water itself. A lot of folks that have koi ponds use limestone rock to maintain pH balance. Also, lining the edges has an added benefit of preventing erosion of the dirt around the edges.
     

  3. Highground

    Highground Well-Known Member

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    Boonieman has it right. Scatter limestone gravel all over the ground that the runoff will flow through and use limestone rocks around the edge.
     
  4. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

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    How acidic is it? Do you know the pH? If not, a cheap aquarium test set will tell you. It is hard to give a recommendation without knowing the actual pH, and the water temperature range.
     
  5. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fish from the Amazon. Discus, angelfish. They need warm water, though.
     
  6. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry, I didn't realize my state wasn't on my postings anymore. I'm in the TN mountains so tropicals are out. I tested and it's very acid even though a lot of the water is rainfall. We will try the limestone but the sides are high and we are old folks so it will be difficult but not impossible to put down stone at inlet. I think the water might be very high in iron. I guess that would kill fish too.Thanks for your replies. Rita
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Flutemandolin, who is a fisheries biologist, could probably answer your questions…why not send her a PM. I doubt if iron would be toxic to fish, but hey, I’m no expert. I base this assumption of the fact that in Minnesota we have many old iron mine pits that have been converted to “lakes.” As far as I know, lake trout and salmon thrive in these man-made lakes. Knowing the geology and soils of Northern Minnesota, I’d also surmise that the water in these “lakes” is acidic. Iron is very soluble in acidic water; consequently the water appears “clear.” Raising the water pH will reduce iron solubility and the dissolved iron will “precipitate” (come out of solution) and cause the water to turn red.
     
  8. flutemandolin

    flutemandolin mark an eight, dude!

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    Rita- I sent you a PM but I thought I'd post some pond management Web sites that might be useful to others.

    Southern Regional Aquaculture Center fact sheets Lots of good information on water quality

    Managing Small Fishing Ponds and Lakes in Tennessee Guide published by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency

    Pond Boss Discussion board primarily for recreational fishing pond hobbyists

    Fish have a body pH of about 7.4, so the lower the pH the more stress on the fish; at levels lower than 5 some species may not survive. Maura mentioned amazon fish, which are adapted to extreme acidic conditions, but yes they do need warm water. Like Cabin Fever said, iron itself is not harmful to the fish, but if you want to raise the ph of your pond to have fish you'll have to put up with looking at the orange precipitate. All of the springs around my area are very orange in color, but the brook trout don't seem to mind.

    Good luck!