managing the stock pond

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mary,tx, May 6, 2004.

  1. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is our first experience with having stock ponds, so we are somewhat clueless on how to manage the green scum that takes over this time of year, eventually making fish go belly up. This is not just algae, but some mossy stuff that grows up from the bottom. It seems to start along the edges and before you know it, the whole pond is green and scummy. Come fall, it cleans itself out, but not without the loss of a lot of fish.
    I am hesitant to use herbicides since we hope to eat fish from the pond.
    Another suggestion we have gotten is to put in carp. But they are VERY expensive, and I have two concerns. One, that I will pay high dollar for them only to have them die straight-away, and the other is that they would take over.
    I had hoped that stocking with catfish would help, but we are told that they do not eat the weeds, but just feed off the bottom.
    Maybe some of y'all with stock ponds could give me some pointers and suggestions.
    thanks
    mary
     
  2. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Mary,

    Sounds to me like the problem you are having is excess fertility. I assume you allow stock access to the pond. That results in more manure ending up in the water which provides the fertility for the algae to grow. They keep on growing until fertility declines or oxygen deprivation because of shading one another out. Then you get the fish kills.

    You can aerate the water to improve the oxygen levels. As far as fish are concerned, there are exotic species that do eat the algae, but here in the People's Republic they are all prohibited by the Cal Fags.

    Maybe others will have better ideas.

    bearkiller
     

  3. Dixie912

    Dixie912 Well-Known Member

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    Hey there,
    I don't know about the green scum problem, but I have been told the grass carp will eat and pond grasses, and NOT REPRODUCE in your pond. One fish covers a pretty good sized area. The only problem is when he dies, you have to replace him, and I know, they can get expensive.
     
  4. What about planting the pond? Some water hyacinth or hardy water lily would shade out the algae growth. Algae requires ample sunlight to get to the point you have mentioned... anyting that helped to shade it a bit would also control it. Also, snails and other members of nature's cleaning crew would be a major help in controlling it, since they graze continuously on algae and organic wastes. Hope this helps :)
     
  5. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Here are a couple of links that might help you.

    www.pondboss.com
    www.killlakeweeds.com

    The latter site has a completely safe bacterial treatment called Aquaclear that should help with your problem.
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ther are several methods of clearing the weeds from the pond the tripolid grass carp are voractius eaters they start at the bottom off the plant, however there are laws that regulate there use. also take in account the size of the pond as its possible for the to eat them selves out of a home if stocked at to high a rate, you could try a aquatic herbicide, but with using the pond to water livestock that would not work to well. what about crawfish they eat vegatation and you can sell them too.
     
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I think it's called copper sulfate. It's pond cleaner stuff. We have used it and it clears them right up. It's not a herbicide.

    I agree about the manure problem. If stock have been in the pond, get them out and keep them out.

    Jena
     
  8. flutemandolin

    flutemandolin mark an eight, dude!

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    Could you describe the mossy stuff that grows up from the bottom? Does it have stems and leaves? Does it give off a musky odor? Is it rooted in the bottom? The type of weed control you would want to use depends on what species of plant it is.

    It sounds like the fish are dying from too little oxygen, which can happen when the water is warm and still and the plants begin to die off and decompose. An aerator might help to save the fish and it would discourage the formation of mats of algae scum.

    The root of the problem like others have mentioned is fertility; keeping livestock far away will help but it can take years to release nutrients that are locked up in the pond sediment. Also if you are feeding the fish, take care not to overfeed.

    I wouldn't rule out herbicides completely; herbicides labeled for aquatic use are generally considered safe as far as fish consumption goes. Of course, that's if you trust their definition of safe. It's a personal choice. But if you wait until there is a thick mat of vegetation to spray, it will cause the same problems with decomposition and oxygen loss. Herbicides are best used when the plants are actively growing early in the season.

    Copper sulfate will kill algae but not vascular plants (plants with veins and leaves). It will also kill invertebrates, so if the fish feed on snails and bugs it might upset their food supply temporarily.
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    It sounds like you may have a problem of a shallow pond. While it would be a tad expensive initially, consider having a dragline or large trackhoe come in and deepen the pond out as far as they can reach. The dirt taken out can be spread out by the bucket load on the bank for eventual smoothing by a dozer. While this might run you about two to three grand, you will have a much nicer pond for recreation and fishing afterwards. When I had mine dug out I intentionally left two islands and one shallow area for spawning.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Cutrine Plus has no restritions against otability, fish or swimming immediately after use. It will clear a pond right up used as directed. Proper aeration will prevent algae overload after you rif yourself of this stuff. Aquacide Company
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    That was horrible spelling, sorry.