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Pond Observations


Blue Raider Bob
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11 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

We don't call that age, Bob. We call that patina and the Antiques Road Show experts love it, so we should too!

Apparently I have a great deal of patina.

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2 hours ago, Functional said:

We've had no algae issues to date. I asked the civil engineers that when we were designing the pond and they said as long as it was kept densely planted it would control any algae for it. The pond is about 8 acres and we spent $75k in plants back in 2019 dollars. No fish were introduced....senior management vetoed my petition on that one. Feared all the guys on their lunch break would be on the sides with their fishing rods...already had to kick one of our guys out who put a few trail cams in our undeveloped 20 acres. 

 

Aside from what I said I dont know much about pond management BUT you should look into planted fish tanks. A significantly smaller scale than what you have but the principles are very similar. At the end of the day it comes down to balancing nutrients, consumers (plants) and light. When you have an overabundance of light and nutrients you get algae. Since you cant control sun and you have fish and uneaten food adding nutrients (even if you dont fertilize) along with leaching nutrients from the soil you really should add plants. There are species that are more nutrient hungry than others which may be a better choice if you dont want to kill your views or get too dense with plants in your pond. Also to keep in mind there are plants that are root feeders (pull nutrients from the soil) and stem feeders which pull nutrients from the water column. You should have a variety of both ideally.  

 

In aquariums, there are no fish that will eat the type of algae that blooms from a nutrient/light abundance. I dont know much about grass carp but only way I'd add one is if you get a fast growing aquatic plant to control the algae and need the grass carp to control those plants. 

 

From your posts you seem to know a lot if not most of this but I think its worth a dive in. I believe there is a lot you can apply to your pond. 

Thank you for the info. I am researching aquatic plants that reduce nutrient and algae in farm ponds. My pond is not a natural pond. It is a plastic lined pond but it has accumulated several inches of much in many areas. Also I have many plastic half drums that I can plant. Appreciate you getting my brain working again because I really did not want to go back to Grass Carp. I have had good luck in the past with water lilies but they did not come back after I removed to thin.

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@Blue Raider Bob didn't realize it was a plastic base! If that's the case you'll want pants that fed from the water column. You can get root feeders in flooded bins but that won't do much for your nutrient surplus. From the looks of it and the fact it's plastic lined I don't think you'll need to go nuts with plants. 

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29 minutes ago, Functional said:

@Blue Raider Bob didn't realize it was a plastic base! If that's the case you'll want pants that fed from the water column. You can get root feeders in flooded bins but that won't do much for your nutrient surplus. From the looks of it and the fact it's plastic lined I don't think you'll need to go nuts with plants. 

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On 7/27/2023 at 4:13 PM, ol'crickety said:

Bob, won't runoff silt lay a mud base atop your plastic in a few years?

There is a thick muck base atop the plastic in most areas except in the middle. I moved my air pump to the dock yesterday now that it has power. While doing so, my dumba$$ dropped the air pump in the water, so I had to go get it. The water is only a little more than three feet around the dock so it wasn't a problem but it confirmed that there is only a slight muck buildup away from the banks. Also, the water was very, very warm. The banks are lawn with a 12" thick boundary of weeds, grasses, and water plants, so I do not get a silt ingress. What I do get is an accumulating layer of dead algae every year that settles. The liner is well covered and camouflaged with dirt, muck, and algae. I moved dirt over the edges when the pond was built and the plant life has secured the dirt banks. 

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8 hours ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

There is a thick muck base atop the plastic in most areas except in the middle. I moved my air pump to the dock yesterday now that it has power. While doing so, my dumba$$ dropped the air pump in the water, so I had to go get it. The water is only a little more than three feet around the dock so it wasn't a problem but it confirmed that there is only a slight muck buildup away from the banks. Also, the water was very, very warm. The banks are lawn with a 12" thick boundary of weeds, grasses, and water plants, so I do not get a silt ingress. What I do get is an accumulating layer of dead algae every year that settles. The liner is well covered and camouflaged with dirt, muck, and algae. I moved dirt over the edges when the pond was built and the plant life has secured the dirt banks. 

 

Thanks, Bob, for the detailed explanation. Over ten years, with zero measures from you, how do you think your pond would change?

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19 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

 

Thanks, Bob, for the detailed explanation. Over ten years, with zero measures from you, how do you think your pond would change?

     With zero measures from me I would be concerned about eutrophication and algae growth. I run an air pump to diffuse the air and increase oxygen and microbe availability. Assuming zero measures means this would conclude. Therefore, I would also assume that the pond would follow a natural path towards eventual eutrophication stages resulting in shallow water bog land, then wetlands. I am comfortable that this process would take decades to achieve owing to the depth I was able to realize. I am at eight feet at the deepest point with a great deal between four and five.

     I lost a large LM (about 17"), and a dozen or so BG so far in this warm spell, but the fish still seem to be active. The little ones readily use the feed pellets and bugs from my zapper, and the LM still worry the devil out of them. We have gotten a break in the weather which has dropped the water temp a couple degrees and the air pump runs constantly. Molly showed up last evening after a four day absence. Strange how I have become so attached to this animal that I worry about it when she not around. 

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I forgot to mention that I am getting a secchi disk reading of 24" so water clarity/ quality is good. 

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On 7/27/2023 at 1:48 PM, Functional said:

@Blue Raider Bob didn't realize it was a plastic base! If that's the case you'll want pants that fed from the water column. You can get root feeders in flooded bins but that won't do much for your nutrient surplus. From the looks of it and the fact it's plastic lined I don't think you'll need to go nuts with plants. 

Thanks again for making me think and not giving in to stocking grass carp. I have ordered 5 Lotus and six water lilies. This is not much but its a start. I just need to reduce nutrient load to reduce algae.

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1 hour ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Thanks again for making me think and not giving in to stocking grass carp. I have ordered 5 Lotus and six water lilies. This is not much but its a start. I just need to reduce nutrient load to reduce algae.

Awesome! I took a pond management class about a year ago and another benefit of plants is it draws dragonflies to your area/pond. Dragonflies eat mosquitos and some other insects youd rather not have.

 

Looking forward to see how this does for you!

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4 minutes ago, Functional said:

Awesome! I took a pond management class about a year ago and another benefit of plants is it draws dragonflies to your area/pond. Dragonflies eat mosquitos and some other insects youd rather not have.

 

Looking forward to see how this does for you!

 

The Bass Resource Brain Trust at ^work.^

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50 minutes ago, Functional said:

Awesome! I took a pond management class about a year ago and another benefit of plants is it draws dragonflies to your area/pond. Dragonflies eat mosquitos and some other insects youd rather not have.

 

Looking forward to see how this does for you!

My pond is completely surrounded by plant life and I have lots of dragonflies. We used to call them (Snakedoctors) back in the swamp. Don't know why but that's what they were referred too. Love to watch them and I have several different species. The ones that sit with their wings straight out are Dragonflies, and the ones that sit with their wings straight back are Damselflies. They are very territorial. They select a piece of the waterside and patrol back and forth, frequently clashing with interlopers. All part of the pond magic! Just ordered twelve more water lilies for a total of 18!

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16 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Just ordered twelve more water lilies for a total of 18!

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I did not know those things about dragonflies! Pretty cool. Might have to take a road trip to TN haha! Really nice setup you  have. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

     Observations for 8-22 Included one teenage Racoon that now lives at the Harpeth River, (that make eight in the last two months), a couple of late born fawns, and a whole lot of brand new BG fry. We all know that BG spawn several times a year but it is important to me to witness the knowledge imparted from others. I can see daily the different spawn classes of BG from my dock when I tap on my bug zapper, and the nightly catch falls to the surface. The small BG are quick to use this food source and all sizes are present. After a few moments the larger BG make an appearance and the frenzy usually brings on an explosion dockside. The little BG are quick to regroup and continue to use the mana from heaven. While all this was occurring yesterday, I noticed lots and lots of little bitty fry. Always encouraging to me to witness new generations. I'm also very curious as to when this will end. Is the the last spawn, or will this continue into the fall? Hope to have these answers.

     It is amazing to me the animal, and plant life this "artificial oasis" has attracted. So many creatures call this former pasture home.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The quest for an aquatic wonderland continues with the placement of the second batch of plastic half-barrel planters. The first Lotus plant seems to be doing well and as soon as I sink the ten white half-barrels, I will have a total of eighteen planters ready for next spring plantings. The Lotus in the photo is supported by a triple stack of twin 8" concrete blocks. The hardest part was not positioning the stacks because I get to play in the water. The hardest part is dragging the pots full of wet dirt from the bank, then across the bottom of the pond to the stack, THEN hauling off and lifting the barrels up and on top of the stacks. I'd better get this done soon because I'm not getting any younger. If it weren't  for the buoyancy of the water, I couldn't lift them. Twenty five gallons of mud is seriously heavy.

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  • 1 month later...

     It would be pleasant to sit on the dock and enjoy nature, but sometimes nature just can't be enjoyed! First my waterlily's and Lotus started disappearing, then the Cattails were getting stomped down and ripped out. Sitting on the dock scratching my head, I notice movement. Swimming toward me is a little Muskrat. A Muskrat!!!!! of all things now I am invaded by little water rats! I watched the little bugger swim to the bank and enter a burrow. They have burrowed into my liner at waters edge! I went over to the spot and the little rat scrambles out into the pond, so I stick my arm inside the burrow as far as I dared, (didn't touch the end), and another one runs out! Scared the *@)&*% out of me, but then it got worse. There were at least three more burrows down the bank. Now I have multiple holes in my bank, and pond liner, with the water level dropping. Why did I think this was going to be easy? Now I have to drop my water level, get out the backhoe, and remove the pond bank to fix the burrows.....that and find a way to eliminate the water rats! Where is TnRiver46 when you need him? I know, he's in east Tennessee fishing with Lynyrd Skynyrd!

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14 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I wouldn’t move any earth without first getting rid of the muskrats!! They love water plants 

I am trying to remove them humanely, but if I can't, I will have to resort to more permanent means. Baited a trap with strawberries and bananas. and placed on the bank right above burrows. No takers. I'll set the trap on a floating pallet tonight and try again.

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32 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

I am trying to remove them humanely, but if I can't, I will have to resort to more permanent means. Baited a trap with strawberries and bananas. and placed on the bank right above burrows. No takers. I'll set the trap on a floating pallet tonight and try again.

The only live trap I know that works is called a colony trap, it’s open on both ends. You just plug it into the burrow. 110 conibear is perfect if lethal force is authorized 

 

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

The only live trap I know that works is called a colony trap, it’s open on both ends. You just plug it into the burrow. 110 conibear is perfect if lethal force is authorized 

 

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Thanks! Just ordered one. If this solves my problem, I owe you one! What should I use for muskrat bait?

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8 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Thanks! Just ordered one. If this solves my problem, I owe you one! What should I use for muskrat bait?

I’ve never used bait for them, just make it to where they have to go thru the trap to get home 

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