How much do I need to feed my fish?
How much feed to give the fish can vary day to day, and will also vary with water temperature. However, the rule of thumb is to give the fish the amount of feed that they will completely consume in about 15 minutes. Avoid wasted feed, it fouls the water and waste money. Fish can be fed more than once per day to maximize growth, but avoid waste during any feeding. In summer, when oxygen levels tend to be lowest, feed earlier in the day if possible so that the fish can digest their meal when oxygen levels are highest during daylight hours. Avoid feeding heavily in the evening because this will increase the need for oxygen during the night, when oxygen levels are lowest in your pond. It is possible to kill your fish by feeding them excessively during low oxygen availability. The right feed size depends on the size and species of fish that you want to feed. Different species of fish have different size mouths, so you will want to feed a pellet that is small enough for the smallest mouths that you want to feed.
Why should I use pond bacteria?
One of the main variables in controlling water quality in a pond is the amount of nutrients present in the pond. Most new pond owners are happy to find that when their freshly dug pond fills up, the water is clean and inviting. Ponds that are dug in sand, gravel or "clean" soils will generally stay that way for a period of a year or two since there are few nutrients present. Over time leaves, fish waste, runoff and other nutrients find their way into the pond and start to build up on the bottom. These nutrients act as a stimulant for excess aquatic weeds, algae and other water quality problems. Along with aeration, the use of beneficial pond bacteria has proven to be one of the best tools a pond owner can use to maintain water quality. Beneficial bacteria work to consume and digest organic materials such as decayed leaves, grass clippings, dead algae/weeds, fish waste, etc. Left in the pond, these materials will contribute to future water quality problems.
Should I kill all of the weeds and algae in my pond if I want my fish to do well?
NO. A healthy pond will generally have about 15-20% of its bottom area covered with some sort of plant growth. Eliminating all plants from your pond will eliminate cover for your fish, making them more susceptible to predators; it will also severely interrupt the food chain for your fish. Many of the bugs and critters that your fish depend on for natural food need plants for shelter, food and reproductive habitat. Likewise, many aquatic animals rely on some level of algae growth as the base of the food web. Eliminating all algae will remove an important food source from you pond, even if your fish don't eat it directly. This is not to say that weeds and algae can't get of out of control. Too much of these plants can also put your pond out of balance, causing problems for your fish as well as for your enjoyment of your pond. Moderation and selective control are the best ideas in most cases.
How do water dyes help slow down weed growth?
All plants need sunlight to grow. By reducing the amount of light penetration into the water, the dyes effectively reduce weed growth. Early application is critical; dyes should be applied as early as possible in the growing season. To apply, simply pour liquid dye into your pond or lake (or throw the water-soluble bags in.) Pond dyes can be poured onto the ice in late winter to be effective on early season weed growth (it will melt through the ice). The dye will completely mix throughout the pond within a short time. These dyes will not stop weed growth, but used consistently, they will greatly reduce it.
What type of fish will my pond support?
Ponds vary greatly depending on a large number of interconnected variables and there is no perfect formula for determining the suitability of a pond for any species.
Here are some rules of thumb:
- Warm water fish, such as bass and bluegills, will do well in almost any pond with reasonable water quality.
- Deeper, colder ponds, or ponds with a constant inflow and outflow are the best bet for supporting trout.
- Ponds with warm, sandy, shallow areas will support bass and bluegill reproduction.
- Ponds with aeration systems are more likely to support trout and more likely to avoid winter kill.
Can I mix the fish species in my pond?
Mixing of species in the pond is actually a very good idea most of the time; depending on the management goals that you have for your pond. Bass and trout provide a good predator balance for rapidly reproducing species like bluegills. Without predators in the pond, bluegills can quickly over-populate and stop growing (even hybrid bluegills).
What is the best way to get fish to my pond?
Minimizing stress is the key, so the very best way to get fish to your pond is to have us deliver them, since we guarantee live delivery. If you pick fish up here at the farm, consider using our loaner live-haul tanks. These tanks use active aeration to help ensure the condition of the fish and there is no charge for their use. If you choose to use oxygen bags for small orders, your best bet is to choose cool weather, to arrive at the farm early, and to transport the fish to your pond as rapidly and safely as possible.
In summer, proper aeration oxygenates and destratifies your water, this helps prevent sudden "inversions" that can result in summer fish kills. In winter, proper aeration re-oxygenates your water and prevents oxygen depletion. Oxygen depletion is responsible for winter fish kills. Aeration can also be used to maintain open water in the winter as a refuge and attractant for water fowl. Additional benefits of good aeration are: increases water quality, helps eliminate foul odors, helps digest organic materials that enter your pond and helps reduce nutrients that fuel excessive plant growth.
What is diffused Aeration?
Diffused air systems employ a shore mounted air compressor which pushes air through tubing out to a special air diffuser located on the pond bottom. Since the diffuser is at the bottom, oxygen is introduced where it is needed the most regardless of depth. These systems are also easier to maintain since the compressor is on shore. Diffused air systems can be custom built in many different ways. One big advantage is the compressor can be located up to 2000' away from the ponds edge. It is much more cost effective to trench in the air tubing than it is to install electrical service to the pond edge making these systems the best choice for ponds without electric nearby.
Why we don't sell "Packages" of pond care materials?
Every pond is different, even though parameters may be the same as some other pond, your pond is unique and your goals for your water are unique. "Packages" are a one-size fits-all approach that does not work well with pond chemicals. Let us help you choose the materials that are right for your pond.