Should I stock my fish pond with hybrid blue gills?
The short answer is no. No topic in aquaculture has more misinformation being handed out than this one. The public is often told that hybrids are infertile or the young of hybrids are 80% males so future reproduction is very minimal. The truth is that the sex ratio varies and the resulting young of hybrids are always green sunfish. Green sunfish are not the PREFERRED food for anything consequently many of these grow big enough (3 ½”- 4”) to reproduce the following year. After three or four years of this reproduction your pond can be overrun with small green sunfish. We recommend a proper ratio of forage fish and predator fish to maintain a balance in your pond. Select HYBRID BLUEGILL BIOLOGY for a more detailed answer to this question.
Should I use aeration in my fish pond?
Aeration is almost always a positive addition to an eco-system. The only exception would be aeration should not be done mid-day during a summer hot spell. This could warm the water to a point where cool water species like perch, crappie, walleye, or trout are effected. The cooler water is, the greater its capacity to carry dissolved oxygen. We recommend aerating from 10 or 11 at night until 6 or 7 in the morning. Aeration also helps dispel waste gasses from the pond bottom to the atmosphere, thereby improving the health of the pond.
We recommend a rotary vane compressor to power your system. We can discuss a variety of topics related to aeration and direct you to sellers of the required equipment that have reasonable pricing.
Which types of fish should I stock in my fish pond?
A nice answer would be any kind you want to see or catch. But the truth is if you want to see larger fish of any specie you need to create a food chain to support that fish. That means multiple species of fish utilizing different habitats and spawning at slightly different times in the year. That way you’ll have different sizes of small fish to feed your medium and large fish. A common mix is perch, largemouth bass, a limited number of blue gills, and/or crappie, and/or pumpkinseed sunfish. Minnows are also added to increase the food supply. If your pond is large enough you can use walleye as an additional predator fish. Although sound biology dictates your pond should imitate a lake, to some degree your fish populations can be skewed so your favorite specie is more abundant.
Should I put Walleye in my fish pond?
Walleye are somewhat unique in that the size they grow to is strongly influenced by the size of the pond they live in. Ponds smaller than ¾ acre won’t produce walleye with much length or girth. We have seen walleyes in a small pond stall out at 16”-18” and remain slimmer than similar fish from a lake. Their growth is better in a 1 acre pond, and if your pond is 1.5 acres or larger, walleye that have ample food can exceed 20 inches. A common misconception is that walleye need 12’-16’ of depth to be comfortable. Although walleyes are comfortable at those depths, the Lake Michigan strain of walleye that we sell will flourish at depths as shallow as 7 feet. If the maximum depth of your pond is only 7 or 8 feet a significant portion of the pond should carry that depth for the walleyes to grow well. The use of pond dye will be helpful if the pond depth is shallow, because walleyes are extremely sensitive to light. Although walleyes will come up to shallow waters to feed after dusk it is helpful to have a cool water specie like perch or crappie to supplement their feed during daylight hours. Reproduction of walleye in a pond is not likely.
Should I use dye in my fish pond?
There are positives and negatives to using dye. However, used correctly it can be a good thing. When too much dye is put in you can’t see into the water and no sunlight penetrates to promote growth of phytoplankton. Added to the water in limited amounts you can create a light blue tint that limits weeds and filamentous algae while allowing you to see 2 or 3 feet into the water. Sunlight penetration to a modest depth permits production of phytoplankton which in turn feeds the zooplankton. In 4-6 weeks, you will need to re-apply dye to maintain the desired tint. Most dye products are a diluted product costing you more than necessary. We can recommend a producer of full concentration dye.