Best Time To Buy Pond Fish ((HOT))
In this article, we will go into more detail about the best times to buy and stock fish in your pond to reduce the chances of causing them thermal shock or any illnesses that become more likely when fish are stressed.
best time to buy pond fish
Typically, you can begin stocking ponds in the spring once water temperatures begin to increase over 50 F (10 C) and can continue throughout the summer but must stop again in the fall when temperatures drop. If your pond is new, you should stock only a few fish at a time to allow your filters to build up some beneficial bacteria, waiting a week or two before adding any more fish.
If your water temperature is more than a couple of degrees warmer or cooler than the water that the fish were previously kept in, try placing them in a bag or container with the original water they were previously kept in. Place that baggy or container in your pond for about an hour or two to allow the water inside to gradually adjust to the temperature of your pond so as to not shock your fish when you place it directly in the pond.
Be sure to research the exact fish species as well as variety that you wish to purchase so that you can know its exact water requirements and thus give it the best chance at long term survival in your pond.
Regardless of when you add fish to your pond, the water should be cycled first to build and maintain a proper ecosystem for the fish. The fastest way to do this is to purchase beneficial bacteria supplements that contain beneficial bacterial strains from most pet or water supply stores.
2. Fish should be purchased from a reputable store. This is very important since goldfish, Koi and other pond fish carry pathogens including parasites, viruses and bacteria. Fish should be carefully observed and evaluated at the store before the purchase. A gray film on the skin or clamped fins are signs of parasites.If inspecting the fish is not an option for your customer, they should take time to read reviews of the store and ask questions. A good fish retailer will make sure the fish are healthy and take the time to answer all questions.
3. The ratio of fish to water is one inch of fish for every 10 gallons of water. Certain species of goldfish can grow to 12 to 15 inches. Koi can grow to more than 20 inches. As a result, four or five large goldfish are adequate for a 500-gallon pond. Koi ponds should be at least four feet deep.
4. The new fish should be quarantined for two to four weeks if they are to be introduced into a pond with other fish. The new fish should be kept in a separate holding tank with filtered water and fed according to instruction. Older fish can be added to the quarantine tank and checked for changes that might indicate pathogens.
5. If the pond does not have fish, the new fish can be introduced in their bags. Pond owners should allow the bags to float in the water for 20 minutes to a half-hour before they are opened and the fish swim away. This helps the new fish adjust to the new water temperature.
Todd Sink, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension aquaculture specialist, College Station, said many landowners believe simply adding fish to a pond will result in a healthy and sustainable fish population. But a planned approach, starting with creating a good environment and a strong food-chain, will set the pond up for successful establishment and fishing opportunities.
Crushed agricultural limestone, hydrated lime, quicklime or slaked lime can be added to low-alkalinity or low pH ponds to create a more productive environment for fish and their food prior to stocking, he said. Hydrated lime, quicklime or slaked lime cannot be added to a pond with fish because the rapid pH change can cause a fish kill.
Landowners with fish in their ponds can add crushed agricultural limestone, or ag lime, to correct alkalinity or pH issues without creating adverse conditions for fish populations. Those products create a very gradual shift in pH.
The recommended fertilization programs can produce four to six times more fish than without, he said. Fertilization can also limit the establishment of nuisance rooted vegetation by blocking sunlight to the bottom of the pond.
Fertilization will ideally start 10-14 days before stocking juvenile fish for the first time, Sink said. This develops a strong food chain and increases the odds of establishing a good fish population.
One of the biggest mistakes pond owners make is stocking all their baitfish and sportfish at once, Sink said. He recommends first adding 5-15 pounds of fathead minnows per acre following the phytoplankton bloom. Minnows are easy prey that will spawn several times during early summer. They create a good food source for larger baitfish and sportfish populations added later.
Up to 50 channel or blue catfish per acre can be stocked, he said. Up to 100 catfish can be added per acre with appropriate fertilization and feeding programs. Supplemental feed should be provided two to three times per week. Catfish can be added any time after bass are stocked.
Pond owners should start experiencing quality fishing in three years once ponds are properly stocked, he said. But they can speed up the process by adding more minnows, bluegill and redear during the first two years.
But pond owners can speed up the process a full year, he said. Just stock adult 6-inch bluegill and redear sunfish along with the fathead minnows March through May. These fish will spawn the first year allowing juvenile 2-3-inch bass to be stocked in May or June.
The key to stocking healthy fish populations and growing big bass is harvesting bass beginning in the third year, he said. Most ponds require harvest of at least 10 pounds of 6-10-inch large mouth bass per acre to maintain a healthy food chain.
Vegetation should be managed because coverage exceeding 25% can cause a fish kill. It can reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen at night in the water for fish to breath, he said. During the day, plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis and add oxygen to the pond. But at night when there is no sunlight, they must consume oxygen to stay alive.
An angler might get 3-8 years of good crappie fishing, but every few years the water temperature, water level and moon phase all line up just right to get a phenomenal crappie spawn. When this happens, largemouth bass in the pond cannot remove enough small crappie from the pond to limit the population.
That means more crappie survive, and the next couple of years there are even more crappie spawning, he said. Then it snowballs out of hand. Eventually there are so many small crappie in the pond, that no fish, including juvenile bluegill, bass and catfish, can get enough food to effectively grow.
Best for one koi is not best for another. For example, if your preference is a Japanese-born koi, October is the recommended month to pick out a tosai (one-year-old koi). They will have spent the whole growing season in the relative tranquility of a mud pond, so will have filled out and developed in an environment as close to natural as possible.
The best time to introduce fish to a new pond is summertime when temperatures are steady and the fish can mature a bit. That being said, fish can be released into your pond slightly later in the year although this depends on the water temperature.
Every fish needs time to adjust and settle in their new home but pond fish such as Koi and outdoor Goldfish need to do so before hibernating. The acclimatisation process should take approximately a month, during which their eating patterns can be established before the cooler months take hold. To remain healthy throughout winter, they need to be fed food suited for building fat stores, such as winter wheatgerm. This acclimation period also allows for observation to spot any health issues that your fish might have.
To properly balance your pond, you should stock your pond with three prey fish, like perch or bluegill, for every predator fish, such as bass. This pond stocking strategy will ensure that predator fish will have a bountiful selection of prey, while still giving the prey fish a sporting chance to mature and reproduce. Keep in mind that catfish will have little effect on the prey to predator ratio as they are more likely to stick to themselves at the bottom of the pond.
When you have properly stocked your pond, your fish population will tend to keep itself in check. When you first stock your pond, we recommend adding some fathead minnows to feed the predator fish while the prey fish become established. In proper conditions, minnows can be a snack for your fish that will replenish themselves.
When stocking your pond, selecting fish of similar size will help the population grow together. The number of fish you add to your population will ultimately depend on the surface area of your lake or pond. Below is an example for how to stock ponds of various sizes.
Before stocking a pond with fish, make sure to take note of any "wild fish" that may already be in the pond. Fish can be introduced into new ponds in quite a few ways. Eggs or fry can be carried in by waterfowl while other animals sneak in clinging to aquatic plants you add to your pond. Sometimes flooding can wash fish from nearby ponds, lakes, and streams into your pond. It is inevitable that over time, outside fish will find a way to make your pond a place of their own. You will also want to fish or trap to confirm larger prey fish are not already in the pond before stocking.
Spring or fall is the ideal time for pond stocking. Temperatures are mild and oxygen levels are high, so the stress factors that affect fish will be at their lowest. Once acclimated to your pond, they will be primed to flourish. Fish can also be added in the summer, but they will need a little more time to adjust.
After stocking your pond, acclimating fish is simple. Place the transportation bag in a shaded area of the pond and let float for 15-20 minutes. This allows fish to slowly adjust to water temperatures in your pond. Next, open the bag and let the fish swim out on their own. If you are adding fish to a pond where fish are already present, release minnows at one end of the pond to attract larger fish and release the smaller fish at the opposite end so they have a chance to find shelter. 041b061a72