NANFA-L-- cement pond survey

Prizma at
Thu, 8 Sep 2005 11:19:32 EDT

well actually the satellite ponds first...

last night i began to remove the fish from an assortment of yard tanks and
pools to varying results. i chose to do it at night using a flashlight to more
easily capture the surface resting fish. most of these i bring inside to
weather the winter or give to friends or into school native tanks i have setup.
winters here in chattanooga kill most species of florida fish w/ a couple of
notable exceptions... the e starheads and the golden ears.

55 gallon plastic drum, planted ( java fern, hornwort ), in the shade:
in this i had put a few blue fin and least killies. last night i removed 3
very skinny bluefins and one plump least killie. i netted out the dead leaf
muck off the bottom and found no living micro bugs to my naked eye.
i would have thought at least the hets would have had fry and the blue fins
would have been plump? tho ive never had blue fins reproduce nor heard of
success from anyone.
perhaps i should have first innoculated the 55 drum's water w/ a quart of
pond or backwater stream muck? i would have thought at least there would have
been all kinds of mosquitoes and such depositing eggs as food for the fish.
why so skinny?
im dissappointed.

100 gallon, very heavily planted cattle trough in partial shade:
this yielded better results. it has more plants and plant diversity... water
lettuce, hornwort, java fern, water sprite, anacharis. i had put golden ear
and cingulatus topminnows in it this spring. last night i collected a couple
well colored, healthy adults and about 6) 1" juvis. i suspect many more when i
remove all the plants and lower the water for better access as winter
approaches. this is probably the second year the goldens have reproduced in this
pool. im not sure what the juvis are as they are small... perhaps they could be
cingulatus. i should have some flag fish and least killies in the trough too
but they would have been in the depths under the plants and i will not be
able to access them until later.

150 gallon inground pool, planted, shaded, canopied:
in this i had put several w starheads from the arkansas trip while visiting
my dad below pinebluff after the convention. a neat fish and i had hoped for
reproduction. this same pool last season yielded lots of e starhead
topminnows which i had moved to the big cement pond. no reproduction of the w
starheads in this pool. again dissappointed.
this is a neat article by jeff fullerton that seems to yield the same
results i experienced regarding the e starheads vs the westerns.

30 gallon plastic tub, planted and sheltered by a plexiglass cover:
this had been an experimental "pool" i had hoped to over winter least
killies in. it is an old concrete block fire pit / grill that i cleaned out and
inserted a well fitting plastic tub. by covering it i kept out the falling toxic
green pine cones and hoped to keep heat in over the winter... preventing
freezing. it was unsuccessfull especially w/ the least killies. the first thin
winter ice that veneers the surface kills them. however i did see a pygmy
sunfish that has survived over the years but w/ no reproduction. plenty of
snails... as in all the pools i have discussed. i figure snails and plants are
good. the more life the better tho maybe snails are eating fish eggs?

any thoughts or relative experiences? generally im dissappointed and had
expected more reproduction in all the pools. i also have a sheltered, planted 55
glass tank w/ flagfish and they did not reproduce. in fact i think i lost
several of the adults.

but in regards to the big 18' x 36' cement pond i have had a multitude of e
starheads, a few studfish ( which i am happy and suprised of ), too many
longear sunnies... again, but no shiner fry as i did last year which is odd...
last year i had hundreds of fry. i still cant id the few shiner juvis i saved
from predation. maybe they are hybrids? ive also seen a few small chubish fish
near the cement pond's bottom while snorkeling but cant get close enough to
id them. perhaps and hopefully they are big eye chub juvis. the cement pond
has probably 30 species but only 3 maybe 4 have reproduced this year.

i think much of it comes down to that i dont have enough micro organisms
feeding the fish even tho they are exposed to the air and all the flying and
crawling bugs. ive been studying a concept where a seperate system that does not
contain any fish gently circulates back to the cement pond. this "refuge"
for micro organisms can then fully populate and spill over to the fish. a
friend has been explaining this too me and we envision several large linked
translucent containers refuging this "green water" tho i am concerned about summer
a linked, trickle fed, bog garden perhaps would be another solution but
careful planning in the yard and landscape is required and i have a major project
to finish before i could do the bog.

for the smaller satellite pools a proper innoculation of living micro
organisms each spring before i add fish to them maybe the solution.

generally the only fish i feed are the cement ponders. the other pools fend
for themselves relying on bugs and whatever lives in the water.

any ideas or suggestions for more reproduction and health in outdoor pools?

/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association (NANFA). Comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of NANFA. For more information about NANFA,
/ visit Please make sure all posts to nanfa-l are
/ consistent with the guidelines as per
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get
/ help, visit the NANFA email list home page and archive at