NANFA-L-- Casper's Disappointing Ponds

Gerald Pottern (gbpottern at
Thu, 8 Sep 2005 14:58:17 -0700 (PDT)

I find that my fish in outdoor tubs usually need to be fed. Even a half dozen Elassoma in a 10 gal tub will quickly eat all the bugs faster than they can reproduce. If you let a good bug population build up (eg bloodworms (=midges) on decaying leaves) before putting any fish in, you can delay feeding awhile, but eventually the fish get ahaed of the bug production. Midges & mosquitos often wont lay eggs where they smell fish.

I think Gambusia are an exception becuase they can eat almost anything, even tearing apart big june beetles, cicadas, tent caterpillars, slugs, & camel crickets that fall in & rot. Stuff that most other fish cant or wont eat.

Another problem i get is ostracods, which look like they oughta be great food, but most fish wont eat them (maybe gambusia). so, the ostracods get super dense & eat all the bacteria, algae, rotifers, & micro-benthos that would otherwise contribute to fish food, and out-compete the fish.

So, i add blackworms, Moina, flakes, etc if fish look hungry.
At the backyard scale were usually dealing with - 10 gal to maybe 200 gal, a tub or small pond just cant function like a natural system in terms of food production.

gerald, hangin on the neuse

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