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Providing a Healthy Environment for Pond Fish

Providing a Healthy Environment for Pond Fish

Not all farm ponds are going to offer a healthy environment to raise fish and if the pond is not adequately managed the fish population will quickly dwindle. Proper manage covers many aspects of having a pond on your property; from ensuring a quality water supply as well as nutrition for the fish you hope to raise. When you are planning your pond for fish think of it as a field on the farm in which the soil requires good fertilization and Pond Kit in order for it to produce.
The same is true for establishing fish on your farm pond. You can set up automatic feeders to provide nutrition but some fish, such as largemouth bass will not eat commercial fish food and others could eat you out of house and home. Natural food for your fish will be a lot more economical and will help the fish grow faster and healthier.
Before you add lime to the water in your pond you should have an analysis performed on the pond to see how much lime to use. You can take a sample of the mud from the bottom of the pond from several areas and while it is still wet, mix it up well. Once it has dried take the sample to a soil testing facility, often provided by your local county extension agency, being certain to mark it as pond mud.
This way the agency will know what to test for and the resulting report will tell you how much lime to apply to the pond. Before adding any fertilizer to your pond check its alkalinity to ensure it is not more than 20 parts per million (ppm).
When calculating how much lime to use on your pond you can also find out how much adjacent farms use for their land crops and use between 25 percent and 50 percent more. Since the lime will be spread over the pond’s surface some it will be lost due to overflow or runoff. As a rule of thumb consider liming the pond once every four or five years. Or use one fourth of recommended amount of lime and apply it every year for four years.
Proper liming of your pond will also increase the nutrients available in the water making them better to support phytoplankton with which you will feed your fish. Fertilizers are usually labeled with its content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The amount of phosphate used in a pond will also be important to supporting the growth of plankton and about eight pounds per acre is usually recommended.
With the plankton growing and you have added your fish stock you will want to maintain the fertilization of the pond until you can be certain it is established. Stopping the fertilizer may cause a reduction in plankton and the result will be stunted fish growth. Ponds that are inadequately fertilized will general only see fish growth under 200 pounds a year. Strong ponds, with a healthy food supply should show a yield of up to 500 pounds per year.