kwesiga samuel

asked over 1 year ago
How can i be able to know my water quality before stocking
Water quality
  • Joseph Molnar
    over 1 year ago
    Stocking new ponds with fish is a process April 19, 2016 By: Adam Russell, 903-834-6191, adam.russell@ag.tamu.edu Contact: Todd Sink, 979-845-7471, Todd.Sink@tamu.edu COLLEGE STATION – Spring is a good time for landowners with new ponds to begin stocking fish but a planned approach is recommended, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension fisheries specialist Todd Sink. Ely Evans, of Evans Farms in Como, shows off a small catfish caught from a stocked pond. (Photo provided by Candace Flora) “A lot of people think you just put fish in a pond and it is stocked and will result in a good fish population,” said Sink, who is based in College Station. “But you must first assure the water chemistry is correct to adequately support fish, create a strong pond food-chain, stock the proper baitfish to sportfish numbers, and finally there is a particular stocking order that must be followed.” The first step is to assure the environment is suitable for where phytoplankton, prey organisms and fish at all levels of the food chain can thrive, Sink said. Phytoplankton are the single-celled microscopic algae that give water a greenish tint and are the basis of the entire pond’s food-chain. Sink recommends taking a water sample for analyses to determine the water chemistry of the pond. This is especially important in East Texas, he said, because the soil is typically acidic which leads to low-alkalinity, acidic waters. Landowners should try to create an alkalinity of between 50-150 parts per million and a pH of 6-9. Doing so provides the best environment for the pond’s food chain, he said. 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. 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 can add crushed agricultural limestone, or agricultural lime, to correct alkalinity or pH issues in ponds that already contain fish with no adverse effects to the fish populations, because it creates a very gradual shift in pH, he said. Sink also recommends a fertilization program be implemented if maximizing fish production is the goal. Most ponds benefit from adding 5-8 pounds of liquid or powdered, not pelleted, phosphorus per-acre. This practice will create a phytoplankton bloom, which creates food for baitfish, crawfish, insects, and other organisms at the base of the sportfish food chain, as well as for larval sportfish themselves. The pond “won’t produce as much food as it could if unfertilized,” he said. “Creating a good basis for the pond’s food chain through fertilization programs can produce four to six times more fish from the same body of water.” Fertilization can also help to limit the establishment of nuisance rooted vegetation by blocking sunlight to the bottom of the pond, he said. Above applies to sport fish ponds, but is relevant for farmers fertilizing and feeding a pond. Also see the FAO page on water quality for detailed information on water quality parameter testing. http://www.fao.org/fishery/static/FAO_Training/FAO_Training/General/x6709e/x6709e02.htm

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