A Great Pond Management Primer

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Pond management can be a complex thing.

We try our best to keep it simple here at PAS but most everyone who has ever cared for a pond, and in particular one with problems, knows that it can be tricky business. Even overwhelming for a newbie pond owner.

But to do this management thing well, you have to put in the time to learn and get an idea of what you’re doing. There’s no need to be intimidated or worried about all of this…you simply have to make an effort to build your knowledge base over time.

I also think that while most people have a sense of what to do, what works, and what may not, others just simply can’t buy into certain things. Even if it seems like a common-sense thing.

Take pond bacteria for instance.

Most of you know by now that I’m really into natural solutions and the main one is beneficial bacteria. It can do some amazing things for ponds, but not everyone is as enthusiastic as I might be, and some folks are even more than skeptical. So they need a little validation. In other words if it ain’t coming from an authoritative source it’s just not believable. And I can understand (and sympathize) with that.

With that said, I want to share with you a really nice report from Auburn University. Yes indeed, a big time educational institution will now share with you the basics of good pond management…and you know what? It’s good, and it’s thorough, and it runs very much inline with everything we’ve talked about here for years.

Now this particular section of the report (chapter 5) is only a small part of the entire document and it focuses a good bit on how to manage a catfish pond, but it will apply to virtually any pond, small or large, and really any kind of fish for the most part. But here’s a few tidbits that can be gleaned from the report.

  1. That well oxygenated water, and higher dissolved oxygen levels helps to produce and sustain bigger fish with more rapid growth
  2. That naturally occurring or supplemented bacteria will help to convert organics into harmless and useful substances
  3. Dissolved oxygen levels are at their lowest in hot weather, cloudy days, and during the night time hours
  4. Feeding of any fish must be done to minimize the organic influence of the feed in the pond (don’t feed too much to create uneaten and rotting food
  5. All ponds, even the large ones, have a limited carrying capacity for fish
  6. Pond conditions fluctuate daily and include the temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen levels and more

Fortunately for those of us that are interested in ponds, more research like this can only lead to better pond management practices, and by that I mean working with them in accordance with the ways of nature and not necessarily treating issues with some kind of chemical. Much of our focus on this site relates to algae of course, but you can probably include many more aggravating issues that can be resolved with a little bit of education.

Read the Auburn Pond Management Report here. Note: this report is in the form of a pdf and is downloadable if you wish. The latter sections may not be useful for everyone, but within the first 10 pages or so you’ll find some very good, fundamental advice.

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