|Re: Planning a Livebearer Pond?|
Subject: Re: Planning a Livebearer Pond?
by Thriftyfisher on 2012/4/1 23:01:46
Livebearers in ponds are a great idea. The bigger the pond the better. Small ponds like a 35-40 gallon round pond you would find at a big box store are good for small livebearers, medium size ones as well.
Any livebearer will work for mosquito control. However, if you would like to see them I would pick a top oriented fish. Something like a guppy, Gambusia or Gerardinus metallicus are fish that you will see swimming in your pond. Fish such as Goodeids or Limias will stay down further in the water column and not be so easily seen. Although they will do a great job on mosquito larva.
Goodeids are great as many of them, such as Ilyodon sp., Characodon sp. and Allotoca sp. are good for cooler temps and can be acclimated and put out when the water temperature is consistently above 55 degrees. They will do well outside at warmer temps during the summer as well.
Remember that the fish will need to be fed more than just mosquito larva that will naturally populate a small pond. I like feeding “natural” foods such as Blackworms, frozen blood worms and frozen daphnia. I try to stay away from processed foods to keep the pollution from such foods down.
If you have a small number of fish, say 4 guppies or a pair of Goodeids in a 40 gallon pond and you have it planted the fish will be fine without large water changes over the summer. Make sure you top off the pond every couple days or so. Sunlight seems to work magic with fish.
Aquarium plants do well outside. In the photo are Ludwigia sp. (still trying to figure out what species from the flowers) bacopa, Heteranthera zosterifolia, Hygrophila sp. and others. Pack as many plants as you can into the pond and see what they do. Sword plants usually flower outside.
The photo below is of a pond that had a pair of Ilyodon xantusi and 10 cardinal tetras in it. The photo was taken on September 10 just before the pond was taken down. Temps were above 80deg and below 60deg during the summer and not a single fish was lost, not only that, they looked great when they came out. I did do large 50% water changes on this pond but that wasn’t needed, I was doign them for a water temperature study. I fed sparingly and therefore did not get any fry. But the focus on this experiment was on temperature extremes and how fish did not really on breeding them.
Watch the weather forecast. If you put fish out and then get a cold snap a tank heater put into the pond overnight will usually keep the water warm enough for even tropical fish to be fine.
My goal for the first fish out this year is April 15 in my "big" pond and they will be Allotoca goslinei.
Good luck on your ponds.