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Common pond problems 

 
Marley Beem 
 

 

This publication offers some solutions to common problems, but does not discuss every thing that you need to know in order to manage a pond. Like a garden, there are no easy shortcuts to a good pond. ood planning nd regular management is required.

 

To better understand what it takes to manage your pond, you will need to read one or both of the pond management booklets listed at the end of this publication.

 

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation can also provide limited assistance.

 

Correcting Pond Problems

 

Aquatic Vegetation There are two common reasons that plants get out of control in ponds. First, too many nutrients may be getting into the pond from sources such as livestock or overfertilized yards. This often leads to excessive growth of algae. Filamentous algae is stringy, lacks any type of leaf, and often resembles green fiberglass insulation.

 

Planktonic algae is visible only under the microscope, but when overly abundant it gives the water a thick green color, making it difficult to see a shallow submerged object.

 

Another reason for excessive plant growth is that there may be too many shallow areas in the pond. Areas with less than three to four feet of water are ideal for aquatic plant growth. Many ponds are built with improper shoreline slopes.

 

Herbicides offer quick results, but if the underlying cause of the problem is not corrected, plant growth will reoccur.

 

Fish Kills. When large numbers of fish show up dead within a day, a fish kill has occurred. Smaller numbers of fish dying over a period of several days indicates a disease-related problem.

 

Oxygen depletion is the leading cause of fi sh kills in Oklahomaonds. Because low oxygen kills are usually sud den and massive, many pond owners mistakenly jump to the conclusion that a pesticide must be responsible.

 

If you see fish gulping at the surface and not too many have died, it may be practical to try saving the rest by aerating the water. This can be done by backing a boat into the water and running the outboard motor with the propeller near the surface to maximise splashing. A pump can be set up to allow water to cascade over boards or a roll of fencing to break it up into as many drops as possible. Some pond owners report success in using a tractormounted bush hog to aerate the pond.

 

The article also covers issues like pesticides, muddy water and poor quality of fish.

 

The section on sick fishes explains why and when fish are vulnerable to infections and parasites. 

 

Coverage is also given on how to treat "wormy" fish- fish that have worms growing on them.

 

The last section offers advice on how to design and build a pond and recommended stocking practices.  

 
 

For more of the article, please click here

 

Article made possible through the contribution of the Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

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