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  • #16

    steve might have a theory or preference??


    • #17

      I am going by what a local fish farmer in my area in pond size and depth, He had his ponds dug like this a has less trouble with them, he does not have to use real big seine's to catch his fish. He has been selling fish bait for years. As far as surface area goes I wish I knew how to draw on a pc and I would show you what I am talking about. Let me see if I can explain this. Ok. Width at bottom is 12 foot and then the sides are to me like the ocean floor the slope is so grad. that you can walk into deep area easy. That is where the surface area comes into play. If I could draw of this darn pc. You would see what I am talking about but this may give you a good idea. Take a look at the pics and you will not notice much of a drop off as the way he has dug the pond it does not look like it is even four foot deep..

      I will be netting all my ponds to keep birds out so I should not have a problem
      there. I am going to measure the surface area today but I walked it off a 25 feet across

      It will not have a deep end the whole pond will be at the 4 foot depth. All four sides will have a low slope and this is where my surface area is coming in. The pond will be bigger than the 12 x 50 because of the slope giving me a bigger pond. That size is just the basic floor length and width. After slope the sides I have a much larger pond. I may be wrong but with the extra surface area I thought it would be ok. The contractor tells me also to do it this way because if I do not then he said that the pond walls will start caveing in and and fill my pond up and then he would have to come back and redo or clean out my ponds.


      • #18

        Your contractor and the bait guy know the local soil and will probably give you better advice than we will. Looks like a 2:1 side slope. That would make them about 28 ft wide, more than half-again larger in volume than you led us to believe.

        I wouldn't go deeper for fry ponds. You want to maintain good oxygen to the bottom and the deeper the pond, the more chance of stratification. In the winter you want to dry the bottom. You have no topography so I can see now that getting them completely dry probably isn't going to happen. However, the deeper you go, the harder it is to dry them. Besides you are going to be using electricity to pump them down.

        I would still ask the guy to put a little slope on the bottom when he's doing the final grading - even if its only a couple of inches.

        You are closer to the coast than I imagined.

        -steve hopkins


        • #19

          Ok. Steve I will. If I want to grow any koi to jumbo size I can put them in these big ponds. The two dogs are our pets Rain and Crisco German Shepard brothers, one year old.
          Attached Files


          • #20

            Nice spread! Since there are geese, the aligators must be under control. Looks like a good spot for some large net pens.


            • #21

              Nice spread...Damn I wish land was cheap here in California....KFG wish you luck on your breeding program...
              The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


              • #22

                If there are any aligators they are still in Florida I quess, all though I have dreamed about them in these ponds. We have had one in our area years back but no one has ever seen one again. You never know one of these day we may see one.

                When you say net pens what are you talking about?


                • #23

                  ok, i see what yor thinking, itll work fine. im used to adhering to our rules we have over here and design off that.
                  we arent allowed to just run our water to waste or the environment. carp is a nasty word around here in the way they might get out and establish wild populations and compete with natives.
                  we once had a big flowing river thats not so big or flowing anymore and all that survives well in it is carp so theyve blamed the carp for its demise when i reckon its been screwed first and the carp can survive those conditions.
                  things like slower water flows from huge agricultural use..logging, desnagging, building weirs and dams.. thats the main reasons its not supporting natives anymore..basically the farmers say its the carp thats the problem.. i spose that cause thats whats there now in the upper reaches..
                  meanwhile they suck that much water from it for irrigation that its changed how the river used to be. they say the carp dig up the banks.. though they thought nothing off loggin right up to the river edge and have the livestock and elements erode it. carps the Escape goat. i think if the flows were still there and the temps unnafected then the natives could still breed.
                  some states wont allow koi at all, those that do, stopped importation of more.

                  anyway what im getting at is if you can build it like that then 16 ponds like thatll surely give you enough fish to think about with just one or two breedings per season..seems youll get enough fish out for cheaper than what we can with our licensing rules we have.
                  have you got your eye on a bait market for your cullers?
                  i dont know if koi are used over ther for bait.
                  we got rules that dont allow it, in case they get off the hook, not even in salt where they would perish..
                  weve got such strict rules that wouldnt allow what you plan on doing.
                  does your farm even have to come under a licensing process over there?
                  if we want to sell then we have to be licensed..when planning the proposal
                  some of the restraints are :
                  ponds be 500m from waterways.including the required effluent pond 2 x our largest culture pond.
                  all screens 1mm mesh. all ponds predatory netted. no water to escape to environment. all runnoff to be excluded from entering ponds.
                  all ponds have a 30cm freeboard and have overflow provisions in case of heavy rain and escape.
                  all ponds to be fully gravity drainable to the effluent pond.
                  ie we cant rely on electricity if we have it on site even. which is a bit overboard i reckon, licensing police..they turn up once a year top check on such things and if we break a rule we can end up in the environmental court and have our license pulled.
                  oh yeah and the one that makes me envious of all you guys...
                  no koi to be imported from overseas.. ie we must use what came from japan 25 years ago. so we miss out too on any breeding gains theyve made in those years. why? well im not sure, i mean they havent eradicated all pet koi, you can have them. theyre everywhere legally, nothin really stops uneducated kids letting them go into the wild..but even new ones that people might pay big bucks to import.. sorry can not do.
                  its not due to the carp pox i think that concern came later.
                  we can bring in many different fish from overseas so long as they get quarrantined for 3 weeks.. i see some of those fish and ill tell you they still get through to the shops covered in health problems.
                  i dont see whats wrong with importing some top breeders that undergo proper quarrantine to improve our genetic.

                  i think they tried to bann them from here all together until the koi society kicked up a stink and pointed out that their fish atleast pose no great environmental threat.

                  oh back to your farm.
                  bird netting is definately the go, i thought you were short on cash for that but itll pay you back.
                  you shouldnt get stratification with the blower or paddlewheels. not if your using air lifts like mentioned before, id use pvc pipe anchored on the bottom with a brick with a hinge and have the air line bubbling at a suitable depth within it and itll extract from the bottom cause it has to.
                  i think youll find that the majority of the bait growers with koi or goldies use commercial feeds within a week or so to supplement the live feeds.
                  without that they dont get the yeilds or stocking and growth rates.

                  and yep when you do come to pump em out you want it all to move to the pump, you can dry and lime the high end and treat any wet sump with some hydrated lime. i spose that maybe why the fisheries here make for em completely drainable so they can dry out completely without mucking round with a pump.

                  best luck and keep the pictures coming.


                  • #24

                    Ranskye, I'm in favor of pretty strict environmental protection. Unfortunately, when technocrats get involved in making regulations to cover a variety of situations, things get muddled and you inevitably end up with some provisions which are ludicrous or counter-productive. In the US, there are federal provisions for aquaculture but they do not kick in until the production level is pretty high. Most regulation is done at the state level. For KFG, Georgia has an aquaculture license program although there are very few provisions.
                    Hawaii has much stricter provisions, but none of the US states are as strict as Australia.

                    KFG, net pens are... well, pens made out of netting. Turning fish loose in those large ponds would become problematic when you want to retrieve them. I would be afraid to rely on your friend's technique of throwing a cast net on them at feeding time. However, tosai and older could be housed in net enclosures.

                    The advantage of the net pen is that you would utilize the large water volume, but still be able to retrieve the fish when needed. The pen would have four sides and a bottom of netting. Poles stick in the pond bottom, floats or a permanent structure would keep the top of the pen a foot or two above water. They would also need a bird net cover if you have large herons. To remove the fish, the netting is pulled up and the fish are scooped up with dip nets. About 20 ft x 20 ft is as large as one or two people would want to handle.

                    Ideally, a paddle wheel would be set in the main body of the pond with the water flow pointed at the net pen, or a row of net pens, to insure there is circulation through the pen. A second-best option would be to put one or several air stones inside each pen. If the koi are being fed, I would be reluctant to operate without some sort of supplemental aeration.

                    The net pen can be a deep as you want it to be, up to the depth of the pond. You want koi to have access to the bottom of the pond where they get valuable nutrition from poking around in the mud. A net pen which sits on the bottom is almost as good as a bare-bottom mud pond. Use a net coating at least on the bottom to make the part which is in contact with the pond mud last longer.

                    Nylon netting is used because it lasts the longest but is still flexible. A stiff plastic material would be too hard to cinch-up when removing fish. You can buy the material and sew the net pen yourself, or have them made by a company like Memphis Net and Twine or Nylon Net Company.

                    -steve hopkins


                    • #25

                      thanks for the info steve,

                      hell if we want to have a simple trial in the backyard we are sposed to go get an experimantal license. even if we dont want to sell them.
                      aquaculture gets so much pressure.. i bet we could flatten ten hectares and put some beef on it and throw as much fertiliser as we wanted around the place. its actually at the point where no one is starting any new fish farms cause it costs so much for provisions etc.

                      however if we want to put some big ponds in for our enjoyment we can do that.
                      theres quite a few things bordering on ludicrous yes.
                      overall aquaculture was toted to be such a big thing here in this state but its pretty much being stopped in its tracks when people read the big book on licensing.
                      i remember thinking how good it was that the government had this helpful book but its made it too big a race for most to run.

                      sometimes people ring me up and want to get into aquaculture, they dont know anything much except it would be a good lifestyle.. and i find myself setting them straight pretty soon into the converstaion. not about the lifestyle but about the economics of viable operation.

                      anyway enough of that whinge..

                      i love koi net cages, all our breeders are held in them with the netting on the bottom. for the big ones holding 50 koi or more, we use stationary stainless wire above the water and the net has clips every half foot, above the water level, we pull it in on those runners toward the bank, pile the front of our net under our feet and its very easy to get em out.

                      for small fish we use small netting on wooden frames and pull it in for a high pressure blast every so often.


                      • #26

                        haha, i had a look at that georgia licensing page.
                        our book is over two hundred pages, they went a bit overboard, technocrats hey.. can i use that term steve?
                        keeps em thinking, keeps em doing something i spose, they actually put in a clause that said that if not enough farms started up that they would review the prodedures and regulations etc.
                        id love for one of them to try and make a buck from a farm and see what theyre up against.i think its where it becomes a case of the governament putting a lot of cash into it and no industry growth occurs for it being too hard. counter productive exactly.
                        im all for environment too steve, i hear ya.
                        but when we have a society with massive churning industries of all types that produces tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of 44 gallon drums of basically every poison under thed sun, i wonder if theyve totally lost the plot, maybe too its the greenies that are focussing on the wrong targets first.
                        like geez even the computer we have in front of us leaks out stuff thats worse than a fish pond. while i defintaley agree with a certain level of regulation, i can say that fish farms are pretty environmentally friendly in the broad scheme of things.


                        • #27

                          Since my place will be a new place and the state will more than likely come out on a regular basis and make sure I am following their requirment. If I dont follow the guide lines that wont let me sell fish. My Dad was in the nursery business for 25 years and when he first started they came offen. Then they would come around at least twice a year. If they saw any bad plant he had to burn them. If he did not they would shut him down. There are not that many pages for sure but when you get started doing something they seam to alway come up with something. If they do fish like they do plants around here that could run into a problem for me . I would hate to have to kill sick fish if I could get them well. I am sure they are strick about health problem thought and I can understand why. I do believe that if a farm in Ga is found to have health problems they will shut me down untill problem is solved.

                          As for koi being used as bait I dont think you can because I dont know of anyone that sell koi for bait. I would think that the Ga. law would not let us do that since koi are not common in this area. Nobody I know sells grass carp for bait fish, The only thing that I think they will let u use is fish common to this state. Even though the koi carp come from the common carp I still dont think I would be allowed to sell as bait fish. I think they would make good bait with all that color bass I think would snap em up quick.

                          Steve could I make a net to put my koi in out of pvc or would it float. I think I could buy enough netting to make one to use, and if I do how big do you think I should make it? Or would it be cheaper just to buy one. I would think a large pen would cost quite a bit.

                          I am hopeing that since my fish farm will be in a controlled enviroment that I wont have any problem their. I guess I need to call them in so I can make sure that I am going by all the quidelines before I get to far along and then they tell me I done something wrong, and have to go back and redo. You would be suprised what the state will come up with when they darn well please. If they dont like you he can give you one hell of a problem as I have saw this happen with other people.

                          They are through digging my ponds and I cant wait to start filling them. They say that they are only four foot deep but I swear that they look like they are 8 foot deep, they used a thingy to get the depth that I wanted but I believe something was wrong with the thing cause I know it would be over my head if I stood in the middle after fillling the ponds. I am going to take some more pics this weekend after I get some seed and hay out and show you guys the results and you to will see what I am talking about I am going to stand in the bottom of the pond and let Jack take some pics. I hope they are not as deep as I think they are but if they are I can always lower the ponds when I do my spawn. I just did not want to put air in each pond, but I believe I am going to have to do this, I dont know what you call that thingy but I am sure they are off on the depth. I watched the tractor go in the ponds and the ponds just ate it up and its a big tractor. The pic that I posted are not even close to what the finished pond is like. Maybe the pics will show you enough that you can tell what I am talking about . I am going to take a poll and lay across the top and take a mesurement so I can tell for sure.


                          • #28

                            certainly do not worry that they are too deep, fill less if you must but i wouldnt, id be totally happy, if your not going to add air be aware that your stocking rate and feeding rate will need to be less anyway. youll get less growth if you oiverstock it. i still swear that the deeper ponds wont result in less fish or growth than a 3 and a half foot one (you should be adding supplementary food) but if you do vetoe the air your cutting growth or stocking by atleast half. think economics of that one!! youve paid for the ponds, add air for cheap is like having twice the ponds again!!!

                            its its this sort of thing, overstocking, no air, leading to lack of nutrition and big swings etc is what leads to disease. its a ball starting to roll once you do that.
                            if fish farmers abided by the right rules of stocking feeding, waterQ etc,
                            you more than likely wont get disease and get die off or them coming into shut you down or dispose of fish. sometimes youll get good officers and othertimes ones that dont know much.

                            in oz, if we lose 5% or more we are bound to notify them. even when its the case that you know your aerator or whatever broke down.
                            only new farmers totally scratch their head about losses. most experienced ones atleast have an inkling.. even if its not the direct cause it may be linked to the cause..being a bit slack, running low on time, cutting corners, not watching feeding rates etc.
                            so the trick for you if not doing the air lift or wheels is to not stock too heavily and not expect huge yeilds right away or youll push things into disease. remember if its and extensive system, its an extensive stocking.
                            thats not to say that you wont be happy with what you get though but as time goes on youll bump it up there..
                            if you start out smart youll start somewhere in the middle with your yeilds.
                            iu think youll be stoked either way.


                            • #29

                              In the time I spent as a gov'ment fish guy, I learned one imprtant fact. Its easier to obtain forgiveness than permission.

                              The contractors were probably using a laser level - one transmitter/ receiver on the bank and one on the dozer. They may have gone 4 feet below grade instead of 4 feet overall depth. They probably know something about your soil and water that we do not.

                              They do make net pen floats out of PVC. Remember, you need the net to be a foot or more above the water to keep them from jumping out. Here's one way to do it - but this example is on a very small scale:

                              You will also need something to keep the net from billowing up off the bottom. Maybe tie a weight to each corner at the bottom.

                              I would start with something like 20' x 20'. Any larger and it might be too cumbersome to deal with by yourself. A small net pen will cost more per gallon of water contained therein. You should call Nylon Net and Memphis Net and ask them for a quote on the net material and a ready-made pen (cage). They sew a piece of 1/8 inch nylon line into the seams and around the top edge.

                              For 2 inch fish at the first culling, you will need 1/4 inch knotless netting like Ace Knotless
                              or Delta Knotless
                              For fish larger than about 8 inches, you could use 252 Green Knotless
                              Note that the prices on the linked web site are per pound of netting, not per square foot or square yard. You have to call them to figure out the price per square yard.

                              Some other things to consider:
                              1) small mesh costs more per square yard of material than large mesh.
                              2) small mesh is more versitile in that it can be used with both small and large koi.
                              3) small mesh will restrict water flow through the net pen more than large mesh.
                              4) small mesh will clog with algae and other crud faster than large mesh.
                              5) small mesh with crud all over it is a LOT heavier than large mesh with crud all over it.
                              6) small mesh will keep all but the smallest bream out of the pen.
                              7) bream will grow up inside the pen with the koi.
                              8) bream eat koi food faster than koi eat koi food.

                              I am sure nice ponds like yours were stocked with bass and bream and may have the optional catfish. I do know how bad the bream problem will be or whether it will take a lot of effort to keep them from growing large enough to eat koi food in the pens.

                              -steve hopkins


                              • #30

                                forgiveness/ permission thats a funny one.

                                hey steve what sort of bream do you guys have?
                                weve got yellowfin or black bream (acanthopagrus butcheri), and snapper (pagrus auratus)..both salt species but the yelows handle fresh, do you know the scientific name off hand?

                                i use about a 4mm mesh and we pull em up and spray em clean.
                                we used about 100 all up, for the bigger breeders we used big mesh. probly 25 mm and we never had to clean it.
                                the tiny fish we used shade cloth with about a 2mm gap, seems they can pick at the feed that sits on the bottom.
                                we would trnasfer them to another net and clean the original.


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