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Question on mud pond

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  • Question on mud pond

    Hi all,

    I have a mud pond (10m x 3.5m x 2 m). The water supply comes from one spring which i channeled down to the pond by a pipe and there are a few small spring inside the pond itself. However, i think the water supply is not very big.

    Do you know how to make a good mud pond ? and is there any criteria for it ? I heard that a good mud pond must have a certain minerals or something. What are those minerals ?

    Thanks a lot !
  • #2

    What will you use the mud pond for? The magic of mud ponds seems to be the naturally-occurring forage living in the bottom and the water column. Low fish density with plenty of natural forage should give optimum nutrition and growth.

    Typically, the criteria for a mud pond is that it holds water. This usually means tight clay soils. You do not want there to be too much unconsolidated organic matter in the bottom because it will make the pond difficult to work in and it will consume a lot of oxygen when the fish stir it up. I cannot help with specific minerals needed, but doubt that your soil will be particularly deficient in anything. Hopefully, others will correct me or provide more information. Iron pyrite is detrimental (but not other forms of iron) as it makes soils very acidic (also called acid-sulfate soils),

    Remember that the productivity of a mud pond can be hindered by too much water change from the spring. A very high water exchange flushes away nutrients which form the base of the pond's food chain. For very high fish densities and high feeding rates, the high water exchange rate is beneficial if there is no supplemental aeration and filtration. For modest fish densities and feed rates, too much exchange can be counter-productive.

    -steve hopkins


    • #3

      Additionally I should add that most springs pour water out in the mid 50's for a temp
      and unless the water gets alot of sun or is above a dark bottom, the growth of koi in such a pond is immediately limited.

      most "mud" ponds in japan are rebottomed with clay every 2-3 years to provide the minerals. They are sterilized with lime prior to filling.

      Arthur from Oregon Koi is building one and may have some info to add to what Steve has already outlined. ( thanks Steve!)
      Dick Benbow


      • #4

        Hey, we are new at this mud pond enterprise and have a lot to learn. We have done a lot of research though. A lot of good info can be lifted from the aquaculture area as they have been doing this for a long time in YOUR area, and know what works and what does not locally.

        In term of pond contruction, I have seen the best on Maurice's web site.

        As for fish nutrient and feeding, we picked the brains of a Japanese breeder friend who visited the new pond site. He also provided advice on fish density at different age and said that fish load could be made too low resulting in faster that ideal growth and the risk of color loss.

        We'll see this fall if we have been able to put together all this info, when we harvest the crop.


        • #5

          Dick, I am surprised that you have groundwater in the 50'sF. You must be in a cold area of WA. Groundwater temps are usually the same as or several degrees F higher than the average annual air temperature. Here, it is about 73F. When I lived in zone 8-9 on the US mainland the groundwater came up at about 71F.

          -steve hopkins


          • #6

            Bekko : I'm going to use my mud pond for growing tosai. I think for that size of pond, the maximum number of koi i'm goinf to put is about 10-15. Actually this pond is very experimental since i don't know anything about mud pond.

            I stay in Indonesia, and the pond is located in moutaneous region with day temperature is about 25-28 C and at night can reach about 16-20 C. For Dick, yes, the pond have enough sun rays coverage for the whole year. The climate in that area is quite stable for the whole year.

            My father just told me that the depth of the pond will be about 2m or maybe more, depending on how much ground based spring there. For water supply, the main one is not from the ground based (on the bottom of the pond) but from another bigger water source near the pond. So i can easily control the amount that flow into the pond. For the side of the pond, i'm going to build a concrete to prevent the pond from collapsing but i think i only build it for less then 50 cm in depth.

            Do you know what kind of clay that The Japanese people use ? The soil there is quite clay-ey and also should be very vertile. It because the soil there based on volcanic soil which is very very fertile.

            Thanks !


            • #7


              There is a big difference in temperature of ground water depending on the source depth and the nature of the water reserve.

              Here in Oregon, we pump water from an underground river at 285ft of depth, under the basalt rock layer. The temperature is very stable: 54°F in Winter, up to 59°F in Summer. This temperature is of course not very good for massive water changes but is perfect for constant trickle.


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