Discussion on just about any fish related topic!
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This is the earliest that I've "put the pond to bed" since I started running it ten years ago. I put it down to me being more adventurous this year, in terms of the 'tropical' species I put out there. Not so much the exCichlasoma beani and Australoheros sp. "Red Ceibal'. They are Northern Mexico (Mazatlan area) and Uruguayan (cool winters ... not like ours mind you :cwm21:) respectively. But I know they can somewhat take the cool. The unknown quantities were the Cichlasoma dimerus from Northern Uruguay (warmer area nearer Brazil), Paraneetroplus breidohri (from tropical Mexico), a striking pair of Andinoacara rivulatus (Green Terrors) and a lone Paraneetroplus hartwegi that had been beat up inside. There were a bunch of other odds and ends, like Flier Sunfish, Sleeper Gobies, what looked to be a small sucker-like fish, and a couple of unknowns (too small to tell when I put them in). The 'dimerus' and the 'breidohri' were just little guys, around 1/2-1" and I wasn't too hopeful that many (if any) would survive, because of the predatory nature of the pond's inhabitants. There were several spawns that I noticed ... two from the GTs, and a couple from the 'Red Ceibals' as well. No fry survived by the way. When I took the pond's temperature this morning, it was just over 18C (64F). I've been running a 300W heater out there continuously the last week or so because of cool nights (5C or ~40F)) and I suspect the water temperature would have been more like 10 to 15C (50-60F) without it. So I filled the 100G stock trough with pond and fresh water to put the larger fish in until I move them inside (probably tomorrow or Tuesday), and a small 20G container for the smaller fish, which I'm bringing in later today. The pleasant surprises ... the 'breidohri' and 'dimerus' did extremely well out there and outgrew their 'indoor' counterparts 2 to 1 (and talk about colorful at 2-3"). All the adults not only survived, but thrived. The cooler temperatures that they were exposed to lately seemed to have no negative effects on their well-being. I was especially impressed with the GT pair. They were 'the king and queen' of the pond. Also the 'beani' are now brutes (eight of them ranging from 6" to 9"). The natives that I put out I didn't hold out much hope for, since inside, they were languishing. But, other than losing one sleeper goby, the rest not only survived but grew substantially. I think they must have been the main predators on the fry in there. Now my only concern is, will I be able to pull these fish through the winter successfully inside? The 'beani' are my greatest challenge since they don't handle stress (and crowding) well. My plan is to keep them cool and feed lightly with a lower protein, more vegetable based food. Well, enough of my ramblings. Here are some pictures I took as I was breaking down the pond this afternoon.
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".
- Albert Einstein
- Albert Einstein