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Frequently Asked Questions

My pond is murky and smelly, with a lot of weeds at the bottom. How do I clean it up?

Silver Creek advocates a three pronged approach to cleaning up ponds. The keys are aeration, dealing with nutrients and blocking sunlight. The more oxygen in the water the clearer it will be, that is where aeration comes into play. Oxygen helps to breakdown the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous into forms that are unavailable for plants to use. The nutrients can also be reduced by adding beneficial bacteria to the pond. The bacteria compete with the weeds in the pond for nitrogen and phosphorous. The bacteria also become food source for small organisms in the water, that in turn are eaten by bigger organisms and so on up the food chain. Nothing is eating the plants but the bacteria are a beneficial food source. Blocking sunlight is achieved through using a product such as TrueBlue. TrueBlue is a natural blue dye that is not harmful to living organisms. The blue colour simply blocks the blue-green wavelength of sunlight entering the water. This is the wavelength plants need in order to perform photosynthesis. For a further explanation on Silver Creek's approach to pond rehabilitation see the articles on this web site.

Why put trout in my pond at all?

Trout are a wonderful addition to a pond for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the sight of seeing a fish jump out of the water to catch an insect. The backyard pond is often also the first and sometimes only chance a child gets to experience the joy of fishing. The squeals of delight when a child catches a fish is a sound that most people are familiar with. The more practical reasons for stocking a pond include concerns about mosquitoes and leeches. Trout are great predators and eat a tremendous amount of insects including mosquito larvae. If the pond is used for swimming at all trout are also great at keeping leeches at bay.

Can different species of trout live in the same pond?

Yes, certainly, we have rainbows, browns and speckles all living in the same ponds here.

My pond is twelve feet deep. What kind of trout can live in it?

A pond of that depth would support rainbow and brown trout. Rainbow trout prefer water temperatures of 10 to 20°C while browns thrive in 15 to 25°C. This pond could be too warm for speckled trout, however, they like it nice and cold at 5 to 15°C.

My pond doesn't have any water flowing into it. Can I put trout in it?

Certainly, if the pond is at least 10 feet deep. Unless the summer months are extremely hot (over 30°C for several days and no rain) rainbows and brown trout would be able to survive in such a situation. You would be advised to put some form of aeration in that pond to keep oxygen levels up which will help the trout survive over the summer (see aeration page) or fish the trout out over the summer. The ice cover may get too thick in the winter for the fish to survive if no aerator is used.

I've decided I need an aerator in my pond. What type should I be looking at?

For ponds that have no access to electricity, a windmill aerator is the best option. For ponds that are 1/4 or so acres, a Little Titan or Starburst aerator is ideal. For .5 acre to .75 acre ponds the AquaGems are very good. For larger, 1 acre plus ponds please contact us. See the aerator page for further details.

Should I thin out the cattails and bulrushes around my pond?

Cattails and bulrushes are a great addition to a pond. They act as a kind of kidney for the pond, filtering out the nutrients that are detrimental to water quality. However, too much of anything is not good. Cattails in particular are invasive and if not periodically cut back can take over a pond.

What other plants can I have around my pond?

Shoreline plants such as irises, arrowroot and cardinal flowers are a useful and beneficial addition to a pond. Plants at the shore can intercept nutrients that may enter the pond by surface run-off. See the plant page for further details.


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