Fishponds On Farms: Aquatic Plants and their Value in Pond Fish Culture
Fishponds On Farms: Aquatic Plants and their Value in Pond Fish Culture Frequent reference has been made to the necessity of vegetation in fishponds.
Its advantages are many. It serves as food and a harbor for the
lowest forms of minute animal life. Each advance in the scale of life constitutes a food for higher forms, and in the guise of fish the fertility of the ground contributes to the food of the human race.
Plants play an important part in the purification of water, taking up the carbonic acid gas liberated by decomposition and exhaling the oxygen essential to living creatures. They thus prevent the asphyxiation of fish life, and act as a corrective of many abnormal characteristics of individual waters.
Losses of fish through the depredations of enemies will be greatly lessened where there is an abundant aquatic growth in which they may hide.
It furnishes a grateful shade on bright warm days, and the interlacing roots so bind the bottom soil as to prevent turbidity from casual disturbances.
The aquatic flora of a locality varies greatly with its latitude and is also governed by the chemical ingredients of specific waters. The most desirable species usually thrive best in waters of limestone origin.
Plants of filamentous character are preferable to the large regular-leaved kinds, as they present greater surface expanse for the exchange of gases, and, on account of their shallow rootage, are more readily controlled by the fish-culturist.
Pond lilies, cat’s-tail, and coarse water grasses or weeds in moderation are beneficial, as they afford shade and shelter.
However, they are lower forms of oxygenators than the plants of finer growth, and they make seining operations more difficult; and it is impossible to eradicate them after they have obtained a foothold.
All species herein described which are indigenous to the waters of the locality in question may be advantageously utilized in pond fish culture.
Undoubtedly one or two of the introduced species will eventually drive out the others, but those remaining will be the ones best adapted to the environment. All of these will grow from cuttings, making it unnecessary to transplant the roots.
The plants may simply be raked or pulled out of the open waters and pressed by handfuls into the soft earth in the shallow sections of the new pond, in spaces about 5 feet apart.
The bottom must be covered with 6 to 12 inches of water during the operation, otherwise, the sun and air will soon ruin the sets. In deep water the plants may be started by attaching a weight and sinking them to the bottom of the pond.
Much time and trouble are often required to bring about a profuse growth of aquatic vegetation,” but after a pond is thoroughly stocked even more labor is required to keep it within bounds. Ponds may become choked with water mosses, resulting in inconvenience to the owner and a detriment to the to the fish.
They will roll the seines, snag the lines, and smother the fish when an attempt is made to draw down the water. It will usually be necessary to thin the moss out once or twice in the course of a summer, and all growth should be removed when draining the pond.
An efficient method of removal is by raking, the worker standing on the embankment and throwing the moss out on land or wading into the shallow water of the pond drawing it from a circle about him and building cocks of it. The deeper waters will have to be worked from a boat or raft.
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