I want to keep pet catfish


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Hello all!

I put in a 250 gallon pond in the back yard. The filter and pump are rated higher than what's necessary, but I don't have info on like PH and stuff.

My son and I are avid fishermen. This little pond is a trial run for a big permanent yard pond, 200 square feet at least but I didn't want to rent a back hoe until I understood basics.

It was supposed to be a bluegill and crayfish pond...but then my son caught a 14 inch channel catfish and fell in love instantly.

Then, today, he caught a 24 inch channel catfish. Same problem.

So first of all, I have researched around and obviously the pond is severely undersized for these monsters.
I am sure they are going to start struggling, but then I'm going to have a catfish fry so I'm not super worried, but you don't have to tell me to let them go because the pond is too small, I know the drill.

My desire is to keep them if possible until the bigger pond comes through.

Water is now getting algae bloom, because the lake water I transported them in was contaminated pretty bad, and the pond is too small so I believe it's nutrient rich from the fish waste.

In your opinion, will algaecide chemicals work here or are the fish just too big and the water isn't going to be clear no matter what I do?
Again, I'm not letting them go regardless, but if possible I would like to clear the water so I can see them better.
Thanks,
Jeremiah
 
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Here's the thing with chemicals. -you'll kill the algae, but now you have a pond full of dead algae. Also, if I got the idea, you plan to eat theses fish - I wouldn't want to eat a fish that had been swimming in chemicals. The only one who cares about the algae is you - the fish prefer it that way I would guess.

How long have you had the pond filled? Most brand new ponds go through "new pond syndrome" where they turn a nice bright shade of green. The pond hasn't cycled yet. And yes, I would say you have far too big of fish in far too small a pond - I don't know think you will ever get it to clear naturally. I wouldn't let the experiment go too long or you'll lose your fish. Again - I know you said you'll eat them before releasing them, but in that case I wouldn't think you'd want to wait until they were sick from swimming in polluted water before you consume them.

Sorry if I chuckled at "my son fell in love with the fish" followed by "if it doesn't work I plan to eat them anyway!" Haha!
 

j.w

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@Catfish Keeper
 
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Here's the thing with chemicals. -you'll kill the algae, but now you have a pond full of dead algae. Also, if I got the idea, you plan to eat theses fish - I wouldn't want to eat a fish that had been swimming in chemicals. The only one who cares about the algae is you - the fish prefer it that way I would guess.

How long have you had the pond filled? Most brand new ponds go through "new pond syndrome" where they turn a nice bright shade of green. The pond hasn't cycled yet. And yes, I would say you have far too big of fish in far too small a pond - I don't know think you will ever get it to clear naturally. I wouldn't let the experiment go too long or you'll lose your fish. Again - I know you said you'll eat them before releasing them, but in that case I wouldn't think you'd want to wait until they were sick from swimming in polluted water before you consume them.

Sorry if I chuckled at "my son fell in love with the fish" followed by "if it doesn't work I plan to eat them anyway!" Haha!

Thanks for your feedback. The big fella is already making poor life choices. I think we will only keep the little guy! Hopefully thepond will cycle like you said. I just always get ahead of myself. :)
 
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Just for fun, check out Bama Bass on youtube. This guy keeps pet bluegill, bass, catfish, etc. and made a gorgeous pond for them. All the videos are very fun to watch!
 
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As stated, stay away from chemical algaecides. There have been many horror stories on this forum of people adding these type of chemicals that were supposed to be fish safe, and their fish ended up dying.
It might be tough getting rid of the algae since your fish load is kind of high for the amount of water.
Also as stated, it will take a few weeks for the pond to balance out naturally. With ponds it always seems that things take time to happen.
If you want to try clearing the water, add aquatic plants to help absorb some of the excess nutrients created by the fish waste. The plants will starve the algae out and are an important part of the ecosystem.
I don't know what type of filter you are running, but here's some tips concerning that...
If there are sponges or pads, rinse them in a bucket when your pump pressure diminishes or sooner if you like. Don't use chlorinated water to rinse them. Use pond water or rain water. Chlorinated water will kill the beneficial bacteria and your cycle will have to start all over. If there are any bio balls or similar materials in the filter, just leave that alone. Don't rinse that unless it really clogs up bad. All that good beneficial bacteria is growing in all those nooks and crannies.
Beneficial bacteria will also be growing all over your liner, rocks etc. So don't scrub any of that off. It's all good.
I can't stress enough about adding plants. They help clear up the water and provide additional food for the fish.
Some plants don't even need soil. Just toss them in. Plants that do need soil can just be grown between rocks without a pot. Or you can use a mesh bag so the soil will stay put while water can easily get to the roots.
Good luck and get going on that bigger pond build. You guys have caught the pond bug! Keep us posted and when you start that bigger pond, take pictures to share your project. Oh, and read through these forums. Lots of great ideas and knowledge.
 
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aquatic plants and lot of fine filtration will help, faster the pump, faster the water turns over, the better chance it will clear. I found a home for 6 over 2 ft catfish last summer. Friend of mine's parents hadn't done anything with their inground pool in years, those catfish disappeared into the green water and the mosquito count will be much lower now.

(no they were not my catfish. I have had my aquaponic fish fry already. )
 
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I’ll had an above ground pond that wasn’t being used, just breeding mosquitoes. Like many others, I got in this hobby by accident. I put the feeder fish my turtle couldn’t catch in there, then ended up finding a ton of minnow and cat fish fingerling in a creek drying up. Several 5 gallon bucket loads later, the pool was stage 1 pond. I’m on well water, the pool was never chlorinated. Long story short, the fish thrives in there, being fed randomly, eating bugs, and living in pea soup green water. I added plants, a small pump, then I made the mistake that led to me finding this, and added new fish. I added a big catfish, and with it, anchor worms. If you have a pond that isn’t big enough for your fish, you need great filtration, and regular cleaning to prevent the bog of eternal stench that I had when I drained it and cleaned it. Fish mulm is great for plants, but unless you leave it to dry, it’s a slick, stinky mess, heavy to haul out by the bucket full, and full of anorobic bacteria, which release stink bubbles as you walk through it.
I learned my lesson, and will be working twords a better set up again come spring. The original fish are all gone, I released the catfish, and other native fish, kept the goldfish that survived, ended up with more goldfish babies, gave a bunch away, decided to move my pond to an in ground one, ended up loosing all my fish due to heat, heron, kingfisher. So I get to start over right/
 
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a dyi project could be a easy project for you i imagine you have a water pump. Place a trash can or a walmart rectangular tub/ tote make your pump push water up into the tote and to the bottom where you need to have the pipe from he pump on the bottom in the center but put some holes in the pipe so that the water disperses across the tub bottom. fill the tub with 3/8" clean gravel turn the pump on and make sure the water drips or runs back into your pond. you can plant something thats aqautic like a lotus in the tube and watch it grow. as it grows out will starve out the algae in the pond and green water. if gravel alone is not doing the job through some cotton batting on top Good luck
 

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