I moved back to Indiana and one of the first things I did was build a native pond (and garden) in my backyard. Its about 300 gallons with a 5 ft by 3 foot planted bog filter, a skimmer box and the bog has a slight drop thats not quite a waterfall into the main pond and a separate small drop that flows into a mini stream about 6 inches wide, 3 inches deep and 5 feet long that flows to the pond.
Ive planted only natives in the pond and garden (although what I suspect is Curlyleaf pondweed made it in). This includes yellow pond lily in the deepest part, along with some Canadian waterweed that anchored down there, Pickerel Weed and Water Smartweed in the mid-shelf, various sedges and spike rush, sweet grass, lizard tail and soft rush in the top shelf that varies from about 5 inches to 1 inch in depth, and duckweed and coontail floating.
So far Ive gone to various creeks in the White River and Eel River watersheds. Ive got the following natives:
- 2 central stonerollers
- 2 johnny darters
- 5 emerald shiners
- 10 spotfin shiners
- 1 scarletfin shiner
- 1 silverjaw minnow
- 1 western blacknose dace
- 1 orangethroat darter
- 1 blackstripe topminnow
I also have one pesky Smallmouth fingerling that I misidentified in an early catch thats bossing everyone and Ill be taking back once I can actually catch him.
I have a few questions. Ive read that topminnows can be aggressive with each other. Would stocking it with a few more pose a problem? Id also love to get a few Orangespotted sunfish, but you have to hook them to keep and Ive only been netting so far. Would they be a threat to the other occupants?
Im planning to add a few more blacknose dace, potentially some more shiners, a couple rainbow darters and five or so southern red belly dace. I havent had luck finding the southern redbellies. Does anyone know of specific creeks with public access in central Indiana they frequent?
I also added a few hundred scuds, some daphnia and pondsnails a month or so before the fish were added. I suspect the dragonfly nymphs that came in with the plants destroyed the daphnia and scud populations but as its heavily structured with stone and plants some may have made it. Fortunately virtually all of the nymphs have molted into adults (Ive found their skin on the emergents a foot or so above the waterline so Im confident they werent food).
Ive been feeding them frozen bloodworms, freeze dried tubifex worms and various other introverts, and just got Kens earthworm flakes. Everyone has taken to the food well and the stonerollers have plenty of algae I see them munching on at dusk usually. How often would you feed them all considering that all kinds of insects fall into the water? The darters need to be spot fed but wondering how the others would fare without being fed as often.
I appreciate any help you could provide and reading my long post! If you have any other suggestions for pond mates and think this is a good plan Id love to hear thoughts. I dont want to overstock and figure I could have around 50 fish be pretty comfortable but please advise if you think otherwise.
Native Indiana Pond
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