Join Date: Apr 2013
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Re: fish for your pond
OK, I know the thread has kind of petered out, but I have been doing some experiments, Oh say it ain't so, on my pool produced Endlers, Least Killies, Ramshorn Snails and Crayfish. Here is what I have so far:
Endlers last observed feeding in water approximately 52 degrees (F). I have not observed them lately but had noted previously they hide in the leaf litter muck on the bottom. The muck pile produces it's own heat to some benefit I just don't know how much.
Least Killies-Should be named, "You Can't Kill Me." They have been observed with water temps in the low 40s and lower. Two weeks ago their pool completely froze over for a three day period and they are still going as of today! They also seem to use the muck.
Ramshorn Snails are all still fine as of today. Oddly they are getting a grayish coloration to their shells. They are in all the pools with the various fish and Crayfish.
Crayfish, these were not supposed to be able to survive our winters here. They reside with the Least Killies in the pool that froze over completely. They are active still and always live in the muck. I noted that the cold triggered reproduction with tons of little guys in the muck.
What is my goal here? Your guess is as good as mine. These animals, with the exception of some of the crayfish, were all individuals who refused to be captured and moved indoors. I figured as long as the pools were still up they could be left alone in the name of science-OK that is really stretching it! I want to try to develop a weather resistant line of Least Killies, snails and crayfish. It may sound crazy, but snails will feed crayfish once it warms up in spring. If they can get a good jump on me stocking breeder Crayfish I should have a good food supply in numbers that can withstand the onslaught. I raise Least Killies and Crayfish together as the Least Killie fry are too small and fast for the Crayfish to catch. I typically seed the new pools with a handful or two of dried Oak leaves. These are not just any Oak leaves they are from my yard and that makes them, well, Oak leaves I suppose. I'll give updates here every two months are so or if failure strikes!
FYI-At the end of the summer I ditched the heaters in the pools for heat lamps, works much better.