Presentation on theme: "American Cichlid Pond Propagation Don Conkel’s Florida Farm."— Presentation transcript:
American Cichlid Pond Propagation Don Conkel’s Florida Farm
Outdoor Pond Construction Earthen ponds in Florida require excavation of the lime and sand substrate. Ideal pool dimensions for cichlids are 100 ft. long, 25 ft. wide and 6-8 feet deep. This roughly calculates to a 30,000 gallon water capacity. Water pumped from wells is directed through underground pvc waterlines to fill each pond individually.
Outdoor Pond Covers Steel tubing is assembled over ponds requiring solar heat for winterization. These greenhouses are covered with plastic during the cold months of November through April. Cichlids from southern Nicaragua to Columbia require this infrastructure for winter survival.
Pond Husbandry Florida pond care is seasonally structured around the warm and wet season of May through November and the cold, dry season of December through April. Duties change dramatically during these two seasons. Spring and summer chores require more attention to the fishes while winter time chores focus on facility winterization and sales.
Warm, Wet Season Florida pond care is seasonally structured. Cichlasoma breeders of lacustrine nature are “set out” in individual ponds to avoid hybridization. This occurs between April and May depending on their individual temperature tolerances. Vat produced fry of riverine nature are introduced together into their “grow out” pools between June and September.
Feeding During spring and summer our ponds are fed generous amounts of commercially prepared foods while the metabolic rates of the cichlids are high. Specific types of feed of varying sizes are broadcasted on the pools daily depending on the requirements of the individual pond inhabitants. Predatory species called “guapote” require a higher protein content than the omnivorous “mojarra” species.
Pond Retreival Cichlasoma juveniles under 3 inches in size can generally be lured into traps of various types. The traps are baited with catfish food pellets. Medium sized specimens must be collected with cast nets or with large seine nets. In order to seine large grow out ponds, the water must be pumped down to a manageable level.
Winterization Warm hearty fishes must be placed into ponds with plastic greenhouse coverings to maintain a minimum temperature of about 72 degrees F. During this cooler period, the cichlid’s metabolic rates decrease significantly and feeding amounts are reduced. Also, our grow out ponds are harvested, emptied and prepared for the annual spring setting.