Outdoor Fish Pond with Indigenous Fish

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by RaD, May 17, 2019.

  1. RaD

    RaD

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    Hi All,

    I am thinking of installing an outdoor pond in my garden but I'd like to keep fish that are native to South Africa. Is this allowed, which fish are good for it and can anyone recommend a designer/builder that could help? Money isnt really a problem but the quality is.

    Richard
     
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  3. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Now you have me wondering about this - ... @EnvironmentalBro I think might be able to give some pointers or was it @BugMan hmmmm @SalmonAfrica somebody had uni exposure in this space.

    Lets see who pops.

    Later Ferdie
     
  4. andries

    andries

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    Rototanks. Quick and easy to install.
     
  5. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    Many of our local fish are under pressure... What did you think of keeping?
     
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  6. Saibot

    Saibot

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    Pressure, as in water pressure? Or as in environmental.. genuine question.
     
  7. Saibot

    Saibot

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    Fantastic topic btw op
     
  8. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    For clarity, my intent ia not to farm them. Just ornamental.
     
  9. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    Also interested in what you mean by under pressure. I have no real preference here just that I am not really keen on showing exotic fish if it's possible to keep local and hopefully generate some interest in local fish in my friends and family.

    For example if I had a choice between a Japanese Koi or a South African Carp I would much prefer the local is lekker option.
     
  10. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    The trouble comes in collecting them. Technically a fishing licence permits you to fish for specimens for recreational purposes (sport fishing), but does not actually permit you to keep them on as an ornamental specimen. There still is not a lot of clarity on the issue (for example, if you were fishing for marine species keeping them for the aquarium is permissible), but not for inland water bodies. Why it is different... I cannot say exactly.

    As for species under pressure, there are several that are of concern in the conservation sense. These animals are under threat from altered habitats, water extraction, farm runoff, alien species, and irregular rainfall patterns. Even the more common species are becoming more under threat from these factors.

    @RaD I'd do some asking around with DAFF and/or when applying for your fishing licence. As for suitability for a pond... that depends. Species near to your location should be fine (several kurper, catfish, and carp-like and minnow-like species), but fishes from other localities might struggle. Eastern/southern coastal lowland species will struggle with Jhb winters, for example.

    Sorry I can't help further!
     
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  11. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    Thanks so much. This helps a lot.
    Is anyone currently keeping local fish for non farming purposes?

    In terms of the actual design of the pond (I'd be interested in a deck type setup as well) can anyone recommend somewhere near JHB that perform those services?
     
  12. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    Environmental, our local fish are struggling with bass and carp populations. Especially riverine fish, we don't have too many lake species afaik. @SalmonAfrica would know better on the topic
     
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  13. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    @Hendre is right. Most large water bodies in SA are dams (i.e. man-made), with a good portion of the remaining "still" large water bodies being coastal lagoons or closed estuaries. Some of our local fishes have made a home in dams, although the non-native fishes fare just as well if not better.

    On that point, that does bring to question which species would appreciate a pond-type environment. It's difficult to compare, for example, our local "carp" (represented by Labeo and Labeobarbus) with other carp (the Asian Cyprinus which includes koi). The latter are happy enough in sluggish and still, oftentimes eutrophic environments, whereas our local fishes do very well in environments with a bit of flow. Something to consider.
     
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  14. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    where could I read more about this? I always assumed that bass were local. I would be good to have a baseline understanding of what is native and what is invasive.

    This is also really helpful. So is this idea a non-starter, and if so what alternatives to the standard "goldfish" (incl koi) are there?
     
  15. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    Here is a link to a local site that outlines invasive species and has information on legislature. Good place to start.

    If you're looking for info on local species, the book A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern African by Paul Skelton is a good way to brush up on what's out there.

    Pond options are quite limited in SA owing to many traditional species being quite invasive (even koi, carp, and goldfish can be found in natural systems thesedays because of releases and prevailing populations). If you can find out the legality of keeping indigenous species, and play by the book, those found in, for example, the Vaal Dam would probably do alright in a pond.

    There is a reason why koi and goldfish are classic options for a pond, though. Many wild fishes are shades of brown, grey, or bronze. Not ideal for viewing from above, whereas koi are quite literally bred for the purpose of looking pretty and having an appealing pattern on the dorsal surface.
     
  16. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    "Freshwater life" By Griffiths is a great read, or "Freshwater fishes of Southern Africa" By Skelton. Invasives typically include Bass, trout, carp, Mosquitofish, wild guppies and some Tilapia species.
     
  17. Neville

    Neville

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    @RaD did you find any suitable species or more info? I've been thinking about something like this myself for a while.
     
  18. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    @Neville based on the advice here I gave up on the idea.
     
  19. A new day

    A new day

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    This is an excellent South African book on indigenous gardening for wildlife, with a great section on ponds and wetlands. They recommend redfin tilapia (aka kurper, bream) as it breeds readily even in a small pond and your pond population will withstand predation from birds etc. it is indigenous and apparently cheap.

    They also suggest consulting your local department of nature conservation before catching or buying them, as they enjoy varying degrees of protection in different parts of the region. Apparently one may struggle to get hold of them but a few is enough to quickly establish a healthy and permanent population.

    6E799621-FC75-4532-A2FC-D7A281EDEE61.jpeg
     
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  20. KatjaMontaldos

    KatjaMontaldos

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    I’ve been wanting to do this as well. I have a few books on native fish in Southern Africa so going to choose which ones I like and ask the environmental department which I’m allowed to keep. Hopefully there will be a few that I can keep them all I have to do is find them.

    Will keep everyone updated if I come right.
     
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  21. Liam

    Liam

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    I have kept indigenous fish for years and recently helped a friend stock a huge pond. I glanced at your profile and see you are from JHB. What has worked best for me in the past are vlei bream and mozambique tilapia. There is a shop that stocks these in Kyalami. Your choice as to which to stock or both, if you want these, will depend on the size of the pond. The barb species tend to prefer a better water flow so are unfortunately not really suitable for a pond. With the colder conditions of JHB the options are pretty limited unfortunately but I really enjoyed keeping vlei bream. Red breasted tilapia are also an option if your pond is on the larger side.
     
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