Bullhead Fry... Need Help
the other day my mom and i went fishing and i caught 6 bullhead fry. we brought them home and plan on putting them in our pond. however we want to wait for them to mature and get a bit larger before releasing them so that nothing will eat them. they are barely an inch long at the moment. unfortunately i dont have a tank suitable for them. so we are going to try to fence in a portion of our pond and let them live in there.
so my question is this: would it be okay to simply stick the fence (its a mesh screen like what you would put on a window) a few inches into the dirt or should there be some sort of bottom to it? i know that bullheads like to dig in the dirt but would fry so small be able to get deep enough and out of the pen? also any suggestions about food for the fry would be appreciated =) thanks for any advice you have to offer!!!
also what is a good temp for the fry? the pond doesnt have much shade and the fry are in fairly shallow water (about a foot deep) and i know that they need cooler temps just not sure how cool. so any info on that would be helpful as well =)
Bullheads can be problematic at times in aquatic ecosystems because they can live in a wide variety of conditions, but that should make them easier to care for. A US Fish and Wildlife research paper about them said growth is best at 73 degrees or so, but can live without problems in mid 80s water temps. They would want some cover and would benefit from wood and vegetation.
How big is your pond? Do you have any other fish in it? Bullheads can cause increased turbidity in the water and degrade the quality your pond too so you may end up having to remove them if they become troublesome.
In case you want to read some boring government documents, here's an online copy of the article I got info for ya :)
thanks for the info =). to answer your questions the pond is quite big. i dont know how many gallons but its not like a little rock garden sort of pond. and yes there are other fish in it as well. we have a good number of sunfish and some goldfish as well. and i know that catfish do degrade the quality of water and i was a little worried abt adding 6 bullheads. but since they will be rather small when released i didnt plan on all of them surviving. but the pond is fed by underground springs so would that help with the water quality since it isnt just stagnant water? and again any suggestions on food for the fry would be helpful. ii only know what they would eat as adults but their mouths are too tiny for that now. thanks again!
In the wild bullheads will handle a variety of conditions. They are able to live in the dingiest water with the lowest oxygen content. They are typically considered a nuisance species because they quickly overpopulate with small fish and because of their burrowing habits are much like carp and will quickly muddy up a pond if they are allowed to reproduce. About how big is the pond that you want to introduce them to? These are not typical catfish because they're a little messier and will degrade your water quality in a hurry.
welcome, but I think she already knew that info :)
Bullhead fry will feed on infusoria,snails,planaria ,insects,and small crustaceans until they are large enough to handle bigger foods like tadpoles,frogs,crayfish,etc.
Be careful what you wish for,bullheads can quickly get out of hand and begin to deplete fry population of other fishes as well as the foods your other pond fish feed on.
thank you 1077 :-).
and to answer some of the previous questions, my pond is around 100 feet long, 20-30 feet wide (depending on which end you stand at) and somewhere near 5 feet deep.
and i was worried at first about wether or not they would have a negative affect on the populations of the other fish. but i figured that if we release them while they are still very small that only a few would survive to adulthood. that way they shouldnt cause too many problems right? and im not overly concerned about them eating the other fish's food because right now we have an extreme overpopulation of tadpoles and nothing else in our pond will eat them.
thank you all for your advice and inut so far you've been very helpful =)
Well that's up to you to decide whether or not to release them into your pond. In theory, just one male/female combo could spawn and quickly destroy your pond. If it was my own pond, I personally wouldn't choose a fish that has the potential to degrade the water as much as they can, but it's your own call! :-D
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