Rain

In the last week we had some serious ran ,  the new dam overflowed into no 4 pond and it flowed into the other two, the dam down the back has been overflowing for about a week and of course no 1 pond has been full for weeks, all the ponds and dams have had a good wash out all good for the breeding season ahead.

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All the rivers are in flood and all the lakes have had good inflows so the year is set up to be a beauty .

The Gellibrand.

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Aeration is important for water health and fish well-being however this aeration below is for another purpose, the soils where I am are porous and water seeps out so when I built the dam I placed ten truck loads of clay in the bottom and sides and then after it filled I spread an inert chemical on the water and as the dam leaks it takes the chemical with it, the chemical once in the soil expands and fills the leaks, aeration also helps spread the chemical around, the chemical is inert and cannot harm fish or other animals.

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The solar panel is connected to a solar controller and then a large battery and then an aerator ,it works ok it struggles through the winter months and the battery wont last through the night.

 

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Breed and Feed

I use these contraptions to feed and breed my fish.

the first one is a devise I made up to feed my fish.

DSCF1112.JPGIt consist of a length of tie wire and a cork float, this system of feeding does many things it first allows me to supplement the natural food the fish find for themselves and to make sure fish are well fed it also allows me to check on the health of the fish. if fishes come up to near the surface and feeds vigorously then all is well. the wire is soft and easy to bend if a fish did get caught it can easily release itself. the cork is a leftover from my previous trade it is a natural substance its actually the bark of a tree its stuck together with latex adhesive witch is water based and cannot in any way hurt the fish.

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The picture above shows a breeding box its made of ply wood and nailed together its about ninety by ninety  in diameter and six hundred in length   the long stick is so it can be fixed at a depth I generally keep it shallow these fish seem to prefer to nest nearer the surface usually less than a metre deep. I did use polypipe but decided to go with all natural products to try and imitate nature as closely as possible.

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this is the kind of food I feed the blackfish this is a large Yabbie ( cherax destructor ) he was born and bred on this farm this one has been in a fight with another yabbie and has lost the tips of his nippers. wood grubs and moths are also used when available.

hi to mark in FNQ.

Winter yabbies

 

I should point out that fisheries have allowed me to sell Yabbies to the public this is to offset some of the cost of power and other resources used in breeding the River Blackfish this really only affects local readers ( proximity) of this blog and they are only for bait not eating if any one would like some yabbies I have about five dozen at the moment but as it warms I will have more. you will need to call 0407843998

below are some winter yabbies I got this morning they are to big for bait but are a good size for breeding so they went back into the bottom dam. I should also point out that if you want yabbies to grow to this size in your dam you need to feed them, these yabbies are fed on silage, the silage was placed into the dam early in the autumn.

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Bird net

I think the no 1 problem facing fish farmers is birds, some birds will catch and eat the fish others will leave that many droppings that it can affect the water quality so to keep them out I have constructed a bird net over ponds 2/3/4 I set the net at about 2.3 metres so as to allow access under it.

this is before the net went up

this after the net went up

I just have put a some along the front and create a doorway for access and it will be complete .

 

This dam rocks

The new dam is filling nicely and should have fish by the end of summer.

Vegetation will be next both in the water and alongside, a shelter will be built over the flat rock and the track around will have sandstone gravel on it.

I will stock yabbies and shrimp for food this along with insects will be a good start, all things going well I will have a dam full of blackfish in a few years.