Sturgeon harvest at Sam Mitchell...
 Student involvement at UF
 Sturgeon harvest at Sam Mitchell...
 UF/IFAS aquaculture and pond management...
 Fish farming checklist
 Calendar of events
 A wastewater Cinderella story

Group Title: Waterworks
Title: Waterworks. Volume 4, Number 1. 2000.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067314/00004
 Material Information
Title: Waterworks. Volume 4, Number 1. 2000.
Uniform Title: Waterworks
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: 2000
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067314
Volume ID: VID00004
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Sturgeon harvest at Sam Mitchell Aquaculture Demonstration Farm
        Page 1
    Student involvement at UF
        Page 2
    Sturgeon harvest at Sam Mitchell Aquaculture Demonstration Farm continued
        Page 3
    UF/IFAS aquaculture and pond management update
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Fish farming checklist
        Page 6
    Calendar of events
        Page 7
    A wastewater Cinderella story
        Page 8
Full Text

University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Volume 4 Number 1 2000

Seepage 7for more in-depth information
concerning these workshops, courses and seminars.
January 12
GeneralAquaculture Workshop
Indian River Research and Education Center
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/674-3184
February 21
Fisheries Managementfor Lakes
Keystone Civic Center/ Odessa
Carlos Fernandez 813/272-5912x3616
March 13
Sturgeon Aquaculture Workshop
Indian River Research and Education Center
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/674-3184
April 19
Baitfish Aquaculture Workshop
Indian River Research and Education Center
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/674-3184
May 6
Lake, Pond & Stream Day
University of South Florida /Tampa
John Brenneman 941/533-0765
May 15-18
Aquatic Weed & Plant Control,
Fort Lauderdale Research Center
Randall Stocker 352/392-9612


Sturgeon Harvest at

Sam Mitchell Aquaculture

Demonstration Farm

The first commercial
scale growout project for
Gulf of Mexico sturgeon
was recently completed
at UF/IFAS' Department
of Fisheries and Aquatic
Sciences, Sam Mitchell
Aquaculture Demonstra-
tion Farm in Blountstown.
Objectives of this
study were to:
1 evaluate fish growth
in two tank production

2 appraise the two
systems for applicability
to farmers;
3 analyze the economic
feasibility of the two sys-
tems; and
4 evaluate environmental
impacts of discharge
from the flow-through
wellwater system.
The harvest was
conducted this past
autumn and was the

culmination of 17 months
of research. Sturgeon
growth was evaluated in
two different tank systems.
The first tank system
involved three 20-foot
diameter fiberglass
tanks that received
degassed, flow-through
Continued on page 3.

Institute of Food and AgriculturalScienes
Department of Fishenes andAqualic Sciences

The following UFIIFAS
faculty and staff are
available to provide
technical support and
answer questions
related to aquaculture,
pond management,
fisheries, and aquatic
sciences. Feel free to
contact them with
your questions.

Frank Chapman
Reproductive Biology
352/392-9617 ext 247
fac@g nv.ifas.ufl.edu

Chuck Cichra
Pond Management &
352/392-9617 ext 249
fish@gnv.ifas.ufl.ed u

Ruth Francis-Floyd
Fish Health/Aquaculture
352/392-9617 ext 229
rff@g nv. ifas.ufl. ed u
Ruth Ellen Bowen
Fish Health
352/392-9617 ext 230

Andy Lazur
Food & Bait Aquaculture
Debbie Britt Pouder
Food & Bait Aquaculture

Craig Watson
Research Coordinator

Roy Yanong
Fish Health/Aquaculture

Eric Curtis
Fish Health

Ken Langeland
Aquatic Plants

Chuck Adams
Marine Economics
352/392-1826 ext 223

David Zimet
Freshwater Economics

Ray Bucklin
Mariculture Engineering

John Brenneman
Polk/Hillsborough Counties
Chris Brooks
Dade County
305-248-3311 ext. 230

Max Griggs
Escambia County
Bill Mahan
Franklin County

Leslie Sturmer
Shellfish Aquaculture
Don Sweat
Pasco County

Undergradate and graduate students are an important part of the teaching,
research, and extension programs at the University of Florida. Involvement of

individual students in

Christy Horsburgh was
born in Orlando, gradu-
ating from Oviedo High
School in 1980. In 1985,
she graduated from the
University of Florida with
a bachelor's degree in
forest resources and
conservation, with an
emphasis on wildlife
Upon graduation,
Horsburgh worked as a
field technician in
limnology and then as a
Biological Scientist at
UF's Dept. of Fisheries
and Aquaculture, con-
ducting field and lab
research on many of
Florida's lakes and rivers.
In May 1999, Christy
graduated with a Master
of Science degree from
UF/IFAS'Department of
Fisheries and Aquatic
The main objective of
Christy's thesis, entitled,
Lake Regions of Florida:
Water Chemistry and
AquaticMacrophyte Data,
was to provide detailed
characterization of
Florida lakes by assem-
bling additional data on
water cherishy, abundance
of aquatic macrophytes
(large aquatic plants), and
species richness.
To quote, "There are
some 7,700 lakes in
Florida, and plans to as-
sess and manage these
lakes successful must
include their physical,
chemical, and biological
diversity. Differences in
physiography, geology,
soils, hydrology, vegeta-
tion, and climate affect
lake characteristics, and
occur in regional pattems."
In 1997, the U.S. En-
vironmental Protection

these programs is highlighted in each issue of

Agency used much of the
information Christy com-
piled (as well as other
major sources) to identify


47 distinct lake regions
within Florida. These des-
ignated lake regions were
based on patterns and/or
similarities in geology,
soils, water chemistry,
hydrology and biological
features such as fish, wild-
life, aquatic plants, etc.
"I've been a rather non-
traditional student-work-
ing full time for Florida
LAKEWATCH (a volunteer-
based water monitoring
and research program)
and a part-time graduate
student," says Horsburgh.
"Part of my time is spent
on data base manage-
ment for LAKEWATCH.
After water samples are
analyzed, I'm responsible
for compiling the data into
a useable format for our
volunteers as well as the
general public."
During summer months
Christy works with several
undergraduate students
conducting aquatic plant
surveys and creating

bathymetric maps of
Florida lakes.
"Since 1991 we've
collected aquatic plant
data on 400 lakes, and
bathymetric maps for
150 lakes. Dr. Roger
Bachmann (UF/IFAS
Courtesy Faculty) is
now working on a
manuscript using these
Christy also co-
authored a handbook on
aquatic plants entitled
Florida Freshwater Plants.
Much of the information
collected from summer
surveys was used in the
SMore recently, Christy
a has been working to
help citizens create a
lake management plan
for the Tsala Apopka
chain of lakes in central
She also helps out
from time to time on a
joint project with UF/
IFASAssistant Professor
Tom Fraser. Fraser is
looking at nutrients in
motion on five rivers
flowing into the Gulf of
Mexico: Weechi Wachi,
Withlacochee, Crystal
River, Homosassa and
Says Horsburgh, "It's
great working in the field
and interacting with
volunteers and students
-a nice interface between
science and getting
information back to the
"Floridians are con-
cerned about their
water resources. As a
native Floridian and
part of LAKEWATCH, I
feel like I can give
something back."

Sturgeon Harvest at Sam Mitchell Aquaculture

Demonstration Farm

(Continuedfrom page 1)
well water. The combined
effluent (discharge) from
these tanks was tested
monthly by an indepen-
dent laboratory, to help
evaluate possible impact
to the environment.
A second set of three
tanks received water
from an adjacent, baffled
pond which was used as
a biofilter and allowed for
zero discharge to the
environment. Waterwas
pumped from the inlet
area of the pond to the
three culture tanks and
then gravity discharged
back to the pond. Fish
feces and uneaten feed
from the tanks entered
the pond to serve as nutrients for aquatic
plant growth, which filtered the water
before it was pumped back into the tanks.
All six tanks were stocked with 400 fish,
hatched in April 1998, and averaging six
grams each. Average weight, growth rate,
feed conversion, and average length were
calculated by taking monthly samples.
Adjustments to the system were neces-
sary throughout the growout process. Cost
effectiveness for farmers was always used
as a guideline of how the changes would
be made.
For example, poor solids removal was
observed while using airstones which kept
solids in suspension. This led to certain wa-
ter quality problems in the tanks, including
elevated BOD (biological oxygen demand)
and ammonia levels. The situation was
vastly improved by the addition of a fairly
simple and inexpensive airlift system
which helped circulate the water, sending
solids toward the bottom, center drain.
In addition, as feeding levels increased,
lower oxygen levels were observed and
increased water flow rates and reduction of
the fish stocking rate were required to improve
and provide adequate water quality.
Though the pond recirculating system
worked well as a biofilter, water tempera-
ture extremes during parts of the year
appear to have been a major hindrance
to fish growth. Water ranged from 450 F

Photos by Joe Richard
Top: Debbie Britt Pouder releases a six-month
old GulfofMexico sturgeon back into the tank
tIi,, ii .i... ,- it at the Sam Mitchell
Aquaculture Demonstration Farm in
Blountstown. Average weight, growth rate,
feed conversion, and average !., i i, were
calculated by taking monthly samples.

Bottom: Three-month old GulfofMexico
sturgeon is checkedfor size.

in the winterto 930 F in the summer. While
the well water treatment had a small tem-
perature fluctuation and averaged about
660 F.
Overall growth of the sturgeon, when
compared to species such as catfish or
hybrid striped bass, was excellent. At
harvest, fish in the well water treatment
averaged 6.25 pounds, while fish from the
pond water tanks averaged 3.92 pounds.
During periods of temperature extremes,

the fish showed little or no
growth and, at times, even
lost weight.
Final data analysis and
information generated is ex-
pected to provide an initial
glimpse as to the feasibility
of Gulf of Mexico sturgeon
aquaculture, and serve as
a basis for improvements
in culture systems, water
quality management, nutri-
tion, and species selection.
Future work at the Sam
Mitchell Aquaculture
Demonstration Farm site
will evaluate modifications
that include:
1 increased depth where
water enters the ponds;
2 incorporating aquaponics
in the culture tanks to shade water and
produce a secondary crop;
3 improving pond recirculating system to
moderate water temperature extremes;
4 oxygen supplementation; and
5 use of non-protected sturgeon species.


Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

WaterWorks is published by the UF/
IFAS Department of Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences for persons interested
in Florida-based aquaculture, pond
management, fisheries, and aquatic
science endeavors. Subscriptions to
WaterWorks are free, available upon
request. To be added to the mailing list,
see the subscription form on page 8.


Faculty Advisor

Joe Richard
352/392-9617 ext 228
Chuck Cichra
352/392-9617 ext 249

P AS Aqalcltr

andPod angemntUpat

We are currently pre-
paring displays for the
2000 Miami-Dade County
Fair, which lasts from
March 16 to April 2. The
fair is one of the largest
in the United States,
drawing approximately
800,000 visitors. Since
many residents are un-
aware of aquaculture, the
plan is to showcase aquac-
ulture in a manner that
entertains and informs.
Large format (4' x 7')
color banners, decorated
with enlarged photo-
graphs of stunning Afri-
can cichlids, should draw
people to the Ornamen-
tal Aquaculture Associa-
tion of South Florida
booth. A pair of 55-gallon
aquariums, stocked with
locally produced African
cichlids or livebearers
and plants that should
grabthe viewer's attention.
Facts about the tropical
fish trade in Miami-Dade
County will be dispersed
throughout the display.
Several short presenta-
tions are planned, that
show how to start a suc-
cessful aquarium in the
Giving the audience
the knowledge and con-
fidence to plan, stock and
care for their new pets is
the goal. As a further in-

centive, they hope to give
away a few donated
aquarium set-ups to area

Koi Pond Display
Home gardeners in
search of that special
look forthe backyard will
be pleased to learn about
the new Koi pond display
we are designing. Koi
sales are an important
segment of the ornamen-
tal fish trade in Miami-
Dade County. Therefore,
a beautifully landscaped
garden pool is being de-
signed with assistance
and materials provided
by Master Gardeners
and several local aquac-
ulture firms to showcase
Planning a garden pool
can be a challenging task
for any gardener, but quite
often, keeping the water
clean and the fish healthy
is a major source of frus-
tration. Several presenta-
tions will be given on
basic pond construction,
water quality and pond
fish. Attendees of these
presentations will walk
away with the knowledge
they need to successfully
build and maintain an
enchanting addition to
their backyard.
Food Fish Display
There are several food
fish producers in Miami-
Dade County, in addition
to the ornamental trade.
Large banners with color
photographs of food fish
will be hung throughout
the Fair building.
Large photographs
featuring different fish,
will be accompanied with

facts such as, "Did you
know that several thou-
sand pounds of hybid
striped bass are pro-
duced annually right here
in Miami-Dade County?"
Clearly, our extension
service plans on making
a big impact at the 2000
Fair. Why not plan a trip
and visit?
Chris Brooks
305/248-3311 ext 230

Cedar Key
Looking to the future
of shellfish aquaculture in
Florida, there are many
risks the industry will con-
tinue to face, and new
challenges to be met.
A breakthrough pro-
gram that can have a sig-
nificant economic impact
on the $13 million a year
clam culture industry is
the upcoming pilot crop
insurance program for
growers in selected
counties in Florida.
This program will help

to minimize environmental
risks beyond the control
of aquatic growers by
providing the same type
of financial protection that
many terrestrial farmers
have. It will also ensure
that clam growers are
able to secure credit
needed to build and ex-
pand their operations.
Species Diversity
New mollusc species
and diversification in the
clam industry were dis-
cussed at the workshop
held near Brooksville last
autumn. Why add more
species to the clam
industry? There are
several reasons:
* Florida's clam industry
has reached a level of
maturation in a relatively
short time. Clam farmers
and their support busi-
nesses have created an
infrastructure that needs
to look at diversifica-
tion for sustainability.
Over 450 producers are
now certified through the

*Florida presently has
an excellent regulatory
framework related to
shellfish aquaculture.
State statutes, agency
attitudes and permitting
policies are conducive to
developing the full poten-
tial of this industry.
* Favorable climate and
natural resources are
plentiful. An extended
growing season and fertile
coastal waters have al-
lowed for phenomenal
growth rates and reduction
ofcroptimesto about half
of those required by
producers in other regions.
* Technical support to
expedite industry growth
and diversification is also
in place through present
extension programs, on-
going research efforts at
state universities and
other institutions, and
marketing assistance
from both local and state
agencies, as well as
private businesses.
Leslie Sturmer

Cedar Key clam farmers in,,. I their crop.

Florida Sea Grant

Bay Scallops
A Florida Sea Grant-
funded study focused on
the feasibility of culturing
bay scallops in Florida is
completed. The study had
three major objectives:
1 Demonstrate the tech-
nical feasibility of culturing
bay scallops in cages;
2 determine the market
acceptability of a cultured
bay scallop intended to be
consumed in whole form;
3 examine the economic
feasibility of small-scale,
commercial bay scallop
culture in Florida.
The study found that
bay scallops can be suc-
cessfully reared from
hatchery seed to market
size (40-50 mm size
length) in less than one
year. However, problems
still exist with high mortality
at the end of the growing
period, wide range in sizes
at times of harvest, and
fouling on the scallop
shells. Market analysis
found a latent market for
whole bay scallops (a
non-traditional product in

Brian Klel
Florida) does exist.
Approximately 90 per-
cent of the restaurant re-
spondents indicated that
they would buy the prod-
uct (typically served
cooked on the half-shell)
again at the prevailing
market price.
Respondents did
indicate a concern re-
garding the value asso-
ciated with scallops less
than 40 mm. In addition,
the actual size of the
market for whole bay
scallops in Florida is not
well understood.
Finally, the small-
scale culture of bay
scallops in Florida was
found to be economi-
cally feasible, but only
marginally. However, the
profitability of bay
scallop culture will likely
improve as the economies
of scale for larger
facilities are acquired,
the cost of grow-out
cages is reduced, and
the market is better
At present, no com-
mercial source of seed
scallops exists in Florida.
Although the technology
for producing seed scal-
lops is very similar to that

used for hard clams, no
demand for seed scallops
A similar situation
existed for hard clams in
Florida less than 10 years
ago. Afollow-up study has
now been funded by the
National Sea Grant Pro-
gram to examine more
cost effective grow-out
methods for culturing bay
scallops in Florida.
This study will involve
industry people with an
interest in looking at bay
scallop culture as a
supplemental source of
income. The studies have
involved faculty from the
University of Florida at St.
Petersburg, the Florida
Sea Grant Program, and
the Food and Resource
Economics Department
at UF

nrian f el

Marine Tropical Fish
The Florida Sea Grant
program is also funding
studies that describe the
market for marine oramen-
tal species either collected

or cultured in Florida.
These studies are
being conducted by the
Food and Resource
Economics Department
at UF.
An initial study has
described the marine
ornamental collection
industry, which harvests
over 300 species of fin-
fish and invertebrates for
sale into the domestic
and international
aquarium industry.
The majority of the
tropical fish industry's
effort are conducted in
south Florida. However,
collectors also target
more temperate species
that occurthroughout the
state. The study examines
collection trends for some
of the key species, includ-
ing angelfish, starfish,
sea horses, live rock, sea
snails and many others.
An additional study
will determine the key
attributes of cultured
marine ornamentals that
are most highly valued in
the market, such as size,

color and hardiness.
Resulting information
will assist those attempt-
ing to culture new marine
species. They can then
focus their efforts on
attributes most highly
demanded by the
aquarium market.
For more information on
the results or status of
these projects, contact:
Chuck Adams
352/392-1826 ext 223


The new 4000
square-foot hatchery
and wet lab project is
under construction, and
is expected to be
completed in April.
Included is a nutrition
lab, three replicated
hatcheries with separate
climate and light controls,
and a small lab for
monitoring water quality.
Craig Watson

Construction site for the new hatchery and wet lab at
the TropicalAquaculture Farm in Ruskin, Florida.
The building is due to be complete in April.

Fish Farming Checklist

Thinking about

starting a fish

There are many considerations,decisions
and expenses to consider. The most
important one should be based on whether
or not the enterprise can turn a profit. Fish
farming can be profitable, but it can also be
expensive. It's generally far more complicated
than potential producers first realize.
It has been said that fish farmers must
be part business and sales person, biolo-
gist, lawyer, manager and overall hard
worker. And it's true!
Operating costs must be figured out in
detail, along with the potential profit. It takes
a tremendous amount of research and a de-
tailed checklist to work this out, so keep a
fresh battery in that calculator. Add the
numbers up and if they don't look good, one
can always make the decision not to
become a fish farmer. Such a decision could
save a ton of money and effort. Not every-
one is cut out for this business. There's a
well-proven adage that "the quickest way
to turn a large fortune into a small fortune is
by getting into aquaculture" (and being ill-
As mentioned above, careful research
should be the first step. And when consid-
ering the BIG picture, the cost of searching
the internet, talking to other farmers, scien-
tists, researchers, etc. is considerably
cheaper than diving into an aquaculture
For instance, management decisions:
Do you already have suitable ponds or a
site, and most of the equipment needed?
Do you have financial resources (about
$5,500 per acre for investment and annual
production cost for a catfish farm)? Will
current interest rates and interest costs on
investment and operating capital permit a
reasonable profit?
As for marketing, do you know of an
established market for your fish? How is the
market for that fish species at the time of
year you plan to sell them? How will you
harvest and transport the fish? Is there an
alternative marketing strategy?
Then there are physical factors: Will
the soil hold water? Is there adequate
ground water? Can wild fish be kept out of
the pond? Is there daily access to the pond
regardless of weather, for feeding, treating

and harvesting fish? Is the pond bottom free of
obstructions? Does someone live nearby that
can keep an eye on the place?
Production questions would have to
include the following: Are good quality feeds
available at competitive prices? Is there a source
for drugs and chemicals? Are fingerlings avail-
able at competitive prices? Can dependable
labor be found? Is there adequate storage for
the feed?
Fortunately, there are many valuable
resources available:

Guide for Prospective Catfish Farmers
Circular 874
by Drs. Thomas Wellborn Jr. and Chuck Cichra
Published as a guide for prospective catfish
farmers, this publication has many pertinent
applications to other aquaculture farming
endeavors. Contents include such items as

making decisions on the investment,
site selection, production, diseases and
treatment, and harvesting. Copies can
be ordered from the Department of
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at UF.
Ask for UF/IFAS circular 874.

The UF/ IFAS web site -
provides a variety of aquaculture and
pond management publications. Search
this site for the fisheries department,
aquaculture or fish.

Southern Regional Aquaculture
Center (SRAC) -
Information can be downloaded from
this site concerning a great many
aspects of aquaculture including pond
construction, baitfish, striped bass
production, aeration, software, treat-
ments, diseases, fee fishing, etc.

Florida's Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services (DACS) -
is the state's one stop shop for permit-
ting information as well as other aspects
of aquaculture including procedures for
certification, identification of aquaculture
products, sale of aquaculture products,
registration and renewals, prohibited
acts, products, etc. Theirweb address is:

Calendar of Events

January 12
Introduction toAquaculture
Indian River Research and Education
Center/ Fort Pierce
This all-day workshop from 8:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m. covers the major topics that
anyone interested in aquaculture would
need to consider, including an overview
of species, production systems, econom-
ics, marketing, water quality, fish health,
nutrition, and regulations.
Speakers will be from UF's Dept. of
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, UF's
Food and Resource Economics Depart-
ment, and the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Aquaculture. Cost: $35
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/674-3184
St. Lucie County 561-462-1660

February 21
Fisheries Managementfor Lakes
Keystone Civic Center / Odessa
Covers fish ID, biology, habitat, water
quality and aquatic plant management
for fisheries. How to become more in-
volved in actively managing private lakes
and ponds for fishing.
Carlos Fernandez 813/272-5912
ext 3616

March 15
Sturgeon Aquaculture
Indian River Research and Education
Center/ Fort Pierce
Overview of sturgeon culture practices,
marketing, and economics. Emphasis will
also be placed on regulatory issues facing
the Florida industry. Speakers will be from
UFIFAS' Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic
Sciences, Food and Resource Economics
Department, and the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services/Division
of Aquaculture.
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/ 674-3184
St. Lucie County 561 / 462-1660

April 19
Baitfish Aquaculture
Indian River Research and Education
Center/ Fort Pierce
Overview of baitfish culture, marketing,
and economics. Speakers will be from UF's
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic
Sciences, UF's Food and Resource Eco-
nomics Department, and the Florida Depart-
ment ofAgriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Aquaculture.
Debbie Britt Pouder 850-674-3184
St. Lucie County 561/462-1660

May 6
Lake, Pond & Stream Day
University of South Florida / Tampa
LAKEWATCH staff will have aquatic
plant specimens available, as well as
frozen specimens of common Florida
fish to help people become familiar with
them. State and enivronmental groups
will have exhibits. Desirable aquatic
plants will be given away, for people who
are into aquascaping. Free use of
canoes will be available (with a possible
race). Lunch on the water, and a kid's
fishing derby. Water samples will be
picked up from LAKEWATCH volunteers.
John Brenneman 941/533-0765

May 15-18
Aquatic Weed & Plant Control,
Revegetation Short Course
Fort Lauderdale Research Center
A four-day course covering many as-
pects of controlling aquatic plants. Earn
up to 24 Continuing Education Units in
aquatic, right-of-way, CORE, and many
other categories toward renewal of com-
mercial, public and private pesticide
applicator licenses.
Randall Stocker 352-392-9612

The Joys of Pond Construction
A recent letter was received at Waterworks, with questions
about sealing a problem pond that was leaking. It was built
just above a nearby swamp, and has been losing water as fast as
it is pumped in. The lake is a year old and stocked with three
species of fish. How to stop the leakage without draining?
As Dr.Cichra writes, "Having water in the pond poses a prob-
lem. If the pond is dry, there are a number of clay materials that can
be tilled into the soil which is then watered and compacted. You
can also use organic material to seal some ponds.
"I have gone so far as running pigs and cows in nearby dry
ponds to help work their natural organic material into the pond
bottom. (Ever wonder where the name 'sheeps-foot roller came
from?) One can also resortto plastic liners, gunite (thin concrete),
etc. But these can be expensive."
A pond full of fish that leaks is a real source of irritation or worry. Tests can be made for permeability, before considering
options for sealing. With porous soil and gravel, sealing with natural or artificial material is a necessity.
Methods of pond excavation and sealing are discussed inUF/IFAS Extension Bulletin Circulars 870 and 939.
To obtain a free copy of these publications, contact your county Extension Office, search the UF/IFAS web site at
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/index.html or call the Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at 352/392-9617 ext 236.

A Wastewater Cinderella Story

How many towns in Florida have
problems with wastewater disposal? Or
at least, could use some improve-
With real knowledge of the benefi-
cial aspects of specific plants and
animals, wastewater can actually be
converted into a picturesque water
garden, which is exactly what happened
when University of Florida faculty and
Gainesville's Regional Utility company
collaborated. The result was the TREEO
Center and Kanapaha Botanical Garden
ponds, both located in Gainesville. Both
of which have become an attraction to
tourists and nature lovers.
In this case, creating the aesthetic
equivalent of a silk purse from a sow's
ear, so to speak, required a careful
balance of vegetation and fish.
Instead of the typical scenario of fish
species such as gar and bowfin, and
aquatic invasive plants such as cattail
and floating algae blooms (common
items in wastewater systems across
the South), an alternative was found.
Planted, native vegetation now fil-
ters the water, plants that include

pickerelweed, duck potato, water lilies,
even American lotus.
Goldfish eat the algae and other
unwanted vegetation such as floating

Adefenseless fish in nature, goldfish
are gradually carried away by herons,
cormorants, the stray osprey, even wa-
ter snakes.The last bunch of goldfish at
the TREEO ate tons of floating vegeta-
tion and lasted almost two years. They
will likely have to be restocked after
steady attrition from predators. Fortu-
nately, they're an inexpensive solution
with added benefits. Goldfish leave the
more desirable, bigger water plants
alone unlike the grass carp, which con-
sumes virtually all the vegetation it can
find, including willow branches.
The TREEO Center pond is a recir-
culating system that holds 250,000
gallons, with 16,000 surface feet. It
requires 10,000 gallons daily of ad-
ditional wastewater.
Both the TREEO Center and
Kanapaha Garden ponds were designed
with the concept of using natural means
of converting undesirable wastewater
into something practical and appealing.
Who knows? In this new century,
botanists and biologists may be
collaborating more than ever before with
engineers and hydrologists.

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Phone: 352/392-9617 ext. 228 Fax: 352/846-1088
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