Here's Why You NEED Grass Carp in Your Pond!
White Amur, or Grass Carp as they are more commonly referred to, were originally bred in Chinese waters as a food source, but they have now been introduced to other continents for their most popular purpose: aquatic vegetation control. Purchasing and adding Grass Carp into your pond, proves to be the best, most cost-effective and natural method for grass and moss control in ponds and lakes.
Grass Carp are efficient and effective fish yet they are unable to reproduce naturally like the common carp. Since the species will not reproduce, you will not need to worry about your pond becoming overpopulated with Grass Carp, or other issues that may arise from too many fish and too few things to eat. Another great trait of the grass carp is that they are strictly herbivore, so they will not consume other fish.
Grass Carp Diet
Grass Carp are naturally herbivorous fish. They follow a typical Grass Carp diet that includes grasses such as American Pond Weed and Hydrilla; however, Grass Carp are typically unable to ingest some nuisance pond vegetation such as cattails or bulrush due to their porous texture. The Grass Carp do not have teeth which limits the type of water vegetation they are capable of consuming. The fish can take care of certain grasses but not every type that may take root in your pond. Grass Carp can consume water weeds continually and they can grow to large sizes. A large Grass Carp may reach up to 40 inches in length. The life expectancy can be up to 15 years; however, they will be most effective at grass and weed control until around age 8-10. Thereabout, their metabolism slows and they do not consume vegetation as briskly.
Diploid vs. Triploid Grass Carp
White Amur Grass Carp can be available as diploid or triploid types. Diploid Grass Carp means they are natural fish having two (2) sets of chromosomes. The Triploid Grass Carp is altered at a very young age so that it develops three (3) sets of chromosomes, which renders it sterile. The Diploid grass carp version can be artificially induced to reproduce, but the triploid, with the three sets of chromosomes, is entirely sterile. Neither of these fish will reproduce naturally; however, triploid Grass Carp are the off spring of diploids.
Are White Amur Grass Carp Legal Within the US?
Regulations for Grass Carp vary by each state individually. Grass Carp are a restricted species in some states, and completely legal in others.Some states allow one type of the White Amur Grass Carp but not the other. On the other hand, there are simply no regulations on Grass Carp in a select few states. It is a good idea to determine your states regulations before purchasing grass carp for your pond.
Grass Carp are most effective when stocked in ponds at the recommended stocking rate. The herbivorous grass carp are very good at what they do and the will continually work on the vegetation available in your pond.They can eat pond vegetation from top to bottom, which means that your plants can continue to grow even if the grass carp are feeding on them. A pond condition may deteriorate quickly if the Grass Carp stocking guidelines are ignored. Note that it may be possible for them to consume all of the vegetation if there are too many fish competing for limited sources of food.
The recommended stocking rate for grass carp is ten (10) fish per surface acre of pond water. Start by stocking grass carp when they are less than a foot in length, 8”-10” is the common stocking size. If they are too small when you introduce them, other fish, especially Largemouth Bass, may prey on, and consume them. Try to make sure you stock the optimum number so that you will reach the best proportion of plants to fish in your pond; however, try not to stock too many fish because Grass Carp may be hard to catch using traditional methods if you decide to remove some at a later time. It is always best to start with the recommended quantity, as it is easier to add more fish if needed, than it is to remove them.
Where to buy Grass Carp?
Since Grass Carp species are regulated state by state, private fisheries and fish farms, such as Kloubec Fisheries, are great places to find Grass Carp for sale. A licensed professional should be able to make sure that you are getting the right species for your location.
Stocking and keeping Grass Carp in ponds is the best option if you’re looking for an easy way to keep your pond free of moss and weeds. Purchasing grass carp is the natural, and most popular, choice for many pond owners as an alternative to chemicals for pond grass and weed control.