Well, it’s almost the end of 2021. Did you get to every project on your list for the year? What do you want to do around the homestead in 2022? If you’ve got a pond on your farm (or you’re planning to add one to your homestead), I’ve got a simple, inexpensive farm pond project here that you may want to consider for the coming year.
Here on my Texas farm, my pond isn’t at risk of freezing right now. Depending on where you homestead, though, your water might not be accessible at the moment. But it’s never too early to gather supplies and think ahead to what you’ll do when things warm up.
This farm pond project is simple, but its purpose is pretty important. What we’re building here is a basic fish habitat to provide dedicated spaces for smaller prey fish, such as minnows, in the pond habitat. By enjoying cover, these fish can establish a population that will, in time, sustain the larger predator fish.
If you’ve ever tossed a Christmas tree into a fishing hole come January, this operates on the same principle. When prey fish have a place to thrive, you get a stronger predator fish population. And considering these breeds are the ones we go fishing for, that’s a big benefit.
But unlike a Christmas tree, this artificial structure won’t break down and need to be replaced annually.
You don’t need much to build a DIY fish habitat. You may even have the necessary parts laying around.
- length of drain pipe
- irrigation poly tubing
Constructing these artificial trees couldn’t be easier. First, you’ll want to cut the drain pipe to the length you desire. For my pond, a few feet was enough to effectively submerge the trees. But you can make that call based on your own pond’s characteristics.
Then, for ease with the next steps, go ahead and set the drain pipe into the cinderblock with concrete so that it stands upright, like a tree.
Next, just drill holes in the drain pipe to fit the poly tubing. I was using 1/2-inch poly tubing, so a 3/4-inch spade bit did the trick. Just make sure you drill holes roughly opposite each other on the drain pipe so you can thread the tubing through.
Cut your irrigation tubing to 3 or 4 feet lengths, then thread them through the drain pipe to create “limbs.” Once all your limbs are in place, you can strategically place the artificial tree into your pond so little fish will have space to hide and thrive.