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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife often stocks lakes with grass carp to control aquatic plant life. The cultivated albino grass carp grows much smaller than the grass carp and can assist small, home ponds by controlling algae and blanket weed growth. The grass carp can reach up to 18.1 Kilogram and measure 4 feet in length, but the albino grass carp usually only reaches half that size.
The albino grass carp makes an eye catching pond specimen. Its light colouration makes it show up in stark contrast to the pond water and aquatic pond life. The fish makes an even-tempered companion to koi fish. Only purchase sterile varieties to ensure that the fish to do not reproduce and escape into open waterways. Some states, like Texas, only allow sterile varieties for pond use. Some states require a permit to purchase and keep the fish in a home pond. States such as New Hampshire, Louisiana, Maine and Oregon have made the fish illegal. Consult with local authorities prior to purchasing albino grass carp for a home pond.
A native of Asia, the grass carp subsists on a solely vegetarian diet. It eats algae and aquatic plants. Each day the fish can consume its own weight in aquatic foods. Grass carp kept in a pond with under 45359 Kilogram of water will usually end up eating all accessible aquatic plants. For approximately 2,000 years, China has used the grass carp to control weeds in rice paddies. The fish has also been cultivated for food. Egypt also utilised the fish to remove unwanted aquatic life in the Nile river.
Lifespan and Food Choices
The grass carp can live for over 10 years. It poses no threat to other fish and will not eat fish eggs or juvenile fish. The fish prefers to eat algae, waterweed and thin leaved pondweed. It will occasionally consume water lilies. The fish begins to eat at the top of the weed and slowly consumes it down to the soil level. Its delicate feeding habits do not stir up mud in the pond.
Growth and Winter Dormancy
When the water temperature dips below 20 degrees Celsius the grass carp will become dormant and does not consume plant life. It prefers to feed in solitude and avoids areas of the pond with excessive human activity. The baby grass carp will consume insects, but once it reaches 3 inches in length it becomes a strict vegetarian, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Albino grass carp do enjoy jumping and may leap out of the pond.
- State of Washington Department of Ecology; Aquatic Plant Management; Kathy Hamel
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
- Vetofish: Introduction of All Female Triploids In Grass Carp; S. Rothbarb, et al.; December 2000
- Love Your Pond; Grass Carp For Your Pond; Mike Gannon
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images