Help permies get a
new server
by contributing to the fundraiser
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Ulla Bisgaard
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Listen Online

Get all of the Podcasts in convenient, giant zip files
Subscribe on iTunes


Paul’s review of Sepp Holzer’s Desert or Paradise continues with Opalyn and Katie.

“Hang a light bulb, ideally a solar one, over a pond at night.  It will attract lots of mosquitos that in turn, attract fish.  You can create a shallow zone underneath it by putting some rocks in the water, then only the young fish can swim there and catch mosquitos and flies – a simple way of providing food for the fish and to reduce the mosquito population at the same time.”  It should be noted that mosquitos aren’t particularly attracted to light, even UV lights, so Sepp is probably using “mosquitos” to mean any small annoying insect.  In a similar vein, you can keep termite swarms out of the house with a strong work light outside the house – turn it on overnight, and frogs will be attracted to it along with the termites.  Side effects may include overweight frogs.

“I do not need to worry about fish reproduction in a naturally built lake.  All I need to do is to ensure that there are enough sheltered spots for spawning.  In order to protect the offspring, I create fish kindergartens by placing rocks, trees, or scrub in the shallow zones that create a safe space for the young fish to mature.  These provide plenty of food, and the predatory fish cannot get in.  Various fish have different needs for spawning grounds.  Pike spawn next to the grass by the bank.  Zander spawn in deep or shallow zones, usually next to roots.  You can help the by building nests for them.  I tie fine roots, twigs, and branches and hang them 1-2m deep in the pond.  Trout need shallow zones with running water and a bed of gravel or sand.  They travel up to the inflow of the lake and create little hollows with their fins in which they leave their eggs.  These are then immediately fertilized by the male trout, and the hollows are closed off again.  The hollows need constant flowing water otherwise the eggs go moldy – that is why trout seek the inflow of a lake.  The spawn live off their yolk bags until, as youngsters, they can start eating mosquitos and small insects.”  Shallow, standing water tends to have a lot of microorganisms called Daphnia that can provide fish with half of their food.

Relevant Threads

Ponds forum
Sepp Holzer on ponds and "the monk"

Bugs forum

Support the Empire

Help support the empire and get all of the podcasts in a bundle here in the digital market at permies.

To support production of these podcasts, make a donation here at Paul's Patreon page.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Dr. Hugh Gill Kultur
Eivind W. Bjørkavåg
Suleiman, Karrie, and Sasquatch
Kyle Neath
Bill Crim
Kerry JustTooLazy
Jocelyn Campbell
Chris Sugg
Bill Erickson
G Cooper
Dominic Crolius
Penny McLoughlin
Mehron Kugler
Julia Winter, world's slowest mosaic artist
Pasquale DeAngelis
Greg Martin
Sean Benedict
Rita Bliden
Dana Martin
Candace Dahlk
Keith Kuhnsman
Eric Tolbert
Matthew Stone
Nuno Marta
Polly Jayne Smyth
Opalyn Brenger
ellen fisher
Eliot Mason
Katie Young
Ivar Vasara
Nathan Hale
Posts: 3792
Location: Colombia - Tropical dry forest
forest garden fish fungi trees tiny house earthworks bee solar woodworking greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The interconnected households water moving system reminds me of the Kabata model used in some parts of Japan for centuries:

It’s different in some ways from what’s been described but it’s nice to see a functional complex system that has been running for so long having moving living water as it’s main driver.  

Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We had a bug zapper and it zapped all kinds of bugs, but I dont think it got any mosquitoes. We'd watch as big beetles would walk on the zapper as they were getting shocked until they were fried crispy. I know a guy that hung one over his pond and it fed the fish.
The fish got so accustomed to food hitting the water there, that it was easy to catch fish there. They'd hit anything that fell in the water there.
Tell me how it all turns out. Here is a tiny ad:
Building a Homestead Root Cellar eBook by Brian Thomas & Teri Page
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic