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The early Chinese pioneers of aquaculture recognized that ponds were optimal for culturing fish. Today, the majority of freshwater aquaculture still takes place in ponds. Typically, these ponds are less than a hectare in surface area, so they are easy to manage. A pond can be natural, or it can be constructed using plastic liners. While most natural ponds are filled by runoff and rainfall, well water or surface water is often pumped into the culture pond. Pond aquaculturists use two different culturing methods. Monoculture involves raising a single species, while polyculture integrates two or more compatible fish species in the same pond.