Last Updated: 2/7/11
1. On 1/2/11, it was finally warm enough to do some pond work! It didn't matter that I was slightly sick; I had to do the work while I could. The air temperature was about 48 degrees F, and the wind was negligible! The 1800 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 49 degrees F. The snow and ice was melted. It had rained earlier so things were muddy. I squirted off the flosses for the first time in a month. Of course, the line popped off the pump. Luckily, it was warm enough that I could barely get it to stay back on when I was done. I really have to rig up a better solution in the spring but it's hard without help (both idea wise and physically). I still don't trust some strange man to be in my pond for $100 an hour (or even for free!).
In addition to the flosses, I squirted out the bioballs and lava rock. They weren't overly dirty but still needed it. I found a record 12 frogs of all sizes in the filter! One was a green frog but the rest were pickerel frogs from an inch in size to full size (about 3"). They thought they had the ideal place to hibernate. And it is, save for one thing. If the power goes off for more than a short time, the filter drains, and the frogs would be left high and dry and freeze rather quickly. Electricity can go off easily here from the winds or if we get an ice storm. Aside from that, the filter is great for the frogs as there is ample oxygen, water flow, warmth, and safety from all predators. I had to grab all the frogs and move them to the main pond where, hopefully, they will overwinter just fine. I changed the bag of Ammocarb and the bag of crushed coral in the filter too. When I turned everything back on, the snowman didn't light up. I had to wiggle the plug. The electric outlet so needs to be replaced but my father can no longer do it but also won't let me hire anyone. I have to deal with what I have. It still works for the moment. Ants keep living in the outlets which get full of dirt from them.
I got tons of leaves out of the pond, waterfall, and around the pond but hardly made a dent. I pulled dead water celery, watercress, leaves, and captured pond slop out of the waterfall/stream/inflow area. I couldn't imagine waiting until spring to do all the cleaning so I do it as I can.
I dug out the 153 gallon overflow which was full of mud yet again. I tried to get leaves out of the tub ponds but they are too far gone. There are no fish in there, and the tub ponds get 100% cleanings in the spring which they really need!
2. On 1/9/11, the air temperature was 20 degrees F at dawn but near freezing when I went out to the ponds at 2:30 pm. The winds were moderate. The 1800 gallon's thermometer was frozen in while the 153 gallon's thermometer read 44 degrees F thanks to the heat from the de-icer. The 1800 gallon was frozen over except for near the waterfall. I added water to the ponds and tried to get out some leaves but could not do much else. The added water over the ice in the big pond froze over within the hour and provided extra insulation.
3. It snowed overnight on 1/11/11 so there was 2" of snow on the ground the morning of 1/12/11. I took some photos of the pond first thing before it melted.
4. On 1/16/11, the 1800 gallon's thermometer was frozen in and the 153 gallon thermometer was at 46 degrees F even though the air temperature was around freezing. I couldn't get in since the pond was frozen.
5. On 1/23/11, the air temperature was 20 degrees F in the morning. The 1800 gallon pond was mostly frozen in including the thermometer and access to the pump for cleaning. The 153 gallon was all liquid with a temperature of 42 degrees F. The de-icer and air stone in there keep things toasty! The next morning, at 10 degrees F, there was finally some ice on the 153 gallon as well.
6. The morning of 1/26/11, I awoke to a surprise and un-forecast 2" of snow. Later in the day, a larger storm came to bring a total of 7 to 10" (most readings were 8") of snow, depending on where it was measured, by the morning of 1/27/11. I wanted to play in the snow but had to go to work.
7. On 1/30/11, the pond was still encased in ice and snow. I couldn't do anything but read the thermometer in the 153 gallon pond which was at 47 degrees F. The 1800 gallon's thermometer was frozen in. The net is collapsed with snow wherever it is. Where the net touched the pond, that ice and snow melted and re-froze so the net is frozen in but you can see the fish swimming under it.
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