Last Updated: 4/1/14
1. On 3/2/14, I didn't have time to do much with the ponds aside from add water and get temperatures. The thermometer was frozen in the 1800 gallon pond while the one in the 153 gallon pond read 44 degrees F. I cut a piece off the airline tubing coming out of the Luft pump thinking it was restricted/clogged as the air pump was so noisy. It didn't seem to make it much better, and the line was not clogged.
2. We got just a four inches of snow on 3/3/14. It was 10 degrees F the next morning. Is this March?
3. It was warmer the next weekend but I had to go to my mother's grave site during my normal pond-cleaning time so all I did was get temperatures and add water. The 1800 gallon was at 42 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 46 degrees F. It's hard to imagine that usually by now, the wood frogs are spawning, and the snow iris and crocuses and even some daffodils are blooming. Aside from the flowering snowdrops (that normally flower in January or February), there are no flowers yet.
4. I linked in these photos from 2/13/14 when we got 17" of snow.
153 gallon pond facing west
153 gallon pond facing south
East side of the big pond - where the outlet, walkway, and bench are (under all that snow)
Big pond facing southwest
Big pond facing northwest towards the waterfall
Big pond waterfall and aerator area
Big pond facing northwest from inside after I cleared the snow off the outlet, etc.
5. On 3/16/14, I did some pond chores. The 1800 gallon was at 44 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 46 degrees F. I squirted off the floss materials. I topped off all the ponds. I removed a beautiful dead 7.5" male (had tubercles) white and orange goldfish from the big pond. As most of my goldfish have little or no white, I especially hated losing this guy who had no symptoms (just found him dead out of nowhere). I wanted to pot up the lotus, clean the 30 gallon liner pond, clean the 20 gallon tub pond, and maybe even clean the 50 gallon tub pond but there were too many other things to do. I am way behind with the late spring. I also have to pick up all the yard debris myself now as my father no longer gets out of his recliner.
6. We awoke to 8" of snow on the grass and 4" on the road on 3/17/14. Happy spring! Normally, there would be wood frog eggs and daffodil flowers by now. I have had some crocus flower but the snow took care of that.
7. On 3/22/14, it was finally warm with an air temperature of 67 degrees F! The 1800 and 153 gallon ponds still had water at 48 and 49 degrees F respectively but I decided to give the fish some food. It had been almost six months since they had eaten anything! It would get cold after this day and stay that way until late the following week but the fish need to eat eventually. They got Cheerios and cold weather food.
8. On 3/23/14, it was cold again. The 1800 gallon pond was at 44 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 46 degrees F. I didn't get in the big pond. I added additives and water. I cleaned out the 50 gallon tub pond and the 20 gallon tub pond. All the animals were dead including a few hundred tadpoles in the 50 gallon pond. It had never seen it so bad but that's how this winter behaved. I found the following plants in the 50 gallon tub pond - some anacharis, some hornwort, two two gallon pots of iris, and a waterlily tuber that was still hard (not smushy like dead ones). I saved at least half of the submerged plants (hard to save them all). I repotted the plants back in to the same pots. For the 20 gallon pond, the mass of yellow flag iris filled the entire pot. I hacked at it for 20 minutes with the shovel but could only cut half way through. I gave up and tossed the entire mat as it was too dense and had terrestrial weeds and multiflora rosebush growing in it anyway. When I repot the yellow flag iris in the fall, I will put some in there. In the mean time, I'm not sure what to do with that pond. It's empty for now. The iris was so bad that I actually found a brick inside of it.
9. When I got home on 3/25/14, there was 2" of snow on the cold surfaces! Go away winter!
10. On 3/27/14, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. I also cleaned out the back 30 gallon liner pond. See this page for details.
11. It finally got to the low 50's on 3/29/14 and rained all day. I heard a male wood frog calling! I did not think they would show up this year at all but they are finally here, just many weeks late.
12. On 3/30/14, it was supposed to be a little wet but warmer. Well, they were wrong. When I started on the pond work, it was about 40 degrees F but raining and windy (30 mph). For the second hour that I was outside, it changed to pelting sleet and then pouring snow. If you say it can't pour snow, well then, you've never experienced it. The air temperature was down to 35 degrees F by the time I went in. The 1800 gallon pond was at 36 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 37 degrees F. I started by removing the green Rubbermaid lid cover on the biofilter and removing the de-icer from the big pond (it sits in the filter). I filled up the mosaic pond on the front porch with water. I put some barley straw in the 153 gallon pond. I then squirted the filter floss and the bioballs. I pulled out the lotus tubers and potted up the lotus pond. The tubers had no real growing tips on them but were still solid (not mushy and rotten). I did a poor job repotting them because I was fighting the weather. At least, I didn't need to top off any ponds with water! The 20 gallon pond was half full on Thursday but full by this time Sunday from rain.
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