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Robyn's Pond Blog for July 2012

Last Updated: 8/4/12

1. The next morning after the derecho, 7/1/12, my mother called the store back who said they might have some generators. They did! She had to pay over the phone. By the time my father picked it up, they were almost sold out of 120 generators. By this time, all the perishable food had to be tossed although my brother took some the day before. By 11 am on 7/1/12, the generator was up and running. I plugged in all four 1800 gallon pond pumps first thing. I left in the battery air pumps too for another day since things were dire. I ran extension cords to the aquariums at 4 pm and got all of their pumps going. Unfortunately, the adapter for this new generator didn't match the input for the well so we still had no water! If we had had water, I could have changed some aquarium or pond water. The tanks and ponds smelled horrible. They were also starting to discolor. You have to understand that my tanks are always crystal clear. They had been due for water changes on 6/29/12 but I had to take my mother to the doctor so now they were overdue even without lack of filtration. With the generator up, the concern was now ammonia spiking (so I added Ammolock to the tanks), and the corals starting to die in my marine tanks without light. Later in the day, I ended up plugging in their lights too.

I spent the night 7/1/12 in the basement but never fell asleep for more than a moment with the generator going and crickets singing (some escaped their cage). It was 15 degrees cooler in the basement so at least I wasn't hot.

2. On 7/2/12, at 1 pm, the power came on. Then came the mad dash to do all of the Saturday chores in less time. I did water changes on all seven aquariums by the end of the day and did the guinea pig cage which was ripe with urine. It was exhausting with no sleep in three days but I did it. I mostly slept that night. Praise air conditioning!

I realized that Fireman was missing. He was the clown goby in my 6 gallon nano reef tank. So, as of now, I know of three derecho victims - the huge koi, a goldfish, and Fireman. Fish may still die due to ammonia spikes or delayed reactions. It's still going to be near 100 degrees F every day of this week.

3. Finally, on 7/3/12, I did the pond chores which were two days late. The 1800 gallon pond was at 82 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F. The air temperature was 88 degrees F with 100% humidity. I changed the PondMaster filters. I added water (they were topped off from the storms for the most part) and additives to all of the ponds. I squirted off all the filter floss materials which were all thick with black slop. I hand collected small branches and leaves from the ponds. I cleared off the waterfall. The algae and other life on the waterfall had turned white because they all died from being dry in 100 degree F heat for three days. The sun is a powerful disinfectant. One white goldfish in the pond has its fins shredded. I have no idea what happened to him. Perhaps a predator had his way with him while the fish was gasping in the shallows for air. With the animals taken care of, I can now try to catch up on laundry, house cleaning, this blog, e-mail, TV, clearing the yard and paths of debris, and enough trees down on 5 acres to feed a fire for 20 years. Need any firewood?

4. My oldest cat, Doodally, died on 7/6/12. Her web page is here.

5. On 7/8/12, I went to do the pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at a record 88 degrees F, the hottest EVER, and the 153 gallon pond was at 82 degrees F. The air temperature was 90 degrees F at 1:30 pm but it had been near 100 degrees F for highs all week. When I took out the KoiZyme, I noticed that it was much more cloudy than before. I guess the power outage killed it. I topped off all the small ponds, squirted the small pond filters, put in additives, and started on the big pond. First, I squirted off the Cyprio biothings in a kiddie pool. They were super dirty. I took out the three sets of pre-filters to squirt them off. The intake for the new pump collapsed again despite the piece that was supposed to prevent that from happening. The filters were extra dirty due to the power outage. I was squirting off the main floss when, thump, the air conditioner shut off instantly instead of slowly. Ut oh! I checked the 153 gallon pond's filter, and yep, the power was out again! A storm was coming but there was no reason for it. They would say it was "heat-related." The generator was still on the porch, and my father had actually put together the adapter that I next-day ordered a week earlier (and took 4 days to get here). So, within 15 minutes, the main pond and well pump had power. I was able to thus continue squirting and get the pond going again. After the pond work, I was able to shower due to hot water still in the heater. I then ran lines to power the aquarium pumps, moved the food to the one refrigerator with generator power, and settled in to watch a DVD on a portable player. It's not good to be old hat at power outages. The power came back on after 4.5 hours. With the pond at record temperature, I think fish would have died without the backup power.

6. I did the usual on 7/15/12. The 1800 gallon was at 77 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 75 degrees F. I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs which were really thick with slop. I fertilized the lilies, lotuses, and a few of the marginals. The lotus in the tub pond is doing great with over a dozen leaves, some of them large. The lotus in the main pond had one leaf but now I can't even find that! What a huge difference location makes. The two spots are only five feet apart and both get sun so I'm not sure why the one in the pond is doing so poorly aside from shade from the other marginals.

7. Pond chores were done on 7/22/12. Both the 153 and 1800 gallon pond thermometers read 72 degrees F. I squirted all the flosses and added additives to the ponds. I changed the PondMaster filters. None of the ponds needed topping off since we got a soaking rain the day before except for the new 30 gallon liner pond. Due to the rain, the liner inverted again. Once that water receded, that pond was left 10 gallons below full. My water poppies had two flowers!

8. On 7/29/12, I squirted off the flosses and did the usual chores. I cut down some of the rice cut grass in the overflow. The 1800 gallon pond was at 77 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 75 degrees F.

9. On 7/31/12, at the pond, some animal, probably the deer ate what remained of my forget-me-not flowers in the overflow area and chomped off the flower head on my new snowball plant. I may never get to see what it would have looked like! Why do they wait until flowers are just about to open and then destroy them? ;-(


Continue to the August 2012 pond blog.


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