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Robyn's Pond Blog for October 2012

Last Updated: 10/14/13

1. On 10/7/12, I squirted off all the filters and the bioballs. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 61 degrees F. I also changed the AmmoCarb in the main filter. Things have finally cooled off but it's dreary (rainy and cloudy). I have begun to bring in yard doohickeys a little at a time for the winter. There were a good amount of leaves on the nets this time.

2. On 10/9/12, I set up the basement pond. I put in some snowball plant from the 1800 gallon pond and one sprig of parrot feather. That is it for now. There will be no fish this year as it is a lot of trouble, and I have no income.

3. On 10/14/12, I did the usual. The 1800 gallon pond was down to 54 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 58 degrees F. I squirted the flosses, put in additives, added water to all the ponds, and tidied up. I put in a first dose of Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep. The lotus is down to two leaves. I will need to move it to the main pond for the winter soon.

Fall is coming on fast, and there is so much to do! I need to move the lotus, pickerel rush, and golden club pots. I have to bring in the Cyprio filter (the other two pumps wait until November with only the main system still running through the winter). I need to rake and collect leaves all over. I have to bring in all the tropical plants (house plants and pond plants like the huge tropical water canna). I have to bring in all the yard doohickeys. I have moved in about a third of those so far. I have to cut down all the vegetation in the pond and waterfall over the next month. I need to remove all of the water lettuce. I threw out another four buckets or so but the pond is still half covered. The lettuce is starting to yellow, and it is covered in aphids.

4. I brought in the house plants for the winter on 10/15/12. This did not involve the ponds but I need to make a note here for myself since I am always checking when it is time to do such things. I normally set up the basement pond and bring in tropical pond plants on the same day but, since I am not working, I did not do it all on the same day.

5. On 10/18/12, I pulled the tropical aquatic variegated orange canna out of the pond. I managed to get it out of the pot and pull it apart. There were about a dozen parts to it! I repotted the best one in aquatic plant soil (looks like brown cat litter) topped with pea gravel and put that in the basement pond. The rest of the tubers I washed and have stored in wet spaghnum moss. This is the same thing that I did with my red land canna. If the growing plants do not make it, at least, hopefully the tubers well or vice versa. I also pulled out huge wads of tropical snowball plant from the big pond and put those in the basement pond and one sprig of parrot feather. A few months ago, there was parrot feather everywhere and now most of it is gone. For the snowball plants, I kept the root systems more than the top leaves which easily snap off and/or drop their leaves. In order to overwinter it, I only need one of these plants to make it. I expect lots of die off. The 1800 gallon's thermometer read 55 degrees F on this day.

6. On 10/21/12, I squirted off all the flosses and did the usual. The 1800 gallon pond was at 56 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 57 degrees F. I cut down one of the dwarf cattails which had browned and fallen so it was in the way.

7. I did some pond winterizing work on 10/23/12 for about three hours. First, I took apart the Cyprio filter, squirted the Cyprio biothings and all the parts, and set them out to dry. Then, I used my hands and pruners to remove the lotus tubers from the 12 gallon lotus tub pond. There were so many for such a small pond! I saved two shorter pieces. The rest I cleaned off and put them in a white mesh laundry bag with a rock. I sunk that in the deep end. I don't know if it will work but I'm going to try to overwinter the tubers bareroot in the deep end of the pond. I lifted up the 7 gallon lotus tub pot in the main pond. There is no life in it. I dug a hole in one side, put in a tuber, moved the rocks over, and repeated. I added more rocks on top. It's not a full repotting because it's very hard to lift that pot out of the pond. Hopefully, this makeshift work will result in some tuber somewhere surviving the winter.

I cut down both hardy canna, the regular cattails, the other dwarf cattails (which was not doing well), and parts of the lizard tail and anything else that was yellow. I will wait a few weeks to do the rest. I sunk the two golden club two gallon pots to the mid-marginal area. I still have to sink the two pickerel weed pots later. I got up some leaves. I stuck an iris tuber that was loose in to one of the empty/dead pots. I cut down the marsh mallow next to the pond.

8. I linked in some old photos below.

I took these photos of my PondMaster filter from the 153 gallon pond on 8/8/10. The filter is covered in things every summer. For years, I thought these were limpets. Why? Someone told me that they were, and when I looked at certain limpet photos, they looked identical. Then, in October of 2012, I happened to see a photo of ribbon leech cocoons (egg cases). Moreso than the limpet photos, these looked like what I had. I never saw any leeches in or coming out of the cocoons but they did seem to go flat after a certain period of time. They were also only obvious in the warm months and not in the cold ones. I am pretty sure that these are, in fact, leech cocoons on my filter.
Leech cocoons
Leech cocoons
Leech cocoons

On 6/29/12, a derecho hit. The power went out. The oxygen went down. I took these photos the next day, 6/30/12. One of my two large orfe was dying and then did.
Dying orfe under the Cyprio filter (power was out)
Dead orfe with ruler, right side, 18 inches long
Dead orfe with ruler, left side.

Here are some photos from 7/22/12 of flowering tropical water poppy in my big pond.
Water poppy
Water poppy

I took photos of my new bench on 8/26/12. It has nothing to do with my ponds though! I did not know where else to post the photos.
Butterfly Bench
Butterfly Bench - close-up of the mosaic

These are pond photos from 8/26/12:
Water lettuce completely covering my 1800 gallon pond. There is also one Chromella waterlily flower at the bottom left. The upper right are is where the waterfalls are which were covered in water celery and watercress.
Lotus in the tub pond.
Snowball plant flowers
Snowball plant flowers - with a butterfly!
Big pond facing northwest, including flowering pickerel rush. You can see how completely the waterfall and pond are covered in plants by late August.

9. On 10/28/12, as Hurricane Sandy approached, I did the usual pond chores first thing in the morning. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 60 degrees F. I did not top off the ponds as we are supposed to get 8 inches of rain. I removed about four buckets of leaves from the net and around the pond. The temperatures would fall after the hurricane so I abruptly stopped feeding the fish.

10. Hurricane Sandy caused rain and wind from 10/28/12 until 10/31/12 but it was only strong wind from late 10/29/12 until the next morning. Unlike the derecho which brought down dozens of 35 year old trees on our land and next to my pond, blocked the road, and put out power for tons of people, this storm only affected a few people in this area. Of course, we were one of them when a tree fell on the power line around 7:25 pm on 10/29/12. We set up the generator to power the well pump, downstairs refrigerator, three freshwater aquariums pumps, two saltwater aquariums pumps, the main pond pumps, and a few odds and ends. It got down in to the upper 50's in the house (about 40 degrees F outside) so I periodically plugged in the aquarium heaters as well. The new pond's liner inverted again which it does with every heavy rain. The two main ponds were able to handle the rain. We could not measure how much as the rain gauge only holds 1.5 inches but the estimate is maybe 4 inches. The power came back on 10/31/12 at 3:40 am. I disconnected the aquariums, ponds, refrigerator, etc. from the generator (that part in the middle of the night so I was up the rest of the day), put up everything, and hauled food to the main refrigerator (whose plug is out of reach). I reset dozens of clocks and timers. This took over an hour. The main pond net was completely covered in leaves and sunk in to the water. I shook the main pond net as much as I could and collected 8 buckets of leaves by shaking, pulling with the long net, picking them up, and repeating. Then, the power went off at 12:30 pm the same day! I had to undo all I had undone. It came back on around 4:50 pm. Things are slowly getting back to normal until the next challenge. If only all the victims in New Jersey and New York had been as fortunate. Some of them lost everything but their lives (and a few lost that too). Storms are going to continue to be worse and more often. I believe the earth that we know is slowly dying.


Continue to the November 2012 pond blog.


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