Last Updated: 11/29/10
1. I linked in these two photos from Valerie that I uploaded over a month ago.
2. On 11/7/10, I squirted the flosses and the bioballs. The air temperature was about 48 degrees F which I can take but it was windy so I had to wear long johns under my shirt and a winter hat. The 1800 gallon was a chilly 44 degrees F and the 153 gallon was 50 degrees F. I forgot to note the last time I fed the fish but it's been over a week now. I used the pond gloves when getting the filter materials out. Unfortunately, the pump detached from the tubing yet again which required a run inside for a screw driver and trying to jam it back on when it goes only just a few millimeters. It's even harder when it's cold, and I have to use my bare hands because I can't feel with the gloves on.
The bioballs were moderately dirty. I found five small pickerel frogs in the biofilter which I hand caught and put in the marginal area under the net. They can overwinter in the biofilter but there are two risks. One, I could squish them when cleaning the filter. Two, if the power goes out when it's cold, the filter drains empty, and the frogs would freeze to death. I shook the net down and got off most of the leaves. Once the net was re-secured, I pulled it off the marginal area. I got in and cut down all the remaining marginals in the big pond, mostly iris and sweetflag but some lizard tail, tropical bluebells, and so on. I sunk the two golden clubs and one purple pickerel rush a bit lower in the pond. Pickerel rush has never overwintered in the most shallow area; the roots can't take being frozen. I did the usual with the 153 gallon pond (squirted off that filter, removed leaves and pine needles off the white net, etc.). I topped off all the ponds. All the pond dewhickeys are in, I think (I always find a few I missed later). All that is left as far as winter preparations go is to bring in the tropical waterlily, take out the PondMaster system in the 153 gallon, and cut the iris down in that pond too in the next few weeks.
3. The morning of 11/9/10, the net was collapsed in the 153 gallon pond. This time though, it was the deer, and they put a few nice big holes in the net. The morning of 11/11/10, it was collapsed again with an even bigger hole, right in the middle! Now, I have to get a new net for next year. The deer should have figured out that they can't walk on it by now!
4. I first cleaned the basement pond's filter on 11/13/10. I used to do it every week or two when there were fish in there but, since there were none, I had let it go a month. The filter was full of green plants! They are tropical pink pickerel rush seedlings that took root! There are others among the roots of the bluebells. One of the seed heads dropped seeds. I removed the ones in the filter but put some afloat. I don't know if any will take and survive on their own. I am not going to take the time to pot them up when I've got the one huge plant; that's enough for me to deal with for now.
5. On 11/14/10, I squirted off the flosses and did the usual. I tried to get most of the leaves off the nets. The 1800 gallon was at 44 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 50 degrees F. I forgot to put on the gloves when I put the floss back around the pump, and that water felt like my arms were going to freeze off! I have put them in 33 degree was so you would think 44 would feel warm! The air temperature was in the 60's and very warm this day!
I pulled out the tropical waterlily for the winter. The pot was full of Valisneria which really looked like tape grass (another name for it). So, I pulled out the waterlily and put the pot back in the pond with the tape grass. I found one main growing tip and two tiny ones and just one storage tuber nut thing. I potted up the three plants in a one gallon pot and put those in the basement pond for the winter. There were two flower buds on the lily when I pulled it which I left on (they were low). I cut off most of the leaves which were still large. The tuber went in a ziploc bag with wet sand for winter storage.
I cut down all the marginals in the 153 gallon pond and the 20 and 50 gallon tub ponds which were all iris.
6. On 11/21/10, I squirted off the flosses and did the usual. The 1800 gallon was at 46 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 50 degrees F. I used the leaf blower to get leaves off from around the pond but there are still a ton on them. I put up the PondMaster filter in the 153 gallon pond for the winter and put out the Luft air pump. I tried to stick a stick under it to keep it from rattling like crazy.
That night, my rabbit Sweetie died.
7. These are photos from the basement pond on 10/21/10 when I set it up:
Pink tropical pickerel rush out of the pond to be brought in.
Basement pond set up with pink pickerel rush and bluebells
Basement pond set up with pink pickerel rush and bluebells - close-up
Basement pond area from a distance once I brought in all the house plants
The tropical pink pickerel rush kept flowering. Here are some flower close-ups from 11/4/10. I
took some others earlier but these are the best.
Pink pickerel rush flowers
Pink pickerel rush flowers in my hand
8. On 11/28/10, I squirted off the flosses, collected leaves off the nets and from around the ponds, and topped off the ponds. The 1800 gallon was at 39 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 42 degrees F. Winter is here! The pump came off the line again. It is very hard to put back on wearing gloves and with the cold pipe completely stiff. It only goes on a few millimeters.
9. We got our first hard frost the morning of 11/29/10 with ice on the tub ponds and around some iris in the big pond.
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