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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 3/22/21

Last Updated: 3/28/22

Diary of Events 3/22/21

Photos from 3/22/21

This is just the cleaning list. To see information on the 153 gallon pond's statistics, history, and past cleanings, go to my 153 Gallon Pond page.

I used the 2020 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2021 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed. It may look the same but it is not!


Diary of Events 3/22/21

Overview of the Day:

On 3/22/21, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. I got up at 6:30 am, fed all the animals, and took a load of branches to the dump. I started hauling supplies out for the pond cleaning at 9:11 am. It was not until 9:55 am that all the supplies were in place.

The air temperature was 44 degrees F at 9:11 am but it eventually went up to ~70 degrees F by the time I finished. It was at 60 degrees F at 12:50 pm for sure but I did not record the air temperature later. The 153 gallon thermometer read 45 degrees F at 9:55 am. The weather was perfect but the ambiance was not. From 9 am to 12 pm, the rich neighbor played pickleball on her fancy court with her buddies without masks and cackled a lot. From 11:30 am until 5 pm, she had someone chain sawing trees down. I had to listen to 40 year old giant trees boom to the ground. Only half of them were dead. She hates trees. I love trees. Anyway, I digress.

There were ants in the pond outlets again. I bail filled three kiddie pools and two holding buckets (one for the fish, one for the frogs). The pond had a massive amount of anacharis. I shop vacuumed the water level down somewhat to where I would not just be sucking up water. From there, I hand sifted the entire pond.

When I clean the pond, I bring up buckets and then go sit down on a gardener's kneeling pad. When I start, there is little debris so I pour it through an aquarium net and then look for movement. I hand pick out the frogs, snails, tadpoles, salamanders, and minnows. In the process, I miss some of the snails, tadpoles, worms, and insects. I am sure I did not miss any frogs or fish this year. I am not so sure that I did not miss some two-lined salamanders which were very tiny or green frog tadpoles who were also tiny.

I squirted out the empty pond and used the OASE Pondovac to get all the rest of the stuff out. I removed two bricks to replace them. There were two little pickerel frogs hiding behind there! It took some work to get them out. I did not want to trap them back there by putting in the "new" bricks. By "new" I mean these are bricks that were never used but were bought when the house was built in 1976.

At 12:08 pm I went in to eat lunch. I came back out at 12:24 pm. The pond was empty at 12:50 pm, much later than previous years. I started refilling the pond. I added the following additives:
About 1 cup of pond salt (~50% of the recommended dose on the container for ponds with plants), a little bit of baking soda, a partial dose of aquarium Stress Coat, and a partial dose of aquarium Stress Zyme. I let the Luft pump aerate and put in the PondMaster filter. I put a small barley straw bale in the 153 gallon pond and one in the 1800 gallon pond.

I continued to fill up the 153 gallon pond to the level it was from the bailed water (it was mostly there already).

I repotted the one waterlily with fertilizer. I put that pot in the pond using beach shoes.

I had three pots of water iris but no pea gravel. One pot was dead. I repotted the two pots of iris back in to the three pots.

After the pots were in, I bailed in all the animals and plants waiting in the kiddie pools and buckets. Everyone was in by 1:42 pm.

I hauled supplies back to the back rock pond. I netted out the leaves, sticks, and debris. It smelled horrible, and I filled the wheel barrow with the stinking leaves. I put back a lot of rocks that had fallen into the pond. I filled the pond back up. I was done filling the back pond up at 2:19 pm.

After some digging from both ends, I found the 1" PVC overflow pipe that is supposed to drain the 153 gallon pond. I stuck a very long screwdriver up there that was about a foot long. Both ends of the pipe are clogged with dirt. I could not get water to flow through the dirt.

I cleaned out the 50 gallon tub pond after cleaning the 153 gallon pond and 30 gallon pond. So, I was exhausted. As a result, I was kind of sloppy with the cleaning. I started the pond at 2:39 pm. The pond was loaded with hornwort. I moved a few pieces to the 20 gallon tub pond and 153 gallon pond. There was a massive bareroot clump of yellow flag iris. I could barely lift it. It was too dense to cut or pot so I would put it back when I finished cleaning the pond. The pond was full of green frog tadpoles that were very small from an early fall hatch. I did not count them but there were hundreds. For every one I saved, I probably lost one because the pond was dense with leaves, pine needles, and general filth. Other than that, the pond had three bricks and three two gallon pots in it with all those plants dead. From my notes, I guess one was a waterlily and two were iris (not yellow flag). I also found two live adult green frogs, one small and one larger who I moved to the 153 gallon pond. I moved to the next chore at 3:55 pm.

I set up the Biosteps filter in the 1800 gallon pond. I moved the two two gallon pots of golden club to the shallows of the big pond.

At 4:15 pm, I did the regular animal afternoon chores. By this time, one of the male wood frogs was amplexing a young green frog in the 153 gallon pond! From 4:48 pm to 5:38 pm, I put up everything from the pond work. Then, I could finally shower after a very long and dirty day.

Plants:

A lot of anacharis! Like wads and wads!

Here are the potted plants:

I started with four pots. One was the purple iris which sits in the small marginal shelf by the overflow (it takes up the entire shelf). In the deep end of the pond was one two gallon pot of waterlilies. In the main marginal area, there were two two gallon pots of purple iris (one was dead). I repotted with fresh dirt, fertilizer, and pea gravel.

In the 153 gallon pond.

Animals:

Here is what I found in the pond! I had to hand pick through every bit of slop to get all these animals.


Photos from 3/22/21

The photos have not been processed. I took lots of photos this year but do not have time to deal with them. I have to crop and resize, link to my web pages, upload the altered photos, and upload the altered web pages so it is very time consuming. I am about 6 years behind on photos now which really bothers me but I have no time. My web site is also nearly out of space and would cost me additional hundreds of dollars a year to allow for more space for photos.


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