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Robyn's Pond Newsletter March 2009

Last Updated: 3/13/09

Introduction and Miscellaneous:

If you have something pond-related that you want to share (information, jokes, web sites, pond secrets and tidbits, something pond-related for sale), let me know, and I will add it to the next newsletter. What topics would you like me to cover? Do you have a question that I can answer or pose to others in the next newsletter?

My cat, Elvisina, died on 2/16/09 after years of medical problems.

Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages, Photos, or Videos on Fishpondinfo:

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fish/goldfish.htm -
I moved my four goldfish pages to the fish species subdirectory and divided them in to nine pages.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fish/koi.htm -
I moved my koi page to the fish species subdirectory and divided it in to four pages.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fish/pleco.htm -
I moved my common plecostomus page to the fish species subdirectory and divided it in to five pages.

New Pages on Pond Showcase:

1. None this month.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 2/8/09, the air temperature was up to 62 degrees F! The water was 48 degrees F in the 153 gallon pond but the thermometer was still frozen in the 1800 gallon. Despite the air temperature, even using the sledge hammer, there was no way that I could get through the ice in order to get to the pre-filter around the pump to be able to squirt off the filter flosses. But, I was able to turn off the power and clean out the biofilter. The drain valve on it was still frozen so all that water went in to the pond. I found two dead frogs and three live frogs during my work. In the 1800 gallon pond, on the bottom where the ice was gone, I found a 4" female green frog deceased. Then, I found a live 1" pickerel frog hopping by the 153 gallon pond and stuck him back in to the water. In the biofilter, I found a 3" pickerel frog and a 4" male green frog alive, and, at the bottom, I found a dead frog. The frog was about 4" long and too decomposed to tell the sex or species. I squirted off the bioballs and lava rock in the biofilter and changed the bag with AmmoCarb for a fresh batch. There is some foam on the pond so perhaps that will help.

I trimmed some butterfly bush and weeds like Japanese bittersweet vine away from the plants around the smaller ponds. It was nice to do some yard work again.

2. The morning of 2/11/09, the 1800 gallon pond finally melted out enough that I could see the fish. Everyone seems fine except for one goldfish stuck in the pre-filter. It was head first, and I couldn't get it out with a net. It looks like it will have to wait until Sunday when I can get in there.

3. I was finally able to get in to the pond on 2/15/09. The 1800 gallon was at 38 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 46 degrees F. The fish that was stuck in the filter was still alive but in poor shape. I released him, and he spent time laying sideways on the bottom. I replaced the filter material with new. There were a lot of leaves all over. I was working on them when, ut oh! My left foot feels a little too cold. Yep, my 11-year-old hip waders have a hole in them somewhere! So, I pulled out the chest waders that I've had that long and opened them. They're too small! No matter, I went in with them anyhow. Yikes, water flooded both feet! Now, that's cold! I did what I could but could only stand so much before I had to get out. It took some maneuvering because I couldn't bend my legs! The thing was too tight. I threw those away. I will have to find some new waders. On dry land with new socks, I collected leaves from the ponds for a little while (hardly a dent) and topped off all the ponds but the one in the far back (which is empty I think under all those leaves).

4. On 2/22/09, it was only 40 degrees F and the horrible winds were back. The 1800 gallon pond's thermometer was frozen in; the 153 gallon pond was at 44 degrees F. I didn't get in to the pond. I added water to the ponds and removed some leaves but didn't do much.

5. On 2/25/09, I bought new Proline hip waders. On 3/1/09, I got to try them out. Even though we had a dusting of snow, I got in the pond. The 1800 gallon pond was at 38 degrees F, the 153 gallon at 44 degrees F, and the air about 40 degrees F. The new waders work well. I squirted off the floss. I topped off all the ponds. I took the net off the 153 gallon pond the day before, 2/28/09. Animals can't get to the water easily. I hope the heron doesn't come back. He seems to know when a net comes off. The net still on the 1800 gallon pond claimed the life of a small songbird earlier in the week who got tangled in it.

While in the 1800 gallon pond, I removed two victims. The comet goldfish that was barely alive a few weeks ago was 100% deceased. He/she measured in at 10 inches long and was orange with white on the fins. I also removed a dead two inch pickerel frog, probably the one I "rescued" from the biofilter a few weeks earlier.

6. The morning of 3/2/09, there was 4" of snow, and it was coming down strong when it was time to go to work so I stayed home. The next morning, it was 10 degrees F. The ponds were frozen in. I guess winter isn't quite over.

Pond Tidbits:

1. None this month.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.ponds.moderated/topics - The new rec.ponds
Back when I started with ponds in 1996, I joined the newsgroup rec.ponds. The information I got from them was priceless. Through rec.ponds, I asked questions and then started answering them and got people to visit my then baby web site. Over the years, rec.ponds became more and more garbage and less and less ponds until I stopped looking altogether years ago. I just discovered this moderated version of rec.ponds set up a few years ago that is moderated so it's a good place to go to talk about ponds. You can either get it through a newsgroup feed or through the link above.

2. http://www.niagaramagazine.ca/sitepages/?cid=79&cn=Inspiration&an=INSPIRATION-BACK YARD%20PARADISE - Wayne's Awesome Ponds

What's your favorite pond-related web site(s)?
Do you have a web site you want me to mention here?

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