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Robyn's Pond Newsletter April 2004

Last Updated: 2/5/14

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?

This newsletter is dedicated to my sweet girl, Salty, and my son Bertie. A fox dug into the chicken's house and killed the oldest hen, Salty, and the youngest rooster, Bertie on 3/24/04. I hatched Bertie two years ago (my only hatch of 50 eggs), and we had a bond. To read details of the massacre or just to see how beautiful they were, see http://www.fishpondinfo.com/birds/mychick2.htm under "March Massacre Revisited."

Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages (explanations below, numbers match):

1. http://www.cafeshops.com/fishpondinfo
2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/animalphotos.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean.htm

Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:

1. I created a shop selling a few things like a t-shirt, tote bag, postcards, baby clothes, coaster, a tile box, and a mousepad. If you buy something, it will go towards paying to cover the hosting costs for fishpondinfo.com. It's been up a few weeks, and no one has bought anything so I guess it's a good thing this service is free to me! I really would like to make a little money from my efforts. I spent $1300 on Schmoo the dog in March 2004 alone for vet bills.

2. Under birds, I added a new picture of the great blue heron that was hanging around my ponds in late March.

3. This is a new page describing the cleaning of my 153 gallon pond on 3/29/04 in detail. It is not fully revised/complete yet.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. The morning of 3/8/04, I added some additives to my main pond (and a few to the 153 gallon as well). These included BZT, pond salt, baking soda, koi clay, Stress-Coat, Pond-Zyme, and MelaFix. One white goldfish I thought was dead was alive when I went to net him. He has a tumor on him. I'm afraid that it's tuberculosis that was somehow transferred from my aquariums. There's no treatment that works. The 1800 gallon was at 47 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 46 degrees F.

2. On 3/14/04, I squirted off the pond flosses. The basket of filter material was really heavy with a lot of pond sludge for some reason (too early for spawning). The 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were both at 44 degrees F. I removed a good amount of leaves from the ponds. In the 1800 gallon pond near the bottom, I found a 2" pickerel frog upside down. Upon turning it over, it didn't look decomposed; its tongue was in and its eyes clear. Then, I could swear he moved minutely. I put him in a lily pot just in case but didn't hold out hope. He still hadn't moved. His legs were red. It really upsets me when froggies die.

3. At dusk on 3/17/04, a great blue heron flew in and landed on the top of the swing. He only stayed a moment and left. The next morning, I threw out some bread, and the crows came for it. Then, a hawk was chasing one. The hawk went over and joined another hawk, and they talked. It's probably the same mated pair that killed two of my chickens two years ago. Then, I went over to the pond. The fish were literally sucked onto the bottom, jamming themselves into the PVC pipes, pots, etc., trying to hide. I guess they were spooked from the heron's visit. It probably came when I didn't see it. I can't keep track of all the fish but the 2 koi, 4 orfe, and my favorite goldfish were still there. I doubt the heron got anyone as I've never seen any signs of it.

Oops, forget everything I've said! The morning of 3/19/04 at dawn as I went downstairs, the heron was standing right in the middle of my pond! He promptly flew off, and I don't notice any fish missing but I'd never notice one of the smaller goldfish being gone. The fish were really scared and good at hiding in the deep end. This is the first time in seven years that I've seen a heron actually in one of my ponds.

4. On 3/21/04, I squirted off the bioballs. Both ponds were about 50 degrees F but the wind was unbearable. I removed the poor dead pickerel frog (he was a goner and hadn't moved). It took a while to collect a few hundred leaves from my ponds and top them all off with water. I forget what else I did since I wrote it all down here off my lists (which I then recycled) and then apparently was too stupid to save it!

5. The morning of 3/25/04, once again the great blue heron was in the middle of my pond. He must be getting something!

6. Finally, on the morning of 3/27/04, my mother told me she heard what sounded like a wild turkey but she thought it might be a frog. I went to listen. The quacking wood frogs are back in my 50 gallon in-ground tub pond! Hurray! When I went to look in the pond a few times during the day, a young green frog (who did not hide) was there, and as they dove for it, I believe I saw two male and one female wood frogs.

7. On 3/27/04, I brought in the two de-icers and heated "bird bath" that was floating in the 1800 gallon pond. On 3/28/04, I squirted off the flosses and topped off the ponds. The big pond was at 62 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 56 degrees F. I set up my front porch 20 gallon mosaic pond (no life in it). I used the Pondovac 2 to suck water out of my 20 gallon (former) lotus tub, my 18 gallon back pond, and my 20 gallon (former) tropical tub pond. It works really well if you don't have animals to worry about and let me suck every drop of water out down into the gravel (which it tried to suck up too). I cleaned and refilled two of those ponds. The tropical tub pond I had to wait until the next day to get more pea gravel since the old was kind of muddy. There was enough room to just top it off with more gravel to make it look nicer. The next day, the 18 gallon back liner pond was again half empty as the deer drank a lot of water!

8. On 3/29/04, I got a rare day off to clean out my 153 gallon pond. As telling the story would take many pages, I have decided to put all the details on their own page (clean.htm which is mentioned in the first part of this newsletter). Long story short, the pair of red shiners and one Southern redbelly dace are still alive as well as 11 rosy red minnows (only 3 males) but one minnow went for a ride in the Pondovac and died as I didn't see her there. I also found one live medium female bullfrog, one live big female green frog, and one small poor dead pickerel frog. In addition to the fish and frogs, there were hundreds of green frog tadpoles and snails (pond snails and ramshorns), one mayfly I think got squished, and a cranefly larvae. I will put up photos on my site soon too. I also put mosquito dunks in my five fish-less ponds.

I have not cleaned out the 50 gallon lotus tub pond since the wood frogs are in there, and I don't want to disturb them. No eggs yet!

Web Sites of Interest:

1. I put a link in here and forgot to save it! My apologies to whomever!

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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