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Robyn's Pond Newsletter April 2005

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?

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

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean2.htm
2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/myponds.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/myponds.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)

Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:

1. I added in the story of my 153 gallon pond cleaning on 3/25/05.

2. I made updates to my descriptions of some of my tub ponds.

3. I added my 12 gallon Tricker tub pond description (nothing it in yet) and added other minor updates.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 3/6/05, I just topped off the ponds, pulled up the net off the water some more, removed some leaves, and recorded the temperatures. The 1800 gallon was 39 degrees F and the 153 gallon 46 degrees F.

2. On 3/13/05, I squirted off the flosses, tidied up, and topped off the ponds. The 1800 gallon was at 41 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 46 degrees F. In the floss and basket was an injured goldfish, about 4" long with a hazy eye and a scrape cut. I sadly let him swim away from me. I saw some small dark fish in a school of about six. With joy, I realized that they were what remains of my rosy red minnows in that pond (all reverted to natural fathead minnow coloration as when I put them in in 1997, there were a few partial fatheads.). I removed the cover and weights from the top of the falls over the biofilter which I had put on to protect the de-icer and filter from freezing as readily. The 153 gallon has had a suspended algae outbreak, most likely from all the rain that filled it up with runoff dirt. I will clean this pond soon which will help a lot. There are more fish in there now than ever before (rosy reds) as well. Spring is coming and once again, I'm faced with having to somehow do all my regular work as well as potting, repotting, mulching, pruning, cleaning, etc. but thing's are worse than ever. I don't have time to do anything. I'm going to burn out (and end up in the ER again) but they keep piling the work on higher at my paying job. They don't want me to use any of my 10 days off (I only take one at a time) but if I don't, I can't get any home work done. The weekends are spent doing a routine of about 14 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday of the same things over and over all year. There's no time to weed and mulch and so forth let alone read, exercise, play, watch movies, etc. But, for the animals (who get most of my paycheck), I have to continue instead of telling them to chuck my meaningless paid job. As for those who say "Get rid of the animals," I would never do that because they're what I live for. Because I'm so overworked, don't expect me to be able to do much if anything with my website. I have lots of ideas but absolutely no time.

3. On 3/20/05, I didn't need to get into the ponds but did some other chores around them. The 1800 gallon was at 48 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 50 degrees F. I pulled out my three old solar lights which were in bad shape and put up four new ones. I shoveled the yuck out of my "20 gallon lotus tub pond" (which said "Lerio 12S" on the bottom so it's 12 gallons; the S I guess means squat) as well as my "20 gallon tropical tub pond." Both were disgusting. There were lotus tubers in the first pond but they were all mushy, gray, and purple indicating they were completely rotted out. I plan to replace that pond with a new Tricker 12 gallon tub pond. I give up on lotus somewhat since I never seem to get any flowers with my black thumb and the deer. I plan to put plants in pots within the other 20 gallon tub pond instead of filling it with dirt since it's so messy. I added the following to my 1800 gallon pond - some pond salt, koi clay, baking soda, and barley straw pellets. I didn't add anywhere near the recommended doses for any of them. I add BZT every week that my ponds aren't frozen for good bacteria and enzymes (again, not full doses). I took the de-icer out of the 1800 gallon pond (it was in the biofilter, top of the falls).

4. The morning of 3/23/05, it was pouring rain. While outside feeding my rabbit, I heard that single-noted noise that makes you forget all the billions of problems! You know what I mean! The wood frogs! Yay, there were three males and a female in there. One pair were amplexing! I hope to get eggs this year. If I do, I'll have to be sure to set them aside while cleaning out my 153 gallon pond (that's where they were). I hope it's dry in a few days to do that. The wood frogs didn't seem to sound like quacking ducks this year.

5. On 3/25/05, I had one of our 7 holidays off from work, hence a Good Friday. I wrote up the entire story of the day in detail at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean2.htm instead of here. The photos aren't up yet as they take me a lot of time to deal with them. I got my new 12 gallon Tricker tub pond the same day. You can read more about it on my pond descriptions pages. When I read pages like that, it's really confusing since it's all out of date and jumbled up over years so that I don't really know anything anymore!

6. On 3/27/05, I squirted off the pond flosses and bioballs. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 46 degrees F. It was raining. I removed the "winter island" from the pond which is just a little tiny de-icer that is supposed to be like a bird bath which no bird has ever used in three years in my pond. At the time I went out to do this, something was on our poor cover that we had never seen on our land at all! A pair of mallard ducks were swimming in the cover! They did not stay. Ducks are not great for ornamental ponds because they produce a lot of waste and eat both fish and plants. My pond is netted and safe from them. We would not have minded them on the pool cover except my father who lives to keep the water off of it. He does not like the animals that move in - gray tree frogs, mosquito larvae, other bugs, etc.

7. On the morning of 3/30/05, I found that the raccoons made a mess of my "new" 20 gallon tub pond. They rooted below the pea gravel so the entire pond was full of dirt and opaque. They ripped the water lily tubers out of their pot. They tore the wood frog egg mass to bits. I thought the deer might leave these plants alone but all the animals conspire around here. So much for a nice pond. I just can't win. I should give up but must be too stupid.

8. It rained all day today, 4/2/05. My new 12 gallon tub pond is almost full from all the rain this week! As I type this, there is major thunder so I hope to get this newsletter sent out ASAP!

Pond Tidbits:

1. After I wrote about my problems with the net collapsing into my pond during heavy rain and snow, Jane suggested the following. "In order to keep the net from getting down in the water when it snows, we put a long 2 x 4 or two across the pond and then drape the net across it, pull it as tight as we can and then fasten the net on all sides with stakes...." I might have tried something like that if my pond were smaller and/or I had someone to help me. I've heard of people building PVC, metal, or wood structures over the pond onto which to drape the net.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. I recently stumbled into the Australian Water Gardener site. I didn't have any time to look around much but it looks like there's a lot of interesting information to read there. The site is http://www.australianwatergardener.com.

2. Here is an interesting article about natural swimming pools. I think of them more as ponds you just happen to swim in. [Note: While this link worked fine on my work computer, when I tried repeatedly while verifying it at home, it always caused the window to just close.]


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