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Robyn's Pond Newsletter April 2007

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? Three more people admitted to reading this last month if you're curious. I mentioned last time that I am now an affiliate of Drs. Foster and Smith. I forgot to mention that I also joined Live Aquaria which is part of the same company. The link into their site is near the bottom of relevant pages (not all pages) and all pages still in the main directory. I have never ordered from them myself. They sell live freshwater, marine, and pond animals and plants. As far as ponds goes that includes koi, goldfish, mosquito fish, bullfrog tadpoles, various snails, waterlilies, and other pond plants. Also, don't forget I'm an Amazon.com affiliate if you ever use them. They sell most everything. To order through my site, go to http://www.fishpondinfo.com/amazon.htm

I redid (total tear downs) my 50 and 40 gallon tanks on 3/17/07 and 3/18/07 for the first time in 6 years and 8.5 years respectively. They were pretty filthy. The 40 gallon was replaced with a new 65 gallon. That tank got a crack; they refused to do a return; I bought another. On 3/31/07, the fish were finally into another 65 gallon tank. My turtle moved into the 40 gallon on 4/7/07. Because I had to redo my tank pages at least to cover that (as well as do my pages regarding my annual 153 gallon pond cleaning), I got even further behind on the birds directory because I had to work on the "myfish" directory. So, both are works in progress. You can read about my tank "redo" at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/tankredo.htm

I hope none of your animals were harmed by the recalled pet foods. Not only were cats and dogs harmed and killed but also hedgehogs (I know of one that got sick), ferrets, and wild animals (raccoons, opossums, foxes, etc.) that may have eaten the food. Luckily, none of my animals were eating the recalled food but my cat Gino eats prescription food for cystitis which the other cats also eat (but shouldn't). That food is not as natural as the other cat foods that I feed but it was the only way to get his urine pH below 7 so he didn't have crystals in his urine. The prescription food is made of by-products, pig lard, and corn gluten, just what you'd expect cats to eat in the wild! It makes me sick that there are no natural prescription diets at my vet without grains and yucky stuff for cats.

Did you know that if you go to these links, you can see lists (no descriptions) of all the videos and some of the photos on my site (eventually all, once I move the old photos over)?

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

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fishcare/acclimate.htm -
This is a small page I wrote on acclimating fish to aquariums and ponds.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fishcare/treat.htm -
This is a page that lists my general treatment suggestions (so I don't have to keep repeating myself). I included links to Drs. Foster and Smith so it kind of looks like a bunch of ads but the information is good whether or not you buy anything through my site or not.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/fishphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Winter 2007 is the photo of a 3" male rosy red minnow that I found dead in my 153 gallon pond (more details below).

4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/50galpond.htm#redo - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
I redid the lotus tub pond to just a regular pond (no dirt) on 3/25/07. This section tells the story and has links to photos of wood frog eggs, the pond, and more.

5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/animalphotos.htm#insects - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under insects are two photos of a mayfly in my 1800 gallon pond on 3/25/07.

6. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm -
Under frogs, toads, and salamanders are four photos of salamander eggs that Amber sent to me for identification.

7. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean4.htm -
The story of the 153 gallon pond cleaning (and other ponds) on 3/29/07. Photos and video are included.

New Pages on Pond Showcase:

1. http://www.pondshowcase.com/Asvin/index.shtml - Asvin's pond

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. I was finally able to get back into my pond on 3/4/07. It was the first time I had been in the pond in five weeks. The previous week, it had warmed into the 50's, and the snow from the previous Sunday had mostly melted. On Saturday, it was almost 60 degrees F but a little windy. By the time it came for the pond work on Sunday, it was 35 degrees F with 40 mph winds. It was horrible! The kiddie pool blew away three times, once with something heavy on it. I had to keep my paper inside because it wouldn't stay even weighted down. Still, I put on a hat and thermal underwear (I can't wear a coat as it gets in the way and would get fish gunk on it) and went out to do pond work. I replaced the pond thermometer with a new one. Later, once I cleaned the algae off of it, it actually wasn't in bad shape. The 1800 gallon thermometer that I removed said 41 degrees F. The 153 gallon thermometer read 46 degrees F. Then, I removed the filter floss (material) from around the pump. The pump intake itself was partially clogged but the floss wasn't in bad shape which surprised me. I didn't find any dead frogs or fish in the filter which was good. I also removed and squirted off the bags of bioballs and lava rock which were also not that dirty. Luckily, there were no frogs in the bottom of the biofilter. The one that must have been in there that I'd found frozen on the ice a few weeks earlier should have stayed put. When I put the filter material back and got the waterfall running again (at a slightly better flow), I netted a bunch of leaves off the bottom. In doing so, I found another dead pickerel frog, maybe three inches long. I did see a live pickerel frog, about four inches and most likely the one I saw last month. It was hiding under the filter basket that holds the pump and filter floss. I also found a Japanese trapdoor snail. The trap door was gone but there was this weird jelly-like thing inside. It was kind of like a major wad of snail eggs. Trapdoor snails give live birth. I think the snail was dead. I didn't know what it was so I put it back in the pond just in case it was something worth saving. I collected two buckets of leaves from the pond water. No fish died this winter but the same fish that were sick still are - the orfe on its side, the goldfish with white growths on its head, and the goldfish with mild dropsy that just lays there. The other fish seem fine. I put in a dose of Microbe-Lift spring preparation which is a dry powder (thought it was liquid before opening it) and some pond salt.

The other ponds are worse off as far as leaves go. The 153 gallon pond will be cleaned in a few weeks. The 20 gallon tub doesn't have much in it so it's not a problem. The 50 gallon "lotus" tub pond (without any surviving lotus) is full of leaves, hornwort that survived freezing, and water celery. I have to redo this pond this spring and may forgo the filling it half with dirt topped with pea gravel and just make it a regular sort of pond for the deer (who eat anything I put in there), raccoons, and frogs to play in. The back 18 gallon pond is just a wad of leaves. I let it go most of the time anyway as nothing's in there.

2. When I got home on 3/5/07, there had been 40 mph winds all day. The ponds were covered in thousands of leaves. I removed some but couldn't make a dent as the sun was setting, and the wind was horrible. It was above freezing then. By morning, it was 15 degrees F with still gusts over 40 mph (and sustained winds at least half that). The ponds, which were melted out, flash froze so their entire surfaces (except near the waterfall in the 1800 gallon and the aerator and de- icer in the 153 gallon) were frozen over in just a few hours. All those leaves were frozen into the ice. This is not good for anyone.

3. On 3/7/07, we got 1.5 inches of snow. It was 13 degrees F the morning of 3/8/07. I guess winter isn't over yet!

4. On 3/11/07, the last of the snow and ice melted in the shallows of my ponds. I collected some leaves. The day before I had topped off the ponds, collected leaves, added BZT. On Sunday, 3/11/07, I didn't need to get in to do the flosses but it was a nicer day in the 50's so I could have. I added some pond salt, Microbe-Lift PL, Koi-Zyme, and baking soda. The 1800 gallon was at 44 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 47 degrees F.

5. The morning of 3/15/07, I found that the raccoons must have had some pond fun. A few pots in the 153 gallon were spilled as were a few in the 1800 gallon. A dead 3" male rosy red minnows was floating in the 153 gallon pond. I have few good photos of my minnows so I took some photos of this poor victim. I think they beat him up, he escaped, and later died from his injuries. A link to the photo is at the top of the newsletter.

6. The night of 3/15/07, the spring peepers and wood frogs were out calling. The spring peepers had been calling for a few days at a nearby more natural pond (they don't come to my ponds) but were extra loud since it had rained all day. The wood frogs were at my 153 gallon pond right on schedule.

7. On 3/16/07, it got cold and windy with some sleet. By the morning of 3/17/07, there was an inch of snow on the ground, and it was 24 degrees F.

8. On 3/18/07, I thought I could get into the pond even though there was some ice on it. The problem was that the net had snow on it and was frozen down. So, I didn't get in to squirt off the floss. I pulled the 1800 gallon thermometer out of the ice, and it read 35 degrees F. The 153 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F. The air temperature was 34 degrees F, and it was windy. All week while I was at work, it was in the 70's most of the week, almost 80 degrees F one day. When the weekend came, winter returned. The poor crocuses which bloomed were frozen solid.

9. The morning of 3/23/07, there were three wood frog egg masses in my 153 gallon pond. They were calling like mad the night before.

10. On 3/25/07, I got into the 1800 gallon pond. Both the 153 and 1800 gallon ponds were at 54 degrees F. I took the de-icer and green Rubbermaid tub lid off of the biofilter in the big pond. I squirted off the floss. It was super heavy and really dirty. This time of the year even my pond gets a little bit of hair algae and suspended algae but not much. I collected some leaves off the bottom. I saw a mayfly in the pond, and, when I got out, took a photo. It actually turned out (link above). I added some pond salt, baking soda, Microbe-Lift (both solid and liquid), koi- zyme, and a new bag of barley straw.

I cleaned out the 50 gallon lotus tub pond which no longer has lotus. The pond has a new 40 gph solar pump, two batches of wood frog eggs, a small green frog, one Melantho snail, a few pieces of water celery, and some hornwort; that's it. You can read about the cleaning and see photos at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/50galpond.htm#redo
I really need to renovate those pages really bad but I have no time. The photos are also on my pond pictures pages where appropriate and on other relevant pages.

11. When I went outside the morning of 3/28/07, it was 60 degrees F, and the goldfish were spawning! They were making a mess. In their zest, they must have dislodged a previously unnoticed deceased goldfish which I removed. The goldfish was 9.5" long and an orange common goldfish. Its dorsal fin was shredded off. He had been dead at least a few days. The goldfish wasn't the only casualty. Beginning at least as early as 6/22/06 according to my July 2006 pond newsletter, one of my orfe switched to a life living on its side. I've talked about him in most every newsletter since then. He never seemed to lose weight but could not have been eating well. He made it through the really hard winter. Finally, this week, he settled with his head down into an empty pond pot. I think he suffocated. I realized he was dead on 3/28/07 in the morning and removed him. He was definitely alive when I was in the pond on 3/25/07. His skin was pretty roughed up so I did not take photos out of respect for his former glory. He was 15" long but, because he was bent, it was really a 13" body and then a bend to a 6" tail. I will miss him. At least he is no longer suffering. I have two orfe left and really need to find a few more.

12. On 3/29/07, I took the day off and spent the entire day cleaning the 153 gallon pond and some smaller ponds. You can read about it and see photos at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean4.htm

13. On 4/1/07, I got into the 1800 gallon and removed the filter material to squirt it off. It was really heavy with slop that the spawning goldfish have stirred up. The waterfall had slowed. The pond is not as clear as it is most of the year due to this annual "let's stir up the pond and make a mess" event. I moved the golden club to the shallows. I had put it a little deeper for winter this year which was lucky because it was so cold and the pond so frozen. The 1800 gallon pond was at 52 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 54 degrees F.

14. The morning of 4/3/07, the 153 gallon pond was a bit foamy. Where did the wood frog eggs go? All that was left was jelly. They hatched!

15. Winter in April? Yep! Temperatures went below freezing starting 4/5/07 and continuing probably into next week (4/10/07 or so). The freezing temperatures will destroy the flowers - daffodils, forsythia, fruit trees (no fruit this year)! The morning of 4/7/07, there was snow on the ground, just a dusting. The radio said it was the most snow we had gotten in April since 1982.

Pond Tidbits:

1. No time.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. None this month.

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Do you have a web site you want me to mention here?

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