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Robyn's Pond Newsletter April 2009

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, Photos, or Videos on Fishpondinfo:

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/amphphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under frogs for 2009 are three photos of wood frogs, one photo of a green frog, and two photos of wood frog eggs.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean6.htm -
This is the page about the 4/1/09 cleaning of my 153 gallon pond. I have yet to process and add photos to the page.

New Pages on Pond Showcase:

1. None this month.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. What a difference a few days makes here! It went up to 75 degrees F outside on 3/8/09. The 1800 gallon pond was at 52 degrees F in the water and the 153 gallon at 50 degrees F. It was also warm the day before and the fish rooted around in the shallows perhaps pondering if they should spawn or not. In their zest, they put a lot of debris in to the water. So, even though I squirted off the filter material around the pump last week, I got in and did it again on this day. The first thing I did though once I got in the pond was net what I thought was an almost foot long dead goldfish. She had been floating on the surface since the day before. But, when I netted her, she opened her mouth so she was still alive. I put her back but I think she won't live much longer. I wonder if they already tried to spawn?

After I put the filter back together, I was tending to the waterfall although not much is growing on it right now. I noticed a trickle of water that was diverting under the rocks. The entire waterfall is lined but I was curious where the water went. So, I looked up under some rocks. Staring back at me were two pickerel frogs! It was kind of surreal. Over at the 153 gallon pond, the male wood frogs arrived. Three males were clucking and showing off but I didn't see any females yet. I did see a female green frog which I hope they don't harass. I took some photos. At the cesspooly 50 gallon tub pond, a couple of brave green frogs were hanging out. I will clean the three small ponds soon and almost did on this day.

Here are some odds and ends that I did in no particular order. I put a new mesh bag of barley straw in the big pond. I put up the half-busted lighted buck for the year (Christmas ornament used to tell if there is power to the pond at night at a glance). There were some ants in the outlet by the 1800 gallon pond which worries me. The 153 gallon outlet is still dead with extension cords running out there. The honeybees were all over the waterfall. A dozen or so snow crocuses were in bloom. I put on shorts! I cut some ornamental grasses down and dead tree branches, collected sticks, and walked around the land.

I ended the pond chores by putting some spring fish food in the ponds and watching. It took a few minutes but once the fish in the big pond discovered the food, it was a free for all! Imagine basically not eating for over three months! It's going to cool off so they may have to wait another week for some more food. I have to buy some Cheerios for them.

2. When I got home on 3/9/09, I found one of the male wood frogs found a girl and was amplexing. In the big pond, it looked like the goldfish I thought was dead the day before was dead. I removed her and got no response. She was a 10 inch comet that was mostly red with some white on the fins. She was seriously egg laden (in early March!). It is possible the other fish tried to spawn with her and gave her fatal internal injuries. She had no obvious external problems.

3. The first wood frog eggs appeared in the 153 gallon pond on 3/12/09.

4. On 3/15/09, I decided not to do the work that I should have. It was 44 degrees F and drizzling and my aunts were coming over. The 1800 gallon pond was at 44 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 46 degrees F. The bioballs were due for cleaning but the floss was not. I didn't get in to the pond. I put in the first dose of KoiZyme for the spring. I topped off all the ponds and collected some leaves. Spring in coming and along with it the busiest time of the year for me - pond cleaning, mulching, mowing, weeding, trimming, and so on!

5. When I came home on 3/17/09, I found one of the seven feeder goldfish in the 10 gallon tank was dead for no apparent reason. It was one of the orange ones.

6. I finally got some pond work done on 3/22/09. The air temperature was at freezing at dawn but almost 60 degrees F when I went to work on the ponds. The 1800 gallon pond was only at 49 degrees F and the 153 gallon pond at 47 degrees F. And yet, I've been feeding the fish some Cheerios and spring food most afternoons now.

I removed the de-icers from both ponds and the plastic lid on the biofilter. I squirted off the filter floss and bioballs. I found a live male green frog in the biofilter. I also found a dead pickerel frog in the 1800 gallon pond, just a little one, a few inches long that had died a while ago. I wanted to use the pond vacuum to clean out the three smaller ponds but ended up just doing two of them.

The 20 gallon tub pond just had rotten water and a huge bare root yellow flag iris. I remove the iris and tried to clean it off some. After putting in new water, it went back in.

The 50 gallon tub pond was really not a pond but a repulsive cesspool! It was thick with leaves, sticks, slop, gravel, hornwort, terrestrial mint, six bricks, three pots, and a few Melantho snails. I saved about a dozen snails but the debris was too thick to save them all. There were three pots in the bottom. The one gallon pot was 100% dumped and empty. The two two gallon pots were half full of pond planting media. I was too exhausted to do full repottings at that point. So, I just topped them off with new pea gravel. In one pot went the remnants of a waterlily. Most of it was dead but one end was still alive. In the other pot, I put the baby water celery plants that were all over. I also saved a good amount of hornwort. I found one good thing in this pond though - one of the male wood frogs who I put in the 20 gallon tub. I later saw him in the 153 gallon pond. I never got around to cleaning out the back 18 gallon liner pond. After I refilled the 20 and 50 gallon ponds, I realized I used the wrong water spigot, the one without the sediment filter. My 1800 gallon pond always gets the ground formica and granite too with water additions.

The OASE Pondvac kept clogging with leaves and rocks up in the tubing. I hit the tube on the main vacuum a few times. Oops, a piece of the handle broke off! The tubing for the vacuum is very unruly, like a pile of rigid pythons. I'm not very fond of my pond vacuum.

7. On 3/28/09, the wood frog eggs in the 153 gallon pond hatched. Ut oh! I meant to move them before I clean the pond out on 4/1/09. I used a bowl to scoop the unhatched eggs and a lot of the tadpoles out and put them in to the 50 gallon tub pond. When I have to clean the 153 gallon pond, I will have a lot more work trying to save all those minute tadpoles. The 50 gallon tub pond has only sat for a week since cleaning. It is now full of about 100 earthworms on the bottom but otherwise has little food sources for the tadpoles. As soon as they're a little bigger, and it's warmer, I'll be feeding them Cheerios and pond fish food.

8. On 3/29/09, I squirted off the flosses. It was warmer in the 60's but very windy. Despite the warm air, it had been cold so that the 1800 gallon pond was at 54 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 51 degrees F. I put some fresh pea gravel in the four main waterlily pots to freshen them up without actually repotting them. They were repotted last year. The fish knocked a lot of the rocks out of a few of the pots so hopefully these new rocks will better protect the tubers. The lilies all have just a few leaves at the base so far.

9. On 4/1/09, I took the day off to clean out the 153 gallon pond. The link above about the cleaning includes text but no photos yet.

Pond Tidbits:

1. None this month.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. None this month.

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