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Robyn's Pond Newsletter June 2005

Last Updated: 2/6/14

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:

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/daily.htm -
This is a new page I added with just some interesting things that really has nothing to do with the rest of my web site. If you know of any neat add on useful sorts of things for people to use, please let me know. This is one of those pages I just did and then thought it was pretty stupid!

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/teri.htm -
This is the fiction book, "The Missing Fish: A Teri Cole Watergardening Mystery," I tried to write a few years ago but will never finish. You can read the little bit I wrote. It's not very good.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/turtles/turhealth.htm -
I started a new page on turtle health. I really meant to fill it all out last week but then things got really hectic so the page is not finished.

4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/bigpondphotos1.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2005 are four photos of my 1800 gallon pond on 5/27/05 including the forget-me- nots, yellow flag iris, marginal area and entire pond.

5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/fishphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2005 are two photos of the 1800 gallon pond fish under the net on 5/27/05.

6. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/otherpondphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2005 are two photos of the blue flag iris in bloom in my 153 gallon pond on 5/27/05.

7. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm -
Under insects is a photo of a female giant water bug from Canada.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 5/8/05, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in a kiddie pool. The 1800 gallon was up to 68 degrees F and the 153 gallon 64 degrees F. I put the two gallon pot of black taro outside, topped with some new pea gravel but not repotted. I collected 10 more goldfish fry that I put into my 50 gallon lotus tub pond. There are little bugs in there. I'm hoping they're just big daphnia instead of predaceous beetles of some sort but they do look like mini beetles. They don't sit still long enough for me to tell for sure. I did a small water change and cleaning on my mosaic pond which is on the porch with no plants or animals but is still filthy since the raccoons play in it.

2. On 5/11/05, I caught one more goldfish fry and put him/her in my 50 gallon lotus tub pond. The next morning, while walking past there, I said, "What is a banana doing there?" Then, I realized it was my poor beleaguered lotus tuber! The raccoons had yanked it out again and spilt the lily out in the 20 gallon tub pond. There are at least two more fry in the plastic pails but now they are swimming fast and much harder to catch!

3. On 5/15/05, I squirted off the flosses, topped off the ponds, etc. The 1800 gallon pond was up to 70 degrees F and the 153 gallon 69 degrees F. Soon I'll be wearing my bathing suit in the pond. I brought out my tropical canna and bluebells. Both were potted into two gallon pots with gravel (no dirt to make it easier to move inside in the fall as the dirt always gets into the water). The bluebells were so tall that I had to stake them with a bamboo pole. There were maybe 7 canna pieces but due to lack of time and space, I jammed them all into the one pot. Although the canna were stored in sphagnum moss in a paper bag without light, the green parts were a foot high or so (growing out the bag). These light green leaves are very weak and many broke off. Near the top of my waterfall/stream, I put in a sweet potato to see if it does as well as I've read. It's out of reach of the fish since it's poisonous but the deer might find it and eat it. This is an experiment. My only pond plant still inside is the tropical lily which I should put out next week. My paradise fish laid eggs on 5/10/05 in their 5 gallon tank. They used to be in a pond when I first got them for that summer. I was going to raise the fry in a tub pond but only got four to hatch so they're in a net breeder in my 20 gallon tank.

4. On 5/19/05, while quietly mulching around my pond, the male frogs started making a lot of noise. Based on the location of the calls, there were at least 3 male bullfrogs and 2 male green frogs but possibly one or two more. Then, I heard all this splashing and looked up over the hill. I've seen a male bullfrog in my pond many times but never more than one. Now, two of them were fighting. These big boys, maybe 5 to 6 inches long not including legs were lunging at each other. They would rear up, show off their bright yellow throat patches, call, and then thrust/hurl themselves at each other, splashing water all around. While I've heard of this sort of thing, this was the first time I had actually seen it!

5. On 5/22/05, I squirted off the flosses and Cyprio biothings. I potted up my two tropical waterlily tubers (nut things) that overwintered in damp sand. I fertilized most of the lilies and lotuses and a few of the marginals with PondTabbs. The 1800 gallon was at 69 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 68 degrees F. There are still a few fry in my litter buckets but they are too fast to catch so I'm not sure what to do aside from wait. There's also a medium green frog tadpole in one bucket. With all the slop though, I can't even catch him. I may have to wait until fall and do the pour method which is where I dump some of the ground and then hand pick out animals to save bit by bit. The goldfish should be big enough by then to do that.

6. Remember that one remaining tadpole in the bucket? Well, the raccoon found it and dumped it on the porch to desicate overnight.

7. On 5/26/05, my Tricker order arrived. I put 3 water hyacinth, 3 water lettuce, some regular salvinia, and a few floating leaf flower plants in my floating plant protector in the 1800 gallon pond. I put one of the floating leaf flowers (a new plant for me) in my Tricker pond. Going through the trapdoor snails, I found 11 alive and 1 dead (body out of shell, hinge off too). The whole thing smelt really bad. I put the snails in my 1800 gallon pond. The rest of the plants I waited until Sunday to plant. I also found a small pair of mating Gammarus (scuds/shrimp) with the snails and put them in the 1800 gallon pond (I'm sure they were promptly eaten.).

8. On 5/29/05, I squirted off the flosses and bioballs. The 1800 gallon was at 70 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 69 degrees F. I planted the new plants. In the Tricker tub pond, I potted up a Colorata tropical waterlily into a one gallon pot (dirt, fertilizer, and pea gravel). This lily already has a bud. I hope it blooms. I've yet to get any hardy waterlily flowers in my big pond this year (just one in the 153 gallon) despite proper repotting and fertilizing. There are three shelves in the Tricker pond. The problem was they are so dinky that it took me a while to find pots tiny enough to sit there (practically dixie cup size houseplant pots). I filled them just with gravel. In one, I put a dwarf papyrus. In the other went a hardy calla lily. The other two hardy callas that I got were potted together into a 2 gallon pot in the 1800 gallon shallow area. I just knew those tiny pots perched on those tiny shelves would be great fun for the raccoons, and I was right. The next morning, all my potting was undone. I redid it. The next morning, one was undone. Maybe they'll grow tired of this game? They don't eat the plants, and there are no animals in there so they're doing this purely for fun. I hope they grow weary of it but they are still playing the "pull the poor black taro, root ball and all, out of the 2 gallon pot pond every night and dump it on the deck" game.

I also had to plant a dozen anacharis (that smelt really bad) and 6 jungle valisneria. I put one anacharis in the Tricker pond and one in the 153 gallon pond. I pulled out two more of the 2 gallon pots from the deepest part of the pond with the submerged plant cages on them. I had to cut the nylon string to get them open (forget untying it; it's impossible). There was just some dirt left in there. I potted the submerged plants just in pea gravel. I sewed the protector cages shut with fishing line and put them back. I felt inside the one I did last month (barely fitting a finger in between the fishing line) with hornwort to find almost none left and then I felt a fish, a big slimy one! How in the world do they get in there! I pulled the pot up but couldn't see the fish, just feel it. I managed to get a gap big enough to get my hand in there (which I guess is how they get into these worthless plant protectors). I finally got the fish out - my ~10" all naturally colored, black goldfish! The poor guy now has some white patches from being jammed in the pot for I don't know how long and then my prying him out. I always manage to hurt my poor fish! I hope he'll heal on his own. One of my goldfish has dropsy. If I had the time, space, and luck, I would treat these fish out of the pond but I have no time or space or luck treating fish it seems!

9. As of 6/1/05, the sweet potato has all wilted up, the tropical canna shows no sign of new growth, and there is one paradise fish baby left in my aquarium.

10. On 6/4/05, I put some masses of java moss from my over-java-mossed 50 gallon tank in the Tricker pond. The blue tropical water lily in there had a bud but it sort of opened under water and never broke the surface. The raccoons seem to have grown tired of messing that pond up for now. The wood frog tadpoles in my 20 gallon tub pond now have good back legs and soon will be leaving so it took about two months for them to mature. They are about two-thirds of an inch long.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. Sheila sent me a link to this really neat photo she took of a dragonfly next to its shed exoskeleton after it just came out of the water and is ready to fly away with a leopard frog below in the water watching the dragonfly: http://members.aol.com/sjohnson13/dragonflyandfrog.html

2. This is Bob's new pond site with some information on homemade pond filters and a free newsletter - http://www.backyard-pond-guide.com/

3. Here's a newspaper article by Tom Bentley about raccoons and ponds that's kind of funny in places (our raccoons are big trouble makers but we love them anyway, unlike Tom): http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2003/November/06/style/stories/08style.htm

4. Dr. Johnson of koivet fame has two new web sites: http://www.pondcrisis.com and http://www.koicrisis.com that may be helpful.

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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