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Robyn's Pond Newsletter June 2006

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?

I mentioned my new site http://www.pondshowcase.com in the last newsletter. Unfortunately, this last month I've been totally swamped with work so I've had little time to work on it. I hope to have it up by the next newsletter or the following at the latest.

Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages; New Pond Photos:

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/bigpondphotos1.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2006 are seven new photos from 4/30/06 to 5/27/06 of the big pond and flowering water iris. Three are general photos of the pond, two are of the yellow flag iris, one of the white iris, and one of the colorific iris.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/fishphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2006 is a photo of my pond fish (net pulled back) on 4/30/06.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/orfe.htm -
Under pictures are 9 photos that Wayne sent me of his orfe spawning in his stream. He had an interesting white orfe but unfortunately, it died; its photo is among the ones I put up.

4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/videos/videos.html -
I have added two videos of my goldfish chasing each other around while spawning. I failed to capture the actual spawning since they're so fast.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 5/7/06, I squirted off all the filter flosses and the bioballs. They were all very heavy, and the waterfalls were again drizzling. The fish are still in spawn city. I made the mistake of opening the very bottom bag of bioballs from the filter to try to clean them better since I could barely lift the bag. It took almost half an hour to hand swish each bioball to try to clean it. Even after that, the tines were all clogged with what I think are moss animals (looks like attached moss or algae but grows in 100% dark). The 1800 gallon was at 67 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 66 degrees F. I had planned to repot some cattails, plantain, sweetflag, or cotton grass or something but had to repot a few things thanks to the raccoons. They again spilt the two small pots in the Tricker pond, the waterlily in the 20 gallon tub, and the Cock's comb in the floating thing (or maybe the spazy fish did that). The fish dislodged one of the newly repotted lizard tail plants so I had to upright that and stuff some more rocks in there. I also potted up a stray piece of variegated sweetflag into a 2 gallon pot (using the pond "soil" since I didn't feel like digging). The pot from whence the variegated sweetflag came is now invaded with regular sweetflag and snowflake so I left that alone.

2. The morning of 5/9/06, the tubing that goes into the Cyprio filter was detached and squirting (luckily) into the pond. I had to get a screw driver to loosen the hose clamp, put it back on (while the blood drained into my head), and tighten it back up.

3. On 5/10/06, I brought out the rest of the tropical pond plants from the basement pond and storage. The taro I put right in the pot it was in into my 2 gallon "pot pond." The taro was infested with more aphids than plant material so I sprayed it with some new Pyola I got (pyrethrin pesticide). It's a natural pesticide. The pot pond is not near any of my ponds. I moved the bluebells from the basement pond right into the shallows of the big pond. It's also aphid infested but since it's in the pond, I couldn't spray it. I did buy some ladybugs which I released near this plant as well as others. The one gallon pot of papyrus was long dead in the basement pond. I thought the one gallon pot with a tropical lily was a goner too but a nut-like tuber with a tiny green sprout was in there. I put this plant in the pot it was in into my Tricker pond. The 2 gallon pot of tropical waterlily I put into the big pond. It's alive but not thriving. Finally, the big tropical waterlily that I've overwintered many years as the nut tubers in wet sand was potted up into a 5 gallon pot and put in its summer location in the big pond. I had the day off (my last one to do mulching, and I didn't have time to do any!) to pull out plants and mow. It took more than five hours to pull all the terrestrial house plants out of the basement and put them on the front porch (I fertilized and sprayed them all with Pyola since the insect pests were coating all the plants literally) as well as get those tropical pond plants out.

4. On 5/14/06, I squirted off all the flosses and squirted down the Cyprio filter. I forgot to record the pond temperatures but it's been cool lately with rain (which we needed). The pond is probably in the low 60's which is not so good for the tropical plants in there and on the porches. A big garter snake was under the net on the rock right where I pull up the filter basket. He moved when I pulled the net back, and I worked right around where he was hiding pretending I didn't know he was there. I fertilized most of the lilies, lotuses, and non-overgrown marginal plants. I put another bag of barley straw in the big pond. My ponds are all clear.

5. On 5/17/06, I saw the first batch of green frog eggs in the 153 gallon pond. The next day, there were many in the Tricker pond. I'm not sure if I want that many in there. I may have to move some.

6. On 5/21/06, I squirted off the filter floss, topped off the ponds, tidied up, and so forth. The 1800 gallon was at 64 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 63 degrees F. It was very windy. I repotted my big regular cattail back into the same 3 gallon pot. It only had one growing part as last year's repotting left it barely alive as opposed to its usually overgrowing self. I also repotted the arrowhead which according to my records was last repotted on 6/11/00?! Its tubers had split the pot all the way down the side at two different locations. There were three growing tips. I saved two and tossed one. I hacked off most of the older tuber leaving mostly the new growth and some roots. Hopefully, I didn't kill it off. After two hours working on the pond, I spent two hours mulching another portion of the garden around the pond, the north side. It's on a steep slope, and the plants are growing pretty well so I had to do a lot of the weeding standing up. A pair of bluebirds have started to build a nest in the new bird house right there. The house has been up a few years with no birds nesting in it. If they try to raise young, this will be the first time in at least three years that bluebirds have been able to use one of our dozen some bird houses. In past years, the sparrows and wrens spooked them off, or predators got the young (snakes, botflies once). I hope they have this one success. While I was mulching, I heard all this twittering. It was a pair of tufted titmice with fledglings. I don't know where they nested. Some of the nest boxes don't open.

7. On 5/24/06, the final portion of my pond plant order from Paradise Water Gardens arrived. It includes two tropical water lilies and three water snowflakes. They also sent two free iris that I didn't expect. I put the plants in two plastic litter buckets under the basement plant light until the weekend. Both water lilies had flower buds on them already!

8. I found the parrot feather pot in the Tricker pond and the tropical canna 2 gallon pot in the big pond completely dumped all the way the morning of 5/26/06. I can't find the canna (it was in dire shape). Thanks Cooney! It's a good thing they were planted in "aquatic plant soil" which is like brown cat litter instead of messy dirt. [Cooney is what we call the raccoons.]

9. The morning of 5/27/06, I found that the raccoon had once again gotten into lots of trouble. He completely dumped the newly repotted regular cattail even though it wasn't in the most shallow part of the pond. That night, I did a poor attempt at repotting it. He also pulled my new American yellow lotus completely out of the pot so it was floating around. I jammed it back in there but doing this often is sure to kill it off. Most of my meticulously planted pots look awful now.

A beautiful white iris opened in my pond. The problem: The last white iris I bought was 1997, and it died that year. Based on where the pot is, it's obvious that this pure white iris is none other than the black gamecock iris that I bought last year that's supposed to be black! Black, white, same thing, right? I took a photo of it which is one of the seven new photos on my page mentioned as #1 in altered pages above.

That same day, I found 8 fry in the bathtub after vacuuming out my 20 and 5 gallon tanks. The possible species are my new unknown danios, glowlight danios, or paradise fish. Based on the condition of the new danios and how the fry look, my best guess is that they are Danio x (the unknown danio). I put the fry into my Tricker pond to hopefully grow up with the newborn green frog tadpoles.

A few green frogs were hanging out on the pool cover so I was looking into the gunky water in there. The pool cover was absolutely full of beetle larvae! I hardly saw any mosquitoes which they presumably ate. What amazed me was that some of the aquatic beetle larvae were walking in and out of the water, walking on the land! There were plenty dead there shriveled up though. I wonder if they just walk out when they run out of food, water depth, or the water quality is really bad or if they always do that?

10. On 5/28/06, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool. I added some baking soda and koi clay to the big pond, netted a little in the deep end, and added water to all the ponds. The 1800 gallon was at 74 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 73 degrees F. It was near 90 degrees 5/27/06 through 5/30/06. I potted up my new plants that I got four days earlier. The tropical lily in the Tricker pond appeared dead and since the Islamorada tropical lily seems so much smaller than I thought, I just stuffed it into the one gallon lily pot in the Tricker pond. My tropical water lily that I have successfully overwintered for many years shows no signs of life so, being lazy, I put the Nora tropical lily right into that pot. The three snowflakes which I should have planted separately, I put into the two gallon pot that used to have the yellow tropical canna in it that the raccoon did something with. I was right not to try to expertly plant the snowflakes because the next morning, I found the raccoons had unpotted them all anyway. Finally, I potted the two iris of unknown type (hopefully not yellow flag iris!) into two separate1 gallon pots with actual dirt topped with pea gravel. I'm afraid these plants that I planted in the last few months have already bit the dust and are dead - marestail (in all three locations!), red parrot feather (goldfish spawned on top of it to death), marsh marigold (hoping it's just dormant), yellow tropical canna (raccoon thrust its remains to unknown location), and the three tropical lilies I took out of the basement pond.

I felt around in the 20 gallon tub pond with the wood frog tadpoles (they are still there but getting ready to leave) and iris to see how the lily in there was doing. The water is not clear so I had to use touch. Well, not only was that pot spilt by the raccoons for the 100 th time but the lily tubers were no where to be found. In the 50 gallon lotus tub, the raccoons pulled up a bunch of the tubers as well so none have grown, and I put a lot of extra tubers in there!

11. On the morning of 5/31/06, the goldfish were spawning. They messed up my American yellow lotus (what's left of it). Not only did they remove its one leaf and remove the tuber so it was floating around the pond but they actually removed the lily feeder tube which was buried pretty deep in there. I hope I'm not stupid enough to ever buy a lotus again. The last time I had one flower was the late 90's, and yet, I buy another each year.

12. The morning of 6/2/06, I found a mess from the raccoons again. They unpotted the two small pots in the Tricker pond (goes without saying) and also pulled up the new tropical lily in there and broke of its one flower bud. In the big pond's shallows, they knocked over about four pots. The marsh marigold's "body" could not be found. I guess I will never see one make it to flower (this was try #6 or something). One of the new iris was completely unpotted and dirt dumped all over. Even the lizard tail I repotted more than a month ago was defiled.

Pond Tidbits:

1. Another newsletter that I got suggested for a quarantine or a sick pond that one could float a plastic kiddie pool in the main pond. The benefit would be that the water wouldn't get as hot. I could see fish jumping out, or the whole thing sinking though. Has anyone tried this?

Web Sites of Interest:

1. None this month.

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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