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Robyn's Pond Newsletter June 2008

Last Updated: 2/14/14

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?

"All hobbies suck, son. But, in the end, you find out you've wasted some precious time." - Homer Simpson.

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

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/bigpondphotos1/pictures3.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under spring 2008 are six new photos of the pond from May and five photos from early June of the water iris in bloom.

New Pages on Pond Showcase:

1. None this month.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. May 4, 2008 was a physically hard, busy day for me. After doing the morning chores of feeding the animals, cleaning my car, and vacuuming the entire house, I started on the pond chores. The 1800 gallon was at 72 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 71 degrees F. As usual, I squirted off the flosses. I also squirted down the Cyprio biothings without taking them out. Once that was all done, it was time to pot up my tons of new plants from AquaMart. I had put the three water hyacinth and three water lettuce out in to a floating plant protector two days before (5/2/08). Floating plants are the easiest to deal with! It's so easy to buy that many and not so easy to pot that many! It was exhausting. Here's what went where.

First, I did the submerged plants. There were two submerged plant cages in the bottom of the pond, one 2 gallon and one 1 gallon. Only a few sprigs of anacharis remained from last year. I don't know if it all died simply from the fish rooting in it (the protectors do little protection), or if they didn't have enough light (the bags block a lot of light as algae fill in the holes in the bags). I had 15 anacharis, 5 cabomba, 5 hornwort, and 5 jungle valisneria to find homes for. To save some time, I dumped 4 anacharis, 1 cabomba, and 1 hornwort in my 153 gallon pond (just laying there in the water). I gave 1 anacharis to my turtle, Tator. I also put 4 anacharis and 3 valisneria, among the gravel in various parts of my 1800 gallon pond. I then set up three pots (2, 2, and 1) in three plant protectors (I took another out of the basement). To one, I added 6 anacharis, another got 4 hornwort (the one gallon; the hornwort was not plantable but put loose into the submerged plant protector), and the last one got 4 cabomba and 2 valisneria.

Next came the three new waterliles. They each got their own 5 gallon pots with lily tube feeders and topped off with new pink gravel. I put the one tuber (looks like a walnut but not as hard; I had it stored in wet sand) left over from my old tropical night blooming waterlily in with that tropical lily. I do not think the tuber is viable (that and to save time and space). I planted a Firecrest pink hardy water lily, an Attration red hardy water lily, and a tropical Emily G. Hutchings pink night blooming tropical water lily. Since my other four waterlilies were alive after all, I now have seven 5 gallon pots of waterlilies! That's too many as far as room and my ability to repot goes. I decided to put the Attraction waterlily on top of the fish "house" thing. When I set the pot there, my largest orfe came darting out and hit me. I decided I should lift up the house and see if there were any fish stuck in there. I lifted it and immediately, it was like a scene from Friday the 13th. Up floated this huge, well rotted, disgusting dead goldfish. It smelled worse than any dead fish I've encountered because it had been dead in there for months. I couldn't see it. The innards were falling out in a white rain of stench. I didn't measure the fish but it originally was probably about 10 inches long.

Finally, the ten new marginals were dealt with. I used mostly a bucket of old gravel to top them off. The three tropical plants were planted with aquatic plant "soil" instead of clay dirt from the old garden. That way, they will make less mess when I bring them inside next fall (if they make it). I put a water hibiscus in a 2 gallon pot. To another 2 gallon pot, I put in both the bluebells and the yellow water canna because I was running out of room in the pond and won't have room in my basement pond come fall either. I usually avoid doubling up on pots.

In separate two gallon pots of clay soil, I planted a colofic iris (to replace the one I lost) and what they said was arrowhead (it's arum, different from my pointier arrowhead leaves). To separate one gallon pots, I planted a pennywort, a white snowflake, a spike rush, a lavender musk (monkey flower), and a flowering rush plant. This is the first time I have had flowering rush but the others I have had before (and died).

All that took about three hours. Then, I had an hour of mowing to do. To the happiness of the weeds, not a spoonful of mulch was touched that day.

2. On 5/7/08, I took the day off. I spent three hours pulling probably 40 potted plants out of the basement to put on to the front porch for the summer. Then, I tore down the 20 gallon tub pond in the basement. The five rosy reds went in to the 153 gallon pond as did a one gallon pot of dwarf papyrus my potting helper gave me. In to the 1800 gallon pond went a one gallon pot of dwarf umbrella palm the same person gave me as well as what remained of the plants I overwintered (one variegated taro with three puny leaves in one gallon and one "is that really alive" minute tropical water lily with literally one half inch leaf left on it in a two gallon pot).

3. On 5/8/08, my Tricker order arrived. I put 12 adult and 8 baby (born in transit) black Japanese trapdoor snails, 12 black ramshorn snails, and 6 tadpoles (unknown species but did not really look like bullfrog or green frog tadpoles) in my 1800 gallon pond. I got my lotus, an Empress lotus which I plan to stick in to the ready pot tomorrow. They sent a free plant called "Neptune's floating plant." I've never heard of it. I climbed in to the pond the morning of 5/10/08 and stuffed the lotus in to the pre-prepared pot. I stuck the other thing in with the barely alive tropical water lily from the basement pond.

4. We had to go out to a early Mother's Day dinner on 5/11/08, so I did the pond chores at 10:30 am to almost noon. I squirted off all the flosses and the bioballs which were really cruddy. The 1800 gallon pond was at 57 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 58 degrees F. I put the feeding ring in to the pond although it is hard to get food in there exactly with the net in the way. I got the new pond hydrometer they sell to measure the salinity of the pond. The specific gravity of my pond was...1.0. That means no salt readable even though I sprinkle in some off and on. I put in half a container of pond salt. My koi, Colin, has red all over his back and some algae growing on those sores. I hope some salt helps.

5. The morning of 5/15/08, there were a few messes. One of the one gallon pots I repotted a month ago in the waterfall (with water celery and aquatic plant soil) was all dug out with the clay soil all over. The raccoon most likely did that. The goldfish were spawning. In their frenzy, they dislodged the feeding ring and a number of plants including that new Neptune thing and some sweetflag. The water lettuce were set free from the floating plant protector (the goldfish were spawning in the protector).

6. On 5/15/08, it was rainy but I did pond chores anyway with a cap on to keep the water off my glasses. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 62 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials and also the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool. The Cyprio filter was barely flowing. The goldfish had clogged it due to their spawning. Once cleaned, it flowed okay. I gathered up loose plants floating around due to the spawning. I looked at the roots of the water hyacinth (just three of them). They were totally covered in hundreds of goldfish eggs. Half of them were white from fungus though. I don't plan to try to do anything to increase their odds since I have plenty of goldfish.

Ants once again killed the outlet by my 153 gallon pond so I ran an extension cord out to the PondMaster system there about a week ago. The outlet is full of thousands of ants with eggs and mulch sticking out of the plug holes. This means, the little pump in the 50 gallon pond has not been operating. The mosquitoes were getting a little too happy. Then, I saw a hundred some baby rosy red minnows in my 153 gallon pond. So, I moved six of them to the 50 gallon pond to give them better odds and to eat some insect larvae in there. It was after I did that that I found the goldfish eggs. I probably would have stuck them in there instead but it's better that I didn't because what would I have done with all the babies in an overcrowded pond as it is.

I got some impatiens of three colors (white, red, and pink). I planted four of them in the four little pots of my floating plant island and three of them in the middle pot. My mother bought some kind of oat grass that she said likes water so I stuck that in one of the pots that's above water in the overflow area of my pond where there is rice cut grass (nasty, can't get rid of it, didn't plant that!) and water forget-me-nots.

7. On 5/25/08, I squirted off the flosses. The 1800 gallon was at 69 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 67 degrees F. I fertilized most of the water lilies and lotuses and about half of the marginals. That morning, I found a dead rosy red minnow in my 153 gallon pond. It was a female, about 2 inches. She had a hole in her abdomen, and I could see the eggs in there. I do not know if a raccoon did that to her or maybe another minnow.

8. On 6/1/08, I did the usual. I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in situ (in the filter; I take them out every four weeks and squirt them in situ every four weeks, two weeks off set from each other). The 1800 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F while the 153 gallon was at 71 degrees F. I planted a couple "rock garden" plants near the pond. One was an iris moss. I planted an itty bitty stonecrop plant a month back but I can barely see it. Since it's getting warm, I put the Luft aerator in the pond. I totally changed the water in the front mosaic pond as it was getting dirty.

9. On 6/5/08, when I got home, the waterfalls were barely flowing. The main waterfall was just drizzling. The next few days were supposed to be in the 90's degrees F. I had no choice but to get in to the pond and remove the filter floss and squirt it off. Why? The fish had another spawn fest! I wish they would do that on say Saturday since I clean the filters on Sunday. If I had done nothing, the oxygen would have been pretty low as well as the filtration power.

Pond Tidbits:

1. None this month due to lack of time.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. None this month.

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