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Robyn's Pond Newsletter July 2004

Last Updated: 7/7/04

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 (explanations below, numbers match):

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm

Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:

1. Under frogs and toads, I added two toadlet photos sent to me by Bill. Under turtles, there is a photo of three baby snapping turtles sent to me by Ron. Under insects are two new photos of a Dobson fly sent to me by Ken.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 6/6/04, I bought two shubunkins, about 3" long and put them into my front 20 gallon mosaic pond for quarantine until fall. I put a net on since the raccoon likes it there but the goldfish went and hid under the mosaic like the paradise fish used to do so they'll probably be okay if I remove the net after a week or so. I put in a few fake floating water lettuce and a fake duckling we got. If they make it, these will be the first fish added to my 1800 gallon pond since 1998. The 18 babies I put in last month don't count since they were born there. The shubunkins seem healthy enough but I'll treat them with MelaFix, aquarium salt, and Aquari-Sol to start at least. At their peak, I had five shubunkins in my pond. There are zero left so hopefully these guys can infuse some new blood into the breeding pool.

2. On 6/6/04, I squirted off the flosses. I forgot to record the ponds' temperatures as I was in a rush. I didn't get enough work done.

3. A poor oranda died on 6/11/04 with no symptoms or markings of any kind! She was a female, 7" long with 4" body and 3" tail. She was in perfect shape except, she was dead! I was very upset! This gorgeous girl was red-orange with some white on her tail and a small wen (also called cap or hood). I didn't take her photo because it wouldn't have done her justice. I have one fantail left! This fish was added to the pond in 1997.

4. I finished treating my two new shubunkins and took their net off. They are doing well.

5. On 6/13/04, I squirted off the main pond flosses and both sets of bioballs/biothings. Both fish ponds were at 67 degrees F. In the mesh bag around my smaller pump, one of the baby goldfish I'd released was inside. I guess he/she found a good place to hide! A similar (or same) fish was in there the previous week too. One of my prettiest pond plants is the water willow. I had two two gallon pots of it that grew like weeds for years so I transplanted extra to a wet area on land and to a floating barley planter. For some reason, the pond pots died this winter but on this day, I dug some of the land water willow up and potted into another two gallon pot. I was glad I had planted some on land that did well so I had extra! I removed two more two gallon dead pots. One was a water willow and the other was a pickerel rush that I just got last year. Six more poor dead dragonflies were under the net: 3 female 12-spot skimmers and 2 male and 1 female blue dashers. I didn't bother to take photos but did take action. I found a y-shaped stick and propped up the highest end of the net. Even though the net is open on two ends, the dragonflies hit the net and keep bouncing up to the highest end. Now, hopefully, fewer will die. I saw a live (not under the net) green gorgeous dragonfly.

6. I noticed my new shubunkins scratching/flicking themselves on the mosaic on 6/14/04 so figure they must still have some parasites. I happened to have a new batch of Clout so started to treat them with that at half dosage on 6/15/04. I will treat them for about 5 days and then do a water change and again try to watch them a few minutes a day to see if they are still doing that. The problem is that they do not do it all the time. I certainly do not want to introduce something nasty to my big pond (which is why I have not added a single fish since 1998).

7. On 6/20/04, I squirted off the flosses. The 1800 gallon pond was at 73 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 72 degrees F. I put the four bags of lava rock into three new zippered nylon mesh "sweater bags." The old bags had tons of holes. To get the rocks out, I just pulled, and they ripped huge holes, and I poured the rocks into the new, larger bags. These bags were less than $3. Bags sold by pond stores for the same thing are really expensive, over $20 each! There used to be cheap ones but I can't find them anymore. I fertilized all the plants that I could which meant mostly just a few of the recently repotted lilies, the lotuses, and a few marginals. Most pots I simply can't get a tablet into them. I figure if they're growing that densely, they don't need fertilizer!! I cut down the self-seeded yellow flag iris growing in the overflow since I'm afraid it'll puncture the liner. My stick under the net seems to be working - I didn't find anymore dead dragonflies.

8. On 6/27/04, I squirted the flosses and the Cyprio biothings (didn't remove them to do so). The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F and the 153 pond at 70 degrees F. There were a lot of common whitetail dragonflies around the pond as well as blue dashers. You could see a dozen at once. I removed a 1 gallon pot with just roots in it. I can't recall what plant was in there.

9. The shubunkins are doing well. They mostly stay on top of the mosaic. The morning of 7/1/04, the fake water lettuce were all messed up so I knew our resident lactating raccoon had been playing in there. But, she didn't get the fish! I want them to be predator wary! The water willow that I potted up a few weeks ago seems dead as it flopped over into the water and never recovered. My tropical water canna in my main pond was doing great and might have flowered, except, as usual, the deer got to it first and removed most of it. They also ate some pickerel weed, tons of water celery (I have tons more), and ate all the flower heads off my only milkweed just as they opened. They also ate most of my lotuses, black taro, and regular taro. You'd think I'd learn by now; if it's not in a cage, it's dead. I have one lotus in the middle of the pond, out of reach, but it only has two floating leaves, ravaged by aphids. I would love to fence in some of the ponds and gardens but it would be costly, and my parents wouldn't agree.

Pond Tidbits:

1. Someone asked me why I hadn't used the heron scarer to deter herons. It squirts water when it senses motion. The main reason is that we're on well water. The well can run dry so squirting would waste money. The spigot when on also drips non-stop which would waste probably 100 gallons of water there alone every day. Considering that people, cats, dogs, squirrels, deer, raccoons, and other animals stop by the pond non-stop, we'd all get squirted quite a lot! It would have to be on all the time since the heron can visit at any time. Also, the squirter can only be aimed over a certain area so a lot of the pond would go unprotected. Finally, at least one person said their heron came to enjoy the squirts of water and kept fishing! So, the net stays on. The herons are still around.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. A new site that lists koi clubs: http://www.KoiClubs.com

2. A re-vamped (taken over by the Koi Vet) koi site: http://www.LivingJewels.com

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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