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Robyn's Pond Newsletter September 2004

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?

My mother brought home another chicken that she named Pondet. More is on my chicken page at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/birds/mychickens.htm.

Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages (explanations below, numbers match):

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm
2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pcare.htm#keep
3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/bigpondphotos1.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/otherpondphotos.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/amphphotos.htm

Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:

1. I put in 13 more photos of interest that people have sent me. Under fish there are seven new photos. The first one is a male comet in an aquarium that I added because it shows the tubercles on the gills. The next five include three of rosy red minnow eggs on a water lily leaf and two of a goldfish with anchor worm. Then, skipping the next one, I added in the other photo of a goldfish with dropsy (the first I mentioned last time; this is just another view). Under frogs and toads, I added three new photos of the resulting tree frogs from those earlier mentioned tree frog eggs and tadpoles. (Skip the first three, the next three are new). Under turtles, I added a photo of a softshell turtle. Under miscellaneous is a photo of Herb's pond and then one of a trapdoor snail in a tank that had just come from a pond (so covered in algae). Next to the snail are her newborn baby snails.

2. I added a new section on keeping animals from getting sucked into pumps. It mostly links to a few sections on that on my site. I added this because I have gotten a number of questions about it recently.

3. There are six new photos (the first six on the page) from the 1800 gallon pond including flowering frogfruit, pickerel weed flower, the pond marginal area with flowering pickerel, two entire pond views (with the net to keep the herons out), and one of a yellow water lily flower.

4. There is one new photo of my 153 gallon pond.

5. Under frogs and toads, there is a new photo of a male bullfrog under the net, sitting on my floating terrestrial plant holder.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 8/8/04, I squirted all the flosses and both bioballs. The 1800 gallon pond was 68 degrees F and the 153 gallon was 70 degrees F. By comparison, a year ago, on 8/3/04, the two ponds were are 79 and 77 degrees respectively. It's been a cold summer! I cut down some more rice cut grass. My tropical canna is blooming. The darn Japanese beetles are chowing down on it! We have a bumper crop of them this year, filling the traps to the brim. They ate everything off the caged (to keep the deer from eating them) roses. I did find a few surprises. A few years ago, I bought a frogfruit plant. It died. I found some growing wild flowering in my overflow! It must have self seeded. It's a cute little plant with quarter inch pinkish flowers with dark brown centers. You can see the photo I added which I mentioned above. I found in my 20 gallon tropical tub pond (which is really just a cesspool since the deer ate the canna and taro to death) a colony of daphnia!

2. On 8/15/04, I squirted off the flosses. I tried to fertilize the plants that I could. Both ponds were at 72 degrees F. The deer finished off most of my tropical canna and pickerel rush.

3. On 8/22/04, I squirted off the flosses and Cyprio biothings. The 1800 gallon was at 72 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 74 degrees F. I tidied up and potted up two new plants that we got on a trip on 8/18/04. The plant was a golden club with a volunteer Aztec arrowhead in it that was flowering. On 8/26/04, the raccoons had left the golden club removed from the pot and the pond discolored with dirt.

4. While walking by the pond on 8/27/04, I saw lotus petals on the ground by my 20 gallon lotus tub. Huh? Looking up in the butterfly bush next to it, I discovered there was the remains of a flower hidden there, and I missed it! Figures, first lotus flower in two years! The petals were pink so at least now I know that that lotus was the Chawan Basu and the almost dead one (the deer basically ate it all) in my other tub pond was/is an American yellow lotus.

5. On 8/29/04, I squirted off the flosses. The 1800 gallon was at 76 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 77 degrees F. It's finally hot, 90 degrees F air temperature this day. While in the pond, my koi, Maggie, swam by. This was the first time I'd seen here in a few months due to plant cover. I pulled three huge armfuls of grass (crabgrass?) out of the top of the falls that was going to seed. The grass is all in the mulched areas now too so it looks like I never maintain it! I pulled enough bamboo-type grass from one area next to the pond to create a couple of hay bales! I cut down the rice cut grass and volunteer yellow flag iris from my overflow yet again. It's really time to start pulling out the vegetation already! I put about a dozen water hyacinth into my back pond along with a whirligig beetle that got caught in it. Starting next week, I'll have to start removing it a little at a time. The water hyacinth covers all open areas of the pond now. It's easiest for me to remove it over a month or so. By the time it's dying, there won't be such a mess. I see some fry in my 1800 gallon pond. I may end up with some fry in the back pond again since I put hyacinth back there. My next big task for the pond is repotting the monster iris! That will be quite a tale! Looking it up my pond inventory, it seems I haven't repotted that iris since 9/3/01, yikes!

6. On 8/31/04, my first tropical water lily flower opened! I only have one tropical lily that I have overwintered for years. It's white with pink and yellow in the middle. I had to pull back the net for it since it grew that tall and was getting smushed.

That day when I went home, while feeding the fish, I saw something move. Just a few feet away was a young raccoon. It was a little after 5 pm. It's unusual for raccoons to be out then, and he/she seemed slow. I hope the raccoon wasn't sick. It tried to get some photos of him in the pond but being in the shadows (walking in among the marginals), I don't think they turned out. I did get some of him climbing a tree after leaving the pond and will put those on my site over the next few weeks.

I got another surprise this day. Sheila was nice enough to send me a piece of red waterlily tuber. It had tiny little leaves on it. A few ride-along copepods, planaria, and baby snails were with it. I hope this waterlily makes it! The koi are rough on new lilies. I had no red lilies left. Thanks again Sheila!

7. On 9/1/04, the sick young raccoon was still hanging around. I got a lot of photos I will put up in a few weeks. I hope it doesn't have rabies. So far, there's no aggression from the little guy. While following him, I found in my shallow area, my largest and oldest goldfish, Jack, a comet. There is a chance the fish was one of the other fish from the first year of my pond but I feel it was Jack. Jack was very dead. Jack was actually a female I think. She was between a pot and the edge of the pond with her mouth out so I think she got stuck and suffocated. There were basically no injuries on the poor fish so it doubt it was a victim of a predator. I bought Jack and Jill (who presumably was eaten by the heron this spring) in 1996 at an inch long so they were eight years old. I took photos of Jack next to a yard stick because few people believe how big goldfish get. From snout to tip of tail, Jack was 14 inches long! She was huge and heavy! The photos will go up in a few weeks.

8. On 9/4/04, I dismantled my front mosaic tub pond. There was nothing alive in it anyway. The water was foamy and full of dead algae from the Algae-Fix I put in there. So, I just put it up early. That's one fall chore out of the way, only 100 to go!

Pond Tidbits:

1. Paul lives in the UK and informed me that barley straw is illegal now according to the European Union (EU)! This pdf from the EU tries to explain but is hard to understand: http://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/factsheets/biofact19.pdf
Paul says, "My laypersons interpretation of all of these bits of info is that it is currently banned in the European Union but the future looks promising for what seems to have been a perfectly natural solution to a natural problem for at least 800 years....Essentially, as I read it, they seem to have brought in a directive that states that any means to kill off weeds etc. that involves a chemical method needs to be investigated to determine its effects and side-effects and hence whether or not it is safe for use."

Web Sites of Interest:

1. Looking for a photo of a certain pond-related plant or animal? Try entering it in at http://images.google.com.

2. Speaking of photos, check out this strange sea monster: http://www.aquariumpharm.com/newsletter/aug-sept04.html.

3. This is too cute: http://www.palemale.com/sqsqoutbifed.html.
Look at the rest of their site for great photos of NYC animals.

4. While searching for a scud photo for someone, I found this fishing site which has amazing photos of almost every aquatic insect, worm, or other small animal imaginable: http://www.troutnut.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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