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Robyn's Pond Blog for January 2012

Last Updated: 1/30/12

1. On 1/1/12, I worked on the pond. I had bought a new flash drive since mine was three years old. I updated this page on that new flash only, and, before I could get it copied over to my laptop and on-line, the new flash drive stopped working. It simply won't light so I had to revert to my older version since my father had already recycled the hand-written pond work notes from that day. So, I do not have a record of the water or air temperatures or everything that I did. From memory, the air temperature was in the 50's degrees F something, and the water temperatures I think were in the high 40's degrees F. I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs. I wanted to tidy up but then it started to rain so I didn't do what I wanted to do. I have no idea what else I wrote here earlier this week because I have poor memory (which is why I write everything down in the first place!).

2. On 1/8/12, I did a few things but did not get in the pond. The 1800 gallon pond's water was at 44 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond's water was at 48 degrees F. I changed the bag of AmmoCarb in the biofilter. I used the hedge trimmers to cut down the lemon balm (which is all over) and a few other perennial plants whose tops die off each winter. It hasn't been much of a winter as it was 60 degrees F on 1/7/12 and in the high 40's degrees F on 1/8/12. A small daffodil by the house even opened a flower! I went to pull some roots out of the top of the waterfall thinking that that might increase the flow over the main waterfall. It didn't help much but then I removed a big wad of brown sludge and roots from the beginnings of the mini pool above the main falls. That increased the flow down the main falls from a drizzle to about three times stronger. The water now going over the falls was draining under the rocks. So, this is much better. There is now some exposed liner (can never get rocks back the same way) so I'll put some pea gravel over that next weekend.

3. I added my 100th video to my site on 1/13/12! I have set up a You Tube channel and got a new video recorder so I hope to get some new videos and post them there with relevant links on my site too.

4. On 1/15/12, I had planned to squirt the flosses but the pond was partially frozen, and I was running behind after spending more than three hours putting up the Christmas tree and decorations. The thermometer in the 1800 gallon pond was frozen in for the first time this season, and the 153 gallon pond's thermometer read 43 degrees F. Since the hose was frozen, and the ponds looked full enough, I did not add water to them. I pulled out some leaves in the ponds. I put some pea gravel over the exposed area in the waterfall (where I removed plants the week before). Where the water moves the fastest, it just flushed out any gravel that I put there so I will have to find a flat, heavier rock to put there later.

5. I finally linked in these photos:

From the Washington, D.C. zoo on 10/2/11:
Three Eastern newts
Koi in their largest pond
Red-eared slider in their turtle pond
Turtles in the turtle pond. They were too far away and too large to identify easily
Pond with waterlilies
Bullfrog in that pond surrounded by duckweed
Mallard ducks in another pond that was covered in watermeal (Wolffia species, the smallest flowering plants in the world)
Mandarin ducks

These photos are from my ponds on 10/16/11. The nets were on.
153 gallon pond - facing northwest
1800 gallon pond - facing southwest
1800 gallon pond - facing west; I can see orfe, koi, and goldfish

We had snow on 10/30/11 which is the earliest since I have been alive. [Note: As of 1/19/12, it was the only snow this season!]
153 gallon pond - facing southwest
1800 gallon pond - facing west; note all the leaves on the net.
1800 gallon pond - facing southwest

These photos are from 11/2/11 when I cut down the majority of the marginals in the 1800 gallon pond.
Before photo facing southwest
Before photo facing northwest, net pulled back
Before photo facing northwest, further back
After photo facing northwest
After photo facing northwest, further back

6. On 1/22/12, I wanted to do some pond work but we had gotten an inch of snow covered in ice the previous morning, and it had yet to melt. The net was frozen in the big pond; it was covered in ice over the water and then frozen in ice and snow at the edges. The only chore I did was to record the temperature of the 153 gallon which was 42 degrees F. The thermometer in the 1800 gallon pond was frozen in.

7. Here are the photos that my brother took of my ponds in the Summer of 2011.

These photos were taken sometime in July perhaps, before Kojak died in August. Colin, Maggie, and Kojak were my koi at the time.
Pond fish - Colin (upper left), orfe (bottom left), and goldfish
Pond fish - orfe (top), Kojak (bottom right), and goldfish
Pond fish - Colin (middle), orfe (top), and goldfish
Pond fish - Colin (middle), Kojak (bottom left), and goldfish
Pond fish - Colin (top) and Kojak (bottom)
Pond fish - wider view, Maggie (left), Colin (top), Kojak (right), two orfe, and goldfish
Pond fish - Colin, Maggie, Kojak, two orfe, and goldfish are all in there; you find them!
Pond fish - Maggie, Colin, Kojak, and goldfish

My brother took these photos of my big pond on 9/4/11 from the roof!
Entire pond
Entire pond
Entire pond

8. On 3/10/11, David sent me these photos of "eggs" in a fast-moving stream in California. They were air bubbles. I wrote the following in response to someone with a pond who asked the same question a few days earlier:

"They're bubbles. As the pond warms, the algae start to grow more, and the bacteria in the pond start to degrade the debris in the pond more. So, on surfaces with algae and/or bacteria (basically any surface), bubbles will form. Algae produce oxygen during the day and carbon dioxide at night. I get those bubbles all in my marine tanks during the day from algal photosynthesis and sometimes in my ponds in the spring. Any organic material in the pond will be attacked and digested by enzymes and bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria live where oxygen levels are low and produce hydrogen sulfide and methane gases as by-products. The first smells like rotten eggs while methane is odorless. Both will cause bubbles to form and both are toxic at high enough levels. For this reason, it's important to keep a pond free of a lot of organic waste (dead plants and animals) and well oxygenated even in the winter with air stones or other water movement such as a waterfall if the setup and climate allows. Anyway, the bubbles are going to be from a combination of photosynthesis and bacterial processes....Touch the bubbles, and they'll vanish. If you don't already have aeration in the pond, I suggest adding it. That should reduce the bubbles which are simply gas pockets where algae and/or bacteria have produced enough gas to cause a bubble which is in equilibrium with the water. The gas in the bubbles may include oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, and/or hydrogen sulfide. The bubbles eventually break or float to the surface."

Bubbles in a stream
Bubbles in a stream

9. On 1/29/12, I got in the pond. Both the 1800 gallon and the 153 gallon pond were at 45 degrees F. I took the filter flosses out and squirted them. They were moderately dirty. I collected leaves in and around the ponds. I put two small flat rocks in the path of the waterfall where I had cleared it out, it was bare, and pea gravel just washed away. The water flow seems good but there is a lot of crud (dead algae mostly) on the falls themselves. I put new oyster shell in the bag of that in the main filter. I added some additives and topped off the ponds.

Continue to the February 2012 pond blog.

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