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Robyn's Pond Blog for March 2019

Last Updated: 4/2/19

1. The morning of 3/1/19, there was 1.5 inches of snow on the ground.

2. On 3/3/19, it was supposed to snow heavily (it never did; it was light and mostly melted) so I did pond chores at 9:30 am. The air temperature was 38 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 46 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F. I removed leaves, topped off the ponds, put in additives, and squirted off the filter materials around the main pump which is the only one currently outside. Something I also do every time I get in the big pond is to use a putty knife to remove some of the algae and debris in the main waterfall which is something I do not normally mention here.

3. I started to do pond work on 3/10/19 but was thwarted by an unexpected human visitor so I didn't get to do anything more than temperatures, top off, and additives. The air temperature was up to 52 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 47 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 44 degrees F. I found a dead 1" rosy red minnow in the 153 gallon pond. It's been four years since I found one dead although I'm sure some are eaten or die and are eaten all the time.

4. On 3/15/19, I removed the de-icers from both ponds and the lid of the biofilter (a green Rubbermaid tub lid). It was warm, and the wood frogs and spring peepers were calling. The wood frogs laid a couple of batches of eggs in the 153 gallon pond.

5. On 3/16/19, my cat, GK, who was 21 or 22 years old died. She showed up as a stray in 2001. You can read about her on her page.

6. I did pond chores on 3/17/19. The air temperature was 48 degrees F, and the wind was nasty! The 1800 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 50 degrees F. I squirted the filter floss and the bioballs. I was surprised to find no frogs or salamanders in the filter. I removed the lighted Rudulph since the de-icers were out. I was going to clean the 50 gallon tub pond when I remembered that I would have to haul out the pond vacuum, and it was already 4 pm so I will wait. Hopefully, the wood frog eggs won't fall apart before I can move them.

7. It was a very nice day on 3/24/19 to work outside. The air temperature was 54 degrees F when I started but it warmed up to 60 degrees or so with a light breeze. The 1800 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F. So, I still can't feed the fish although they did get a few days of food a few weeks back. I squirted off the main filter floss, topped off ponds, and put in additives. There was a dead 2" pickerel frog in the 1800 gallon pond. I also pulled out a large pickerel frog that looked dead but he/she moved once I had him/her out of the water so the frog went back.

Then, I did a total cleaning of the 50 gallon tub pond. I was surprised to find live green frog tadpoles in there. They usually die in the winter, and we did have one string of days with bitter cold this winter when I thought the pond froze solid. I counted around 32 tadpoles. There were also a bunch of Melantho snails, a little bit of anacharis, and a good amount of of hornwort. I put the tadpoles and snails in the 20 gallon pond while I cleaned the 50 gallon pond. There were three two gallon pots in the pond. One had a dead waterlily which I tossed. One had a live waterlily which I repotted. One had water iris which I repotted in to two two gallon pots. Each pot was filled with fresh dirt, fertilizer added, and topped off with pea gravel. I found a loose piece of iris which I stuck loosely in the two gallon pot in the 20 gallon pond which was empty. I then aerated the 50 gallon tub pond for at least half an hour before putting back some of the snails and tadpoles. I couldn't catch them all. I also removed a bucket full of wood frog eggs from the 153 gallon pond and put them in the 50 gallon tub pond. There was also one adult green frog in the 50 gallon tub pond who went in the 153 gallon pond.

While the 50 gallon tub pond was aerating, I installed the wiring and lights for new low voltage lights by the 1800 gallon pond. Three of them are path lights with the silouette of dragonflies, and the other one is a spot light. I have to get help to connect the transformer.

8. On 3/30/19, I got warm, in to the low 70's, and the goldfish spawned.

9. By 3/31/19, the hell winds kicked in, and the temperature plummeted. Since I had off the next day to clean my 153 gallon pond, and the temperature would plunge below freezing, this made sense. I always have to suffer instead of enjoy my time taking care of the ponds.

At 12:30 pm, the air temperature was 50 degrees F, and the winds were roaring. The 1800 gallon pond was a toasty 55 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 51 degrees F. I squirted off the filter flosses, put in additives, and topped off the ponds. While scraping algae off of the waterfall, I suddenly had a two-lined salamander in my aquaglove-covered hands! He/she tried to wiggle in to the main pond but I put him/her in the waterfall area lest a fish try to eat him/her!

Continue to the April 2019 pond blog.

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