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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 3/30/16

Last Updated: 2/21/17

Diary of Events 3/30/16

Photos from 3/30/16

This is just the cleaning list. To see information on the 153 gallon pond's statistics, history, and past cleanings, go to my 153 Gallon Pond page.

I used the 2015 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2016 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed. It may look the same but it is not!

Diary of Events 3/30/16

Overview of the Day:

On 3/30/16, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. I got up at 6:30 am and finished the morning animal feedings at 8:30 am when I started collecting supplies. The air temperature was 47 degrees F but it eventually went up to 60 degrees F. There was no rain for once, and the winds were not too bad. Supplies were all out at 9:20 am. I did not set up the mosaic pond this year. The 153 gallon thermometer read 47 degrees F. I bail filled two new kiddie pools (with NO holes, yeah!), the smaller kiddie pool, and two holding buckets (one for the fish, one for the frogs). The water was a little green with a ton of anacharis. I hand sifted the entire pond.

When I clean the pond, I bring up buckets and then go sit down on a gardener's kneeling pad. When I start, there is little debris so I pour it through an aquarium net and then look for movement. I hand pick out the frogs, snails, tadpoles, minnows, worms, and insects. In the process, I miss some of the snails, tadpoles, worms, and insects. I am sure I did not miss any frogs or fish.

I squirted out the pond and used the OASE Pondovac to get all the rest of the stuff out. I did not change out any bricks or cap stones this year because I also forgot to look because my neice showed up. I had been told the night before that I was not allowed to spend the day with her (she was on a 10-day spring break while I just had the one day off). So, I decided to clean my ponds. At 11 am, I got the call that she was coming over. It was too late to do something else with her but to have her watch what I was doing. This threw off the timing of my work, confused me a bit. I forgot to check all the bricks to see if any needed replacement. I had no strange finds this year unless you count a missing air stone.

I filled up the 153 gallon pond. I refilled it to the level it was from the bailed water. I added the following additives:
About 1 cup of pond salt (~50% of the recommended dose on the container for ponds with plants), a half teaspoon of BZT, a dose of pond Stress Coat, a little aquarium Stress Zyme, and a few tablespoons of baking soda. I let the Luft pump heavily aerate and put in the PondMaster filter.

I repotted the two two gallon pots of waterlilies back in to the same pots with fertilizer. I have not had time to go buy pea gravel so I had to repot the waterlilies and later the iris in used (dirty) pea gravel of mixed types/sizes. It actually did not look too bad. In order to put the lily pots back in the deep end of the 153 gallon pond, I rolled up my pants, took off my boots and socks, and put on water shoes so I could step in to the water. I brought a towel to dry off.

We went inside around 12:20 pm for a 20 minute pizza lunch.

I squirted off the three clay pots (spawning sites for the rosy red minnows) and put the pots back.

I sent my niece to rake leaves by the back rock pond while I repotted the three two gallon pots of water iris. They were potted up in Aquatic Planting Soil and not dirt last time which surprised me when I dumped them out. I potted them in clay dirt this time with fertilizer. I had a lot of extra pieces which I just stuck in a bucket for now to figure out later what to do with them.

We put back the water from the three kiddie pools. I then put in the buckets of frogs and fish. Everything was back in by 1:20 pm and the pond topped off. There was a ton of anacharis in there and just a few sprigs of hornwort.

I then hauled supplies back to the back rock pond. I netted out the leaves, sticks, and debris. It smelled horrible and filled the wheel barrow. My niece had raked up the debris around the pond (I put her to work!). I found no life but I did not sift through the thousands of leaves. When I went to vacuum out the pond, the OASE Pondvac would not suck! I determined there was a clog in the tube but I could not shake it out or clear it out with the hose. I had to hand bail out the pond. Without the vacuum, I could not get out the last few gallons which were black. I filled the pond up without a total cleaning. At least it is better than nothing. I have to unclog the house though for next year!

Everything was up on the porch by 3 pm, and then I went out for half an hour to drive my niece home. Everything was put up inside by 4:04 pm.


A lot of anacharis!

A few pieces of hornwort.

No noticeable duckweed and minimal terrestrial mint (which I did not keep) this year.

Here are the plants that I repotted:

I started with five pots. One was the purple iris which sits in the small marginal shelf by the overflow (it takes up the entire shelf). In the deep end of the pond was two two gallon pots of waterlilies. In the main marginal area, there were two two gallon pots of purple iris.

In the 153 gallon pond.


Here is what I found in the pond! I had to hand pick through every bit of slop to get all these animals.

Photos from 3/30/16

I finally linked in the photos from this day on 2/21/17, 11 months later! I am so far behind!

All of these photos were taken on 3/30/16.

Back ponds facing northwest before cleaning started.
153 gallon pond facing southwest before cleaning.
Anorexic green frog
Anorexic green frog
Leech - head to the left.
Empty 153 gallon pond - deep end.
Empty 153 gallon pond

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