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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 4/3/17

Last Updated: 4/14/17

Diary of Events 4/3/17

Photos from 4/3/17

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 2016 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2017 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed. It may look the same but it is not!

Diary of Events 4/3/17

Overview of the Day:

On 4/3/17, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. I got up at 6 am and finished the morning animal feedings at 8:30 am. I had collected supplies the night before as there were contractors working on replacing the master bathroom. I started working on the pond at 9:07 am but, then, since I had to also deal with the bathroom guys, and I called a plumber to help with other things, the timing of the pond cleaning day was all thrown off. I cut a lot of corners, and I finished a lot later.

The air temperature was 50 degrees F but it eventually went up to 65 degrees F. It was very nice. The 153 gallon thermometer read 48 degrees F. I bail filled two kiddie pools and two holding buckets (one for the fish, one for the frogs). The pond had a ton of anacharis. I shop vacuumed the water level down somewhat to where I would not just be sucking up water. From there, 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 with the exception of some wood frog tadpoles. Despite my best efforts to move all the egg masses to other ponds before they hatched, I must have missed a mass. I saved as many wood frog tadpoles as I could find. The problem with finding the wood frog tadpoles is first, they do not move when out of water (movement of green frog tadpoles always alerts me to their presence), and second, they are so tiny that it is very hard to pick them up and certainly without harming them.

I squirted out the pond and used the OASE Pondovac to get all the rest of the stuff out. I changed out two cracked bricks. I ran the putty knife over the top bricks to remove some (not all) of the moss and debris. One of the top bricks is mis-set (too far in the pond) but I did not have the time to try to repair it. I had no strange finds this year unless you count a missing air stone and the biggest bullfrog I have ever seen.

I went inside about 11:30 am and was not back out until 12:20 pm because I was talking to the bathroom guys and the plumber. The pond was empty at 12:35 pm.

I filled up the 153 gallon pond 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, (I forgot aquarium Stress Zyme or rather did not want to go get it), and a few tablespoons of baking soda. I let the Luft pump heavily aerate and put in the PondMaster filter.

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. I found no life but I did not sift through the thousands of leaves. I put back some rocks that had fallen in to the pond. I filled the pond back up.

When I started to work on repotting the waterlilies, the garden hose suddently went dry. The plumber had broken off the downstairs toilet fill valve! So, I was without water for about half an hour. I used the time to bail back the water from the two kiddie pools. I then put in the buckets of frogs and fish. There was a ton of anacharis in there and just a few sprigs of hornwort

When the water came back, I repotted the two two gallon pots of waterlilies back in to the same pots with fertilizer. 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.

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

I repotted the three two gallon pots of water iris. I potted them in clay dirt this time with fertilizer. Once they were in the pond, I filled it back up to maximum. I did not note the time.

I stopped working on the pond chores a bit after 4 pm but did not clean and put up all the supplies for over a week due to the issues with the bathroom and plumbing. There was just too much going on with the contractors and a plumber (who kept messing up and cursing). I normally use the downstairs bathtub to dry out pond supplies but I was using that to shower since the main shower was being replaced. The 40-year-old yellow tiles full of black mold and holes were replaced with light blue tiles and a koi pond tile mural!


A lot of anacharis!

A few pieces of hornwort.

Some parrot feather actually survived the winter which it usually does not!

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 4/3/17

The photos have not been processed.

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