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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 3/30/20

Last Updated: 4/7/20

Diary of Events 3/30/20

Photos from 3/30/20

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 2019 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2020 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed. It may look the same but it is not!

Diary of Events 3/30/20

Overview of the Day:

On 3/30/20, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. I got up at 6:30 am and finished the morning animal feedings at 8:56 am. I brought all the supplies outside. I started working on the pond at 9:22 am.

The air temperature was 53 degrees F at 8:56 am but it eventually went up to 70 degrees F by the time I finished. The 153 gallon thermometer read 51 degrees F at 9:24 am. I bail filled three kiddie pools and two holding buckets (one for the fish, one for the frogs). The pond had a good amount 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, salamanders, and minnows. In the process, I miss some of the snails, tadpoles, worms, and insects. I am sure I did not miss any frogs, salamanders, or fish this year.

I squirted out the empty pond and used the OASE Pondovac to get all the rest of the stuff out. I did not find any cracked bricks to replace this year. I used a trowel to scrape the brick capstones. I used to be able to buy new ones of those but now you can only get them if you buy an entire pallet of them for hundreds of dollars! The pond has regular bricks under the capstones, and I still have a pile of those from when the house was built in 1976. The brick capstones are something like 8" x 12" x 1" in size.

The pond was empty at 12:05 pm. At 12:17 pm I went in to eat lunch. I came back out at 12:40 pm. I started refilling the pond. 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 little bit of baking soda, a dose of pond Stress Coat, and a dose of aquarium Stress Zyme. I let the Luft pump heavily aerate and put in the PondMaster filter.

I continued to fill up the 153 gallon pond to the level it was from the bailed water (it was mostly there already).

One of the waterlilies was dead so that pot was removed. I repotted the other waterlily with fertilizer. I put that pot in the pond using beach shoes. Then, I bailed in the kiddie pools a little bit at a time. I filled the pond all the way up. At some point, I put the one fish and frogs and salamanders back in the pond.

I hauled supplies back to the back rock pond. I netted out the leaves, sticks, and debris. It smelled horrible, and I filled the wheel barrow with the stinking leaves. I found two predaceous diving beetles, Acilius mediatus, and one green frog tadpole which I put in the 153 gallon pond. I did not sift through the mass of leaves. I put back a lot of rocks that had fallen in to the pond. I filled the pond back up.

I had four pots of water iris but no pea gravel. One pot contained yellow flag iris (the others are purple water iris). I got the yellow flag iris out of the pot but no matter what I did (jump on it with a full size shovel, try to cut it with a utility knife), I could not break up the mass to repot. I did not want to put it in a larger pot. So, I just put it bare root in to the 50 gallon tub pond. I repotted the other three pots of iris but did not top them off with pea gravel and put them on the back porch. I finally was able to put gravel in the pots on 4/1/20 and returned them to the pond.

I was done outside with the ponds by 3:00 pm. All the pond supplies were put up by 3:45 pm.


A lot of anacharis! Like wads and wads!

One sprig of hornwort.

Here are the potted plants:

I started with six 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 and one two gallon pot of yellow flag iris. I repotted four of the pots with fresh dirt, fertilizer, and pea gravel. One of the waterlilies was dead. The yellow flag iris was impossible to separate for repotting so I put it bareroot in the 50 gallon tub pond instead.

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 3/30/20

The photos have not been processed. I took lots of photos this year but do not have time to deal with them. I have to crop and resize, link to my web pages, upload the altered photos, and upload the altered web pages so it is very time consuming. I am about 5 years behind on photos now which really bothers me but I have no time.

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