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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 3/25/22

Last Updated: 4/19/22

Diary of Events 3/25/22

Photos from 3/25/22

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 2021 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2022 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed. It may look the same but it is not!

Diary of Events 3/25/22

Overview of the Day:

On 3/25/22, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. I got up at 6:30 am, fed all the animals by 8:30 am, and took trash to the dump. I started hauling supplies out for the pond cleaning at 9:14 am. The air temperature was 50 degrees F at 9:14 am but it eventually went up to 55 degrees F by the time I finished so not much change. The winds were moderate and troublesome but not impossible. It had rained the day before so it was muddy. It was at 55 degrees F at 12:33 pm for sure but I did not record the air temperature later.

It was not until 9:56 am that all the supplies were in place, and it was 52 degrees F then. The 153 gallon thermometer read 49 degrees F at 9:58 am.

I bail filled three kiddie pools and two holding buckets (one for the fish, one for the frogs). I had bought some new battery air pumps last year, and they worked great this year to aerate the buckets for the fish and frogs. The pond had a massive amount of anacharis and a good amount of hornwort too. 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 this year. I am not so sure that I did not miss some two-lined salamander larvae which were very tiny or green frog tadpoles who were also tiny. Or, this year, I also had some tiny fathead minnows born last year so it is possible I missed one or two.

I squirted out the empty pond and used the OASE Pondovac to get all the rest of the stuff out. I removed one brick to replace it.

At 12:11 pm I went in to eat lunch. I came back out at 12:33 pm. While the pond was empty, I stood in it and used a trowel to remove about four buckets worth of dirt and pea gravel and weeds on the east and south sides of the pond (on the land around the pond). Then, I rinsed fresh pea gravel and put it down. There was too much buildup of dirt, old gravel, and weeds to do this without removing some of it.

I cleaned out the bottom of the pond. There was a green frog in there, not sure where he/she came from! The pond was totally empty and clean at 1:43 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 little bit of baking soda, a partial dose of aquarium Stress Coat, a partial dose of aquarium Stress Zyme, and some BZT. I let the Luft pump aerate and put in the PondMaster filter. I put a small barley straw bale in the 153 gallon pond.

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

The one pot of waterlily was mostly empty with a dead tuber in it so I used it for iris. I repotted the three pots of iris back into the four pots.

After the pots were in, I bailed in all the animals and plants waiting in the kiddie pools and buckets. Everyone was in by 2:50 pm. I moved the mesh bag of woodfrog eggs from the 50 gallon pond to the 153 gallon pond. Some had already hatched in the 20 and 50 gallon ponds. I netted a few of those out and moved them to the 153 gallon pond. At 2:53 pm, the pond water was 57 degrees F. It was supposed to get super cold in a few days so I left the aerator in, and I would turn off the PondMaster filter from 3/27/22 through 3/30/22 due to hard freezes.

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 put back a ton of rocks that had fallen into the pond. I filled the pond back up. I was done filling the back pond up at 3:55 pm.

At 3:55 pm, I did the regular animal afternoon chores. From 4:35 pm to ~5:10 pm (did not record end time), I put up everything from the pond work. Then, I could finally shower after a very long and dirty day.


A lot of anacharis! Like wads and wads!

A few clumps of hornwort.

Here are the potted plants:

I started with four 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 one two gallon pot of waterlilies. That pot was mostly spilled and contained a dead waterlily tuber. In the main marginal area, there were two two gallon pots of purple iris. I repotted with fresh dirt, fertilizer, and pea gravel. I repotted the three iris pots into the four pots that I had.

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 3/25/22

The photos have not been processed. I took some 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 7 years behind on photos now which really bothers me but I have no time. My web site is also nearly out of space and would cost me additional hundreds of dollars a year to allow for more space for photos.

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