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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 3/26/23

Last Updated: 7/3/23

Diary of Events 3/26/23

Photos from 3/26/23

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 2022 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2023 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed. It may look the same but it is not! I did not write up my story from 3/26/23 here until 5/10/23! I am just too busy! I am sure there are some mistakes due to the delay.

Diary of Events 3/26/23

Overview of the Day:

On 3/26/23, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. I normally clean the pond on the last Monday of March but it was supposed to rain so I did it on Sunday instead. I got up at 6:30 am and fed all the animals by 8:30 am. I started hauling supplies out for the pond cleaning at 8:55 am. The air temperature was 46 degrees F at 8:55 am. The winds were moderate, and the worst part for me. It was at 55 degrees F at 12:28 pm and 65 degrees F at 4:33 pm. It was not until 9:47 am that all the supplies were in place, and it was 50 degrees F then. The 153 gallon thermometer read 46 degrees F at 9:47 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 and no hornwort this year. 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.

At 12:08 pm I went in to eat lunch. I came back out at 12:28 pm. My brother had stopped by and lifted the massive yellow flag iris out of the 50 gallon tub pond so I stopped working on the 153 gallon pond and changed all the water in the 50 gallon tub pond and put the iris back. I did not fully empty the 153 gallon pond until 1:08 pm.

I squirted out the empty pond and used the OASE Pondovac to get all the rest of the stuff out. I did not replace any bricks. One of the cap stones was damaged but they do not sell those anymore so I turned it around so the broken part was less obvious.

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).

I wasted like half an hour with the PondMaster filter. The tube detached multiple times and fell in three times, and the hose squirter fell in as well but I could not see a thing down in the water. I had to lay on the ground to feel around! I used a hose clamp to hold on the hose eventually.

I repotted the three pots of purple flag iris back into the four pots (one pot was empty).

After the pots were in, I bailed in all the animals and plants waiting in the kiddie pools and buckets. Everyone was in by 3:00 pm.

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 3:35 pm.

At 3:35, I started regular Sunday pond chores. See my March 2023 pond blog for details. I stopped at 3:51 to do the regular animal afternoon chores. At 4:33 pm, it was back to regular Sunday pond chores. From 5:34 pm to 6:30 pm, I put up everything from the pond work. Then, I could finally shower after a very long and dirty day.


A lot of anacharis!

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 main marginal area, there were two two gallon pots of purple iris and one pot that was empty (due to being dumped repeatedly over the year by the raccoons). 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 3/26/23

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 9 years behind on photos now which really bothers me but I have no time. My web site is also out of space and would cost me additional hundreds of dollars a year to allow for more space for photos.

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