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153 Gallon Pond Cleaning On 3/29/07

Last Updated: 1/22/14

Diary of Events 3/29/07

Photos and Video from 3/29/07

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 Section.

I used the 2006 pond cleaning page as a guide to write this 2007 one but did change everything that was relevant or changed.

Diary of Events 3/29/07

Overview of the Day:

On 3/29/07, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. It went pretty much as planned. I got up at 6:30 am and finished the morning animal feedings at 8:13 am when I started collecting supplies. The air temperature was 38 degrees F! I wore two shirts and a hat. The 153 gallon thermometer read 49 degrees F. I was ready to start bailing at 8:54 am. By then, the air temperature was up to 40 degrees F. I bailed water into my two old kiddie pools, a smaller new kiddie pool, and two holding buckets (one for the fish, one for the green frogs). It was not until I had bailed most of the pond out that I got down to the animals. There were fewer rosy reds this year and only two frogs. I was sad to find my Southern redbelly dace who had recently died. The bottom of the pond was full of the aquatic plant soil and pea gravel because the raccoons had de-potted most of the pots and made a huge mess! I went to eat lunch at 12:30 pm with the pond empty. The air temperature was up to 54 degrees F. I went back out to continue working at 12:40 pm. The edging around the pond is not so great and could use replacing. All I did this day was replace two bricks under water that had fallen apart. Right when I was set to vacuum the pond, a wood frog came over and hopped in. I took photos and then moved her to the 50 gallon tub pond. After the pond was vacuumed out with the Pondovac, I refilled it to the level it was from the bailed water. I added the following additives: about 1.5 cups of pond salt, about 30 mL of aquarium Stress-Zyme, about 50 mL of pond Stress-Coat (they no longer sell it; it was leftover), a teaspoon of BZT, and a dusting of baking soda. I got the PondMaster filter and bell fountain going and let the Luft pump heavily aerate while I repotted all the plants in there (details below). I used a bag of pea gravel and a huge back of the aquatic plant soil. In order to place the two lilies in the deep end, I took off my pants, boots, and socks and put on beach shoes to get into the water. Later, I realized I forgot the fertilizer on those plants so I dropped the pills in and used the end of a small pond net to push them into the gravel which worked. All the saved water, submerged plants, snails, tadpoles, insects, fish, and frogs were back into the pond by 2 pm or so (I forget to write that down). I then worked on cleaning out the back pond (vacuumed and refilled) and filling up the mosaic pond out front. I also refilled the 20 gallon tub pond. I was mostly done outside by 3:09 pm (hey, one minute earlier than last year!). By 4:07 pm, most of the stuff was put up or drying in the bathtub. I then did a half hour of my regular afternoon chores, shower, some e-mail (not all), dinner, and finally the best part, TV.


The pond had some submerged plants left but the tadpoles had gnawed most of them away. There were some pieces of anacharis and hornwort left. There was also a lot of terrestrial mint growing into the pond including a huge piece. I decided to put it back in to provide cover for the tadpoles and some plant filtration.

I used the Shultz Aquatic Plant Soil this year to repot all the pots in the 153 gallon pond (and one in the 20 gallon tub pond and some for the 50 gallon tub). I pre-wet the aquatic "soil" in one bucket and pea gravel in another. I filled each pot with the "soil" and then put in the plant, a PondTabb fertilizer pill (one per gallon), and topped off with pea gravel. Because iris bloom in May, in repotting them in late March, I get very few flowers. On the other hand, all the iris pots were really overgrown so I need to keep things under control. Here are the plants that I repotted.

I started with four pots that had had waterlilies but the raccoons had de-potted two of those with tubers loose. There were two loose sweetflag tubers as well. At least the iris were still in pots.

In the 153 gallon pond.

In the 50 gallon tub pond.

In the 20 gallon tub pond.


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

In addition to cleaning out the 153 gallon pond, I did the following.

Photos and Video from 3/29/07

All of these photos and video were taken on 3/29/07.


Rosy red minnows - 1291 KB, mpg movie.
This is the rosy reds in a bowl. I was moving them for the pond cleaning. It looks like I had six babies and six adults in that batch.

Pond animals - 1463 KB, mpg movie.
This shows two crane fly larvae (the worm-like animals), a medium-sized green frog tadpole, and a baby rosy red minnow (at the bottom near the end of the video).


All of these photos are from 3/29/07.

Snow iris - some snow iris near the pond.
Daffodils - some daffodils near the pond and the swing.
Daffodils - close-up of changeable daffodils.
153 gallon - before I got started. You can also see the buried 50 gallon tub pond and the above-ground 20 gallon tub pond.
153 gallon pond - the overflow shelf area with an iris. I took the photo to show all the moss growing on the cap bricks.
Glory of the snow - flowering bulbs next to the 153 gallon pond.
The back porch - showing all the gathered supplies including the wheel barrow, pond vacuum, buckets, etc.
Wood frog eggs in one of the former cat litter bucket. The photo is not very clear.
Two crane flies and a green frog tadpole sitting in my little bucket after I found them.
Two crane flies, a green frog tadpole, and a baby rosy red minnow in the bucket. Video of them is mentioned above.
Two crane flies, a green frog tadpole, and a baby rosy red minnow in the bucket.
Dead male Southern redbelly dace - I was super sad to find him. I took his photo because, even in death, he was gorgeous.
Rosy red minnows - 6 adults, 6 babies in the bucket. Video of them is above.
Rosy red minnows - 6 adults, 6 babies in the bucket.
153 gallon pond empty - this is before I vacuumed out the last gunk.
153 gallon pond edging - this was to show with the pond empty how the edging looks over the deep end. There is a cap brick paver and under that two layers of bricks set in on their own shelves to hide the liner. The water level comes up above those bricks (about the point between the two layers).
Wood frog - the wood frog hopped into the pond after it was completely empty (before vacuuming) so I took photos and then moved her to the 50 gallon tub pond so I would not harm her.
Wood frog - view of the frog from a distance (the photo above is a close-up of this one).
Wood frog
Wood frog
The back yard showing the empty pond, kiddie pools filled up, buckets, plants out, etc. during the cleaning.
153 gallon pond filled half way up with the PondMaster filter going.
Green frog tadpole waiting in a kiddie pool.
153 gallon pond done - everything back.
Wood frog eggs back in the 153 gallon pond. You can see tiny air bubbles on them from the well water's gases coming out in solution. The cleaning made about a 50% water change but it still causes this problem.
Wood frog eggs close-up of the next photo showing the little tadpoles. You can see their little heads
Wood frog eggs
20 gallon tub pond with its one iris repotted.
50 gallon tub pond with the newly added iris.

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