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Robyn's Pond Newsletter May 2009

Last Updated: 2/6/14

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Introduction and Miscellaneous:
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If you have something pond-related that you want to share (information, jokes, web sites, pond secrets and tidbits, something pond-related for sale), let me know, and I will add it to the next newsletter. What topics would you like me to cover? Do you have a question that I can answer or pose to others in the next newsletter?

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Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages, Photos, or Videos on Fishpondinfo:
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1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/clean6.htm -
I added in the photos from the 153 gallon pond cleaning on 4/1/09.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/bigpondphotos2.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2009 are five photos of the 1800 gallon pond from March and April.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/otherpondphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
New photos of the mosaic and tub ponds are on this page.

I have dozens more photos of my own that I have yet to process and hundreds from other people. Things have been too busy for me at work and home to get photos linked in to my web site. I hope to have my April photos up by the next newsletter. Web site renovations and updates have been at a standstill for months and look to be staying there indefinitely.

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New Pages on Pond Showcase:
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1. http://www.pondshowcase.com/Tia/index.shtml - Tia's ponds

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 4/5/09, I squirted off the flosses. The 1800 gallon pond was at 56 degrees F and the 153 gallon pond at 58 degrees F. I examined the pond bottom and contemplated how I might clean it. It appears to be mostly pea gravel with little debris so I decided it wasn't worth trying to do anything. I am anxious to get the six feeder goldfish and my baby koi, Kojak, out in to the pond but it's still too cold (aiming for at least 60 degrees F, and it's due to be cold all week, down to freezing at night). I also want to get the Cyprio filter out but I need to switch to the smaller net first. The marginals are just starting to grow; the fish need cover from the heron who usually shows up when the net comes off. While examining the shallow area, I found a dead 4" female green frog who had been there a while. I need to look around and in the pond more. I brought out more than half of the pond dewhickeys (plastic garden things, fake animals, etc.).

2. When I fed the fish when I came home on 4/7/09, the air was 48 degrees F, it was snowing (not sticking), and the goldfish were spawning! This was the first for sure spawning this year and during snow!

3. On 4/12/09, it was Easter so I worked on the pond from about 10:20 am to almost noon. The air temperature was 40 degrees F. The 1800 gallon was at 46 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 49 degrees F. First, I pulled off the full net. This would be replaced with the smaller net over the deep end when I was done. I sure hope the heron stays away! I put out the Cyprio filter to help filter the pond. I could not get the tubing to go over the inlet but my brother was home and got it on pretty well although it still drizzle leaks. I squirted off the main filter material/floss. With the big net off, it's more obvious that there's more pond debris in the shallows than I realized. I didn't have time that day to net more than a little bit. I moved the golden club back to the shallows (I had put it deeper for the winter). The iris are growing well but most plants are not doing much yet.

4. While it was still cold (not that the goldfish minded either), the orfe must have thought the movement from the Cyprio filter was a stream because they spawned that night! We were outside at 7:30 PM when it was 46 degrees F air temperature. It was quite a sight to see a couple of foot and a half long orfe on their sides splashing about in the shallows. I guess my two 13- year-old orfe are a pair. The orfe have spawned in years past but I've never found any surviving baby orfe. In their frenzy, they clogged up the pump intake for the Cyprio filter so by 4/14/09, it was just dripping out! I got in that night and unclogged it. I don't like getting dirty when it's not on the schedule!

5. The same night that the orfe spawned, 4/13/09, we saw a hawk standing on the waterfall rocks, another first! I took photos through the window which I will post later.

6. On 4/18/09, it was finally warm enough to put my six "feeder" goldfish and one koi, Kojak, out in to the 1800 gallon pond! The water had been 60 degrees F the day before but was 53 degrees F at dawn, later to go to 65 degrees F with an almost 80 degree F air temperature that day. The goldfish hid under the waterfall of the Cyprio filter the rest of the day, and I am not positive I have seen them again. I spent a lot of time taking care of them and grew attached; I sure hope the orfe or other predators didn't eat them! As for Kojak, after being completely alone for over three months, he though he'd died and gone to heaven! As soon as Kojak found the tons of other fish, he immediately stuck with them like glue. I measured Kojak at 7" but he looks minute next to the adult goldfish and orfe and completely insignificant next to huge Maggie and Colin (about two feet long).

7. Kojak awoke to his first day in the big pond to a huge spawnfest. The goldfish were going crazy, splashing and dashing all over. I'm sure Kojak was confused! I don't know if he got some eggs for breakfast or not. The crystal clear pond became murky from all the debris that the fish stirred up. I could see lots of goldfish eggs in the plants.

That afternoon, I squirted off all the flosses and the bioballs. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 62 degrees F. Hopefully, the filter won't clog before next Sunday. The filter's tend to stop flowing after spawning due to debris. The fish also stirred up a dead fish. There was a dead 10" (without tail which was gone from decomposition) white goldfish with some red that I didn't even know was there as it was hiding behind/between pots. She (I think) had been dead for at least a few weeks if not longer. I had wanted to net some debris out of the shallows which I did but the goldfish had stirred most of it up by then.

8. On 4/26/09, I decided to check the pH of the ponds in the morning with my pH meter (which I mostly use on my two nano reef tanks). The 153 gallon had a pH of 7.24 at 66.7 degrees F. The 1800 gallon had a pH of 7.63 at 67.7 degrees F. Sounds about perfect!

In the afternoon, I squirted off the flosses. The air temperature was 90 degrees F! The 1800 gallon was at 71 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 69 degrees F. I worked on the ponds from 12:30 PM to 2:17 PM. It was so hot, that I decided to put out the Luft air pump early. I put on new airline tubing and a new air stone. In the past, the airline tubing has melted where it connects to the air pump, and that was the dark tubing that the pump came with. Since I put on regular clear tubing, it's sure to melt.

I fertilized the surviving waterlilies (four alive, two dead), lotus (no real signs of life on either but I haven't ruled them out completely yet), and most of the marginals that were growing. There are about 10 marginal pots with no signs of life. The golden club is blooming.

9. On 4/28/09, I found a dead goldfish in the 1800 gallon pond. It was a 10" female all white common goldfish with bloating (kidney malfunction is more likely than dropsy as it wasn't sudden) and full of eggs. She had been fat and had trouble swimming for a few months now. She had a bruise on one side. I'm not sure if I did that trying to get the body out, or the other fish beat her up during spawning.

10. On 4/29/09, I had to get in to the pond to remove the filter and bag around the Mag-Drive 700 pump that feeds the Cyprio planter filter. The fish had been spawning so much that it clogged so the falls were just drizzling.

11. On 4/30/09, when I pulled in to the driveway after work, what should fly over my car but a great blue heron! I didn't see him on the ground that day but fear for my fish. The smaller ponds have no protection while the big pond is only netted over the deep end. I did notice that most fish in there were under the net so the heron may have landed before I got home.

12. On 5/2/09, I finally definitely saw four of the feeder goldfish I had released two weeks before. It was the white one and three orange ones. The two dark ones would be very hard to see. My mother saw the heron again today but not on the ground yet. It would just be horrible if the little goldfish ended up feeding the heron after all. They were in the shallow area which is not netted. The other fish were huddling somewhat in the deep water under the net so it is possible the heron has been in the water.

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Pond Tidbits:
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1. None this month.

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Web Sites of Interest:
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1. None this month.

What's your favorite pond-related web site(s)?
Do you have a web site you want me to mention here?


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