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Robyn's Pond Newsletter June 2009

Last Updated: 2/14/14

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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? Does anyone read this? We'd love to hear your pond stories!

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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/bigpondphotos2.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2009 are two new photos of the big pond and four photos of a Cooper's hawk standing on the rocks of my waterfall.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/fishphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Spring 2009 are six photos of the pond fish and two photos of my koi, Kojak, on the day that I released him in to the big pond.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/otherpondphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under other ponds for Spring 2009 are two photos of the 50 gallon pond full of wood frog tadpoles.

4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/videos/fishvideos.htm -
I linked in six new videos of the 1800 gallon pond and fish while they were spawning.

5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm -
At the very bottom is a photo I finally put up of a large pond worm that has not been identified and a photo of an unidentified black ball from a pond.

6. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/videos/frogvideos.htm -
I added two new videos (black screen) of gray tree frogs and an American toad calling at night.

7. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/amphphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under frogs and toads and newts (added that), there are three photos of two Eastern newts I got for the 153 gallon pond.

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

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 5/3/09, it was raining all day. It was more than a drizzle and less than a downpour. So, I put on thermal underwear and sweat pants and let them absorb the water while I worked outside for a few hours. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 62 degrees F.

First, I tried to fit the 0.75" ID tubing over the 0.75" outlet on my Mag Drive pump but it will not go on. I think I need a fitting. At least, I am hoping that will work as I now have three sizes of tubing in 10 foot lengths, none of which fit the pump!

Then, I squirted off all the filter materials and Cyprio biothings slightly (in the filter). The filters were partially clogged from the fish spawning. I will change the main filter floss next week; it takes forever to squirt off and is never clean.

2. I took the day off on 5/6/09 to put the indoor tropical plants out on the porches. Along with that, I brought out the tropical pond plants and put up the 50 gallon stock tank pond in the basement. Only two tropical plants survived overwintering. I repotted the bluebells from the one gallon they were in to a two gallon pot. I repotted the tropical water canna from the two gallon pot it was in to two separate two gallon pots. I put them out in the shallows of the big pond. I removed one two gallon pot in there with no signs of life. There are a half dozen more like that but, for some reason, I think if I leave them in there long enough, the plants will regrow! I didn't want to bail out the 50 gallon pond so my father suggested his pump which was supposed to pump 1 GPM up to 10 feet of head. But, after I set it up, it wasn't strong enough to pump the water out the window. I wasted almost a half hour cleaning up that fiasco then a half hour bailing the pond by hand to the bathtub on the next level.

That night, I heard the first male toad calling in a long time. We haven't had toad eggs in years. I couldn't find the toad in the morning. The gray tree frogs were also making their very loud calls around the pool cover but I didn't find any eggs the next morning.

3. The goldfish kept spawning more and more and more including down in the filter materials. So, by 5/10/09, both waterfalls were literally just drizzling out. It was eerily quiet for the pond. I wanted to fix it the day before but really didn't want to mess up the scheduling of all the various things that I do. So, I waited until 11:15 am on 5/10/09 to pull out the filter floss material and cut all new pieces. They were so heavy that I could not lift the whole thing out of the pond from the deep end without having to drag it to the shallows. Once the filter material was in the trash bag, I had to drag the bag. The intake of the main pump was completely clogged; I don't know how there was even a drizzle. It was clogged with mostly old plant matter that the fish stirred up. I found four goldfish eggs on it and hand picked them off. I put them in the 50 gallon pond which is getting pretty stagnant without the little pump that goes in there. My father still hasn't fixed the electricity there but has built a new post and box which hopefully we can get installed by the end of the year.

The 1800 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 65 degrees F.

4. I took off one last spring day to mulch on 5/13/09. I've finished about 80% of the big pond area now. The total mulching done all over is closer to 25%. While I was on the ground, a large shadow made me look up. Expecting to see a vulture, it was the great blue heron who alighted on the roof. I went over to see, and he flew off. The fish have been sticking under the net so I think they knew he was around; he may have been in the pond before recently.

5. On 5/17/09, the 1800 gallon was at 66 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 65 degrees F. I squirted off the filter flosses and the bioballs and lava rock in the main filter. The bioball bags were heavy with slop. I removed three two gallon pots and three one gallon pots which were all devoid of plants. I am not sure which plants died but they were many. There are two more two gallon pots and a one gallon pot that also seem dead that I did not take the time to remove. Those two gallon pots held my pickerel rush which it seems did not survive the unusually cold winter. The newest lotus is barely alive while the 12-year-old lotus shows no sign of life. I stuck the tropical waterlily tuber (like a walnut) in that lotus pot but I don't think it's viable. I also found an empty trapdoor snail shell (not unusual to find one).

6. On 5/22/09, my Tricker order finally arrived. The plants had to wait until Sunday but I put the animals in the ponds. Those included 12 adult and 5 baby trapdoor snails, two Eastern newts (adult aquatic form), and two bullfrog tadpoles. The baby snails were dropped by a female in transit. The snails and tadpoles went in to the 1800 gallon pond. The newts went in to the 153 gallon pond. One of the newts was near death, severely dehydrated and deformed. They had packed aquatic newts in a basically dry substrate with no water where they had been for days in hot weather.

7. On 5/24/09, I worked on the ponds for over two hours. The 1800 gallon was at 74 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 71 degrees F. The air temperature was 85 degrees F. I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in a kiddie pool. Everything was clogged up again; the goldfish keep spawning on and on. I put fertilizer in the water lilies and one surviving lotus pots but really not many marginals. Most fill up the pots so there's little room. I removed another empty pot, a one gallon. I got my plant order from Tricker so I had a lot of plants to deal with. I also got some new impatiens to put in my floating plant island. I potted them up with aquatic planting media (glorified clay cat litter) and topped with pea gravel.

I set up a new floating plant protector. In to that went three water hyacinth and three water lettuce. Next, I cleaned out two two gallon and one one gallon pots off the bottom of the pond. They were mostly empty, all plants and most of the rocks dug out by the fish even though all three were in submerged plant protectors. I had to cut the strings off because I couldn't untie them. I had 12 hornwort. I put three in the 153 gallon pond, one in the 50 gallon pond, three loose in the shallows of the 1800 gallon pond, and five in one of the two gallon pots in the submerged plant protector. I had 12 anacharis. I put four in the 153 gallon, one in the 50 gallon, and seven in the two gallon pot in a submerged plant protector. I had 12 jungle valisneria. I put two in the shallows of the 1800 gallon pond, two in with the lily in the 50 gallon pond, one in the 153 gallon pond in an iris pot, and the other seven went in to the one gallon pot that has a submerged plant protector.

I potted up two new water lilies. I got a new Comanche (changeable, orange) because my 12- year-old plant was 100% dead. I put the new one in the same five gallon pot and didn't even change out the soil which was changed last year. I potted up a tropical Blue Beauty waterlily in to another five gallon pot. I then had a marsh marigold which I put in to a two gallon pot. This is about the fourth time I've tried that plant (not recently tried). I put an orange snowflake plant in a one gallon pot. I stuck a free Neptune's floating plant (a tropical) in to a mostly dead pot. And finally, one cabomba and one water wisteria went in to a one gallon pot together.

When I was nearly done, I was so tired that I fell over on one of my pond lights and snapped it off. Oops! I made it stand back up so my many visitors (two a year?) will not notice.

8. Since the Tricker plant order seemed like it was never going to arrive, I ordered a few plants from Aquamart too. Of course, as soon as I ordered those, the other order arrived. The Aquamart plants arrived on 5/29/09, and I potted them up on 5/31/09 when I did the Sunday pond chores. I worked on the pond from about 10:30 am to noon because I had to go to a family party that afternoon. The 1800 gallon pond was at 67 degrees F and the 153 gallon pond at 65 degrees F. I squirted off all the flosses and did the usual (water top offs, additives, tidy up, etc.).

These plants were put in to the pond from the new order that arrived. I added two water hyacinth to the floating plant protector. I tossed two hornwort in to the 153 gallon pond and two in to the shallow area of the 1800 gallon pond. I put one bunch of red-stemmed parrot feather floating in the 153 gallon pond and stuck two bunches in to two separate one gallon pots in the 1800 gallon pond. Those one gallon pots already had other plants. I removed the two two gallon pots with the dead blue pickerel rush/weed/plant that never made it from last year. I potted up three new plants each in to two gallon pots - one blue pickerel rush, one white pickerel rush, and one red tropical water hibiscus.

9. The raccoons had been behaving pretty well this year with regard to the ponds until the morning of 6/2/09 when I found they had been busy. They went in to the 50 gallon tub pond. They knocked the flowering purple iris of its brick. They pulled the waterlily which was actually doing pretty well completely out of its pot. They also unpotted an iris in the 1800 gallon pond for good measure.

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Pond Tidbits:
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1. Many terrestrial plants can be grown hydroponically. Hydroponics is where terrestrial plants are grown with their roots in water instead of earth. Those terrestrial plants that can be grown hydroponically can be planted in pond streams or in floating plant islands along with aquatic plants. Impatiens do very well in that situation. I sure know that weeds do well that way based on how many of them grow in my waterfall and stream!

2. Most parasites will be found in or on their hosts and not free swimming. If you see an insect, worm, etc. swimming around, there's a good chance that it's not a parasite. Even leeches who get a bad rap are not always parasites. My pond has some of them; they mostly feed on debris in the bottom of the pond. The ones that are parasitic will be seen attached to fish, frogs, and other animals instead of living in the bottom debris.

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Web Sites of Interest:
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1. http://frogsinc.blogspot.com/ - a frog blog; the story of Larry's pond

2. http://www.nwnature.net/macros/worms.html - Aquatic Worms

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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