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Robyn's Pond Newsletter August 2004

Last Updated: 2/10/09

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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?

A new stray cat has adopted me (or rather the food I provide). I named her Elvisina. I'm a cat magnet!

This past month, Fishpondinfo.com went past half a million unique visitors since it opened last fall! Compared to other sites, this is nothing but it seems like a lot to me! Now, if I could read some of the 150 magazines and 300 books (maybe 40% pond-related) I haven't touched in two years due to lack of time, I might actually learn something worth sharing! Too bad it'll never happen.

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Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages (explanations below, numbers match):
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1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fish/gfhealth.htm (moved later)
2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health.htm
3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health2.htm
4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health3.htm
5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health4.htm
6. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health5.htm [Later moved to http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fishcare/sickfish.htm on 7/27/07.]
7. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health6.htm
8. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm

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Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:
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1. I put up this new page to include a few more goldfish-related topics. I moved the goldfish health section to this page and wrote two new sections on feeding goldfish and telling goldfish fry from koi fry.

2. I finally divided up my health pages into six pages.

3. This is one of the new pages but the information is the same from the old page.

4. This is one of the new pages but the information is the same from the old page.

5. In addition to some sections from the old page, this page has two new sections: "Why Did My Fish Die After a Water Change?" and "Where Did My Fish Go?"

6. I moved the photos of some of the sick fish I've had over to this page. If you have any case studies and photos of a sick fish that you want me to put up here, let me know.

7. This page is empty for now but one day I hope to put in a health diagnosis chart here.

8. I added 17 new photos that were sent to me. Under frogs and toads, there are two photos of tree frog eggs, one of the resulting tadpoles, and three bullfrog photos. Under fish, there is a photo of a goldfish with bubbles from dropsy, one of some goldfish, and two of a few albino channel catfish. Under insects, there are two photos of a predaceous diving beetle larvae. Under miscellaneous, there are five photos of two different ponds.

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 7/4/04, I squirted off the flosses. The 1800 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 74 degrees F. When I pulled up the submerged plant protectors which I do with my weekly chores, there was a big goldfish in there. I had to stuff my hand in through the opening and pull him out. I don't know how long he was in there but he was sure glad to get out! There seems to a lot of green frogs all of a sudden: 3+ males, 4+ females, a few dozen froglets, and a new batch of eggs every week. I'm glad they're making a comeback. I hope the other amphibians do better too! I had no wood frog or toad eggs this year at all.

2. On 7/11/04, I squirted off the flosses and both sets of bioballs/biothings and tidied up as usual. The 1800 gallon was at 77 degrees F and the 153 at 76 degrees F. The day got off to a really bad start though. First thing, I looked at my front mosaic pond since the raccoon had moved the fake water lettuce. I only saw one shubunkin. After looking around, I found the big one (3") desiccated on the cement porch. I was SO upset! I should not be allowed to keep fish! While the raccoon was pestering them, the fish jumped. I had done a partial water change the day before and put in a little more water than normal, making suicide easier. The surviving 2.5" shubunkin was freaked so I netted him and put him in my 1800 gallon pond. The two shubunkins were so close, best buddies. I hope he finds some goldfish friends instead of predator enemies! I don't expect to see him again.

3. I don't write here all the work I do, just a tiny amount. For example, on Saturdays, I squirt off or change (every 3 weeks) the PondMaster filter in my 153 gallon pond amongst my 12 hours of animal chores. I pull yellow plants from that pond and tidy up. I top off all the ponds and collect debris. I check for mosquito larvae and add mosquito bits, dunks, or liquid if needed. I squirt off the tiny filter in my 50 gallon lotus tub pond. It needed to do that every two days until I found another piece of foam to replace it (circular instead of square but it works). On 7/17/04, I discovered that a forgotten big bird house high in a tree in the woods (meant for red-bellied woodpeckers or flickers) had a bird in it. I finally saw it and perhaps (or maybe not) identified it as a bird I'd never heard of or seen (but was there all the time of course and now that I know what it sounds like, it's always calling) called an Eastern wood-pewee which is a sort of flycatcher. I'm sure it enjoys the many bugs attracted to my ponds.

4. On 7/18/04, I squirted off the flosses. I tried to fertilize what plants that I could. Both ponds were at 73 degrees F. I cut down some more rice cut grass that (with gloves) managed to cut me up in three spots (painful and bloody). Putting that plant in my pond was a big mistake. I also cut lots of thistles around the pond and pulled out some watercress (it dies back after flowering, and the ends dry up/die). This day I did something really stupid which I will share for educational purposes. When I start work on my 1800 gallon pond, I turn off the power and get in. Then, I remove the baskets and floss around the two pumps, the little one first. When I went to do that, some sweetflag was in the way (pot jumper). I got my pruners and was cutting it. I wondered why it was so tough. Then, I pulled up and realized I cut the electrical cord to my PondMaster MagDrive 700 pump! I cut through the black outer layer and into the electrical lines. I'm an idiot! Luckily, I keep a spare which I went and retrieved. It could have been worse. The power could have been on when I cut it, or I could have not realized I cut it and got out and turned it back on, frying the fish. It wasn't worth the risk to try to repair the cut line.

5. On 7/25/04, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings. A big garter snake was hanging in the rocks near where I get into and out of the pond so I had to be careful not to upset him/her. The 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were both at 73 degrees F. This is summer, right? I put fresh mosquito dunks in the fishless ponds.

6. On 8/1/04, I squirted out the flosses. Both ponds were at 79 degrees F. My hardy canna and regular cattails or so in need of a repotting that they keep falling over since they're top heavy. I will try to make time in the fall by not doing something else I should do.

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Pond Tidbits:
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1. Ponders (and aquarists) often freak when they find various worms and bugs in their ponds. Many immediately assume they are bad parasites or otherwise some horrific beast. In most cases, they are harmless. Most pond leeches just eat debris. Many live in my filters. While "ewy," they're not blood suckers of humans or fish. If you see some on the fish, then those are blood consumers. If you find a squiggling worm or bug in a filter or in the pond, it's probably not a parasite. Remember parasites will prefer to be ON their prey and often can't live free swimming for very long. I've helped identify bugs and creepy creatures for hundreds of people via the internet. For a few summers, for Save Our Streams, I helped go through preserved collections from streams under a microscope. The professor (I was not his student but a volunteer) said I was the fastest and most accurate! He was a good teacher. Of course, preserved bugs never look like the real thing! Most of the collections included tons of caddisflies, midges, and mayflies and some stoneflies, clams, beetle larvae, crane fly larvae, and more. I always got excited with the rare finds. We did identify the actual kind of species (down to Genus I think) but I forget all those now! For a while, I knew a lot of scientific names but have forgotten. I do remember there was a very common sort of caddisfly with hairy underarms. When we got a rare kind, you'd think we found gold! When they moved the identification lab an hour away, I stopped going.

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Web Sites of Interest:
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1. For a good laugh about the most prevalent chemical in our ponds - http://www.dhmo.org

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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"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." - Henry David Thoreau


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