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Robyn's Pond Newsletter October 2006

Last Updated: 2/17/14

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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?

My rabbit, Isabella, died on 9/7/06. She was 9 years and 7 months old. She was paralyzed for the last two years.

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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/labor.htm -
A story of my work on Labor Day repotting iris.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/bigpondphotos1.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Summer 2006 photos are one of the Nora tropical waterlily flower, one of a bluebell flower, and two of the pond. Under Spring 2006 is an old photo that I scanned of the pond from 3/26/06.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/animalphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under insects are three new photos of a dragonfly that I found that had just came out of its exoskeleton which is also in the photos.

4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/fishphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under Summer 2006 are two photos of my koi, orfe, and goldfish and a photo of my poor upside- down orfe.

5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm -
Under fish, I added five photos of what may be koi/goldfish hybrids (or maybe just goldfish) that someone sent me.

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New Pages on Pond Showcase:
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1. http://www.pondshowcase.com/dowoop53/index.shtml - Walt's Pond

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 9/3/06, I did the usual such as squirting off the flosses, tidying up, adding baking soda and koi clay in minute amounts, and so on. I squirted off the bags of bioballs and lava rock in the kiddie pool. It is now too cool for a swimming suit so I am back into hip waders. The 1800 gallon was at 68 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 69 degrees F. Some of the canna leaves have started to yellow and brown so I removed some of them. For the last time this year, I sort of fertilized the lilies and lotus (only one surviving out of three groups). By sort of, I mean I couldn't jam the pills into some of the pots. I reset some of the pots that had been knocked down by the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto. I found a dead frog near the overflow, maybe 2" long that had been dead for a long time, maybe weeks. The nylon laundry bag that zippers over the 700 gph pump in my 1800 gallon pond that goes into the Cyprio filter has a broken zipper so I need to find another one.

2. The morning of 9/4/06, I found that the raccoon has annihilated my fake lotus plant in my mosaic pond on the front porch. He/she chewed up all the styrofoam and plastic into 100 pieces! On 9/4/06, I repotted three of my iris including the huge yellow flag iris. I made a page on my site at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/labor.htm telling the story including 16 photos.

3. On 9/10/06, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings while in the filter. The 1800 gallon pond was at 73 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 75 degrees F. I repotted the Colorific iris that I missed the Monday before.

4. On 9/17/06, I squirted off the flosses and did the usual. The 1800 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 74 degrees F. My mother found a white, nylon, zippered sweater bag for me to replace the one that goes over the Mag Drive 700 gph pump that goes to the Cyprio filter. I zipped it up, and, immediately, the area I'd just zipped opened up. It's broken already! Why can't they make decent zippers? The bag keeps the fish and larger debris away from the pump intake. I put up the mosaic pond on the front porch for the winter.

I retrieved the remainder of the Colorific iris from over the hill and potted it into the emptied one gallon pot in the 153 gallon pond that the raccoon keeps dumping. I realized I didn't want to throw away any of that iris. I finally repotted the biggest sweetflag pot. It's about 16" across and about 4 gallons but shallow (sweetflag travels mostly parallel to the ground). Now, I just need to repot the other half dozen sweetflag pots. That's one plant I've never had trouble growing!

5. On 9/24/06, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool. The 1800 gallon was at 70 degrees F and the 153 gallon pond at 72 degrees F. I pulled some weed grass from around the pond. Just as I reattached the main pump, it started to rain. It had been threatening but then it just dumped. I got out, turned on the power, and went to rescue the things on the porch that aren't supposed to get wet. My paper (chore list) got soaked but the camera was okay. I worked on putting some things up into the house as it poured. After maybe half an hour, it was still pouring. But, I needed to get the net on. I decided to put on the new full leaf net a week early because some leaves were coming down, and they gravitate to the ponds like magnets. So, I put on my bathing suit and put on a baseball cap to keep the rain off of my glasses so I could see. I put on my beach shoes ("shoes" that hold onto your feet and can get totally wet) which I use in the summer. I went out and into the pond in the pouring rain. There was no thunder or lighting, I'm not that stupid. I actually enjoyed it a lot! It was something different to be in the water while it was broiling from rain. I tidied up in the pond which I hadn't done yet and removed what leaves I could. I removed some water hyacinth (maybe 6 plants), only a few remain. I think there's maybe two water lettuce plants still alive. In past years (see the old newsletters), I would be hauling them out by the wheel barrow full!

Then, I got out and taking my time, managed to get the new net into position. It's very obvious that it's there unlike some previous nets which you could hardly see. The weave is a thick green weave. The bonus of being thick is that maybe it won't get so many holes as fast as the other nets have. It seems a little less apt to snag. I then added the usual pond additives and so forth. Because the most important stuff was now done, the rain let up to a modest drizzle. I was totally wet which was fine but luckily I wasn't really chilled; it was near 80 degrees F earlier in the day. I had decided to take down the Tricker pond for winter. I scooped off the floating salvinia, duckweed, and floating fern as well as a little remaining parrot feather and put them into the 153 gallon pond whose surface was nearly empty. Although the salvinia and floating fern will soon die when it gets colder, perhaps they can provide some food and cover for the fish and tadpoles in the 153 gallon until then. I bailed the Tricker pond and ran each bucket through a net to catch tadpoles. I did not find any of the danio fry I had put in there over the summer so none of them made it. I only found a few dozen tadpoles, many fewer than I expected. There were also a bunch of pond snails. In the bottom were all the spilled pots and lots of rocks and planting "soil" from them courtesy of the raccoons. The tropical lilies were no where to be found but I did find the one tropical lily tuber that I had overwintered from before. At first I thought it might be alive but then I noticed it was cracked and white stinky stuff oozed out of there. I measured the tuber nut; it was only 1.8 cm long.

6. The morning of 9/29/06, my net was covered in a lot of leaves and sunken in because nasty storms came through the previous night. I pulled back the net and used another net to scoop up a bullfrog and a female green frog who were on top of the net. It's about the fifth time I've rescued frogs on the net in less than a week but I'm glad the net's on the big pond.

7. On 10/1/06, I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs. The 1800 gallon was at 62 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 64 degrees F. I replaced the nylon mesh zippered laundry bag around the Mag-Drive 700 gph pump that runs the Cyprio filter. I put in the first dose of Microbe-Lift Autumn and Winter Prep in the two larger ponds. I don't like working under the net with it tugging at my hair and grabbing my glasses while I walk around hunch-backed. I accidently pulled the cord on the Mag-Drive and detached the Cyprio hose which is a pain to fix.

Earlier, when I went to pick up the basket and floss that I had pulled up out of the pond where my big pump goes, I noticed a fish flopping around. That would not be that unusual. I picked it up. Before I tossed it back in, I turned it to the side and looked at it. Huh? The fish was not a species that I have ever had in my ponds or tanks. I should have had the forethought to put him in a bucket of pond water so I could try for a digital photo or at least get a better look. Instead, I only worried he had been out of the pond for too long and tossed him right back in. The fish was about 1.5 inches long. It was mostly that gray, blah natural color except for a very dark black line from its head to its tail, right down the middle of the body, horizontal to the lateral line. The black line was maybe 1/16 of an inch wide. My first thought was a dace but later when I looked at my North American native fish book, I found no dace like it but more than half a dozen shiners that could be the fish. Because I don't know if the fish came from around here or was brought in as eggs on one of my plant shipments (any time in the last few years), I don't even know from which state the fish comes. I don't get a lot of pond visitors that may have been in waters around here with fish. We have few streams and ponds around, and when I've looked in them, I've never seen fish. I also don't know if this guy is alone or has buddies with him. Last spring, when I saw half a dozen small gray fish on the bottom, I'd assumed they were my surviving fathead minnows but maybe they were these shiners. I really don't know. They are very well camouflaged. Ironically, one of the ideas for something to add to my site (who knows when) that I wrote down last week was a section on how fish can appear in a fish-less pond (or species that weren't there can appear). Now, I have some first hand experience!

8. On 10/7/06, after I changed the PondMaster filters which I do every 3 weeks, I put a new net on the 153 gallon pond.

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Pond Tidbits:
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1. I have no ideas or time this month.

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Web Sites of Interest:
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1. Here is a video of a duckling feeding koi that you've just got to see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPxDw7ajfGE&NR

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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