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Robyn's Pond Newsletter November 2005

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 big apple snail in my 40 gallon tank died on 10/27/05. He had been dormant for a month (alive but not really moving).

I have started making subdirectories on my site. The rabbit one was just finished. Next will be turtles, then cats, insects, plants, frogs (amphibians), fish (a huge one), etc. but not in that order necessarily. It took me two months to find time to make the five rabbit pages into 19. While working on a particular directory, no updates will be made to the original pages that fall in that directory (except for emergencies). I will make little or no progress due to lack of time.

On 11/2/05, Net Nation who hosts fishpondinfo.com moved my site to a new server. Errors in code and links may have resulted. I cannot check all the thousands of pages for errors. If while you happen to be on my site, you see an apparent error, please contact me so I can fix it. Thanks.

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Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages; New Pond Photos:
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1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/amphphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under 2005, there are two photos of the gray tree frog I saw by my pond on 10/2/05 (see below).

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/otherpondphotos.htm - (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
Under other ponds, fall 2005 is a photo of my basement pond.

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 10/2/05, in the morning, I found a frog sitting at the top of my waterfall at the biofilter on the rocks. This wouldn't be unusual except it was a gray tree frog which I rarely see outside of breeding season. The poor female's back left leg was mangled, a victim of some predator. I took a few photos. A few hours later, and she was gone.

2. Later on 10/2/05, I did my pond chores including squirting off the flosses. The 1800 gallon was down to 63 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 67 degrees F. I tried to tidy up under the net, getting some more water celery but not much else. I pull back a corner of the net and work under it. The net catches on everything - me, my glasses, the bucket I have to carry to collect debris (and the bucket keeps falling over). That and having to hunch over to fit under the net doesn't make it any fun with the net. A male bullfrog in the shallows must not have been feeling great because he let me pet him (common for green frogs but my bullfrogs are very skittish). I dumped, scrubbed down, dried, and put up the front mosaic tub pond. I bleached the smaller parts of it. It was all full of suspended algae. I sewed the large hole in the net by the top of the falls with a needle and fishing line. I put a few mosquito dunks in some of the tub ponds. The back pond as predicted was almost totally dry from the deer drinking from it so I carried out 4 buckets Saturday and 2 Sunday to fill it.

3. On 10/4/05, my big tropical water lily (the one I've overwintered for a few winters) opened its second flower of the year. Unfortunately, the other tropical lilies are dead or have just a few leaves.

4. On 10/7/05, we received a letter from the owner of the dogs who trashed my ponds and tried to kill my animals. My parents had sent him a letter the week before detailing $200 in damages I came up with (actually it was $300 but I cropped it back). He sent a $200 check. In his letter, he said he hoped we were happy because they took the dogs to the pound last week and due to lack of space, they were put down last Tuesday (meaning 9/27/05). For good measure, he added that his sons were heart-broken. Well, this guy loves to lie but he's not too smart about it. He gave the name of the animal shelter and the date. My mother called there. They had not seen dogs fitting their description or put any dogs like that down in the last few weeks. They had also never suffered from lack of space for dogs in recent times. We will never know what happened to the dogs but I hope they got good homes. If he still has them, it's only a matter of time before they show up again. In case you're wondering, there are three properties of 5+ acres between us and them so we can't see or hear anything from other there. We never asked the guy to get rid of the dogs and certainly not hurt or kill them. We just asked that he keep them from coming over to our land. We liked the dogs, just not what they did. His aim is to make us feel guilty that we murdered the dogs and destroyed his family when we didn't.

5. On 10/9/05, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool. Both ponds were at 65 degrees F. We finally had rain the day before, half a foot of it! I tried to tidy up but it's hard under the net. I removed some more overhanging water celery. A few more weeks on that, and it should be gone. I pulled four tropical pond plants out, repotted them, and put them into the basement pond. These included the bluebells which were huge and torn from the pot by the dogs, two tropical waterlilies (one I bought that had just one tiny leaf just unfurling left that was in my Tricker pond and one that Sheila gave me that was in the 1800 gallon pond and doing okay despite being ripped from its pot by the dogs as well), and the dwarf papyrus from the Tricker pond (I cut most of the leaves off as the raccoon had bent them all). The bluebells and larger waterlily went into two gallon pots, and the poor waterlily and dwarf papyrus went into one gallon pots. I filled the pots with pond "soil" which is like brown cat litter and topped them off with pea gravel. I didn't use dirt to help keep the pond cleaner. Every time I would pour water into the basement pond with the dirt-filled pots, dirt would cloud the water. I put in one fertilizer pill in each pot. I also brought in just a few pieces of salvinia (expecting as before that it won't survive long). I have enough to fill the entire tub pond but if it just dies, it will make a huge mess to clean up. From the basement pond, I removed the three empty (dead) pots from last winter that I had never removed. The three fantails are still in the basement pond. I was going to put them in the 1800 gallon pond but decided they'd be quickly eaten so they are waiting on my last tuberculsosis- laden danio to die in my 40 gallon tank where they can join 14" Plecy (too big a pleco to suck on 1" goldfish). The fantails don't know what to make of the new pots yet so they're hiding. As far as tropical pond plants go, the black taro and my huge tropical waterlily (which I overwinter as tubers in sphagnum) are still outside.

6. On 10/16/05, I squirted off the flosses and bioballs (actually bioballs and lava rock in bags) in the main filter. The 1800 gallon pond was down to 60 degrees F and the 153 gallon 62 degrees F. When I went to squirt off the floss and mesh bag from around my smaller pump, a small pickerel frog popped out. I had to chase him down and stick him under the net. There was some nasty wind which made things difficult. I didn't tidy up too much in the pond but did try to cut more of the overhanging (from the waterfall into the deep end of the pond) water celery. I pulled the black taro out of the 2 gallon pot pond and sort of repotted it. It sits as a stand alone pot "pond" (meaning just keep with water to the top) in the basement next to the basement pond. The tropical waterlilies seem to like it there as they've put up new leaves the surface which surprised me. Most plants don't like the basement pond. The bluebell plant has decided to drop its leaves but hopefully, it will recover.

7. My mother talked to the mastiff rescue lady on 10/19/05. Apparently, they "got rid of" Lovey the boxer but still have Gator the mastiff. So, it's just a matter of time before a "ghost" pays us a visit. The rescue group won't take him because they require the owner to first neuter him, get him shots, and a heartworm test. They won't.

8. On 10/23/05, I squirted off the flosses. I took the Cyprio filter and system apart for the winter. The 1800 gallon was at 55 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 60 degrees F. I cut back the common rush plant (bought as a zebra rush in 1997; it has mostly reverted to non-variegation). It has started to get cold so I'm no longer feeding the pond fish in the morning and even skipping some evenings on cold days.

9. On 10/30/05, I squirted off the flosses and tidied up. The 1800 gallon pond was down to 47 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 53 degrees F. I should have used my gloves; it was cold! I've been adding a little Microbe-Lift Winter Prep and pond salt each week (hardly any really but some).

10. On 11/2/05, a frog was hopping in the grass. At first I thought it was a green frog that needed me to move him to the ponds. When I got close, it turned out to be female wood frog. I almost never see them except the males during breeding time. This was the largest female wood frog I have ever seen at some 3 inches long. She was pretty active.

11. On 11/5/05, our resident female Eastern box turtle was crossing our road. I had not seen her in a long time, maybe last spring. It was 75 degrees F that day (today as I send this). Who says there is not global warming?

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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. This interesting site has information and photos on some of the more strange things that may appear in ponds (mostly natural ponds, lakes, and streams):
http://www.umaine.edu/WaterResearch/FieldGuide/inthewater.htm
Esther sent me the link after asking about blobs that turned out to maybe be bryozoan colonies.

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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