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Robyn's Pond Newsletter December 2006

Last Updated: 12/4/06

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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 mother brought back a dead animal from her walk on 11/5/06. She always finds interesting things, perhaps none so interesting as the flying squirrel I found on my desk when I came home about five years ago. Once I found a dead wood rat. A few months ago, my cat gifted our driveway with a dead little brown bat. Like those three animals, this one my mother brought was one I have only seen once in our area (and dead only). She found a red bat. Here are three photos I took of this sort of rare, larger bat that reminds me of a lion tamarin (a monkey). My brother was quick to point at that the first two are out of focus (my camera auto-focuses; I have no control) so I'm sorry.

http://www.fishpondinfo.com/photos/mammals/bats/bat1.jpg
http://www.fishpondinfo.com/photos/mammals/bats/bat2.jpg
http://www.fishpondinfo.com/photos/mammals/bats/bat3.jpg

I have finally started work on the birds directory. It will take a while!

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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/fishcare/water.htm -
I wrote a page on the types of water one can use in an aquarium or pond and information on chlorination, fluorination, carbonation, oxygenation, and compressed gases.

2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/fishcare/watertable.htm -
This is a water comparison table which goes with the previous new page.

3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/misc2.htm -
Under killifish are four photos of a male bluefin killifish that someone sent me.

4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pictures2.htm -
Under fish are two photos of goldfish that show a goldfish undergoing a color change.

5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/ponds/pcare2.htm -
I added this new page for questions that I've gotten and want to answer somewhere such as fish that appear out of nowhere, liners that float up, and dirt that flushes into a pond.

6. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/ponds/storm.htm -
This is a page about dealing with storms and ponds. I meant to create such a page after Hurricane Katrina. Input from those of you whose ponds have weathered hurricanes or other foul weather is welcome.

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New Pages on Pond Showcase:
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1. http://www.pondshowcase.com/kim/index.shtml - My First Pond

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 11/5/06, I got the net back so I could remove the filter basket and filter material to squirt off the floss as usual. The 1800 gallon pond was down to 43 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 49 degrees F. I got the 5 gallon pot of tropical waterlilies out of the pond for the winter. We had a frost the day before so it was mostly caput. I was hoping the new Nora tropical waterlily which did well had made some nut tubers. I used my bare hands to sift through the mud and roots in the pot. I found three nut tubers from my old tropical waterlily which I will overwinter in damp sand for the seventh winter. The new lily did not have any tubers. So, I pulled out the root base and saved it. Since the basement pond has no more room for pots, I stuffed the lily into the same pot as the bluebells. Their stalk only comes out one side of the pot, leaving a large area for the lily to hopefully survive inside. I pulled the floating styrofoam planter with impatiens in it out of the water. They were mostly dead. I set it on the porch for now. Most of my time outside that day was spent with the leaves. I used the big pond scooping net to get leaves off the net (sagged into the water) and into the wheelbarrow. I hand collected off other parts of the net and raked the mulched area and so forth.

2. On 11/12/06, I spent more than an hour just getting the leaves off of the sides and top of the net. I finally could get in to remove the pump and filter basket to squirt them off as I do every week. Once it gets really cold, I will only do that every two weeks. This time, there was a lot of debris. The tulip poplar seeds and tiny mimosa leaves go through the net as well as small pieces of crushed up leaves. It was raining earlier and the night before so everything was soaked. I couldn't rake any leaves off the mulch. The trees are mostly bare now but wind can still move leaves around. I put up the floating plant ring with the impatiens. I noticed that the roots were much more extensive this year, growing into the styrofoam and making it hard to get the plants out of the tiny pots. My mother had some watercress with roots from the grocery store so I stuck the roots into the waterfall stream. The 1800 gallon was at 54 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 56 degrees F. While it was about 50 degrees F when I was out there and windy, it was in the low 70's the day before!

3. On 11/19/06, I collected leaves, got in to remove the filter material to squirt off the filter floss, and so on. I removed the Luft air pump and put it into the 153 gallon pond for the winter after removing the PondMaster filter from there that runs most of the year. The 1800 gallon was at 48 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 51 degrees F. I pulled back the net over the marginals and cut down some more plants, mostly two lizard tail and two pickerel rush. I cut a few iris but mostly what is left now is iris. They are the last to turn yellow or brown. They're still green and growing. I moved the one pickerel rush that was in the most shallow part of the marginal area to a slightly deeper area to increase its chances of surviving the ice over to come. I also lowered the golden club which still had green leaves (I cut most of those off anyway).

4. On 11/26/06, I squirted off the flosses. I didn't collect any leaves. I need to do that so I can take off the leaf nets in the next few weeks before they freeze on. That certainly wasn't a problem on this 60 degree F day. The 1800 gallon water temperature was at 46 degrees and the 153 gallon at 45 degrees F. The 153 gallon holds heat longer but it also takes longer to warm up since it has a smaller surface area to depth ratio. I shop vacuumed and refilled my far 18 gallon pond which just has water in for animals. It was full of leaves. I only do this a few times a year as I have to haul out a 100 foot extension cord and three water hoses to get back there.

5. From 11/26/06 through 12/1/06, it was unusually warm, in the 60's each day. I even gave the fish a little food the morning of 11/29/06. By the weekend, it's going to get cold. By 12/4/06, we are supposed to get the first real freeze with temperatures down into the 20's (degrees F). My ponds may finally start to ice up. I plan to put in the de-icers before then.

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Pond Tidbits:
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1. I put some ideas into the new web pages listed above.

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Web Sites of Interest:
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1. The Associated Koi Clubs of America compiled this list of potentially toxic plants:
http://www.akca.org/library/poison.htm

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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