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Robyn's Pond Blog for January 2013

Last Updated: 2/10/13

1. On 1/1/13, I did pond chores. The air temperature was about 40 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F. I topped off all the ponds. I squirted off the filter material around the main pump (the only one out this time of the year). I tried to collect leaves in the ponds that were blown in by recent high winds. I have two sickly goldfish who have been laying on their sides for a few months but everyone else seems fine. One of the sick goldfish has a tumor or growth going through his/her right gill. It's not treatable, at least at this point.

2. When I went to bed on 1/2/13, I looked outside to see that the light was off on the AirPod in the big pond yet again! The power was tripped. I reset it and unplugged the de-icer for the night. There is no reason that every de-icer should trip the line. I'm still running everything off extension cords. My father, who is partially blind, claims he can fix it but must wait for good weather. With no income, I can't hire an electrician which would cost hundreds of dollars. The problem is that it's winter, and that's the worst time for the electrical equipment to be exposed like that. Snow could short it out. I tried plugging the de-icer in again in the morning, and it immediately tripped. The pond was about a third frozen over as it was in the mid-20's degrees F overnight. Unless things get really cold, the pond should be fine without the de-icer working.

3. On 1/7/13, I did some minor pond chores. The air temperature was 43 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 40 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 44 degrees F. I did not get in the big pond. I added water and removed some leaves, and that was about it.

4. On 1/11/13, I tried the main pond's outlet again. I pressed the reset a few times. This time it worked! As long as I don't use a de-icer, this outlet seems okay again. I put up the de-icer.

5. On 1/14/13 at 3:30 pm, I did the pond chores. The air temperature was up to 50 degrees F which is why I did it then. The 1800 gallon was at 49 degrees F, and the 153 gallon was at 48 degrees F. I topped off the ponds and put in BZT and a little baking soda in the big pond. I took the main filter flosses out and squirted them off and put them back. I picked up a few leaves. The snowdrops (a type of spring bulb) are blooming by the 153 gallon pond.

6. On 1/20/13, I did a few pond chores. The air temperature was 50 degrees F but very windy. The 1800 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F. I did not get in the big pond. I topped off the ponds and collected a few leaves.

7. On 1/22/13, it was cold in the morning, 15 degrees F! I really wanted to get the de-icer in the top of the biofilter in the big pond. The pond was freezing over, and there was ice up there too. Since the de-icers keep tripping, I ran a line to the pool's outlet. It also goes to the chicken pen and the shed. That way, when it tripped, the pond's filter and aerator were not affected. With the brand new de-icer that tripped before, the line just kept tripping so I threw that away (a huge money loss when I am trying to save and make money). I put in an old de-icer, and it seemed fine. The next morning, the chicken's water was frozen solid. It's a heated bowl on the same circuit so I knew the de-icer had tripped the line. I reset it, and it worked. Of and on we go but at least something is being done.

8. The morning of 1/23/13, it was 12 degrees F! The big pond has really frozen over. I took these photos.

Iced over pond - there is a big hole where the aeration comes up. The main waterfall is to the left. You can see the fish under the ice. I see my biggest orfe and two of my koi (Colin and Nikita) as well as goldfish.
Frozen main waterfall - you can see how it is mostly frozen over but there is a hole where water is pouring in.
Frozen side waterfall - this is the side waterfall which is starting to build an ice dome.
Air hole from the aeration. I like the way the sunlight is bouncing off the ice.
Big pond facing north. You can see where ice is and where it is not.

I also took these videos on 1/23/13:
Frozen 1800 gallon pond video.
Frozen 1800 gallon pond video and how I use the sledgehammer on the waterfall ice (not the main pond).

9. Winter has finally returned! The morning of 1/24/13, we got a whole inch of snow, and the evening of 1/25/13, we got an inch of snow again! It was 15 degrees F the morning of 1/24/13 but then temperatures started to go up. The aerator kept a nice hole in the ice/snow the entire time.

I took these photos of the big pond on 1/26/13 after an inch of snow the day before.
Both waterfalls facing northeast.
Hole from aerator - a view of the deep end.
Pond facing northwest showing the hole from the aerator and the waterfall.
Main waterfall - looking down on the flow of the main waterfall.

10. Summer came back! It went to 62 degrees F on 1/29/13 so I did some pond chores. I still couldn't get in the big pond as it was half frozen. I went out at 11 am when it was already 50 degrees F. The 153 gallon pond's thermometer read 45 degrees F but the 1800 gallon pond's thermometer was encased in ice. The ponds didn't need to have water added just the bird bath. I changed the oyster shell and Ammocarb bags in the main filter. I could see a tunnel of ice down the top of the falls under the rocks. I picked up some leaves. I removed the de-icer and extension cord from the big pond as it just tripped all the time. I would reset it, and ten minutes later, it would go again. I just don't get it. Every de-icer that I try in the big pond trips varies lines that never were a problem in the past while the de-icer in the 153 gallon just chugs away and hasn't tripped even once on its line. Anyway, even in the bitter cold, the aerator and waterfall did just fine without the help of the de-icer. It is going up to 70 degrees F on 1/30/13 but then back down to normal freezing temperatures. It's summer one day and winter the next.

Continue to the February 2013 pond blog.

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