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Robyn's Pond Blog for January 2014

Last Updated: 2/3/14

1. On the morning of 1/3/14, we had 6" of snow. It was 12 degrees F, and the winds were blowing!

2. I couldn't do any pond chores on 1/5/14 as the big pond was frozen in. It actually rained part of the day, and things started to melt. I ran an extension cord out to the de-icer in the biofilter because it keeps tripping the main pond outlet. It tripped again. I got another de-icer (also old) and tried it. Thankfully, it worked! I finally saw that the old one had a crack in it. I still want to leave the de-icer plugged in to the porch because it so often trips the outlet. I can't have the pump to the falls and the aerator going off. It's going to go down in to the single digits in a few days! If the power goes out, not only will the waterfall have to stay off until things melt out but the fish could suffocate if the pond seals shut. They're saying a low of 2 degrees F which is close to the coldest it's been since I got the pond in 1997 (perhaps 0 degrees F). The lowest ever here in my life was -10 degrees F (before ponds). We are usually about 5 degrees colder than they predict (higher elevation) so I wouldn't be surprised if it goes to 0 degrees F. I set up a cage for my outdoor bun to come in, and I set up a reptile heat emitter in the chicken pen to give them more heat. I worry about the big pond though. The 153 gallon pond was completely thawed out this day but it probably won't stay that way. It was actually 44 degrees F in there.

3. It was 1 degree F the morning of 1/7/14! There were actually pretty large openings at the aerators, and the main falls were running pretty well. It had been above freezing the day before so the ice build up was not yet a problem. I will see what happens in the next 24 hours! It will be a few days before things go back to normal.

4. On 1/12/14, it was a toasty 45 degrees F outside with no wind so I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon was at 40 degrees F, and the 153 gallon was at 49 degrees F. The big pond still had a little bit of ice in the shallows. I squirted off the filter material around the pump which were pretty dirty. I found and removed a dead 1" pickerel frog from the waterfall shallow area. I also found a dead terrestrial grub in the pond which was strange. It was pretty big, perhaps a Japanese beetle larvae. I wish I had more time to clean up the leaves all over but I had to spend four hours putting up all the Christmas decorations before I went out to the ponds.

5. I processed some snow photos!

From 12/10/13 while it was snowing:
Big pond facing northwest.
Big pond facing northwest.
Big pond facing west.

From 1/3/14:
153 gallon pond facing northwest.
Big pond facing southwest.
Big pond facing northwest. Look at all that ice!
Big pond facing northwest.
Waterfall and opening in the ice from the aerator.
Thermometer at 1 degree F on 1/7/14. Cold!

6. On 1/19/14, the air temperature was about 40 degrees F, and there were strong winds. The 1800 gallon pond was at 39 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 47 degrees F. I added water to all of the ponds but the back newest one as they were all low by a few inches. I didn't do much else.

7. We got 6" of snow on 1/21/14. The next morning, it was 2 degrees F! My ponds still have nice air holes in them though.

8. It was 5 degrees F the morning of 1/24/14. After being cold all week, the main waterfall is now mostly encased in ice. Since it is flowing under the ice, and it lands in an area kept open by the air stone, I am not worried. The ponds are actually doing better than expected with the cold. It's going to be even colder next week!

9. On 1/26/14, the air temperature was 20 degrees F, and the ponds were still frozen in. The thermometer in the 1800 gallon was frozen in, and the one in the 153 gallon pond read 40 degrees F. I changed the airline tubing going to the 153 gallon pond as it had ice in the line, and the bubbles were barely moving. I put four buckets of water in that pond (animals have been drinking a lot from it) but couldn't do much else with everything frozen.

Continue to the February 2014 pond blog.

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