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Robyn's Pond Blog for January 2020

Last Updated: 2/3/20

1. I did pond chores on 1/5/20. The day before hit 60 degrees F and was rainy. At 2:13 pm on 1/5/20, the air temperature was only 37 degrees F, and there was a biting wind. The 1800 gallon pond's thermometer read 46 degrees F while the 153 gallon pond's thermometer was a whole 10 degrees higher at 56 degrees F. The little pond is more warmed by the de-icer and holds heat better as it has a smaller surface area to depth ratio. I certainly didn't need to add water to any ponds but I did put in additives and remove leaves. I got in the big pond to pull the filter materials around the pump and squirt them off. I found a dead 2" pickerel frog in the bottom of the pond.

2. We got 2 to 3 inches of snow on 1/7/20 depending on where I measured the depth.

3. When I came home from work on 1/8/20, I went to pull some leaves out of the 153 gallon pond. It had been very windy so they blew in. As soon as I touched the water, it was hot! What? I pulled up the thermometer which said 72 degrees F! The air temperatures was 32 degrees F! The de-icer's thermostat must have broken, and it was overheating the water! I immediately unplugged it but left it there to remove later. To the dump with it! I have lots of old, used de-icers. This one was only being used for the second winter! I've never had this happen before. Later, I checked the pond again with the flashlight. The temperature was down to 70 degrees F, and I saw about two large bullfrogs, a pickerel frog, and a couple of green frogs at the surface coming to gasp air, air that would send a chill through their entire bodies! I hope they survive the drastic heating and cooling. It's going to be very cold tomorrow but then above freezing for an entire week! Up and down!

4. At 7:30 am on 1/9/20, the temperature in the 153 gallon pond was down to 50 degrees F. The air temperature was 24 degrees F. It was down another few degrees in the pond by the time that I got home. The cold was short lived.

5. Ok, so it was 70 degrees F on 1/11/20. At 3:07 pm on 1/12/20, it was 62 degrees F. Is this winter? I even fed the fish this morning! It's important to note that I only did that knowing that temperatures were going to remain above average for at least four days, and I will not feed additional food. The 1800 gallon pond was at 56 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 53 degrees F. I had spent the day putting up Christmas decoations inside the house, and I was so overheated that I opened the windows and had to put on shorts and short sleeves which I wore to work on the ponds. I squirted the filter floss around the pump and squirted out the bioballs. I moved seven pickerel frogs out of there and put them in the pond proper. I found one dead about 3" pickerel frog in the pond so maybe the others know something I don't? They can't stay in the biofilter in case the power even goes out, they would be left high and dry and frozen solid so I move them. There is no check valve from the pump to the bottom of the biofilter buried under four feet of dirt. The good thing about that though is that when the power does go out (if it's every actually cold again), the hose drains instead of staying full and potentially freezing and either bursting or impeding the flow when the power returns. Now that I am discussing power outages, I have jinxed it, and the power will go out soon.

6. I put another old de-icer in the 153 gallon pond the morning of 1/15/20.

7. I did very little pond work on 1/19/20 as the air temperature was 33 degree S, and there were high winds. The 1800 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F. I put in additives and picked up a few leaves. That was about all I could take.

8. At 12:42 pm on 1/26/20, the air temperature was 44 degrees F, and it was windy. The 1800 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F. I removed the main filter floss and changed it out for new. I changed the Ammocarb and oyster shell in the biofilter. I picked up leaves in the water, topped off all the ponds and put in additives. I removed some rocks at the overflow, put some bricks under the liner, and put the rocks back to try to raise the maximum level of the pond. I got it up about half an inch. If the men who built the pond had not cut the liner there without an excess, I could bring the level up much further. There is about a foot drop off all the way around between ground level and the water level. Some drop off is good but that was way too much. The snow drops by the 153 gallon pond are in full bloom. They are the first bulbs to flower.

Continue to the February 2020 pond blog.

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