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Robyn's Pond Blog for February 2014

Last Updated: 3/3/14

1. On 2/2/14, the air temperature warmed up to 50 degrees F! It was like summer except that there was still a lot of snow that hadn't melted. The 1800 gallon pond's thermometer was frozen in, and the one in the 153 gallon pond read 44 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was still too frozen in for me to get in to squirt off the flosses and the bioballs which were due. I pulled out a hose and topped off the ponds as they were a few inches low. Water flowed up over the ice in the big pond.

2. Power outages are a nightmare for me and my animals. When I left for work on 2/5/14, there were just a few branches down (including one that annihilated my big bird feeder), and we had power. When I got home, I heard the generator as soon as I pulled up. My father had just started it up but the power had been out since 11 am! With the generator, the big pond's pump and aerator were going. De-icers were out as they sap too much power. I ran extension cords to the aquariums to hook up filtration, aeration, and heaters. The tank temperatures were starting to get to dangerous levels for some of the tropical fish. By dawn, the house was in the lower 50's degrees F with 24 degrees F outside. I put out a battery-operated aerator in the 153 gallon which was frozen over. Luckily, the ice was thin so I pull out the air line and drop another. I should have done this the night before but with worry about so many things including hauling 20 loads of food to the only refrigerator with power, it slipped my mind. One goldfish in the big pond was floating upside down but I think it was one that had been sick anyway. I sure hope they make it through! Power came back at 11:45 am on 2/6/14. When I get home at 5:30 pm, I have to undo all I did the day before and get things back to normal.

3. Here are some photos of the big pond on 1/24/14 in the snow and ice.

Snowy pond facing southwest.
Snowy pond facing north.

4. On 2/9/14, I topped off the ponds. The air temperature was only 30 degrees F but the big pond was melted out enough to get in. The 1800 gallon was at 36 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F. I decided not to get in to squirt off the flosses because of how cold it was. There was not much else I could do as there is still snow and ice around.

5. I awoke to 13 to 16 inches of snow depending on where I measured (it drifted) on 2/13/14. I fed the chickens and rabbit and cleared off the pond outlets and aerators in my hip waders as the snow was over my regular boots. I was snowed in until the neighbor plowed at 3 pm but went to work the next day after another 4" fell overnight. It was compacted down to about 13" by the morning of 2/14/14. The ponds did well in the snow as it was not very cold (near freezing).

6. On 2/16/14, I couldn't really do anything at the ponds even though I needed to because everything is encased in snow and ice. The 1800 gallon thermometer was frozen in, and the one in the 153 gallon pond read 42 degrees F. The de-icer keeps it nice and toasty!

7. On 2/22/14, I will move the hundreds of files required to finalize moving my section about my aquariums and ponds to their own directory. The index page is here. There are 53 pages in this subdirectory but I only recently moved 12 pages over. Still, this required moving 174 photos and all the other pages that linked to them and updating all the pages (about 170) referring to my personal aquarium and pond pages. If you're a programmer, then you will understand when I say "Thank God for grep."

8. Spring arrived for just two days! The snow drops bloomed by the brick pond. On 2/23/14, the air temperature was 46 degrees F at 11 am when I started pond work. It was 55 degrees F by dusk. The 1800 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F. The tub ponds were still frozen but the two big ponds were melted out. I was able to get in and get the filter material. I changed it out. My sock got wet. My left hip wader now has a hole in it. Since I already had a patched hole in the right hip wader, I guess it's time for new ones. I squirted off the bioballs. I changed the Ammocarb. I removed two poor dead pickerel frogs (one 1" and one 2"). I actually saw a live 3" pickerel frog! I put barley straw, some salt, koi clay, BZT, and baking soda in the big pond. The ponds didn't need water added.

Continue to the March 2014 pond blog.

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