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Robyn's Pond Blog for February 2017

Last Updated: 3/6/17

1. On 2/2/17, I got a Chowan Basu lotus tuber from Bonnie's Plants. I put it in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F. I am not sure if and when I should plant it so I will wait for now.

2. On 2/5/17, I did a few pond chores, mostly adding water and removing leaves. Both pond's thermometers read 40 degrees F.

3. On 2/12/17, the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 44 degrees F for both. I got in the big pond and squirted off the filter materials. I put in some BZT, baking soda, koi clay, and water.

4. On 2/19/17, it went up to 68 degrees F! That's 30 or 40 degrees F more than normal! I did a lot of work outside. Both pond's thermometers read 50 degrees F.

I had a Chawan Basu lotus tuber in the basement since 2/2/17. I planted it up in the 12 gallon lotus tub pond (clay dirt, fertilizer, pea gravel, tuber). It is not supposed to go below freezing in the next 10 days. When/if it does, I will put a pot over it to keep hopefully keep it safe. If it goes way below freezing, I will put in an aquarium heater and cover it. It is unfortunately too heavy for me to just move inside if it gets cold again. Then again, it may not get cold again so I just went ahead and potted it because I saw the beginnings of black mold on the tuber.

I squirted off the filter flosses and the bioballs. There were two small pickerel frogs in the biofilter. I fed the fish. I never think ahead to have Cheerios ready for their first feeding but I also don't expect it to be in the 50's to 70's all week in February! I cleaned out the 20 gallon tub pond. I found a total of 14 green frog tadpoles and about 6 pond snails. The java moss (which is not supposed to be that cold hardy but we didn't have much of a winter) was doing well. I did not repot the water iris in the two gallon pot.

While working on the tub pond, I heard a strange noise. By listening to calls on-line, I verified that I had a male pickerel frog calling! It is really early for that (although it was certainly warm enough)! I have not seen any wood frogs yet. I think they are either waiting for a nice rain, or they were harmed by this abnormal weather. There were years where we didn't have a cold winter, and the wood frogs didn't come that spring. People only think about how nice and warm it is but this is screwing up and killing plants and animals that depend on the seasons. Many plants are blooming early. If another cold snap comes, it will destroy the flowers and can harm the plants.

5. I had time to link in a few photos. By the dates, you can tell how far behind I am, almost a year! I have dozens of pond photos from 2016 that I have not even begun to process. These photos were already cropped, resized, and uploaded. I just needed to link them in to the web pages. I actually have a ton of photos from 2015 that I never had time to process! Fishpondinfo is also about 90% full. Once full, the cost for even a little more space is too much. Since I have not had a penny in income in years from my web sites, it makes no sense to spend more than the hundreds of dollars of year that I already pay to share my love for animals.

Wood frog eggs on 3/2/16.

We had snow on 3/4/16!
Big pond facing northwest.
Big pond facing northwest.
Back ponds facing north.

Photos of wood frog tadpoles in the 50 gallon tub pond on 3/26/16.
Wood frog tadpoles
Wood frog tadpole - close-up

American toad in my garage on 12/1/16.

6. On 2/21/17, I had time to finally link in the photos from my 3/30/16 pond cleaning, 11 months late!

All of these photos were taken on 3/30/16.

Back ponds facing northwest before cleaning started.
153 gallon pond facing southwest before cleaning.
Anorexic green frog
Anorexic green frog
Leech - head to the left.
Empty 153 gallon pond - deep end.
Empty 153 gallon pond

7. It was getting cold again with some nights below freezing, and I needed to protect my lotus. So, on 2/25/17, I ran an extension cord from the front porch and plugged in a 25 W aquarium heater set to 65 degrees F (the minimum setting) which sits in the 12 gallon lotus tub pond. In addition, on nights below freezing, I put a 5 gallon black pot over the lotus to protect it by locking in some of the heat coming off the pot and water and 25 W heater. I hope it is enough to keep it alive until danger of freezing passes.

8. On 2/26/17, it was back to normal temperatures. The 1800 gallon pond was at 49 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 50 degrees F. I didn't get in the ponds. I put in additives and water and removed leaves. I found the first egg mass of the year. It was in the 50 gallon tub pond. I moved it to the 20 gallon tub pond as I have already cleaned that one, and I need to clean the 50 gallon tub pond yet. I have not heard any wood frogs but they are most likely the parents.

Continue to the March 2017 pond blog.

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