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Robyn's Pond Blog for March 2015

Last Updated: 4/6/15

1. Spring, where fort art thou? I couldn't do anything at the pond on 3/1/15. Everything was frozen. Snow, sleet, and freezing rain fell from the sky. The 153 gallon pond thermometer read 42 degrees F while the 1800 gallon pond's thermometer was lost in the ice.

2. More snow on 3/5/15. I got my first day off work since 1/1/15 which was nice. I caught up on various odds and ends. I couldn't work on the pond though. I did try to dig out the overflow for the 153 gallon pond but it was a solid block of ice under the snow. I hand bailed down the 153 gallon pond a few inches as it was way above the overflow drain which won't drain while it's frozen solid. I tossed about a dozen buckets of water off to the side. We got 8 to 9 inches of snow depending on where you measured it. That was fresh snow with the total depth was closer to 14".

3. On 3/8/15, it finally was warming up. The air temperature was 48 degrees F. The thermometer in the 153 gallon pond also read 48 degrees F. But, the big pond is still too frozen to pull out the thermometer or to get in. The pump won't start, and it should by now.

4. After trying twice a day for weeks, I finally got the pump to put water out of the biofilter and down the waterfall on 3/11/15 at 8:05 am! The waterfall was off for 25 days which is a record! The first water coming out of the filter smelled like dead frogs. Hopefully, this weekend, I can clean out the filter and find and remove any dead bodies. The air temperature later got up to 60 degrees F this day! The pond is mostly melted out now. When I got home, I added small amounts of pond salt, baking soda, PondZyme, KoiZyme, and koi clay.

5. Ok, so I finally got to do pond work on 3/15/15 but why must the winds be so bad that things blow away, I have trouble standing up and breathing at times, cages are being ripped from their moorings, and leaves and sticks are flying all over. I don't like super cold or super hot weather but I can manage. I can't take the hell winds. The air temperature was 45 degrees F. The 1800 thermometer read 44 degrees F while the 153 gallon pond thermometer said 47 degrees F. I put in a new thermometer in the 1800 gallon pond (other one was dirty, cord shredded, etc.) but it turned out to be a floating one! So, it will have to come out in the fall before the water freezes. I put up the lighted candycanes for the winter. I re-attached the Luft air pump to the other airline which had previously frozen up, and it worked. I pulled out the extra line. I put fresh ant baits in the two pond outlets. The ants are out in force in the house so it's just a matter of time before they try to make a nest in the outlets again and short them out. The back liner pond was still frozen beneath the surface to the bottom so everything in there should be dead.

I removed the filter floss material from the main pump and cut new pieces. It was moderately dirty. I cleaned out the bioballs which weren't very dirty since the filter was off for so long. I found the pickerel frog in there who was there the last time that I cleaned it out. It's a miracle! He/she was alive! When the pump is off, there's just an inch of water or so on the bottom but it must not have frozen because the frog survived. I changed the Ammocarb bag. When I removed a ton of leaves from the waterfall overflow, I found two pickerel frogs of about one and three inches long that were not so lucky. They froze solid and died. The water celery in that area also froze solid but nothing can kill it. It already has new live shoots coming up.

I rearraged some rocks in the falls as the water wasn't going mostly down the main spillway but rather drizzling there. A lot more rocks have settled and collapsed after another bad winter. If only I had someone to fix them the way I want but alas, my moving the rocks around will have to suffice. Some water gets lost from diversion at the top of the falls where things have settled too far. I moved the de-icer back to the top of the biofilter.

There's so much to do in spring! I have to set the lotus up in its pond, clean the tub ponds, repot plants, and then it will be mulching time, and I only did about a quarter of it last year so most gardens are a disaster. Having half as much vacation as my old job is catching up to me. I use 75% of vacation days to do yard work. This day though, after the pond work, I had to patch a hole in the chicken pen, give Chickie (my last chicken) fresh straw, change the wreathe on the door, rake leaves off the snow iris coming up, cut down the ornamental grasses, clean out the bird houses, chain saw part of a massive tree over my path, cage the snow crocus coming up, and try to fix some of the cages that the wind blowed down. Lest ye think me lazy, before I even did pond chores I did regular two hour morning chores to feed the animals, cleared off the week's mail, paid the cat licenses, vacuumed the house, cleaned the bathroom, moped the kitchen floor, et cetera, etc. And after all of the above, I did afternoon chores, did laundry, made dinner, worked on my lists, and then e-mail, and then maybe a few hours of TV for my lazy self. Sunday is my slow day. Saturday is planned to the minute with non-stop cleaning of animal cages and aquariums and other chores.

I thought of some common sayings and how they left off part of them:

Happiness comes to those who wait until they die.
It is better to give than to receive especially if itís a virus.
There is someone for everyone but he may have four feet and be hairy.
Blood is thicker than water so donít choke on it.
Donít just a book by its cover but if nobody has read it, neither should you.
Time heals all wounds but sometimes it leaves a nasty scar.
You reap what you sow and boy where those some good strawberries!

6. On 3/22/15, it was about 48 degrees F in the air with a breeze (not hell wind status). The 1800 and 153 gallon pond thermometers both read 46 degrees F. I put in additives and water and removed some leaves but did not do much else.

7. We finally got a warm day! I was at work, of course, but it was 72 degrees F at home. I fed the fish when I got home for the first time this year. It would then get super cold again so they fasted again.

8. On 3/27/15, I saw wood frogs in the morning after it rained. When I got home that night, I first heard a wood frog calling and found my first batch of eggs in the 50 gallon tub pond.

9. On 3/29/15, I did some pond work even though it was 40 degrees F with a cold wind. The 1800 gallon pond's thermometer read 42 degrees F, while that in the 153 gallon pond said 45 degrees F. The three smallest ponds were ice covered in the morning but all needed clean outs. The 153 gallon pond hadn't been draining properly, and I found out that the overflow area was full of dirt blocking the pipe so I dug out a bucket of dirt and squirted the hose down the pipe to be sure that was not clogged. I removed the de-icers from the two largest ponds and the cover from the main pond's biofilter. Before getting to the tub ponds, I worked on the big pond. I squirted off the filter flosses. I changed out the oyster shell in the filter. I removed some leaves and put in additives and water.

I hauled the lotus tubers out of the bag in the deep end and planted them in the 12 gallon Lerio tub pond.

I needed to clean out the 50 gallon tub pond because there were already wood frog eggs in there. I figured with the horrible winter that we had, all the animals were dead, and they mostly were. I found five Melantho pond snails. I found one tiny little sprig of hornwort. All the other hornwort and anacharis was dead. The two two gallon pots of iris were fine, and I repotted those. The two two gallon pots of waterlilies (or at least one was a waterlily) were dead. The new arrivals, the wood frogs, were in there though. Aside from the batch of eggs which I removed before anything else, I found one amplexing pair and three individual wood frogs. While the eggs were set aside and put back in to the 50 gallon when done, I put the four frogs in the 153 gallon pond which itself has yet to be cleaned. I always clean it this time of the year but my brother wants to go to the zoo on my day off meant to clean that pond, and I can't turn down that. So, the 153 gallon will be cleaned the latest ever, on 4/8/15. I moved some anacharis from the 153 gallon pond to the 50 gallon pond.

I also cleaned out the 20 gallon tub pond. The lizard tail was still dormant. I cut it back a lot and anchored the roots to the bottom with bricks.

Continue to the April 2015 pond blog.

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