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Robyn's Pond Blog for April 2014

Last Updated: 5/5/14

1. When I went outside on 4/2/14 to feed the pond fish (only the second day that they have been been eating), the great blue heron flew out of the back yard! They always come back.

2. On 4/6/14, I did some work around the pond. The 1800 gallon was at 54 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 52 degrees F. I put out the feeding ring. I squirted all the filter materials. I topped off all the ponds. I put a bit more pea gravel around the edge of the 153 gallon pond. I removed a poor dead 4" green frog from the 50 gallon pond that must have traveled over there from the 153 gallon pond. I started bringing out some yard doohickeys. I put fresh ant baits in the two pond outlets (ants were checking the big pond's outlet out). I brought in the lighted candycane (plugged in to help me know if there's power out there) until next fall.

3. I noticed Colin and Riley chasing Alex in the pond on 4/8/14. That would seem to indicate that Colin and Riley are male, and Alex is female but these would just be guesses. My koi have never spawned but maybe this year. Nikita did not participate (perhaps meaning a female without eggs?).

4. I had off work on 4/10/14. I took the big net off the big pond. I brought out the auxiliary pump for the waterfall and the Cyprio filter system and set them up for the year. I wasted 20 minutes when I cut a piece of tubing off the auxiliary pump's intake thinking it was a piece I cut last year when the tube wouldn't come off. In fact, I was using it as an adapter as the tubing won't fit otherwise so I had to find tubing and cut another piece. I cut new pre-filter material for the intakes of these two pumps. I didn't have enough to cut the filter that goes in the Cyprio filter. All the tubing is so brittle and hard to direct where I want it to go! I wanted to repot all the waterlilies (four pots) but was running late so I pulled out two pots. One was dead, presumably the James Brydon waterlily I bought three years ago. The Chromatella lily was doing well. I repotted a nice piece in the 5 gallon pot in the 1800 gallon pond and potted up another piece in a 2 gallon pot in the 50 gallon tub pond. I put the remaining two pieces loose in the 20 gallon tub pond because I don't have the heart to just throw them away. I counted 24 goldfish so I probably have about 30 since some were hiding. I removed three one gallon pots from the shallows that were mostly spilt (thanks raccoons!). There was no sign of living plants in them. I put in six bags of mulch on the south side of the pond. I never finished mulching it last year but am pretending I did by starting back at the beginning.

5. On 4/13/14, I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon was up to 60.5 degrees F, and the 153 gallon was at 58 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials, now up to four involving four pumps. I just set up the Cyprio filter three days earlier but the output was just a drizzle. The mesh laundry bag around the pump was sucked in, a recurring problem. I got it all going again. While the koi have been chasing each other, the goldfish have been strangely uninterested in spawning.

6. Ah, winter again? It snowed the evening of 4/15/14, and the tub ponds were ice covered the morning of 4/16/14 when it was 28 degrees F. There was little snow and ice on the ground in the morning. I hope the ice didn't kill the lotus. It froze hundreds of daffodils and other flowers and destroyed them. ;-(

7. On 4/17/14, I repotted the other two waterlilies back in to their 5 gallon pots. I think the barely alive one is still Fabiola but not sure. It had three little pieces that I put back and a dead center tuber I tossed. The Albata waterlily was doing well as usual. I repotted about half of it and tossed the rest.

8. On 4/20/14, I did pond chores on Easter. The 1800 gallon pond was at 57 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 56 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials. I repotted the regular cattails before they grew too large to handle. I saved maybe a third of the growing pieces. Even in a 5 gallon pot, it was way over grown after two years. It was SO heavy and rootbound but I saved the pot!

9. I had off 4/24/14. First, I put the basement plants outside (for future reference for me, it takes about an hour to haul them all outside and another 1.5 hours to clean up the basement, repot a few plants, and get all the house plants situated properly on the porches. Also for future reference, do this at least a week later as the plants got front damage!). I moved the Neptune's Crown (I think that's what it is) to the 1800 gallon pond and put up the 20 gallon tub pond in the basement. Later in the day, I potted up the four plants that I got from Live Aquaria the day before. I got two golden clubs and two bluebells. I got two so I'd have twice as much chance of one surviving! They went in four two gallon pots in the shallows of the big pond.

10. On 4/27/14, I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at 60 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 57 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted off all the filter materials and the bioballs. I found dead frog parts around the main pump in the big pond including what looked like eggs that were never laid. I saw what looked like a snake running down in to the biofilter when I started pulling out the lava rock and bioballs. Except, I saw a foot! It was a salamander. It seemed smaller than my one Eastern newt that normally lives in the 153 gallon pond but it could have been her/him. I took everything out for cleaning and never found the salamander to get a better look. Where did he/she go? I hoped the little one didn't get squished inside a filter bag or something. I took out the two two gallon pots with hardy canna in there. They were so root bound that I had to cut the pots off which I hate to do. They were hard to cut too. I saved just a small piece of each as they grow so large, so fast. I had trouble even hacking that piece off of each solid mass of tubers.

Continue to the May 2014 pond blog.

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