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Robyn's Pond Blog for May 2013

Last Updated: 6/7/13

1. On 5/2/13, I spent a few hours bringing out the house plants for the summer. I did not have time to bring out the tropical pond plants or dismantle the basement pond. I put the last of the MelaFix and PimaFix in the big pond.

2. On 5/6/13, I did the usual pond chores. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 58 degrees F. I squirted all the filters, topped off the ponds, and added additives. I changed the bag of Ammocarb in the main biofilter.

3. On 5/9/10 (and again the next day), the goldfish were spawning. In the afternoon, I had to get in and remove the pre-filters for the two smaller pumps and clean them out as both waterfalls were barely moving.

4. On 5/10/13, I took the plants out of the basement pond but did not have time to bail it out. The water canna (both in the pond and in the spaghnum moss) is completely dead. I found one small piece of parrot feather and three small pieces of snowball plant. I don't have much hope for any of those.

5. On 5/11/13, I moved five gray tree frog egg masses from the pool cover and put them in the 30 gallon liner pond. There were dozens of eggs that I couldn't reach. I also saw our resident female box turtle while it was raining.

6. On 5/11/13, I finally bailed out the basement pond. It took an hour!

7. On 5/12/13, I did the pond chores. It was windy and cool. The 1800 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F. The batteries are dead again in the Airpod; they seem to basically die almost immediately so so much for that. All the filters were clogged. On the plus side, it had rained a few inches so all the ponds were full. The intake on the Mag Drive Pump Model 12 had completely collapsed. Since the goldfish had been spawning, the filter material was so clogged that the pump sucked and imploded the hard plastic intake. I lifted just one pile of slop in the big pond, and almost threw out a dozen wood frog tadpoles. I put them, slop and all in my 30 gallon liner pond. I had my first batch of green frog eggs in the 153 gallon pond. My waterlilies in the main pond are in really bad shape; I don't have the time to at least repot them. Right now, I have ten times more to do than I have time. I haven't even mulched a single drop in weeks.

8. Aha! I was stuck where I had my computer and a few hours to waste but the internet refused to work so I linked in these old photos for ya! Otherwise, it would never have gotten done.

I took these photos on 3/14/13 when I cleaned out the 20 gallon tub pond, 50 gallon tub pond, and 30 gallon liner pond.
Pots and supplies all being worked on
Hornwort sitting in a bucket
Partially empty pond - the 50 gallon pond, about three quarters empty
30 gallon liner pond all cleaned out
Wood frog eggs sitting in a bucket
Cleaned 50 gallon pond

Lotus tubers on 3/17/13. These are the ones that I stored over the winter in a mesh bag and repotted in to the 12 gallon Lerio tub pond.

It snowed on 3/25/13, just four inches. Here are some photos of the ponds that day.
Back yard including the 153 gallon pond.
153 gallon pond facing northwest
Biofilter - head of the falls in the 1800 gallon pond
Main body of the 1800 gallon pond facing southwest; you can see the fish.
1800 gallon pond and waterfall facing northwest; you can see the fish including Colin (my biggest fish, a white koi).
1800 gallon pond and waterfall facing northwest; more fish.
1800 gallon pond and waterfall facing north; more fish.
1800 gallon pond - the deep end

The next day, 3/26/13, I found 7" heron tracks in the snow by the 1800 gallon pond! Here are some photos with a ruler.
Heron track
Heron tracks
Heron tracks

Look who came to eat a poor dead pond fish that I put out on 3/29/13:
Turkey vultures

You didn't think I would ever get to it but I have finally put up photos of the 153 gallon pond cleaning on 3/30/13. There are a lot of frog photos. Go to this page to see them.

9. On 5/16/13, I was given a relative's in-law's three ~3 inch goldfish. They were severely neglected and only survived without filtration, aeration, water changes, water additives, etc. in a 10 gallon tank for a year because they were rarely fed (and the food was rancid). I am quarantining them with some treatment for a few weeks, and if they seem okay, they will go in my 1800 gallon pond. One is a common goldfish that is mostly orange with white tips on the tail fin. The other two are all-orange comets.

10. On 5/19/13, I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 65 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters, topped off all the ponds, put in water additives, etc. I squirted all the main pond filter materials and the bioballs. All were rich with pond gold (slop). The intake to the Mag Drive that was brand new last week partially imploded just like the last one. I have my first waterlily bud on the Albata lily. The lily pots need to be topped off; I still haven't had time for that or to do any mulching due to a major life- altering family crisis. Two green frogs were amplexing in the 153 gallon pond. I put a small bag of barley in the main pond.

11. The morning of 5/21/13, the great blue heron was in the shallows in the morning. The goldfish were spawning when I went outside to feed them.

12. I got my Tricker order on 5/23/13. I put the three water lettuce and three water hyacinth in a floating plant ring. I put two black ramshorn and two melantho snails in the 50 gallon tub pond. I put four black ramshorns and two melantho snails in the 153 gallon pond. I put 4 black ramshorns, 11 melantho snails (they gave me extras of those), 12 adult trapdoor snails, and 5 baby trapdoor snails (I accidently squished a sixth) born in transit in the 1800 gallon pond. The water with the trapdoor snails was black, and the stench was horrid so I'm not sure if they were even alive. I rinsed them all before putting them in the ponds.

13. On 5/24/13, I potted up most of the Tricker order. First, I removed two two gallon pots and one one gallon pot from the shallows. They were all dead with no signs of life. I re-used those pots plus another one gallon pot to pot up the new plants. In the two two gallon pots, I potted up a bog bean and a water plantain (my old one was long dead). In one one gallon pot, I planted the water snowflake. In the other, I planted up water sprite, water poppy, and the free plant (Neptune's Crown I think). The anacharis and hornwort all went in the ponds bareroot, just thrown in. I've long since learned that potting up these plants is futile as the fish will just un-pot them. In the 30 gallon liner pond, I put one of each (anacharis and hornwort). In the 50 gallon tub pond, I put one of each. In the 153 gallon pond, I put two of each. In the 1800 gallon pond, I put eight of each, scattered around the edges in the shallows. The hornwort bunches were fat and healthy while the anacharis bunches were small and pathetic. The only plants left are the valisneria which require getting in the pond (doing that tomorrow).

14. I worked on the ponds on 5/25/13. The air temperature was 55 degrees F, and it was windy. Both the 153 gallon and 1800 gallon ponds were at 59 degrees F in the water. First, I did all the usual chores by squirting off all the flosses, adding additives, etc. The ponds didn't need water as it had rained a lot. The Mag Drive filter intake which I just replaced a few weeks ago was completely imploded again. I got a replacement in the mail but it was totally different and rigid so they must have gotten a clue. Perhaps this rigid intake will last. When I turned the mail power back on, nothing happened (a common problem). At least once I hit reset, it worked again. I just keeps tripping.

I pulled out three of the five waterlily pots in the big pond. I added gravel to two of them. The other one was empty. It was in to that one that I put the five tropical waterlily nut tubers. Four of the tubers had growth on them. In the three pots that I removed for topping off with gravel (they were dug down to the dirt with exposed barely-alive tubers), I also put in four valisneria per pot (for a total of 12 valisneria or tape grass). The yellow chromatella waterlily looked okay. I put some gravel in to the white Albata waterlily pot while it was in the water as this lily has lots of leaves, and it's the only one with flowers, a few of them. I fertilized all the waterlilies and lotus. It was fruitless to try to fertilize the other plants; I couldn't get the fertilize down in there.

15. On 5/28/13, I put the three small goldfish (one common and two comets) that I got from my brother's in-laws in to the 1800 gallon pond. They look so tiny compared to the other fish and are just hiding among the marginal plants.

16. I worked on the ponds on 5/30/13, a few days earlier because I had to take my mother to a transfusion the next day and then work all day three days straight at the grocery store. I'd rather do the ponds early than almost a week late. The 1800 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F but after I put the water in. It was nearly 90 degrees F in the late morning. I put in additives and topped off the ponds. I squirted off all the flosses. That should hold things for a week.

Continue to the June 2013 pond blog.

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