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Robyn's Pond Blog for May 2018

Last Updated: 6/3/18

1. On 5/6/18, I did pond work. The 1800 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 63 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filter. I squirted out the Biosteps Matala and pumped out the gunk. I squirted all the other filters. The auxiliary pump's intake had collapsed completely, and there was basically no flow through it. By chance, I found the rigid intake that I must have lost years ago. I tried to put it over this pump but it was too big so I just pushed it up against the intake and tried to hold it in place. The non-rigid plastic intakes just clog and then implode, one after the other. I never saw the fish spawn this past week, and there are few goldfish left as the heron and raccoons have eaten most of them. Yet, it was in the 90's for three days in a row this week, and the filters and intakes were all nearly fully clogged with debris indicating that animals had stirred up mostly partially decomposed plant materials which clog the filters.

2. My AAA Pond Supply order arrived on 5/10/18 when I was super busy. I put the plants in water and took care of them that Sunday as below.

3. On 5/13/18, I did pond chores. The air temperature was 60 degrees F, and it was drizzling with 100% humidity, hard to breathe. The 1800 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials. I didn't need to top off any ponds due to the rain. There was a dead 3" frog in the 153 gallon pond floating on the surface. It was too covered in fungus to tell the species.

I then dealt with the pond plant order I had gotten three days earlier. I got out the floating plant protector and put three water lettuce and three water hyacinth in it as well as a tiny free piece of salvinia. The lotus in my lotus pond had died so I planted the spider lily I had ordered in that pond. I put one hornwort in the 153 gallon pond and four bunches in the 1800 gallon pond. I was supposed to have gotten five "mermaidweed" but all I got was one pretty much dead plant. I stuck it in the overflow. I am way too busy to call and complain. I potted up a white snowflake in a one gallon pot which the raccoon unpotted overnight and made a huge mess. I got one unknown pink hardy waterlily. I potted it in a five gallon pot. I put waterlily protectors on three lilies total. The fish had ripped one of them off days ago. I don't know how to keep them in place so I may just give up on the protectors and hope the lilies can survive the fish rooting in them.

4. On 5/21/18, it had finally stopped raining after eight days straight of rain! Well, mostly, it actually drizzled for a few minutes while I was cleaning the ponds. The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F. I sure didn't need to add water to any of the ponds after about five inches the last week! I squirted off all the filter materials and put in additives. I found four two gallon pots where the plants had died. I jammed some loose water iris in one of the pots and emptied the other three. Some animal, probably a raccoon, had gotten in and depotted a lot of my plants! They weren't eaten, just ripped out of the pots. And, I don't have time to fix it! I took out two of the three waterlily protectors because the fish keep removing them and acting like they're all stuck in them when they're not. So, the lilies are on their own. I had to do two hours of mowing so I had to leave the ponds.

5. On 5/24/18, my guinea pig, George Michael, died. You can read about it on his page.

5. I did pond chores on 5/27/18. The air temperature was 85 degrees F, and the humidity was near 100%. I put on my swim suit and beach shoes to do chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at 78 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials and the bioballs. I repotted the Albata white hardy waterlily in to a new 5 gallon pot as its pot had holes in it. I potted up the two tropical waterlily tubers in to another 5 gallon pot. The 153 gallon pond is full of new green frog tadpoles and rosy red minnow fry! Yay!

Later in the day, we had four separate thunder storms come through, dropping a total of 4.75" to 5" here depending on the rain gauge. About 15 minutes from us, downtown Ellicott City got 8 to 10", and it flooded for the second time in two years. Contrary to what outsiders think, this was not due to the town being near the river. The town is over 200 years old, and it has flooded from the bottom up with hurricanes but until these last two times, it has never flooded from the top down. This is due to one thing only and that is the denuding of the land above the town. Developers have replaced trees, plants, and nature with asphalt, buildings, and cement, and the water just cascades down from there. The old drainage system was not meant to handle that. The hills above the town are steep and should have been left natural but developers only care about money in their pocket and not how many human, animal, and plant lives they will destroy.

My big pond water level went down a few inches after the storms. I figured out that the gush of water had pushed down the liner at the overflow so I was able to fix it.

Continue to the June 2018 pond blog.

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