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Robyn's Pond Blog for May 2020

Last Updated: 6/3/20

1. I did pond work on 5/3/20. It was supposed to rain; they lied. So, I did pond chores at 8:30 am. It was nice at 62 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 62 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 59 degrees F. I replaced the floss around the main pump. I squirted out the bioballs. I changed the oyster shell and Ammocarb. When I got everything going again, the main pump was not working! I needed to get the cover grate off. It's supposed to snap off and on but it doesn't. I got two screw drivers and pried it off, breaking the tabs off. So, now it's loose and broken. But, that allowed me to get to the impeller housing where some algae was wrapped around it. I got that out, put it all back together, and nothing. I took it all back apart and realized there was an adjustable flow knob, and I had shut it closed. Once fully open, I was back in business! I don't have a spare of this pump because it's over $400. I guess I will have to get a spare just in case. The pump is only three years old! The one before that lasted 20 years!

I removed one more empty pot of 2 gallons. There are many empty pots left. Except for iris, most of the plants have died. There's not a single sign of life from any of the waterlilies. That is party due to the shade now on the pond and partly from the koi rooting in the pots.

2. I put out the house plants on 5/4/20 and then also the bluebells. I potted them up in a 5 gallon pot and bailed out the 20 gallon basement pond. I put the bluebells in my 1800 gallon pond.

3. I did pond work on 5/10/20. The air temperature was 65 degrees F in the late afternoon. The 1800 gallon pond was at 56 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 54 degrees F. The air temperature had touched freezing that morning and the morning before. But, it did warm up that day. I squirted all the filter materials, put in additives, and didn't need to add water.

4. I finally bought some fathead minnows including one single rosy red minnow in a bunch of about 30 on 5/13/20. I put them in my 65 gallon aquarium which only has ramshorn snails in it at this time. I plan to quarantine the minnows and treat them for potential ick and other problems before moving them to my 153 gallon pond. I will get a proper count when I move them. The minnows are small juvenile size and, like most feeder fish, anorexic. So, I need to fatten them up! The single remaining rosy red in the 153 gallon pond will be overwhelmed with new friends! Let's just hope the predators give them a break!

5. At 11 am on 5/17/20, the air temperature was a nice 64 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 67 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials, put in additives, and topped off the ponds. I fertilized a few marginals or rather attempted to since they was no space in the dirt to jam the pills so I just stuck them on top. I really need to repot them! Unlike many people though, I am still working during the pandemic and have no spare time.

6. On 5/21/20, I received four ~3" golden orfe from Tricker and some black Japanese trapdoor snails (12 adults and 1 newborn dropped in transit). The orfe were super fast. Since orfe do not tolerate medications nor small spaces due to their high metabolism and speed, I used a bucket to slowly introduce them to the pond water, and after about an hour, I netted them in to the 1800 gallon pond. As of 5/24/20, I have not seen them again! I sure hope they are just good at hiding.

7. I did pond work on 5/24/20 when the air temperature was about 65 degrees F and pleasant. The 1800 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted out the Matala in the Biosteps filter. I then squirted off all the other filter materials, all of which were caked in black slop as the fish have been spawning again. The wads of green stringy algae stuck to the liner and covered in goldfish eggs. I still have not seen the new orfe. I am beginning to think bad thoughts.

Speaking of bad thoughts, I have 6 surviving fathead minnows quarantining in my 65 gallon tank out of 30+ with which I started! They were just dropping with flies but the antibiotics finally saved the few left.

8. It was nice on 5/31/20. The air temperature was 68 degrees F at 12:30 pm. The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials which were totally clogged. I squirted out the bioballs. I put the three pumps in new plastic holed baskets as two of the three old ones were busted up. I could not find a basket big enough for the big pump but I did find a spare of it in the basement luckily. Once that one falls apart, I will have to come up with another plan. It seems definite now that the new orfe are gone. Despite their quantity and speed, predators must have gotten them. The raccoons have been chowing down on the trapdoor snails, leaving shells all over. So, I wasted like $150 on those animals, and the poor animals lost their lives.

Continue to the June 2020 pond blog.

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