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Robyn's Pond Blog for May 2021

Last Updated: 6/8/21

1. At 3:30 pm on 5/2/21, it was a toasty 85 degrees F outside. The 1800 gallon pond was at 65 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F. I changed the filter floss around the main pump and squirted off all the other filter materials which were super clogged due to the goldfish spawning and a wind storm on 4/30/21. The pump intake strainer was completely implodded on the auxiliary pump. I had a spare and changed it. When I first plugged that pump back in, nothing came out! And, then it was slow. By the next day, it seemed normal again. The pump was damaged by not being able to suck due to being clogged up. I squirted off the bioballs. I added additives and water to the ponds. The big pond was a few inches low due to the wind storm. I was supposed to fertilize the two surviving lilies (one I thought dead is barely alive) but ran out of time and desire after a long day.

2. On 5/9/21, it was a chilly 52 degrees F at 11:26 am. The 1800 gallon pond was at 54 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 55 degrees F. It has been cold this week! I squirted off all the filter materials, put in additives, and didn't really need to top off the ponds due to an inch of rain in the last day. It was off and on rain all day. I fertilized the two waterlily pots.

3. I did pond work on 5/16/21. At 3 pm, it was 60 degrees F and raining. I got soaked. The 1800 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 61 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials, put in additives, and topped off the ponds. We needed the rain as we've been in a drought but it always has to rain when I'm working outside it seems. The heron was hanging around, trying to land while I was working outside! There was an injured goldfish in the shallows, injured either from spawning or the heron. He wanted to finish the job.

4. The heron was in the pond when I opened the curtains again on 5/17/21. Half my goldfish are gone. I've had enough. I pulled out an extra net I had, a very expensive one that did not fit) and draped it over the marginal area. Even with the fence stakes holding part of the net in the air, it is squishing all the iris and damaging what few flower buds that I have. But, in my life, it's all about the choices. Which action will kill the least plants and/or animals. In this case, I am helping the fish at the expense of the plants. My koi, Nikita, seems to have a wound at the end of her tail. She is too fast to see it well but it could be from the heron. I will see if I take the net off next weekend if that particular heron has moved on by then. I am hoping! I can't leave the net on unless I don't mind an ugly pond with dying plants.

5. I took the extra net off on 5/22/21. Later that day, my sweet hen, Billie died.

6. At 9:50 am on 5/23/21, it was already 79 degrees F and would go up to near 90 later. The 1800 gallon pond was at 71 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted out the Biosteps Matala. I squirted off all the other filter materials. I put in additives, and I added water. While I was putting water in the 50 gallon tub pond, a medium-sized green frog jumped in near my hands with a cicada in his/her mouth! The cicada was almost as big as the frog!

7. When I opened the drapes on 5/24/21, the heron was standing in my pond! I went and got the net back out but, this time, I only draped it over part of the shallows so as not to crush all the iris getting ready to bloom. It is squishing some plants though. I will take it back off next weekend. The heron has to leave sometime, right? They never stay this long!

8. I did pond work on 5/29/21. At 1:45 pm, the air temperature was 54 degrees F, and it was cloudy and misty. Both thermometers in the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds read 60 degrees F.

I started the work with removing the PondMaster filter from the 153 gallon pond. As I walked away from the filter to pick it up from the other side, my foot caught the filter, and I face planted, bending the nose pieces on my new and very expensive Progressive bifocals. You all would have laughed! While I hurt a bit, my first concern was my glasses which I bent back. I then fell over on to the wet filters. I had to go inside and change my clothes. When I got back outside, I realized that the filter was actually broken! I was able to put together a temporary fix using smaller tubing and epoxy but it will fall apart when I next lift the filter out so I will have to order another. This whole experience shows that I am getting too old to do this stuff but I kept going.

I squirted off all the filter materials and the bioballs which were very heavy and dirty. I changed the Ammocarb and oyster shell in the main filter. I put additives in the ponds. I removed one dead 1" pickerel frog from the deep end of the 1800 gallon pond. I have not seen many frogs. The heron, raccoons, and foxes have eaten most of them. I have a net hanging from the fence posts on part of the pond to try to deter the heron who still keeps coming back. I've never had one stick around for so long.

Continue to the June 2021 pond blog.

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