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Robyn's Pond Blog for June 2017

Last Updated: 7/2/17

1. On 6/4/17, I did pond chores. It was finally hot, 84 degrees F! The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I cleaned out the Biosteps Matala filters and pumped out the dirty water with a pump and hose. A few tadpoles lost their lives. ;-( I put two plant supports in the pots of the white and colorific iris (with one loose piece of colorific sitting on top of the pot as wel) so that, hopefully, when I can repot the iris in September, I know which two pots were special so I save every piece from there. There are probably a dozen pots of purple flag iris so they don't need special treatment to save it all. I squirted the other filter materials. The tropical waterlily shows no sign of life. The lotus hasn't grown at all either. I guess it's been too cold? The lotus has one little green leaf that is the same size as it was two months ago. I removed a two gallon pot from the 1800 gallon pond that appears to be dead. The two gallon pot of taro on the pool deck was also definitely dead. I have no tropical marginal pond plants left.

2. It was a torturous 90 degrees F on 6/11/17. The 1800 gallon pond was at 77 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F. I topped off all the ponds, put in additives, and squirted off all the filter materials. That was about all I could tolerate in the heat.

3. I did pond chores on 6/18/17 with the temperature in the 80's and up to 90 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 79 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F. I put in additives, topped off all the ponds, squirted all the filter materials, and squirted the bioballs. I fertilized the three surviving lilies and the lotus. The lilies have yet to put out a single flower. The lotus only has two tiny leaves. It has sun, fertilizer, water, and warm weather so what is its problem? I netted some of the tadpoles from the lotus tub pond and put them in the 20 and 50 gallon tub ponds and the 153 gallon pond. I spread them around. All the ponds now have tadpoles that were both born there and that I have moved around. I uprighted the heavy, overgrown, flowering lizard tail plant, and, of course, as soon as I got out, it just fell over again. I won't repot it while it's in flower.

4. On 6/25/17, I tended to the ponds. The 1800 gallon was at 78 degrees F, and the 153 gallon was at 74 degrees F. I topped off all the ponds, put in additives, and squirted off all the filter materials. I changed the filter material around the big pump. I changed the oyster shell in the filter.

5. When I came home on 6/26/17, the main pond biofilter and waterfall were off. The other three things plugged in (pump for Biosteps, auxiiliary pump for the lower falls, and Luft air pump) were all working. Ut oh! I had to get in the pond to diagnose the problem. So, the pump wasn't pushing any water, and it was hot. I took the grate off, and by putting the screw driver inside, I could get the impeller to start spinning. But, it wouldn't stay spinning, it kept going off after a few seconds. There was a loose black piece in there. I think after 20 years, my OASE Nautilus 60 (2600 gph) is dead. No problem, I thought, I bought a spare about 15 years ago. I had thought I needed it a few times but I had always been able to get the old pump working. During these other events, the new pump was tested, and it worked. Not this day! It just gets hot. The impeller won't budge, even if I try to turn it with the screw driver. In trying to force the impeller to turn with the screwdriver, a small piece of plastic broke off. Great, I thought, I'm breaking a $400 worthless pump I never got to use. I figured I could overnight a new pump. Not so much. First, they don't make this one anymore. I had to find one that behaves the same. Not enough gph or head, and the water won't make it over the narrow spillway, too much gph or head, and the water will flow not only down the spillway but all around the biofilter, pumping the pond dry. I checked the three places I order most pond supplies from, and none of them had what I needed. On Amazon, I found a new OASE 2600 gph pump called "Neptune" ("Neptun" on the box). It's head though is 20 feet and not 27 feet like the Nautilus. For some reason, next day delivery was not an option so I got two day delivery and impatiently awaited its arrival for Wednesday and hoped it would work! In the mean time, I used the hose to wet down the biofilter and waterfall daily trying to keep the good bacteria alive in the filter and the watercress in the waterfall. Luckily, the temperatures were not extreme but rain would have been nice. I considered putting the bags of bioballs and lava rock in the main pond to keep them wet and fed but decided it wasn't worth the physical work or messing up the pond. The bacteria on the Matala in the Biosteps filter will hopefully keep up with the fish waste until the main filter is up again.

6. The pump was there when I got home on 6/28/17. I could not figure how to easily attach the grate cover. I twisted it over the pump and then used a hammer to bash it in to place. The problem is now that I can never get it back off! I was luckily able to hook up the pump to the existing buried line that goes underground in to the biofilter. I started it up, and the OASE Neptun works just like the OASE Nautilus 60.

Continue to the July 2017 pond blog.

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