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Robyn's Pond Blog for August 2018

Last Updated: 9/2/18

1. The morning of 8/5/18, my oldest guinea pig, Brownie, died. You can read about him on his page. That same morning, the neighbor's three dogs escaped their enclosure. In addition to scaring the cats, they romped in the shallows of my big pond but only managed to knock over one pot. I escorted them home. I tightened the ropes by the pond that they have loosened.

2. I did pond chores on 8/5/18. The 1800 gallon pond was at 80 degree F, and he 153 gallon pond was at 77 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials. It had finally stopped raining, and the water level in the big pond was dropping much faster than it should. There are usually only three reasons for that. Either the overflow has collapsed, the waterfall is leaking (plants are wicking the water), or water is going over the top of the biofilter. I noticed that the door weather stripping around the top of the biofilter had fallen in to the filter. Luckily, I had some new in the basement. I was able to run it around the edging not just once but another back up outer layer. The problem is that the lip in the biofilter is not deep enough such that, when the pump is running, some water drizzles over the edges (where there is no liner). The weather stripping keeps that water from leaking out. I cleared the weeds from the biofilter and top of the waterfall. I need to clear weeds off the falls, maybe next week. Weeds are everywhere!!

I removed one one gallon pot and three two gallon pots that seemed empty. The fish had rooted the plants out! One of the pots had a little bit of iris in it so I repotted that. The fish have been getting in trouble lately! I fertilized the waterilies which are all in pathetic shape. I did get one Chromatella flower, this entire year!

3. It was back in the pond on 8/12/18. The 1800 gallon pond was at 77 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 75 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials, topped off all the ponds, and put in additives (baking soda, koi clay, BZT Aquaculture, and Bt in the smaller ponds to kill mosquito larvae). I pulled some of the weed grass out around the pond. What a mess!

4. After lunch on 8/19/18, the air temperature was a nice 72 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 75 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials and the bioballs. I topped off all the ponds and put in additives. It started to drizzle. The pond has been losing water, and I suspected the waterfall. This time of the year, the vegetation in and around the waterfall is dense and can wick water outside of the lined area. I remove four wheel barrows full of mostly weed grass from the area! So, I will see if it makes any difference. The waterfall has collapsed even more. With nobody to help me, it was up to me to try to fix it a bit. I removed the top rocks in the falls. Part of it was clogged with algae which I removed. I rebuilt the top of the falls so hopefully less water will be diverted. The rocks were heavy, and I got a bruise from one rock. I brought in some pond water and ran it through my pool test kit. The pH was 7.7, alkalinity 84 ppm, and hardness 155 ppm. I haven't tested the water in years! The pH and alkalinity were good (I add baking soda weekly) but I was surprised that the hardness was that high as our well water is soft. It could be from all the rain and runoff this year if the dirt had a lot of calcium.

5. I did pond work on 8/26/18 in the morning. The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials. I changed the PondMaster filters. I emptied out the Biosteps filter and squirted off the Matala. I added water and additives to the pond. I didn't spend more time pulling out the millions of weeds in the jungle. I found seven Monarch butterfly caterpillars on the milkweed that I let grow wild by my pond! The fish have eaten to death three of the waterlilies. The only survivors are the hardy yellow Chromatella which has the protector on it and the tropical waterlily which has not flowered this year. I think shade is the main reason for their downfall but I'm not going to kill off trees so I get waterlily flowers.

6. On 8/31/18, Mendes, one of my dwarf Siberian hamsters died. He was so sweet.

Continue to the September 2018 pond blog.

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