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Robyn's Pond Blog for August 2020

Last Updated: 9/7/20

1. At 12:45 pm on 8/2/20, it was 90 degrees F with 100% humidity and not comfortable to do work outside. The 1800 gallon pond was at 82 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 78 degrees F. I changed the filter floss around the big pump and squirted out the other filter materials. I put in additives and topped off the ponds.

My last big orfe has been dying for a few weeks now, staying mostly in place with his head down and tail up. It is sad. The three baby orfe are growing like weeds though so that's good.

2. On 8/8/20, I acclimated the four fathead minnows from the 65 gallon aquarium and put them in the 153 gallon pond. I had started with over 30 "feeder fish," and these four were the only survivors. One is definitely male while the other three seem to be females. I doubt I will see them again as the pond is so full of plants. I am now in the process of disinfecting the 65 gallon aquarium. Then, I will let it sit fallow for a while while I see how things go, and if I have the time and/or money to do something else with the tank.

3. I did pond work starting at 11:30 am on 8/9/20. The air temperature was 86 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 79 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 75 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials, put in additives, and topped off all the ponds.

4. When I went to feed the big pond fish on 8/12/20, I found that half of the marginals in the main marginal area were flattened like some animals walked all over them! The plants that were squished including the hardy canna, one of the pickerel rush, and a lot of iris. I figure it was probably raccoons but maybe foxes or other animals. My 10-year-old large orfe has been dying for weeks now, and I couldn't find him so I thought maybe they flattened the plants in order to eat him but then I did see him that night and the next morning so he's still hanging in there, head down.

5. I did pond work on 8/16/20. It had just rained so while it was 70 degrees F, with the 100% humidity, it felt warm to me. The 1800 gallon pond was at 75 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 73 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted off the Biosteps filter's matala. I squirted off the rest of the filter materials. I fertilized the two waterliles in the big pond. I put additives in the ponds.

6. It was a sad day on 8/23/20 when the last big orfe died. He/she measured in at 18" long, and I had had him/her for more than nine years. The three small orfe are growing fast. The air temperature was 85 degrees F, and it was hot before noon. The 1800 gallon pond was at 78 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials and the bioballs. The marginals in the big pond are a mess. Some animal (raccoon?) has been jumping on them like a trampoline every night and smushed them all down. I thought maybe they were trying to get the dying orfe but they never took him/her until I put the body out of the pond.

7. The weather was very nice on 8/30/20. The air temperature and both ponds were at 76 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials and put in additives. The ponds were full from rain the day before.

I dismantled the 20 gallon tub pond on the pool deck. I had set it up for a new tropical waterlily. I wanted to enjoy the flowers but the lily died almost as soon as I put it in there, and then frogs put a ton of eggs in there. There was only one tadpole left. I think it was a green frog inadvertently put in there with the sprig of anacharis. Aside from that, it was just full of water, duckweed, and the spilled pot that had the lily. The raccoons probably dumped the pot; they are often useful like that.

I tried to pull some of the Japanese stiltgrass around the pond but I barely made a dent. It's going to seed. Whether in gardens that I haven't touched in years or in gardens I weeded this spring, it takes over all of it and makes me look bad to all of my many (3) visitors.

Continue to the September 2020 pond blog.

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