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Robyn's Pond Blog for September 2012

Last Updated: 10/1/12

1. On 9/2/12, I did the usual. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted all the flosses in the big pond. I squirted out the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool. The variegated tropical water canna has a bud on it! While the lotus is huge, it still has not produced a flower. The mother plant in the big pond has zero leaves and has probably died completely for no reason. I have gotten almost no waterlily flowers this year. The tropical waterlily had about two flowers. The yellow and white waterlilies each made about half a dozen flowers. The red, pink, and changeable waterlilies never had a single flower. Those three have only a few waterlily pads. I fertilize and wish I knew what the problem was. I just have a black thumb. Nikita, Alex, and Riley are getting big; I sure hope they make it through the winter. I don't see the fish much now as the pond is completely covered in water lettuce. There is at least one tadpole in the new rock pond which is pea soup. It is too long since there were gray treefrog tadpoles in there so I wonder if some other frogs laid eggs in there.

2. On 9/4/12, I repotted the yellow flag iris in the big pond. It was so heavy that I almost couldn't get it out of the pond! Once out of the pond, I couldn't move or roll it so I cut all the leaves off. Then, I rolled it down the hill and managed to get it out of the rigid four gallon pot (yellow flag puts holes in regular pots in one season). I repotted only one small piece of it as it will grow like mad.

After I was surveying my handiwork, what at first looked like a hummingbird moth came flying up to the purple pickerel rush flowers about three feet from me. It was in fact a hummingbird! I stood still as the female ruby-throated hummingbird drank from the pickerel flowers. She did one, then grabbed a midge, then another flower, then I shifted, she backed off, and then came in for another flower. I rarely get to see the fast hummers so close up.

3. On 9/9/12, I squirted the flosses and the bioballs. The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 71 degrees F. The variegated tropical water canna has a flower head, and the first flower opened. I uprighted the hardy canna again which I had done many times during the week. It keeps falling over. I removed four buckets of water lettuce from the pond as it has taken over every inch of the surface, I cannot see in to the pond, and the fish cannot see out or get much air. I didn't even know that there was a dead fish in there until I went in to get the basket and filter material out. First, I saw something float by that looked like a fish egg but I figured no. That was until the smell hit me, and the dead female fish full of roe (eggs) popped up. She had been dead for many days. She was a female orange comet with white on her fins. She was 9.5" long.

I fertilized just two of the waterlilies as the others are barely alive and some may have died. There is no light for the leaves now with the water lettuce, and the fish have dug around in the rocks. I fertilized the lotus which is huge now but still has not had a single flower bud.

I took the solar pump out of the new rock pond. I have not seen it run in a long time, and it is usually under water (won't stay upright).

4. On 9/12/12, I put up the mosaic pond on the front porch for the year.

5. On 9/15/12, I walked by the new rock pond, and there, on a flat rock, was a dried up two inch goldfish! Back when I set up the pond, I had seen two little fry brought in from moved plants. One must have grown that large already! I had not seen fish anytime recently in there. I don't know if the goldfish jumped out and then dried out or was removed by the raccoons or other animals who play in that pond.

6. On 9/16/12, I did the usual. The 1800 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 65 degrees F. I squirted all the flosses, put in additives, added water, and removed four more buckets of water lettuce.

7. I linked in these photos. I am so far behind despite having no job!

Here are photos from 5/26/12 of gray treefrog eggs that I collected from the pool cover. You can also see mosquito larvae or at least one on the right. Some of the tadpoles have hatched already (just a few).
Gray treefrog eggs
Gray treefrog eggs - close-up

Adult crane fly on 5/30/12; there is a spider at the top too.

8. I did the usual on 9/23/12. The 1800 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F. I squirted all the flosses and changed the PondMaster filters. A saw a green frog who was missing an eye in the 153 gallon pond.

9. On 9/24/12, I put the full, new net on the 1800 gallon pond. It took about 40 minutes of struggling but it is on.

10. On 9/26/12, I cut the old 1800 gallon pond net and covered the 153 gallon pond for the fall.

11. I finally linked in these photos sent to me.

Kelly sent the following water insect photos courtesy of "The Black River Action Team" on 6/20/12. Thanks!

Water Scorpion
A burrowing mayfly larvae - Hexagenia limbata.
A male adult dobsonfly
Hellgrammite - pupal form, dobsonfly.
A giant water bug
An adult stonefly

Charles sent these photos on 5/5/12 of eggs for identification. They are perch eggs, probably yellow perch.
Perch eggs
Perch eggs
Perch eggs

12. I also linked in these photos that I took a long time ago!

From 5/31/12:
Pond facing northwest. The lotus tub pond can also be seen.
Albata waterlily in bloom.

On 6/3/12, my water hyacinth actually bloomed for the first time in years! They were in a hoop, and I had not had them for long.
Two water hyacinth flowers
Water hyacinth flower

Rock pond on 6/3/12.

Here are gray treefrog tadpoles in my rock pond on 6/3/12. The green plant is duckweed. There are two sizes of tadpoles. If you look close, you might see a mosquito larvae or two.
Gray treefrog tadpoles
Gray treefrog tadpoles
Gray treefrog tadpoles

I took these photos of flowering anacharis on 6/10/12 in the 153 gallon pond. The floating plant is duckweed. The flowers are from submerged anacharis which you cannot see.
Anacharis flowers amongst duckweed.
Anacharis flower - close-up

Bullfrog at a pond at the Baltimore Zoo on 6/19/12. The pond is covered in duckweed.
Bullfrog - close-up of the last photo.

From 6/17/12:
Flowering pickerel rush and lizard tail in the marginal area of the big pond.
Lizard tail flower
Male green frog

Rock pond on 6/28/12.

Big pond facing southwest on 6/28/12.

Tree down over the 1800 gallon on 6/30/12. A derecho (massive storm with winds over 60 mph) came through the night before and took down hundreds of trees and branches. A series of large tulip poplar branches fell on the west side of the pond but missed going in the pond. It does not look like much in that photo but it took a few weeks just to clear that pile. As of 9/27/12 (today), we are still clearing trees that were toppled in the derecho, and we will never finish. My father has been counting loads of tree debris to the dump, and I think he is up to 30.

13. On 9/30/12, I squirted all the flosses and the Cyprio biothings. Both ponds were at 62 degrees F. I cut half of the lotus leaves down as they were yellowing and browning and falling down. I will have to move the tubers to the main pond soon. I removed two more buckets of water lettuce.

I set up a new aerator in the 1800 gallon pond. It is an AirPod which I have used for a few years in my aquariums. When the power goes out (or if the circuit were tripped), it goes to battery power which lasts a long time). It's not meant for the outdoors so I had to cover it with a plastic shoe box and then clip the lid on on the bottom. I put two pieces of rigid airline tubing, one out each side to bring in fresh air to the intake. It has two outputs so I ran those through a gang valve and combined them in to one line. This saves on running two airline tubings out to the pond instead of one. I used blue airline tubing to limit algae growth and make the line easier to see. The air stone puts out a nice plume of bubbles. I wrapped lead weights around the line above the air stone so it would stay on the bottom. I have two problems/concerns. First, the box acts like a green house. The heat could melt the airline tubing inside the box (that has happened in the past with a different pump that was not even in an enclosed box) or otherwise cause a problem. The second is that it rained hard that night and water does accumulate in the bottom of the box. It comes in where the tubing goes in/out and runs out at the low end. The pump has tiny legs so a little water on the bottom won't short it out. Hopefully, this will work over time. The whole thing is sitting on the top of a juniper bush and very obvious (meaning ugly) because the electrical cord is only a few feet long which limits where I can put it. I didn't want to add an extension cord. An added bonus of this new setup is that it has a light on top that I can see from inside when it's dark. When it's red, it has AC power. When it's green, it has DC power. So, if I ever look out and see nothing or green, I know there's a problem that needs to be checked out. In the past, I've put out Christmas lighted decorations all winter to be able to tell if there's power out there (in case something trips the circuit) at a glance. Now, I don't have to do that!

Continue to the October 2012 pond blog.

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