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Robyn's Pond Blog for December 2012

Last Updated: 12/31/12

1. On 12/3/12, I cut most of the lemon balm out of the big pond's waterfall. There is still a lot of green watercress as it has not been cold enough.

2. On 12/10/12, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, I did the Sunday pond chores a day late since it rained all day on Sunday. The air temperature was a nice 60 degrees F! The 1800 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 50 degrees F. I fed the fish a little bit of food. The spring peepers were calling. It was drizzling a bit. I squirted the main filter material (all other filters are up for the winter), topped off the ponds, and put in a few additives. There is not much to do this time of the year. There has yet to be a hard freeze.

3. On Monday, 12/17/12, I did the usual pond chores. The air was at 48 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 47 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F. I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs. I found 4 pickerel and 1 green frogs in the biofilter. One of the pickerel frogs was so tiny, maybe an inch long. I moved the full net on the big pond down so that the waterfall area is free of netting. This will make it easier for animals to drink water as well as prevent jam ups if it ever gets cold enough to freeze or snow. This is the latest in the year that I have ever pulled back the net. I have also not put the de-icers in yet but will soon, even if they are not really needed. I cut more lemon balm out of the waterfall and cleared out the falls a bit. The watercress is green and growing due to lack of frost.

4. On 12/20/12, I finally put the de-icers out. I found two new ones that I had bought years ago so I used those. I put the green Rubbermaid lid with lead weights on it on top of the main biofilter to cover it and the de-icer in there. High winds can cause a de-icer to malfunction.

The next morning, as soon as I came downstairs, I glanced outside and saw a green light. Green on the new Airpod means that it is on batteries! Ut, oh, no power! I first checked the pond circuit breakers which were not tripped. I then went out, pulled the de-icer out of the outlet, and pushed the reset and test buttons a dozen times. I held down the reset button for a minute even (which worked the last time the outlet failed). Nada. I went and got an extension cord and power strip. When I plugged in the aerator (whose back up batteries were dead by the way so the pond was without any aeration probably all night) and main pump (the only one left), they came on. Then, I plugged in the de-icer, and it tripped! So much for brand new de-icers. After trying two cords, two strips, and spending 30 minutes in the pre-dawn darkness fumbling with a flashlight, I finally got power to the aerator and main pump through an outlet inside the house. My father would then get up and inform me that the circuit breaker for the porch outlets was on the opposite end of the house (we have two breaker boxes). That allowed me to move the extension cord back to the back porch outlet. The pond outlet is out of commission again. Later in the day, I pulled out an old, nasty de-icer that was eroded. I tested it (freezer for a while then put it in an outlet, and it gets hot) and hooked it up to the power strip by the pond, and so far, it hasn't tripped the line. So, that new de-icer is faulty.

5. On 12/22/12, there were high winds, sustained 20 to 30 mph with 50 mph gusts. It was not liveable outside even though it was about 37 degrees F. My ponds filled with leaves. I collected some but will get more if the winds ever stop. It wasn't cold enough for the ponds to flash freeze but they might tonight. I call it flash freezing when the pond has no ice at sunset, and has significant (40+%) ice cover at dawn. Flash freezing from high winds always results in a lot of leaves in the pond that I cannot remove.

6. On 12/24/12, I did the pond chores but did not get in the big pond. Soon after I started working, it started to flurry. I thought it was passing but it got heavy enough to leave an inch behind. The air temperature was actually 47 degrees F when I started. The 1800 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 46 degrees F. I put a little salt in the big pond and BZT in both but those were the only additives. I topped off all the ponds. I ran the net through the 30 gallon back pond. It was full of leaves. I rooted through them to find one adult beetle which I put back and a green frog that I put in the 153 gallon pond. I raked up some leaves.

7. On 12/26/12, it snowed all day. After we got about two inches, it changed to rain and washed most of it away.

Continue to the January 2013 pond blog.

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