Oh my. Did you open a kettle of fish? lol. couldn't resist. For those of us who have our ponds virtually shut down for five months or so (at least), it is really necessary to do thorough cleaning in the fall, and spring in particular. Hence, the PondVac. The first one I bought was attached to my hose and was a total waste of money. Oh, I have gravel on the bottom of my pond and slabs of rock for the sides, very uneven. I bought the Pond Vac 3 two years ago and am pretty happy with that. if I had a liner bottom and walls it would be perfect, especially since I have no bottom drain. It does a good job of removing a lot of waste and 'stuff' from the bottom of the pond and cleaning up algae.
Bacteria: I use MicrobeLift PL in the summer, Fall/Winter in the fall, and Spring/Summer starting in about the first of April. Since my water is cold and bacteria really need at least 55F to live and thrive, I like the packets from MicrobLift as they are cold water tolerant, starting about 45F. They eat the bad stuff is about the best I can say. They assist in breaking down algae and waste so your skimmer and bio-filter do a better job of cleaning the water as it passes through. I also use a product called Sludge Away that breaks down the waste down in the rocks and 'clumps' it to make it easier to transport to the skimmer filters. All of these are bacteria that naturally occur in nature and are NOT chemicals. So they won't hurt my fish or plants. All of these helpful bacteria are killed in the winter cold so I have to 'recharge' each spring. I am no expert, but I have found that these things have greatly improved my pond clarity and health. It is about the best I can do with our short summers since it can take weeks to get the bacteria count back up where it needs to be in both pond and filters. I also have two UV lights to kill the floating algae to reduce the green color in my pond. It still has a green tint but that is natural as far as I am concerned.
I don't have a biofilter or skimmer.I have a pump like you have shown in you recent pictures.I buy Barley pellets every year and that keeps the Algea under control .The water is tea colored. My helper bales the water out of the pond with a pail and puts it on my flower beds.He used to tale all the plants out and scrub the walls but last year I asked him to leave the WL in.They didn't boom.Now I have the Lotus in a bushel basket.I can't ask him to take that out...it's so heavy. Is the pond vac like a wet dry shopvac? I can't do anything about the pond myself.My balance is so bad I fell in a couple of years ago.I just leaned over to adjust the head on the fountain. What to do????JOY
I know what you mean about balance. I have fallen in once due to balance and once due to stupidity. Walked on honeycombed ice. Went into the 4' end. Could have died of hypothermia but was able to climb out on the rock. I do not EVER walk on the ice again and am still afraid when I lean, even on my hands and knees, near the water.
So your water is just circulated throughout the pond? Okayyy. The barley is good. A friend of mine has a pond, and while he also has a skimmer and biofalls, he used the barley and says it works great. Here is a url to a site that talks about tannins. it may help. Changing water helps too. So bailing the water onto the garden is a great idea, then replacing with fresh.
How deep is your pond and how far do you think it freezes. If the ice gets to the crowns of your lilies, they will not be happy. If they grew but didn't bloom, they probably got touched with ice. You might try just tipping them over to get them below the ice. But then you will have stuff dumped into your pond so that wouldn't work too well I guess. Shorter pots? I took mine out of 2-3 gallon pots (they were too heavy) and put them in dishpans just 10x15" and 5-6" tall. Then I put little wire handles on them so they can be moved to the deep end of the pond (4') more easily and easily retrieved. Maybe re-potting your lilies and lotus into shallower pans would get them below the freeze line and you could just leave them in the pond.
You know, as long as your pond is clear, even if brown, and you have little fish that are happy, I wouldn't worry to much about pond vacs and such. They are pretty heavy to move around. And yes, they are just glorified wet vacs. I have seen your pond pics and it is beautiful and seems happy to me. I think just water changes is about your best bet. Oh, what do you plant your lilies in? Could it have something in the media that would leach into your water? Bark or something? Someone suggested they use kitty litter from Walmart for their media and I bought some. Going to try it out this year in place of mud. lighter and doesn't dump dirt into my pond. sorry I can't be more helpful. Unless you installed a skimmer so you could introduce filtration like the carbon stuff, I don't know that there is much you can do about the brown.
Mstella, Thanks for your information.My water lilies just sitting on the bottom of the pond in those box type containers they sell for pond plants.They are growing in clay.I think they may be overcrowded.My pond isn't very deep perhaps two and a half feet or three deep. It is a preformed pond.It was the largest they had at the nursery12 years ago. I bought it with the money I received as gifts for my 70th birthday. I think I'll look for bacteria. I'll try to get more clay soul to plant my new plants in.It's difficult where I can do so little myself now JOY
I really wish I could come help you. It is frustrating wanting to help and yet be so far away. It doesn't sound like the tea color is coming from your lilies. Any run off from the ground around the pond. If that is the source, then only a complete dig up, moving the preformed pond higher so the dirt around it was lower. the rock placed around it would hide the difference in height. There are bottom filters that might work for you, but you would have to clean it and that would require going into the pond. There are external filters that might be better. They would just hook up to your pump and then feed back to your little fountain. that way you could just open it up, wash out the filter mat, then close it up. Not too bad. Or maybe your helper could do that for you. It was be pretty minimal effort, and for a pond your size, the filter wouldn't be too terribly expensive. there might even be room in it for some charcoal that would take some of the brown out of the water. Let me know how it goes, Joy. We are all headed in the same direction.
how deep is your pond? How many gallons? We too vacuum both spring and fall. We don't have a pond vac such as a wet vac, however it is more a leaf vacuum type thing that attaches to the hose. This has worked well for us over the years. We don't have the bottom drain, however we do have a skimmer.
If your fish and plants are healthy, then everything should be ok. Not sure if you are getting the tea colored water from the barley or from something else. Seems to me I read somewhere that the tea colored water could/can be from the barley. Is your water clear even though it may be tea colored? Could there be leaves in the pond? That too would give off a tea color and the release of tanins inthe water.
We use the pond bacterias and enzymes. The enzymes eat the sludge and crud from the fish. Is this something that you have been using as well? We use the Pondzyme and buy our products in September for the following year. Everything is at a cut price in September.
As far as your waterlilies are concerned - do you fertilize them regularly? Waterlilies are heavy feeders. Also your water has to be at least 60 degrees F for the waterlilies to flower - do you have an idea as to what your water temps are generally in the summer? Also, how often do you divide your waterlilies? I don't divide every year, but probably should. I know I did not get as many flowers this past year as in previous years, but I also have not divided in the previous 2 years - this year I will definitely be dividing them up.
Hi Carolyn. The url I put out for AG talked about the tannin in leaves and such. I don't know about the barley causing the color though. A friend who has a nice pond, and manages to keep his fish in it (koi no less) all winter swears by barley and his pond is nice and clear with no brown that I have noticed.
crap, the less I mess with my pond the healthy my fish are. Carolyn-remember my first year ponding and all the fish death I had? I cleaned it and put bacteria in it. death everywhere. Last year hardly anything done except water changes. This winter my dogs used the ice on the pond as their personal toilet. It melted and in it went and the fish are fine. My pond is mature! It will be cleaned out (pressure washed next week though). The thought of the dog stuff in there is so icky . . .
I have had my pond for 12 years.None of my fish have died they have been devoured by a Crow and other marauders...I'm not sure which one.Yes my water is tea coloured but clear enough to see my goldfish.Michea will come and clean it out .I thought about the bacteria but after thinking it over I've decided not to use it.Last summer I had a growth of duck weed that nearly covered the surface of the pond.I didn't feed the fish but let them eat the duck weed.The ate it all.I did feed them at the end of the summer.As I said my WLs didn't bloom.They were fertilized with the spikes that are supposed to be enough for the whole summer.I just wonder if there was a lack of phosphates from the fish where they only ate duck weed.I plan on putting my Callas and some other plants in this year so I think they will benefit
from the waste from the fish.I'll have the WLs taken out and divided.I am fortunate to have helpers for my garden who take care of my pond and have since I put it in.
They also look after my water lady.Unfortunately she fell from grace this winter.My gardener is a former Baptist minister.He called the other day about some pruning.I told him I had a fallen woman in the backyard that he needed to come and save.He got a great kick out of that.As soon as the snow is all gone I'll call him and have "three men and a truck"arrive to clean up my garden.I have a new Walker with big wheels that I be able to take out.I have to watch that they don't pull out my perennials for weeds or prune the new Hydrangeas that bloom on old growth.It's hard to keep track of three.Here is my fallen woman in our April fool stormJOY
My big news is that the large diseased maple tree is coming down next week,I called a tree service I've used before and the price was so low I couldn't refuse.It shaded my pond and flower beds..I'm having a cataract operation on Monday so I'll have it done the next week.The cleanup will take place the same week.Surely my Lotus will bloom this year!! JOY
Hope all goes well with your cataract surgery. Are you having one eye done at a time? I think that is how they do it, isnt' it?
I'd love to see pictures of your lotus when it is flowering. I received lotus seeds that I have not done anything with yet. Perhaps soon I will be able to get to them. I have not started any of my other seeds yet either. Just not enough time in the day.
The birch tree is messy..lots of leaf dirt and twigs. But i tolerate it because it shades the water. Trying to keep the algea down...it would take longer than we have to grow another cleaner shade tree to take its place!!
Its a fortune here to take down a tree of any size beyond what most can manage alone. And no clean up without an additional huge amount charged--- and most will cut up but not haul. Its tough to find help-- it used to be so easy.
Opps feeling old and cranky...whine..whine...better get up and hide the eggs and spread ot a few clumps of easter bunny butt fur around the garden...watch the snakes come when I do...whine...whine...
Well my surgery went off well.My vision is much better but may have to wear glasses for reading.I went out to the pond the day after and checked it out...saw three adults and three baby fish.Then the next day I had pains in my chest.The Dr. saw me that day and I have another chest infection so I've been taking it easy since.Spent yesterday in bed.My son and family went to Grand Mannan on Friday so I`ve been alone.My GS,GD,DD and goo
d friend have been dropping in with food and flowers. The tree will be coming down next week. A man from the Reserve is taking it down for me.His father has taken huge trees down for me in the past.He worked with his father and remembered me.He is only charging me $750. They always clean up after themselves.They sell the wood for firewood.The men who look after my garden said they`d be here this week too. My son just called me from GM.They are having a good time and have had a good feed of Lobster.All for now. JOY
Oh Joy, I hope you are feeling better soon. I am sorry to hear about the chest infection. How long do you have to stay in bed?
Glad your catarct surgery went well. I would love to only need my glasses for reading. I should probably wear them all the time, but I hate doing that as well. Have to be honest, I still have a touch of vanity. I can see to drive though without them, so maybe I don't need them too badly
I spent most if the weekend in bed.Today I felt a bit better.The weather was fine for a change so I sat on the porch until l was too hot,then ventured into the back yard.My gardeners haven't been by yet so the heaters are still in the pond.It must be getting warm...the water is looking green.They are coming this week.It will be a busy week out there.The tree is coming down too.The only beauty spot is a semiwild garden.I have bloodroot and violets etc that come up on their own each year...followed by hosta and ferns in the summer.I wonder if I should start feeding the fish now?Here is a picture of my only blooms out back. JOY
Joy, when your water reaches over 50F you can feed the fish, but not before. Their digestion doesn't work when it is colder. I keep a little thermometer in my pond so I know when to add bacteria, algae killer and then when I can start feeding the fish. It reads about 42F in the morning and maybe 55F in the afternoon, so I am still waiting. Poor guys are probably starving. But they do have algae to munch on if they want. I saw two gold fish the other day. They sure are bashful.
My crocus are just forming buds, although lots of little green sprouts. Another day or so and they will be popping all over. Can hardly wait for the tulips and daffodils. Also planted some hyacinths last year. Hope they make it. I lost a lot of my bearded iris. They are very prone to rot here. Never should have moved them. They were very happy and healthy where they were. I just cannot figure them out. Moved two feel one direction and they rot. Bummer.
Glad you are feeling better. The flower and warmth does wonders.
Oh drat. I just ordered a new pump and UV (55w) from them. My husband didn't note the size (he looked at so many for a variety of things) and the silly UV is 48" long (looks like a bazooka!) ; we will have to attach it to the fence by the pond to stabilize it -- lol. Ought to do a bang up job. but the pond is a good 25' from the closest wall of the house. Hmmm. Maybe I could install it, bury the wire in the rock and such, then put it under the bench by the pond. I could still just go out and glance down to see the temp. On the other hand, if I have to go out, my thermometer on a 'fishing pole' also works. Nice idea though. Thanks. I can see the pond from my bedroom window and the water is crystal clear (though the bottom is mucky yet) and we saw six gold fish (some white and red, some standard gold) swimming around munching on algae. Hope it warms up soon so I can feed them. I am sooooo excited to see who made it through the long winter. Lost another gerbil yesterday. Is so sad to watch their last hour or so. NO MORE MOUSIES. I just feel so badly for them. They have such short lives.
I could never do mice or mice like creatures... Not my cup of tea. Years ago, one of my daughters' friends had gone to the pet store and got 3 of them. She was shocked when their cat ate one... I'll never forget that...
THAT would be awful. I think it is desperation on my part. I can't have a dog or cat due to Damien's allergies. I started with a hedgehog (bad experience), got two or three hamsters, then 'rescued' two gerbils from the animal shelter, then was given two more by a mother whose daughter wouldn't take care of them. No more. I even feel badly when my fish die.
I do understand that - I feel horrible when a fish dies too.
I have cats - The ASPCA contacted me and asked if I wanted to foster homeless cats and I mentioned to DH, if I did not have him, I would do it in a heartbeat. He did not take it in the spirit in which it was intended...
lol. Damien did admit he would be jealous as I do tend to be disgustingly loving on my critters. We used to have a cat about 20 years ago and then he became allergic. Your kitties are sooo cute. so you do take in (foster) homeless kitties?
:I've had pneumonia again.The doctor said my lungs are clear Friday but I'm still feeling rotten.I did get out to look at my pond today.The WL are growing and the pads are up on the surface of the .water.There is no sign of life with the lotus.The pond hasn 't been cleaned yet so I'm still hoping it made it through the winter.I want to be out in the garden working so very much but can't Old age sucks.JOY
I'm feeling better every day..The Dr.says my lungs are clear now.I have bronchitis but it is clearing too.The men are here cleaning my yard.This is their second day and I'll need them one more day.The pond is cleaned and the fountain-pump are running.All the fish survived.They thinned the waterlilies and fertilized them.We don't know if the lotus is alive.Time will tell.This is what the pond looks like today.JOY
I don't know if I told you about "The Fallen Woman" in the back yard.She fell from her position this past winter.She weighs 400lbs so it took two men to restore her to her former position in life. Here she is on the ground.JOY
Joy, so glad you are feeling better. And look at your fishies!! They stay in that little pond all winter? I am sure somewhere up top you mentioned this. And that it doesn't freeze up. We have all our pumps going and I have applied the stuff to break down sludge and eat algae. It makes a bit of a temporary mess out of the surface of the water, but that makes the fish feel safe and they came out! I spotted 15, almost a full contingent that was there last fall including my big koi and the little koi I bought last summer. Big guy is only 10-12" and about 3" around, but he is the big kahuna in my pond. I am so thrilled they survived. Maybe we finally have the right process for winter. I repotted my water lilies in kitty litter. Sooo much nicer. Hardly a whisper of stuff floated in the water. And the tubs are much lighter. Put in Jobe's tomato spikes for fertilizer per someone's suggestion here. The water is running about 45-52. Need to start the UV's up soon to stay ahead of the algae. I have no shade so it grows like mad.
Again, I am so glad you are feeling better. Just beat that bronchitis and you can relax and enjoy your fish and pond.
The men have left and I won't need them back for a while.Amazing what they managed to do. They weeded and cleaned the flower beds front and back,pruned the roses,cleaned the pond,moved a large Limelight Hydrangea and spread the leaf mulch on the flower beds.I consider that I don't travel anymore and my garden is my pleasure in life. I'm planting an Invincible Spirit Hydrangea in place of the cedar.I'm getting some diatomacous earth to spread to keep the slugs down.JOY
The reason I moved my Limelight was because it was so large,It must have been more than 10' tall and wide too.I'm looking forward to "Twist and Shout" and "Endless Summer" They have both wintered well.I love the long bloom period of Hydrangeas.I'm planting Invincible Spirit this year too.Isn't gardening fun? I see they have a Wisteria at our nursery this year.It is supposed to be hardy here.I have a gift card burning a hole in my pocket.I like to spend gift cards on something exotic that I wouldn't normally buy.JOY
I feel the same way about gift cards. Like 'found money' to be used on something you wouldn't normally buy for yourself. Hmm. Mother's day is coming. wonder if I can parlay that into a GC from Damien. Nah. He is already having the putting green dug up to make more garden space. He has been beyond kind and generous with my gardening. He says he knows it is, next to him and my kids, what keeps me going.
My helpers were here and did a super job on my pond.I have the barley pellets but haven't put them in yet.They cost me $20.00 this year.I thought that was rather pricey.Here is the pond looking pristine!!
The yard is cleaned up too.Tonight they are having a neighbourhood party to mourn the Maple tree which is coming down on Monday.It is as old or older than our house.Sad but necessary.The yard really looks like spring suddenly.JOY
I can only imagine how beautiful your yard looks when all that green bursts into bloom. Yours is so much greener than mine. But I do have all my fishies out and hungry. They are still very bashful and tend to run and hide in the rock when they see a shadown. But I received one of the water lilies I ordered and I potted it this morning when I found it on my doorstep from UPS (delivered last night). I was still in my bathrobe but didn't want to wait to get it potted and in the water. It has two flowers and is gorgeous. I only have had pink before. I do hope it will live through our winter at the pond bottom. I just say a curious magpie drinking from the pond, then picking up nesting materials from my still brown lawn..
And happy mothers day to you pirl and all the other mothers.I'll think of you as I eat my annual mother's day treat...Lobster.Three parties in a row.A birthday dinner for DD and a potluck last night.We must plant Invincible Spirit today too.
Happy Mother's Day! My DH is taking me to breakfast and then we are going to look at stuff for the backyard upgrade. My favorite thing to do. Hope you all have a wonderful day doing the things you like best. And sunny skies.
Mistella ; How lucky to get a water lily with a bloom...talk about instant gratification!!Pirl I'm not responsible for all the parties.It's my family.I just attend.We are having perfect weather for mother's day...just the way it should be...so many buds just waiting to burst into bloom.JOY
the weather here today is gorgeous. DH and I had our coffee this morning out on the back deck by the pond. Friday night, DD came into town and she and DS and my grandson had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner for me. It was wonderful. DD is on her way back to Boston now, but I will see her next month when we go out there.
Now Carolle those really are fish!!Are they Koi? ..so colourful.My GD brought me some blood worms for the fish.I gave them a square but they ignored the worms...didn't know they were getting a gourmet treat.Guess they are just " common fish"JOY
No, it is a Kwanzan cherry - I picked that tree up at a close out sale for $10.
It opened up more yesterday with the warm weather. I expect to see it all the way open tonight when I get home from work. Love the tree - there are a couple of days when it drops it's flowers that we have to be right on top of cleaning out the skimmer, but it's not bad.
thank you. I love the double pink blooms and there is no fruit to contend with, that is nice as well. At least with my Louisa crab, the squirrels take all the fruit, so there is no mess with that one either.
Ah, let's hear it for entropy! We battle a far stronger opponent who will always outlast us. But for the short term, we can give nature a run for her money. Is that pathetic or what? Fighting what we know is a losing battle. Shoot. I am going to commune with my fish to remind me why it is all worth it. lol
Same can be said of the very beautiful and colorful leaves of Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'. I regret the day I bought it.
Now have removed about 100 daylilies and have 50 more to go. I'll pot them up until we can find something that works better than Round Up. Some of the Houttuynia grows right through the daylilies in that field - what a massive headache.
A'rlene, is the weed you are trying to irradicate the sort of pink leafed things? You are removing all you lilies and daylilies to do a 'scorched earth' treatment to be rid of it? HoooWaaa. That is radical. I would have to dig up lilacs, trees, mughos in addition to my regular flowers. No way. I am going to a systemic killer. Used it to get rid of raspberry bushes. You cut them down as as soon as one pops its little head up, you cut it down to one inch then soak it withe the systemic killer. The sucker takes the poison back along the roots to the source. Do it enough and you will kill the main plants. And it doesn't affect anything around it unless you are sloppy and dump it into the soil. Then Katy bar the door -- it will kill all it can touch.
They are the leaves at the bottom left corner in the photo I posted. It's just daylilies to be removed and potted but inspected first and all soil shaken off to be sure there are no roots (clearly obvious as they're thick and white) remaining.
I guess it is a type of scorched earth treatment!
We have had invading raspberries for years and they are from our own berry side of the vegetable garden. By now I'm used to digging them up and offering them to anyone who wants them. We have a yield sign at our corner and I'm tempted to throw bags of raspberry bushes into cars as they slow down.
Which killer did you use? My helper, Neri, and I hand painted every Houttuynia leaf with Round Up day after day and it didn't kill the roots - just the tops and they all grew back. I contacted Bayer Advanced and asked if their Brush B Gone would kill it and they replied that they wouldn't guarantee it. Then I was told to use a syringe to inject the roots. Well, imagine an area 25 x 10 and think of all the injecting!!!! I've dug down 2' and the roots go well beyond that.
If anyone has any thoughts to kill this weed, please Dmail me! Thank you.
Arlene, I don't have a solution to your problem. As far as Chameleons? And I'm talking about the species, plain green ones. If one can't beat it, eat it! LOL, I eat mine. That's one of the edible veggies originate from Asia. I gave up on the idea of rid off them for their stallons run just beneath the surface of the soil level, and they're everywhere. I and meant EVERYWHERE. (sorry folks, I didn't mean to yell, just made a point).
I have not heard anything good about the Houttuynia plants. A lady I know down the street put it in and it took her 2 years to finally eradicate it her garden. Apparently if even a small bit of root is left, the plant will come back. I have also seen where people have said if you plant it in a pot, then you should be fine - I am not willing to try that either...
We have had cool weather and rain for what seems like forever.The rain let up last evening just long enough for an inspection of my little pond and guess what I found? I was beginning to give up hope but there was a Lotus leaf.I ran 2 pond heaters all winter and had begun to think I had kept them warm in vain.Now if they ever get that tree down so I have full sun on the pond I just might get a blossom.JOY
I put a hardy lotus in my pond about two weeks ago and it must not be hardy for us. I planted it in kitty litter and even elevated it on a block so it was in about 10" of water (per TWL's suggestion) but it doesn't look well. It is called Director George T Moore (sort of an odd name for a lily). Our temp continues to be in the 50's although today was in the upper 40's and really cool.
I know this is off topic but I wanted to tell you this.I have been remarking to anyone who would listen that the Grape Hyacinths are a much more intense blue than other years.I seemed to be the only one who noticed.Well it suddenly occurred to me that it was because I`d had my cataract removed!!Here are a few of my bright colors I saw as I tottered around my garden.JOY
Yes, Joy! It's true. Cataracts give a yellow haze to everything and the removal of them allows us to view the true colors. Had my second cataract removed last week and the whole world is bright...and my curtains weren't dirty at all!
A day of sun makes such a huge difference, doesn't it?
Today was the first day I could get out in the yard. It is so much easier to clean up the gardens before everything sprouts - the weather has just not allowed that this year.It really felt good to get out there...
Lily pads are just starting to come up to the surface.
Benificial bacteria is essential for your pond. It is the "good " bacteria and it helps keep your pond clear and your fiah healthy. We call these bios short for biologicals. My filter has special bio balls in which to house the benifical bacteria. This helps keep a good balance of the "good" bacteria in the pond. As for a pond vac. I personally have a botton drain and a skimmer and have no need to vaccume my pond. I raise koi and goldfish and have found a bottom drain to be a God send. It collects all the fish waist and sludge and removes it from the pond! I hope I've helped answer your question. With the bios you can buy them and "seed" your pond. You can get good bios in a microbical lift. Good luck and Happy ponding!
Here it is almost the end of June and the tree was finally taken down this pat week.I still have only one sickly Lotus leaf! I can now see the the sky. My pond is looking mucky now so I'll invest in the bacteria.There were some casualties in the felling of the tree so I've bought some annuals to fill the spaces.I've been following your posts with interest.You are all so ambitious.My heath has improved some but still feeling my age.I just find it very hard to act my age! JOY