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Shutting down soon

Athens, PA

Shutting down soon. Today I will be cutting back my bog plants and salting my pond. I already am missing the pond and summer. I love feeling the heat of the deckboards under my feet in the heat of the summer.

Generally we starting bringing in the pumps and pressure filters between Thanksgiving and the first week of December. We will also be putting in 2 de icers. I should probably start taking the water temps here soon as we do this when the water temps are in the mid to high 30's.

What are you all doing in your ponds? I know we all have different climates that affect our ponds.

Thumbnail by Carolyn22 Thumbnail by Carolyn22 Thumbnail by Carolyn22 Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Carolyn...your pond is so beautiful! It's so sad that you have to shut it down. My pond (even when things go wrong!) still is a great joy for me. We've had a few chilly nights, so as of now, I'm cutting back on food, but that's about it. I cleaned the filter pads and addes extra bacteria/enzymes. Soon I'll add salt. The chilly nights only bothered by smaller mollies and guppies that hang out on the shallow plants, where the water is effected by the chill. My lotus and lilies have pretty much straggled down to stems....only one lily remains blooming at this point.

Athens, PA

Mary

Thank you - I am always sad when we have to shut down the pond and I get so excited in early March when we typically start up. I did enjoy working outside today - I cut back my peonies and need to lift my dahlias. There is something about working out in the garden that always makes me feel good.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Carolyn,
Your pond is very nice and I love that little boat on the side. Really cute.
I'm about like Mary. Just need to add salt and enzymes. Bought the netting for both ponds but leaves haven't gotton bad yet. I don't mind neting a few out ea. time I go out to check on them which is every day. I've quit feeding but was told to get them some wheatgerm. Tomorrow I am going to pet store to get a thermometer. Other one ended up smashed in the pond even tho I had it tied to side of pond. My son was over one day so he trimed and repotted most of my plants but I will have to remove high ones if I have to net them. He said he was freezing as my ponds are both in the shade. Supposed to warm up again here I think this weekend so I will go in and pull them to side where I can reach without going in just in case I have to remove them completely.
They have finally gotton used to their tunnel and go in and out of it like kids playing tag.
M Mary my SIL is bringing 2 kittens from his vets office so if you want to bring over another Charlie is ready for them. The 2 are coming Sun. I have a large dog crate from my grooming days and he will put a litter box in just in case they want to use that. Tomorrow we are going to buy them food. Hopefully, they will get along with Sadie after a while. They have been with a dog.

Happy ponding al,
Bonnie

Athens, PA

Bonnie

Dave wanted the boat and the boat launch. He found the boat at a big craft thing when we were at the 1000 Islands some years ago. His father then went ahead and made oars for the boat and surprised Dave with them. Dave wanted some shade by the pond so when my children were still at home, Dave and my daughter put in the Kwanzen Cherry tree by the pond - so it has been a family affair. I wouldn't have it any other way as family is so important.

We used to net the pond - I do have a huge net in the cellar, but our shrubbery and other plants have grown large enough to make it more than difficult to net the pond. When it is that time of year, we keep a close eye on the skimmer and it gets emptied a couple of times a day. We have not had to be out of town during that time of year, but I have often wondered what we would do if that situation ever arose.




Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

You not only have something beautiful you also have a good memory along with it. GREAT
Wow having to empty skimmers twice a day is really demanding. We screwed hardware cloth in front of both of our skimmers so leaves can't get into them. When I shut the water off the leaves move just a little way away from skimmer and I scoup them up easily. I walk around the pond with net and push it along the bottom and get the rest out. I need to teach the fish how to grab them and throw the leaves out. LOL
Bonnie

Athens, PA

Bonnie

Having to empty the skimmer 2 x a day isn't bad. That only happens for no more than 2 weeks out of the year, so it isn't bad at all. I would rather have them go into the skimmer basket then end up in the bottom of the pond.

Yes, things do mean more when one has memories and special people to associate things with. I was talking with my sister earlier today and she has mentioned several times to me how much it meant to her for my son to take a long weekend last spring and spend it with her. Those memories become part of who we are.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Saw this quote on a quilt: Memories are the souveniers our hearts collect through the years.

BTW does a vacuum take up leaves from the bottom of pond? Somday I am going to buy one to get dirt out. I will always have leaves cause both ponds are under huge oak tree. Don't want fried koi so thats where I put them plus no other place in front yard was empty of plants. Theres always a little work attached to everything we do. I don't mind. Keeps me physically active.
Yesterday I planted 100 aztec grass plants around 2 flower beds. Hit a nursery that is going out of business and selling out completely. .50 per plant. I couldn't resist. Also got alamanda, camelia and tibochina for $5. ea. and they are about 3 feet tall. Happy day that was. Still have 50 aztec plants left. They make good spillers for pots. I always try to remember that old rule when filling pots. Thriller, filler and spiller. Makes for great looking pots.
Ya'll have a happy Thanksgiving and eat lots of turkey.
Bonnie

Athens, PA

Bonnie

I don't have one of those fancy expensive vacuums, but I have one of those leaf eater vacuums. We too put in trees to shade part of the pond. My pond sits right under a Kwanzen Cherry and a Mountain Ash. The Ash doesn't drop much, but the Cherry does. In the Spring, we clean up after the blossoms and in the fall after the leaves drop. The clean up is easy, with the leaf eater and the skimmer filter. We use the leaf eater twice a year - once in the Spring and once in the Fall.

The leaf eater picks up the leaves and whatever crud is on the bottom and does the trick for us. http://www.thefind.com/garden/info-pond-leaf-eater-vacuum. Have you checked ebay for a pond vac? I know MM does well on ebay.



Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Retro-Pond-1-1-2-3-Bottom-Drain-500-1400G-Pond-/350338114419?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5191c76373

The bottom drains (where you don't have to cut a hole in your rubber liner) look like this....they sit on top of your liner, and feed into your filter.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Carolyn,
Will the leaf eater also pick up dirt from the bottom? They sure are a lot cheaper than what I have been looking at.
BTW your trees are beautiful. Is that a Japanese maple low bushy like plant on the left side of pond. They are really beautiful.

Athens, PA

Bonnie

Yes, it does pick up the crud from the bottom of the pond. We also use enzymes during the ponding season that helps with the crud as well.

Yes, it is a Japanese Maple. There is a JM on the other end of the pond as well. I love them - especially when the are wearing their fall colors.


Athens, PA

Happy Thanksgiving all. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.

We will be shutting down this weekend. The weather is supposed to go from balmy 50's to cold and snow..... seems like December is already trying to poke itself in.

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

http://www.houselogic.com/photos/pools-spas/natural-swimming-pools-9-myths-busted/slide/myth-1-theyre-expensive/#myth-3-ill-be-swimming-with-weeds


Interesting concept for turning swimming pools into low maintenance water gardens.

Athens, PA

Very nice John. Essentially that is what I do, only my filtration bog is where the shelves would have been. They are walled off with rocks foamed in on end and then filled with pea gravel and plants to do the filtering. We have a small pump the feeds into the main bog. The roots of the plants and the pea gravel go a long way to filtering the pond and keeping the water clear.

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Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Carolyn,
How big is that koi is your picture. Looks like 4 feet. Is it?

Athens, PA

Bonnie

20-21". Funny thing, when I see that photo, I hear the Jaws music in the back of my head ^_^

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Guess its just the angle pic. is taken. I was really shocked.
I saw a 4 footer at koi show last March in Orlando and big man was really having a time loading it into a cooler for transport. He had it all foam lined for protection. The fish looked about a foot thick thru its belly and heavily scaled. Tanish colored. Can't think of name right now. M.Mary may remember as he was outstanding as far as size. Don't think I'd want one in my pond.
Water temp today was 70 so I fed them.
No rash statement here but right now they all look healthy and happy. I need to do some water checkups just in case. It looks good but that doesn't mean anything I've learned.
Got to go wrap some presents. As usual I'm way behind. Haven't even got Christmas tree up yet.
Had overnight co. Sat. 9 kids and parents. They were so good and very helpful. One of the 12 yr. olds said "great grandmother do you need help getting up out of your chair". Everybody laughed and said go look at the pond she dug this past June. We all had a good laugh.
Bonnie

Athens, PA

Bonnie

That is great. Stay active, it will keep you going longer.

I cannot imaging a 4 foot long koi. I remember when I was a small child, my grandfather went fishing and caught a 42" Muskie. I 4 ft koi is bigger - cannot imagine.

I have got the last of my gifts sitting here to go out with tomorrow's mail. I have spent over $100 in postage in gifts and that isn't counting the gifts I have ordered online. Getting to a point where I can't afford the postage. I am going to have to figure out something different next year.


Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Bonnie....It was a GinRin Soragoi! I remember it well, it was the most beautiful soragoi I have ever seen! His neck was thick like a bull dog, and he sparkled like a bag of diamonds! Eventually we'll all end up with fish that size, if we keep learning more and more about keeping them healthy,lol!! I'm not sure how big my largest one is, maybe only 26"? I just can't get them that thick, no matter what I feed them. I always wonder if they just burn more calories here in the warm enviroments, combined with the fact that they are limited to what I feed them (being in a rubber lined pond and not a natural one)
Oh well, I'm happy as a clam with what they are, if every single one out there turns into a 4 foot fish, I'm doomed! :)

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

M.Mary,
The one that I told you about that looks blue is very thick bodied. Easts like a horse and very active so far. I still think its one of those babies you brought over originally. Can you tell me about when you brought over that first batch. Wasn't it before Orlando koi show last March. If it was then he has grown an awful lot since then. Is it true they grow an inch per year. In it's case that doesn't hold true. I'll bet he is close to a foot now. All I feed them is koi food no vegies, or fruit or cereal. Can't wait for you to see him/her. I think you will be surprised.
Bonnie

Athens, PA

Bonnie

The first 2 years of the koi's life is when they grow the most. After that they slow down.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I looked through the old dave-mails we sent back and forth....it looks like I brought the first group over in October 2011 (-ish?) Many times, the ones that develop thick bodies from the get go, especially lower than their ribs, are your developing females. I hope at least a few of them are turning out pretty. If not, give them to Jeff! ;) I have more for you anyway, but need to wait a big until I have time to net them out AND travel with them quickly to your house.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

All that lived are pretty. The blue one is just outstanding for size and color. Jeff brought me over another oranda for old pond and it isn't very big. I'm hoping it makes it thru the winter. He's always swaping around fish. Not me I learned my lesson. If they are thriving I leave them wherever they are. Moving seems to have bad effects. He is waiting for next koi show in Orlando. I'll go with him but I'm not taking any fish this time. Fish in larger pond seem very contented and come right over to their feeding corner when I just walk out there.
BTW do you remember where you found those bag buddies? I looked on line but you had to buy a ton which he doesn't need.
After Christmas I am going to have to go and get more food for these piggies. They seem to be thriving on it. I make sure I don't oeverfeed cause I know that can lead to problems also.
Looking forward to seeing you again.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

On ebay, you can get 10 Bag Buddy tablets for $7. (+$2.99 shipping) I'm not sure if I have any more, I usually order them in spring....how many does he need?

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Probably 1 or 2 as he isn't taking more than 2 fish. I'll tell him to go to e-bay. Thanks

Fort Worth, TX

I have ponds in Texas. You add salt in Pennsylvania to keep your pond from freezing too hard? Does it affect your plants?

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Athens, PA

I add salt to put a slime coat on my fish. The slime coat helps to protect them from parasites and the like. The salt levels are back down to zero once I do my water exchanges in the early spring. This way, the salt does not affect the plants and hopefully, if I need to do a salt bath for some reason during the ponding season, the fish are not immune to the effects.

I keep a couple of deicers in the pond to keep some of the water open for my gas exchanges to occur. The deicers have worked in all types of winters for me.

So, essentially the only time there is salt in my pond is when my plants and fish are dormant.

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Fort Worth, TX

Thank you for explaining. I use salt dips to treat for parasites before adding fish (2% to 3%), but have never really salted my pond. My plants might be dormant 3 or 4 months of the year, aquatic iris never really go dormant. So I'm not sure it is something I should try, unless I did have a parasite outbreak and I pulled the plants out. hmmmmm

Interesting idea though. Thank you again.

the Mountains, CO(Zone 4a)

Wow Carolyn,
I'm kind of new to the website and just browsing the forums.
When you decided to do a water/japanese garden, how many years
did it take you to get everything established and looking the way it does now?
How absolutely beautiful. I live in a Zone 3-4 in a sort of deserty climate just below
the foothills of the san juan mountains. Odd climate to describe. Think it would
be possible to start one there??

Compliments to you and your beautiful creation. How amazing!!!

the Mountains, CO(Zone 4a)

Bonnie, I've also seed kois that large. The St. Louis zoo I believe has one that is over 5 feet. No kidding. It's almost horrifying!

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Hi River,
I've seen some on UTube that looked like that. If mine make it to 3 feet thats enough as my pond is only 20 feet long and I like for them to have plenty of room to swim and enjoy themselves.

The other day I gave them a few plain cherrios to see how they liked them. Ate them like pigs. I'll have to get some more for them. Their water was 65 degrees so I fed them. When it gets down to 50 no more feeding of anything. Has worked well for the pasts 3 years during winter. Haven't had a real cold snap yet. I can wait as covering all the plants is major job around here. I am so thankful I invested in large rolls of landscap blankets from a landscaper a few years back.
It's Sun. and that means a nap to me after church so I'm off to get my power nap as I'm trying to kick a bad cold that I've had all thru the holidays.
Hope all others are well .

Bonnie

the Mountains, CO(Zone 4a)

I would kill to be able to start a little japanese garden with koi fish, but I'm fairly sure where I live that would be almost impossible. I think I live in a zone 3-4, from what I'm told (just moved here). The online charts aren't accurate though because elevation changes are all over the place in the Juans. Up and down and up. I live outside of Montrose, CO and apparently directly in town it's a zone 5, but if you live outside of town at a higher elevation then you're looking at a 3-4. Any way, I think they would die here. It never stays warm enough.. It's still great fun to look at other people's masterpieces. =)

Enjoy that nap and have a wonderful day. :)

Athens, PA

River

Thank you for your kind words. ^_^ Hubby and Iive out in the backyard during the summer.

There is no reason you cannot set up a nice water garden. Mary Stella (Oberon) is one of our forum participants and she has a pond in Alaska. I know with the cold they have in Alaska, that she has tried to have koi. The koi have not done well for her, however, she has done very well with goldfish. You may be relegated to goldfish, but you may do alright with koi. Mary should be along at some point to tell us about ponding in colder climates.

One thing about putting in a pond is everyone always says they didn't go big enough, so go as big as your budget will allow.

The pond I currently have, was put in about 7 years ago. Before you know it, your plantings will take off. I have bogs surrounding the outer edges of my pond that help with the filtration, so alot of the plants you see on the edge of my pond die back every winter and come back ever spring. Even if you need to wait for plantings to fill in, you can still enjoy the sound of your waterfalls and some gorgeous waterflowers - not to mention the wildlife that a pond brings.

Definitely -don't rule out having a pond.

Bonnie - I wish I was feeding my fish - I am assuming you saw the picture I posted this morning on a different thread. I was snowblowing earlier today thinking about you and Merry Mary.

I have fed my fish cheerios before and the seemed to like it. I also tried fruit loops and the fish seemed to enjoy the fruit loops as well.

Thumbnail by Carolyn22 Thumbnail by Carolyn22 Thumbnail by Carolyn22 Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

River,
I am no good at finding pictures once I put them on PC. If you would please go to a thread on here that reads New Pond in Progress #2.
The larger pond with little house that waterfall flows out of is the last pond I dug in July of 2012. Plants alongside were 2 mos. old at the time pic. was taken. They didn't take long to fill in. I borrowed them from around my yard and they were about 1 foot tall at time of planting. Put cow manure in every hole and planted them. Plenty of watering to get them going as we live in Fl. which is a sand pile.
Please don't be discouraged about having a pond. Check around your area and I'll bet you will meet someone with a pond.
Nothing ventured -- nothing gained I always say. I have seen folks who cut open heavy duty yard waste bags sunk them into the ground a little and filled them with water and plants & goldfish. No filtration of any kind but it worked. I try anything once and if it doesn't work try again. Don't let the cold discourage you. My son has a small 150 gal. stock tank that he finished off beautifully with split face block, cedar around top with rope lights. He has a small heater for his fish and it works great. So far I have gotton by without a heater but my newere pond is bigger so who knows. Hopefully they will be ok without heat. Old pond has been in about 5 years and no heat. This is first winter for larger one so we shall see what happens. I realize Fl. is different than your zone but give it a try on a small scale before you jump in big.
They sure are relaxing to watch and yes they get desease. I should know I lost a whole bunch last spring from bringing in new fish and didn't quaranteen them first. Hard lesson learned. Still learning but its fun.
Bonnie

Athens, PA

Disease does happen. It happens to all of us from time to time. I do think when you find something that works though, that you stick with it.

Fort Worth, TX

How about a blue heron cure for a pond 25 ft in diameter. I built it for a retired lady in the country, and she always wanted it clearer but I was worried because herons can see from high up. I changed the filter and got it clear and she is virtually cleaned out. floating alligator head only helped for 2 days. Too wide to stretch fishing line across, and the plants are dormant. I'm open to any ideas. Thank you.

This message was edited Jan 14, 2013 11:17 PM

Athens, PA

Gypsi

Is there room for a sprayer sensor? It can only help. I know others have strung fishing line across in and amongst the borders of the pond and that has helped as well.

We were hit by the heron once several years ago and there have been times they have tried to land by the pond and realized we were sitting or standing right there.

My DH wanted to shoot them- but these birds are protected not only by the law but nosy neighbors were I live.

I am sorry this has happened to your client- unfortunately it can be part of the ponding experience. :(

Fort Worth, TX

Yes it can Carolyn - I've had a pond since the mid 90's. And usually the fishing line is enough, but 25' in diameter, well a picture is worth 1000 words. In the middle of a prairie.

Thank you - the sprayer sensor might work.

Thumbnail by Gypsi
Athens, PA

Gorgeous Gypsi - how deep is the pond?

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