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2016 Ponding

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

Welcome back everyone, and a big welcome to all new ponders! We're a friendly group that chats about koi, goldfish, water plants, etc.

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

Made it out to the Central Florida Koi show today. Amazing fish, fat and 3 feet long. I have some that are a pinch over 2 feet, but they just don't compare to that pampered group that are being judged! Wow! Only came home with some new filter media. I may go back tomorrow, they start to discount what remains and they had some beautiful water lilies.

Virginia Beach, VA

I had never been to a koi show. I heard the kois are a lot of $$$$ . I refuse to pay that much!! LOL!!!

Its getting warm here so Golf season is here!! Yay!!!!

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

I know when I leave the hose in the pond too long (just to "top" it off and then remembering the next morning that it's been on all night) I can kill a 1200.00 fish as easily as a $40 fish! Therefore....I buy cheap! :) I don't mind buying something small and growing it out, because a hose or heron is depleting me of my original $20-40 only...even if it grew to be worth more. I'll happily grow them out, but won't pay big bucks, no matter how great they are. But I sure do love to look!

Decatur, GA

Spring is springing here in Georgia. The fish are awake and I'm feeding them some.
I have a question about water reed/rush. I am wondering about cutting it down some or all and would like some advise. Should I thin the old stalks out and just cut it all off evenly.? Anyone?
Thanks,Helen

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

If you have the kind that you can't eliminate no matter what, you can cut it back all the way. Once it starts the new growth, it looks so much better during the summer without the dead stalks mixed in.
I've had a terrible time with oak blooms and pollen this week. I have to clean the skimmer twice a day just to keep the pump from burning up. It clogs and keeps the water from going through. Hoping rain comes soon!

Decatur, GA

Thanks Merrymary. I cut it all back.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We have a small concrete pond and water feature adjacent to the house entrance. It was more or less on autopilot for almost fifteen years with cheap spotty goldfish, a cyperus involucratus that I hauled out every fall and the occasional hydroponic plant experiment. The pond started losing water several years ago until topping off became a daily affair. It's now drained, cleaned, scraped, parged with hydraulic cement and awaiting delivery of Pond Shield to seal. What a project in time and money for this small feature but I am so excited to get it up and running again!

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

We can all sympathize! In one way or another, we've all had a problem with our ponds. Hopefully your current fix will last a long time and you'll get years of enjoyment from it. Big or small, staring into a pond is like staring into a fire. We all become a zombie and love it...it's very relaxing. I just bought several different water lilies, who knows which one will survive, but I'll remain hopeful.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Son and I also enjoyed the koi show. Of course got our this years T-shirts. Jeff has a beautiful shirt he ordered on line fully embroidered with large koi on back and small one on front also he has an English looking cap with koi on it. Everybody was asking him for a pic. so they could get women there with embroidery machine to make them one. It was $80. on line. Too steep for my budget.
I swore I wouldn't buy any more fish. Wellllll Blackwater Creek had a little one with strange large fins and Jeff bought it for me. We definitely have to eliminate some fish from small pond. His friend with large pond will take some of the little goldfish and he has 2 he calls the Walmart twins that are going to new home.
I have had one of the worst summers on record for leaf drop and now blossom drop on oak trees. Scooping stuff out twice a day and big pond still looks awful. Dark water and tons of leaves on the bottom. Jeff went in last week and scooped the bottom. Got a new UV clarifier coming but old ones seems to be working. He checked it all out plus called Tetra co. for advice. I think I will order a new larger one. Got Microblift PL and also spring/summer cleaner and have done 3 extreme water changes. Sure hope it clears up soon. It's nice to see bottom of pond.
This month we have had septic tank to rebuild, flooded kitchen, pool pump quit due to underground wires getting broken. That's 3 so I'm looking for better days ahead.
Sumer is upon us. I vowed to make something that will catch leaves and alleviate so much scooping the surfaces if at least large pond.
Happy ponding to all.
Bonnie

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Yes, we too had major septic issues just this past month culminating in a drainfield rebuild. Ouch!

Still waiting for delivery of the wall coating for our mini-pond/concrete fish tank. We have a larger, 1/2 acre pond, at our cottage. It's spring fed and stocked. It's not without maintenance issues either as the dam and spillway require maintenance. Unwanted, vigorous tree growth on the dam side and grasses on the spring feeder side are a challenge. That pond has bass, bream and catfish. I've got beautiful iris there. Always lusted over pond lilies but never had the right pond. Even miniature lilies are too big for tbe little one and too small/not a good native fit for the larger one.

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

The oak blooms are clogging up my skimmer and pumps....cleaning them 2 to 3 times a day to keep them from burning up! Hoping this weekends rains will wash the trees down, could really use the water!
Bonnie, what day did you go to the koi show? I saw a really cool blueish black koi in the smaller fish tank right inside the tent, didn't get him...but went back the next day because I just had to have him....but he was gone...Oh well! I have the purple stemmed taro for you if you're still wanting some. Not sure if you got some somewhere else or not.

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

I certainly understand fish overload! They were cute when they were 8inches...they're even cuter now at 18"-26" but take up so much space! May start thinning out some, and keep my favorites. Just not sure if my heart can do it unless I know they're going to good homes~

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

Look at the size of these fish at the Koi Show! My grandson is 10 for comparison!

Thumbnail by MerryMary
Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

We went Sat. cause Sun. is church day and by the time we get out everyone is packing up to leave. First year we went and showed fish we almost didn't make it in time to pick up our fish cause they had all the show tanks emptied except ours. Too much work to show. Doubt I'll do it again.
Don't have any taro so would appreciate some.
Jeff is smart. He has designed a pond on his back porch which is all enclosed with screen. Said he will not plant any oak trees near his new house. He is really interested in planting fruit trees of various kinds. I have a surenan cherry that rooted itself near my large one for him. I'm going to buy him an olive tree. A man in Howey is growing some.
Is our large pond finished? Would love to see it. I know you have a massive project going but it will be wonderful when you are finished with it. Always seems that when we tear up one thing much else follows that we find to change. I call it progress.
Jeff's ponding friend Jon said he could get me some white water lilies for free so didn't buy any at show. Got a 30 gal. glass aquarium doing nothing so thought I would try some in it. Also, he is same one that gave me loads of hyacinths before so I hope to get over to his place and get some more. He cuts the black roots off and feeds them to his fish.
I am so tired of scooping leaves and blooms from oak I could scream. Even thought of taking the whole tree down but that would be MAJOR job. Then we could put up some shade cloth or something for shade. Hate to loose such a big tree. Power co. subs really ruined it though.
Happy ponding all. Bonnie

Decatur, GA

I had 2 flowering cherry trees in my back yard when I built my pond about 12 years ago. They were nice around 12-14 feet tall. One was right next to the pond and the other was about 30 feet away. The both grew a lot. I took the one that was close to the pond about about 5 years ago because it was shading the whole thing. The other obviously continued to grow much tall than my house. These trees looked gorgeous when the bloomed in the spring for about a week but then the problems started. First all the petals fell in the pond along with the fluids associated with flowers. I scooped and scooped... it was a daily chore which never kept up with the debris. Then the little cherries would fall into the pond- another mess that needed scooping. Around mid summer when the heat started stressing the tree it would start dropping leaves.... you get the picture. I finally had the second tree removed this past winter and am very relieved. I plan on planting some native trees away from the house and pond as a reasonable comprise. If you need to take a nuisance tree just replace it with several others and don't feel bad.

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

Good morning everyone! Asagi and Gin Rin Asagi.

Thumbnail by MerryMary
Decatur, GA

Nice fish MarryMary.

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

This guy is probably 18" and slides up into the shallow areas to munch on algae and leftover food. I'm hoping he's too big to be picked off by a heron until I get the pond completed, the water will be 8 inches deeper then.

Thumbnail by MerryMary Thumbnail by MerryMary
Virginia Beach, VA

MM,
Herons can carry any size!!

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

I have flagstone to build up all around that corner, and he won't be able to get in there after I do that. It's just a smaller 24" wide water fall, to keep that side of the pond's water moving a bit.
I need to find a rock vender...they're SO expensive to buy here in Florida. In Ohio, I'd just go out back and dig up another one!

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

Bonnie, noooo the pond isn't done, not even close. We decided to do everything around the pond first, so we wouldn't have to dismantle rocks and things while trying to get the rest done. Everything is costly, so I have to do it myself a little at a time. Saving for the paver patio right now. In the meantime, we're tearing out all of the wooden decks. We had 4 mult-level large ones that went around and between the ponds, but wood only lasts so long. Pulling the top boards off is fairly easy, but the framing underneath is all cemented poles. That's a lot of back breaking work for my hubby and myself.

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

Got a huge fake rock water fall off craigslist yesterday for free! That will save me tons of money. Rocks are so doggone exensive! My water quality is horrible right now...between oak blossoms (which finally ended), pollen from trees, and camphor blossoms, my pond is one big sludge ball. It seems too micro-fine for the skimmer to pick up, and the small temporary filters can't handle it. Yuck...
I saw a few of my fish chasing each other yesterday, so I know spawning it just around the corner. When I looked at an old post, I mentioned it last year on April 10...and guess what today is? Odd that animals are so natuarally intuitive and precise, and humans can't keep a calendar and still forget things!

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Hi Mary,
You will see major success when you are all done with yard and pond. Keep on keeping on. I sure know what a sore back is but I persist and I know you will to. My little Kubota alleviates a lot of back work. Charlie loves it too. It was a God send when he was digging up all the drain field for the septic tank which is all fixed now. Onto to next repair project. You know how it is. Woo hoo!!!

Houston, PA(Zone 6a)

Is there anyone here who is knows a lot about goldfish and their diseases? I have a very sick one and I'd like to try to help him. I added pond salt to the water but I don't think its helping. I took a couple pictures so I'll put them here. Any replies will be appreciated. Thanks!

Thumbnail by roxxanne Thumbnail by roxxanne
Houston, PA(Zone 6a)

i'm not sure that the pics show much. He lays on the bottom and dashes to the top for air. It looks like maybe now he is loosing his scales. His gills are very red inside. And he is very skinny. His head kinda looks transparent. Help!

Decatur, GA

I don't know what the matter is with your sick fish. I've had sick fish in the past and tried to figure out from internet searches what the problems were.
My fish seemed to suffer from parasites the best I could tell. Medications added to the water never seemed to help. I had no way of isolating a particular fish.
The last few years I haven't had much problem with sick fish. I attribute that good fortune to the UV lights I added to my pond. They kill parasites and pathogens as well as suspended algae. Frequent partial water changes always perk all the fish up.
Check your water quality. I had some floundering fish and actually lost several before I realized I had a pH problem from many too many actively growing plants causing a spike in the pH. (I think) Water quality is complicated with many contributing factors that effect the chemistry of the water which effect the health of your fish.
Are other fish suffering? You might check and see in any vet clinic in your area treats fish. Or contact a local professional pond person for advice.
Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome and what you learn from the experience. Maybe some of us here will also benefit from what you find.

Houston, PA(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the reply. I'll keep you posted.

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

Good morning all! One night of rain and the Cuban Tree Frogs are back! Bleh! So I went out with my net and a gallon zip lock bag this morning, trying to find them. There are eggs everywhere so I'm assuming I'm just not going to be able to eradicate them. Hopefully the koi will eat their fair share of tadpoles. Supposed to get another storm tonight, we really need the rain in the Central Florida area. No spawning yet, even though they they chased each other for one day in April. I guess I'll just wait and watch.

Decatur, GA

MerryMary do you catch and kill the Cuban frogs and gather and destroy their eggs? It seems the more you did that the less frogs you would have. Are their eggs in the pond? Sounds like a real pain but if the koi get a bit of a protein boost its not all bad I suppose.
Here is a night shot of my pond. I feel fortune, things are going well at the moment.

Thumbnail by helenchild
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Very pretty, Helen. Would love to see more pond pics.

After many years as a mud hole, my pond is up and running! We scraped and parged the eroded areas and SO did two coats of two part epoxy. A while in the doing since SO got a new hip six weeks ago leaving gap time between parging and coating. But it was filled two weeks ago and I bought a few plants including a Texas Dawn water lily, chameleon plant, water celery and a thalia. The lily has a flower coming up. I had a cyperus indoors, now at the front door, that I'm slowly moving to the pond edge. I have one fantail and hope to get a few more tomorrow. Sharing some photos. The first pic shows the entrance from the drive and the last pic is the view from the front door. My house is bermed into a hillside and wrapped in decks.

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

Helen,
I skim as many eggs as I can off the surface of the water. I can tell the Cuban Tree Frogs eggs as different from the others...Who knew I'd end up being an amphibious egg specialist?? My leopard frogs lay egg masses that are stuck below the water level onto a stem of a water plant. Toads lay long strands of black pearls....and the Cuban Tree frogs lay a gel on the surface of the water with a billion eggs spread, single layer, across the surface. So I take the skimmer net and get as many as possible. I try to snag the breeding pairs, but there are zillions of them. They tell you to put them in a zip loc bag in your freezer, but my freezer needs space for people food and not invasive species frogs I'm trying to eradicate. I'm hungry! ;)

Decatur, GA

Just kidding.

Thumbnail by helenchild
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

No frog problem though.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Only seen 2 CTF so far and they got chopped in 1/2. M Mary you sure seem to have a ton. I am so sad about my ponds. They are still all brown and cloudy. Did water tests last week plus cleaned all filtration medium. Very discouraging. Lost one large fish while they were spawning. Fist time I've seen loads of fish eggs on plants. I put them back down deep into planter so we'll see if any babies appear in future. Would be nice. I'm going to do complete water change again and see if that helps. I'm using microblift pl in both ponds.
My vegie garden got destroyed by the dime size hail. Beatthe plants down to the ground. We may get some more yellow squashs but beans had it.
Hope all had a good mothers day.

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

Gosh Bonnie, I'm so sorry to hear about your ponds and garden! If it's any consolation, my pond has been brown and sludgey this entire year! No matter how many times I clean the filters, the water remains ugly. And seriously, I'm doing it on a daily basis! I need to get rid of some fish, so if you need some, I'll swing by and bring a few over. ( I have all of your plants too!) But I just don't know what else to do with the water. Between the oak blooms, followed by the camphor tree blooms, the sludge is insane. I'm double dosing the the pond bacteria, using koi clay, and cleaning the filter media daily. I've even tried feeding less. At this point, I'm at a total loss.
I'm happy you've had spawning in your pond! I cut banana leaves and throw them in the pond when I see spawning, and then just pull them out and put them in smaller ponds or the large tubbies from WalMart....with anacharis (or other underwater plants) and an airstone. A few days later, I have a billion babies. Of all the different koi spawning things I've purchased in the past, who knew that a good old banana leaf whacked off the tree (for free!) would work the best! Once I see eggs all over it, I cut it into several pieces that will fit into the tubby. Nature takes over from there.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Helenchild agreed to meet at Randy's Perennials last week, a nursery with extensive ponding options. It was out of the way for both of us...out of the city in a town with a small historic square. We enjoyed lunch and getting acquainted on the square and went off shopping. Such a nice afternoon and I can add Helen to the long list of interesting, knowledgeable and generous DGers I've met over the years. She shared the water lily divide pictured. I was worried about losing the flower so it it weighted with a rock on another lily pot for now. Sharing this pic so that Helen will see it too.

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Decatur, GA

Good work Laurel on getting the flower to open. I hope the plant continues to thrive.
It was a fun day at Randy's. I am hoping my new lotus plant does well too. Not sure if I will actually put it in the pond or keep it in a pot on the porch or by the pond.
Does anyone have experience keeping lotus in pots? If so,I'd like to hear your experiences.

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

I have one in a pot that hasn't bloomed yet. Hoping it will, as it is growing well. I also had one in an aquarium on the deck. I was only keeping it wet until I had time to plant it, but never did because it started blooming! I also had a couple of tubers in a small preformed plastic pond, because I separated the tubers to share with others, but they're now budding! (One of these is your Bonnie) I honestley haven't even put them in soil! I just put them in water. Leaves fall in and rot, tadpoles come and go, but otherwise I've dont absolutely nothing

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Merry Mary,
My pond fits the description of yours exactly. I've treated it every Sat. and the black sludge is still in it. If I had someplace to put all the big fish I'd empty it completely and pressure wash. Very discouraging. Never had it this bad and this long. Lost one of the large fish I believe due to a rough spawning. Couldn't see any places on her that would indicate ulcers or sores. Others are running around fine but only see them well when they come up to eat.
Jeffs new home is finally blocked up to the roof line. Bldr. has had deaths and seriously illnesses in his family. Jeffs having problems with water company that serves out here. I called 8 well cotractors and because we are in an EDB treated area (old grove spray) from the 80's well would cost around $10,000. I had words with SJWM supv. and told him it's a lot of bull just to make money. I told Jeff we can sink a well point ourselves at least for his irrigation but for now he will have to use municipal well water. Every way you turn it's $$$. Guess that's the way bldg. new is now. Because its considered custom bldg. and not in a development it's much more. Just hope our well never gives out or the county and I would go to war plus we would have to get a loan. One man out this way for some reason ended up with a $21,000 well. That's ridiculous.
I'll get down off my soapbox now.
Hope our ponds both get cleaned up soon. We don't give up.

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