Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Enormous Pond

Large ponds are so much easier to manage than smaller ones. The water does not get too hot and bake the fish or plants in the summer. The large pond can correct our mistakes easily and right its ecobalance quickly. Rarely are there huge differences in pH from one day to the next. If you have the space, build a large pond. It will make pond maintenance so much easier.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Troubleshooting your pond

I have a new pond troubleshooting article out. Check it out and always remember to look for the easy problems first

Troubleshooting your pond

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Collecting wild plants

Finding plants

If you collect plants from local swamps or trade them with friends, buy from an unfamiliar plant store, please quarantine those plants for a few weeks. Put them in a washtub or kiddie pool with a bit of chlorox in the water.

Parasites, lice, fish eggs, caterpillars and so many other critters can be carried in on those plants and play havoc with your goldfish, your beloved koi and all your aquatic plants.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Patching a pond liner

A strong wind toppled your crane statue into the pond and his beak penetrated your rubber liner. Now what?

Empty the pond to below the hole. Clean the area around the penetration even if you have to scrub it (NO SOAP), rinse it and either wait until it is dry or use a hair dryer. Make sure you are plugged into a GFI outlet for safety's sake. When the area is clean and dry, you can use a tire patch to patch the hole. After all, the rubber liner is made by Firestone out of the same material inner tubes are made of. You can also buy patches or rolls of patching tape that makes it even easier.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stumps and ponds

The trials of a pond installer:

I will never forget starting an excavation for a pond when I found right in the middle of where the pond was to go, a brand new, just cut, not ground stump. I queried the homeowner who professed complete innocence of how a 24" stump could have gotten dead center in her yard.

I ask all clients ahead of time if I might find any obstacles, like old roots, electrical wires, sprinkler systems, water or gas pipes. She emphatically told me, "No."

So here's this stump and I have to do something. She was grinning, thinking I would have to remove her stump free (I stuck to my estimates.) and she had gotten over. Nope. I dug around the stump, put the liner over it. When the pond was finished the stump hump was dead center. I put a couple of rocks on top and called it an island. I dared her not to like it. She didn't dare not. I got my check and she got a large island. It looked pretty good, but usually when I wanted islands, I put them on top of the liner, not underneath.

Difficult clients are lying in wait out there and all service folks run into them.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sterile fish?

Here in California, where the weather is nice all year round. I've been growing Koi for 7 years now, although my fish are healthy and large, I still have not had a spawning. I have heard that my supplier may sell sterile Koi. Has anyone else ever heard of such practice?

Pondlady sez:

I have never heard of sterilizing a fish, but it could be in response to the ever growing ban on keeping koi. When I first heard about it, I couldn't quite believe it, but then we got a news clipping of a fine levied on koi keepers. Evidently the fear is that the koi will get loose and crowd out native species. I'm not sure how little bitty fish would be sterilized, but there could be a way.

Another possibility is that your fish are indeed spawning, but momma and daddy are eating their young.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gophers and pond liners

We have gophers!!! They have eaten through my liner. What can I do to stop them?

Pondlady sez:

Put lots of chicken wire down first, and then the roofing felt before you put the new liner in. This works for rats. It should work for gophers.