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Re: My pond project is under way

I'm actually still not sure these are actually them, but I cold stratified a bunch of 2013 collected Iris versicolor seeds, and these grassy things sprouted in spring. I have them in the pond and hopefully, they will grow up to be Flag Iris. :lol:
image.jpeg
They have been tolerant of the cool temperatures and haven't minded the wet feet, so those are good signs. :wink:


Also, yesterday, I noticed one of the orange goldfish and the fat "minnow" that is definitely not the sleek slate gray and silver shiner but dark brassy black color frolicking among the roots of some uprooted peppermint and elderberry I have temporarily dipped in the shallow parts of the pond to help soak up nitrogen until I get some floating pond plants. The black one that is looking particularly FAT was floating near the surface and then the orange one swam up and sort of slapped at it sideways with its tail fins. Swimming around and repeating. I'm thinking this is spawning behavior? Though with all the shiners stalking every nook and cranny of the pond, I don't really think I will see any babies. In any case, I looked closer at the roots but didn't see anything that looked obviously like eggs.
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Re: My pond project is under way

My hole-in-the-ground pond :>

-- I know, I know... but ... It was too cold to work with water for a good while, Then super busy and then too hot to think about doing heavy labor. Then, too, I keep changing my mind about what I want for major water feature, and am trying to allocate limited number of pumps -- I seem to have lots of water/fountain pumps, but only maybe 3 of them are working -- one with very limited output -- and others make noise but won't pump. One was completely dead. ...I need to find out if these are useless or can be repaired easily...

I did find these -- a fake water lily solar fountain and a tiny, solar panel powered DC pump. :cool:

Image

I still need to see if I can make use of a pump that came with a backyard pool for a gravel filter bog and maybe one or more of DH's old "Powerhead" aquarium pumps.
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Re: My pond project is under way

I forgot to mention that I saw some teeny tiny fry in the shallow part of the pond. I guess those goldfish I saw DID get busy. :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

...and today, I saw a couple of shiners doing some kind of underwater acrobatics among the plant roots... Either they were eating the fry or they were trying to make some of their own... :D

- I told DH it looks like he won't have to buy fishing minnows anymore IF he can catch them before going fishing :lol:

... I want to build this:

Bog Gravel Filtration: Water Cleaned by Mother Nature - POND Trade Magazine
https://www.pondtrademag.com/bog-gravel- ... er-nature/
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Re: My pond project is under way

Waahhh! I electrocuted all the fish :cry:

I finally got the plumbing connections I needed for another project, got that assembled and connected my 2nd water pump. plugged it in, but it wasn't pumping. I remembered I tested it before in the 5 gal bucket and it was working then, so unplugged, pulled it out of the pond and put it in the bucket to test it again. Nothing.

But when I'd plugged it into the multi-port extension, the tiny air pump for the airlift-pumped turtle spitter lost power. Hmmm... Strange.

Unplugged the air pump, plugged in the water pump, and the extension cord started to buzz. Uh oh. THAT sounded like a short. :eek:

Looked over at the pond and TWO shiners were floating belly up. NO! OH NO!

Inside the green 5 gal bucket, little feeder goldfish I just bought yesterday were all floating. Pretty soon two more shiners came floating up, but so far no sign of the goldfish. I dared to hope that somehow there was distance involved in electric shock in the water though that didn't seem likely. ... But 4 hrs later just now, I looked out the window and the orange goldfish was floating :cry: and when I went outside, I also found the black goldfish --both had grown up to be full size comet 4-5 inches. And I found the last two shiners I knew about along the edge of the water. I suppose all the fry from their hatched eggs are done for too though I couldn't find any when I tried skimming with the net.

Sob sob. No more old unreliable water pumps. Getting a new one. Will have to get more goldfish, too. ...and yes test BEFORE putting in the pond, even if I tested it previously. :shock:
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Re: My pond project is under way

Oh, so sad.....


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Re: My pond project is under way

Oh no! Poor fish :(

The pond is looking beautiful though!
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Re: My pond project is under way

Thanks :D

...still feeling pretty stupid :oops: But having your sympathies helps. O:)
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Re: My pond project is under way

Early this morning, I had a wonderful thought while thinking I NEED to get something to control mosquitoes that might start breeding in the pond while the fish is gone... THE FISH IS GONE! -- no fish in the pond -- THAT means.... I could get tadpoles!

I got ready to go, and decided I might as well pick up some wood shavings from the furniture maker and started to call them to see if they had some available... Then I remembered it's 4th of July (Happy Independence Day everyone! :D ) So no wood shavings today :?, but garden centers wouldn't miss the business opportunity on a long holiday weekend, right? I got in the car at 8:30, then decided to call to make sure before going. Yep, open. :D

Came home with 3 lively tadpoles -- I watched closely as the kid rejected a sluggish one and caught a better one :wink:

Did all the usual stuff -- floated the bag to equalize temp, mixed some pond water in to acclimate (watched them peck at junk that got in the bag -- yes!), then released them. Of course they disappeared into the depth right away. Not expecting to see them at all now, but trusted that they will make it. I fussed around the pond, flushed my little waterfall pond pump to get it going again, adjusted the tree bark I have arranged around the pond edge... And RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME a little black 4-legged thing climbed out of the water onto one of the floating lotus root (which never sprouted and isn't doing anything :roll: )

...what the... It's a FROG! Looked EXACTLY like the frogs in the tadpole tub at the store. My inner clown said "BOY! they grow FAST!" :lol:
image.jpeg
...I was really happy on several counts...
* I have no idea where this one came from, maybe my neighbor's pond, but when I asked the kid, he said that once they have legs, they will wander off if there is not enough food, but they'll stick around as long as they have plenty to eat. (So obviously my pond can support live frog)
* I was also concerned about the water quality since I hadn't replaced the faulty water pump and haven't set up the gravel bog filter, but this frog seems to think its OK.
* Also that my garden's natural balance system IS working -- I tried to intervene and brought in tadpoles but -- there seems to be a force in the works already to fill the niche vacated by the lost fish. :()
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Re: My pond project is under way

Well, I said this one looked exactly like the frogs in the store's tadpole tub, but maybe I'm mistaken because I'm pretty sure they are selling American Bullfrog.

This one in my pond might be the same kind as the one I saw before in October of 2013:

Subject: 2013 Backyard bird and butterfly (and dragonfly too) watching
applestar wrote:I just posted elsewhere that I saw a frog in a shallow container of water on my patio and I fed it a chopped up slug, but it was gone by the end of the day (and so were the slug pieces)....

Well, I just went out there and it was in a different container -- a tub I used to keep feeder goldfish in, but they had all been relocated or died, but I left the aerator bubbling in it to keep out the mosquitoes and to use the water for watering. :D
Image
applestar wrote:Hmm... DD and I agree it looks like the Green Frog in this brochure: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/frogs.pdf
-- this page has recording of their call: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensp/fieldguide_herps.htm

Also, DH who grew up as a boy near rivers and creeks in NJ said "That's a Green Frog" when I showed him the photo. -- I guess he would know. :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

Well, this morning, I spotted 2 more frogs in the pond, and was happy to see that the tadpoles made it and grew up into frogs. I took pictures, of course, and prepared a collage -- all set to post an update.

...then just a little while ago, I realized I forgot to water the relatively newly planted hot peppers along the fence on this hot day (today's high was 96°F) and with several days of heatwave on the way --including one with heat index of 105°F-- felt compelled to go outside and give them enough to tide them over until tomorrow morning, my scheduled rationed watering day, when I can water them properly.

On the way back past the pond, I noticed there were FOUR frogs -- yay! All THREE tadpoles! ...then saw a FIFTH -- eh?

...there were also a bunch of little black round things swimming everywhere :lol:

-- so HERE is a new collage :mrgreen:

Image

Most fittingly, I don't have a fancy Koi Pond, not even a Fish Pond ... What I have is a FROG Pond. Image
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Re: My pond project is under way

>>Click/Tap or open in new tab<<

Image
BGM: Music Together: Flute -- "I had a little frog"
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Re: My pond project is under way

BTW -- if your air pump ever stops working, this video is invaluable. :wink:



In my case, repairing a dinky and ancient AQT 1000, duct tape didn't work. I cut off an excess end flap from a heavyish plastic bag some product of other came in and that worked like a charm. Image

(...this is the air pump I had been using for the turtle spitter, but it wasn't spitting this morning and I switched it out with a new pump, then decided to try fixing it, then realized I HAD to fix it if I wanted to keep the little tadpoles in the house for any length of time. For a while until I figured it out, I was manually supplying air for them with a little piston pump for making balloon animals :lol:)
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: My pond project is under way

I had plans to put in a frog pond this year. Bought the form, have the site ready for digging, even have the wild frogs waiting to move in. Unfortunately life happened and it will have to wait for things to settle down.

So I am so very green with envy about your lovely little frog pond. I'm sorry you lost your fish, especially when they were really making the pond home. But sometimes better things come along. Maybe you'll have toads and dragonflies coming in next.

Do you have a Harbor Freight nearby? Sometimes they carry pumps and fountains. I've got a little solar powered fountain in my little tub pond.

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Re: My pond project is under way

FROG POND, definitely Image

Image
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Re: My pond project is under way

Very nicely done Applestar.... yay

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Re: My pond project is under way

Thanks, Rairdog. :()

I can't help doing a quick headcount every time I walk by :D

The frogs are growing and I'm seeing at least two tiny green frogs -- so maybe the tadpoles I bought finally grew up? I know DD saw a tadpole with four legs and a stub of a tail last week or maybe couple of weeks ago, and I posted a photo of the big tadpole with long tail and back legs.

A couple of days ago, I heard a distressed cheep, cheep sound and looked to see if there was a baby bird, and it was one of the little green frogs on the rim of the purple dinosaur sandbox/future bog-gravel filter, making tiny jumps and heading for the big pond. Apparently it got scared when I walked by and was trying to reach and jump into the pond.

The bigger ones are getting more colorful, with brilliant yellow-green mouth/jawline, some with bluer looking heads, and this one with white chin and belly:
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Re: My pond project is under way

This came up recently so I am asking. How much maintenance is required on the pond? I know if it is balanced it requires less but if there are leaves and debris in the pond how often do you have to clean or drain the pond? Do you use skimmer and how often do you have to clean the leaves out? Do you have to deal with algae. Here algae is in the water so there is always algae in pools and ponds. Do you have to treat the water before you add fish? How much maintenance on the pump?
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Re: My pond project is under way

I don't know the answer and I tend to want minimum fuss -- but my impression is that it will depend greatly on size of the pond and its construction as well as how high tech the filtration, etc. systems are. There are so many different types and sizes of pumps, too. As well, it will depend on whether it is a fish-containing pond. It will also depend on how clear you want the water to be.

I do often read about weekly skimmer and monthly filter cleaning etc. maintenance when pads and other filtration media are used.

After looking at various filtration designs, I'm opting for natural gravel/bog bio-filter and simple waterfall/stream aeration in addition to the one air pump aeration. When I finally get one, I'm going to get a fairly powerful utility/waterfall type pump that can handle unfiltered water with simple mesh debris excluder. I want a natural bottom to accumulate/develop over the liner, so I wont worry too much about fallen leaves and algae except to make sure the pump keeps working. I do have an idea for floating debris/protein skimmer -- I want to incorporate the air lift pump in it -- but thats a back burner BIG project.

Right now only significant mechanical in my sadly neglected pond is a 4" air disk and Whisper (I think 3000 but it might be 2000) air pump, but the frogs and the tadpoles don't seem to mind.

Image

I hope others can answer your questions.
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Re: My pond project is under way

We are watching the tadpoles develop by bringing them in the house and keeping them in this simple set up. There are maybe 1/2 dozen tadpoles in here and at least 3 of them have tiny feet/toes sticking out next to their tail. 8)

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Re: My pond project is under way

My neighbor had a concrete pond that he made but it had just one fish in shallow water. The whole thing was shaped out of concrete and I think the deepest was maybe 6 or six inches, no plants no cover for the fish. He had to drain it and clean it every couple of weeks but it was definitely not a balanced pond.
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Re: My pond project is under way

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Re: My pond project is under way

The frogs are awake :-()

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Re: My pond project is under way

It's raining pretty steadily today, so no gardening outside. :?

I was looking out of the window at the pond and thinking about what I want to do, including building the airlift pump skimmer/waterfall. Last year, my plans hit a snag when I discovered the snake hiding in the fold of the liner where I wanted to dig.

Yesterday morning when I was watering (for no reason as it turned out :roll: ), the snake slithered out from under the insect screen hoop tunnel protecting the Asian greens in the SF&H bed, so it does roam around. DD saw it on the patio a little while ago.

Those Green Frog are GONE. Have not seen them for a week or more. Don't know if they decided to go walkabout, something went wrong with the pond water ecology (it looks very clear) or the snake ate them all one by one... or maybe the heron that overflies my garden once in a while on its way to the community pond about a mile away stopped by for a snack? Maybe it was raccoons?
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Re: My pond project is under way

I can verify that snakes do eat frogs and toads. I had a toad hanging out around my back door one year. One day I walked out the back and saw the poor toad hanging part way out of the jaws of the large resident garter snake. I cried. But life happens and unfortunately that is part of it.

Raccoons and herons also are fond of frog dinners.

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Re: My pond project is under way

Not to worry. There have been some um ...repopulation... activities going on .... 8)

Image

Image
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Re: My pond project is under way

Oh ho! Those last two had been VERY busy. :-()

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Re: My pond project is under way

So many babiesssss!!!!! How exciting.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Tadpoles! Image

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Re: My pond project is under way

Duckweed is trying to take over the pond.... I hope the little tadpoles are OK.

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Re: My pond project is under way

If you get a fine mesh net like butterfly net or fish net, you can scoop a bunch of the duckweed out. It is a great, high N additive to your compost pile.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Good idea! :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

I'm SO happy -- I got the turtle spitter•birdbath working again.

New design for the airlift water intake and air tube connection, since when I tried just hooking it back up to last year's it didn't work. :-()

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Re: My pond project is under way

Tweaked it just a little bit more this morning. Now it actually SQUIRTS every few spits instead of dribbling then spitting. Image

Image

The frog was closely monitoring the entire time. In fact, when I was bringing up the tubings to make the modifications, they felt a bit heavier than I expected -- I looked down and it took me a moment or two, then a couple of skipped heartbeats :shock: to register that there was a frog hanging onto the water intake tubing, almost like he was holding it down :lol:

I reflexively and inanely said "Oh! Hello!" ... and told him I was fixing it and will put it right back. At which point, he hopped and splashed away and climbed up on his regular sunning rock. :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

OK, just ONE more picture, then hopefully I won't have anything else to say about the turtle spitter for a while. :P

Late yesterday afternoon, the turtle stopped spitting or squirting. It just...stopped.... DD went outside to pick blueberries and reported that there were tiny tadpoles in the birdbath.... I said huh? I didn't put any in there. :| But I was exhausted and decided NOT to go out and check the connections, etc. because knowing me, I would have turned it into an hour-long project.

This morning the turtle was spitting again. I went over and saw this:

Image

I started to wonder if the tadpoles had gotten into the intake tube and clogged it, especially when they got to the reducer for the turtle's internal tubing. :roll:

Later I did discover a dead tadpole in the saucer, so I'm guessing that one was the one that had been pushed up against the reducer until it finally slipped through, along with these other rascally tadpoles that thought it would be fun to ride the tubes. :roll:
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Re: My pond project is under way

The turtle spitter was working really well for a while -- in the mean time several small mature green frogs have emerged from the pond. Then it got clogged again late afternoon on Wed. I went to clear it with a jet of water yesterday, and there were teeny-tiny tadpoles the size of match-heads swimming around in the plant saucer birdbath.

Later when I looked in again, I saw a mangled larger tadpole in the saucer which was probably the one that caused the blockage. When will the big taddys learn that they can't play in little taddys' tube tunnel ride? :roll:
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Re: My pond project is under way

That's funny about the tadpoles getting caught in the tubing (a little sad for the ones that don't make it, but Nature provides tadpoles in abundance).
Our previous house we had a little artificial pond with one of those turtle spotters. The spitter and the tubing did need to be regularly cleaned out.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Water Hyacinth and Peppermint I'm letting hang out in the pond are in bloom :D
Image
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Re: My pond project is under way

You might have noticed that except for fiddling with the turtle spitter and occasionally scooping the duckweed, the pond has been a back burner project this year. So nothing much has changed, but here are views from front and rear --

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...I'm hoping to work some more on the perimeter and hide/cover up more of the liner now that the weather has cooled down, before it gets cold...

-- Does anyone know if once the water hyacinth has bloomed and then dipped their heads in the water, they will be able to re-generate from seeds next year even here in Zone 6B? I overwintered some in an aerated bucket in the garage (dark) and a tiny one in the Marimo vase under the bright WWL lights in the house. The ones in the garage died in the deep freeze when the garage temps dropped down to mid-20's°F. So all you see here grew this season from one plant I bought this spring for something like $3, which was the best price I could find -- most other places were selling for $5 and some for $7. Trying to decide if I want to try overwintering again -- Could I find them for $3 again next spring, or would it be worth the trouble to try to overwinter.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: My pond project is under way

Big frog with yellow underbelly and 4 smaller ones with white underbelly.
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Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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