Pond Clean out

Tana

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Me and the BF spent all week-end cleaning out the pond, fixing edging and removing the pond pebbles. When you see the before pictures, you'll understand why. Blech! I'm almost embarrassed to post them, but it's a good example for other pond owners to not let pond maintenance slide in the fall because you have so much decaying junk that will quickly cause bad bacteria to build up once the water warms. Thankfully mine didn't get to that point, but had it gone on much longer it could have been deadly for my fish.

I didn't turn off the pump or aerator for these pictures, so they may be a bit distorted. Total head count for the comets are 39 and I got some really great shots while they were in the 100 gallon stock tank that I haven't downloaded yet. I will post those later on.

My big momma comet looks like she's full to bursting with eggs - second picture bottom right next to a big brown comet who hasn't turned yet. She's my biggest egg producer and three years old.

Both my little green frogs were accounted for and numerous Trapdoor snails - couple of which are pictured in the muck with a lot of algae growing on his shell. That big root next to the snails is from the lotus.
 

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Butterfly

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Looks like a nice pond and the fish are cool! How about some pics of the whole pond.
Carol
 

bolivianbaby

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That's a beautiful pond and beautiful fish! Love the lily pads! Thanks for sharing it with us.
 
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Tana

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Thank you all for your kind comments.

Here are some pictures of the comets. One where they are all in the holding tank and then individual ones when we released them back into the pond. One has a missing gill plate but IIRC, it's always been that way. I have an orange and brown one that has orange eyes. Very unusual coloring if it stays that way, which I hope it does. The fry from last fall are so tiny!
 

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MaddieLynn

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Cool about the one with orange eyes!

One of my shubunkins has one black eye and one regular eye, and my other has tri-colored eyes. It's pretty cool!
 
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Tana

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Thank you bolivianbaby. I thought so too. Each fish was examined very closely and they all look great. I thought I read somewhere that the algae bits they nibble on helps brighten their coloring, so maybe there is some truth to that.

The pictures are really gross. It was disgusting work, smelly and I'm so glad it's over!! Some pond owners drain their ponds every year and power wash all the gunk out.. I can see why. I loved the look of the pebbles, but definitely want easier maintenance.

I was in the pond once the water level lowered enough for me to start scooping out the rock and muck into a bucket. The BF then dumped it into my garden cart for a rinse off and to the rock pile.
 

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Tana

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Once all the pebbles were out, we rinsed down the sides and bottom. No scrubbing of the liner. We also took time to make a bat cave for the fishies to hide in in case the heron comes back. Then the fill up.

Big dummy me trusted my city water readings. They have always been consistent for the past three years, so when we got ready to put the fish back I did so without testing. Thankfully I noticed right away on the first few fish that they were starting to wobble right after release. Eeek... Tested the water and my KH, which has always been in the 120ppm range was less than 40ppm. pH crash. Ran into the house to get the baking soda and put in about 5 tablespoons. Retested and the KH was on the rise.

Moral of that story is to always test the water regardless before adding the fish. I could've lost every one of them.
 

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Tana

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I finally took the time to gather up my algae covered trapdoor snails to put back into the pond. They are such neat critters and it didn't take long for them to disperse and get busy. ;D
 

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Tana

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Nice pond Sounds like alot of work
How many gallons is it?
Thank you and it was a lot of work. Good bless Ibuprofen. ;D Since I really never knew the correct gallonage we used the bucket method to get the volume and it came up to 1500. Measuring LxWxD is too inaccurate due to all the variables. I thought it was around 2500! Big difference!

Thank you Meenu.
 
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