And another month is almost gone and I can't catch a break. I would like to blame someone else but it's all my fault. I start to do the newsletter, get interrupted, do a little more, go catch a fish, do a little more, design a pond, and on and on. We are so pleased to be open and available to help our clients figure out their pond needs but it makes staying on task hard sometimes. Just call me Wilbur Whiner. I'll get over it and get caught up soon.
Here is a picture of our latest project, cleaning Lake Levi, the 30,000 gallon pond in the middle of the yard. In retrospect I probably should have waited until after the rainy season to start. About the time we get it drained down where I can use the pond vac to get out the sludge that has accumulated since the last clean, it rains. While I don't frequently suggest complete drains for ponds, this one was in dire need. We had electrical issues and the filters were not functioning properly which allowed a lot of algae. We have always treated with bacteria and algaecides but this brutal winter took a toll on the ecosystem. We'll get to it, just bear with us if you come stroll around the yard.
I am also replacing equipment in two other ponds so they are drained (rain filled) and drained again. As manufacturers change and upgrade products I think it's necessary to replace outdated equipment in order to show you how the latest and greatest functions. You'll see those ponds out in the corner, just walk on by, nothing to see there.
I am attempting to find a better solution to the near ground level GFCI's we have around out ponds. It seems like every rain they shut down the pumps and aerators. Are you having similar problems? Have you figured out a better weather proof system? Please share.
Here is an Oklahoma Gardening episode where I cover some of the things we think you can do when trying to find a leak in your pond. It is not an easy task and one which can be very time consuming. For that reason, I recommend calling in a contractor for help as a last resort. They work for their money and have to be paid by the hour or day for their time. Finding a leak can be extremely difficult under the best of circumstances, during the wettest time of the year it is extra tough.
Most every pond is beginning to get some string algae. It is Mother Nature's way of letting you know the pond is out of balance right now and she's working overtime to get it in check. As your fish became more active they released more waste, most of us rushed to feed the poor things who we think have starved all winter which only compounded the problems of excess waste. Without sufficient bacteria and plants to offset the amount of ammonia in the ecosystem, algae is the result. I always recommend being patient this time of year instead of throwing more money in the water. Limit your feeding to what they will consume in two minutes. Check your skimmer regularly after feeding to determine if the fish or the skimmer are getting most of the food. If you're finding food in the skimmer, get it out and feed less next time. Add bacteria in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation. If you feel you must use an algaecide, do so sparingly as dying algae removes oxygen from the water which can be harmful to your fish. Follow the instructions on the bottle to the letter. Too much is truly a bad thing in this instance.
This has been a really unusual year for everyone, no one more so than the nursery and fish industry. Our growers have been decimated in some cases and almost all have been set back by the late freezes recently. Plants that should be healthy and happy are still several days or weeks from being ready. We received less than 50% of our order from our plant vendor and less than 25% from our fish supplier. We're doing everything we can to find alternate sources but it is a nationwide issue.
We will be closed on Saturday, May 29th to allow our staff to have a three day Memorial Day holiday. This is the day when we remember and honor all those lost in defense of our Nation. It typically marks the beginning of summer and back in my day signaled the end of the school year.
Please be safe and enjoy your time with family and friends.
Always be humble and kind,
If you do a partial drain on your pond and refill it with clean water, be cure to use dechlorinator if you are on municipal water. You also may want to consider using your pond vac to clean out the biofilter and then continue using it once you turn the pump back on to catch all the dirty water that was in the pipes. When you clean the filter, do not use chlorinated water or you kill all the good bacteria growing on the media. Consider using a tub filled with pond water and just sloshing it around to remove the heavy particles that have accumulated on the media. If you're one of those who must clean it all out, use a bacterial product like MicrobeLift's GEL to replace what you wiped out.
Classes SPRING/SUMMER 2021 SCHEDULEAt this time we are not planning on conducting any classes. If we ever can have classes again, what do you consider the most important for you? Spring Startup, Algae Control, Filtration, Winterizing, Pond design or Plants/Fish and Algae.
Military (Active or Retired) and Water Garden Club members
receive a 10% discount
(If you remember to tell us up front! Not after you’ve already paid.)
Valid for Pond Pro Shop purchases only