Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Got a fish pond in your yard? Watch out for this heat!

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 8:11 AM
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  • The ailing fish is still holding on, but I doubt seriously that it will make it. I will not be the one to decide though since I have seen miraculous recoveries.

    I am working on another experiment with gardening. I will explain it more in another post but it has to do with a long-lasting solution for soil becoming rock hard because of clay, dry weather.

    As I age, throwing the compost around in large enough quantities to offset the loss of organic matter in the soil each year is getting tougher. When a friend brought me this possible solution I at first made a face, but with a little thinking and research, am now excited.

    More later.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 25, 2015, at 8:17 AM
  • Pour fishies....They sure are peaceful beautiful creatures to watch. I wish I was able to have an outdoor setup to keep a few Koi...

    In Florida, I installed a 300-gallon tank between the bathroom and front office area, you could sit on the throne and quietly watch the fish swim by the portals or work at the desk in the office with the tank in front of you...I became an African Cichlid enthusiast!..They were vicious fish!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Jun 25, 2015, at 8:25 AM
  • They were vicious fish and you became an enthusiast? Gotta be a story there.

    I've got to devise a better pre-screen for the pump. The one that comes with the pump does not hold enough out, since PITA likes to wade in thee during most times of the year and stirs stuff up.

    I've tried a plastic basket but it floats up, wrapped a mesh bag that oranges come in, but neither are satisfactory. I would think that with all the extra "stuff" I pick up at auctions, I would have something that I can adapt. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 25, 2015, at 10:29 AM
  • I tried a fountain pump in my pond and gave up due to mud clogging it up.I'm definitely interested in ideas to make it work.Another thing I learned is stress is a big killer of fish.Also be careful of pesticides and other chemicals getting into the water.

    -- Posted by beau maverick on Thu, Jun 25, 2015, at 2:43 PM
  • I am getting a mesh basket today that will accommodate the pump. On top I will place a piece of plastic or sheet metal and a rock to hold it down.

    Inside with the pump I will use the original pre-filter attachment wrapped in that onion/orange mesh to try to keep the muck out. Muddy water will be fine. It is the occasional leaves, and aquatic plants that give me a fit.

    Since we have been going without the water running through my bio-filter, I am also running a small stream of tap water in to flush out any ammonia that could be building up. Getting a test kit to be sure.

    Chemicals are not an issue with us but anyone who could be in a runoff area from their or their neighbors yard would definitely be a consideration.

    One of our friends lost 20 goldfish/koi to an apparent lighting strike. ALL their fish were killed overnight during a strong storm last week. Some of the fish had busted bellies which make us suspect a large voltage burst. Don't think there is anything to do about something like that. :-(

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 25, 2015, at 3:35 PM
  • Do you have a lot of settled leaves and grasses on your waters bottom? "Tannins" from various plants can affect water quality as leaves and grass decompose?...

    I was "Subtly Enthusiastic" about those "Gently Vicious Cichlids"...Must be all the boxing and MMA bouts I watch and this curly hair I sport!

    My oxymoron usage can be off to point sometimes...Ha!!...The only other fish I could ever put in the tank with those cichlids was a pair of "Angelfish" they seemed to be mean enough to fight back!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Jun 25, 2015, at 6:51 PM
  • Is the Angel Fish the same as a Beta? I've heard they are unsocial.

    While I dig leaves and debris out of the pond, I am sure there is some. After working on the pump this morning, I dug out the waterfall/filter pond, the stream and some of the bottom pond.

    Most of the upper pond and stream was muck but the bottom pond was dead plant debris and wood chips. The dogs (and cats) like to drink from the edge and I would imagine they and the wind knock chips in there.

    While I am leaving the water running a little, the main stream and filter are back up and going. Three fish recovered so the total loss was 9 out of about 33. I say about because they rarely keep still for me to count. :-)

    I ended up putting the refurbished pump into a plastic litter box that had an opening in it for the return hose to exit as well as the electric cord. I also drill a number of little holes all around the base to allow water to come in, although the top of the box is under water anyway.

    On top of the pump I placed a basket (upside down) made for holding aquatic plants that float in a pond. A small flap was cut to allow the exit hose and power cord to exit like before.

    On top of the basket I placed a few rocks and since both are black, they can barely be seen when the water is crystal clear.

    When the water settles down from all my a activity, I will test for ammonia. Until then, I continue to flush the pond out with a small dribble of water, maybe 3-5 gallons per hour.

    By the way, that "muck" is great for feeding the plants so you know where that went. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 26, 2015, at 8:40 AM
  • Hopefully the last post on their condition from the "event". The water is clear and tested free of any ammonia or at least any measurable level.. The bio-filter is once again doing its' job and all seem healthy.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jun 27, 2015, at 3:45 PM
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