A O U
Pond 1998
I thought it time for a Pond Update for 1998. Starting with the good stuff I "invented" a pond skimmer. Naturally it's home made outta junk (mostly).

Skimmer

What I did was take an old plastic wash basin maybe 18" wide, 15" deep and 6" high or thereabouts. I cut a wide hole in a wide side (front) from the top nearly down to the bottom. Left the rim on for stability and strength. It's wide enough so that there is probably less than 6" left on either side (leaving more than a 6" wide X 4-5" high opening.

Around the top was drilled a series of small holes through which I threaded plastic ties. The ties were used to hold a piece of 1 1/4" pool hose which is used to keep the basin afloat. It goes completely around the basin. The ends of the hose are crossed like the upper half of an X which keeps water from getting in the hose.

Inside the basin is a small pump (a small power head works nicely) covered with fiber matting. The pump draws surface water and floating debris through the opening and discharges it out the other side.

I apologize for the crudeness of the drawings (what can you expect from a commercial fisherman?) but they should give a pretty good idea how it works. And it works great by the way. Doesn't look so hot but only need to use it once in awhile when we have a windy day and the pond fills with pine needles and holly leaves. Besides it's so simple and crude it's actually neat.

Side View of Skimmer

The hose coming out the top of the pump is a piece of garden hose. I use the egg crate to increase the draw area of the matting across the entire bottom of the basin rather than just the matting around the pump.

Side View of Skimmer

The faded writing says "Hose fastened with plastic ties through drilled holes. Notice the X formation which holds the ends up in the air keeping water from getting in the hose. Costs:

  1. Basin - couple bucks (actually In Stock).
  2. Piece of Pool hose - In Stock (scrap).
  3. Piece of garden hose - In Stock (scrap).
  4. Plastic ties - In Stock
  5. Filter matting - In Stock.
  6. Egg Crate - In Stock.
  7. Pump 15-25 bucks (actually In Stock).
That's it.

Air Borne May Algae Spore

I had a terrible amount of floating (filamentatious?) green algae in my top pond this year. It coated the rocks on the waterfall with a thick matting of it. The reason there was little in the bottom pond I believe is because the koi ate it, although the water did get quite cloudy. It's cleared up quite nicely now though.

Thinking back it seems like this happens every year in the spring. I believe its an air borne spore that settles on the water and explodes with the sun and warm weather. It seems to disappear in June. I have been flushing the lava rock more frequently (at least weekly) and have noticed a prodigious amount of dirt (floc? Algae?) coming out. More than I ever noticed before.

Fish Fungus

Since last fall I have been losing fish. Most have been getting nasty ulcers on their bodies, sometimes a growth around their mouths. Sometimes nothing visible at all. Sometimes the bigger ones, sometimes the smaller ones. Sometimes one or two a week, sometimes none for weeks. Lately almost one a day.

Tried everything. Wait awhile. Salted the water. Wait awhile. Changed the water. Wait awhile. Tried marine salt. Wait awhile. Used city water. Wait awhile. A little salt. Wait awhile. Used well water. Wait awhile. A lot of salt (40 lbs +). ....

Finally came across some stuff called "Fungus Eliminator" ($12 for 500 gals treatment) from Jungle Labs, reccoed by my aquarium guy (Cliff at Fish Tails, Brick township, NJ (732-840-6868). It seems to have done the trick. Haven't lost one in over a week (fingers crossed). I was thinking it was a parasite but I guess not. Was figuring I was gonna have to let them all die and drain the pond to kill it.

(Note posted later) The Fungus medicine seems to have done the trick. Nearly 3 weeks and all I've lost (so far) are those that were seriously infected. I only used one bottle even though the directions reccoed 3 (or more). Cliff had said he thought it would be better to use less than more.

Salt Ratio

Recently read a very good paper on fish disease on KOIUSA.Com. (Address in Pond Links). It had a salt recommendation in there that works out to 1 lb per 55 gallons of water. (It actually said something about 3 teaspoons per gallon or something but I worked it out to lbs for easier figuring.)

What's new with you???

End of Pond 1998


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