How's YOUR pond doing?

mondotomheadFebruary 22, 2010

Its been a long, long, winter and I've watched my pond freeze and thaw multiple times. I still have the waterfall going so there is always an opening in the ice.

Even though the water is clear there is so much "crap" along the sides and on the bottom. There is alot of string algae too. Also, much to my distress there were 2 dead frogs I had to net out. Its still bothering me tremendously. I thought that the pond being so deep would protect them. I feel really awful about this.

But..........all 50 of my goldfish are still swimming around and look OK. They are the only bright spot when I look at the pond.

I think I will buying a vacumn this year.........

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have the same issues. Very unusual winter, colder and more snow and ice than usual.

I had to net out two toads that apparently woke up from hibernation and thought it was spring. One of them, I'm pretty sure, was our favorite toad, a large female that would sit in the cat dish waiting for bugs to come over the rim. During the day, she hid under a blanket that overhung the cat bed. She was adorable, and I hated losing her.

Like you, I'm happy that all of my fish are doing well, and I'm currently designing a tote box filter system similar to Cliff and Joann's, only it will be a vacuum type bottom drain (through the side) rather than though the bottom. I'm looking for the right containers now.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisa11310(z5 MI)

So far so good I think. We have had a milder winter this year (in Michigan terms)I have only had a compleete ice over once and was able to open the bubler hole with just one 3 gal pot of hot water. The ice is pretty thick but everybody seems to be moving around (slowly)under there. Im hoping for an early spring, I MISS MY POND!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 1:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My pond is under about 2 feet of snow, so I have no idea what is going on. Hopefully all is well in there.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was able to see the majority of my pond for the first time on Tues, thanks to a warm spell and some rain. Crystal clear water, no algae, a couple of fish visible (I've got so many hiding spots in the pond that if the fish don't want to be seen - they *won't* be seen, even with no vegetative cover), but some junk that had fallen into the water (leaves and such). Can't see anything dead, so that's a good sign, but a lot of the recognizable fish are so far un-accounted for.

I did have to dig a path through a snowbank in order to get to the skimmer and make sure there were no fish in it, but otherwise I'm ready for winter to be over NOW, and get the time to work on the pond NOW and add plants NOW and make the modifications NOW so that I can actually enjoy it NOW. I'm getting sick of looking out the window and thinking "this sucks!"

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheepco(MN z4)

Found my 6" fantail goldfish dead last week when a short thaw opened up most of the surface. Also scooped out a dead leopard frog. But everybody else seems ok. Now I'm back to just a 12" opening in the ice..minus 10F this morning...I feel like this winter will NEVER end.

Spent the afternoon trying to get some corn to some of the poor pheasants around my area - not that it will help much, but it makes me feel better.

BUT, the days are getting longer, and the sun actually has some heat, so pretty soon we'll all be sitting pond-side enjoying the spring - might be a bit cooler for some of us, but no mosquitoes!! :o)

Thinking spring, S

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hardin(7 SE OK)

My pond has done well through its first winter. It has been snowy, cold, and icy for us, which is unusual.

All my goldies and the albino catfish are still ok, although moving slowly on the coldest days. The water is clear, but the bottom is pretty dirty. I'm thinking about buying a vacuum too.

I left my net on for quite a while, just took it off about 3 weeks ago. String algae was really bad, but on one of the best days, I went out with a toilet brush and twirled for awhile. I just went along the edges so I wouldn't disturb too much. Few leaves and cleaning the filter once in a while, having kept the waterfall running.

All in all, not bad. The worst part has been the awful, wet winter. This seems like its been a LONG one without the nicer days we are used to, which helped break up the monotony. HURRY SPRING.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

The El Nino weather pattern has brought unusual warmth to my neck of the woods. I have one waterlily already sending up pads. Daffodils are blooming too, though not in the pond....

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

my treefrogs are singing

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bubbalove(7 Central AL)

I have a little pond that was my Dad's, didn't get a fall cleaning. It's full of elodea. Nice clear water.
I'm waiting a bit longer for a spring clean-up because on warm days I can hear the frogs and I don't want to mess-up wherever their winter housing is.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 11:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It was 82* under the cover last weekend when the sun was shining. Next year there will be a door so I can go inside on days like that. Right now I only have a small slit that is closed with duct tape so I can peek inside. The pond ouside is still ice covered. Inside it is completely open. I have lost most if not all of the leopard frogs that showed up in Sept. From my research I found out they are VERY suseptible to temp changes and need a very narrow range - like 34* to 37*. They started dying off in Sept. so there was something else also. None of the green frogs have died.
I have not seen any fish but they usually hide in the deep end under the ice.
There were tracks one morning where a deer had jumped over the fence and onto the ice. It looked like he was trying to get a drink.
If the sun shines this weekend maybe I will dig my way under the snow and get inside.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisa11310(z5 MI)

23 days till spring! :D of course that does not always mean much here in west MI, but here's hoping for great spring temps EARLY!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 1:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The pond has a layer of snow over the solar cover. The small pump in the skimmer is still working and so it the pond de-icer. We have had tons of snow so until the thaw I will not know how the fish are doing.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 5:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well it has been a mild winter here for NE Indiana. I went out just today to check and see if I could see any signs of life. The water is clear but there is a bunch of hair/string algae around the sides where the water has yet to freeze do to the pump I have tring to keep an opening in the water. We had a warm spell about a month ago and I did catch 3 fish moving. 2 were bright orange goldfish the other was one of my koi. Can't wait till I get a complete thaw so I can get a head count.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not good. Lost three giant koi last week because of an algae buildup. Did some partial drains and refilled with tap water(usually use well water) and they're hanging in there.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

Not good here either. Thanks to the rain/windstorm last Thursday there is now a gap in the ice, and I could see from the house that the bubbler is working fine. Went to retrieve a large plastic bag that had blown into the hole in the ice. That's when I noticed my poor Demetrius floating belly up. My beautiful 26" koi. Lone survivor of an attack of KHV a few years back. I don't know what caused his death, it must have been a while ago because he was one floating lump of ice...
I haven't seen the dozens of long-tailed comets yet. I'm concerned. I hope they show their colors soon!

Mind you, it will be much easier to care for the pond with Demetrius gone. He was such a digger. We had to put bigger and bigger stones on the lily pots...

:( Mary

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

In our Montana pond we run the pump year round, no heater no cover.It has been cold enough to freeze it completely over the top, twice this winter.Ours is a 3500 gallon 4 feet deep in some areas.With 2 separate falls.Fish are doing great.We have iris and pond buttercups both beginning to grow.
I have to admit I am a lazy water gardener.This is the fifth year for this one up and running with out being touched other then plant fertilization and the occasional clean out of the lower catch area that builds up with hard water on the pumps.Not even a filter running on this one..

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 2:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not good here either!
I have a 1000 gallon pond(with 4 koi + unknown number of gold fish + feeder fish) and have alway used a de-icer to keep a hole open in the winter time. After the two snow storms (over 40" snow total), ice covered the de-icer (I did shovel the snow off the de-icer). When I finally broke the ice and lifted up the de-icer a few days later, I found 2 fishes laying on their side at the bottom, their dead fish eyes staring at me. It turned out they were not dead, just unconscious. I net one out, put it in a bucket filled with water from the pond. It recovered a few hours later. So I assumed the pond water was OK and open a hole at the deeper part of the pond and put a aquarium bubbler in (should have done this sooner, but I didn't know about using the bubbler until I came upon this forum this winter). I did net out three 9"-10" long dead fishes under the de-icer that day.

Then 3 days ago, one of the koi surfaced dead at the bubbler. I had it for 7 years and was never sure how long it was. Now I know -- 12". Every spring, this koi was always the last one to surface, ironic, isn't?

2 days ago another 7" long dead fish.

I was afraid that all my fishes are dead, so hubby and I shoveled off all the snow covering the pond, looking for signs of dead fishes under the ice, couldn't see any. I am sure I have more dead fishes than what I saw so far.

This morning, I finally saw shades of red through the opening of bubbler. I think there are at least 8-9 fishes there, alive!

This has been a terrible winter, I have never lost a fish until now. I am greatful that I still have some fishes left.

One more thing, I have had a big frog(twice of my fist size) wintering over at my pond for the past couple of years. I am wondering what happen to him? Does anyone know whether frog is more resilient than fish or not?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Found another dead koi today (7 yrs old)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure yet. Last winter, my first, the water remained clear even though 4 of the 5 frogs that chose to winter there died. This winter, there were no frogs, but the water turned brown and murky. I'm hoping that it's from decaying lily leaves. Just 10 not-yet full sized goldfish in 500-600 gallons that seem all seem to be doing OK. Temps here did not drop into single digits so there was no problem with keeping an air hole open. But we did get a lot of snow. It's supposed to be near 50 this weekend-hope to be cleaning and starting up the filter.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Weather is starting to warm up here and I had a chance to do some minor cleaning (netting out detritus) and check-up of the pond. I'm getting new growth (WOOT!!) on the Iris, Acorus Calamus, and water celery, but it looks like the parrot's feather is done for (some of it was able to survive last winter). Of course I've also got algae starting to take hold, and the single clump of Acorus Gramineus seems to be suffering from some fungus so gotta cut that back (black spots on the leaves). Still haven't found any dead fish, but I was able to verify that the recognizable ones are mostly all accounted for.

I'm definitely ready for Spring, though - especially since it seems like my plans for replacing the stream with an upper pond looks to work really well - probably have to go larger on the pond portion than originally thought, though (oh, damn. What'a shame).

If anyone lives in the area (N. KY/Cinci) and wants some goldfish then let me know - I'm gonna be offering a bunch up for adoption in the coming months.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
magdaloonie(6B-7A Magdalena, NM)

I think the stocktank is finally ice-free. We also had unusual snow and my framework to hold up the plastic sheeting collapsed into the tank and froze in place for weeks. All my big goldfish look fine but I don't think there are as many babies as there were in the fall.
I hope to do some repotting of lilies this weekend. They all got overcrowded last year. The water is still frigid, though!


    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisa11310(z5 MI)

Temps in the 40s all week! YEA! The snow fleas are out (always a good sign) AND I have my first flower , a snow drop, blooming. The pond is beginning to thaw!!! The Cherokee say, the great spirit creates the thunder to wake mother earth, the third thunder brings all creatures into full awakeness and ready to begin the cycle of life again. It's going to rain Sunday, I hope it thunders! :D

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
koidog(z5 CO)

Doing Great! Fish are loving the sun - they all look healthy.
We just thawed out here and the ice has been gone for about a week.

I used some additional products in the fall this year (microbelift wide spectrum disease treatment) and this is the first time in 3 years that I haven't had any issues come spring.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My pond is still under snow and ice from the snowstorms in February. The weather has started to warm up (50's rest of this week, rain Thursday- Saturday) so maybe most of the snow in my yard will melt. I live in a microclimate that's about 5 degrees cooler than the houses across the street from me, so snow lasts a lot longer in my yard.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Generally doing well. We've had two days of really warm weather, which has inspired me to do some work on the pond. Trying to figure when to add some new water hyacinth plants. Still some leaves and debris on the bottom to be gotten out, and some algae on the rocks around the edge. The fish seem to be healthy, and have found nothing dead. Now I just need to keep the heron that I've seen looking for a snack out of the pond, and I'll be in good shape.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
beck_wi(z5 WI)

My fish are still in their kiddie pool in my basement---- but the water is open again-- and I think the fish will be back in their home earlier this year than normal YAY!!!

come on spring!!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 12:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

I answered above, but now we have Marsh Marigolds blooming as the first flower in our gardens,, they have even beat the spring bulbs this year.
Today it is slushing here in Montana however..

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The ice is totally gone on the pond. Just a little snow left in the shade. The fish are swimming about. I found one dead fish - looked like one of the babies from last year. I am seeing some of the usuals - Spot, White Nose, and a few of the others I recognize but that don't have names. They are coming to the surface and schooling in straight lines - it must be getting warmer in there. They all hid the day the ice melted but they are doing much better now. I floated 3 rubbermaid tote lids to provide some cover until the lilies start growing.
Took a few more dead frogs out. Leopard frogs. Talked to a biologist who says leopards are dying off everywhere. Found one live Green frog and put him back.
Lots of crud in the bottom - can't decide if its easier to just empty it (4000+ gal) or to try to vacuum it out. The plants look fine.
Still too cold to go in after the lid to the Japanese stone lantern that fell in last fall but it looks fine.

How is it over on the west side of the state, Lisa?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We've had a sever winter by our standards (near Kansas City). I cleaned my filter media in my skimmer the other day. Waited way too long. I left my pond netted all winter until now with one of my pumps running all winter so I would have some water movement.

I don't know if running the pump helped keep the string algae down, but it was a lot less this winter. I'll be interested to see what early spring brings.

The water is flowing better now. I have fish moving about and a good deal of mucky green on the sidewalls and bottom of the pond. I lost one fancy goldfish. I think it was one that was having swim bladder problems the past year.

Overall health of the pond seems good.

Spring can't get here soon enough!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisa11310(z5 MI)

I am thrilled to report the pond is thawed, no floaters. They look good and the babies grew a TON, I will have to find homes for some. Sadly I did find a small frog in one of the upper small ponds. I try so hard to poke around in there to make sure they dont try to overwinter there. I love the frogs too ya know! But the fish look good, I put the pump in today after cleaning out the two small upper ponds so the waterfals are runing for the birds and the pond is filtering. The tent is still on the main pond, they say we are getting one more snow storm this weekend.Then the tent is off. Hey Im in Michigan, LOL!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 2:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yesterday marked the complete thawing of my pond (and all the snow is gone!). Found my frogs were all dead, but all of my recognizable fish (Goldie, Midnight, Ink, Spot and Saddle) were alive, with two small dead fish (some netting was frozen in the pond at the start of winter, and they got caught in it). The frogs had plenty of dead leaves at the bottom of the pond (and it did have a hole open all winter). I'll miss the frogs' croaking.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 2:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My pond is a disaster. Last summer I put in a new kitchen. It was a relatively painless 2 months which was preceeded by 4 months of planning and shopping. I had no time for pond maintenance. It is filled with leaves and algae but the fish and frogs are okay. Even worse, for the first time a racoon found my pond and came nightly to tear it up. It is an understatement to say I have a bit of a cleanup in front of me. I'm considering letting it founder for another year as my next undertaking is to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in October. The one to two hours spent ponding need to be dedicated to training.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ice is finally melted. I don't know if both adult fish survived. I did see the comet swimming around under the ice earlier in the week. The female is black so she is hard to see no matter what. Don't know about any babies that might be in there. I had a dream last night that the female had died. Hope that's not true.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the ice melted a few weeks ago by moving the bubbler around, got the block of ice out of the skimmer last weekend and finally got the skippy to thaw out this week. so everything is up and running full tilt. only lost 2 babies (one was in the block of ice) the rest are swimming around. i just need to finish the new waterfall i did last fall when it gets warm again. i've found 2 dead frogs also.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All fish present and accounted for! Look to be in good shape, too. I got the new larger skippy filter set up with new media (matala) and running. Water already went from slightly hazy to clear. The last few days have been in the mid 60s. Goldfish have been doing a circle dance for food in the mornings (I'll refrain till warmer) and basking in the afternoon. They must be doing a lot of algae nibbling-noticeable amount of poo is beginning to accumulate. I think I'll vacuum again before spawning starts.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 8:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catherinet(5 IN)

DH and I finally cleaned up all around my inground stocktank ponds. I also thinned several water lilies. Found about 6 big juicy tadpoles that hopefully will turn into frogs that stay and don't get eaten by the snake that lives here too.
My lotus bog has lots of debris in it, but the water is still clear, so I guess I won't worry too much about it.
I planted about 6 various japanese iris around these 2 little ponds last year, so I can't wait to see how they're doing this year.
No fish for me, except maybe some minnows I get from the creek.
I dug up my marginals (I overwintered them in the ground)......calla lily, thalia, pickerill rush, rush, lobelia, and some others and will thin them another day. I was almost a cripple by the time we finished in the back yard yesterday! Need time to heal a bit, then I'll work some more. :)
Happy Spring everyone!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 2:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As of today pond is slowly melting. During the day now about 6" top surface no ice but still frozen under that. If temps continue like they have been the ice should be gone in 2 weeks but it will take another month before I can move the fish back out as too much of a temp shock. My fish are in their winter home--300 gal liner indoor pond where the water temp is 70F. I don't move them out until there's a 5 degree difference in in/out water temps. Happy ponding to those who can pond already!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 2:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hardin(7 SE OK)

We are finally in the warmer days of spring. Pond has been cleaned up, and have been having to add water already due to evaporation from Oklahoma winds. My hardy waterlily has a few baby leaves coming up, pickerel rush and parrot feather are sprouting. Waiting on plants I ordered to come any day now. Have finished up the rock work around pond edges, all that's left is what I plan to add around waterfall berm. Haven't decided quite what to do just yet. Husband built me a mini dock to cover my skimmer this past weekend which looks awesome. Temps are in the 70's and heading into the 80's all next week. Will be doing alot of planting, inside and outside the pond, and in flower beds. So much to do and so little time.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 2:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So far so good. The Koi look really good and I saw a toad today. Hooked up my big filter and surprisingly no leaks in the plumbing. At least not yet.....

Made some really big floating planters. I have three that survived the winter with plants growing on them. I made some fish food out of wheat germ, brine shrimp, egg and orange juice. The temps are too cold to feed the Koi but like always I give them a little bit anyways. Just a little bit.

The settling pond will have to wait until I see froggy is out of hibernation until I can clean it out. That's it so far.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our temperatures have gone from 40s & 50's to 70's & even low 80s in about a week to ten days. That's just the way it is around here.

Last night we heard the first songs of the toads. Yes, it was loud! Saw two pairs of toads today. And about an hour ago saw their first chain of eggs along my shallow end.

It's definitely spring.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After a cold weekend, it returned to the mid-60s. The water lilies are unfurling leaves and the goldfish are getting frisky.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 4:55PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tree stump for decoration???
Hello all, I need information about my new 2,800 gallon...
My kids Turtle Pond
In 1982 I moved my family from Medford Lakes NJ to...
New 50g pond in SE & plant suggestions?
Hi, My SO just installed a new in-ground pond in our...
Snake is eating my frog--Help!!
I looked out my second floor window and saw some movement...
Waterlilies won't grow, leaves are small and curled
Hi all, I have waterlillies that until a year ago was...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™