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New pond forum folks

Posted by sleeplessinftwayne z4-5 IND (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 20, 07 at 6:17

I see on the discussions side that there are several newbies. They are getting answers in most cases from other newbies and they disagree with most of the oldtimers here. Does someone else want to put some answers out there? I'm feeling kind of ornery at the moment. I am as annoyed at the idea of starting a new group out as much as I am at the answers they are getting. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow. This is the third or fourth go-round for me on some of the questions and I really miss the expert responses that I got when I was a newby and the answers I would have to give originated from other members anyway. I do seem to remember that one of the "new" names has been mentioned in the past. Horton, are you out there? I think you mentioned someone called Ronaye? I know. I probably got the spelling wrong. Sandy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New pond forum folks

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 20, 07 at 14:19

I've been increasingly annoyed at (some of) the responses over there, as well, Sandy. I never post on those threads, because I'm far from knowledgeable in the technical side of ponding, but I've read enough from folks like yourself over the years to know what is appropriate advice...and what isn't. I can only hope that some really bad advice isn't being heeded. :(

Brenda


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RE: New pond forum folks

Aw, I hate for the ol' pond forum to slip. I guess I'll try to get online more often these days. Been real busy. Hi Sandy and Brenda!

I'm no expert but I could offer my experiences. What goes around comes around, and this forum has been such a huge help to me, not to mention source of some nice friends.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Well I guess that based upon your conversation here, anyone outside the 'ol pond forum' aren't welcome to share their experiences or ideas(and they do have some good advice as well)...maybe there should be a post that states, don't offer your 2 cents worth unless you are a certified pond expert. You know what kills me about all the so called 'experts'? Their advice is based more on who has the 'bigger pond' so to speak (if you get my meaning) than offering advice to try and help out.

I have been helped a great deal by most of the advice I've seen on the pond forum, and I've met some really nice people who want to help out because they honestly want to be kind, but honestly, of late, I'm seeing more ego than advice... if you only want your little 'pond click' in the forum, maybe you should create your own private site where the rest of us won't have to feel like idiots when we are berated for asking a question or run into a post like this one making everyone who is not in your group feel worthless.

So much for thinking that pond people were any different than any other social click out there.

Sorry to invade your space - maybe this should be posted in the pond forum instead of hiding it in this area for all the poster's to see.

Time to find somewhere where we newbies won't be afraid to ask and respond to questions.

Thanks for all your help in the past - it really was nice when you all were nice.


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RE: New pond forum folks

"Time to find somewhere where we newbies won't be afraid to ask and respond to questions. "

Awwwwwww PUMPKIN! *SNIFFLE* Good riddance.

Hiding it in this area??? LOL! Last time I checked this was still a public forum open to ALL GW members. No "click" is ever necessary here. In case you didn't know, if a topic such as this one is not directly pond related, it belongs right here in the off-topic Conversations forum.

Yep, many of the members you'll find here in this corner happen to be veterans of GW simply because they have asked and answered the same seasonal cycle of questions over and over again over the years in the Discussions section of this forum. There are many others such as Bonnieblueyes, who are quite new to this forum but are welcomed with open arms because they don't have YOUR attitude.

You are certainly more than welcome to ask and answer those same questions regardless of your knowledge and/or experiences. However, it would help others if new Ponders did mention from time to time that the advice they are dishing out is based on their own personal limited experiences that has worked for them. Others' results may vary.

Hope this helps.


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RE: New pond forum folks

No need to be rude tmg1963. Not to put words in her mouth, but what I THINK sleepless was saying was that she's getting tired of trying to answer alot of posts, not that newbies were asking for info. And that unfortunately those with less experience have...well, less experience.

Summer seems to be a slow time for the forum-everybody's busy, and, as youreit stated, many of us feel we don't know enough to give a bunch of advice...that may be wrong.

Hopefully we can share our experiences, and once everybody is less busy, the 'old timers' (some of which have had ponds for YEARS) will have time to visit the forum more often.

So ditto what zchick said, I'll try to help with my limited experiences. My only wish is that folks would search the forum before posting about 'green water', but if you can't find your answer - by all means ask! :)

This forum has been a HUGE help for me over the last 3 years! Thank you ALL!

S


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RE: New pond forum folks

I haven't been in discussions lately, and when I am, I am mainly reading and not responding. Shame on me, considering all the help I have gotten there. Doesn't really sound like it's changed all that much - have I missed any heated discussions about rocks in the pond????

I'm still scratching my head over tmg's response though - I read Sandy's post as "Help me, I'm trying to help over in discussions while you are all play hookey over here!"

I just spent an hour over in discussions looking for Ronaye's postings. She is a well seasoned ponder with an awesome pond and has always been a great resource for the forum. I believe she's been awol for awhile though but she's been around since before me. Not before Horton though, I believe he started this forum!


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RE: New pond forum folks

Hi tmg1963 dont feel bad because you are new. Im really new too and they are really nice here. It is hard to try and help somebody and then the next day you see the same question again and try to help by answering again and again and again. I believe sleeplessinftwayne is trying to rally the troops ,so to speak, and get the more experienced ponders on to help the new ones out more. No bad feelings being directed at the new people, im sure of it. She is hoping that the new ponders get good information that would help in building their pond rather than getting not so good information and hurting the pond and taking much more time to fix the situation that could have been avoided with the proper information. Please dont feel unwelcome because you are new. We all start out new and inexperienced thats why they want to help us and get good information out there for us to learn from. I hope this helps some. Please dont be angry with such nice people :-) Bonnie


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RE: New pond forum folks

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 22, 07 at 12:21

Dittos, Fi guy.

And dittos, Sarah! The "search" feature is very much under-used on the forum. Sometimes, even just scrolling down the page will provide someone with an answer to their (oft repeated) question.

"You know what kills me about all the so called 'experts'? Their advice is based more on who has the 'bigger pond' so to speak (if you get my meaning) than offering advice to try and help out."

That has to be THE most arrogant remark I've heard on this forum since Webfeeet waxed poetic...so to speak (if you get my meaning). Toodle-ooo, Grumpus McGee.

Brenda


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RE: New pond forum folks

The other thing about the 'ol timers' here is that I have never seen ANY one profess themselves as an 'expert', except in jest. No one here does. Some just have a few more years ponding under their belts. Others make a living at building and/or maintaining ponds for others, yet are open minded enough to learn from others that have tried methods that worked for them.
Some people actually bristle when you call them 'experts'.

The whole spirit of this forum is to share ideas and information about a hobby we share. I am guilty of reading discussions and not responding. Frequently because I don't have any advice to give on the post, but sometimes because the question has been asked before or I figure someone else will do it better than I.

Thank you sleepless sandy, you have opened my eyes. This forum has given me much information, encouragement and pleasure, I'll try to pass it on down. Nothing wrong with new advice as along as everyone realizes it works for some but not ALL.

BTW, I don't get the "Their advice is based more on who has the 'bigger pond' so to speak (if you get my meaning)" reference....but then, I'm just a newbie too :)


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WOW - I don't get any of it. I throw in my two cents in many discussion posts and if someone wants to use it fine and someone thinks I am full of crap fine. Take what you want and leave the rest.

Size does matter...... but not always:-)


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RE: New pond forum folks

Wellllllll. MY pond is bigger. Aaaaaaaand better. And if I give anybody advice, they'd better use it. And no mistakes either. Or else!

So there. Now you know.

Grrrrrrr.

;) Mary


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RE: New pond forum folks

  • Posted by lefd05 z5/6 westCO (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 23, 07 at 14:43

I wouldn't sweat it. All the ponding forums go through phases. People come and go. All of the ponding forums have experienced and nice ponders willing to help. All the forums have a handful of members that want to cram their experience down your throat whether it works for your situation or not. That's just people and their personalities.
I wander around on almost all the major pond/koi forums. There are some that are more user friendly and "nice" than others.
All we "old tmers" can do is offer our experiences and knowledge. We can't force "newbies" to take it and use it. They may or may not but often time the best way to learn about ponding is by making mistakes and working through it yourself.
I remember when I started water gardening years ago, much of what the "old timers" said to me didn't make sense and so I did my own thing. That's o.k., I learned from it and learned that in most cases I ended up taking their advice. However, not every pond's environment is the same and I also found that I had to adapt things to my environment and found my own successful ways of doing things.
I certainly don't consider myself an expert but I have had quite a bit of exerperience dealing with hardy lilies in my dry, hot desert terrain. I offer suggestions and my way of doing things but I don't expect people to always take that advice and besides, what works for me, may not work for them.:)


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RE: New pond forum folks

Sorry to but in but I am a newby. I took the time to read the faq and all the posts listed to try to find the answers to my questions mainly because I didn't want to ask what some would think as "dumb questions from a newby". I love to read all the posts because I have learned to much. I have a 750 gallon pond with plants, fish, skippy filter, adams filter and, because of all the information from the "old timers", my pond had "green water" for two weeks and crystal clear ever since. With 100 degree heat, I feel I have accomplished alot just by reading everything I could get my hands on.

Please don't be upset with newbies - we panick when things go wrong and sometimes we don't try to find the answers ourselves. Please contine to help the newbies.

One question - can you have too many plants? Oops - that's for the other part of the forum, sorry.


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RE: New pond forum folks

No Kaysbelle, you can't have too many plants. But if you have koi, they sometimes tear them up for sport, and if your plants cover the whole surface, well, it's hard to tell you have a pond. But they sure do help keep the water clear and clean. Now tell 'em over on the discussions forum that I responded to this because I'm so dad gum friendly!

There's no butting in around here. You jump in when you have something to say and no one is going to think poorly of you for asking anything or volunteering your experiences. We all treat one another as we'd like to be treated, and that includes not generalizing our personal experience to equal an expert opinion. The beauty of a forum is you can get a cross-section of what worked here and what failed there, and make your own assumptions.

C'mon tmg, we're all pretty accepting and encouraging here and just about everyone here has spouted off and then had to humbly admit later that we were a little off-base for whatever reason. OK, I speak for myself. But if I didn't grow a pair a long time ago my feathers would be permanently ruffled.

You might as well stick around. We are EVERYWHERE. :)


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Yeah Kaysbelle, we mean no harm...but stay away from maryo...she's tough stuff!

Sorry!! Couldn't resist! I did the same thing as you when I started ponding just 3 years ago. Read and read and read - I LOVED it. Then when I had questions, I asked. Sometimes the answers threw me way off 'cause I didn't understand.

I still don't have a skimmer, assorted filters, bottom drain, etc. So I can't answer ?'s about those. But ask me about a 300ga stock tank pond and I can go on forever :) Right Cathereinet?

Happy ponding!


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RE: New pond forum folks

Welcome K.B.!

Too many plants? Yes and no! A water garden can never have too many. A koi pond certainly can, imho. For beginners, you won't be able to enjoy watching your herd if the vast majority of the pond's surface area is covered with plants. Also, as the herd continue to munch on the all-they-can-eat buffet table, they will produce ample ammonia and in turn nitrites which may cause issues w/o proper established filtration system.


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RE: New pond forum folks

I think a pond of any type can have too many plants. Water Hyacinth comes to mind. One of those is too much in my humble opinion. Couldn't resist. Please forgive me.

There, I've crawled out of the closet again. Hey Horton, Hey Zinnia, Hey Sandy, Hey Semper, Hey everyone.

In all seriousness, it depends on the pond and also the type of plant. I've got different ponds than most of the good people here. Different is certainly not better... just different. Mine are for wildlife. The plants in them are all native save a few in a decorative pond by my front door and technically those plants are even native just not to my particular county or state. All the herps and fish I have in my ponds are native- no exceptions other than one triploid grass carp (sterile) that is still alive God bless his carpie little fish soul. From that perspective, too much of a good thing can be too much of a good thing because most native fish hunt by sight. Too many plants shading the bottom of the pond and the fish can't see to hunt. Although oxygen depletion is probably the leading cause of fish kills (die-offs), this probably ranks up there and would be why you often hear of massive fish kills in natural bodies of water where the fish are literally floating up dead on the sides of the pond stinging up the countryside. I've seen Water Hyacinth blanket a decent sized midwestern pond in one season resulting in this type of a fish kill.

Here's an example of what I've referred to, "Once plant levels exceed 20% of the surface area, largemouth bass predation on bluegill becomes less effective. Small bluegill can effectively avoid being eaten by darting into the excessive vegetation. Thus, too many bluegill survive, and their growth declines due to increased competition from overcrowding. Bass growth also decreases, as they are unable to find prey effectively and consume enough to grow well. The classic symptoms of this scenario are populations of small, thin largemouth bass and bluegill.

Excessive submerged plants also pose a problem in ponds where water is being pumped out for irrigation, livestock watering, or might be pumped out in case of a fire. These plants can clog a pump intake, lessening the amount of water being pumped and shortening the lifespan of the pump due to excessive wear and tear."

I disagree with the 20% and it's been my experience balance issues arise around 30%. Where's webfeetsie or whatever his user name du jour is to come and argue with me???

For the normal ponder (I've got wildlife ponds and am in the minority), I'd think you'd want to limit the number of water lilies you have because those can blanket a pond too. Duckweed would be one to steer clear of unless you created your pond for waterfoul. Duckweed is a lot like Water Hyacinth in that it can reproduces rapidly. Major difference being that my ducks gobble up the duckweed and keep it in check while they'd turn their beaks up at Water Hyacinth. All three of those plants, and others like them, can reduce light penetration which may directly impact the ability of other plants growing in a pond to photosynthesize. Then you could end up with dead plants no longer producing oxygen which usually results in water chemistry issues and dead fish.

I'm no expert. Each pond is different and sometimes you have to experiment a lot tweeking as you go to learn what works and doesn't work for your pond.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Since I started this - my pond has water hyacinths - about 60% coverage along the edges (I have a fountain in the middle). I have one water lily and tons of anacharis and hornwort. The water is so clear I can see all the plants and the bottom of the pond but wondered if the hornwort, which seems to grow rapidly, would eventually be too much. I plan on leaving it and the lily in the pond overwinter with the goldfish, shut down the waterfall and running a bubbler to keep a hole open in the winter. (Hornwort is okay in the pond over winter, right?) I am also going to try to overwinter the WH because they are not available here in central IL.

Thanks for being so generous with your help and advise.


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RE: New pond forum folks

I solved the koi vs. plants problem by having two connected ponds, one for fish and one for plants. In this instance, the pond for plants seems to do the best job filtering when it's crammed full, but the others are right -- you can have too many plants if you have only the one pond for all your pondy desireables.

Oh, noo! Look what we've done -- had a legit topic discussion here in the conversations forum! We are very bad people. Speaking of, Hi Laura! :) I have a green frog (sometimes) in my little pond! Thanks for all your help in years past when I was learning to make a frog pond.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Hey kaysbelle, Usually my water lilies are in pots at about a 2.5' depth while they are actively growing. When winter begins to set in, I move them to the 3.5' depth in a pond. I've noticed some plants overwinter better when moved to lower depths. I also move my lotus to lower depths.

Water Hyacinth is allegedly being voluntarily restricted because of problems with people taking their excess and dumping it in natural bodies of waters such as streams and lakes so you will probably find it increasingly more difficult to purchase if not illegal to purchase here in the very near future. Best to take in what you feel you need as starts for next year. It seems to overwinter fine for many but there are those who claim they move it and it's dead. I'd experiment with two clumps in two different areas of your home to see what is going to work well for you. About a week before you intend to bring them in, try floating them in a mild solution of Miracle Grow or similar product. Overnight should be fine. From there try one clump in a small washtub in front of a south facing window and maybe another clump in a less desirable location with fluorescent lights hung over the top of them. Get the lights in close to the plants. Maybe one of those overwintering methods might work for you? I've never overwintered Water Hyacinth but I've used those methods along with placing other tender aquatics in kiddie pools in my basement under metal halides and they made it.

Can't try to help with your question about Hornwort because I don't know which one you have but as a rule of thumb fast growing plants such as what you described in small ponds are generally not a good idea in the long run. They can be nutrient hogs. Plants that double their mass in short periods of time often use up nutrients that other plants need to survive and thrive.

The Anacharis you have is probably Brazilian Waterweed. I'd be very concerned about that particular plant but if you'd like to check it out on your own to determine what you think about having it in your pond, use the Latin name ( Egeria densa ) plus the word invasive in any search engine and you'll come up with tons of hits but here's a decent site where if you scroll down you can click on anything that might be of interest to you-
http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/aquatics/brazwaterwd.shtml
Anacharis can easily overwinter outside in our zone. Problem with it is that it is extremely difficult to control even when it grows in what we believe to be self-contained environments such as a small backyard ponds. Anacharis, like Hydrilla verticillata, can be spread to other bodies of water by birds.
http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/2524.pdf
These are the states in which this plant has escaped cultivation-
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EGDE

Got any frogs kaysbelle ;) Frogs are our friends. Just teasing, I know some people don't like them.

Hey Zinnia, I have 3 small herp ponds now supporting 5 different species of frogs and toads. I cheated though. Had a few biologists and herpetologists dumping over here. They were scooping up eggs and tads from vernal ponds that they believed were going to dry up prematurely and relocating over here while I was at work. I finally put up signs that instructed them what went in which pond. Basically; toads to the left, frogs to the right, and straight ahead with any bull frogs they might have picked up from other bodies of water. Ended up getting some interesting dragonflies and damselflies too. Species I've not seen over here so they must have come as and added bonus with the herps. It's kinda neat here at night with those dim photo cell walkway lights around the ponds. Those attract the moths and such and the toads just hang out waiting for their meal to come to them. If you don't have one of those cheap KMart type walkway lights, you really need to think about getting one. Just one of those can bring in prey for our little green friends.

Time for me to leave to go wetlands exploring.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Laurazone5,
Thanks for the information. How about putting some of the hornwort and anarachis inside for the winter. AND yes I gained a bullfrog two weeks after I put in my pond, and have seen two other frogs, I think they are some kind of tree frogs (green skin, dark spots and white stripes) that I never had before.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Yea!! Laura is back in the pond with all her research again.
Newbies take note. I have no idea how she does it but she can bring up GOOD info about any subject, especially our favorite subject; frogs and toads! I miss the Webfoooted one too. I haven't seen his posts since Spike left. Sandy


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RE: New pond forum folks

Hey kaysbelle, Regardless of which Hornwort you have, that should do fine by us outside without any pampering. Same thing goes for that Anacharis. I don't grow any of those plants because they can be injurious to the environment but I run across them all too frequently so I suppose if you lost them to a solid freeze of your pond they would very easily be able to be replaced. Save your indoor space for the Water Hyacinth. You are east of the Rockies so a big congratulations on your Bullfrog! Way to go! You might want to try a little solar light around your pond too. Just one is fine. One thing though, I don't believe your pond will be able to sustain your green friends over winter. Best to net them all out and relocate them to muckier and deeper waters long before the first freeze comes. Mid September would be a good time to begin moving them and then check again the beginning of October for anything that hopped back in. I must admit I probably check several times to make sure green friends are all netted and relocated. Don't worry, they'll make their way back to you again next spring. I move all of my green friends out of smaller ponds that can't meet their hibernation requirements. I used to go to a lot of fuss to make sure they had places to snuggle and hunker in complete with layers of materials to ensure they didn't float up over winter but abandoned that in favor of simply relocating them. They always come back, I promise.

Hey Sandy, I've got quite a few natural ponds and wildlife ponds. Toss in the creek, the wetlands, an artificial rain garden, the bogs, a fen, and one whole lake (albeit a smaller lake) and I'm thinking I've had ample opportunities to screw up royally around here. I always seem to learn the most from my mistakes. How bout you?

Not able to bring up good info on any subject but have really grown in the native flora and fauna arena. Focus being on native plant communities for Illinois and Wisconsin. I keep up by tinkering by myself (frequently taking two or three or even four steps backwards to take one forward), attending conferences, and reading of course. Created some educational programming the past few years, working on more programming, and have spoken to 20+ groups this year in part as a result of volunteer outreach but more so because it ended up being fun. Need to get back out into a few more wetlands this year. Just got back from a short trip and spent a considerable amount of time in a pristine fen along with several others. We had a blast bouncing on the sphagnum although one member of our group looked a tad bit green every time we did it. It's hard to resist boinging and bouncing on sphagnum masses no matter how old you are and not one of us went down under. Many green friends were found along the way. I have some spectacular photographs from the past few days... at least I think they are spectacular but others might not find them to be so. I'm leaving again though. Need a final wetlands fix before having to focus on getting quite a few bulbs in the ground. Have auger; will soon be drilling, and drilling, and drilling!

Yes, webfeeet is missed. More so Horton, Floyd, and OnGoldenPond but there are many others who come to mind.


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"I solved the koi vs. plants problem by having two connected ponds, one for fish and one for plants?

lol Zinniachick....that's exactly what I did too. When I built my 9000 gallon koi pond, I also built a 3000 gallon lily pond. the lily pond had a 4" bottom drain in it for clean-out. Well, then my koi grew and needed to be thinned out a bit, and there were a couple of large males that really needed to come out (I don't like keeping large males with the girls because of spawning injury potential). So the lilies got moved to a kiddy pool. the 4" drain line was connected to a filter, and the lily pond became a "boy koi" pond. I still have a couple of tall plants in there and some japanese iris planted in the rocks around the top of the pond, but it's mostly a fish pond now. Poor lilies....still crammed in a kiddy pool two years later. Maybe I'll just trade the lilies for something better on GW in the spring.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Boy Koi. Heh! Didn't Madonna have a belt buckle like that?


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RE: New pond forum folks

Nothing madaonna has would surprise me very much!


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RE: New pond forum folks

Laura!!!!!!! :):):):)

****what follows is my pathetic excuse for mostly ignoring the discussion area****

I used to have a perfect aquatic area then all the koi croaked then I moved and there was a pond here but I neglected to clean it out and also neglected the air supply going into winter. Most of my older goldfish croaked. I KNEW BETTER TOO!! I was just friggin lazy...So I took my favorite goldfish that were left and moved them into another pond and the pump fell over and suffocated them....

I haven't felt much like advising lately because of it. I've also cut way back on the time I spend on the internet mostly because my job is at night. I sleep, usually, until about noon then need to get everything done by four and get home around 1 am...


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Adrea!!!!!!! :):):):)

Saw what happened a little bit too late to try to lend a helping hand sweetie. Animals are part of the family. But then you know that already.


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RE: New pond forum folks

Laura,

Don't feel like you weren't around to help. I don't think I've ever been so at peace after losing a critter. He chose his time, I feel. Since I don't want to hijack there's more on the other thread.


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