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How to save the plants, nymphs, and good-guys while pond is dry

Posted by Oscarmatic CA z10/23 (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 18:53

As part of the on-going renovation of the backyard pond (more details in the link below), we will be draining the pond for approximately two weeks while we patch concrete, trim landscaping, clear muck, and tinker with the pipes. This pond has a thriving natural ecosystem, and I would like to preserve and restore as much of that as possible. Three things in particular to save:

-- The mulm at the bottom is home to many (many!) dragonfly and damselfly nymphs. They mature into beautiful adults, and are a lovely addition the garden. How can I preserve some of the nymphs to seed back into the pond?

-- I've cleared and divided a matted tangle of reeds and taro, which are now awaiting transplant into gravel bins for placement in the stream. How best to keep the plants healthy and happy for two weeks out of the pond?

-- As I mentioned in my post about backwashing the filter, I am guessing there is beneficial microbial action happening somewhere in the filter system. Should I try to save some of the filter medium from the Triton or the intake pipe to jump-start the filter when we turn it back on?

The option I'm working on now is a big tub of pond water in the shade with the taro, reed, and a few nymphs. We're having an unseasonably warm November in San Diego, so I wonder about it getting too hot. I also wonder if the water will need aeration, or will be ok sitting still.

Suggestions and ideas are much appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Introduction to The Pond Project

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to save the plants, nymphs, and good-guys while pond is d

You're asking such great questions! I can't help much with this one, as I've only started a pond from scratch. And we filter with a bog - no mechanical filtration, so I can't help there either.

As for the plants, as long as they stay wet they'll be happy. Kiddie pool maybe? Try to keep them at the same water level they are used to and use that good pond water and you should have great success. We broke down our patio pond and moved it inside for the winter and the plants are thriving nicely - even the hardy lily, which surprised me. They will probably wane a bit from the lack of long days of sunshine, but so far, so good.

Hopefully someone has some ideas for you for your other questions!

RE: How to save the plants, nymphs, and good-guys while pond is d

A paddling pool might be the most effective choice

RE: How to save the plants, nymphs, and good-guys while pond is d

The big box home improvement stores have sturdy plastic trays, about 6 inches deep, used to hand-mix concrete. They're on a shelf by the bags of cement. I used a large one to hold my plants and goldfish for about six weeks during a major pond re-build, with just a little aquarium pump to aerate the water. Everything thrived and the pond stabilized immediately.

An aquarium helps

It's very nearly time to drain the pond completely, so I rescued the sole survivor of the dozen feeder fish from last month. Goldie is now swimming (somewhat) happily in an old aquarium salvaged from the back recesses of the garage. He and his hyacinth will be part of the pond reseeding program once the repairs and clean-up are done.

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