Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shubunkin Has a Favorite Spot in the Pond

A young Shubunkin has been hanging around on the plant shelf for the past couple of weeks. While all the other fish stay in the deeper water of the pond this Shubunkin is out in the open. He must not have heard about the hawk. This little guy is about 3 inches long and a third of that is his flowing tail. He does scurry away when I get close but he did pose for this picture.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Surprise Snow Storm at the Pond

We woke this morning to a blanket of white. A surprise snow storm moved through last night leaving about 3/4 inch of snow on the grassy areas. The snow was very wet so it stuck to the trees and weighed down the bamboo. Our bamboo is about 40 feet tall and it is amazing to see it sky rocket to the 40 foot height in the spring in just a couple of weeks. Here you see the snowy pondscape with the daffodils looking very sad and the bamboo bending almost to the ground from the weight of the snow.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Female Frog Dies in the Grip of Males

Even though I rescued the female frog twice, this morning I found her in the clutches of 3 males. I had to pry their hands off to get her loose but she was already dead. Must have been her time to go. I guess I just can't win against the forces of nature in this case. Makes me kind of wonder about how powerful man is against nature anytime. We certainly are powerless against the major weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Frogs Gone Wild gets Out of Hand

Last night there were at least 20 frogs in the pond chasing each other looking for love. And they were really noisy. Happy to report 4 male frogs found love - but sadly with the same female at the same time. This is referred to as a frog ball because the group of frogs all bundled together can look like a ball spinning around in the water. The dangerous part of this is the female frog can drown because she can't surface for air. This morning I decided to rescue the little lady and was able to pick up the mass of frogs and peal the boys off one by one. I then put the female in a shallow pot in the pond because she wasn't acting too healthy. She was very slow and didn't make any effort to get away from me. It only took about 10 minutes for one of the males to find her and grab on. At least if she is able to stay in the pot, she shouldn't drown. Some of the frogs were successful as there were bunches of eggs that were laid last night. This whole event got me thinking about evolution. Why haven't frogs changed, it seems they are the same as they have always been?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Frogs Gone Wild

Here are a couple of pictures of a dashing couple that have been "together" since early this morning. Together they have visited all the corners of the pond, floated in the middle and spent some time on the rocks. Meanwhile a spectator frog spends his time hanging out in the curly plant. And the fish are out in force enjoying the 70 degree temperatures.

Party Time at the Pond

The pond has been pretty quiet for the past month although I did have two goldfish die in that time. It doesn't appear to be a major problem as the rest of the fish continue to look healthly. The string algae is still going crazy and the barley pads haven't seemed to help. But most interesting is the frogs are back. The past several days have been very warm with the high yesterday hitting 80 degrees and the water temperature hit 64 degrees. With the warmer water temperature the fish are much more active and there are a bunch of them. Last night I went out to check all the loud croaking and found at least a dozen frogs calling each other. Some were floating on the water surface and the rest were on the sides of the pond. A couple of frogs were chasing each other so I suspect love is in the air. The noise continued late into the night and some were still chating this morning. A frog couple was still dancing this morning at 9 am. When I checked the pond this morning, the party last night got so rambunctous they knocked the hose off one of the pumps which changed the flow of the water around the pond.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Attack of the String Algae

The string algae has been getting worse and my wife reminded me that I should be using Barley straw pads in the pond. Barley straw is helpful in treating water to reduce the growth of string algae and I hadn't put in a new pad since last spring. So off to Petsmart to buy a pack. I put two pads in the large pond and one in the small pond. Each pad is susposed to treat up to 700 gallons for 3 or 4 months. While I was at it, I cleaned the pumps and filters and picked out a bunch of leaves. The weather was perfect, about 60 degrees with the water temp about 55 degrees. It has been so warm, the Daffodils and Tulips are poping up in all the planting areas. The plants will get a real shock as it is susposed to get much colder next week. To top off the day, I moved 10 fish from the large pond to the small pond. That was enough for one day. We'll see if the string algae decreases. This was originally posted on Feb 4th but disappeared so here it is again.