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    "Pond Happenings"

    November 1999 Newsletter

    It's a GIRL!!! 
    Alan and Janay C., our former presidential team, had a baby girl on September 25!Her name is Hannah and she was 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long. CONGRATULATIONS!

    A Note from the President... 
    The October meeting was held at The Lily Pond in Phoenix and it was wonderful to finally have some cooler temperatures!Before the meeting, everyone toured the backyard with the tub gardens, two in-ground ponds, and several above ground tanks holding plants and fish for sale.We feel very privileged that Sylvia D. agreed to speak to our club - She really dislikes speaking in front of groups!Rather than speak on a particular subject, she asked for questions.She discussed pond construction, filters, UV's, string algae, barley bales, adding salt to the pond, water changes and plants for winter.After the meeting, we enjoyed punch and refreshments.Thanks go to Ed and Lisa for supplying the cupcakes and donut holes.

    The November meeting will be held on Saturday, November 13 at 12:00.We will be having a BBQ/Potluck and elections.The club is supplying the BBQ meat and buns, plates, cups, napkins, utensils and beverage.We are asking that each family bring either a side dish or dessert.Be sure to bring lawn chairs and any plants you would like to share.If you need the location, or directions please e-mail your request to Unfortunately, Tom H. has decided to relinquish his position as Vice President.Therefore, we are in need of a new Vice President. Please think seriously about either running for the office, or of a person you would like to nominate.

    End of The Season
    Used by permission from The Water Garden News

    WINTERIZING YOUR POND.The calendar says November, and for pond keepers this means it's time to start panning for Winter.As cold weather comes our plants begin their journey into dormancy.This is obvious by browning foliage.When this happens you want to cut off the remaining growth to prevent it from decaying in the water.Plants that are classified as hardy in you area should simply be placed in the deepest part of the pond for the winter.To attempt to over-winter tropical plants you can also place them in the deep part of the pond or try one of these methods:Plants with tubers or rhizomes (tropical water lilies, canna, etc.) can be over-wintered by stripping the tuber of foliage and placing in a bog of water to be stored at a constant temperature of 55-58 degrees.Many others such as Umbrella Palm can be brought inside and placed in a sunny window for the winter.Keep wet in no hole containers and treat as a houseplant.You may also want to bring in a tropical water lily if you have a south-facing window.These can be put into a large tub garden container and they may bloom all winter.Floating plants like water lettuce should be removed and used for compost.

    As your pond's water temperature falls below approximately 60 degrees you should begin feeding a food with lower protein content, such as the Mazuri Winter Nuggets, Signal Pond Wheat Germ, or Wardley Pond Stix.When the water temperature falls below 50 degrees (a pond thermometer is helpful) you want to cease feeding the fish.Although a few weeks into winter the temperature may rise above 50 degrees you still do not want to feed if this is just a temporary warmth.It will stress the fish if they are unable to digest the food before the temperature falls again.

    The next decision is whether or not to run your filter system for the winter months.There are advantages and disadvantages of each option.If you run the filter there is a risk of broken plumbing and filter in the event of a power outage.The plumbing needs to be set up so water would flow back into the pond or you would need to be there to drain the plumbing manually.Also, circulating the water can super-chill the pond by exposing warmer pond water to freezing air.If running your filter, you should not draw water from the bottom.If you decide not to run the filter you first need to drain all plumbing, including filter, UV sterilizer, and external pump.Not running the filter can lead to high levels of ammonia and nitrites in the spring, but adding packaged bacteria early enough would help with this problem.

    For [some] of us there is the chance of a layer of ice forming on the pond.For a short period (1-2 days) this should not be a problem.Anything longer and the ice traps toxic gases in the water.This can be prevented by use of a pond de-icer or an ice preventer. DO NOT break the ice, this can damage of kill the fish by producing sound waves. The ice can be melted by placing a pot of hot water on the ice.

    (Newsletter Editor's Note: This article was written for colder climates with more of a chance of freezing.Use your good judgment in following the advise in the above article.) 

    Nothing at the present.Bring anything you have to trade or just pass on to the potluck.

    During the winter when foliage is gone your fish may not have a place to hide.It is best not to disturb the fish when the water is cold.A clay flue tile placed on the bottom of the pond can provide cover for the fish and make them feel more comfortable.