Saturday, March 22, 2014

Swimming With The Big Fish

I saw some blooming chionodoxa in my travels today.

My purpose was to check on the koi pond and the babbling brook at the Posh Estate. The water is warming and the algae is starting to grow. The filters need regular checking to keep the water flowing at full volume.

The care of the much larger koi pond and falls was passed over to me last year. My job was to make the either pea soup green or grey murky water clean. It was an ongoing problem that never seemed to get solved. That was accomplished by cleaning the entire thing, there was several years of muck in the bottom, and adding an out of pond bio/uv/mechanical filter to the return water line. Problem solved.

It was built as a waterfall and pond only and was never intended to have fish. Fish poop. Leaves and debris constantly fall into the pond. The water has to have a filtration system if you want it to be clear.

Pond plants were also added. They help greatly by absorbing excess nutrients in the water that lead to algae growth. I'm already seeing fresh growth on some of them that are root hardy. The more tropical ones got stored in the green house.

The koi in this pond are the size of small cats. Really big fish. Gold fish. Black fish. Silver fish. Blond fish. Despite their murky water they bred and last year during the cleaning, close to two dozen babies were sent to new ponds.

It's a long fall from top to bottom.

And at the top is another small pond. Last friday I added twenty small (39 cent) feeder goldfish to the upper pond. Those gold flecks in the center of the pond are the new baby fish.

In one year they will grow to be big feeder gold fish like the ones in the babbling brook's pond. I read they can get up to four pounds.

The seventeen that are left from the initial two dozen added are doing fine. Two out of three koi that came from the koi pond are also doing fine and getting bigger.

I added six more baby gold fish to the babbling brook to make up for the ones the blue heron ate. The koi will have to make more babies to replace the koi the heron ate. That missing koi was already a big fish.

It was nice to see the babies have come out of hiding after a week in their new home. They don't seem quite ready to swim with the big fish yet.

The babbling brook and its inhabitants have made it through another winter. It will be nice to watch the rocky shores green up faster and be more lush as the plants continue to fill in. When the danger of frost has passed the tropical plants will be put back in the stream and pond.

All is well in the fishes world.

And I noticed one of the few hellebores there was in full bloom. That is a nice deep red flower and they seem to be a tad more sideways to upright facing than all the ones I have.

I got a closer look. Then when I bumped it with the camera several of the small seedling plants fell out of the ground and landed in my truck. Oh well I better take them home.


Lola said...

So glad the fishes are doing so well. By all means take the babies home.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola even the best of plants can become weeds at a certain point in a well maintained garden.

beverly said...

Too funny about bumping the hellebore! Sounds like you were the only one with any common sense about the pond.

Christopher C. NC said...

Bev I think I am going to bump the hellebores again tomorrow and a whole lot of Celendine poppies. Both seed a lot and need to come out of the bed they are in. I can move them to other places in the garden. I may have been the only person with the time to implement an effective and permanent solution to the koi pond troubles.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hellebores do get around. Fun fish.