Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

You can subscribe to my blog and receive an email alerting you every time I post one by signing up at the upper left of this column.

Fireworks: We are two days away from Independence Day, July 4th. It’s a time to celebrate the greatness of America. This is the only country in the world that people will lie, cheat, steal and fight to enter so we must be doing something right.  Fireworks are a tradition but abuse of their use is becoming more and more prevalent. Did you know that shooting any fireworks into the air is illegal in Glendale? Here’s another interesting piece of trivia. Consumer Reports states that 31% of all July 4th emergency room visits are injuries to a hand or finger. If you are not worried about losing these appendages shoot off those fireworks, by all means…but not in the air.

I will be at Westgate representing Glendale and leading the countdown to the kick-off of the fireworks. Please join me in our nation’s day of celebration.

Do you have pets that you generally keep outside? You had better bring them in or risk them taking off in a panic and ending up lost or at the pound as those fireworks go off all around your house. Our German Shepard, 10 years old, absolutely goes nuts and is scared to death when those fireworks go off. We are now well trained and automatically put her in the house from about 6 pm until the next morning.

Our Pond: I haven’t written about our pond in awhile. It’s hard to believe but it is over 8 years old and certainly is a ‘mature’ pond. I’ve included some photos of our filter systems and what the pond looks like today.

Looking down into the filter box you can see the rigid hosing that leads to the two major filter pumps…one for the large waterfall and one for the small waterfall. Another photo shows the filter media. The green pad is a major component. It can be fine to very coarse. We use a medium value. These pads also serve the filters at the top of each waterfall. The net goes in front of the green filter media and collects very coarse material such as decaying lily pads. The white grate is something we started to do a very long time ago as it prevented small fish and the tiny Gambusia (mosquito fish) from being pulled into the filter system which has a strong pull.

This photo shows the pond as it looks today. The vegetation in and around the pond is mature and generally only requires pruning. The photo of the fish shows one of my favorite Koi. The Koi with the red spot on its forehead is called a Tancho by the Japanese. The rounder the red spot the better.

The blue barrel contraption is of our own making. After a year or two, we realized the two main filters were not adequate, especially in dealing with algae in the summer so we devised our own system. Each blue barrel has a different filter media in it. The water travels from one barrel to another, past a UV light and then into the pond. Using this in conjunction with our main filters has solved the problem and algae are kept to a minimum.

It’s finally officially hot but no monsoon yet. According to weather forecasters, the high pressure ridge sitting over us has to move farther north, around the four corners area. That has not occurred yet because the jet stream is too far south and is blocking the heat ridge from moving north. We can still expect the monsoon but perhaps a little later than normal. I remember previous July 4ths as not only hot but humid as well…not this year.

Look for the grand opening of the Aloft Hotel this month. It becomes the latest addition to Glendale’s inventory of hotel rooms in the Westgate area. There are four more hotels either already under construction or in the planning stages. Before the next Super Bowl in Glendale the city will have a minimum of 2,000 rooms to accommodate visitors. Also look for the development of more office space in the Yucca district. Glendale currently has no inventory of office space so the city has prioritized more development of that kind of space as a goal. Ballpark Boulevard, designed to connect Camelback Ranch to Westgate is now under construction and will be completed next year. This will open the undeveloped land between 99th Avenue  and Camelback Ranch for development. The property owners of the land along the new extension of Ballpark Boulevard are currently designing a master plan for that area.

When will Bethany Home Road be extended between 83rd Avenue and 91st Avenue? That is up to the developers, Pulte Homes and the John F. Long Trust. Apparently, they not happy that the city, after seven or so years, has raised its Development Impact Fee rates. They want the city to mitigate the increase in fees. I don’t think that’s going to happen so it might be awhile before we see Bethany Home Road punch through. That’s OK with me and many of the Yucca district residents. The minute that stretch of Bethany is completed the traffic along 83rd Avenue will explode.

Do you have a subject or topic about Glendale and want more information? Is there a topic you would like to see a blog about? Just make a comment on this blog or send me an email at: clarkjv@aol.com .

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Koi in November

Posted by Joyce Clark on November 26, 2018
Posted in City of Glendalefish pondKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

I haven’t posted an update on my Koi pond in several months. It seemed like a good time to do so in between all of the contentious issues council must decide upon…Glen Lakes Golf Course, Manistee Ranch proposed apartment development, Brown lot development and Thunderbird campus development. All are important issues with Glendale citizens weighing in on them daily.

Our Koi are growing by leaps and bounds. Naturally we wouldn’t take them out of the water to weigh and measure them. That would stress them for no good reason. So I will estimate.

Here is Ming, a Butterfly Koi. Yes, we have named nearly everyone of our 30 Koi. If you can see it there is a small black fish swimming above Ming’s head. It is a Gambusia or Mosquito fish. Its purpose is to eat mosquito larvae. We introduced about a dozen of them into the pond years ago and seem to host a constant population of about a hundred of them at any given time. Ming was the first fish we put into the pond about 5 years ago. This was after refilling the pond when I had added so many chemicals to rid the pond of algae and killed off the few fish that I had. I let the new pond water settle and age, if you will. Then I placed a 3” to 5” Ming into the pond as a sacrificial test to see if the pond water was healthy enough. Ming survived and thrived and is the oldest of all of the Koi. I estimate that Ming is probably about 3 feet long and weighs in at 10 to 15 pounds.

Next up is Mud Puddle, a Standard Koi.  My son picked this fish about 3 years ago because of its copper coloring…after all, Arizona is known for its copper mining. Mud Puddle is one of the last fish we acquired and is a hog. He eats all the time. He can be seen grazing on the algae on the rocks all day long. His prolific eating has caused him to grow and outpace many of his brothers and sisters purchased at the same time. Mud Puddle is slightly smaller than Ming. Probably about 2 feet long and coming in around 10 pounds.

Then there is Convict, another Standard Koi.  My husband named him thus because he is black and white reminding my husband of prison uniforms. Convict is one of the bravest and the nosiest of the Koi. When I go to the edge of the pond to trim vegetation he will cruise on over to see who’s there and what is happening. Convict is about 2 ½ feet long and between 10 and 15 pounds.

The last of today’s lineup is Spine. Spine got its name from the black markings on the top of his back that look like a rendering of a human spine. It, too, is a Butterfly Koi with its long flowing fins. He is about 3 feet long and also comes in between 10 and 15 pounds.

Since I changed the water 5 years ago and introduced our Koi I have not lost one…knock wood. They are disease free and never appear to be plagued with the numerous problems that can affect Koi fish.

This is the time of year that I cut back on the amount of food they are fed. Several years ago, I had fish jumping out of the water. It’s called “flashing.” Some were also swimming in strange ways such as upside down. I went to my favorite reference, Google, and decided that I was giving them too much food in the winter time. They simply couldn’t digest all that I was feeding them. I cut their food down to half of what they are fed in the summer and the flashing and strange swimming behaviors stopped. If any are still hungry and it’s usually Mud Puddle, they can graze on algae on the rocks.

We love our Koi Pond.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

The weather is starting to abate just a little. This morning was actually nice out on the patio while watching the fish. Since we are both getting older we now have a landscaper who trims and cleans up the vegetation around the pond. He worked on it yesterday so the pond landscaping looks pretty good. The beige rectangle at the center bottom (it looks like a light colored rock) is the lid for access to the two pond filters. We still clean them twice a day but the time is coming when we will revert to our winter schedule and only clean them once a day.

This photo is looking at the pond from its west side. Because of summer winds during the monsoon season the shade cover material has stretched and has become baggy. This winter we will tighten it up.

The second photo is looking at the pond from its east side. The 3 Mountain Laurel we planted several years ago has been trained to become trees rather than shrubs. They are finally getting big enough to provide some shade around the edges of the pond.

This photo is a close up of the in-pond vegetation. We have blue, red, yellow and peach water lilies. During the summer they grow abundantly and nearly cover the pond’s surface. They are supposed to be fertilized but quite frankly we don’t do it and still they thrive. They shade the water during the summer keeping it cool and livable for the Koi.

The last two photos are of the fish. The white Koi with red and black is larger than depicted as he is partially under the fish shelf (hidey hole for Koi). The small black streaks are tiny fish called Gambusia or Mosquito fish. Several years ago we dumped maybe a dozen into the pond and now I suspect there are over 100. They eat mosquito larvae but since the pond water moves and is not stagnant they probably aren’t necessary…but just in case they are there.

The gold/orange butterfly Koi is typical of the size of our fish. We have 30 and all are about 2 feet long. I have no idea how much they weigh but I would expect them to be at least 5 pounds. They are still eating once a day and every time act as if they haven’t been fed in years – in other words, with gusto. In October as the weather continues to cool I will cut their food back until by December they’ll only be eating half of what they do now. One 6.5 pound bag of Tetra Pond Sticks lasts all month.

We have never regretted installing the Koi pond.  We enjoy it immensely as do our guests. Everyone enjoys watching the fish and declaring a favorite colored fish.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Should downtown festivals be changed?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

It’s hard to believe that our Koi pond is seven years old. The first few years were rocky with fish dying on a regular basis. During the infancy of the pond I now know that I used too many chemicals in attempts to get rid of the summer algae. It was a learning stage. I even drained the pond after the last fish died. We refilled it and allowed the pond to “settle” for about a year before I introduced any new fish. Since then, in the last 4 or 5 years, we have grown some ‘whopper-sized’ Koi. All of the fish are healthy and have gargantuan appetites.

These photos were taken the day after our first monsoon storm. We probably had winds in the neighborhood of 50-60 mph and a drenching rain thereafter. As you can see under an overcast sky the pond weathered the monsoom just fine.

The other issue we dealt with when the pond was first established was the algae growth, especially during the summer. After the chemical fiasco, we created several filter systems looking for the best fit for our pond. The pond was built with two filter pumps that run 24/7. One services the large waterfall and one the smaller waterfall. They, by themselves, proved to be inadequate to the task of removing algae.

We searched for an external system to add to the existing system. Finally, we created our own. It consists of 4 barrels. Each has its own filter media: charcoal, quilting batting, sponges, and matt filters. The water flows through all 4 barrels and then passes through a UV light before returning to the pond. This has solved our problem. We clean out the barrel filter system once a year. It’s an all day job. However, we clean the two pump filter materials every morning and evening. It takes about 5 minutes to do so with a hose.

We have found that all the vegetation around the pond grows like a weed and some plants reseed themselves—for example, the ruella and taro. In the beginning we were timid about trimming the plants. These days we are ruthless and within a month the plants take on their original shapes.

Other than cleaning the pump filters and trimming vegetation, the pond has become stable and quite hassle-free. The photos are the pond after last night’s monsoon storm. We probably had winds of 50 mph and a bucket full of rain. We had more damage, i.e., tree limbs falling, in our yard than any damage to the pond.

You will note there is a shade cover. It has become a permanent fixture and has been up for two years. It serves a dual purpose. It shades the pond in the heat of the summer but it also protects the fish from predators. We live on a street of one acre properties with no curb, gutter or sidewalks and a great deal of mature trees. Those trees have become home to a resident owl and several hawks. We have also had herons that have visited during irrigation. All of these critters love fish. By having the shade cover it has become impossible for them to fly over the pond, spot a fish and dive for it.

It has become our oasis. It’s a joy to sit on the patio, to hear the waterfall sounds and to watch the fish, especially after I have fed them in the evening. They are voracious eaters during the summer and after they finish off the fish food that I give them, they begin their evening forage for any algae on the pond rocks that make up the submerged walls of the pond.

Would we build a Koi pond again? You bet. The hours of enjoyment and calm it offers were worth every penny of the original investment.  

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

A Christmas pond update

Posted by Joyce Clark on December 16, 2017
Posted in BlogsCity of GlendaleKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

So many of you who read my blog faithfully have asked for an update on my Koi pond and so, here it is. The pond is now 6 years old. In the beginning as a newbie, there were certainly a series of mistakes made.

When I saw my first algae in the pond I freaked out and added chemicals by the truck load. I created a toxic waste dump and all of the fish died. Disgustedly I vowed no more fish, drained the pond completely and let the pond rebalance itself for a year.

Feeling confident, I reintroduced Koi into the pond and they thrived. They are now quite big, sassy and very healthy. We now have about 30 Koi and as they continue to grow and thrive I imagine I will have to thin out the population. That is no mean feat as we know each fish. Some are very curious and brave while others are timid and shy. Even though they eat the same fare, some have certainly grown more quickly than others. The big guys and gals are the algae grazers. You can see them grazing among the rocks all the time.

Gone are all chemicals. Realizing that the original filter system was inadequate to deal with algae growth we researched and ultimately built an external, 4 barrel filter system. The pond water recirculates through the barrels each filled with different kinds of filter media. For example, one barrel has carbon pellets, another has fluffy polyester batting and yet another has sponges and the last has filter pads. The water remains crystal clear and when some algae does emerge during the hottest part of the year the easiest solution is simply to take it out by hand. There is never so much that the task is overwhelming.

We usually clean the external system once a year and will be doing that this coming January or February. It’s an all day job as the barrels must be drained and cleaned and new filter media placed into each barrel.

Over the years we have learned a great deal about plants in and around the pond. The lilies die back during the winter but come back with a vengeance in the spring. I would love to have some lotus. I have tried several times and in each instance I failed and they died. 

I have learned that a pond plant called ‘Snowflake’ replicates itself like crazy. Every time I think I have removed all of it I discover another new crop. The same can be said for some plants surrounding the pond. Yerba Manza, Taros and Ruella grow and spread prodigiously. I’ve managed to get rid of the Yerba Manza completely. There is still one clump of Taro that will be removed this spring and all of the Ruella ‘babies’ will be removed as well.

If I had it to do all over again, would I have installed the pond? Yes, most definitely. There is something special about hearing the waterfalls splash downward. I have discovered when the pumps have been turned off for an electrical outage, the absolute silence is disconcerting. We watch the fish whenever we have time (as a councilmember my time is now very constrained) and we still take joy in watching them. I read somewhere, sometime, that watching fish in an aquarium or pond lowers one’s blood pressure. I think it’s probably true as there is a calming effect in just sitting and watching, really watching the fish. Is there maintenance work? Yes but nothing so intense that it consumes all of your time after the pond and plantings have become established.

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you enjoy the photos I have included in this blog.

© Joyce Clark, 2017                 

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Koi pond update

Posted by Joyce Clark on April 25, 2016
Posted in fish pondKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

It has been 18 years and 129 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Koi Pond April, 2016

Koi Pond April, 2016

This month we celebrated the fifth year of our Koi pond. We left the shade screen over the top all winter and it didn’t seem to hurt. So we will leave it up until it deteriorates. So far we have used it for 2 years and it is holding up well.

I discovered that the Taro plant is an invasive as the Yerba Mansa. This week we removed the all of the Taro on the left side of the pond. We discover runners that had

Koi Pond April, 2016

Koi Pond April, 2016

burrowed under the pond’s rubber liner and removed it all. We are leaving a small patch of Taro on the right. If it starts to become too invasive and we can’t control it, we will remove it as well.

I also removed a large tub of Iris in the center of the pond. It didn’t bloom this year and its height impeded a comfortable view of the large waterfall and pond. Once again, I left a smaller patch of Iris that sits in a pot on top of the fish shelter. It bloomed profusely this year with at least two dozen blooms. Beautiful!

IMG_0069 A

Water lily, Koi Pond, April, 2016

We added a funky wrought iron flower sculpture in the island between the small waterfall and the pond. It added a splash of color where it was sorely needed. We also added

Iris in bloom, Koi Pond, April, 2016

Iris in bloom, Koi Pond, April, 2016

a yellow hibiscus, yellow canna lily and some small plants, some with red flowers and some with yellow flowers to add more color to the island. Alas, the large Agave rotted and died. We decided not to replace it as it made it too difficult to maneuver on the island.

Our external, four barrel adjunct filter system is doing a fantastic job. It just keeps chugging along and keeps the water quite clear. I still add a mesh, laundry bag of barley to the pond every month or two. As the barley decays it releases a substance that kills algae.

The Koi are doing very well.  They have grown a great deal. Some of them are now 4 years old. We have about 30 of them and even though they are fed commercial Koi

Koi Pond, April, 2016

Koi Pond, April, 2016

food once a day, they spend a great deal of time foraging on algae that persists on the submerged rocks. I also periodically (when I think about it) make a small ball of bentonite clay, throw it on a pot shelf and watch the Koi attack it. They seem to love it.

From time to time, not frequently, I do use some Algae Fix to keep the level of algae down. We also spend some time hand removing string algae. It seems to love the small stream that meanders around a portion of the pond.

There is always maintenance: trimming of the vegetation surrounding the pond, removal of decaying lily leaves and removing string algae. But all is a labor of love.

Koi Feeding time

Koi Feeding time

This time of year, March and April, is Arizona’s spring, with several days of flirtation in the 90’s. Everything is in bloom, vibrant and colorful. This time of year we spend a great deal of time outside, enjoying Koi antics.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 217 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I haven’t done an update on the pond in awhile and it seemed like a good time to share how it and the Koi are doing. It’s early August and HOT. I was in the pond last week doing some trimming and cleanup work with the pond plants. Surprisingly, the water is much cooler than the ambient air temperature and the fish seem to enjoy it.

The pond in August

The pond in August

I am convinced that the shade cover is doing its job. The shade cover, the UV light, the barley bale and a very occasional dose of Algae Fix are keeping the algae down considerably. I’ve blogged about the shade cover and the UV light previously but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the barley bale or the use of Algae Fix.

A year ago I ordered 2 barley bales online for about $40. I didn’t realize they would last as long as they have. It took a year to use up one barley bale. The purpose of the barley is that it

Spring Spider Lily

Spring Spider Lily

retards algae formation. I take a mesh laundry bag (you can get them at a Dollar store for $1 each), fill it with barley straw and then insert it all into a second mesh bag. Add a string for easy retrieval and anchor the string around a rock. At first the barley mesh bag floats for about a week. Eventually it gets water logged and sinks to the bottom. As the barley decomposes it releases a natural chemical that retards algae development. The barley will virtually disappear over time. When the bag is empty I pull it and refill. I use barley in Arizona in the spring, summer and fall.

As for the Algae Fix I use it sparingly. In May the algae went wild and I was hand pulling pounds of it out of the pond daily. Yes, daily. I finally realized that I would need to use something to get a handle on the algae situation. I used the Algae Fix every 3 days as directed over two weeks. The algae disappeared considerably…not all of it but a good 80%. In July I started to put a cup in once a week and it has kept it under control. I still hand pull algae but not every day and not in the copious quantities I had been pulling.

I have tried to grow Lotus in the pond with absolutely no luck. First I got some Lotus seeds. I successfully got them to sprout, waited for them to grow and

gain strength. I then planted them in pots and set them in the pond. Every plant died. I have no clue as to why. I then ordered two Lotus plants and potted them this spring. Guess what? They died as well. I guess this pond is never destined to enjoy Lotus. I also ordered two Spider Lilly plants. They have done well and bloomed this spring.

The lilies are all blooming…yellow ones, blue ones, red ones and peach ones. As I write this I realize that I have no white lilies. Hmmm, maybe next spring. Our Snowflake plants have small, white flowers and grow like weeds. I find

Lillies and more lillies

Lillies and more lillies

culling Snowflake and Water Lettuce all the time. Both plants are very, very prolific and would take over the pond if I let them. The same can be said for Yerba Manza and my Taro plants. I finally ripped out the Yerba Manza but there is still one patch left that I will dispose of. The Taro has multiplied and now resides in two spots in the pond. The Iris is finished for the year and I have cut the leaves back so that they don’t obstruct the view within the pond.

Even though temperatures are soaring in Arizona the pond is happy and healthy and so are the Koi. We still sit outside every evening after dinner, feed the Koi and enjoy their antics. The pond has given us countless hours of enjoyment and well worth our investment.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Koi pond March 12, 2015

Koi pond
March 12, 2015

Arizona is experiencing a really, really early spring. Today it is 87 degrees and the weather is beautiful. February was the second warmest on record for the state. March looks as if it will be the same.

one fish

Butterfly Koi, white and gold

The pond lillies are starting to grow new leaves. The Iris are getting ready to bloom…and there is plenty of string algae.

I have found the best way to get rid of most of it is simply to pick it out manually. I have also started using peroxide and and Koi Clay once a week to get rid of the string algae I cannot get. You can get a quart of peroxide at WalMart for 88 cents. I get six at a time and dump all six quarts into the pond. It doesn’t hurt the fish.

The Koi Clay I got online at Amazon for $10. A little (6 teaspoons) goes a long way.The Koi love it. Where ever I put it in the pond they all covy up and eat away. It doesn’t harm them and is supposed to

More Koi March 12, 2015

More Koi
March 12, 2015

be good for them by replenshing minerals, enhancing their immune systems and their coloring. I just started so time will tell. I am also using — of all things — kitty litter with no perfumes or dyes. WalMart has a 25 lb. bag for $4. The really cheap kitty litters are pure bentonite clay. It acts as a flocculent, binding with debris which then settles on the bottom. I’m trying to use only natural remedies because they don’t harm the fish and I learned my lesson about adding chemicals to the pond.

In the next couple of weeks the Koi should start spawning. I made myself some DIY spawing mats. The directions were online. I went to the trusty WalMart and got the cheapest, thickest yarn I could find for $4. Then I went to the local drug store and got 4 travel size plastic bottles for $4. Cut the yarn to lengths of your choice. I went

Four spawning mats

Four spawning mats

with 20 inch lengths. Put together about 24 of them, fold them over the bottle and secure with a plastic zip tie. I made 4 of them, attached string to them (so that I can retrieve them easily) and strung them across the pond. I also obtained a square, breeding net. If I have any success I will put the Koi eggs in the breeding net that will be anchored to the side of the pond. It’s just another experiment. We’ll see if it works.

I will be doing a water change this weekend. We will drain about a third of the pond water and replace it. I plan to spend the next few weeks cleaning up plant debris from the landscaping around the pond. Believe it or not we did have a few nights of frost. I got lazy this year and did not cover up the plants. I will pay for it by trimming dead foliage. Once that work is done bring on the summer. The pond is ready.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

I thought I would do a quick update of the pond now that it is July of 2014 and we are in the throes of monsoon season. The shade cover has been up since May and is doing its job. It has stretched and when it is taken down this year there will be work to do to tighten it up.

fish in pond

Fish waiting to be fed

The fish are all doing well despite a recent heron scare. I feed them once a day around 3 PM. For several months they have taken to massing together and following me as I walk along the pond’s edge until I feed them.

Water lettuce and lilies

Water lettuce amongst the lily pads

What has really amazed me is the plant growth both in and out of the water. On our last trip to California I purchased a few, maybe half a dozen, water lettuce plants. I threw them in the pond and they took off. The lettuce has proliferated so much that the other day, I scooped about half of the plants out and threw them away. It was getting to be too much and the lettuce was crowding the water lilies and snowflake plants out. I suspect that I will be periodically scooping some out.

Taro explosion

Taro explosion

When the pond was first started, about 3 years ago, a friend gave me two small Taro plants. Well, it’s taken them awhile but this year they have exploded with growth and look magnificent.

Lotus from seed

Lotus from sees

I received some lotus seeds and decided to try to grow some. After three tries with seeds I have finally succeeded. With the first two sets of seeds, they would “hatch,” grow leaves and roots but everytime I put them in the pond it was just a matter of time before they died.  I now know the secret. Start your seeds in the hottest part of your summer. Wait until you have at least four leaves and a healthy set of roots before you pot them and place in the pond. The lotus love hot weather and apparently the hotter the better.

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Last summer we planted 3 Mountain Laurel. It took them awhile to take hold but they have finally done so. Right now they look like lanky, ungainly bushes. When they get a bit taller they will be pruned to one major cane that will eventually become a tree.

IMG_5758

Koi pond in July, 2014

We love our Koi pond! We have had countless hours of joy watching Koi antics and watching the pond vegetation mature and look like it belongs there. Was it worth the investment? You bet!

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Summertime at the Koi Pond

Posted by Joyce Clark on June 5, 2014
Posted in fish pondKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pond merge 2a

The other day I realized that I had not slowed down enough to provide an update on my Koi pond. The last time I posted on it was 6 months ago, in December of 2013. A lot has happened since then.

I’ve taken out all of the Yerba Manza. I discovered that it is just too invasive. Even though the original plants were still potted and submerged they send out runners – scads of runners – that seek rocks and other potted plants. The runners will even go over the edge of the pond into anything beyond. As a result the Yerba Manza was beginning to crowd out other plants and the need to cut off the runners was becoming a monthly chore. In their place I have decided to try some Spider Lilies and Cardinal Flowers.

At the beginning of May we reinstalled the shade cover over the pond. It continues to do its job but I have found that the material itself has stretched due to winds that buffeted it up and down. Right now it is very saggy. When we take it down in the fall we will resize it to take out some of the slack.

IMG_5682We finally broke down and purchased a Laguna Brand, 55 watt, UV clarifier/sterilizer light. It’s rather large – about 5 feet in length. The external 4 barrel filter system continues to do its job but it simply could not keep up with the tremendous algae bloom that occurs in Arizona with intense daily sunlight and temperatures of 90 to 100+ degrees. The light has only been in operation for a little over a week but the difference in water clarity is amazing. It seems to get rid of the smallest algae particles that are suspended in the water and that simply flow through the 2 regular pond filters. We placed it in-line, above ground with the external 4 barrel filters. As a result the water clarity has improved tremendously.

The water clarity is so good we are able to see the fish anytime, day orfeeding night. We have 4 under water pool lights and we can see the Koi grazing at night among the pebble bottom and the potted plants. It is really so nice to sit by the pond whenever the mood strikes and watch the Koi.

I ordered and received one of those Styrofoam rings with netting to introduce floating plants into the pond. I wouldn’t get another. The Styrofoam breaks too easily and it continually floats toward the filter system. I found myself moving it away from the filter several times a day. I finally had enough of it and removed it. So much for that gadget.

We have new visitors to the pond – snails – itty, bitty, tiny snails. We think they came in one of two ways: either on a plant I ordered over the internet or on the feet of the many birds that visit the pond. Either way, they are in the filters…everywhere. This past week I received some Assassin Snails and immediately dumped them in the pond. It seems an Assassin Snail’s mission in life to eat other snails. I hope so. I guess we will find out soon enough.

IMG_5729Our other visitor is a cane toad. He appeared one night about a week ago. We surmise he came in on our irrigation system or else, bird legs again, but as an egg. Cane toads are nocturnal. This one is a juvenile, maybe 6 to 8 inches long. I read that they can live for 10 years and grow to 2 feet in size. He’s not afraid of humans and will even let us touch him. He’s a very calm, little fellow.

Our greatest problem seems to be the heron that nests somewhere on our street. Our street is made up of one acre lots, irrigated. There is no curb, gutter, sidewalks or street lights. It is a dark, cool oasis in the midst of urban living and we love it and apparently, so does the heron. We think it visits the pond in the middle of the night. The only way to confirm it is to stay up all night or get a night vision, motion detector camera. I think the camera will happen sooner than staying up all night for many nights to confirm the heron.

We know it is taking fish and when it doesn’t take them it has wounded several Koi mortally. It seems to prefer Koi that are white or nearly all white in color although a few orange Koi have also disappeared. Just as the water clarity has improved for our visual enjoyment it has also allowed the heron to spot its prey more easily. We have lost more fish in the past month than in all of last year. Not a happy scenario. I will continue to research the best deterrent to this fellow’s dining regimen. 

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

%d bloggers like this: