23rd August 2009
I'd forgotten about this picture. This little fellow was captured by the camera.
2nd July 2009
The remaining fish in the pond appear to still be surviving, although some of the hornwort appears to be breaking up. There is a faintly blue-green layer of slime on the dying fronds and also on the underside of the lily leaves. The lime/poplar tree which overhangs the pnod has been dropping sticky liquid all over it and the surrounding area. I'm not sure what it is (honeydew from aphids? sap?) but I suspect it contains sugar, so I've run some fresh water in to the pond, as large amounts of sugar in the water can't be good for it. The tree didn't overhang previously, but the council have not pollarded the trees in the street as regularly as they're supposed to - some are causing large ridges in the pavement due to this unchecked growth.
22nd June 2009
Sad to say, the remaining sarasa comet did not survive. When the pond was refilled, I added the small unwanted fish to act as guinea pigs, but they started to suffer distress, so I carried out a complete overhaul of the pond. In effect, it's been started again from scratch, although the lily and the hornwort will hopefully help it mature a little quicker. The little fish are back in and barring one casualty, seem to be okay. The dead fish was floating (dead) on the surface when a magpie made off with it! I had no idea that a magpie would take fish. That's another bird visiting the pnod this year. So far I've had wood pigeons, collared doves, magpies, sparrows, blackbirds, blue tits, a wren and currently, a pair of goldfinches.
I finally trimmed off the excess liner today, as you can see in the accompanying photograph.
15th June 2009
Disaster. The pond has suffered a catastrophic crash, presumably due to stagnation and anoxia. Nearly all of the tadpoles were dead on the surface this morning. All the shubunkins are dead. I was able to rescue the remaining sarasa comet, as well as several other small fish (which I suspect were added by the idiot in the video below) but I had to run as I had a train to catch. It was heartbreaking. I feel even worse because I never got round to doing a second water change at the weekend.
I've spent the evening emptying the pond and refilling it. I took the opportunity to try to level the surrounding paving slabs where they sometimes were submerged if the pond was full. I also removed some sediment from the bottom, in which I found a Stella Artois bottle, fortunately not broken. I despair of some people.
Snapshot of the pond being refilled, complete with Stella bottle.
10th June 2009
Snapshot of the pnod. It's just had a bit of a water change, about 25% and the netting has been removed. The reason is that leaves have collected in the netting and rotted. I realised that this was causing the water to stagnate, as I saw a rat-tailed maggot (hoverfly larva) in the pond; they prefer stagnant water. I'll carry out a further change at the weekend, but as I've removed the stagnating leaves, I'm hopeful that this will not be strictly necessary. It probably didn't help that extra fish were added by the idiot below, thus tipping the pond to the overstocking point. All fish must now take their chance with the cat burglar.
Also, while doing this, I was able to see that the tadpoles this year are doing better than usual and are quite large. I also spotted a smooth newt in the pond. It's the first one I've seen since the pond was first stocked, so I suspect it isn't one I put in myself when the pond was first created. I'm hopeful that there's more than one and that they'll continue to use it.
16th April 2009
I came home the other day to discover that my pond netting had been moved, so I went in and checked the camera. I have had a visitor with a bucket (again - see 2008 news) :
What happened next was odd. She rang the doorbell, then having received no reply, proceeded to do this :
That's right, she tipped some fish in. They are clearly last year's spawning from a nearby pond. They're poor quality and may carry disease or parasites for all I know, so I'm not too pleased, especially as I still have a tank full of good quality fish should I want to restock it myself.
10th April 2009
Snapshot of the pnod. Note the ultrasonic cat deterrent in the corner. It repels all cats except the main culprit, hence the netting.
19th February 2009
Just to note that the frogs have spawned. Its slightly later than last year, but unsurprising as it was a frostier winter than we've had for a few years. There was up to an inch of ice on the pond on one morning and the temperature reached as low as -9C, which is extreme for this part of the world.
15th February 2009
The thief caught in the act, taking one of my sarasa comets to the great pond in the sky. It's not easy to see, but its head is protruding from the cat's mouth.
4th February 2009
It looks like the identity of the thief who took my two shubunkins last year may have been revealed.
22nd January 2009
The 2008 news page has been archived. Please see the link at the top of this column.