June 30, 2017

Adventures in Pond Cleaning

This month we cleaned our fish pond. Unfortunately the combination of using a pump which turned out not to be the best for our needs, having our wet-vacuum kinda sorta fail during the process and suffering a personal injury in the afternoon of our first day, spun the whole process out longer than we had anticipated.

The primary concern was minimizing the time the fish would be in a holding tank on the shaded patio, and getting the refill started so we could return the fish to the pond.

But we started with what we thought would be the hardest part of the project, the bog, which put us behind schedule right from the start. When we realized how much time we were losing, we skipped over that and began pumping out the main pond. Even though most of the water was out, everything was going along just swimmingly, but in the middle of the afternoon, the new pump we had purchased became a problem when the water level was really low. Our backup pump worked better but kept clogging with algae and we had to keep stopping to clear it. That put us even further behind schedule, which meant the fish spent the night in the holding tank. Sure glad we invested in an aerator to keep it oxygenated.

So on the second day we had to shade the holding tank from the morning sun as we continued cleaning the main pond. Once that was done we started refilling but we couldn't put the fish back because of a heat wave that would have heated the small amount of water too quickly for the fish to survive. So they had to spend a second night in the tank.

But eventually it all worked out and of the 57 fish that came out of the pond, 56 went back in.

Then we tackled the bog again. It was as difficult as we had anticipated but some of that was due to things we found that we hadn't anticipated. We corrected those problems so we won't have to deal with them again next year.

Rocki did yeoman service working like a trooper as she took charge of the bog by removing much of the gravel and washing it while I disassembled all the components that make the bog work, cleaning out the space and getting it all reassembled, so she could return the gravel.

Days before we started, I took a chisel and hammer and "fine tuned" the spill rocks in the main fall...

(Do these waders make me look fat?)

... to give a more "artistically appealing" spread of water for our visiting plein air painters.

All things considered, it was a big job, it was a learning experience (we're already planning to do some things differently next year) and it was a big cost savings to do it ourselves. Anyway, a good time was had by all, including Rascal the Ranch Foreman and his first assistant Sweetie, who seemed to enjoy hanging out in "her fort" in the shade under the John Deere.

Our August painting class, "Abstracted Landscapes" is filling up but there's still time to sign up for one of the few spots left. And we also have three plein air painting workshops in September and October.
Visit http://paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html for all the details.