Recent Entries to this Blog I love this yard :)
Posted: 18 Jun 2009
Clear water !
Posted: 16 Jun 2009

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old-english-hen's Blog

I love this yard :)

Category: Life in the backyard! | Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:01 am

OMGosh what a glorious day in our garden.. This season in our backyard we have had the privilege of watching a pair of Bluebirds return to their shanty and raise two clutches, a new pair of bluebirds move in to a new box (or the 1st pair upgraded finally), and they are in the midst of raising a family right now and as I write you can hear our red bellied woodpecker baby chirping away each time mom and dad come back with a tasty morsel for it. The wrens also have returned to the posts of the above ground pool, and the mockingbirds are forever swooping down on us and the dogs, protecting whichever of the nests it finally managed to start a family in, but to my surprise we managed to entice a titmouse to move into a house, I was very excited until I realized unfortunately it was, at the expense of the flycatcher that visits our backyard each year, actually...the first bird to take up home here. It was my first homemade birdhouse. It was designed for a woodpecker or an owl, but I was just as happy to see that unfamiliar bird sitting high on a perch on the tallest thing in our backyard 6 years ago. She came back year after year, even when Hurricane Charlie took out our pine tree pole, and we used a shorter 4x4 for replacement, she still nested there. Last year I got worried because the perch had fallen off, and I kept forgetting to find a new one. Upon her return though, under a watchful eye I quickly hot glued a new one in place. Yet again she moved right in, to raise her babies. So you can imagine how crushed I was the day she returned and I witnessed the titmouse that had already started a clutch of her own, swoop at her repeatedly to chase her away, with every attempt she made to move in. It made my heart just ache. I quickly got to work and constructed a new house the exact dimensions of the last, and raised it high in the air, to the original 15 feet it was, souring above everything surrounding it. It took me just a few days, but that was not fast enough, and my sweet Flycatcher was not seen again. (That was April)......until this Sunday, that is, way up on the highest branch of the maple tree, looking guard, was no other than my sweet Flycatcher, the same treetop she has used for the last 6 years. The titmouse family have moved out, and I can only hope that she is giving her old home another chance, but whether or not she moves in this season remains to be seen. What I do know is this....she remembers.....and I feel pretty confident she will return again next year, to our yard looking for a home to raise her babies, now hopefully she'll have a few to choose from!

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Clear water !

Category: The adventures of ponding! | Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:35 pm

I recently got a request to explain how I kept the water clear in my Koi pond! Well first of let me tell you this, it's really easy, and hard all at the same time. The basics to any ponding is filtration, mechanical which removes the particles and biological, all honesty keeps those fishies alive, by converting the bad ammonia and nitrites into yummy food for bacteria that live in the filter media. The hard part is a good balance....Unfortunately :( I overstiocked my pond to begin with and no one told the fish, so they continued to reproduce, which leads to more and more poo! The easy part (for mr) is I realize this and ck. my water parameters ALOT, and I have no problem really staying on top of things....since it's an obsession for me. In time though, as they keep growing, it will get tougher and I will be needing to upsize...which coincidentally makes me smile really really big!!!! For alot of people, this is the hard part because they don't tend to their water garden each day and if parameters get a lil outa wack, you could have a fish kill over night :( which would make me very sad! The solution, filtration, and lots of it. Make sure you have a good pump that circulates the pond water volume every 1-2 hours. I use mechanical/bio bead media filter which is store bought, and I also have a UV sterilizer on this pond. On my first it was all DIY and to be honest I was more comfortable there because you understand everything about the system since it's yours. I added two items to this system in place now as reinforcement, and it just makes sence to me. First A DIY Skimmer/Inflow filter, with lava rock and mechanical filter media, and on the outflow I added a very large Whiskey barrel bio/veggie filter. The water trickles in from the top in a PVC, drops to the bottom allowing for oxygen, sedimant is allowed to settle at the bottom (put a drain in) then the water slowly seeps up through lava rock with pebbl;es on top, housing a bunch of water hycinth and canna dirt just bare root plants taking in all the Nitrates left in the water. Wala! This water sparkling clear travels back into the pond! I'll try and post a picture. I am totally convinced that the DIY portions of my filter system alone with my pump would be having as much sucess as the entire system. The UV probably is helping somewhat at this time of the year in Florida with algae blloms though. So there you have it...the basics of filteration in a pond. My only regret which will be corrected next pond....a bottom drain! More on that later!!! If you have any questions please feel free to ask! I'm just getting started at this so I'll do my best to ck back often! Thanks for the ear :) janine

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