EIPS Newsletter

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In This Issue: August 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007
7 pm
Gary & Jo Hunersdosse
306 Red Fox Rd SE
Cedar Rapids, IA

“Summer Gardening” - Master Gardener, Ellen Skripsy

Bring your lawn chairs.

Directions: From 1st Ave East, take Cottage Grove to 34th St, then right on 34th St to Beaver Ave, then left onto Indiandale Rd, then left on Trailridge. Follow it around to Red Fox Rd and turn left.

34th is also accessible from Mt. Vernon Rd SE or from Mt. Vernon Rd take East Post Rd to Trailridge then right onto Red Fox.

Direction from Aug. 2006 newsletter

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"THE 50's WERE NIFTY", so all you cool cats come blast to the past.  

Herman Michel celebrating his 60th birthday. Bring a “B” card to help him celebrate!!!!!

TO:  "It's a Rock N Roll Relics Birthday Party!"   CELEBRATING: Herman Michel's 60 th Birthday  

DATE:  August 25, 2007

TIME: Dinner at 6:00 p.m. Short meeting afterwards

ADDRESS: "THE MALT SHOP" (Herman's Garage behind house)
4297 Zeman Drive S.E.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403-3954

DIRECTIONS: Take Mount Vernon Road S.E. (Past the Hy-Vee) to 43rd Street.  (look for a water tower on your left) Turn right on 43rd. (1 block  & look for balloon's)  

Bring your lawn chairs.   Prizes for best Rock N Roll costume. 50's dress not required, but you'll miss out on all the fun !!!!!!!!!!  

"No gifts to bring - it's not his style,  just bring yourself to make him smile."

Minutes from the July 28th meeting…….

It was our (Harry and myself) pleasure to host the Saturday, July 28th meeting. Harry dug out the large BBQ grill to roast up a pork loin and some BBQ chicken. I made a few sides and called it a done deal. Joe Olsen added a large plate of garden fresh tomatoes and Erma Thompson brought some tasty bars to share. Members wondered around the yard and pond and had a little time to visit whilst we got everything ready.

When everyone was fed, we began our meeting by having our guest speaker, Joyce Robinson, give her presentation on Hybrid lilies for our gardens. She spoke about the many types and their care. She followed up with pictures of the many kinds she has in her garden. The beautiful bouquet she brought with her as a demonstration spoke volumes as to the beauty of this flower. Hybrid lilies are the “Queens” of the garden, and after seeing Joyce’s, I’m thinking I, for one, need to make them an addition to my gardens. Her talk was very informative and interesting.

President, Gary Hunerdosse, opened up the meeting by asking if there were any new members. With no new members to introduce, I took a few minutes to talk briefly about our gardens and recent pond renovations.

We approved the minutes from the last meeting and a Treasurer’s report was given. The final pond tour report was read: Attendance = 665, total admittance income = 3467.00, plant sale = 274.00 for a total of $ 3741.00!! We talked about how Becky’s Lynch’s garden seemed to have the largest draw (It was featured in the Gazette) and Monica did a great job talking about the club on the evening news. We gained 4 new members from the tour. The club currently has 2507.84 in savings, 4711.76 in checking, and had just received an additional 500.00 from Kloubec’s for a total of $7,719.60. Pam will soon be writing a check for the Kirkwood Scholarship we pledged. Pam thought there was one outstanding bill from the Gazette for tour advertising yet, also. Please email Pam with suggestions on how to spend (donate) all the monies from the tour and Expo, so she can put together a list for open discussion. . Pam also brought some information from Alliant regarding an Iowa Renewal Assoc. seminar in Solon on Sept. 8th & 9th.

In further discussion regarding the pond tour, Monica handed out sheets with both positive and negative feed back on the tour. We discussed a few of them, briefly and Monica wanted the club to consider a northern location for next year’s tour. (It’s never too early to be thinking about it) In further business, Monica asked if the club would be willing to renew the Aquascape magazine subscription we had donated to the Cedar Rapids Public Library. A 2 year renewal of 34.97 was voted upon and approved.

Maria Hamilton explained a handout regarding the newsletter cost per person. It currently is calculated to cost approximately 14.05 per person for a year of newsletters and postage. This created a firestorm of conversations in regards to raising the yearly dues to compensate for the expense. Rose Milden made the motion to raise the dues to 15.00 per family and it was seconded. Then there was conversation about not making it happen till next year and some members feeling like we should be able to use the funds we raised at the tour to help offset the cost. A lot of confusion followed as to how these funds can be used or not used. Despite all the controversy, a hand vote was taken to raise the dues next year to 15.00 per family. With 21 yeas and 12 nays the motion passed.

Gary reminded members to volunteer for the upcoming Brucemore Garden and Landscape show in August. He also mentioned that the October meeting site was still open for a volunteer host. Gary mentioned trying to put together a progressive dinner evening pond tour in Cedar Rapids during the month of September, possibly. If you are interested in opening up your house and becoming part of the tour, please notify Gary. A reminder that the photo contest is still in progress, with results due at the Saturday, Sept. meeting, was given. .

With dark descending on us, door prizes were drawn for. We had approx. 14 door prizes – wow, that’s a lot of lucky winners.

I appreciate everyone that took the time to make the drive out of Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities to venture out to see our ponds and gardens. Thanks for coming and I hope you enjoyed the meal.

Respectfully submitted…Jackie Allsup

submitted by Pam Moore

Click for July 2007 treasures report

From the Treasure…….

WOW!!!  2007 Pond Tour Hugely Successful!

This was possibly the biggest year yet for our annual pond tour!  The numbers have been tallied, the reports are in, and here are the results from your treasurer's point of view:  

Total number of visitors: 665 people.  And remember, there were many children along, so ponds were viewed with awe by a LOT of folks!  

Plant Sale Total Dollars: $274.00

Total Tour Dollars: $3487.40  

Making our grand total income for the event a whopping $3761.40!!  (And please don't ask how we got 40 cents - I have no idea!)  

The pond with the most visitors starting out the tour was Becky Lynch's.  The great coverage of her pond in The Gazette was no doubt a factor, but her location of being at one end of town also helped people map their way through the tour.  

We also gained 3 new memberships, with one already asking to be on next year's tour!  Our new members are Kirk & Wendy Davis, Nancy Churchill, and Jeff Garner & Kerry Shaner.  

Remember, the club has decided to establish a scholarship program at Kirkwood for $500.00 per year.  After depositing some funds into checking, and some into a savings account, we should be set to keep this funded for at least the next 5 years!  Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone involved in this year's tour!  It was the hottest day in Cedar Rapids so far this year, at a swealtering 96 degrees, but folks turned out and felt very welcomed by our membership.  Way to go!!!

Any questions contact Pam Moore diverpug@yahoo.com or 319-362-3375

By Josh Spece

Fragrant Hostas

Hostas are usually grown only for their colorful, attractive foliage. All Hostas bloom with spikes of purple, lavender, or white flowers, but rarely are the flowers the reason for growing a Hosta. In fact, some gardeners dislike the flowers so much that they cut them off as soon as the spikes peek above the leaves! One group of Hostas is worth growing especially for the flowers. August is the month that the fragrant flowered Hostas begin perfuming the garden with their sweet scent.

All fragrant Hostas are descendents of the one and only scented species – Hosta plantaginea. Plantaginea is the queen of all Hostas, as far as flowers go. Its flowers are pure white and much larger than any other Hosta flowers. The flowers can be up to 3” across and 4” long! Hosta plantaginea blooms in late summer.

The fragrant hybrid Hostas vary in the strength of the scent, flower color, and flower size, but generally bloom from mid summer to early fall. Hosta ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ is one of the oldest fragrant hybrids and is the source of many outstanding sports that are a great starting point for adding some fragrant Hostas to your garden. ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ has apple-green leaves with a cream edge, ‘Guacamole’ is chartreuse with a green edge, ‘Holy Mole’ is chartreuse with a very wide, dark green edge, and ‘Stained Glass’ is gold with a dark green edge.

In general, most fragrant Hostas grow quickly and thrive in a lot of direct sun. Hostas will probably always be grown for their lush foliage, but don’t forget some have flowers that are just as worthy as the leaves. Fragrant Hostas are not only beautiful, but a treat to the nose, as well!

By Monica Morley

All I can say is WOW!!!!! For being one of the hottest days for the pond tour, we had a great attendance. What a successful event for the club.

I want to thank all the pond sitters for volunteering to greet the public on such a warm day and to the pond host for being so hospitable to the public by offering cool water, lemonade and cookies/treats and a spot for them to sit in the shade to rest. It is an outstanding act of kindness from the members of our club. I must commend everyone for keeping that smile on your face as you welcomed visitors throughout the warm day. And to the pond host, thank you for sharing your pond and placing the signs in the best locations in your area, besides answering many questions or just visiting with all the visitors. As one of the pond hosts, I had a great time. It can be stressful getting everything ready but the final effort by everyone pitching in is all worth while. A big thank you goes out to Pam Moore, treasurer, for driving to each pond location after her morning shift as a pond sitter to pick up the money. Another thank you to Deb Walser and Roxanne Miene non-members who offered their time to take care of the plant sale during the morning shift. Pond sitters, without a doubt in my mind, are the most important part of the tour. You’re the first smiling face the public encounters, keeping track of zip codes, where they heard about the tour, applying the wristbands, explaining directions, and hearing complaints. You volunteer to help 100% and go up and beyond the 100% and it shows every year.

It was great to have everyone come and enjoy dinner at our house after the tour. After a long tiring day for everyone I still saw many of us still sharing a bright smile with each other. The club supplied the pork and corn bread from BBQ THIS!! And also paid for a delicious cake to celebrate the July birthdays that Rosie and Herman Michel did the shopping for. The club also supplied the pop and water. Several side dishes & dessert from Maria Hamilton, Elena Murillo, Monica Morley, Deb Holtzman and Jo Hunerdosse were much appreciated. Thanks again to Wayne and Pat Beuter for storing the pools and signs for another year. I applaud each and every one of you that hosted, sat at a pond and members that supported the event by taking the tour and the ones that came to celebrate with us at the dinner afterwards. Also thank you to those who took the time to return the feedback information. It will help make next years’ tour another success…….

“Thumbs up” to the Eastern Iowa Pond Society Inc. Members

Click for Pond Tour pictures

Click for even more pictures!

Photo Contest Coming…...

Photo Contest
September 22nd

Update on guidelines

Here are the categories

People in the Garden
Flowers in the Garden
Best Overall Garden View
Most Unusal
Garden Statues
Fish and Frogs

Enter one or all categories
One picture per category

Pictures must be from your own home or a members.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Lot of prizes.

Lots of fun.

If you missed last year’s contest, here is your second chance.

Size of picture

Label picture naming category and your name on back. Start turning them in to Monica Morley starting at the 1st meeting in August. Hurry you only have 3 meeting to turn them in.

2006 Photo Contest Winners!!!!
-1st place Curt Moore
-2nd & 3rd place Elena Murillo
-Honorary place Jackie Allsup

Help add to the clubs’ photo book by participating in this years’ contest.


In The Country Garden & Gifts.

E.I.P.S. members receive a 10% discount. Must show your current membership card at time of purchase.


The handout covering Pond Expenses, should include approx $425 for the Gazette ad in 2007 and 560.91 for the Gazette ad in 2006.

Koi for Sale

$25.00 on up

Approximately 37 koi for sale.
Purchased from Hooked On Fish.
Size– med-lg
E-mail new member John Bailey at John.bailey@wcg.org
Or call midmorning

Brucemore Garden & Art Show
Sat—August 25
9 am—4 pm

If you would like to volunteer some during that day to work our membership booth contact :
Jackie Allsup

Did you know…...

Bob Hollenbeck had a picture he took at the 2007 Pond Tour entered for the Gazette photo contest Summer Life!

Check it out: http://gazetteonline.com/section/photocontest

There are going to be gifts for everyone attending the August 9th meeting! Compliments of Dick Isard.

The Associated Press reported in December 1985, in Eugene, Oregon, a 6-month-old kitten set a Christmas tree on fire while batting at the lighted bulbs. The heat of the fire cracked a nearby fishbowl, and water from the bowl doused some of the fire. Firefighters arrived within minutes of the fire starting and put out the fire, which had spread to the carpet. A goldfish named Clyde was found lying prone in the cracked bowl, and when put into another bowl with water, was quickly revived and survived the ordeal. The water in Clyde's bowl had prevented the fire from getting out of control.

Prairie Creek Nursery

4100 Bowling Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Stop in to see Shirley and Kevin at Prairie Creek Nursery

** Pond Supplies
** Design & Installation
** Aquatic Plants
** Japanese Koi & Goldfish
** Aerators & Fountains
** Gifts for the water gardener

August Birthdays

Monica Morley - August 2
Herman Michel - August 5
Richard Miene - August 5
Deb Kontz - August 17
Alex Hovden - August 19
Clarence Serbousek - August 21
Lavonne Isard August - 23
Dorothy Helms August - 24

If you would like your birthday printed in the newsletter, email us at mespringcove@aol.com or sign in with the Hospitality Committee: Elena Murillo or Gil Morley

Summitted by Jackie Allsup

An elderly man had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back, fixed up really nice, along with some picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees.

The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.

As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.

When he came closer, he realized it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.  

He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end to shield themselves.

One of the women shouted to him, 'We're not coming out until you leave!'

The old man frowned and replied, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked."

Holding the bucket up he said, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  

"I'm just here to feed the alligator!!!"

by Monica Morley

If you did not make the July 28th meeting at Jackie and Harry Allsup’s. You missed a wonderful night of pond talk, great food, a beautiful garden and two crystal clear ponds, and giant koi, did I mention Great Food.

Harry out did himself once again with his magic, working the grill, flavorful chicken and pork. Jackie served corn-on-the-cob, delicious side dishes and deserts. Thank you Jackie and Harry for a enjoyable evening!!

Click for pictures.

The official state insect of the state of Washington is the blue darner dragonfly.

A dragonfly can fly 25 miles per hour.

A dragonfly flaps its wings 20 to 40 times a second, bees and houseflies 200 times, some mosquitoes 600 times, and a tiny gnat 1,000 times.

In Japan, the dragonfly symbolizes good luck, courage, and manliness. Japanese warriors customarily wore the dragonfly emblem in battle

Call the following members for advice for all your questions. Fish health, construction of the pond, water garden plants. The list is long. Give them a try!!


Joe Olsen

Dennis & Carol Sindelar
Requests e-mails only

Jackie Allsup

By Larry Thompson

The Thompson Pond

The Thompson family is new to the Koi hobby and completed two pond projects in 2005, one Koi pond and one garden pond. Larry has raised African Cichlids since 1970 and both Erma and Larry have a keen interest in learning more about Koi and ponds. One of our goals was to raise Koi to a large size and have the fun of watching them grow and change over the years. As compared to keeping the African Cichlids, keeping a successful Koi pond involves an entirely different set of fish keeping equipment and technologies. The Thompson’s have assumed the basic principle’s and practices of keeping fish in a closed system remain the same, i.e. ultra pure clean water, low bio-load, more filtration than you think you need, regular water changes and plenty of aeration.


No, it is not necessary as many folks in our EIPS (Eastern Iowa Pond Society) winter their Koi just fine without a cover. However, we decided to experiment with a structure in order to prevent the water from freezing, elongate the season for the filters to run, shorten the winter cycle for the Koi and extend the season to feed them. We wanted to see if it would reduce several winter risk factors for our pond.


We are considering the results a success due to the health of the fish after two winters under the greenhouse cover. There have not been any fish losses or problems with disease. We have not added any salt or chemical additives other than preventive doses of Koizyme, Barley Straw Extract and Microbe Lift PL. Koizyme helps prevent aeromonas and pseudomas bacteria problems which can build up during cooler water temperatures. Microbe Lift PL restores the microorganism balance to the pond after winter. Both products accelerate the ecosystem balance and speeds the pond through the through the so called “Aeromonas Alley” time period in the spring as the water warms. As we understand it, many Koi keepers use this SOP.

A critical success factor could be the quality of our water, as the pond receives regular water changes throughout the winter. As mentioned earlier, we are practicing the same closed system fish keeping principles that have led to success with the African Cichlid tanks. Water changes in the winter are accomplished by waiting for a day over 32 degrees, dropping an electric sump in the pond in the morning and returning the water using a garden hose with a fine spray nozzle over a period of several hours. The reason for this process is that in the winter our well water has supersaturated gases, which are detrimental to the fish if not diluted and dispersed. This condition is called Gas Embolism. Winter well water, in particular, contains supersaturated nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. The Koi’s gills are permeable to these dissolved gases. As a result these gases will be absorbed if not dispersed and will cause great pain, stress and hemorrhaging of tiny blood vessels. By keeping the winter water changes to 15-25% and slowly spraying the return water in a fine spray, we have not observed any stress on the Koi or experienced any problems or losses.

The water temperature of our Koi pond stays relatively stable due to the 4-6 depth and the pond cover. Here are the metrics and notes for the 2006/2007 winter:


10/19/06---Installed Greenhouse cover early to keep leaves out of the pond and stabilize water temperature.
---Water temp is 55 degrees
11/27/06---Water temp is 55 degrees
12/21/06---Water Temp is 50 degrees; quit feeding the Koi.
01/08/07---Water Temp is 47 degrees; shut off the Nexus filters.
02/05/07---Water Temp is 39 degrees after period of extreme cold and minus 10-30 degree chill factors.
February temp stayed between 39 and 43, depending upon sun and wind chill factor.
03/18/07---Water Temp is 52 degrees; brought the filters back on line.
04/04/07---Water temp is 58 degrees with plants and algae growing and frogs looking for food under the cover.


The design is “modular” in concept, such that two or three people can install the cover every fall and tear it back down every spring. The basic construction components come from a do-it-yourself farm and greenhouse supply company called Farmtek (www.farmtek.com). The framework of the structure is 4-12 pitch roof trusses available from any building material supplier. The structure for our pond is built in five sections (total of eleven trusses), 4’ high and 20’ long to cover the 28 foot length and 16 foot width of the pond. The extra width is to extend the structure beyond the perimeter of the pond in order to help prevent the ground surrounding the pond from freezing. Additional 2X4 support is needed to stabilize the trusses and greenhouse panels and to give the sections additional structural support in case of heavy snows. Please reference the pictures. The five “modules”(sections) are fastened together simply by using large “C” Clamps, once the components are placed together and aligned. It must be aligned properly in order for the polycarbonate panels to slide into the aluminum “H” channel grooves which are fastened to the trusses (see materials list). Note—the staff at Farmtek will assign a support designer to you and provide assistance and answer questions. We chose the 8MM Polycarbonate twinwall sheets which are similar in structure to cardboard. Together with the extra 2X4 supports installed in between the truss supports, this material has withstood heavy 6” snows with no problem.

The only problem encountered has been the wind. High winds can do some strange things if there is a small gap where the wind can catch and lift the poly-carbonate panels. We solved the problem by simply using 1X10’s to cover each seam of the panels and used wood screws to fasten them to the trusses. Please see picture. This structure is no thing of beauty, but it seems very functional and Koi friendly and that is what is important for us in the winter season. We also tape the gaps at the top of the structure so wind cannot dislodge the panels. This is best completed as you are installing the panels while you can walk out over the pond on the truss structure, prior to installing the panels. We really didn’t worry about it being excessively air tight as that isn’t practical or possible with this design. One of the primary purposes is to keep the winter winds off of the water.

The last component is the “insulation”. We use Concrete Insulating Blankets(R=7), available at concrete supply stores. They are relatively inexpensive and made for the winter weather, rain, ice and snow. As we are placing the trusses in place over the pond, we place the concrete blankets down on the ground first and then overlap over the bottom part of the structure after everything is put together. This does two things: helps prevents the ground from freezing around the pond and “seals” the wind out of the bottom part of the structure, where there are gaps due to the uneven terrain. The edge of the blankets is then flipped up and simply taped down to the bottom portion of the panels with duct tape, which holds everything in place the entire winter.

The materials list:

Eleven 4-12 pitch roof trusses which were 20 feet long
Aluminum H-Channels*
Poly-carbonate covering (We chose 6’X10’ “Twinwall” sheets for our application. (R value of 4).*
2X4’s for truss support structure
1X10’s to cover the seams of the polycarbonate panels to prevent worst case high wind damage.
Assorted screws and washers*
Large “C” clamps
Vent tape, Duct tape or “Gorilla” tape
Concrete Insulating blankets

*Note for items with asterisk—Total cost for items marked with an asterisk is $1,200.


Everything is pre-assembled as much as possible. We attached the H-channels on the roof trusses prior to placing over the pond. The 2X4 braces were also pre-assembled, so that as we put the “truss modules” in place over the pond, they could be installed for stability. Our pond is 28’ long, so we purchased 11 trusses; hooked two together with the support 2X4’s in order to create one module or section. We install one section at a time. After all sections are adjusted in place and the C-Clamps fastened, the poly-carbonate panels are slid into the H-Channels. Please see picture. The C-Clamps fasten the sections together and give the structure stability. The end panels are not a problem as you can reach them from the side. This is also the time to place duct tape (or similar material) in the gaps at the top where the two panels from the two sides come together at the top of the structure. Please reference the picture. The purpose of the tape is to prevent the wind from being able to “lift” the panels and damage them. 50MPH winds can damage, so duct tape can help prevent a worst case weather scenario.

The last step is to cover both ends of the structure with thin plywood and incorporate a simple door. This provides access to the pond for water changes, maintenance and to view the fish. We used 1/8” plywood because it can stay with the end truss section permanently and is light weight.

The structure is stored off the ground on concrete blocks with a tarp tied over it so it can be reused the next winter.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES continues in the September Newlsletter

Click for pictures.

Hugh & Kathi Albrecht
Kirt & Wendy Davis
Nancy Churchill
Jef Gardner & Kerry Shaner

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

August 9
7pm Gary & Jo Hunerdosse—Cedar Rapids
“Summer Gardening” - Master Gardener, Ellen Skripsy

August 25
Herman Michel—Cedar Rapids
Herman’s Birthday Celebration

September 13
7pm Joe & Judy Olsen—Independence
Open Discussion on Pond Related Topics

September 22
5:30pm Gil & Monica Morley/Elena Murillo - Cedar Rapids
"Fall Bulbs” Master Gardener, Zora Ronan
Photo contest

October 27

November 17
Recognition & Election Night—T.B.D.

Agenda: Business Meeting: 30-40 minutes
Program: 30-45 minutes
Tour of host’s pond/water features: 40-60 minutes

All locations and topics are subject to change. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

EIPS Newsletter Archives