EIPS Newsletter

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June 2004 Newsletter
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In This Issue: June 2004

June 10, 2004
7 pm
Dennis & Carol Sindelar
1754 D Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Iris in the Garden

Carol is an avid Iris gardener, including Bearded, Siberian and Water Iris. The Iris beds are creeping across the front yard as she adds to her collect. Carol will share Iris basics and some tricks she has learned over the years.

June 26, 2004
7 pm
Ron & Edna Rife
1200 34th Street SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Bonsai Gardening

The Bonsai club will be on hand to share their love of Bonsai gardening. You may have seen some of their plants at Brucemore last summer or at the Easter Open House at the Noelridge Park Greenhouse.

The Thursday, May 13th, meeting was held at the home of Barb and Harold Cassens, in Vinton. President, Kacy Novak, called the meeting to order. She began by asking our host to talk briefly about his pond. The Cassens’ pond is a multilevel pre-formed pond. It is small, but gives it’s owners much pleasure. Harold uses a veggie filter, plants, and natural shade to help keep his pond crystal clear. He has a night light shining on the falls and it produces an excellent focal point when entering or leaving their yard from the garage. The members took a short tour of the yard and Barb’s many plantings.

It was a cool night but the rain held off. (Must be time for our annual plant exchange. It always rains for that!) Anyway, the night was cool, so we all collected in the Cassens' living room.

On to the business part of the meeting: Minutes were approved as printed in the April newsletter. In Nancy’s absence, there was no treasurer’s report. Joe Olsen presented a Pond Tour Committee report. He brought fliers for members to begin to hand out and post. The committee is still working on procuring ponds for the tour. If you know of anyone in the Highway 20 Corridor that would like to be on the tour, please contact him. Sign up sheets for volunteers will follow in the near future.

I (Jackie) read a very nice Thank You letter from the mayor of Springville for our club’s contribution toward their new fountain.

I (Jackie Allsup) began an open discussion on fish Nutrition. I chose several of the questions from the KHA (Koi Health Advisor) nutrition test and I asked members for the correct answers. It sparked questions and hopefully everyone learned something new about feeding their fish.

Door prizes were drawn for. I’m happy to report all winners had name tags on so we didn’t have to penalize anyone by taking it back.

After the meeting, the fun part started. We all went out to the Cassens’ garage to participate in our club’s annual plant and fish exchange. Everyone that brought plants was asked to talk briefly about what they brought so everyone would know what was there. After everyone did this, then there was simply an open exchange with people taking plants of interest. We had quite a variety of plants and several dozen gold fish. Thank you, to everyone that brought in plants for this occasion. I, myself, went home with several new things to try in my gardens thanks to member’s being so willing to share. Thank you, again......

Jackie Allsup

P.S. So nice to see Marilyn Oliver back attending a meeting. We missed you!

Saturday, May 22nd..... Our Saturday meeting for the month was held at Marty and Rick Fangman’s home in Gilbertville. The recent rainy weather held off just long enough for us to hold our meeting pond-side on their pleasant deck.

President, Kacy Novak, called the meeting to order and began by asking Rick to talk briefly about their ponds. Like all good ponders, Rick has a long history of complete make overs. His pond now completely wraps around his deck and is the home to 30-40 koi. This is a huge comeback as a mink nearly wiped out every fish he had just a couple years ago. He’s hauled in 85 ton of dirt for his burms and Marty has worked hard to develop her numerous flower beds that now nearly consume the whole yard. Their pond will be on our pond tour this year, so if you missed the meeting, hopefully you’ll get to see it later. Rick also told us about a couple pond products he’s been experimenting with. One was Barley pellets and the other a product called Bio Clear. Maybe, he’ll get back to us later to give season results.

Treasurer, Nancy Baldwin, gave her treasure’s report. She asked for a motion to renew membership with the AKCA (Associated Koi Clubs of America) We use them as a source for liability insurance.

Kacy then read a correspondence from a pond owner in Clinton, who was having water quality problems. We briefly talked about some alternatives he could be doing. The note was passed to Roger Thompson, who will contact the gentleman with our recommendations and a contact from the Clinton area pond club for him to get a hold of. There was brief committee comments on the upcoming pond tour, which is on track.

Door prizes were drawn for. Lucky winners were Dorothy Helms, Marty Fangman, Roger Thompson, and myself. Marty and Rick also supplied a nice door prize of “Floating Gazing Balls” which Pat Beuter was lucky enough to win.

Following our business meeting, our special guest speaker was Ryan Walrod with Light Prospectives out of Ames. Ryan is a landscape lighting designer. He has a background in the theater, so his designs are very thought threw. He strives to promote moods throughout your landscape with the use of light to draw attention to textures, motion, color, and special items within your landscape. He demonstrated several styles of lights and the different effects they made on their surrounding area. He gave a very interesting and thorough presentation, helping us to consider more than just plain ole path lighting. The use of your yard doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. If you’d like Ryan to help take your dark night yard to a “special place to enjoy and entertain” yard, you can contact him at 515-292-7201. It’s like adding another dimension to your yard and pond!

The Fangman’s had lots of yummy cookies and Nancy Baldwin brought cupcakes to help celebrate her birthday. She wasn’t saying her age, though......The rains came and kind of hurried everyone away, but the toads where singing away happily much to the delight of the Fangman’s young granddaughter, who with her little flashlight was out watching and catching as many as she could. (Wish I’d had a camera. I’ll bet when she grows up she’ll recall great evenings spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Playing around the pond.Watching the toad’s throats blow up like balloons as they sang into the night. She was having so much fun carrying them around. Not afraid one little bit. Reminded me of my own childhood growing up near the creek. Generation P? Future pond owner??) Respectfully submitted -

Jackie Allsup

So I am sitting in the Hy-Vee dining area eating breakfast this week and over hear a ponder I haven’t met yet relate that he was not having any flood damage but his pond was over flowing. With all the concern about the excessive rain and the flooding, I wasn’t thinking about my pond. But spring is a good time to have some major water changes on the pond, and oh, Mother Nature is doing a fine job on the ponds in Northern and Central Iowa. Hope you and your pond are enjoying it.

Joe Olsen and committee are working hard on the pond tour and we just received the list of ponds for the 2004 tour. Remember the theme this year is a Hwy 20 tour. All of the ponds will be along Hwy 20, within 5 miles, between Waterloo and Independence. Remember we need volunteers for the day of the tour.

Check out the mini notes as we have some Buy Sell Trade items and some information on those snails that were available at the plant swap.


I’m back! As part of my Koi Health Advisor classes, one of the final requirements was to attend a wet lab for hands on training. Previous to this trip, I have regularly been downloading text information and emailing back tests at the end of each of these sections. We started with Pond Design, followed with Filtration, Water Quality, Anatomy and Physiology, and finally Nutrition. Only after these basics, did we begin Koi Health and Lab. For lab requirements, we had to purchase a microscope, text books, dissecting kits, and various other paraphernalia. We could choose North Carolina, Dallas, or Orange Co. CA in which to travel to for the labs. I chose Dallas since I also had a nephew there whom I could count on for a place to stay and to be my built in chauffeur. (With 6 lane highways and 5 story overpasses, this was a god sent!)

We (My sister and I) flew in on Thursday. We had Friday during the day to kind of settle in and do some visiting with my nephew and his wife. They took us to see the Dallas/Ft. Worth botanical gardens. Wow! What a beautiful place this time of the year. Hundreds, no thousands, of tulips, daffodils, azaleas, wisteria, and spring flowers of every kind. The grass was lush and although it wasn’t as warm as I had wished , cloudy and upper 60’s, I went away aching for spring to be here in Iowa soon.

Friday evening the local Dallas Koi Kichi (Kichi means all about, crazy, extreme hobbyist) club, sponsored a meet and greet session at the lab site. We introduced ourselves, talked, had a few drinks. All very nice, and I was excited about the days to come.

Saturday, classes began at 9:00. We set up microscopes. With the exception of one of the vets from Oregon, I had traveled the furthest to come to the classes. It was full of warm weather people, who were unfamiliar with the cold water problems we have here in Iowa. We split into smaller groups. One group would begin with learning how to put fish to sleep, take body and gill scrapes and using the microscope to look for parasites. Another group would go to a Water Quality table to learn about test kits. We had to test a known water sample.(Meaning, we were testing the test kits to make sure they were functioning correctly) Then, we had to test unknown samples. From these results, we had to decide what was going on inside the ponds to cause such readings. And still, another group went to the dissecting table. At this table, the attending vet/instructor spoke about koi anatomy and we dissected a fish to locate the internal parts. Going through all the tables took pretty much all day with only a break for lunch. What a great day! Looking for bugs, scraping through fish guts, and playing the mad scientist! Biology class all over again.

But the best of Saturday was yet to come. The Dallas club then hosted us all for a supper at one of it’s member’s homes. And of course, she had a Koi pond to die for. Fish as big as Texas’s reputation calls for, some 3 feet long. The largest, Monica, a huge white Ogon was the friendliest. She loved to suck on your fingers, begging for food. (Hence the name- I’m not making this up!) It was amusing anyway. It was a great potluck meal and the club members were all so friendly. Made a stranger feel right at home.

Sunday’s class, although shorter, was just as educational. We started with additional microscope skills. We talked about antibiotics and practiced giving injections to fish. We talked about wound care and finished the day with different pond and fish scenarios and what to do as a result of our investigations.

The instructors closed by talking about what we as health advisors could and could not do. We are in no way vets and can not act as such. The goal for the KHA (Koi Health Advisor) program is to help train anyone interested in additional health issues concerning koi and pond fish so that they can be available in their area to go out and consult with other fish owners when they are having fish health concerns. They are to work as consults, at no cost, to work with people to help them find solutions to water quality and fish health problems and to be a go between with owners and vets should the owners and KHA feel they need one.

With all that said, I hope to develop some short presentations to bring to EIPS meetings in the future regarding water quality and fish health. And if you should have fish or pond concerns, please feel free to call me at home 319-934-3665 or work 319-366-4307 and I’ll be happy to talk to you or come out to your ponds to take a look-see. I’m not professing to being a fish guru at all, but can maybe at least talk it over, and if need be, talk to my instructors about your problems to get you figured out and straighten out before a whole pond of fish are lost. And remember, don’t wait till the whole pond is dying, starting early with one sick fish can mean the difference of life or death to the whole pond.

(Just an e-nmail that is going around)

My mail carrier told me that the US Postal service sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their uniform pockets to keep yellow jackets away. I use it when I am working outside. It really works. The yellow jackets just veer around you and all this time you've just been putting Bounce in the dryer! Use them all the time. Here are some ideas:

When playing baseball and soccer.

It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them.

It also repels mice.. spread them around foundation areas, or in trailers, cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle.

It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.

Repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce thro ugh a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.

Eliminates static electricity from your television (or computer) screen. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.

Freshen the air in your home. Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.

Put Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner.

Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.

Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.

Freshen the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.

Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food.

Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.

Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight.

Golfers put a Bounce sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away.

Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them, keeps them smelling fresh.

And now that you know, print and keep on file or pass it around!

by Carol Sindelar

Review of article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette

This past Sunday the Gazette published an article on garden ponds, Create Paradise in Your Yard. The origin was Knight Ridder Newspapers and the date line was Akron, Ohio. Besides all of that, the expert consulted was a Bill Hoffman of Hoffman’s Garden Center in Green, Ohio and I think Bill is our kind of ponder. Some of his points that I cheer are as follows:

Check your city for zoning and building codes before digging. Yup and in Iowa call “One Call” for buried cables also.

Minimum 22 inches. Ok, I always think the deeper the better and I think Joe Olsen would agree after his shallow pond froze solid. In Iowa, 36 inches just to be extra safe, unless your fish are annuals, replaced every year.

Liner instead of preformed. He points out how the liner is easier to level and allows for more creativity. Yup, I like creativity. And I like easy.

Regardless of size, the water will turn green and scummy if you simply put it in the sun and do little else. Filtration!!! You can’t have too much.

Complete filtration includes Mechanical and Biological. That means screens and mesh to remove debris and a medium (bio balls, lava rock, pieces of plastic) to grow bacteria on to brake down the fish wastes (ammonia). Remember we are growing bacteria in the filtration. Bacteria is a living thing. Don’t do stupid things that kill it. Like add some chemicals.

And Plants for FILTRATION. He lists plants first in his list of filtration. Good man. “Certain plants help break down and absorb the nutrients that fish create.” That is correct. And it doesn’t have to be a ‘veggie filter’. Just select those good plants like Anacharus, Hornwort, Water lettuce and Water Hyacinths. Anacharus is hardy in Iowa. Good to know.

If the water starts to get green or cloudy, look first to reducing the amount of fish food. Or maybe you need fewer fish or more filtration. Or a simple, partial water change. If you read up on other closed environments, like aquariums, this is the same advise. And since I always think of my pond as just a big aquarium, the advise is the same. Don’t panic.

And then his final statements, “There’s no reason to use chemicals. The best filter known to man is plants. Chemicals can cause damage and, over time, can kill the ecosytem.” (that is the bacteria you want to break down the nutrients) He goes on to say when selecting a garden center, ask the staff what they recommend for treating the pond. If they suggest chemicals, Hoffman says “Run!” Yup, I am right behind him.

The only item where we disagree is in liner selection. He is still recommending against the use of roofing materials for pond lining. I guess I know too many happy ponds made out of roofing rubber to agree with him there. But otherwise, Bill Hoffman is the man of my pond’s dreams. Too bad his garden center is in Ohio.

We have a NEW web address www.eips.org Isn’t that an easy one! Pass the word.

Renewal time: It is that time of year again, time to renew your membership. Fill out the membership form and mail to the PO box or deliver it to Nancy Baldwin at the next meeting.

The Mailing List

Many members would like to contact other members, car pool to meetings and to visit their ponds. We would like to distribute the membership list to all members to allow this to happen. If you would NOT like to have your name, address, phone number and e-mail address distributed to the membership, please contact Nancy Baldwin to have it deleted from the master list. 319-472-2241 or RnBaldwin@aol.com


If you would like the Pond club to meet at your pond or have a speaker idea or contact. Please contact Jackie Allsup or Carol Sindelar

Buy Sell Trade

Rick Fangman has 2 used pumps for sale : Both submersible. One is a Cal pump 4000 gph, this pump has been rebuilt with some special propeller that doesn't break so easy. Also, a Little Giant 5000 gph. Both pumps have a 1 1/2" discharge and come with 25' cords. He is asking $125.00 each for them. Call 296-1658 if interested.

When you leave notes for the mailman to leave the package in a particular shaded area because you know it’s your lilies arriving.

When you go out every morning to see if that new water lily that you paid way too much for has finally opened up.

He who would gag at the thought of changing a diaper as a young father, gladly helps you clean the pond filters.

Buying more pond plants even though your pond is PACKED, and then rushing home before the spouse gets home from work to ‘hide the evidence’.

At the Plant Swap meeting Dennis Sindelar brought Apple Snails. For those who took some, these are tropical snails. They get 3 inches in diameter and will have fun in your pond for the summer. Come fall, watch for them to shut down, often floating into your skimmer box. They need to be removed for the winter, keep them in water as you remove them. Your local pet store would love to buy them in the fall if you do not have an aquarium to winter them in. During the summer, their eggs are a bright pink and laid outside the water. Often on plant leaves, like cattails, about 3 inches above the surface. Although they may sound like a nuisance they are great algae eaters and promote growth of Daphnia which consumes the algae that is green water. If you have more questions contact Dennis at 319-365-1839

Jungle Laboratories is one of the manufacturer’s who donate item for our door prizes. They produce many water treatments and medication for your pond fish. They have contacted us to invite us to call their customer service number to take advantage of their professional knowledge of pond care should you be having a pond problem. Their customer service number is 1-800-357-7104, e-mail at info@junglelabs.com. Their regular hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. central time. You might also send comments about their products if you are a recipient one of their donations.

This just in!!

The 2004 Pond Tour is coming together and the addresses have just been released.


Pam and Ron Black
2083 Kentucky Ave.

Joe and Judy Olsen
2003 206th Street

Bruce and Donna Wehner
314 8th Ave. SE

Sam and Verna Schweitzer
2094 Jamestown Ave.

Gary Buresh
1875 Otterville Blvd.

Pat Fencl
1559 260th St. SW


Bill and Mary Adams
1215 Hawley St.

Ron and Peggy Neuendorf
814 Hawley St.

Dana Webber
1174 Hawley St.


Rick and Marty Fangman
823 17th Ave.


Elden and Bonnie Happel
706 Central


Sandy Hunter
715 E. Washburn

And other Tour related information!

Remember to sign up and volunteer for the pond tour on July 11. We need members to man the sign in tables at each pond and to help with the plant sale. Volunteer at the next meeting or contact Joe Olsen 319-3342709 or Jackie Allsup at 319-934-3665. And save those extra plants for the plant sale. It's always a big money maker for EIPS.

If you can not attend any of the June meetings but can post some of the 2004 Pond Tour Posters, please contact Joe Olsen or print the poster from the website.

Pistia stratiotes is a floating plant with fluted, light-green, velvety leaves, forming a rosette. It likes plenty of heat, a moist atmosphere and protection from the sun. Under favorable conditions it grows to a diameter of about four inches or more and is very attractive. The roots sometimes attain a length of eighteen inches, but they are not sufficiently dense to use for spawning purposes. Multiplies rapidly in a congenial environment, but degenerates and dies out in a dry atmosphere. Water lettuce enjoys the humid Iowa summer.

Reminder: If you have not paid your dues for the year, this will be the last newsletter you will be receiving.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

Thursday, 10 Carol and Dennis Sindelar - CR
Breaded Iris

Saturday, 26 Ron & Edna Rife - CR
Bonsai around the garden pond

Thursday, 8th (In tour area) Pre tour

Saturday, 24th Jackie Allsup – Quasqueton
Fish health

Thursday, 12, Kacy Novak - CR

Saturday, 28 Tim & Linda Nolan - CR

Thursday 9th.. Deb Frese & Kevin Dolan - CR
Winterizing ponds

Saturday, 25 Roger and Margie Thompson – Springville

Sat/Sun Sharon Weiss - Vinton
Ornamental grass

Sat/Sun TBA Recognition & elections

All locations and topics are subject to change.

EIPS Newsletter Archives