EIPS Newsletter

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September 2005 Newsletter
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In This Issue: September 2005

Thursday, September 8, 2005
6:00 pm
Larry & Rita Tharp
338 Mayberry Drive NW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Skip supper before you come, We will start at 6:00 with food. Then at 7:00… we will be viewing one of the videos from the Water Feature Spring Symposium, last March 14, 2005 at Hughes Auditorium, Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa. The speakers were great and we have video with all their words and all the slides: Come a join us around the big screen TV to view this hour long gem of information.


Saturday, September 24, 2005
4:30 pm
Robert & Roberta Ward
3313 Waveland Dr NW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Building toad houses– Each spring we are serenaded by the toads, they keep the bug count down, and they are otherwise harmless to us pond folk and our plants and fish. Lets take this opportunity to say thank you by building our little friends a nice safe house.


August 11th Minutes...

Our regular Thursday night meeting was at the home of Eileen and Clarence Serbousek, from Robins. It had rained most the day and the skies continued to threaten another storm, so they opened up the garage doors and we circled our chairs under its protective roof. President, Kacy Novak, began the meeting by asking for approval of the previous month’s minutes as printed and asked Nancy to present her treasure’s report. Both were approved as is. Kacy had to leave early but wanted to address the upcoming Brucemore Landscaping Show. In the past, the club has always put together an informational booth and she was asking for volunteers for this year’s booth. Brady and Lisa Lanham, Sharon Weiss, Roberta and Robert Ward, Kacy, and myself (Jackie) will be manning the table this year.

Our featured speaker was Sandy Hunter, a master gardener from Black Hawk County. She gave a great talk on Winter Sowing of Seeds. Winter Sowing is planting seeds in containers and placing them outside during the winter months. They simple sit outside and get buried in the snow and go threw the whole freeze/thaw thing. They begin to grow in early spring. No trays sitting all over the living room all spring, no bringing them in and out trying to adapt them to the outside temps. Something I’m definitely going to try! She shared a nice handout, about the whole system and the best seeds to use.

Following her very interesting talk, Carol Sindelar took over the podium and asked Clarence to talk about their pond. It is in its 2nd year, but is not the original pond they started out with. (Where have we heard that story before?) The Serbouseks did all their own work and have created a small but beautiful little gem in their back yard. It’s the home to some of Dennis Sindelar’s baby koi.

Additional new business included; Yonkers offering our club coupons for sale as a fund raiser. The club overwhelming declined their offer. Nancy Baldwin read a very nice thank you card from Carol Laferty regarding a recent memorial the club gave to the Linn Co. Extension Master Gardeners in Ken’s name. Nancy also asked for permission to purchase a club signature stamp to use in conducting business with, also approved unanimously. Nancy then asked for permission to advertise in our newsletter the sale of Xmas wreaths. The proceeds from this sale go towards the Old Creamery Nature Trail project (a past project we have donated money towards). The club again approved, so watch for her ads elsewhere.

The club is still looking for ideas as to where to donate our tour proceeds. If you have a beautification project you’d like to see considered, please put together a detailed outline of the project and bring it to any meeting for discussion.

Door prizes were drawn for, with Ron Rife, Kacy Novak, Clarence Serbousek, and Dorothy Helms being the lucky winners. As the meeting closed, the skies opened and it rained fish and frogs (well this is a pond club!!) on most of us as we drove home for the night.

August 20th Minutes...

The Saturday, August 27th meeting was called to order by president Kacy Novak at the pond of Brett & Patti Shulista in rural Alburnet. Right around 50 members were in attendance.

Kacy immediately turned the meeting over to the Shulistas and Greg Bickal to share stories of the construction of the 6,500 gallon pond during 9 days in the summer of 2004:

** Stream with 3 waterfalls
** 5 feet deep—22 x 24 pond - 40 x 50 piece of liner
** Found a boulder in the middle while digging and just built around it. Added another boulder on top.
** 5800 gph pump
** Bottom drain.
** Built into a natural hillside.
** Home to 20 Koi plus babies in 2004

Kacy then gave Greg 15 minutes to talk about bottom drains. Greg passionately believes bottom drains are the way to build and filter ponds. For a visual overview of bottom drain construction and actual pictures of the Shulista pond as well as the Thompson pond in Springville and the Michels pond in Cedar Rapids, Greg invited everyone to this web site: www.bickal.com. Two important comments: When purchasing Hose clamps for use with the pond, purchase Marine Grade Stainless Steel not just stainless steel. And as many have said and it is so hard to do …. Don’t be afraid to cut a hole in your liner. Greg had a lot of great comments and suggestions and I suggest you check out his web site.

Business meeting: Kacy gave a treasurer’s report for Nancy Baldwin. Since last meeting we have two new members and purchased the endorsement stamp for the treasurer. Nancy also offered to submit a review of how pond tour fund have been spent in the past to help members get ideas for this years funds. (see elsewhere in this newsletter).

EIPS thanks the following members for manning our booth at Brucemore in Cedar Rapids: Roberta & Robert Ward, Lisa & Brady Lanham, Jackie Allsup, Sharon Weiss and Kacy Novak. These opportunities to promote EIPS through a booth at area events are a fun day for members who like to meet the public and talk about ponds. Be sure to volunteer next year when EIPS is looking for people to man booths at events.

A brief discussion of Pond Tour money revealed Brucemore was needing to raise $75,000 to restore their greenhouse. Its an idea.

Door Prizes included a carved rock form Zimmerman Lawn Ornaments of Olin. The light gray 18 inch stone said, “Eastern Iowa Pond Society Member” and was won by Jill Olsen of Independence. Other winners we, Don Matheny of Marion, Margie Thompson of Springville, Dennis Sindelar of Cedar Rapids, and Monica Morley of Cedar Rapids.

Refreshments of Chex Mix, Cookies, Salsa & chips, Lemonade, and water were served.

The meeting was adjourned.

Submitted - Carol Sindelar

FYI - If you have used a product, in your pond that you think we all should know about, write us a little (or big) article about your experience. As a pond club we are hesitant to endorse a specific produce or technique, but we would gladly like to hear about your experiences. This also applies to web sites. If you find one that is exceptionally helpful, let us know. The whole club can hear about it by just sending the information to me, you fearless editor. And we will get it printed in the next newsletter.

Please note that Nancy Baldwin dug through the treasurer's files and compiled this great list of organizations that have received help from EIPS though our Pond Tours. We are hoping this list will spark ideas for the 2005 proceeds.

Finally, I was telling Don Matheny to be patient and his green water would go away…. During the wait, I came across A Psalm for green water in the pond: Psalm 37:7a .

Be patient and wait for the Lord to act;.

Well, being patient nearly killed him. But he left on a 14 day trip and when he returned, within a couple days, the water cleared. We chuckled and he requested I share the Psalm with you.

EIPS EDITOR — Carol Sindelar

Carol Sindelar

To concur the green, cloudy water issue and finally attain CLEAR WATER in your pond, an understanding of where the green comes from and what sustains it will be of help. And what we are dealing with here is the basic Nitrogen Cycle. It starts with AMMONIA. Live fish waste, decomposing dead plants and dead fish, decomposing food, etc. give off ammonia. Nitrosomonas Bacteria consumes the ammonia and gives off NITRITES. Nitrobacter Bacteria consumes the nitrites and gives of NITRATES. So where are these bacteria and what do they need. They are attached to everything in the pond. The rocks, the liner, the walls of the pipes and filter boxes, and on any filter medium (bio-balls, lava rock, plastic pieces, flosses) that you have in your filter. They need oxygen and get that through the movement of the water. Nitrates are consumed by plants. ALGAE is a plant. Green Water is a zillion tiny plants that your fish are feeding. And you are feeding when you over feed the fish. As you start the pond each part of the cycle spikes in order. First the ammonia, until the Nitrosomonas Bacteria catches up, then the Nitrite until the Nitrobacter Bacteria catches up, then Nitrate, then green water until the larger plant life that competes for the Nitrates and the bug life (most are small microscopic) that consume the tiny algae catch up to the amounts that are being produced. Then it clears. And if kept in balance, it will stay clear. But, as soon as you wash the bacteria off the walls and rocks and filters, run the UV sterilizer or add algaecide, you start all over again. And the last two actually kill the algae, which adds ammonia, which feeds the bacteria that leads to more green water. Water + sunlight + decomposing anything (ammonia) = green water. Try this, take a glass of tap water, add some lettuce from the refrigerator, place it in the sun for a week, inside in a sunny window or outside. If this works correctly and the cycle balances the water will clear again because it will have grown all the bacteria needed.

The next step for the pond tour is to use the proceeds. The following is a listing via Nancy Baldwin, detailing what we have done in the past. Maybe they well spark some ideas for this year:

Some people have been asking about where the pond tour fund-raiser monies have been donated or used. The following is an account, according to the clubs ledger. The club was started in 1996. There were no projects in ’96-’97.

1998 ----- We reworked the pond at Cedar Rock near the Frank Lloyd Wright house, Quasqueton, IA. Expenses were pond liner ($250), piping ($40), Deicer ($25), Windsock and flag ($37) and conduit and wire ($34). The total for that project was $386.

We also donated $1500 to the Vinton Lutheran Home for their enclosed garden area.

1999 ----- We donated $500 to the Center Point Schools to be used for landscaping around the newest elementary school building ($500). We also donated $250 to Alburnette (I do not know what this was for), and $475 and physical labor to establish a pond at the Waterloo Arboretum near Hawkeye Tech.

2000 ------ We donated to the Waterloo Arboretum near Hawkeye Tech for their Friendship Garden ($300), Hartman Reserve, Cedar Falls, ($350), Noelridge Greenhouse (indoor pond in greenhouse), Cedar Rapids ($500), Indian Creek Nature Center, Marion (1,000), Kirkwood Scholarship ($500), Hawkeye Tech Scholarship ($500), Kirkwood Community College Horticulture Department, pond project ($500) and Jefferson High School Biology Department, pond project ($500). We donated to the Friends of Linn Co. Conservation ($1,000) for the Wickiup Preserve at Palo, IA.. Funds were to be used for the bird sanctuary and pond. Two people from our club volunteered to work with the project.

2001 ------- We donated for flowers and trees for landscaping at the Walker park and the Historical Society planted a maple tree near a historical school ($800).

2002 ------ We donated to the Historical Society at Independence for landscaping around the mill area ($805), and to the city of Quasqueton for a handicapped ramp by the river $(312).

2003 ----- We donated to the Old Creamery Nature Trail at Vinton for landscaping at the Vinton entrance ($1,000) and to the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department for the pond at the miniature golf coarse in Vinton ($1,000).

2004 ------ We donated to the city of Springville for a fountain for the city park pond ($1,000).

2005 ----- We donated to the Buchanan Historical Society so the Master Gardeners could do landscaping work at the Lee Mansion in Independence ($500).

We have donated a total of $13,680. Smiles to us!

Keep in mind that these projects may have been for the previous year, but this is the year the checks were written. If anyone has additions or corrections please let me know at rnnbaldwin@aol.com or 319-472-2241. It is good information to have for the club and needs to be accurate.

To support The Old Creamery Nature Trail in Benton County

Delivered to your door the week of November 20 – 26, 2005

These are very nice wreaths made with fresh boughs by the Izaak Walton League in Vinton. Prices include ribbon and pine cones.

To order, complete the form below and mail to:

Nancy Baldwin
1105 E Avenue
Vinton, Iowa 52349

Order Form

Help needed...The Pond is too full:

Please note May Gardener (past EIPS member) has 5-10 small to medium Koi to give away. If someone is interested please call her. 319-362-8776

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

Note—this is a tentative schedule. That means don't keep it. Don’t go by it. Just read it now and enjoy what might be happening the rest of the summer. Then remember to read your newsletter each month to know what is really happening.

(Thurs) September 8th -7:00 p.m.
Cedar Rapids?
Host Ruth Tharp

(Sat) September 24th Cedar Rapids
Hosts Robert & Roberta Ward
3313 Waveland Dr NW, Cedar Rapids
Building toad houses

(Sat) October 29th Cedar Rapids
Hosts Herman & Rosey Michaels
4297 Zeman Dr SE, Cedar Rapids
Costumed Halloween Party

(Sat) November Vinton
Vinton Pizza Ranch 219 W 4th, Vinton
Awards Ceremony, Roger Thurm will be showing movies of the pond tour

Now remember, this is only tentative. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

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