Making progress on pond work

Never did get around to part 2 of the busy weekend from my last post. We have been squeezing work in when we can with our schedules and the not-so-spring-like weather conditions.

The big news is that much of the filtration equipment work is done and we have started filling the upper pond with water. This will take us about two days to fill using the garden hose. The pond builder wanted to check just how much water our system holds so he’s using a little water meter on the hose. We’ve always thought the system held about 13000 gallons of water but we’re not sure. Meanwhile, he’s put a lot of work in the equipment pit this year putting in large ball valves where he had gate valves. I’m sure there was a good reason behind the work – I’m just not sure what it was. The valves are not the easiest thing to open and close – you have to use some muscle. Today the temperature is around 40 and he’s finishing up with the new moving bed filter and will hook up the pump to the RDF. Our goal is to have the pond filled and circulating by Tuesday. The koi are patiently waiting in the garage. No one seems too distressed as long as they are getting fed.

Pipe work between the pond and the RDF
Moving bed filter, version 2017 – this one is taller than the old one and fits in the equipment pit a little better.

My job this weekend was to get the equipment house, landscape fences and lower pond shade future stained. While cedar lasts, stained cedar will last longer and look better. I went with some pewter gray shingles and slate accent. We were gong to two-tone the lower pond’s shade feature but decided that all slate was the better option. We didn’t quite finish staining with the weather and running out of stain. We must drive to the hardware store at least six times every weekend. In a few weeks, the pond builder will take back bags of stuff to the hardware stores. Amazingly they generally take everything back. I personally don’t like overshopping but if we didn’t, the number of trips back to the hardware store would probably double.

equipment pit house cover roof is stained slate and pewter
landscaping fences stained to match the equipment house
first coat of slate stain on the lower pond shade feature

I’ve picked out a new dining set but not sure what will be going down on the ground. This will require some digging and leveling – pond builder is psyched about that I’m sure… Our waterfall is no longer functioning so we’ll have to rethink what we’re going to do in it’s place. For this year, I’m going to leave half of it in place and I’m going to put in a kitchen garden adjacent to the new dining area. It may end up being a rabbit/dear snack site but I think having herbs and some kitchen plants closer to the house would be nice. I’m planning on a terraced or multi-box garden. Plenty of time to work on this since you can’t plant any annuals into the ground until after Mother’s Day in Minnesota.

no work on my future kitchen garden and new outdoor dining area due to poor weather

Vida and ChiChi were sent outdoors this weekend. Slightly premature considering the weather but I really needed the garage space back and they aren’t suffering outside. Their coop is insulated and heated for the next few days and it’s so much better than the U-Haul boxes they were living in for the last three weeks. They are growing fast and enjoy flying up to the roosting bars.

the chickens made it out to their new coop but with snow in the forecast, I had to insulate the coop and run a heat lamp for them

Lots more koi activity picking up the next few weeks. Our liner for the lower pond is here, I have koi coming in from California, I have a new koi to pick up in Minnesota when she is done with quarantine – and the weather might actually be warm and sunny next week! May 7th is looking like a pretty auspicious day to get the koi outdoors.

I really need to give some more thought about the skirting for the lower pond. I’m leaning towards smooth stained wood around the pond. We’re also designing for the winter since we want to be able to build a temporary greenhouse over the lower pond for the koi. I know it’s crazy – it’s not even summer and we’re already planning for winter. It just never really seems to end around here but it keeps us occupied.