Saturday, April 07, 2012

Pond Cleaning: AKA Monsters of the Deep

One of my least favorite spring activities is cleaning our small ornamental pond. It takes at least half a day, always requires a trip to the hardware store, and usually involves some injury, or at least getting wet. However, there is usually some unexpected entertainment. This year was better than most.

We always try to keep frogs(s) in our pond for their singing, and also to eat mosquito larvae. However we have been having trouble keeping the tadpoles alive, and suspect the culprit is the catfish. (See below.) Last year a friend gave us a tadpole that was a refugee from a science project. It went in the pond, and was never seen again. Low and behold, today when I pulled some of the plant containers out of the pond I saw a frog shaped blob underneath. My first thought was that it was a clay frog that had fallen in the pond, but no, it was an actual frog, and of respectable bullfrog size. Our assumption is that this is Konrad, the long lost tadpole. Of even greater interest was the capture of our catfish. Quite a number of years ago, I bought a small (like four inch long) catfish in the hope that it would eat some algae and help keep the pond clean. The catfish went in the pond, and we did not see it for several years. When we did see the catfish, it had grown considerably and was more like ten inches long. That was a couple of years ago. Now the catfish is a monster (relative to the size of the pond) over a foot long. During the summer when we feed the fish it hoovers up most of the fish food, and we suspect, any small fish we introduce to the pond. At least I know we loose a lot of fish and never see their cadavers. In catching the catfish, I relearned an important catfish anatomy lesson. They have a very sharp spike under their back fin. I was able to catch the fish and put it in bucket, but at the cost of a deep puncture would in the base of my right index finger. I am hoping catfish don't carry tetanus.

Via iPad

No comments: