APS Meeting February 2018


The Austin Pond Society held it’s monthly meeting at the usual place, Zilker Botanical Gardens  in Austin. About thirty members showed up and were treated to a meal of Pulled Pork with Coleslaw. There were a lot of deserts including a strawberry pie that was absolutely delicious. Thanks to the Members for supplying these wonderful treats.

The original Speaker for the evening, Kieran Docker, is a Pond Builder who had an emergency with one of the ponds he had built and had to attend to it causing him to miss the meeting. That left an empty space in the proceedings but Barb Lenhardt who is our Programs Director came up with a very innovative idea to fill the time. She presented to the group an idea she had to rebuild her pond and asked the group for opinions.  It was like opening up a floodgate with some very interesting  ideas and comments plus a lot of good humor. In no time flat, the hour had passed.

I am not sure that Barb ever intends to put any of the suggestions into practice but if nothing else, the rest of us, who incidentally think we know it all, had the opportunity to put forth our thoughts and ideas. We also learned from the others giving us all something to take away from the meeting. Continue reading

Austin Pond Society Meeting – January 2018

So starts a New Year for the Austin Pond Society. What will it bring, I wonder? We usually follow the same pattern every year. All of our meetings are set up to incorporate different things and we pretty much stick to the same items year after year. The Speaker that Barb Lenhardt, our Programs and Special Events Board Member had originally set up for this meeting had to withdraw at the last minute. This meant that we had to improvise which, as it turned out was no problem as we spent nearly all of the meeting discussing our lack of a Pond Tour Director and what to do instead.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. The meeting was attended by thirty members and as usual, Steven Monfrini, our Hospitality Volunteer put on a spread for us to enjoy. This time, we had many choices in which to make our own sandwich or in some cases, sandwiches. Our members absolutely outdid themselves with the choices of deserts and there was a whole table just loaded with goodies. I was torn between a sandwich or desert and resolved the issue but having both.

Keith and Locations Jan 2018 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

As is normal for the start of a New Year, we had a couple of new faces in the Board positions. Actually, that is not exactly true as Margaret Boeneke is our Librarian and was temporarily sitting at the Welcome/Sign In table due to the untimely death of Keith Neuse and the resignation of his Partner Rodney Lewis. Both will be missed. The Austin Pond Society wants to install a permanent memorial to both of them in the form of each of them having an engraved brick in the walkway at Zilker Botanical Gardens. We passed the hat around at this meeting for which the Members donated $210.00, enough to purchase the two engraved bricks. Thank You Members, you always come through for us.

2018 Pond Tour Discussions from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

What this means is that we are short two Board Members as Margaret is only sitting in the Welcome chair temporarily, so if any of you are interested in joining the Board of the Austin Pond Society as either Secretary or Membership, please contact Jeannie, our President at this link. For information on the duties of each of these positions, use this link.

More Discussion Jan 2018 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

For not having a prepared agenda, we did really good at filling up the time that would normally have been taken up by a Speaker. We had several items of interest among them, Tribute to Keith and Rodney, major discussion about our lack of a Pond Tour Director, a discussion on cleaning out the ponds at the Hyatt Regency at Bastrop, our annual budget upon which we needed to vote and which incidentally without a Tour, will put us in the red for this year.

Finally as per usual, we ended with the drawing for two door prizes both of which were cute (if you like that sort of stuff), Fishy things to use to hold letters, pictures and other similar stuff. I was fortunate enough to win one of these “things” but turned it back for a redraw as I had no use for it. I already have enough stuff.

The meeting closed around 8:45 pm.

The next meeting will be on February 19, 2018 at Zilker Botanical Gardens starting at 6:30 pm. Check the website to see who the Speaker will be.

Austin Pond Society Christmas Party November 2017

The Members at the Party 2017

The Austin Pond Society held their Annual Christmas Party at the November Meeting which is the last meeting of the year. Around 55 members showed up, many of whom were dressed in their Christmas finery and with several wearing strange looking hats decorated in a Christmas motif. All the members were really getting into the swing of things as on Sunday afternoon, several of them had come in to set up the tables and decorate the room in the Christmas Spirit and the setting was very conducive for a Christmas Party.

Christmas Party 2017 Slide Show from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The food comprised of Roast Beef and Ham provided by our very popular Steven Monfrini, with all of the fixings many of which were supplied by the members who also supplied the deserts and appetizers. There was a lot of food but by the end of the evening, it was all gone. There were several bowls of punch to drink, some with and some without so the members had a choice.

Christmas Party 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The guests of honor were Mr and Mrs Klause from the Austin Police Department who were here to pick up the many gifts that the members had each brought in for the kids in need so they would at least get a gift on that special day.

Among the several things available to the members were a Blackjack Table complete with a professional croupier the proceeds of which went towards the Mayfield Ponds Project. The players each donated $10:00 to the cause and played until they lost all of their money. There was another game in which the members had to do something with Candy Canes but I have no idea what that was.
There was also an area that was in the business of making funny hats complete with flashing lights for anyone brave enough to wear such a contraption and enter into the Funny Hat Contest to be held later in the evening.

Christmas Party 2017 food line from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The first part of the evening was devoted to the very important business of feeding our faces which we all proceeded to do with much gusto. Following that, Jeannie our President took charge as she went through the very small amount of business that needed to be conducted. The main and very important part was the appeal for someone, anyone to step up to fill the vacancy for the Pond Tour Chairman without whom, we will not have a Pond Tour as we know it, next year. She then introduced the new Board all of whom with the exception of Keith as Secretary, are all returning members. The New Board officially takes over January 1 of next year. Following the announcements, Jeannie called upon Ted Paone as this past two year’s Pond Tour Chairman and presented him with an Honorarium for all of his efforts.

Christmas Party 2017 Business from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

With the business out of the way came the very difficult task of choosing the Tallest Hat Winner along with other members who were sporting all kinds of flashing and blinking contraptions on their heads. Everyone really got into the spirit of things.
The winner of the Tall Hat was Catherine Bilbrey with Nancy Reinert as the runner up.

Christmas Party 2017 Crazy Hats from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Another member, Karl Tinsley brought in his latest work of interest which is a Sand Table that he had constructed along with all of the programing that it takes to make it work. Basically, it is comprised of a flat box about 2 inches high and about 2 feet square with a glass cover sitting on a small table. In this box is a covering of sand on the bottom and a single large ball bearing. Karl has written software that drives the ball bearing into marking grooves in the sand in a designated pattern including his favorite Alpacas, of which he and his wife Linda own several. It is fascinating to watch as the bearing moves up and down creating pictures in the sand.

Quote from Karl
The sand table uses a magnet mounted on a computer-controlled mechanism to move a steel ball through sand, creating stunning designs. The table and the designs it draws were created by Karl Tinsley. You can see some videos of the table on my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLaaBO5pY1QpVtX9WOEYiw.

Here are some of the sand pictures that Karl has created

He has also put together a short movie showing the ball in action.

With the food and drink all gone and no more fun and games to play, the evening gradually wound down until the few remaining members stripped off the table cloths, straightened up the room and closed the doors on another fun and successful year for the Austin Pond Society. All that remains is to wish everyone out there, Happy Holidays and we hope to see you next year.

Our first meeting for 2018 will be on January 15 at the Zilker Gardens Botanical Center starting as 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there.

Don’t forget to keep checking the website especially in the MarketPlace section as the availability of used equipment and pond plants is always changing. If you have any of the aforementioned equipment or plants that you want to sell or give away, use this link to fill out the form.

Austin Pond Society November Meeting 2016

dsc_4552The Austin Pond Society held their last meeting of the year this past Monday, November 21st at the usual location of the Zilker Botanical Gardens Meeting Room. Close to 50 people were in attendance to help celebrate this final meeting of the year.

The room was set up with round tables each seating 12 people and almost every table was taken. The tables had green tablecloths and in the center of each table was a Poinsettia plant that were later donated to different members. There was also a large scrap book on each table of events of years gone by about the Austin Pond Society from it’s inception in 1992. A very nice touch. Sparkling up on the ceiling and on any member who happened to walk through the beams, a thousand lights shone and twinkled.dsc_4529

The first 30 minutes was for mingling and visiting and eating hors d’oeuvres and consuming adult beverages. People were  checking out the scrapbooks. This being a pot luck, our members never let us down and the desert table was just full of scrumptious goodies, all I’m sure, loaded with calories. Who cares, they tasted great.

The main meat dishes were provided by the Pond Society and consisted of Beef and Ham. The members provided all of the fixin’s. There was not much food left at the end of the meal  as it was all delicious.

Following the meal, Barb Lenhardt introduced Mark Wester who is the representative for the Brown Santa Christmas Gifts for needy families. Brown Santa is the name of the Christmas program put on by the Travis County Sheriff’s Department and is this years cause for the Austin Pond Society members to donate unwrapped toys for the kids. There were two cart loads of donated toys, a wonderful response from the membership.Thanks to all of you for your efforts. You have helped to make it a great Christmas for some needy children.

The Brown Santa is a hard act to follow but the Pond Society was not done yet. Every year we donate a part of the proceeds from the Pond Tour to some needy cause. This year, the cause was closer to home as a check for $5000.00 was donated to Kat Newland who represents the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (ZBGC)  to help pay for the renovation of the ponds and streams in the Zilker Botanical Garden Center. The existing system is leaking and long overdue for an overhaul.dsc_4545

Following the check and gift presentations the Membership got back to the serious business of having fun. Many of you may have noticed that some of the Members had lost any notion of dress sense that they may ever have had and were adorned in sweaters, ties hats and other garments that under normal circumstances would have belonged to a Fancy Dress Parade. These are, normally, just your average people and here they were dressed in the most outlandish of garments and what was worse, flaunting themselves in front of the entire room of people.

Turns out that they were all participating in the Ugly Sweater Contest which was not just limited to sweaters. Ties, hats, suspenders, skirts and all kinds of odd garments were on display as the membership proudly joined in with the fun.dsc_4547

This was the last event of the evening except for the group shot at the top of the page. This group reverted back to their teenage years and had me take a picture of them acting strange. I couldn’t resist and displayed this one in black and white. Anything to stop those ugly sweaters from blinding my vision.


Following the frivolities, the group quickly pitched in to help with the clean up and to gather up any foodstuffs which may have been left over. I know there wasn’t much.

This meeting concludes the year for the Austin Pond Society as we do not meet next month, December. The next time we get together as a group will be January 16, 2017. We would like to wish all of our friends and members, a Happy Thanksgiving, A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you then.

There are four videos for you to watch.
The first is the wining and dining of the Members,\.

APS Thanksgiving-Christmas Party 2016 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The second is the Brown Santa Program.

Brown Santa from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The third is Presenting the check to Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (ZBGC).

ZBGC Check Presentation from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

and Finally, the last is the Ugly Sweater Contest.

Ugly Sweater Contest from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Austin Pond Society August Meeting – 8-19-2013

APS Logo

APS Logo

The third Monday of the month as some of us know, is the Austin Pond Society Monthly meeting night and as usual, the pond enthusiasts gathered at the Zilker Garden Meeting Room to share good food, good company and this month, a presentation by Vance Shultie, Owner of the Tank Hollow Fisheries in Poteet, Texas. Some members of the group had traveled to visit the farm a couple of weeks before.

This weeks food offering by our very own Chef, Sonja, consisted of either Ham or Chicken sandwiches with the fixings and as usual, topped off by a wonderful desert. The members, as the pictures show, really enjoyed the food offered to them. Many thanks to Sonja and her husband for providing such good food.

The usual order of things was changed a little bit at this meeting as Vance and his family traveled more than 100 miles to make their presentation so the APS business part of the meeting was held over until Vance Shultie of Tank Hill Fisheries had finished his presentation.

Austin Pond Society August Meeting 8-19-2013 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo

The entire process is very well documented and I found it quite fascinating especially when breeding time comes around at my house.

As to the presentation itself, I have watched the Koi in my  ponds in their crazy attempts at breeding. It looks more like a rugby scrum or no holds barred wrestling match than the gentle art of lovemaking that humans usually associate with the deed. In my ponds, 2-3 male Koi chase the female around until she drops her eggs and then presumably add their own semen (milt) to seal the deal, so to speak. In the meantime, the rest of the Koi in the pond that are not actually involved in the mating ritual, follow along behind and gobble up all of the fertilized eggs having a field day with all of that protein. If I needed more fish, I might be upset at the banquet provided for the gallery but if the very occasional fish does make it, that’s fine by me. As you can imagine, I was very interested in the way that professional fish breeders perform their work under controlled conditions.

Watching the slides and listening to Dan discuss how he does this was a real eye opener. It is a real science as basically, the fish are drugged with a general anesthetic enough to slow them down so they can be handled (literally) and the eggs are “milked” out of the females into a dish followed by the male semen or milt as it is called, using the same procedure. Each milking produces up to 15,000 eggs many of which will not get fertilized. The eggs then go through a series of very carefully controlled steps until they end up in the large fish tanks where they remain for a couple of weeks after which they are sein netted and very carefully sorted and the culled fish are fed to the Bass that Dan also raises. The “saved” fish are sold depending on their quality either to other breeders or to fish stores, garden centers and the like.

So when this coming Spring rolls around and my Koi are madly dashing all over the ponds, I will have a much better idea of what is going on even though, unlike Vance,  I will have absolutely no control over the process.

Austin Pond Society Business 8-19-2013 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Following the presentation, the Pond Society members turned back to the more mundane things that make our Society tick. Things like looking for a new Newsletter Editor, the position recently vacated by Mary Word and discussions of the upcoming meetings. One part of the meeting is devoted to members questions or “problems” and for this meeting I had a problem that I wanted to discuss and bring to the members attention.

Basically, I have 4 ponds, 2 of which are joined by a weir and share the same water. The other two are totally separate, the oldest of which is about 5000 and the new one completed about 3 months ago is even bigger at about 6000 gallons. The joined ponds  are 2500 gallons and 1300  gallons respectively. I first noticed that the fish in the 2500 gallon pond were all huddled together quite literally one on top of the other, under cover in the deepest part of the pond. I immediately assumed that the Heron had started coming around again as the fish that have had a Heron scare, can take up to a couple of weeks before acting normally. Then I noticed that the goldfish in the lower pond were dying so quickly figured that it was not a heron problem and had to be something else. In the next couple of days, two of the very large Koi were floating on the top and I noticed one more that was upside down on the bottom. These Koi were probably 24 inches long and over 10 pounds each and I hate to lose fish that big. I checked the water and all of the readings  were in the normal range but I decided to do a water change in both the upper and lower ponds as that sometimes cures a lot of fish problems. A bit like turning the computer off and then back on to get it to work right.  It’s no simple task to do water changes as first you need to pump out a large quantity of water and find a place for it to run and then conversely, to fill the ponds making sure to add dechlorinator as the ponds fill. The whole process takes several hours.

While all of this was going on, the fish in the first pond, the 5000 gallons pond, were all showing the same symptoms but none had died so once more I did a water change of about 3000 gallons, again, no mean feat. Then, the fish in the new pond, started to do the same thing. The water in this pond is only about 3 months old so I decided to hold off on the water change and see what develops. In the meantime, I added sea salt to all of the ponds and it did seem to help as the fish began to perk up. All of this happened over about a months time period. To date, things appear to be back to normal. The fish are acting as they normally do just lazily swimming around unless I walk by with fish food then they all go nuts as they look to feed. I am still not sure what the problem may have been and whether it was a one time thing or whether there is a chance of it reoccurring. Needless to say, I am keeping a very close eye on things.

The rest of the meeting was devoted to the drawing and final announcements one of which by Glen regarding the upcoming APS Calendar and the need to get in pictures, Jeanne talked about a trip to San Antonio and the Ragan’s discussed holding a members only get together at their house on September 21. Details will be posted in “Ripples”. Stay tuned.

The next meeting will be on September 15 at the same time and place.

Austin Pond Society Christmas Dinner

The folks who attended

The folks who attended

The last meeting of the year for the Austin Pond Society was their Christmas Dinner held in the usual confines of the Zilker Gardens Meeting Rooms this past November 19. This was a pot luck as they usually are but with Roast Beef, Chicken Skewers and Salmon provided by the Pond Society and cooked by Sonya O’Sullivan who is our new Hospitality person.

There were about 45 members present all of whom brought some sort of dish so there was lots of food and drink to go round. I personally held it down a little as regards the size of my plate but it sure was a big temptation to go back for seconds and maybe thirds. The choice of deserts was out of this world and very tempting.

APS Board Members

APS Board Members

We had very little business except to vote in the members who will make up the new board. As this was done by acclamation, we got it done very quickly. The members are very grateful for those who are stepping down for the work they have done this past year. Most meeting groups are only as good as the volunteers who take the time to serve in different capacities on the board and we were lucky as we had a fantastic group.


Decorating the Christmas Tree

Several of the members were decorating a Christmas tree in competition with other organizations that are associated with Zilker Gardens. Sad to say, we were not among the prize winners.

Jeannie Ferrier had a game prepared for everyone to join in. It consisted of a sheet of paper on which were a list of questions and the goal was to get other members to provide you with an answer. You were supposed to introduce yourself prior to asking the member if they could help you. B.J. turned in the winning sheet getting all of her questions answered in record time. Me, I think I may have gotten three answered in the time allotted. Oh well, guess I am not the game type…Of course, I was busy taking pictures or at least that is my excuse.

With business out-of-the-way, Bill gave the order to get in line which as you can see by the pictures below were quickly followed by everyone except myself and Glen Hubenthal as we were busy taking pictures. We both got to eat a little later and did not miss out.

Everyone brought a gift which were placed together and then names were drawn. When you won, you had your choice of selecting any of the gifts from the table. Everyone had their name drawn at least once with some lucky people, twice.

All in all, it was a fun time and everyone got to enjoy, good companionship and good food. Our next meeting will be held next year on January 21, 2013. Hope to see you all there and maybe if you know of other Pond owners, you can drag them along. I’m sorry, I mean encourage them to come and join in the fun.

Oh yes, Happy Holidays to one and all and be careful out there. See you all next year.


Ideas and Light Bulbs

Float Valve

Automatic Float Valve

Today, I just finished a new project the idea for which I had in the back of my mind but was not actively pursuing. I have to say it is not really my idea at all as I am kinda “borrowing” it but in my defence, I am the one doing the planning, material buying and construction.

I was wandering around the Tractor Supply Store in Dripping Springs having gone there to buy fish food. I have mentioned in previous blogs that I feed the very much cheaper catfish food to the Koi in my ponds and they seem to do very well on it at least judging by the size of the fish and many are 15 years or more old. A 50 lb bag is about $16 and will last me about three weeks. Compare that to Koi food and  I come out the winner by far.

I don’t know what it is about that particular store. I think that in a previous life, I was a farmer or a rancher as I really like wandering around the place which really caters to anyone who works the land. I was born in the English countryside and spent most of my younger life exploring the woods and generally getting up close and personal with Mother Nature so maybe that accounts for my love of the great outdoors. I see all kinds of wonderful gadgets in the store and wonder if I need this or that. Truth is, I don’t really need any of it but like I said, the sight of it all stirs my hidden country boy side. In the end, I have to make do with garden stuff in the way of funny signs, windmills, flower-pot holders in the shape of animals, you get the picture. I run into all kinds of interesting people who always have a kind word or a jovial greeting. I even ran into one of my friends from a previous era when we both played on the same soccer team. He was complaining that people don’t have any money as his horse business is really struggling and the cost of food keeps going up. I have known this guy for more than 30 years. He got his legs shot up pretty bad in Korea and I was surprised that he was ever able to play soccer. Just the way he overcame that obstacle, he will surely overcome his current one.  I guess its tough all the way around when times are hard and the economy is tight.

In my wandering around the store, I came across a stack of automatic waterers that are designed to use on cattle troughs. They consist of a housing and a float connected to a water hose, actually pretty simple in design. I remembered that one of the owners of a pond on the Tour had rigged his pond up to automatically stay topped up and the light bulbswent off as my mind began planning how I could utilize them in my ponds.

My Garden Sign

My Garden Sign

I added one of them to my cart which already had fish food, dog and cat food, garden ornaments and now the automatic waterer. Honestly, I gotta stop going to that place as I always come out with far more than I went in for. I wandered up to the register pushing my goodies in front of me and as I reached the check out counter, the young cashier was staring at her screen with a look of sheer disbelief on her face. Her manager came over to see what the problem was and he started to chuckle at what he saw. I took a look and  saw that the screen  contorting and rolling into all kinds of gyrations, not stopping on any one single screen. While the Manager and the young lady were conferring on what to do, a young man, one of the high school summer employee wandered over, took one look and pressed the Enter button. Instantly everything stopped rotating and the correct screen came up. Everyone applauded him  as he modestly explained that the Enter button was stuck which caused the problem. Thank goodness for the modern generation of kids with enough computer “know-how” to correct the problem. I guess all of the texting and video games does pay off after all.

Welcome sign-Horse

Welcome sign-Horse

I digress,  back to the story and the light bulbs. I knew that to hook the system up would require plumbing which I am pretty good at especially as most of my work is done using PVC pipe and fittings.  After almost 20 years of pond building and maintenance, I have had lot’s of practice figuring things out and then making things work. The end result may not always look pretty especially when they are “add-ons” as I can’t usually hide them but they got the job done.  My next step was to plan out exactly what I was going to do and the parts I would need to put the project together. Of course, we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men…” That’s the beauty of PVC as it is so simple to glue stuff together and if I make a mistake, I can usually fix it with a hacksaw, more fittings and more glue. Talking about glue and the cleanser used to prepare the connection, the cleanser is blue and the glue is orange. Somehow, I always end up with some of it on my hands and it’s hell to get off. The down side of using PVC…

With the plans stored away in my head, I was ready to start but again, I am getting a little ahead of myself. Although the idea of an automatic topping up system sounds really good, it does carry an element of risk to it. The idea is to hook the system up to the city water or rather to one of the faucets that I have already in my back yard. City water that is untreated is death to the fish in the pond and probably to any other form of life, like the turtles, that enjoy living with the Koi and Goldfish. Probably why everyone drinks bottled water…

I learned the hard way on that as the first pond I built almost 20 years ago, I made the mistake of topping it up with city water. The next morning, all of the fish except one were floating sideways when I came out to check. The one that survived is still swimming strongly around and is the oldest fish in the pond. I don’t know what his secret is but whatever it is, it worked for him as he not only survived the chlorine but later on, also a heron that visited and decided to go fishing.

Boot Sign

Boot Sign

I knew exactly what I needed which was an in-line filter with hose connection but I couldn’t find anywhere local that sold those type of inline filters. Next step was to get online and do a Google search for filters that treat the city water and get rid of the heavy metals and chlorine and I managed to find a company that supplies just what I wanted.  Ten minutes and $80 later, I had them purchased and just had to wait for them to be delivered before continuing with the project.  I ordered two of them so that I had a replacement when the time comes. The filter is good for a year or about 10,000 gallons of water whichever comes first. Now how am I going to know when I have used 10,000 gallons?Can’t go by the water bill as that is inclusive of all of the water I use.  Lets see, I top up almost every day adding about 30 gallons of water. In a week lets call that 200 gallons so over a year, I will use about 10,000 gallons. Perfect. Better write the date somewhere so I know to change out the filter in a years time. Hope I can remember where I wrote that date down…

The filters only took a week and arrived yesterday. I hoped that I would have everything that I needed to do the job but invariably, there is always that one little thing that sends me back to my favorite stores, Lowe’s and Home Depot. Truth is, I don’t need much of an excuse to pay a visit to either or both of them. Eagerly, I started the project. I love putting things together especially if I planned it as well. Things went pretty much as I had planned with a few adjustments here and there which is no more than I expected. The faucet is on one side of the big pond and the skimmer box is way over on the other side about 20 feet away.  I had to route the pvc pipe through one of the bog gardens to reach the filter box. The vegetation is very heavy and it was no mean task to get it where I needed it without damaging the plants. I had to  lay the pipe on top of the ground and when the vegetation dies down in the winter, I will bury it so it will not look like a patch job.

In Line Filter

In Line Filter

I installed the filter by connecting it to the faucet end making it easy to replace when the time comes. Thinking about it,  I will also probably have to shut the system down in the winter or it may freeze but that is a separate issue and it’s only July. Lots of time to think about that problem.

At the other end inside the skimmer box, the automatic float unit fitted in the box perfectly with just enough space to get it in. I had to do some work on the brackets to make them longer to reach the level of the pond water as they were set up for a tank which can be filled almost to the brim. I forgot to mention that we had almost 3 inches of rain a couple of days ago and the ponds are as high as they can get so the timing of the installation was perfect. With the pipe all glued together and one last check of all of the joints and fittings to make sure they were tight, it was time for a trial run.

I was not expecting any problems but experience has shown me never to be too cocky as I have had pipes burst or blow the fitting off. I turned on the water and held my breath and sure enough, everything worked just as it was planned. The float activated the need to top up and that is exactly what happened. It ran for fifteen minutes before it found its level and then shut off perfectly. Yeah Success. I would like to think so but in the back of my mind is that little element of doubt that something, lily pads, dead fish, leaves, broken branches, something may prevent the valve from closing and we will have running water all over the place. I guess time will tell. At least even if the valves do leak and waste a bunch of water, the only cost will be to my wallet as the in line filter should prevent the Koi from sustaining fatal injuries.

There is a problem with completing a successful project especially with two more ponds that could use the same system as I am now thinking about doing the same thing  to the other two skimmer boxes to keep those topped up also. The mind is whirring and the light bulbs are popping. I know there has to be a way…

The float in the box

The float in the box