EIPS Newsletter

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April 2004 Newsletter
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In This Issue: April 2004

April 8, 2004
7 pm
Noelridge Park Greenhouse
4900 Council Street NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Round Table Discussion

We will be devoting this entire meeting to discussing what went wrong and what went right with our ponds this winter. This will be a great opportunity for you to bring your questions, whether they are winter related or not. We will just open the floor for discussion and see where it goes. There are several new-bees in the club and this might be your golden opportunity to get the group discussing your dilemma So we need everyone. We will also have an opportunity to stroll through the botanical greenhouse the city of Cedar Rapids keeps.

April 24, 2004
7 pm
The Pond of Janet Powell
812 14th Street SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Feng Shui and the Pond

Lina Grady of The Good Life, Inc. Consultations and Services of Davenport, will be talking about how traditional Feng Shui can balance and optimize the energies of a pond. She is a graduate of the American Feng Shui Institute in Los Angeles. Lina and her husband Michael started an organization called the Red Phoenix Feng Shui Research Club which has four goals:

· To correct mistakes committed in various Feng Shui books on the market.

· To help citizens of the Quad Cities discern real professional Feng Shui practitioners from imposters, and to set Feng Shui apart from superstition, mysticism and religion.

· To apply fundamentals of Feng Shui to initiate interest and research in the ancient natural science

· To utilize Feng Shui principles correctly such that it benefits the entire Quad Cities.

Come join us as we hear about this fascinating ancient natural science.

Note that all of this map is on the East side of the Cedar River. The section of I-380 included is the small section where the interstate goes over the river and then turns north again near downtown and St. Luke’s Hospital. The Seventh street exit will put you on a one way street heading in the correct direction! Just follow 7th street down to 8th Avenue, turn left. Follow 8th around the curve to the right at 10th street, 8th becomes Mt. Vernon Road at the curve. 14th St. will be the 1st street on the left. If coming into town from the east end, catch Mt. Vernon Road at highway 13 and follow it all the way in to 14th street.

The March 28, 2004 meeting was called to order just after 4 o’clock by president Kacy Novak. We were gathered in the Rose Growing Greenhouse at Pack’s Green Thumb Nursery in Cedar Rapids, surrounded by rows roses, hydrangea and assorted Tropicals. Pecks has been a family owned business since 1956. Our speaker, Sheryl Peckoch commented on how the offerings of plants have skyrocketed in number since her father in law started the business. Sheryl married into the business years ago and thoroughly enjoys the arrangement. She acts as the buyer.

Sheryl had gathered an assortment of beautiful perennials for us to discover and she proceeded to update us on what is new for 2004. The highlights included:

Endless Summer Hydrangea – This new variety was developed from a plant found behind a shed in Minnesota. It blooms from new growth each year and is excellent for this cold climate. Sheryl explained that the problem with Hydrangea in zones 4 & 5 is that the next year’s buds are set right after they bloom each summer. With our cold winters, the plants end up dying back and being trimmed. Thus loosing the blossom. This variety sets new buds each spring on new growth. The southern zones are excited about Endless Summer also because it blooms all summer. It enjoys Morning sun and late afternoon filtered shade and will grow 3 to 5 feet tall. In our soil it will probably bloom pink but the soil can be enhanced to produce the blue blossoms. Sheryl passed around a pot that was just starting shoots and there were already flower buds within the tiny leaf buds.

Carpet Roses – This variety has been around but this year the new color is a nice yellow. Sheryl reminded us that color within a greenhouse a subdued compared to the colors achieved in the natural sun. This Carpet Rose will be more upright than the other colors, rising to about 3 feet.

Sheryl talked us through an assortment of shade loving plants including new colors in Japanese Ferns and Tearellas. Then she shared what crossing Coral Bells with Foam Flowers is producing, beautiful foliage and beautiful growing habits.

And of course she talked about plants that are good for the pond’s edge such as Ligularia and Roger’s Flower. Large clumping plants that love the moisture around the pond. Great flowers and leaf color.

As a side discussion she shared why many of us have trouble getting green peppers to produce. The secret is keeping them warm. They HATE cold and each old night leads to delayed growth. So keep them warm, and don’t even think about planting them early.

Kacy then directed the meeting to the business at hand. Minutes of the February meeting were approved as printed in the March newsletter. The treasurer’s report included we have 84 members of which 7 are new!

Hospitality – Nancy Baldwin reported the committee is committed to getting members to know each other by having everyone sign in and wearing nametags. Temporary nametags are available at each meeting from Nancy. The members agreed to the suggestion that if you do not have on a nametag, you can not participate in the drawing… you can always pick one up at the door. Let the committee know if you do not have a nametag. They are continuing to work on new member packets. Nancy had a concern about our distributing the membership list to all the members… The discussion that followed reviled that no one in attendance was concerned but it was suggested that members be given the option to not have their names on the distributed list, and that the list include a message that the list is not to be shared with anyone other than members. The list is valuable in allowing members to communicate with other members in their area.

Program Committee – Carol Sindelar reported that the committee is in need of someone who lives in the northern part of the area to assist in locating speakers for northern meetings. The April 8th meeting is not planned yet but the April 24th meeting will be in Cedar Rapids with a speaker on Feng Shui. (See meeting announcement)

Pond Tour – Carol Sindelar invited the group to discuss where the tour should be this year. There was no input except to say north.

Community Service – There were suggestions that the club do some community service like adopting a highway, cleaning a stream. It was pointed out this could be good publicity. There were no comments. It was also pointed out that the pond behind one of the Linn Mar schools needed cleaning and we might volunteer there also. Again, no comments.

Commercial Relations – Carol Sindelar shared that the list of dealers who give discounts will be printed in the next newsletter. Due to the lack of help last year, not all dealers were contacted. She encouraged members to ask their favorite dealer if they would be interested in supporting the club in this way and then contact Carol.

Brucemore – Kacy Novak reported that we are registered to have a booth at the Garden Show at Brucemore in Cedar Rapids, August 28th. They only offered 5 complimentary tickets to man our booth so she purchased 3 more at $3 each. She will be recruiting volunteers in July.

New Business & Old Business – none.

Kacy invited each in attendance to share their name and one positive thing that is happening in their pond. A question was asked as to what about ducks in the pond. Are they good? Are they bad? Jan Joggerst has had experience with duck for two years now. They have been nesting near hers and produce ducklings. Her comments: They cause the water to turn like thick pea green soup. But the ducklings are sooo cute! She can be contacted should you get ducklings and want to feed them. They are so cute!

Linda Nolan did the drawing for the door prizes. Winners were: Roberta Ward, Robert Ward, Jan Joggerst, and Nancy Baldwin.

There are a lot of items in this months newsletter. Jackie is progressing well with her fish health courses through the AKCA Koi Health Advisory School. She missed this last meeting because she was in Texas to do her lab work for the class…. Dissecting Koi, making slides and identifying problems in the microscope. She won’t be Dr. Jackie but it will be great to have someone within the Society who has some extended knowledge of fish health. AND she will be sharing it all with us when we are in need. Humm …. You might be addicted to ponding if you sign up for a class related to your hobby that requires you to travel to Texas. Thanks Jackie!!


By Jackie Allsup

Ah, spring! Isn’t it great? By now, I’m sure some, if not all, of your ponds are unthawed and getting a breath of much needed fresh oxygen. I always begin my spring regime by doing some partial water changeouts to reinvigorate my ponds and to dilute accumulated bad toxins that may have gotten into the ponds. Note that I said water change outs, not “adding” new water. Water change outs, mean I’m removing water from the pond before I add the new water. With these water change outs, I’d like to issue a word of caution for those of you who live in urban areas where the water is chlorinated. Many owners assume that when small volumes of water are used, chlorine will be diluted before it has time to affect the fish. Most of the time these pond owners will be correct; however all water treatment plants will over-chlorinate occasionally, and when that happens, the pond will have toxic levels of chlorine that kills the fish. Know your water and read product labels. Many declorinators are great for neutralizing chlorine and chloramines but do nothing to bind ammonia. Chloramines is a chemical made up of both chlorine and ammonia. Declorinators will neutralize the chlorine but release the ammonia, which we all know can be just a lethal to our fish. In the spring, our bio-filters may not be up and working to their full potential. Our fish, as they come out of their low metabolize sleep like state from winter, are also starting to produce additional ammonia. The combination of the two ammonia sources can cause ammonia spikes. To prevent this, contact your water supplier. If Chloramines are present in your tap water, you must either use a declorinator that also binds ammonia or add a combination of products that do both. (Hint from Jackie-If your water only has chlorine in it and no chloramines, there is a product called sodium thiosulfate, ST for short, that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of bottled declorinators) But, ST does nothing to ammonia. In summary, if your water contains chloramines, you must remember to treat for both chlorine and ammonia in a start up (spring) pond where the bio-filter may not be working up to full potential. And just to cover all the bases…later in the year when your filter is working at full power, sometimes small amounts of city water can be added to a pond without treatment for chlorine or ammonia, due to the fact that by the time it is added to the larger volume of pond water, the chlorine is diluted to a state where it is harmless to your fish and your filter will be able to handle the small amount of additional ammonia also. But in a spring pond, when adding substantial amounts of water, or for peace of mind, neutralizing is the only safe way.

On the flip side of adding water. Beware when adding deep well water as it may have a high level of dissolved carbon dioxide or nitrogen. If not aerated or agitated when added to the pond, it will release the pressurized gas. The fish will absorb the supersaturated gas from the water and get gas emboli (bubbles) in their gills and blood vessels. This can cause the eyes to bulge out. Running a garden hose submerged in the pond, which prevents gases from being released into the atmosphere, may cause this problem. The solution is to simply spray the water into the pond or add water at a water fall site or someplace where the water is agitated. (Jackie’s additional comments: For years I’ve always just thrown my hose into my ponds to refill them, with no noticeable difference to my fish. As I read these fish care textbooks, I will pass along things I’m trying to learn myself, in an attempt to help educate you in proper fish care. I have had my fair share of fish health problems. Will leaving the hose out of the pond help? I don’t know…but I do know it’s the “combination of things” we do in our ponds that makes the difference, not just “one thing” that someone is doing, that makes the perfect healthy pond. It will take me no longer to throw the hose up on the waterfall or lay it outside the pond on a rock than it does to throw it directly in the water, so guess I will make the change. Remember, it’s the little things!)

Editor’s Note—Jackie is attending the AKCA Koi Health Advisory School for the EIPS. She will be sharing what she learns and hopes to be available to club members to help with fish health issue.

From Greg Bickal:

Greg has started a CD series. The first CD is a DIY design CD, more information at: www.bickal.com/pondusa The second CD is going to be a virtual pond tour, and he would love it if people would submit pictures for use in the CD. Instructions for participating are also at the web site. E-mail Greg at: gbickal@gwaea.org

We have been contacting members who have provided e-mail addresses to make them aware that the EIPS Newsletter is available on line. And if you have a color printer, you can down load it in color, unlike the mailed issue that is produced in black, white and gray. One problem we discovered is members are having trouble navigating the download process. The Newsletter is presented in two forms on our Website; text only and download, which is exactly, as it appears when mailed, except in full color. In this last issue, if you only accessed the Text only format, you missed the Thermometer that illustrated the temperature’s affect on our ponds. Download is the best option.

So how do you download?

At the EIPS Website’s Home Page, eips.org, click on Newsletter. The newsletter screen will come up and the current newsletter will appear in Text form. But at the very top is a paragraph that reads:

Download the January 2004 newsletter in its original format! This file will take a few minutes to download. January 2004 Newsletter You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this file.

Ok, at this point you need to answer some questions. Do you have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer? My first guess is no since it is not a Microsoft product. And depending on your opinion of Microsoft, this could be a good thing. Adobe Acrobat is a wonderful program and will allow you to read pdf files. So, click on the underlined Adobe Acrobat Reader and the program will download, just follow the directions. Simple, even I could do it.

Now in the future when you go to the Website, all you need do is click on (Current Month and year) Newsletter. And as I stated before, if you have a color printer you will get a copy better than the mailed one. Today when I did this process, the newsletter downloaded behind the screen I was viewing leading me to believe something had gone wrong. But when I started closing screens to exit, I found the newsletter. So if you don’t find it at first, hunt around.

Enjoy the newsletter...and the web site. Carol


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.

Dealer Discounts

We want to thank the following local businesses for offering discounts to EIPS members:

In the Country Garden & Gifts
Hooked on Fish
Earl May Nursery & Garden Center / Cedar Rapids

If your favorite business would like to offer a discount, have them contact Carol at (319) 365-1839 or fishlounge1@cs.com and we will send out an example of our membership card and list them in our newsletter. Because we run on volunteer power not all businesses have been approached, your assistance is appreciated, especially outside the Cedar Rapids area.

Note: If you would appreciate your name and address not being included in the Membership List that is distributed to all members, please contact Nancy Baldwin at 319-472-2241 or RnBaldwin@aol.com and request it not be given out!

Mark you calendar: In the Country Gardens & Gifts is having their open house on Saturday, May 1st. Details at their web site at: www.inthecountrygardenandgifts.com Josh and Sue Spece are long time members and supporters of EIPS. We wish them beautiful weather for their Open House.

Your best friend is no longer your spouse but the special Koi you just bought.

You can notice the tinniest white spot on the back of your swift moving Koi, but can’t seem to realize exactly what your girlfriend/wife did to her hair.

You accost the mailman halfway up the street before he even gets to your house. “Do you have a Ponding magazine in that bag for me???” When he says, “NO” you stare at him in disbelief …. “What do you mean NO!.”

You put hyacinths in the pond in 50 degree weather cause you want some green. Even though you know it is too cold for them and they are going to die and you will have to buy more.

When a fish is missing you get suspicious of everyone...Only to find out it has been hiding.

You threaten the neighborhood cats like they understand you.

You think the pond smell on your body is sexy.

You’ve ever gotten talked to by the police for BORROWING rocks from places you didn’t own.

As you are working around your pond and garden this spring remember that the EIPS has an annual Plant Swap. This year it is in Vinton, Thursday, May 13th. Here is how it works… everyone brings stuff they don’t need anymore, or have extra of, whether it is plants, fish, equipment, whatever. On the assigned date, we bring all of this stuff to a meeting. We lay it all out on the driveway or patio. We take some time to explain what we brought. Then those who brought are allowed to chose items from the piles. When all is said and done, those who are new to ponding and have nothing to share are allowed to help themselves to what is left. It is a great evening where everyone goes home with something new to them and the old timers are able to share those items that do eventually over grow the pond and garden. There will be more in the May news letter.

EIPS has several committees. If you would like to help out on one of these committees, or would like more information contact Kacy. Several of the committees need help. Is there a committee that needs you? Here are the committees and the current members.

Community Service:
Nancy Baldwin

Programs Committee:
Jackie Allsup
Greg Bickal
Carol Sindelar

Commercial Relations:
Dennis Sindelar
Greg Bickal
Darrel Hennessey
Bobbie Hershey
Tammy & Kevin Neuendorf
Laurie Azeltine

Hospitality Committee:
Deb & Roy Gaddis
Dorothy Helms
Joe Olsen
Nancy Baldwin
Jackie Allsup
Kacy Novak

Writing Committee:
Carol Sindelar
Craig & Roxie Goetz
Mary & Joe Robinson
Dennis Sindelar
Tim Nolan
Jackie Allsup

Tour Committee:
Joe Olsen
Deb Frese
Craig & Roxie Goetz
Darrell Hennessey
Curt & Becky Rupe

Publicity Committee: Jackie Allsup

Recognition Committee:
Barb & Harold Cassens
Edna & Ron Rife
Pat Beuter

Thursday 8th - Noelridge Park Greenhouse - CR
Pond Keepers Roundtable

Saturday 24th - Janet Powel - CR
Feng Shui and the Garden Pond

Thursday, 13 Harold and Barb Cassens - Vinton
Plant exchange

Saturday, 22nd. Marty and Rick Fangman – Vinton
Retrofitting and upgrading ponds????

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.

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