EIPS Newsletter

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In This Issue: April 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007
7:00 pm
Erma and Larry Thompson will be hosting the meeting at their home.
131 Rosedale Rd SE
Cedar Rapids, IA

Our speaker will be Larry Thompson on “Building A Greenhouse For Your Koi”

Directions from the 2006 Pond Tour: From outbound 1st Ave go right (south) onto 30th St Dr, continue on past East Post Rd, the road has now changed from 30th St to Lakeside Dr, continue on and take a right (south) onto Rosedale Rd #131 is on the right side.

Saturday, April 28, 2007
7:00 pm
Pat and Wayne Beuter will be hosting the meeting at their home.
318 Mill Street
Walker, IA

Our speaker will be Master Garderner Judy Stevens on "Trash to Treasures"

Directions: From Cedar Rapids turn off at Center Point. Take North Center Point Rd to Walker. Four way stop. North 2 blocks, house north of ball diamond 318 Mill St. west side of road.

March 24th Meeting

Before the meeting, new members, Dick & Lavonne Isard passed around the photo album of the construction of their pond. It is still under construction but will be quite interesting with a train that goes through a tunnel under the waterfall… We look forward to seeing it completed.

The meeting was called to order “right on time”, 7 o’clock sharp, by President , Gary Hunerdosse at the pond of Pam & Curt Moore. A nice crowd of 30 members were tucked into their living room & dinning area. Gary started by introducing the 2007 officers: Larry & Erma Thompson – Vice Presidents, Jackie Allsup – Secretary, Pam Moore – Treasurer. Also, Monica Morley & Maria Hamilton – Editor & Co-Editor, Bob & Stephanie – Manufacturer’s contact, and Josh Spece – webmaster.

Gary also introduced newer members who were in attendance: Dick & Lavonne Isard, Bob & Deb Kontz, and Becki Lynch. He also noted that Becki was featured in the last newsletter in the Splash! column that features ponder and their ponds.

It was nice to start of the year with a review of who we are – why we are – and what we are as EIPS. As EIPS we are a group of ponders who like to: share ideas, share stories, share how-tos and generally cheer each other along. It was also noted that we are also a group that is not really good at keeping things up to date and Gary will be working on getting updates to Josh for the website….we see errors but we don’t act on them soon enough.

The Calendar for 2007 was distributed and it was noted that only one meeting was still to be scheduled. That being October. We will be all over east Iowa this year, including Vinton, Independence and Walker. Suggestion, car pool to the meeting… what fun getting the pond conversation started before you even arrive at the meeting…


* Treasurer: Pam reported (that voice coming somewhere from the other room) that the club had $1005 in a savings account and $2140.20 in checking. There are several additional deposits still outstanding. A reminder that renewals are due by April 1st to continue to receive the newsletter and not experience a lapse in membership. Currently the cost of dues, $10, does not cover the cost of membership (newsletter printing and postage) and Gary suggested we discuss raising the dues in the near future. Gary pointed out that as a non-profit we need to donate the money we earn at the PondTour as we advertise.

* Pond Expo: A report was read by Monica. Things are looking good. Gary Hunerdosse, speaking as a consultant, not as president, pointed out that state law requires a permit (and pay sales tax) to hold a Raffle, but that we are having a drawing and are accepting donations. If someone requests a free drawing ticket at the Expo, we are obligated to give him or her one. There are also some details to be worked out concerning not being present to win.

* Pond Tour: Jim Milden reported that they have seven ponds scheduled in the Cedar Rapids area. Six are new, never seen before and one is a repeat from 5 years ago…. There is room for one more. Contact Jim if you would like to be on the tour.

Other items:

Carol Sindelar reported that the Eastern Iowa Aquarium Association was having a fish show Easter weekend. EIPS members who would like to get their feet wet in showing their goldfish and Koi might give this local show a try. The rules and information are on line at www.finflap.com. Even if you are not interested in entering, you might be interested in viewing the show between 11 and 5 both Saturday and Sunday.

Monica spoke briefly about the Splash column in the newsletter. She had a form of simple questions members can answer to help her create the article about their pond.

Monica Morley and Erma Thompson distributed information and samples for embroidered T-shirts Erma can do for EIPS members. Either supply a shirt or she can order one for you. If you are interested contact Erma at 319-377-6481.

There was an inquiry about the video of the 2006 Pond Tour. Yes, there is a DVD. Contact Jackie Allsup or Roger Thrum .

* The program of the evening was Curt Moore on Photographic Workflow. Curt walked us through the process for fine-tuning a photo AFTER you have taken it. From Ho hum to spectacular…. Ok, not that extreme but he showed us how to do some great stuff.

* The doors prizes for the evening were fish foods. Winners included: Joe Hall, Monica Morley, Rose Mullin, Curt Moore, Rita Tharp, Carol Sindelar, Dennis Sindelar, and Dick Isard.

Respectfully submitted by Carol Sindelar

By Josh Spece

Hosta 'Paradigm'

With spring knocking on the door, it will soon be time to start digging and planting in the garden. If you add just a single Hosta to your garden this year (and I hope you do add at least one!), it should be the 2007 Hosta of the Year – ‘Paradigm’.

Hosta ‘Paradigm’ is a fantastic sport of 'Abiqua Recluse'. It has moderately corrugated, slightly glossy leaves that start with a chartreuse center that gradually turns bright gold and is surrounded by a wide dark green margin. The heavy leaves make ‘Paradigm’ a real workhorse and ensure that slugs will not be an issue. ‘Paradigm’ looks g reat all season and grows quickly into a large, 4' wide clump with pale lavender flowers in early summer.

Hosta ‘Paradigm’ has been available for many years, but was overlooked as a potential Hosta of the Year candidate until a fellow Iowan started a true “grass-roots” campaign. Bob Axmear, of Waukon, Iowa, is the webmaster of the greatest Hosta website in existence - the Hosta Library (www.hostalibrary.org). In July 2003 he placed a banner on the Hosta Library website nominating ‘Paradigm’ as a good candidate for Hosta of the Year. Many Hosta growers agreed that ‘Paradigm’ was worthy of the title and even though only members of the American Hosta Growers’ Association can vote to award a plant Hosta of the Year status, they got the message loud and clear!

Hospitality………………………..Elena Murillo
mespringcove@aol.com * 294-4866

Community Service……………… open - no volunteers

Recognition……………………….Gil Morley
mespringcove@aol.com * 294-4866

Commercial Relations……………Bob & Stephanie Geers
hawkskier@yahoo.com * 363-2448

Writing…………………………...Monica Morley/Maria Hamilton

Publicity…………………………...Jackie Allsup
cedarserviceja@aol.com * 934-3665

Water Garden Tour…………….. Jim & Rose Milden, Monica & Gil Morley, Jo and Gary Hunerdosse

Programs………………………….open - no volunteers

2007 Pond Expo Committee

Jackie Allsup: cedarserviceja@aol.com * 934-3665
Roberta Ward
Robert Ward
Pam Moore
Larry Thompson
Erma Thompson
Robert Hollenbeck
Herman Michel
Kacy Novak
Elena Murillo
Gary Hunerdosse
Monica Morley
Gil Morley
Tim Nolan
Linda Nolan

Last reminder to renew your dues, this is your last newsletter if not renewed.

Time to sign up to help at the EXPO. One hour or more of your time is needed. to work the MEMBER BOOTH and/or PRIZE TABLE. Call or e-mail me and sign up now. Friday the 18th is open to volunteers from 8:30 am. Just show up there is plenty to do. Potluck afterwards open to all members, bring a dish and drink to share with members and vendors. Sign up sheets available at the meetings to volunteer for all areas of the expo.

Fun Time!!!! Get involved…….. You can make a difference…

Meet Marilyn Oliver. She starts off by saying this is really her husband, Wendy’s story. Building his own pond was something he always wanted to do. When they were in an accident in December of 1996, he realized he would not be able to. So that winter when they weren’t going to doctor appointments, he and Kevin Bailey of Prairie Creek Nursery, worked on plans for a pond for their backyard. It was a great diversion for him. When it was up and running, of course, they had to have fish. Marilyn thought Wendy bought one of everything! Jackie Allsup and Dennis Sindelar stopped by one day to ask about including their pond on the EIPS pond tour. As they say, “the rest is history.” They joined EIPS and Wendy loved talking “ponds.” The members are great and we learned so much. Wendy took care of the mechanical problems and Marilyn’s job was wadding in and cleaning out dead lily blossoms, etc. And yes, she has fallen in. Wendy passed away in October of 2001 and I am so thankful for Kevin’s continued maintenance of the pond. (Since I am “mechanically challenged.”) There are few things more enjoyable than listening to the waterfalls and watching the birds. Nature at its best.

Bob and Deb Kontz joined in 2006. They have had their water garden for 6 years. They enjoy seeing things change each time they view the water garden. Several goldfish which have big appetite for the duckweed have found a home at the Kontz’ pond along with blooming plants which are their favorites, especially if they survive the winter. Gardening around the pond and creating a butterfly garden is how ponding time is used. After attending a pond tour and seeing a variety of ponds and the fact that everyone involved was so friendly, they were prompted to join. Visit their pond on the 2007 Pond Tour.

In The Country Garden & Gifts.

E.I.P.S. members receive a 10% discount. Must show your current membership card at time of purchase.

Koi for Sale

Spawned July, 2006

4-7 inches
Assorted colors.
$10.00 ea.

Butterfly, Glitterscale, Calico with red.

Also Stock tank raised
$6.00 ea.

Dennis & Carol Sindelar 365-1839


With spring here and warm weather on its way. Josh Spece will be writing an article on New Water Plants For This Year….

March Birthdays

Eileen Serbousek - April 17th

If you would like your birthday printed in the newsletter, email us at mespringcove@aol.com or sign in with the Hospitality Committee: Elena Murillo or Gil Morley

By Joe Olsen

Webster defines adventure as a “remarkable experience in which hazards are to be met and the issue hangs upon unforeseen events”. My adventure in water gardening fits this definition perfectly. As I crawl around the edges of my pondscape looking for the first signs of spring renewal I have lots of time to consider what the ponding adventure has meant to me. Like all adventures, much is involved in the planning phase, the actual building of the pond, the evolution of the landscape around the water feature and the formation of plans for the future. I will highlight a few significant moments in each category.

It all started about 10 years ago when I saw an ad in the paper for a pond tour in the Walker/Urbana area. As an avid gardener for many years, I had moved from growing food to flowers and the thought of a pond appealed to me even though I knew nothing about what was involved. On this particular July day I saw water features as small as a whisky barrel to an acre farm pond complete with boat and swimming area. The folks of EIPS were so friendly and helpful and were convincing that a water feature was the crown jewel of their gardening experience; and, for ten bucks, I could become a member and see even more water gardens; what a deal!

The next two summers were spent reading ,observing and listening to pond owners tell their stories. This was back when most of the ponds were constructed by the owners who were also experimenting with their own filtration systems as there were limited options for sale and supplies were very pricey. Ponders had their own language related to design, filtration, plants and fish. I remember getting confused about the difference between a skimmer and biofalls and getting lost in the conversations of club members who were so involved in their hobby. Being about as handy as a screen door in a submarine when it comes to electricity, plumbing and other construction issues, I resolved to save my money and have someone build the pond for me. I had visions of a partially dug hole in my yard for a couple summers and then hiring someone to finish it so I decided to “cheat” and have an expert do it for me.

With some help from Jackie on location, the plan began to take shape. My first hosting of a EIPS meeting consisted of looking at the garden hose outline of where my water feature would be. Folks commented that ponders would be envious of the “drop” in elevation in my yard. I nodded in agreement but had no idea of what they were talking about. In a three day time frame in the summer of 2000, Kurt’s Enterprises of Vinton built my pond right next to my deck. Location is a huge issue with a water feature and next to a deck with elevated viewing of the stream and pond was a wise choice. Digging the first pond only two feet deep was NOT a good choice as two winters later it froze solid and led to a remodeling job that doubled the size and added a foot of depth.

That first winter, the pond gods smiled on me. Early snowfall and mild temps allowed me to keep the pump running all winter with beautiful ice features forming as the temps changed. Assuming this was how it would work every year I got a big surprise the following year with ice dams that diverted water in to the yard, a frozen pump and eventually a frozen solid pond that entombed my fish and created huge fish oil suds the following spring. Now I pull the pump at the last possible moment when the forecast indicates winter is imminent. I have experimented with about every pond heater on the market but have had the most luck with the stock tank heater; a bit more electricity but at least the darn thing works (some times to well as evidenced by my face first dive on a below zero January day; I could imagine the koi wondering what the heck was going on as I gracefully exited their home) .

Each pond season brings some new risks mostly weather related and the ominous effect of Murphy’s Law. Everything can be going well until I leave for a weekend and then the pump vibrates loose from the pipes and empties out most of the water. Also, frequent instances of adding water in the morning and going off to work and leaving the hose running (that is a lot of water in 8 hours). And finally, mysterious electrical breaker problems that cause everything to shut down. I have found that occasionally letting the stream dry out seems to help reduce algae issues. String algae, baked in the sun of a July day does not recover well. Pond problems have forced me to conquer some of my mechanical ineptness. I can now remove a frog that plugs the pump and trace minor water leak issues without having to call for help. Now if I could just figure out how to remove all the water from the pipe from the skimmer to the biofalls to avoid the winter pipe freeze up that delays getting things started in the spring.

Planning for 2007 is in full swing. I am investigating bog filtration systems as it seems to me that plants are the real key to crystal clear water. I’d like to add more plant pockets as the options of beautiful plants that like wet feet are limitless. I want to expand the plantings around the edge of the pond ; a mix of mature perennials and annuals add so much to the visual experience of the water garden. And finally, I look forward to summer evenings weeding along the edges of my pond and stream as the air fills with the scent of nicotiana , datura and stock. Weeding with the soothing sound of running water in the background is really more pleasure than work. It will be quite an adventure.

Creative Gardening Series

April 17 @ 6:30 pm

Beems Auditorium
Cedar Rapids IA

Continuous Color the “U-Can-Plan” Way

Learn “insider’s tips” for a continually colorful garden from spring through winter with author, photographer & landscape designer, Pam Duthie.


We just tried this product this month. We had to add quite a bit of water due to a leak we had in our stream. The price was $41.95 for the gallon size.

I found it at www.pondmarketplace.com

Here is how the ad reads: DECHLORINATIOR PLUS neutralizes chlorine and breaks the chloramines bond while not scavenging oxygen as other dechlorinators do. DECHLORINATOR PLUS will render toxic pollutants harmless (including iron, copper, lead, zinc and free iodine). Use DECHLORINATOR PLUS with your regular partial water changes and when replacing lost or evaporated water.

• Highly concentrated for maximum dechlorination, detoxification and water conditioning.

• Contains a pH buffer

• Contains 2 slime coat ingredients for replacement and conditioning as well as ammonia burn in fish

• Contains added electrolytes for stress reduction in fish

• Can be used in BOTH fresh and saltwater

• Safe for Fish and Plants

Direction for use:

One ounce per 150 gallons. 32oz Bottle Treats up to 4,800 us gallons. 1 gallon Bottle Treats up to 19,200 US Gallons.

Product used by Monica & Gil Morley

Disclaimer: The products are the opinions of the users. There are no guarantees you have the same results

by EL Johnson DVM

Plecostomus is curative for string algae. The plecostomus is a South American catfish which is ugly as sin but very hardy. You should only need one fish in one thousand gallons and it will eat all the string algae, that’s its favorite food. When you go to the pet shop, you need the largest Plecostomus they have.

Two notes of caution: At night, in very small ponds, Plecostomus will rasp on (suck on) the flanks of slow moving fish. If the pond is REALLY small and the algae is all gone, they’ll suck on anything they can find, and damage some fish. I would not deploy a Plecostomus in a smaller pond (under 800 gallons). If I did, you should know the larger Plecostomuses are less likely to rasp on other fish than the smaller more agile Plecostomi, If you have a Goldfish, which by some internal pathology is forced to live on the bottom, it will be eaten by the Plecostomus because it cannot get away. Koi never have this problem where the pond is of any size.

Secondly, Plecostomus will die when the water temperature drops to fifty five DF. Not 56 DF. Like a light switch . In the Fall of each year, they all die when the water reaches down to fifty five. So you should anticipate this and pull the Plecostomus out and put him in a plastic garbage pail with a little sponge filter for the winter. Feed him a disc of Zucchini every couple days and he’ll ‘hang in” till Spring for re-deployment in the pond

In the Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha area

Sunday, July 8, 2007

New times 10:00am to 4:00pm

Join the fun of the pond tour by volunteering to sit at a pond. You will have a choice to sit for a half day or all day, your choice.

Sign up sheets available starting at the May 26th meeting.

Indian Creek Nature Center
Cedar Rapids, IA

Annual Spring Plant Sale

May 5, 2007
9 am—Noon

The ICNC Guild offers wildflowers, prairie grasses and flowers, hostas, geraniums, and a variety of garden perennials.

Free Admission

April 1—15, 2007, get 25% off any MicrobeLift products including, all Bacteria, Sludge-Away, Dechlorinator, Ph-Down, Fish Foods and Treats, Spring/Summer Cleaner, Barley Pellets, etc and 20% off the following in-stock products: Pondmaster pumps; Brass Baron (including special orders); Little Giant waterfall filters, pumps and skimmers; Savio waterfall filters; Barley Ba les and floating planters; Laguna Spitters; Pond Balance; 1 1/2” and 2” flexible PVC Pip; EPDM Liner; and Cal Pump Egglites. Identify yourselves as a current EIPS member to receive the discount. (2007 membership cards will be issued to current members after April 1, at any meeting or upon request.)

Courtesy of Bob Rieser
The Frog Bog
100 Lincoln Street
Verona, WI

Permission from Koi USA Magazine

• Not de-chlorinating water during water changes.

• Avoid water run-off from roof or a deck to the pond.

• Bringing all fish from outside pond to too small a facility for winter that is not well established.

• Feeding old or moldy fish food.

• Using algaecides in pond removing oxygen.

• Using sharp or abrasive rocks in pond (damage during spawning activity).

• Using unsafe fish liners.

• Placing poisonous plants around and by the pond.

• Allowing lawn fertilizers or wind drift from spayed pesticides to get into the pond.

• Doing 100% water changes.

• Over medicating (not knowing the true volume of pond) too much salt or using too much of a certain chemical.

• Having gravel, rocks, or sand at bottom of pond without under gravel filter system (anaerobic bacteria thrive here).

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

April 12
7pm Larry & Erma Thompson—Cedar Rapids
“Building a Greenhouse over a Koi Pond” - Larry Thompson

April 28
7pm Wayne & Pat Beuter—Walker
“Trash to Treasures” - Master Gardener, Judy Stevens

May 10
7pm Dennis & Carol Sindelar—Cedar Rapids
Plant Swap

May 26
5pm Quinn & Kacy Novak—Cedar Rapids
Open Discussion on Pond Related Topics

June 14
7pm Dorothy Helms—Vinton
Open Discussion on Pond Related Topics

June 23
Jim & Rose Milden—Cedar Rapids
Pre pond tour

July 8
Pond Tour

July 28
5pm Jackie Allsup—Quasqueton
“Hybrid Lily—Queen of the Garden” - Master Gardener, Joyce Robison

August 9
7pm Gary & Jo Hunerdosse—Cedar Rapids
“Summer Gardening” - Master Gardener, Ellen Skripsy

August 25
Herman Michel—Cedar Rapids
Herman’s Birthday Celebration

September 13
7pm Joe & Judy Olsen—Independence
Open Discussion on Pond Related Topics

September 22
4pm Sharon Weiss—Vinton
"Fall Bulbs” Master Gardener, Zora Ronan

October 27

November 17
Recognition & Election Night—T.B.D.

Agenda: Business Meeting: 30-40 minutes
Program: 30-45 minutes
Tour of host’s pond/water features: 40-60 minutes

All locations and topics are subject to change. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

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