EIPS Newsletter

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In This Issue: April 2008

Thursday, April 10th
Monica & Gil Morley / Elena Murillo’s home
6702 Spring Cove CT. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Dinner 6:00 pm * Speaker At 7:00 meeting follows

Speaker: Chuck Porto - 7:00pm
Iowa City Landscaping & Garden Center Retail Manager

His horticultural roots began as a child working in his family's West Des Moines garden where they cultivated 1.5 acres and sold vegetables out of their garage and to various restaurants. In January of 2003, Chuck became the host of the KXIC Saturday Lawn & Garden Show (AM 800), a local call-in gardening information show. Chuck lives in Iowa

Topic: “A Garden For All Seasons – Shrubs and Small Trees for Multi-season Interest”.

Bring your chairs...for slide show in the garage

Saturday, April 26, 2008
6:30 pm
Bob & Stephanie Geers
3615 Honey Hill Dr SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

Speaker Laura Krouse

Laura Krouse raises vegetables and crops on a small farm near Mt. Vernon. She has installed several soil conservation and water quality improvement practices on her farm, including a 4-acre pond and a 3-acre upland wetland and restored prairie. She is the chair of the Linn Soil and Water Conservation District.

Topic: Rain Gardens

Bring your chairs...

March 22, 2008

Meeting was called to order at 2:00 pm by President, Monica Morley. Hosts were Greg and Martha Bickal. Monica thanked the Bickal’s for opening their home to 35 pond members and one visitor.

The treasurer’s report was given by Monica, in Jackie’s absence:
Income—Membership: $ 40.00 Expenses: $143.36 Total Account: $4,587.80

New members present: Jim & Sylvia Blood and Anthony Patti

Monica reported contacting several businesses asking for discounts. She has received confirmation that Iowa City Landscaping and Garden Center in Iowa City and Earl May Garden Center on the NE side of Cedar Rapids will give 10% discount to members. (See page 7 for details)

Monica contacted Oakes Daylilies and they provided copies of their 2008 catalogs, which were passed out. If you would like one, please see Monica. Monica has purchased lilies in the past from this company.

Monica referred to a past idea from members of a picnic without a meeting. She has reserved Noelridge Park Pavillion by the duck pond for Saturday, August 30. Jamie Beyer will be speaking. This social event is open to the Waterloo club and Central Iowa club. Event is also open to past members. (Further details here...)

Reminder: Membership renewal deadline is April 1.

Monica reporting receiving Kirkwood’s request for a $500 scholarship. She will turn the request over to the treasurer/secretary to hold, along with other suggestions, for dispersing of pond proceeds. Rose Milden opened discussion regarding Kirkwood’s request for payment now so it could be listed in the school’s catalog. Monica explained that any dispersement would have to wait until after the pond tour and was dependent on the proceeds from the tour. She urged members to bring any ideas to the group.

Committee Reports: Commercial Relations: Bob Geer reported a good response from contributors of prizes. He has prepared thank you post cards which will be given with each prize and asked that the recipient mail it to the vendor with their thanks. This is a great way to encourage continued support from the various vendors. Programs: Larry Thompson asked if there was interest in having Rick Patterson from the Indian Creek Nature Center speak at a meeting. The response was positive and Larry will contact Rick.

Monica introduced Greg, who spoke about Pond Filtration. It was a very informative presentation and Greg provided handouts. After his talk, members were given the opportunity to ask questions and to visit his Koi house and ponds. Greg mentioned that his ponds were not up and running and he was planning on remodeling his ponds, which would include putting in bottom drains. Greg mentioned he would be placing an order for drain domes for $16 each. Anyone interested should contact him.

Vice President, Dave Bell, lead the 3P’s (Plants, Products, Problems) 15-minute discussion. Among things discussed, new member, Jim Blood, asked about white algae, and happily found out that it was carpet algae and was considered a good thing. He had been considering draining his pond to get rid of it.

Prizes were awarded to the following: Sylvia Blood, Larry Thompson, Kerry Shaner, Jim Blood, Gil Morley, Joe Holtzman, Carl Unkel, Roberta Ward, Bob Kontz, Roy Gaddis, Dave Kunkle, Mia Bickal, Janice Bell, Robert Ward, and Gary Hunerdosse.

Monica wished everyone a Happy Easter the meeting was adjourned at 4:10 pm.

Submitted by Maria Hamilton

Pictures from the March 22 meeting.

LECTURES at Cedar Rapids Public Library
500 1st Street SE

Visualizing Changes in Your Landscape
Tuesday APRIL 1
Professional Gardener and author Janet Macunovich

Growing Perennials in Cold Climates
Tuesday APRIL 8
Michael L. Heger, author and owner of Ambergate Gardens will present.

Shrubs for Cold Climates: Beyond Burningbush
Tuesday APRIL 15
Join Glenn Herold, Professor of Horticulture at Illinois Central College for this lecture

By Josh Spece

Hosta ‘First Frost’

With spring just around the corner, frost is the last thing any gardener wants to hear about. Try to look past the name, though, because Hosta ‘First Frost’ is a real winner!

Being a sport of ‘Halcyon’, ‘First Frost’ has some stellar relatives including one of my all time favorites – ‘June’. ‘First Frost’ greets us in the spring with a rich, buttery-yellow edge and a strong blue center. Like its parent, the blue coloring is among the best of any hosta and it holds the color most of the season. By early June, the gold margin fades to creamy white. In either combination, the margin and center colors always offer a striking contrast. The good leaf substance keeps ‘First Frost’ looking fresh until the first frost of autumn. This hosta grows steadily into a 30” wide mound that has lavender flowers in July.

Hosta ‘First Frost’ is one kind of frost I welcome in my garden!

Josh Spece is a long time member of EIPS.

Guest Speaker member Jamie Beyer
Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jamie is a Lifetime Master Gardener from the Ames/Boone area and is founder and immediate Past President of the Central Iowa Water Garden Association. Water gardening has been a passion of Jamie's for over 45 years and, currently, he has three 10,000 gallon ponds and one 27,000 gallon pond which contains many kinds of water plants and fish. He combines this experience with his Master's Degree in Fish and Wildlife Biology to become uniquely qualified to be one of the Midwest's foremost experts on the subject. His broad background of fisheries, dynamics of water, wildlife ecology, and horticulture gives him impressive credentials. Jamie frequently speaks and writes on all aspects of water features and water gardening to gardeners in the Midwest. In addition, he also has a consulting/installation business, called Midwest Waterscapes, which he works as a water garden, fountain and pond consultant/installer to people that want extra help. Jamie has considerable experience installing ponds, diagnosing water garden problems, teaching classes and helping do-it-yourselfers, do it right. Since the late 80's, he has been involved with the design and installation of over 700 water gardens and features.

Jamie and co-author Veronica Fowler, wrote the Ortho Book "All About Garden Pools and Fountains". Over a half million copies of the book has been sold since it's publication.

Mark your calendar
Don’t miss this exciting event!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Noelridge Park Pavillion/Cedar Rapids IA

1. Do not expire at a meeting or in the vicinity of ponders. You will be dissected. And then everyone will see your guts.

2. If you are dissected, everyone will know your diet. and analyze your fat content. Double gross. Again, you have been warned.

3. Parrots or large tropical birds in your indoor fish wintering area help your fish survive. I've seen proof. As a bonus, they can help YOU survive by warning when strange ponders are in the vicinity. Or pelicans too, I suppose.

4. Many ponders are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fish nutrition. Composition, compounds, supplements ...hey wait... weren't we missing a few members last meeting? Maybe a little TOO knowledgeable. Can anyone spell s-o-y-l-e-n-t g-r-e-e-n? Mm-hm. Just the right algea content too. Let's see if they ever "show" again....! The members, I mean.

5. My water is pretty clear and my fish look alive. That's a pretty good day for me. With more meetings and information, however, I hope to someday join the ranks of members who have a fish the size of which swallowed Pinnochio. At least the action sized one.

Looking for a Special Fish?

David Zahn from Moline will take orders for any type of Japanese fish. David was a vendor at the 2007 Pond Expo. Call him for details...309/797-1640.


To Members, Carol & Dennis Sindelar, who won Runner-up Best of Show with some Electric Yellows and a Borlyi (cichid) at the EIAA Fish Show at Noelridge Easter Weekend

Iowa Koi and Watergarden
1055 46th St.
Des Moines, IA 50311
www.iakoi.com under construction

Owners Julie Leonard and her husband will have high quality koi. As well as food, supplies, test kits, Koi hobby books and magazines. Along with a veterinarian Koi health assessments.

Thank you goes out to Oaks Daylilies for sending 2008 catalogs for our members. I have purchased daylilies and had great success. Upon my request they sent the catalogs. Please support them. Check out their web site also. www.oakesdaylilies.com Catalogs available at the meetings until gone.


In The Country Garden & Gifts.

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


Prairie Creek Nursery

4100 Bowling Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Stop in to see Shirley and Kevin at Prairie Creek Nursery

** Pond Supplies
** Design & Installation
** Aquatic Plants
** Japanese Koi & Goldfish
** Aerators & Fountains
** Gifts for the water gardener

April 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.

Looking for Ponds for the 2008 Pond and Garden Tour

If you are interested in participating in the 2008 Pond and Garden Tour let us know...

A few things to keep in mind, are your walkways safe for the public (senior citizens) to walk. Do you have an entryway to enter and one to exit. Do you have good parking.

At a later date the Pond Tour Committee will set up a time to come out and view your pond.

You also must be a current 2008 Member.

Any questions contact Monica Morley

A sad Good Bye to our fellow fish buddies who have passed on to peaceful waters.

Our fish sympathy to:

Jackie Allsup
Joe Olsen
Becki Lynch
Robert & Roberta Ward
Karen & David Frieden
Hugh & Kathi Albrecht
Joe Hall
Josh Spece

Ode to My Fish
Unknown Author

O, wet pets, never have I yet been so fortunate to get companions such as you. Unlike my cats, you do not scratch, nor prey on small fowl, nor at midnight yowl. You may not purr nor warm my knees, but it's for sure you know how to please. You are quiet as the fog; not so for my dog. He jumps and will drool, and acts much the fool. You may not fetch, nor happily greet me, but it's not a stretch to say that you love me. You are beauty in motion, and freedom in form; your life's but an ocean and mine to death foresworn. But never will I be alone, as long as you are at my home.

Monica Morley/President

I have contacted several business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City area. Requesting membership discounts. As of this time we have acquired 3 additional business along with In the Country Garden and Gifts. Please support all of them by making purchases from them using your membership card to receive the 10% discount.

To see the participating businesses, click here.

Jackie Allsup, KHA

The good news is, it’s finally Spring! The bad news is, as the ice is melting off our ponds, many of us are finding our beloved pets are dead or very sick. Phone calls are coming in; “What do I do now?”

Now if you’ve lost all your fish Just walk away….sadly just wait till it gets warmer before you mess with it. There’s not much to be gained by going out there when water temps are still in the low 40’s to catch pneumonia messing in the cold water.

When it’s warmed up enough to play in the water and you feel like you can stand to again work on the pond, without filling it up with dirt, you can then go out and first give it a thorough evaluation.

Let’s try to figure out why the fish died? Was it a water quality problem? Did I allow the ammonia to increase and the pH to decrease by not doing water changes? Is there a lot of debris in the bottom? Did I fail to keep a hole open or an aerator running? Did I not keep the snow shoveled off all winter? Is the pond raised above the ground, which allows the water to get too cold, or is the pond too shallow for fish? Or, do you feel like possibly one fish died early on, causing the water to deteriorate and causing the other fish to die? It’s important to try to figure out what went wrong, so we can actually fix the problem. Whether it is owner/operator failure or Mother Nature, we can’t fix something if we don’t realize the problem. It may be an appropriate time to realize, this fish keeping stuff takes some work. There are no pets on earth that can go 4-5 months without any type of care at all. Sadly, we must realize our fishy friends can not go unattended for a whole winter either. If we’re not going to bring them in, then maybe we need to realize we are going to have to shovel snow once in a while or run a hose from the house. I can hear it now: “I did the same thing this winter as last!” There is no denying this winter was especially cold and snowy. Ice preceded snow and it just never let up. We may have even thought the snow on our ponds was a “good insulator”. That’s a wrong line of thought for many reasons. Regardless the reason, we must move forward to save the remaining fish if there are any.

As you might guess, getting all dead fish out as quickly as possible is imperative, especially if you still have some live f ish. You’ll need to test your water. Most likely that will tell you why your fish are dead, but not always. Most people are finding ammonia off the charts. Some are experiencing low pH, some POs (pond owner) are not. If you’re finding high ammonia and still have some live fish, you need to immediately get it treated and bound, then start water replacements, Simply drop in a sump pump to get some of the water out and run a hose from an inside faucet, if you have to. Use straight cold water from the tap. (Be sure to treat for chlorine if needed.) Do a series of water changes over the next few days to dilute the icky water out and rebuild your gH and pH levels if necessary. Your surviving fish will appreciate the new refreshed waters. You’ll need to examine the rema ining fish to decide their condition. If they are covered with fungus or heavy slime coats or are display signs of pineconeing, you might want to consider bringing them inside to warm them up and treat them. Pond side heavy salt dips are also a good treatment for ailing fish. (.6% salt bath for 30 minutes and them return to the pond..6%= 6teaspoons per gallon) If the remaining fish aren’t doing too badly, then continue with your usual Spring routine. Now that winter is over, we can consider raising the salt level up to .3% (added over a 3 day period , .3% = 3lbs per 100 gal) for a couple weeks or so during the Spring to help deter parasites and help your fish’s osmotic systems adjust to the warming water. Adding products like Koizyme can help keep the pathogenic bacteria down in your pond. With dead fish, your pond may be full of these nasty bugs, that will cause ulcers and other problems with your winter stressed fish. If you examine the gills on your dead fish, if they are tattered and white and fungusy looking you already have major water problems and more stringent measures may need to be taken to save any fish at all.

Once water parameters are stabilized, we can keep a better eye on its quality and just as soon as it gets warm enough to actually work out there, vacuum the bottoms, clean filers, and get things running again. (Remember to always clean filters before turning them on again)

With a little extra care, our ponds can again support a thriving fish community. With thorough evaluations and a little honesty about pond conditions and stocking levels, we can continue to enjoy our fishy friends for many years to come.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

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

Times determined by the Host/Hostess

Programs will be updated as available along with the times of the meetings.

April 10th - Gil & Monica Morley/Elena Murillo
Chuck Porto/Iowa City Landscaping & Garden Center

April 26th - Bob & Stephanie Geers
Laura Krouse/Environmental Water

May 8th - Dave & Karen Frieden
Becki Lynch/Ornamental Grasses

May 24th - Carl Unkel 5:00pm

June 12th - Jeff Garner & Kerry Shaner 6:30pm
Rich Patterson/Indian Creek Nature Center 7:00

June 28th - Pre Pond Tour

July 13th - Pond Tour

July 26th - Roberta & Robert Ward
Photo Contest

August 14th - Jo & Gary Hunerdosse 7:00pm

August 23rd - Hugh & Kathi Albrecht 7:00pm

August 30th - Social Picnic Event/Noelridge Park Pavillion
Jamie Beyer 5:00 pm

September 11th - Becki Lynch

September 27th - Bob & Deb Kontz
Jamie Beyer

October 25th - Herman & Rosie Michel
Jim Durbin/ Bird Feeding

TBD Recognition Night

EIPS Newsletter Archives