EIPS Newsletter

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March 2005 Newsletter
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In This Issue: March 2005

Saturday, March 12, 2005
2:00 pm
Culver’s Nursery & Garden Center
Hyw 151
Marion, Iowa
(east of Hwy 151 & 13 junction)

Again we have an opportunity to hear what will be new in the Iowa garden for 2005. Come see the new varieties and wander around the garden center.

And: Jamie Beyer will be there and would like to introduce us to Tom Graham sales and production manager of Koi USA magazine and president of TC Publishing Inc. Tom is speaking at the CIWGA Pond Symposium on Monday.

And after the meeting: EIPS members who are interested will be gathering at the local The Pizza Ranch about 5 pm.

Directions: Culvers is located on the east edge of Marion. If coming from I-380, bypass Cedar Rapids on the north by taking County Home Road east (exit 28) to Highway 13, on the south take highway 30 east to Highway 13. If you feel a need to drive all the way through Cedar Rapids and Marion, 1st Avenue in CR will take you right out to Culver’s, eventually.

Looking ahead: April 14th Josh Spece will do a program on Hosta at the West Village Care Center in Independence. You might want to mark your calendar for that.

Welcome back everybody! Well we sure packed the Pizza Ranch party room! It was great to see so many faces. Certainly hope that trend will continue. The committees have been working hard to schedule a great new year. We, old timers, want to see new ponds, so if you have a pond we haven’t seen yet, please call to volunteer. Dates are filling fast, so call quick.

President, Kacy, opened the meeting with a warm welcome. We started right away with our guest speaker. Our own club member, Greg Bickal, recently won an all expense paid trip to Japan on a Koi buying expedition. He gave an incredible slide show on his experiences while there. He showed pictures of some really beautiful Koi, the lush Japanese landscape, and of the people themselves, along with a lively commentary. Great entertainment… Thanks again Greg for sharing that with us.

After Greg’s presentation, Kacy began the business portion of the meeting. She began with asking for approval of the last minutes as written. There were no additions or corrections. We had no Treasure’s report since Nancy was absent. Barb Cassens volunteered to take all membership dues in Nancy’s absence.

Kacy next asked for any committee reports. She spoke briefly about the table EIPS is going to set up at the upcoming Kirkwood Gardening Fair. Carol Sindelar reported we already had substantial volunteers to man the booth! This is a well attended affair and the booth should help get our club name “out there”.

Bonnie Happel and Mary Robinson, with the program committee, reported that dates for club meetings were filling in fast. They are still looking for ideas for speakers. If you know of anyone that would make a good presentation or a topic you’d like to see brought in front of the club, please contact either of these ladies. And again, if you have never hosted a meeting, we’d love to see you pond! (Finished or not)

We spoke briefly again as to where we plan to donated last year’s pond tour proceeds and again the topic was tabled to next month as we still didn’t have a treasure’s report.

Larry Tharp is taking orders for the “Once a year, time released fertilizer packages”. If we get enough ordered, these could possibly only cost about .30 cents each, which is a great bargain. And the idea of only crawling into that pond to fertilize once during the year is very appealing.

Door prizes where drawn for. Greg donated several prizes. Luck winners were: Herman Michaels, Joe Robinson, Quinn Novak, Elden Happel, Robert Ward, Randy Morrison, Jan Joggerst, Monica Morley, Carol Sindelar, and Joe Olsen.

Carol Sindelar had brought samples of aquarium fish food donated to the club. That was great! And last but not least, before we adjourned, we sang Happy Birthday for member Robert Ward. Sister –in –law, Rose, brought in a yummy cake for all to share.

Many members hung around to eat at the buffet, talk more pond, and generally catch-up on what others have been doing over the winter. Thanks for coming. See you next month…..respectfully submitted, Jackie Allsup

First up, I want to encourage members to check out Greg’s CD that is in our library. He took a tremendous number of photos during his trip to Japan. Topics include: the fish, the ponds, filtration, transportation of Koi, landscaped ponds, scenery, the dealer’s shops, the dealers, the culture, the nightlife, public transportation and Greg with his traveling companions. Very interesting. And it might be very interesting to young people who are studying Japan. So check it out. I will bring it to the March meeting to pass it on to the Librarians.

And don’t hesitate to check out the pictures I reprinted in this newsletter on line in color. Awesome!

I have a wanted item. Does anyone understand the Koi Herpes that is going around? It would be great to have an article for us that explained it in simple terms. What does it look like? How is it transmitted? What should we be doing to keep our fish safe?

Also, have you noticed we at EIPS lean toward articles about fish!? Well, I am ready for some plant articles. Any secrets for keeping or propagating pond plants, submersible as well as marginals. Send your insights my way.

It is almost spring. I have noticed the grass is starting to green up a tiny bit. My Marsh Marigolds will be sprouting soon and then the Sweet Flags. And after that the pond will explode with life for the summer. I can’t wait!

EIPS EDITOR — Carol Sindelar

- Change -

Each year at the November meeting we draw from all of the entries throughout the year for that one, mega prize. In the past it has included a Tetra Pond Kit or a UV sterilizer. In the past you did not need to be present to win. And for the last two years the winners have not.

The November meeting is a very important meeting, we plan much of the next year at this meeting. We have our elections. Your board of directors feels this is too important a meeting to miss. So we are going to change the requirements for the mega drawing. All members who attend any meeting will be entered each time they attend. But the winner must be present to win at the November meeting.

What It's Not:

Not a flying saucer!
Not a chafing pan!
Not a Tupperware bowl!
Not a dog dish!
Not a rice steamer!
Not a colorful hubcap!

What it is:

* The PONDMASTER Floating Winter Pond De-Icer!
* An extremely energy efficient way to keep your pond open in the winter!
* Features thermostatic control to save energy,
* Epoxy-Sealed internal electronics for extra watertight protection,
* One Hundred and Twenty Watts of heating power,
* an 18 foot long grounded power cord,
* and a one year limited warranty!

If you are interested in helping out a committee or have some ideas, just give the chairperson a call. * indicates chairperson.


*Bonnie Happal 232-4054

Joe & Mary Robinson 474-2236

Roger & Shirley Thurm 984-5369


*Kacy Novak 362-0487

Bonnie Happal 232-4054


*Monica Morley 294-4866

Gil Morley 2294-4866

Elena Murello 294-4866

Dorothy Helms 472-3158

Marilyn Oliver

Jackie Allsup 934-3665


No volunteers


* Harold & Barb Cassens 472-3178

Jackie Allsup 934-3665


* Herman Michels 366-1789

Susan Highshoe 373-0645

Joe Olsen 334-2709


*Robert Hollenbeck 849-1188

Jackie Allsup 934-3665


*Carol Sindelar 365-1839

Rita Tharp 396-3293

Roger Thompson 854-7229

Dennis Sindelar 365-1839

Tim Nolan 363-9408

Jackie Allsup 934-3665

The program committee is a committee that you can assist without actually joining the committee. Have you hear a good speaker lately. Do you know someone who knows someone who would be good to hear at a EIPS meeting. Give any member of the program committee a call and give them a lead on a good speaker. They will greatly appreciate the help. And they won’t even make you attend one of their planning meetings.


*Bonnie Happal 232-4054

Joe & Mary Robinson 474-2236

Roger & Shirley Thurm 984-5369

Remember, EIPS runs on volunteers. Please consider serving on a committee. Many hands makes light work for everyone.

Time to Renew Your membership!

Simply print out and fill in the membership form, mail it to our PO Box in Vinton, Iowa. Dues are $10.00. Make the check payable to EIPS or Eastern Iowa Pond Society. If you do not have time to do it right now, tear out the form and place it in your bill paying pile so it will not be forgotten. We would hate to have your membership expire.

A couple things to be thinking about in the pond at this time of year:

** If you are planning to add fish to your pond this spring, consider building a quarantine tank now. It could be as simple as a Rubbermaid tub with a small water pump or power head and a sponge filter. There are a lot of Kooties out there. Be safe.

** The fish are going to be warming up soon and we will want to be feeding them. Remember not until the water reaches 55 degrees. Lets not give them a tummy ache or pollute their water.

By Tim Nolan

The Eastern Iowa Pond Society is fortunate to have the support of many different vendors. Every year the club sends out letters to as many manufacturers and distributors as we can think of, soliciting their donations of product which we can give away at our monthly meetings as door prizes. Yes, we beg for freebies so that several of our members may enjoy a little extra treat at each meeting they attend. Over the years the companies have been very generous and even surprising in the size of their donations. We have been lucky enough to get some substantial items which have provided a nice Grand Prize at the final meeting of the year. You would think that eventually most vendors would think that they have given to us enough times already...but many keep supporting us year after year.

One of those companies is Danner Manufacturing, makers and distributors of the PONDMASTER line of water gardening supplies. They are well know for the many quality products they sell. Among them are the Mag Drive pumps, high efficiency, oil free units in a multitude of size all the way up to 5000 GPH!

They are also known for those low profile, simple to use filtration systems that are convenient for small ponds, and can be easily combined with fountain heads. The Pondmaster line keeps growing with the addition of some new items this year. Among them are the new Pressurized Filter System available in sizes for 1000 , 2000, or 4000 gallon size ponds, with optional UV light! If a pressurized filter turns you on, check these out!

Other unique items include a Floating Skimmer/Filter System, and their new Mini Pond Skimmer which can sit on a plant shelf or hang over the side of the pond. Both of these units can be installed without cutting into the liner….. so if you are thinking of retrofitting with a skimmer, you will want to explore these two options. Also new to the Pondmaster line is the only Submersible Ultraviolet Clarifier, available in three sizes, 10, 20, and 40 watts. Handling pump sizes up to 700gph, 1800gph, and 3000gph respectively.

An item you have possibly seen before is now available under the Pondmaster name. It is the Floating Winter Pond De-Icer. This unit is an energy efficient way of keeping a hole in the ice all winter long. At 120 watts it is just a bit more powerful than previously available models, but still much cheaper to run than a stock tank heater!

Danner Manufacturing has produced a very nice 25 page color catalog featuring their full line of pond and water garden products. We have received many copies of this along with their donation to us this year of the following:

* Six one pound bottles of Sho Gold Fish Food pellets.
* One PMK 1500 Filter System with 500 gph pump and two fountain heads.
* One 10 watt Submersible Ultraviolet Clarifier /Sterilizer suitable for ponds up to 1500 gal.

Obviously these generous donations from vendors are their way of advertising the product line and keeping our interest up. The donations are also a way of showing support for our club. Show your support for the contributing vendors, by considering their products when you do make purchases for your ponding needs!

If you would like a Danner Manufacturing catalog just ask Tim or Linda Nolan...we have plenty!!

Imagine: only feeding your lilies and lotus ONCE A YEAR!

EIPS is looking into purchasing some pond plant fertilizer tablets. These tablets are a slow release, one application each summer. The more we order the cheaper they are. We need to get our order in early though. The Pond - Pak stats are reprinted on this page.

If you’re interested in acquiring some of these you need to contact Larry or Rita Tharp (396-3293 or tharp.larry@mcleodusa.net...Please note the e-mail address was wrong in previous issues of Beneath the Surface.).

By Carol Sindelar

It will soon be spring spawning season in our ponds and you may be curious as to the sex of your Goldfish and Koi.

Here are some pointers:

The best way to discern the body and abdomen is to view it from the top, or above. This is a good thing since that is how we naturally view them from the water surface, above.

Another tip that I will put into the category of wives-tales is to watch how they eat. It claims females will graze at the surface, catching several pieces of food at a time. Males in contrast are supposed to grab one bite and then retreat to eat the food elsewhere. Interesting.

In goldfish, the males develop white spots near the gills in the spring. Like zits. Another way is to watch them spawn. The males chase the females around the pond. The females deposit the eggs, the male fertilizes. Ok, maybe you are not watching that close. Nor want to.

Some people claim their fish never spawn. And now you can answer the basic question: Do you have both sexes in your pond. We have a great group of colorful Koi, 8 adults. The year we had the large spawn, the beautiful calico male who started everything, died. We have not had a noticeable (no activity, no babies) spawn since. Last year I stood on my rock to look down on the pond and noticed, I think we now have all female Koi. That would explain a lot. There seem to be some males in the yearlings and so this spring we may be in the spawning business. We will see.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

Greg Bickel has donated a CD to our library which contains all of his pictures from his Japan trip. They include the scenery, the culture the fish and the folks he traveled with. It is a very interesting CD and available to borrow from our library. Contact the Librarians and they will bring it to the next meeting. Following are some excerpts:

Picture #1
Picture #2

Do you understand the life cycle of Ichthyopthirius commonly called Ick? The basic thing to remember is that the spots on the skin of the fish is only one small stage of it’s life. Most of it’s life is spent living in the water and in the debris on the bottom of the pond. You need to treat it long term so you can eradicate as much of it as you can, both on the fish and in the water. Ichthyopthirius is almost always present where there are fish. It is opportunistic. The secret is to keep your fish healthy and stress free. If Ick attacks, treat it for the long term.

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