Fairchild Cove
(Click on a picture to enlarge)

Fairchild Cove, looking northeast toward the garage. The pond consists of a large dogbone-shaped shell, with a small, round spillway up and towards the back, forming a small waterfall. If you look closely behind the spillway, you can see the filtration tubes running into of the garage to the biological filter housed therein. These have since been hidden behind a small wooden box. Two hundred and ninety gallons of ecological fun!

Making a tapered lighthouse is not easy, but it was fun, and it lights up at night. Note the spartan colors :) You can also see the fire pit in the background

Here's a good shot of our buoy bell which we bought in Gloucester, MA. you can also see the frog spitter on the side of the pond. More ornamental than functional, it's still fun to let him do is thing for a little while. You can see the base of the pond is supported by fieldstones, with sandstone forming the upper walls and rim

Here's two of our fishies, the calico and the black tiger. There's a story behind the calico as mid-summer he got hit with a case of Aeromonas. The disease is also called "hole in the side disease" as that's what it literally does. I had almost counted him completely out (on death's door) as the hole in his side was about the side of a dime (imagine a softball-sized hole in your stomach). At this point I isolated him in a separate tank, and administered treatment. Aeromonas strains are either bacterial, parasitic, or the most evil one - viral (of which there is no cure). Suffice to say we were really worried, and we treated him as best as we could. To effect a cure against the parasites (if that's what it was, it's almost impossible to tell by normal means) we tossed in half a mosquito dunk, as prescribed by our pond shop. To attack the bacteria, I treated him with the antibiotic tetracycline, which takes 5 days of daily applications. After two days, there was no change, and hopes were dim, but he swam around happily in the tank and ate normally. He was a perfectly happy fish except for the gaping hole in his side. On the third day, however, there were noticeable threads covering the hole, which increased in thickness literally by the hour. After two more days, the hole was completely sealed with what I'm guessing was scar tissue. We deemed the treatment successful and returned him to his buddies in the pond. Two weeks later, even the scar disappeared and you would never know he was ever sick.

Sure he's only a $2.95 fish from Meijer's, but he is our fish dammit, and we were not going to let him die.

Here's a shot of another one of our fishies, the plecostomus, or "PC" as we like to call him. If you buy one of these, realize they grow big, up to a foot or more. They also can't survive the winter, so when the water hits around 55 degrees, we'll bring him inside to his "winter home" tank. They are also very territorial with other plecostomi, so only get one. They are nocturnal and very shy, so you won't see him all that often. So what's with this guy and why even have him with all this hassle? He's a great fish to have, as he does an awesome job of cleaning the algae from the pond, so he's worth it. Plus it's cool having a "bigger" fish in the pond.

We also have a ramshorn snail (no pic yet), who helps in the cleanup, eating bits of muck on the sides of the pond. He'll be coming in come winter also.

And here's a great family shot, which almost had PC in the pic also, as moments before, he was sitting on the sandstone slab you see covering the cave at the bottom of the pond. I just didn't run to get the camera fast enough and he got spooked. In any event, here's the rest of our fishies. The calico and tiger you already met, and now you can see the black moore (upper left) and the orange fantail (upper middle). Yes I said "black" moore as he's supposed to be black, and he was black when I bought him, but for some reason (and no, it wasn't the food) he turned completely orange. Freaky, but he's still one of our fishies, orange, black, purple or green, and we love him just the same.

Btw, could I have timed the tiger in front of the white rock any better? I think not

Feeding time!

2003 Pics below

The cove at night (note the new lava rock surround)

Even darker

Here's one of our newest members, the gold inca snail. He's a little shy right now, mostly because it's a little cold. Unfortunately, our other snail (a ramshorn) didn't survive the winter. Algae eaters are wonderful to have in a pond, but you want to be careful about having more than one snail. If you do, you'll quickly end up with hundreds more as they lay eggs like wildfire.

Another new member is our tiny new black moore (upper left). Kinda hard to believe that all those other fishies were once his size. See the big orange one next to him? He was once jet black just like his brethren. Only time will tell if the little one will retain his pigment.

Last new recruit so far is the oranda. Pretty much albino except for the brilliant orange cap on his head. He's pretty shy and likes to hang out in the caves and such, but does hang out with the big boys most of the time. Like all oranda, he has a bumpy head, but evolution notwithstanding, I can't figure out why they do. This is a pretty good close-up, because he's tiny right now, just like the moor. Btw, that's the pump hose in the background there.

Here's the oranda again with perspective to show his current size. I have no clue what sex our fish are, but you'd think the fantail and the orange moor up there are smoochin. Also, that's our new water lilly at the bottom. The other one didn't seem to survive the winter so we'll be returning it for another. They are supposed to survive as long as they don't freeze solid, which I'm pretty sure didn't happen.

So first we found this new friend joining our watery community. No idea where he came from as there's almost no natural bodies of water nearby. How cliche is that? A frog on a lillypad.

Here's a big closeup.

So then we don't just have one, but he's got a buddy, or a mate, or something. Very cool that we have frogs now.

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