Robust: newly emerging flowering stem of Aloe striata:

Yesterday was hectic.  I ended up burning dinner, which was maybe a good thing because the pizza Beloved brought home was so very, very good.

Morning had revealed that the pond's bottom drain was clogging up with string algae, meaning water quality was rapidly deteriorating.   I got some advice from Beloved on how to use a plumber's snake, and read about other drain clearing methods like closing the drain valve, siphoning out all the water in front of the valve, and then opening the valve.  The pressure difference between the water behind the valve and the empty air in front of the valve creates a great rush, often enough to clear the drain.  Further reading showed that the small plumber's snake I had was insufficient for a 4" (10 cm) pipe. 

The robust Echeveria hybrid, E. imbricata:

So, pressure differential via siphoning out the water after the valve it was.  A siphon is "a continuous tube that allows liquid to drain from a reservoir through an intermediate point that is higher, or lower, than the reservoir, the flow being driven only by the difference in hydrostatic pressure without any need for pumping"  (Thanks, Wikipedia!).  You do have to fill that tube with liquid first to create the pressure difference.  I had to mess with a pump and a hose and look down the innards of the Sieve and fold the hose to hold the siphon pressure and get the hose down there and see if the water was draining out the other end.  Oh the stuff I do and the things I learn for the sake of those darn Koi.  Without a pump you must create suction somehow, usually with your mouth, like teenagers stealing gasoline.  Ewww.  Fortunately I had a pump.

Hey, You With The Food, while you are thinking, feed us!  We are robust!

Then there was the complication of Algaecide, which I dumped in the pond to kill the algae which was clogging the drain.  Killing algae makes it fall apart and run down the drain.  More clog.  Also it made the pond water look like the contents of a septic tank.  Also it reduced the water's oxygen level, making the koi unhappy.

Clematis 'Bourbon', first bloom winner of '11--yes, robust:

I did the pressure differential flush, twice.  I fished around the drain in the pond murk with a length of bamboo, twirling it around, and I came up with a hunk of string algae that might be interfering with the drain.  Success!  The drain flow finally became...robust!

All the little daily challenges of life are what make us robust.  Not facing them weakens us.  Now get out there and overcome your own challenge today, whatever it may be!  Think:  robust!

Tiny seedling has four true leaves now.  Go baby, go!  Become robust!


  1. I have been thinking of developing a water feature for here for some time. Long reflecting pond etc. Obviously I have delusions of grandeur.
    But after reading this and also at "The Elephants Eye" blog. I think water management and water quality management will be just too much.

  2. Not necessarily, Field. Koi are a special case. A properly designed system without koi and without a lot of leaf litter is quite reasonable where maintenance is concerned. Especially something like a plain reflecting pool isn't too complex. Koi produce massive--massive amounts of waste that require significant filtration. A reflecting pool can be kept clear with some inexpensive safe chemicals e.g. hydrogen peroxide for algae control and BT for mosquito control. It just needs to be thought out carefully.

  3. Calling by from Fishtail Cottage as participating in Cottage Flora Thursday and really enjoying meeting everyone else. I hope I have clicked through to the right post, the seedling photo is a cheerful sight.


Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts