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Pond Questions

	I have some questions regarding a pond and plants. Please keep in
mind that what seems obvious now in regards to conditions and observations
came together very slowly due to the emotional turmoil of last year.

	I put a 185 gallon pond in last spring, both to grow plants and
for my wife, who was battling breast cancer, to meditate by. I put a thin
layer of sand on the bottom and planted cattails, water lillys, cabomba,
anacharis, a pickeral rush and some others in baskets in ordinary potting
soil. I also had a very heavy layer of Salvinia on top-to give the
goldfish some cover from the raccoons as I wasn't able to deal with them.

	My wife passed away in July and so the pond suffered major
neglect. I had thrown in a couple of feeder goldfish to keep the mosquitos
down. Over the summer raccoons got into it many times and upset the
baskets, resulting in about an inch to 2 of soil over the sand on the

	In mid fall I noticed the goldfish gasping at the top. Thinking
they were hungry due to the neglect I fed them (I had been relying on
natural food for them), but they died a couple of days later. I suspect as
the water got colder it held less oxygen. Hindsight is wonderful...

	The pond had a VERY strong anarobic smell. Autumn leaves had
gotten into it. I ended up draining the whole thing and cleaning it out-My

1). Was the strong anarobic reaction due to the leaves falling in and
decomposing? Or possibly the Salvinia dying and decompossing? Or-

2). Was it from organics in the potting soil decomposing? Should I not use
potting soil this year?

This year I am going to try wrapping the plant baskets in burlap so that
if they are upset the soil won't spill? Does this sound like a good idea?

       Gerry Skau
       ANS BigDial Engineering

       Comfortless Superfakes Offering Their Empty Creeds
       That Have No Faith Or Substance 
       That Change to Suit The Doubter To Satisfy His Needs