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  • My pond drained overnight...2 casualties so far

    Let me tell you what happened.
    I was working on my summer assignments for school until 3 a.m. and woke up at 7:00 a.m. only to hear my dad scream "OMG ALL THE FISH ARE DEAD!" (on my first day of school)...

    I frantically rushed downstairs as my beat pounded 9000000 bpm. I opened the door to my backyard to find my pond had drained through the pump that was on the lowest part to my cheap "tetra bio filter 4000."

    Yes, you guessed it, a pipe connecting to the outlet of the filter busted out. and drained the pond in under 2 hours. ( When I was first building my pond, I had asked my dad, "Wouldn't the pond drain if this simple flexible pipe slips out?" He said, yes it would... we should install a float switch later on.) too bad we never got to install one....

    Anyways, back to the scene.

    The pond had completely drained with my 25 koi just laying there. Luckily, the compartment of my fry/waterfall area was full of water. I quickly hopped down
    and made a terrible slip...(ouch) I quickly handed each koi to my mother and sister to put them in the fry area. I was almost about to cry at this moment

    LUCKILY, they were doing ok. about 5 koi were floating/ loss of balance. Others were on the bottom, couldn't tell if they were dead. I got ALL my aerators and put it in the water. Got a 5 gal bucket filled it with salt and put it in. Put all the stress coat (dechlor) I had in my house, and put it in for stress relief? I don't know, I had to do something.

    I stood there, in my boxers (cuz I had just woken up), blankly staring at my koi in hopes of a miracle... I felt so helpless, since I couldn't do CPR or anything like humans do... So, I tried swinging one koi that was floating back and forth on top of air bubbles to get some water flowing through his gills. After a few minutes, it kept his balance and swam away.. whew

    I had to leave for school. During school, I had a major headache, and was probably the most depressing first day of school in my life... I quickly got home at 4 p.m. from school. My dad and mother had been draining the water under the liner, because it had seeped it quite a bit. Then they started filling the pond. I found out two of my koi had died. ONLY two!!!! out of 25.

    The pond filled in a couple of hours, added dechlor. and some salt. Put all the koi in and now they're good for the night. hoping they won't die... we'll see.


    So, what did I learn from this? When you have a possible worst case scenario, it WILL happen eventually. SO, better to safeguard any possible troubles.

    ALSO, I finally convinced my dad to connect a bottom drain. I wanted to have two but, I think he's convinces with only one. Anyways I was thinking of doing a chamber filter sort of like the Eric filters. but in concrete. Any tips? Also I'm mainly worried about attatching a bottom drain... If people would give pointers, that'd be great!
  • #2

    So sorry to hear this. Understand you completely.

    Thanks for warning.

    Comment

    • #3

      I recently heard horror stories about automatic floater valves getting stuck on and killing all the fish from chlorine/chloramine poisoning.

      Best bet is to design the pond so that it cannot drain completely.

      Comment

      • #4

        not a good way to start the school year, but it is going to have a good out come.
        and what a crazy morning! sounds like the family pulled together for you

        Comment

        • #5

          You can allways get a retro drain tetra has one and so does Aqua Art. I personaly have the tetra one. If you go with this drain, you need to make sure it sits flat on the bottom and is heavy enough that your larger koi can't push it about. I lost two of my fry because of this. My club VP has the same drain, he took some 1 inch plastic screen and glued over the hole and had us do the same to ours. We haven't installed it yet because the pump and filter are on the wood pond.
          Amanda Bulls-Stephens
          Creator of "The Tail End"
          Central California Koi Society

          Comment

          • #6

            I am assuming you have a submersible pump sitting in the bottom of the pond? Until you do get a bottom drain installed, sit that pump up on a milk crate or something. That way, the pond can't drain down past the milk crate in the event that you have a similar problem later on.

            Koi keeping is a continual learning experience. You are lucky this lesson only cost you two fish. It could have been much worse. I bet there is not a person here that has not learned a lesson the hard way with their fish.

            Comment

            • #7

              CG that is a wonderful idea. I am gonna toss it in my bag of tricks for future use.
              Amanda Bulls-Stephens
              Creator of "The Tail End"
              Central California Koi Society

              Comment

              • #8

                I'm glad things weren't worse. You should never put a submersible pump on the bottom of the pond for this reason.
                The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
                SANDY

                Comment

                • #9

                  LOL, that happen to me too... I came out one day and seen them all lying around in 3 inches of water. I lost one of my Omosako Shiro-Utsuri that day. Good thing it wasn't one of my treasured koi that past away though. So the lost was bearable. I hope you didn't lose one of your favorites...

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    Originally posted by kntry View Post
                    I'm glad things weren't worse. You should never put a submersible pump on the bottom of the pond for this reason.
                    Even better, never put a submersible pump in your pond.
                    Don Chandler
                    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      You got that right, Don.
                      The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
                      SANDY

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        The humble gravity fed bottom drain is the single greatest technological innovation in the entire history of closed, re-circulating ponding. They not only allow for the removal of solids from the pond 24/7 (so they can be easily flushed to waste), but they physically remove filtration from the pond, thereby allowing settlement, mechanical filtration and bio-conversion to be sequentially performed before returning clean water to the pond.

                        Aerated bottom drains are even better because they accomplish three additional functions:

                        1. They facilitate gas exchange at the surface (CO2 out, O in), which improves oxygen saturation.
                        2. They mix water levels, which prevents stratification.
                        3. They sweep debris towards the drain, which improves organic waste management.


                        Additional Benefits:

                        If a 5' deep pond is gravity fed to 3' deep settlement/vortex and a pipe breaks somewhere, the pump will suck air when there's still 2' of water in the pond.

                        3" or 4" gravity fed lines have a greater solids handling capacity than a submersible pump and won't puree the poop before it reaches settlement & mechanical filtration.

                        No stray electrical current in the pond to zap your fish.

                        Remember: Chit happens -- so plan accordingly.
                        Don Chandler
                        Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          Originally posted by poisonXvenom View Post
                          Let me tell you what happened.
                          I was working on my summer assignments for school until 3 a.m. and woke up at 7:00 a.m. only to hear my dad scream "OMG ALL THE FISH ARE DEAD!" (on my first day of school)...

                          I frantically rushed downstairs as my beat pounded 9000000 bpm. I opened the door to my backyard to find my pond had drained through the pump that was on the lowest part to my cheap "tetra bio filter 4000."

                          Yes, you guessed it, a pipe connecting to the outlet of the filter busted out. and drained the pond in under 2 hours. ( When I was first building my pond, I had asked my dad, "Wouldn't the pond drain if this simple flexible pipe slips out?" He said, yes it would... we should install a float switch later on.) too bad we never got to install one....

                          Anyways, back to the scene.

                          The pond had completely drained with my 25 koi just laying there. Luckily, the compartment of my fry/waterfall area was full of water. I quickly hopped down
                          and made a terrible slip...(ouch) I quickly handed each koi to my mother and sister to put them in the fry area. I was almost about to cry at this moment

                          LUCKILY, they were doing ok. about 5 koi were floating/ loss of balance. Others were on the bottom, couldn't tell if they were dead. I got ALL my aerators and put it in the water. Got a 5 gal bucket filled it with salt and put it in. Put all the stress coat (dechlor) I had in my house, and put it in for stress relief? I don't know, I had to do something.

                          I stood there, in my boxers (cuz I had just woken up), blankly staring at my koi in hopes of a miracle... I felt so helpless, since I couldn't do CPR or anything like humans do... So, I tried swinging one koi that was floating back and forth on top of air bubbles to get some water flowing through his gills. After a few minutes, it kept his balance and swam away.. whew

                          I had to leave for school. During school, I had a major headache, and was probably the most depressing first day of school in my life... I quickly got home at 4 p.m. from school. My dad and mother had been draining the water under the liner, because it had seeped it quite a bit. Then they started filling the pond. I found out two of my koi had died. ONLY two!!!! out of 25.

                          The pond filled in a couple of hours, added dechlor. and some salt. Put all the koi in and now they're good for the night. hoping they won't die... we'll see.


                          So, what did I learn from this? When you have a possible worst case scenario, it WILL happen eventually. SO, better to safeguard any possible troubles.

                          ALSO, I finally convinced my dad to connect a bottom drain. I wanted to have two but, I think he's convinces with only one. Anyways I was thinking of doing a chamber filter sort of like the Eric filters. but in concrete. Any tips? Also I'm mainly worried about attatching a bottom drain... If people would give pointers, that'd be great!

                          Glad things worked out OK in the end...

                          I do have a little concern regarding the number of fish and the fill time on the pond. Unless you filled it with a fire hydrant 2 hours of water from a garden hose is not a lot of water. Your fish might be small now, but best to plan on when they grow.

                          Best wishes, and congrats on moving to a bottom drain. You'll be amazed at how much easier your life will become when trying to maintain good water.

                          Grant

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            Originally posted by gcuss View Post
                            Glad things worked out OK in the end...

                            I do have a little concern regarding the number of fish and the fill time on the pond. Unless you filled it with a fire hydrant 2 hours of water from a garden hose is not a lot of water. Your fish might be small now, but best to plan on when they grow.

                            Best wishes, and congrats on moving to a bottom drain. You'll be amazed at how much easier your life will become when trying to maintain good water.

                            Grant
                            If you read carefully, I said it drained in 2 hours on a 3000gph pump. not fill up

                            filling up took a whole day

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              Originally posted by poisonXvenom View Post

                              The pond filled in a couple of hours, added dechlor. and some salt. Put all the koi in and now they're good for the night. hoping they won't die... we'll see.
                              Originally posted by poisonXvenom View Post
                              If you read carefully, I said it drained in 2 hours on a 3000gph pump. not fill up

                              filling up took a whole day
                              actually.....you did say the pond filled in a couple hours.

                              Comment

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