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Absolute and Utter Disaster...

Discussion in 'Indoor/Outdoor Ponds' started by rainbowcharmer, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    This morning I took my dogs out and found my pond in ruin. Somehow there is a ton of water UNDER the liner and not much IN the pond... Which tells me that my skippy filter sprung a leak (likely in the bulkhead area) and pumped water under the liner. Though this amount of water seems unrealistic for a bulkhead that is still relatively intact. Even if it was leaking slightly I just don't understand it... It can't possibly have pushed that much water under the liner. So how on earth could this have happened? I couldn't find any sign of a hole in the liner itself. So maybe somehow it was being pushed in under the waterfall?? I Just don't know. :(

    All I know is I have a ton of dead fish and a mess to figure out. And I have no idea where to even begin...
     
  2. platytudes

    platytudes AC Members

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    Wow, that totally sucks!! I'm so sorry. I wish I knew about ponds so I could suggest something. I just feel so bad for you, and hope you can find a way to fix the problem! The dead fish are heartbreaking :( Hang in there...
     
  3. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    I think we figured out where the leak was happening - at the water fall. Somehow it's pushing water under the fall too. I don't know when or how it started. But I guess at least we came up with an answer. One that makes some sense anyway. I also stuffed the bulkhead with silicone in the event that there are any minor leaks there. A minor leak couldn't have done this. But I guses cover the bases, right?

    So now we're draining the water from under the liner - had to remove a bunch of rocks from one side and stuff a hose down in it. TONS of water draining out. Good news I guess. And we're refilling the pond at the same time, so the liner should fall back into place when the water under it is removed. In the meantime I have a lot of stressed and dying fish that I'm not sure how to deal with. They are half swimming and not happy. :(

    I poured some prime in with the new water coming in, but I don't know that that will solve the issues with the fish themselves. Really not much else I can do at this point there.

    We are going to take a trip to Lowes to get silicone and hopefully get that waterfall area fixed so that it doesn't do this again. I'm just not confident at this point though. So frustrating. :( I sat next to it nearly in tears this morning not even knowing what to do first... I feel better having a part of a plan anyhow. Maybe it's not a good one. But better than sitting there crying about it.
     
  4. cellodaisy

    cellodaisy AC Members

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    Oh no! I'm with Platy---wish I knew anything about ponds, but I don't. My condolences, and best of luck with the recovery.
     
  5. Wren

    Wren AC Members

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    Wow, that really sucks. I don't know a thing about ponds or plumbing. Good luck sorting it out. Sometimes fish survive stuff that they shouldn't have been able to - I hope some of yours make it.
     
  6. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Looks like a lot of the baby minnows are going to make it. They are the only active ones in there right now. The pond is starting to look back to normal in regards to liner placement. Still draining from under it and still filling it as well. Dumping prime in every once in a while to try to detox the chlorine and all that. Another goldie gone. Have to scoop him out yet. Not sure about the others - no other floaters yet, but who knows. I need to get in the pond soon to double-check the integrity of the liner. Just got back from Lowes and Petsmart (more prime). So we'll start the repair on the filter and then I'll suit up and get in the pond to see if I can figure out any other damaged areas. Hopefully none, but you never know I guess. Hard to tell how much water is left under the liner, but the draining hoes is still going strong so enough to keep it pumping I guess. good news is with filling the pond it's pushing that water out that drain hose so it should continue to do that until it's almost all empty. Any remaining won't be a big deal since the pressure of the water will keep it in place and the ground will eventually absorb it. With this clay though, it does so VERY slowly. So it will take some time for sure. Won't be able to run the filter for a few days anyhow while all the sealants dry, so will have to hope for the best with no filtration. :( I think they should be OK though. There's enough water volume in relation to living fish that I think it wont' build up anything crazy too quickly anyhow.

    Just so heartbreaking. :(
     
  7. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    I'm really sorry to hear about this, I would have been balling my eyes out too! I hope you figured out the problem and everyone else pulls through, good luck!
     
  8. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Well the pond is back to normal - or at least mostly. No filtration for the time being. The silicone needs to dry until tomorrow evening and then I have additional plumbing work to do to hopefully prevent this going forward, but that needs a couple more things from Lowes before I can make that happen. Got the wrong size connector this morning, so part of the work is done, but not all of it. Then I can get the liner back up over the waterfall spout and put the rocks back in place and give it a test run. Fingers crossed that it won't leak again because THAT was a freaking disaster. There are at least 4 goldies that survived and seem to be OK and lots of baby minnows. Not sure about any of the adult minnows as I haven't seen any of them since this morning. There were at least a few dead that I pulled out of the filter (many many fish ended up there as the water level lowered and they had nowhere to go), and a few live ones that I tossed back into the pond. But there are lots of floating fish out there too that I need to scoop again. Quite a few have died and floated to the surface since this afternoon even. But hopefully the rest will survive...

    I've done everything I can think of to prevent it from happening again. Hopefully that is enough...
     
  9. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Well good news is that the pond is still as full today as it was yesterday when we finished filling it. No leaks it seems. So this is good. Still not running filtration though. Letting the silicone and the pvc cement for the new pipe I put on today cure until tomorrow, and then will test drive the filter to be sure all is well before letting it run.

    I'm also beginning to think that there was a slow leak at least for a while now because I used to whine about how fast the pond was evaporating in the past. It's not evaporated at ALL today. Now I know part of the evap happens when the water is moving and the waterfall/fountain action have something to do with it - but maybe not as much as I originally thought. Anyhow, i guess once we get the filter going tomorrow night we'll see what happens at that point. I also had a guy from work who used to be a plumber come by and take a look at it and he's impressed with what we've done and says it should be fine. So that makes me feel a little better too. For being a total DIY noob, I guess we're not doing too terribly, although I don't think my dead goldfish would agree... :( :( Still so bummed out about that. They were doing so good too. And I was all happy that they were going to have a nice long life in my good-sized pond. Then I go and kill them off by using the wrong sealant. Ugh.

    So I guess we'll see how the test run goes tomorrow evening. I have my fingers crossed!!
     
  10. Rbishop

    Rbishop The glistening drop....
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    Good job!
     

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