Pond water level keeps dropping


Pkb

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Hi. I was wondering if anyone can help me. I have had my pond for 6 years now but have recently brought fish this summer. In the summer months the water level was great, it rarely decreased. Now in the winter months the water level is decreasing very quickly ! I would fill my pond up to the top with the hose and in about 2 days the level would just drop till under half the amount ! As the water level is so low my filter creates an awful noise as there is no water above it.
I have no idea why the water keeps decreasing at such a fast pace , I do have a waterfall and a net ... could this cause the level to drop ?
Please help !!
 
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Welcome to the GPF!

More details would be helpful - how many gallons, what type of filtration, how big is the waterfall? etc.

But generally speaking, most water loss comes from a few typical sources: plumbing leaks or low edges. If you are able to shut your pump down for a few hours - say overnight - and check the water level in the morning you should be able to tell if the leak is in the plumbing. At the same time, you can check the whole perimeter of the pond and most especially the waterfall for low edges where water may be escaping. Look for damp areas around the pond that shouldn't' be there. Edges or rocks can slip creating low areas where water can run out - even a small trickle can add up to a lot of water loss quickly! But no - a net won't cause water loss and a waterfall that's working right shouldn't suddenly start causing your water level to drop.

The last possibility is a leak in the liner. If you shut down the pump and the water keeps dropping, you may have a leak. But that's really the rare case.

Good luck with your search!
 
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Lots of pictures can help the quickest
 

Pkb

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Welcome to the GPF!

More details would be helpful - how many gallons, what type of filtration, how big is the waterfall? etc.

But generally speaking, most water loss comes from a few typical sources: plumbing leaks or low edges. If you are able to shut your pump down for a few hours - say overnight - and check the water level in the morning you should be able to tell if the leak is in the plumbing. At the same time, you can check the whole perimeter of the pond and most especially the waterfall for low edges where water may be escaping. Look for damp areas around the pond that shouldn't' be there. Edges or rocks can slip creating low areas where water can run out - even a small trickle can add up to a lot of water loss quickly! But no - a net won't cause water loss and a waterfall that's working right shouldn't suddenly start causing your water level to drop.

The last possibility is a leak in the liner. If you shut down the pump and the water keeps dropping, you may have a leak. But that's really the rare case.

Good luck with your search!

This is my pond. Quite small. Approx 150 litres. I have now just filled my pond up to the top. And I have turned the filter and waterfall off. I will check after work to see if the level has dropped. I’m just a bit worried that the fish will die if I have turned the filter off !
 

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addy1

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Welcome to our group!

You are getting good advice above. Usually it is a low liner, the waterfall a plant that redirects the flow.

If your fish are goldfish they are pretty hardy and can handle lack of water flow.
 
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Years ago I started having a water-level issue - 1-2 inches per day - which was more than the normal evaporation rate I was accustomed to. So I started sleuthing. I finally narrowed it down to my waterfall, which is just loose-stacked flagstone with a slight tilt toward the pond. I shut down the pump and began to un-stack the beast and to my utter amazement there was a plethora of small roots layered between the rocks and had been wicking away the water. I started cutting the roots and tracing them back to their origin: A large Japanese maple tree approximately 8 feet away. Re-stacked the flagstone and all was well. (I did, however, eventually cut down the spectacular tree; it had grown over the patio lip, engulfed all my sprinkler valve wires - tearing some - and was threatening the house foundation. Amazing because it was just a spindly 1-gallon plant when I bought it and never figure it to get big - 10 inch diameter trunk...pays to read the labels.)
 
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j.w

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@Pkb
Is this a hard plastic pond? I'm thinking there may be a crack or a hole somewhere along the sides. You said it was half your water amount that you lost. That is a lot of it to be your water fall or plants wicking it up. Not sure how you repair those ponds if that is the case.
 

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Yes it is a hard plastic pond ! However I’m unsure if there is a crack/ hole in the pond ... surely the water would go down quicker if there was a hole? I’ve just turned my filter off and I would check the level tomorrow morning !
Thank you for your replies
 

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Could be just a small hole which is draining slower. You should be able to tell by letting it drop down as far as the water will go and check then all around the sides w/your fingers and eyes very closely to find the small hole. Then maybe someone will have idea's on how to fix the hole. If no water drains out at all while the falls are turned off then it must be the falls somehow leaking or splashing out. What else can it be? Just hope the water only goes down halfway and no more. On the bottom would mean taking all the fish out to fix it unless there is some kind of glue goop that will work underwater.
 
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Pkb

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Could be just a small hole which is draining slower. You should be able to tell by letting it drop down as far as the water will go and check then all around the sides w/your fingers and eyes very closely to find the small hole. Then maybe someone will have idea's on how to fix the hole. If no water drains out at all while the falls are turned off then it must be the falls somehow leaking or splashing out. What else can it be? Just hope the water only goes down halfway and no more. On the bottom would mean taking all the fish out to fix it unless there is some kind of glue goop that will work underwater.
Thank you
 
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There are a fair amount of products that can be used "underwater", some are epoxies, etc. Two things to be concerned about is toxicity - and as long as the water level is BELOW the repair site while it cures I think it would be fine. Second would be to get the plastic surface of the pond very clean from algae and gunk before the repair. Good luck...
 
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If it keeps dropping, I’d set up a large plastic tote, tub, 30 gallon trash can ( new one, don’t fill the grimy one) with pond water, an air stone, and depending on how long it will take to repair, maybe a filter. Keep it deep enough to keep the fish safe, temps fairly stable, and safe from predators. Then you can let the pond drain as much as needed, find the problem, and fix it. If you must drain the pond completely, I’d be cautious adding the fish back as benifical bacteria will have died off and until it returns, you’ll risk ammonia spikes.
 

addy1

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I had two hard plastic ones crack. Both slow leaks but leaked. Finally tossed and put in liner.
 
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Well others have said it already.
Turn off pumps. if water drops you have a leak in the liner.
If not then it’s either the plumbing or waterfall.
If it’s the Preformed liner then you have to let it drain as far as it will and then check for the hole.

Other then that if it was me.
I would buy a rubber liner. Drain the pond. And lay the liner right inside the preformed liner.
If your ok with it. Otherwise if you gone that far you might just want to get rid of the preformed altogether
 
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Pkb

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Thanks for your reply. I have switched my waterfall and filter off and the water hasn’t gone down ! So I’m guessing the fault lies there’s... however my waterfall and filter is connected together both turns on or off at the same time. Any idea for what to do next .....
 
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First step is to find the cause of the leak. Add an air stone to the water, or external filter, and get to work looking over your waterfall filter set up. Check hoses, connections, and all pieces. Look for wetness as a clue to where it’s leaking. If you have buried pipes, I’d save those for last, just in case they aren’t the problem, start at the most accessible parts. If it’s a cracked pipe, replace that section, if it’s a cracked canister, replace or repair if replacement isn’t affordable, but read through the threads on what’s good for repairs and how to do them. meanwhile, top off your pond, and if you don’t have a back up filter, do frequent water testing to watch for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and do more frequent water changes to remove those as needed.
 
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Thoroughly check you waterfall structure too. Sometimes water can get diverted between, under and around the rocks. Rocks can sometimes get moved by differences in temperature or neighborhood critters.

Do you have a liner beneath your waterfall? I always build my waterfalls with a liner shaped so that if any water gets between or under the rocks, it can only flow back into the pond.
I build a concave mound of soil pitched toward the pond. I form shelves in the soil to support the rocks. Cover all that with a geotextile underlayment (or carpet, carpet pad, newspaper, etc.) and liner, then add the rocks for the falls. Think of it like the liner is the actual falls and the rocks are there to make it all look good.
 
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Since you turned off your pumps and the water is holding. Then it’s either the plumbing or the waterfall.

The first thing you should do is turn your pumps back on.

Then I would start by looking for wet spots or soft/muddy ground.
If there is no sign of wet or soft ground were your plumbing runs.
However it might not cause the ground to become wet or soft if the water is being absorbed into the ground quick enough?

If nothing looks wet or none of the ground feels soft
Then I would look into the waterfall.
Otherwise you might want to dig up your plumbing for the hell of it

Wait is your plumbing clear hose?? And does it just run under the rock??
Hard to tell in the pictures.
Can you get better/clearer pictures
 

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