The saddest pond day

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Thanks again everyone. I am so grateful that I can share this here, knowing I won't be ripped to shreds. There are forums where you wouldn't dare mention a problem like this. This remains my favorite spot on the internet.

I was able to retrieve two more of the fish yesterday. Oh, just so sad. I can see one more under the ice and the last one is black, so he may be harder to see. They looked absolutely perfect in every way - except dead. That may sound nutty, but you know what I mean. If you had asked me prior to this if I would feel bad if my koi died, I would have said "nah. They're just fish." But you all know they aren't "just fish". They truly are so much more than that.

On the good news front, the goldfish appear to be fine, so we will look forward to a good pond season with our smaller fish friends.
I'm glad that your goldies are doing good! I'm heartbroken for you...wish there was something I could do to make you feel better!
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I am very sorry; it can be hard for non-ponders to understand. When herons come by, it's not just a nuisance--it's a predator coming to kill your pets. Only other ponds appreciate how we grow attached to our fish and to the ecosystem as a whole. You did nothing wrong; winters are just difficult, as is the early spring, in that short window when pathogens come to life before fish have their natural protections up. It doesn't make it any easier knowing that you did all you could.
 

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I am sorry to hear about the loss of your large koi. They do become more than just fish especially when you have them for years. I am saddened when I see any life in my pond die whether it be frogs that choose the wrong place to winter over (the skimmer box down by the pump intake) or fish that just weren’t strong enough to make it through the winter.(occasionally some of the fry born that year)
 
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Sorry to hear about your koi. I echo the sentiments of others who have posted it is heart breaking to lose any wild life associated with our ponds.
Wondering if your plumbing is flex pvc or rigid pvc? Just a guess but I would think the flex pvc piping would be better suited for your winter weather.
 
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Thanks @Gordo33 - it's all flex PVC. But "flex" is a bit of a misnomer to me - yes, it will bend, but in our pump vault it's a short run that includes connections that are rigid PVC - so the flex part is only about 1/3 of the total assembly. If it had a bit more "flex" I would have been able to reconnect the pump with no issue. The assembly let loose at one of the connections - even though every plumber I've ever talked to says that will never happen when PVC is glued. We're brainstorming other ways of connecting this pump to make it easier to get in and out and connected in the vault for the future.

Thanks again everyone for your kind words. Right now the pond is frozen and snow covered, so it's like every other winter. I think once spring comes and we can see the pond again, the impact of losing all those fish will hit us. We had a few days of thawing and I could see the goldfish swimming around - they appear to be fine, so at least we'll still have some friendly, familiar faces to greet us!
 
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So, so sorry for your loss Lisa. Its been a long hard winter and Im probably not the only one here who's feeling like "there but for the grace of God go I..."

Yeah I know a lot of people dont understand that fish can be beloved pets too and that they are really very aware and interactive and totally loveable creatures. Maybe not as smart as the dog or cat, but smart enough!

Take care
 
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Aw Lisa, so sorry to hear about your lost fish.
I worried about you folks in the east that are not used to a severe cold snap.
It certainly sounds like a lack of oxygen or a buildup of carbon dioxide was the culprit.
If I can offer any helpful advice, it would be to have a pond breather running in the future as insurance for keeping the water under the ice sufficiently aerated.
No matter how cold it gets or how thick the ice gets, a pond breather will keep the water under the ice aerated for the fish to survive.
Pond Breathers cost next to nothing to run.
 
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Ha! Yeah, bit of a drive from Chicago to The Antarctic - or wherever the heck it is that you live that snows 364 1/2 days out of the year!
 
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Ha! Yeah, bit of a drive from Chicago to The Antarctic - or wherever the heck it is that you live that snows 364 1/2 days out of the year!
Too bad the really good sale from Dr. Fosters and Smith isn't still on.....they sold them for $19 !!!
 
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Too bad the really good sale from Dr. Fosters and Smith isn't still on.....they sold them for $19 !!!
I know! At the time I was just happy for everyone who needed one... I was like "nah. I'm good!" If I knew then what I know now...
 
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Sorry to hear this Lisa, I was away for a couple weeks and missed your post. It has been a strange year for sure. Temps high then super low. I actually am building up algae during the middle of winter, crazy. We have been at 60 degrees to -6 degrees in the same week. I actually want to get everything up and running but the temps that are low are super low and would create a bit of a challenge. I will have to just wait it out. So far the air pump has been keeping up and the pond is about 30% open.
 
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We have had so much snow this year, it's been wild. Not any one big snow storm, but multiple 6-8 inch snowfalls. Then it all melts. Then it snows again. At one point I looked out at the pond and realized the aerator was off. I was like "WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?!?" Turns out the weight of the snow pulled the power cord for the aerator right out of the plug! I mean, I was glad it was a simple fix, but HELLO! Enough already! With the aerator running we're keeping a nice sized hole. Oh, and our de-icer decided this was the perfect year to give up the ghost - keeps popping the little GFI thing on my outlet. WHAT NEXT!
 
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