The saddest pond day


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Thank you @snoozer ! You are so kind! I will definitely keep that in mind!

Are you using one this year? How did you fare during the polar vortex?
I have two breathers in the pond (it is about 35x20 foot) and they are bubbling away. I also keep a small pump on the shelf at each end of the pond and saw a couple of goldfish through the opening the pump made so i think i am good. With the breathers i don't need to worry about melting the ice domes above the pumps. I only have two koi in the pond.
 
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Hi Lisa. I just saw this post....I'm so sorry!!! I know you loved your fish. We have had some really rough weather this year. It didn't leave any margin for error and even the best prepared and most knowledgeable people like your self were at risk. Considering the polar vortex that occurred almost any outcome was possible. So far I have been really lucky but again it's probably luck more than anything else.
 
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Thanks @CometKeith . It's been a rough winter for sure. We should have known - it started off so mild, the other shoe was bound to drop eventually. My sweet grandkids have already decided they are going to mend my broken heart by getting us some new fish - they have names picked out already, so I guess it's a done deal! It will be fun to have them involved in choosing a few nice fish this time around.
 
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They are adorable @addy1 - such a fun time in life! They love coming over to feed the fish and catch frogs. And it's a great way to teach kids to respect and learn from nature. They know how much I love my pond and they knew all the names of all the fish. We talk about how fish reproduce and how that's different from other animals and the two oldest understand the "fish feed the plants and the plants keep the water clean for the fish" cycle.
 
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Sorry for your lost. I would be devastated. I saw where you stated having both solid and flex PVC. I'm just wondering if you used the proper glue. Until recently, I thought all PVC glue was the same. I was at the store and grabbed a glue/primer combo pack that said it was for PVC. Then I saw another pack that listed PVC, CPVC and ABS.
I'm not a plumber and don't know the difference between these three types of pipes, but it would be something you might want to check out.
 
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How neat the grandchildren are going to pick out new fish and have them named :)
 
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I'm just wondering if you used the proper glue.
OK - so that's a VERY good question! My assumption - since A. we went with what they told us to buy when we built the pond and B. the rest of the plumbing has held just fine - is yes, but I also have had several plumbers tell me that there's no way PVC glue would let loose like ours has... TWICE! I will definitely be asking this question myself before we put this whole thing back together in spring!
 
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OK - so that's a VERY good question! My assumption - since A. we went with what they told us to buy when we built the pond and B. the rest of the plumbing has held just fine - is yes, but I also have had several plumbers tell me that there's no way PVC glue would let loose like ours has... TWICE! I will definitely be asking this question myself before we put this whole thing back together in spring!
Could you use Fernco couplings to connect everything?
 
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OK - so that's a VERY good question! My assumption - since A. we went with what they told us to buy when we built the pond and B. the rest of the plumbing has held just fine - is yes, but I also have had several plumbers tell me that there's no way PVC glue would let loose like ours has... TWICE! I will definitely be asking this question myself before we put this whole thing back together in spring!
I would look for some identifying markings on that flexible pipe and research the proper glue.
I'm wondering if you are connecting the flexible pipe to the ridged pipe. If there's no glue compatible with both types, then maybe you need to get a male fitting for one and a female for the other. Screw the two fittings together (maybe using Teflon tape on the threads) then glue each with their respective glue.
 
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We are connecting flex PVC to rigid, so I will be paying close attention to that very question. I feel like we asked these questions in the beginning, but who knows if you get the right answers at the big box store.

We're really trying to brainstorm some other way of connecting the pump that will be more forgiving. The current set up has zero tolerance and, like anything in the ground, shifting happens and then we have issues. After the first year we struggled to unscrew the connection, as it was just slightly off and putting downward pressure on the connection. We resolved that, but I think we had more settling this year which caused the current issue. I'd like to come up with something that is truly flexible. Flex PVC, to me, isn't flexible in a small run. We're even considering a different style pump. Stay tuned - we'll figure something out!
 

addy1

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Could you use Fernco couplings to connect everything?
The current set up has zero tolerance and, like anything in the ground, shifting happens and then we have issues.
Use the Fernco couplings, I have them on the input side of my pump and the output side, been using them for years. I have tolerance for all rigid connections, but with removing the pump every winter, the Fernco couplings make is so easy. I have them in use in quite a few places on my pond lines. They handle the output water pressure just fine.
 
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Those Fernco couplings look like the same stuff that plumbers use for no-hub (cast iron) waste lines. Looks like that would be a good cure for your problem. Easily installed or removed over and over and no need for glue. Good suggestion!
 

herzausstahl

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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.
There just fish when they’re small until they get bigger, develop unique traits & you get attached. Sry for your loss. It sucks. Good luck replumbing everything. Possible have an emergency pump to recirculate the water in the pond if it happens again?
 

herzausstahl

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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!
Look for the glue that is just for flex pvc. Also using the deeper connectors helps. 90% of mine is flex
 

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