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Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

Posted by basilbird z6 RI (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 7:44

Hi folks, I've been away for a while but here I am again - asking for advice.

I have a rather unique pond: and it was a nightmare to seal but I thought we had finally done it. Looks like the artic weather un-did it!

I came home Thursday to a **very** low water level (maybe a foot at the deep end). I set up a hose to run at a pretty decent rate and this morning it had only come up a couple of inches. Looks like I have a serious crack at the bottom.

I've got about 75 goldfish. Maybe 10 of which 5 inches or more. I have a 300 gallon stock tank and a ridiculously warm weekend coming up.

Here's what I'm thinking... I can set up the stock tank in the basement (walk out to the outside - never gets too cold) and set a bubbler up in that. Catch as many of the big fish, fancy fish, catch-able fish, as I can and put them in the stock tank. Then I can see how far the water level in the pond will go and buy another tank if I need to for any remaining fish I can catch.

It looks like they would have to stay in the stock tank at least until mid-April. How many fish per 300 gallon tank and what type of filtration would I need? Would there be a problem with them getting very little light in the basement?

Can anyone think of any better options? I have three days coming up where the weather will be warm (40s to 50s!) but then, who knows.

All ideas are greatly appreciated!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Pond

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

Are you talking about a galvanized stock tank? I was looking at using one back in 2005 after buying a new home and needing a place to store my fish while I constructed the new pond. I recall reading that this was not a good thing to do because it affected the water chemical make-up in a negative way that would be detrimental for the fish. (Sorry for not being more specific but I remember being concerned enough that I did not do this.

How about an inflatable pool or plastic wading pool instead?

Any idea why your pond failed so dramatically? This is a solid insert and not a pliable liner, correct? I guess the ice cracked it.

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

Hey jrb... not galvanized.... Rubbermaid solid plastic/foam stuff. The pond is cement with a single stone floor. I (finally) waterproofed it with Sanitred (highly recommended). I think I did myself in last week when I put a trough heater in the pond. I think the difference in temps caused a serious crack between the waterproofing and the rock. Ironically my Dad had just said that we should drain the pond and seal the rock "sometime".

I was considering a plastic inflatable. Does anyone have any experience? I'm mostly concerend that a stock tank can take a slow leak but an inflatable is, basically, "toast" if it gets punctured.

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

I kept my 12 large fish in the basement over the winter for years in a 150 gal rubbermaid stock tank with an aquarium filter and a small bubbler going. In am sure they were glad to get to their summer home. I never once lost a fish in the winter - only the summer when racoons etc interfered. I did not always keep the light on. I did feed them a little. They were more active in the summer.

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

You --> "not galvanized.... Rubbermaid solid plastic/foam stuff."

Me --> Go for it and good luck. You may want to consider a liner to repair the leak. Not too sure what impact a concrete sealant would have on the water quality. If it were me I'd used the liner. Shouldn't cost that much given the size of your pond.

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

I have used a 300 gal rubbermaid tub for holding fish before and it did just great--not as many fish as you have. It was in the sunroom so had light and I just stuffed a large flower pot with quilt batting and the pump hose for a filter set it on some wired together milk crates. I had a dead fish yesterday in my pond and have been obscessing over it. It was covered with ice except over the bubbler. I had 2 white goldfish and it was one of them. :c( I hope I can get him out tomorrow.

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

I have several stock tanks and I have held "many" fish in them for weeks on end.. BUT you need a nice filter that you can take out and rinse off the filter media (couple times a week) and I suggest one or two bubblers and change some of the water every other day. If you keep their water quality up and give them plenty of oxygen you can get away with it for awhile just make sure you check for stress (sores, gasping for air, etc)

RE: Polar Vortex claims another victim - my pond!

Thanks, everyone, for the great advice. I think I was in flat out panic mode when I posted yesterday! I'm a bit calmer now.

Frankielynn - so sorry to hear about your fish. I lost several fish a few years ago when the temps were so cold. I hope the others are okay. I have a few white goldfish and I can attest that the orange ones can change to white at any time in their lives!

I'm planning to set the stock tank up in the basement today but not obsess about getting the fish out (just yet). The long range forecast is mild (I'm on the coast) and the longer the fish can stay in the pond (assuming it has water!) the better for them. Of course I'm keeping a close watch on water level but all the rain and melting should help keep it up, at least for a week. My Dad is even considering some sort of short term patch. In the mean time, I'll get some filtration set up and maybe some plant lights. It's a matter of "when" I move them, not "if".

If I get extremely lucky and keep the pond going until late February, I might even get a small, metal sided, pool and set that up outside. I found one but it can't be set up in the winter. That would be a lot better for the fish than a small stock tank.

I'm a big proponent of Sanitred. It's designed for use in pools and fish ponds and is even used for animal enclosures in parks and zoos. I bet when we finally do drain the pond we'll discover the crack is *not* in the Sanitred coated area but the untreated rock.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sanitred for ponds

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