Last week, I wrote about having a leak problem with my winter fish pond that I have in the greenhouse. This post is the rest of the story.
I was guessing that the leak was caused by the drain plug not being properly sealed. When I checked on the tank the next day after refilling it, it had already leaked out a couple of inches worth of the water that I had refilled the tank with.
When I had worked on the tank then, I had tightened the smaller drain plug in the drain, and apparently that didn't help with the leak. I decided to try tightening the larger drain plug that the smaller one screws into. I had not wanted to mess with that one before, but I decided to see if that was the cause of the leak.
It turned out that the drain plug was not the problem. When I tightened up the larger plug, that disturbed the crack that had been the actual cause of the leak, making it worse.The water started squirting out of the crack in several tiny streams that I could plainly see. The crack is at the bottom edge of the tank, below the drain plug.
Once I disturbed the crack and made the leak worse, I knew that all the water in the tank would leak out in a matter of a few days. That meant that I was going to have to find something else to put the fish into for the rest of the winter. I wanted to save as much of the water as I could from the tank to use in whatever I was going to transfer the fish into. I went and found my sump pump that I use for transferring rain water in the summer and brought it into the greenhouse. I have it in a 5 gallon bucket that the bottom was cut out of and replaced with a screen. That acts as a large particle filter for the sump pump.
I had just finished refilling the fish tank with water from the greenhouse barrel before I found the leak, so the first thing I did was to pump that water back to the barrel. I moved some of the insulation out of the way to make it easier.
While the pump was working to refill the greenhouse barrel, I went out and brought in my overflow barrel for the rainwater system. I had it stored behind the greenhouse, empty and turned over for the winter.
Once the greenhouse barrel was full, I transferred the hose to my overflow barrel and filled that up with the sump pump.
Once the blue barrel was full, there was only a few inches of water left in the big tank. You can see the fish in the tank here.
The next thing to do was to pull the pond plant and it's "plant stand" out of the tank, and then remove the circulation pump.
With everything out of the way, I got two 5 gallon buckets and filled each one about 3/4s full of water from what was left in the tank, and then caught the fish with a net and put them in the buckets.
After I got all of the fish out of the tank, I removed all the insulation from around the 2 inner sides of the tank so that I could move it. Then I dumped out what was left of the water in the tank to make it easier to move.
Now that I had the space cleared, I brought my 40 gallon short water trough in and put that in place. This size tank is normally used for watering sheep or goats due to it's lower sides. I don't normally use this for fish because it's on the small size for the pond fish, but it's all I have available. You might notice that I decided to put a piece of the insulation foam board under the tank. This will help keep the tank from losing heat to the frozen ground for the rest of the winter.
Once I had the tank in place, I filled it with the water that I had saved from the bigger tank, and put the fish into it.
Then I insulated the sides of the tank and put my steel rack on top of the tank to hold up the cover insulation and the lamp.
After that, I put the insulation on top of the tank, and put the lamp back into position. The lamp has a 100 watt incandescent bulb in it that puts out enough heat to keep the water from freezing when the tank is insulated. Since there's not a lot of space in this smaller tank, I didn't put the pond plant back into the tank. I put the plant into an empty tote that I had sitting around, and put enough water into the tote to cover the sides of the net pot that the plant is in. Then I put the tote on top of the insulation board on top of the tank.
I'm hoping that the milder weather that we are starting to get won't freeze the water solid in the tote. The plant has survived the winter so far, so hopefully this won't be a big problem for it.
This 40 gallon tank doesn't have a drain plug, and it's built out of a softer material that includes recycled materials, so it's more flexible even in the cold. Hopefully it won't have any leak problems.
I've had the other tank for about 25 years, so I'm not really too surprised that it finally developed a crack that leaks. These plastic water troughs don't last forever, but then, they don't rust either, like the standard galvanized steel tanks eventually do.
With any luck, this will solve my problem until I can get the fish back into the outdoor pond this spring.
That's all there is for this post, thanks for stopping by to check it out!