By the early evening today we had a functioning holding tank. The cube was filled with water from the tap, and then made fish-safe by dint of adding half a bottle of Blagdon “Fresh Start” water conditioner. The pump was extracted from the pond and cleaned up, and the UV lamp and pressurised filter likewise. You can see a picture of the working Heath-Robinson holding tank below:
I moved a few of the fish across during the day too, although an undefined number will have to wait for tomorrow (weather permitting). I also managed to convince a frog and a toad of the need to have a wander, and they’re sharing some water in a box with the pond plants but will probably move on tonight. I know there’ll be more, and we’ve generally had common newts about too, although I’ve not seen any for a while.
Dragging the net through the water disturbed a lot of muddy sediment from the bottom, and it was hard sometimes to see at first if there were fish in with the debris. Having sorted through and rescued the fish, they could be gently carried to the holding tank and dropped in. The big ghost koi were hard to hold on to and were a lot bigger then I’d anticipated, about sixteen inches from top to tail and perhaps 2″ x 4″ in cross section. The net was then tipped out into a tray for a double check then the debris went onto the garden.
About half an hour after I’d last emptied the net out, I was dismantling the UV clarifier from the pond when I noticed some leaves moving… on checking I found a goldfish waving a fin at me! I took him up and into the holding tank, and he swam off quite happy, probably very happy. No idea how I missed him! I call him lucky.
Anyhow, the water in the holding tank is now being run through the UV and filter units and the fish appear quite content. I’ll drop a little food in tomorrow, because although they generally don’t feed much at this time of year they’ve had a bit of excitement and may wake from their winter torpor.