File this one under "Don't leave for tomorrow what should be taken care of today". So I recently attended a koi show and picked up a 10-inch Kikokuryu. I brought it home and place it in my Q-tank for a stay, joining three others in isolation. After 5 weeks, and no mishaps, I place my four new fish in my pond. They seem to be thrill to be out of a confined space and swimming free.
A day later, I noticed the Kikokuryu was A.W.O.L. I looked all over, inside and outside the pond with no luck. I threw some food into the water to see if I could possibly tempt my wayward fish out from hiding. This had no effect. At dusk that day, the fish reappeared when I came out to feed the rest. Mystery solved, end of story.
Two days later, I came out in the morning to find my water flow to the pond "restricted". I also notice my new Kikokuryu was no where to be seen. I went to my pump box to check the system. The pump was straining; I could not get a prime on my pump; my little fish was missing.
"If I were a wayward koi," I said to myself, "where in the plumbing would I be?" I thought; I figured; I started to dig.
What I uncovered is the stuff of ... a good head shaking and smile. Picture this: 3" pipe into a 3" to 2" reducer; into a small section of 2" pipe, with a 2" to 1.5" reducer;a small piece of 1.5" pipe; into a 1.5" check valve; into a small piece of 1.5" pipe to a 1.5" to 2" expander; continuing on 2" pipe to the pump. Guess where I found my Kikokuryu?
I cut out the "messy" section (at the 2" pipes) and peered in.. yup, there it be. High and dry; stuck in the check valve; the flap wedged into the gill plate; looking much worse for wear. I tapped the pipe on the ground to dislodge the fish. When the fish dropped out, I proceeded to throw the pipe into my own personal pipe bone-yard; cursing of course.
Now to the "Don't leave for tomorrow what should be taken care of today" part. It seems when I was installing the 4" bottom drains in my pond, I forgot to cut down the posts that secures the top cover to the base. The top was floating around 4" above the bottom; plenty of room for an adventurous koi fish.
I jumped into my pond soon after and cut the posts down; leaving a 1/2" gap. No more using that as a escape route....