TOO BUSY? --SHAME ON YOU!
A pond owner friend of mine encountered a very
serious problem with his pond. The system could not hold enough
water for twelve hours without shutting down, thereby leaving
his fish without filtration. In the past eight weeks the fish
have been treading water in a half-filled pond with only an
aerator going night and day to keep the water from stagnating.
This is an Aquascape system, completely
dependent upon the skimmer and waterfall to operate, and both
depend on a certain water level. The whole system consists of a
koi pond with a small stream filled with rocks, flowing into a
smaller pond filled with plants and a skimmer to return the
water to the waterfall and koi pond.
Last year when the pond level dropped a couple of inches in one
day he installed an automatic water refill to assure the system
would not fail while he was on vacation. But this spring the
system began running dry and the automatic pump shut-off luckily
activated before the pump burned out.
He checked the automatic refill, and it was
operating, but the water loss was too great for the refill to
compensate. He checked for wet spots around the pond, the stream
and the waterfall. He found nothing especially soggy that would
tell him that there was a leak in one spot.
He called the original installer who promised to
check it out. He said he couldn’t come over right away as “This
is our busy season.” (Have you ever heard this before, perhaps
from your pond man??)
About two weeks later, he arrived while the pond
owner was at work, looked at the pond and made his decision to
simply replace the section of liner beneath the small stream. My
friend told him that was not what he wanted.
He has been doing his homework and knows too
much about these things! He knew that to glue liner-to-liner is
not a suitable solution for a leak. He knew, and told his pond
installer so, a new liner for the entire pond, stream and
waterfall was what was needed and that was what my friend wanted
to pay for. And about two weeks after that, the installer did
what he said- he replaced the liner beneath the small stream,
and glued it to the liner in the koi pond and the plant pond.
At least with my pond, two filter systems, a
bottom drain, and external bubble bead filter that is not
dependent upon a certain level of water, at least not to that
extent, I do not have to worry about this problem. Leaks happen
to all of us, but when they do, hopefully we will be able to
find someone to help fix it before it becomes a lethal
Needless to say, it leaked. By this time, my friend was in a
quandary! And who can blame him?? He usually has the yard all
planted by now, his pond cleaned and running, the fish happy and
healthy. Instead, the pond was half-filled, the stream dry with
no water running, no sound of a waterfall, no lovely flowers,
most of the perennials were trampled carelessly, and the grass
in the yard had not been mowed due to the “anticipated” work to
be done. And his trusted nurseryman wasn’t listening to him.
There is a happy ending to this story however.
He finally got fed up with the mess and refused to let his poor
fish suffer any longer. He had picked up some business cards at
a recent garden show and made a phone call. When the man
answered he gave a price and asked when my friend would like the
He said, “How about tonight?” The man laughed.
But he did arrive at 8:15AM, as he promised, the very next
morning, with two workers. They installed new liner, on top of
the old one, and refilled the pond, using de-chlor. The fish are
happy, my friend is happy, the place is lovely and the sounds of
the waterfall can again be heard in their yard! By tomorrow I
believe the entire yard will be planted with annuals too! You
And let that be a lesson to anyone out there who
is getting a runaround from a vendor or pond installer: there is
more than one fish in the sea! If your vendor is too busy to
take your money, then you don’t need him. And if you don’t know
where else to turn, ask your fellow koi or water garden club
- Carolyn Weise
** We use and recommend biological bead
filters for your pond. For more information, please
click here or email us for assistance in sizing a system for
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