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Koi Pond Tragedy: An Overflowing Spa Killed All My Fish

Pond and water garden service companies are used to dealing with everything from pesky predators to wild fires and wild weather.  They need to be ready for an array of potential disasters and ensure their weekly or monthly visit leaves behind a stunning aquascape.

We were recently contacted by a service company in Southern California that was called early one morning with a deeply distressed customer.  "All my fish are floating at the surface of my pond, what did your serviceman do!?"  Anyone who services ponds or owns one knows that this is a horrible situation.  The serviceman is instantly transported back to his last visit to the job site where he tries desperately to remember whether or not he turned off the hose that was re-filling the pond after a good backwash.  The pond owner is furious that all of his favorite fish, whose patterns he has basically memorized, that he has raised from small guppies, that he fed summer and winter, that he planned on getting old with, are no longer with him.

In the case of our pond professional it turns out the dead fish were not his fault.  Upon visiting the pond he quickly found the killer.  Apparently the automatic fill valve on their spa got stuck on and continued filling the spa throughout the night.  This spa was situated next to their beautiful Koi Pond so that the rock work tied into both and transformed their yard into a proverbial paradise.

This is one of those cases where no one wins.  The spa installer is long gone, the broken automatic fill valve does not carry a warranty, the pool serviceman pleads the 5th, and the pond serviceman feels horrible.  The pond owner has lost all his prized possessions and has to build the pond up again from scratch.  Any beneficial bacteria has been sterilized by the chlorine in the spa water as have the fish.  Pond plants will probably survive but that is not a major consolation.

TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR KOI FROM TAP WATER AND OTHER RELATED ACCIDENTS

Since we have seen this situation and others like it happen many times we recommend the following precautions:

1. Whenever filling your pond with tap water be sure not to leave the hose running unattended.  If for some reason you have to walk away, be sure to leave your car keys or smart phone to remind you to return.

2. If spas or pools are situated next to ponds containing aquatic life it is important to ensure precautions are taken.  Spillways, overflow drains, leak detectors, good quality plumbing components, and slopped rock work can all assist in protecting your Koi and other fish.

3. Ensure your pond serviceman is equipped to handle a situation where he accidentally kills all your fish.  Has he ever done so before?  Did he replace them at his cost?  When is it fair to bite the bullet and take the financial burden of restocking your pond and when is it up to him?  Having clarity from the outset can save you heartache later on.

4. Read De-chlorination instructions on how to properly remove chemicals from tap water and have a bottle of liquid or powder ready.  We recommend and sell Crystal Clear Vanish and several other versions in the "Additives" section of our website.

5. Although this is not a full proof plan and often not an option, having a larger body of water insulates your Koi from potential water pollutants, predators, weather, and more.  The larger water system the healthier your ponds potential becomes.

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Los Angeles based L.A. Pond.com is one of the largest and most established distributors of pond and water garden products in North America. For over 30+ years they have supplied hobbyist, pond professionals, and commercial parks with the best fish, aquatic plants, filters, pumps, and more.

Other sites just sell products - L.A. Pond.com researches, tests, and uses them with proven results. All products for sale through their distribution network are used by L.A. Pond.com maintenance professionals in the field on a regular basis.»

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