Confession of a Newbie by Constance Koi

December 19, 2022 7:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Pond Heater

So I figure winter is coming on and I’d like it if my young koi, who are in my auxiliary holding tank, could stay in a “growing” water temperature year-round; so I went looking for a pond water heater. I looked in my community newspaper for possible ads. I found an ad, called the seller, and made arrangements to buy it. The seller lived around 10 miles.

When I got there I found out the water heater was used for a turtle enclosure and the owner had wanted to upgraded the heater. I brought the system being sold and headed home. I envisioned my koi having a warm winter in their 400-gallon water palace.

The unit wasn’t your typical wand-type water heater you pick up at pet store/ That type has a single wand shaped glass tube with a built -in temperature sensor. The one I now had is what is referred to as a “bucket” heater. The wand piece is stainless steel. With a stainless guard piece, with holes in it, surrounding the heating piece. There is a control attached to it with a three foot cable. Out of the control box came a three foot wire with a water temperature sensor. This seemed to me, along with the tank which had insulation wrapper around it and a plywood cover, ready to do the job.

The unit was set up and the operation was going smoothly. Because of the water temperature being 72, I was able to feed the koi 3-4 times a day. The koi seemed happy; I was happy to see them so active this time of the year. I enjoyed a few months of happy times. 

Then a wind storm blew up and the domino effect came into play. The winds had gotten up to 40 knots and rains came with them. The cause and effect of the end result became apparent when I investigated the next morning. It was obvious that the wind had blown leaves everywhere, things knocked off the table, or over on the patio. It wasn’t until I rounded the corner that my heart sank.

The wind had blown and on its tempest, a small branch had snapped off my neighbor’s tree. The small branch fell and hit the sensor wire in the controller. The wire completely came out of the water and fell to the ground. The sensor told the controller that the water was under 72 degrees. The heater turned on.

This is what I found; branches covering ground. Sensor wire out of pond. Ponder heater on. Floating dead koi. I unplugged the heater and got my pond thermometer. When I read it a few minutes later it read 100 degrees; I had poached my koi/

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