Winterizing small pond

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  #1  
Old 11-11-04, 02:10 AM
keystone87's Avatar
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Location: New Jersey
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Winterizing small pond

I inherited a small pond with my new home and I'm not sure what to do for the winter ahead. I'm in NJ so it will get cold. Am I supposed to shut off the pump attached to the filter? I have a submersible filter, pump and a UV light to kill algae. I'm thinking that if I keep the water moving it won't freeze but I'm not 100% sure. I know that the fish will hibernate and stay low but not sure what else I have to do. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-11-04, 05:57 PM
howiek's Avatar
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Location: Acton, Ontario, Canada - Zone 6b
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Hello keystone87

If you can keep the water moving and/or a hole in the ice to allow for gas exchange, your fish will be alright.

I kept my pond & stream running for the full winter the first year after I built it, but it was a mild winter and the air temperatures didn't go much lower than -10C/14F. The next few years were a lot colder an the pond froze solid (so did the fish and frogs ) The maximum water depth is 24".

Since then, I've kept the water moving and open using indoor aquarium air pumps and bubblers at the two lowest points in the pond. Even though the ice got to about 12", there was still enough liquid to support the fish - the bubbler also helped keep the oxygen levels up.

The system that I'm using (Aquascape) has the pump in a skimmer unit off to one side of the pond, so I can remove the pump when the stream and falls no longer flow. Your submersible should not remain in the pond if the pond is going to freeze solid. If you can position the pump so that it will keep an area of open water so you can remove it if necessary, you may be able to keep the pond running. Remember to keep the power cord in the open area so you don't have to chip away any ice to remove it with the pump (possibly cutting the cord...). If there is a lot of plumbing to disconnect, might be best to remove the pump and try to keep open water with a bubbler or small heater.

Can you talk to the previous owners to find out what they did?

If you have been living in the general area foa a while, what are the weather and temperature trends? If you don't normally get much below -5C/23F, you probably can leave the pump in (as long as it is running), but if in doubt, I'd be inclined to look at a heated ring (available in some better garden centres speciallizing in ponds) or bubblers to keep your fish alive.

If you do decide to leave the pump in and running you may want to remove the filter and UV units as they will only be slowing flow (IMHO)

Hope this helps a bit

Howie
 
  #3  
Old 11-25-04, 06:16 AM
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Location: Bucks Co.
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Personally I had ponds for about 8 years now, I live up in Bucks County Pa.

I know everyone has their way of doing things, and I have mine.
I only have a 200 gallon pond with a ton of fish, 20 now. My koi had babies last spring and I kept them being they were small but next spring I will cut that number down to 6 fish, and release the rest.
Anyhow I do the same thing each winter and I've been pretty lucky. Usually I leave everything running until about now including filters, uv and pumps. The first of October I always put a net over the pond, not only because of the leaves but I had problems in the past with blue heron birds. If they fly over your house and see that pond , you can kiss all your fish good bye, and there is a good chance of that happening being you live in jersey. Other than that like I said, around now I will go out remove the uv clarifier, clean the filter out , remove any leaves that did settle on bottom of the pond. I set-up the pump along with the under-water filter so that it is facing up and always keeping the surface water moving. I put in a floating water heater just in case the pump gets clogged up. and thats pretty much it.
I'll remove the net probable around Christmas and the fish should be good to go until next spring.

When I first got into ponds and I'm talking small ponds like I have, I noticed if the water does ice completely over all my fish died. If your pond is small like mine you may want to invest in a floating heater.
Another thing I do, is remove all plant life. Which I'm not really sure if you have to or not but I do. I've been told to just leave the pots in the water but when I did do that the water started stinking after the plants died back and they never really did come back to life the year after. So now I just thash them and get new ones each year.
Also I put 1 foot long clay tubes on the bottom of the pond, the fish love sitting in them all year round.

Good luck, and remember this is just my 2 cents. Everyone has there own way of doing thing and when it comes to those bigger ponds I'm sure it's a whole different ball game.
 
  #4  
Old 05-01-05, 03:49 PM
rlrick
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rlrick

Heres a simple trick to do if you are having a freezing problem. I went down and purchased a water tank heater like what is used for livestock tanks. They are pre-set to 40 degrees and will keep your ponds from freezing up solid. Worked great for us. Hope this helps.
 
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