anything special done for winter?


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Do you guys do anything to your pond to prepare for winter? Empty it, if not how much water do you leave in....
 
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Before winter, I take out all my plants except the submirged ones. Scoop out as much muck off the bottom as I can, turn off my filter and drop in my pond de-icer.
 
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Here in SW AZ, I usually don't have to do anything. Winters are so mild, the fish stay happy and active year round!
 
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I live in Alabama. I'm not sure I know what winter is ;).

I've seen a picture of a man with a model T on the local lake, but that's as close to a heavy winter as we get.

I do think that it depends on the depth of the pond, though. If you are planning on having fish, you need to make it deep enough so that there is still plenty of room for them if the water does free.
 
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You guys are so lucky ;) But do you have to worry about your fish getting too hot in the summer?
 
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Yes, summers can be a pain! My pond is fairly deep, but in June thru mid July, I have to hang a tarp over it. Just until the monsoons arrive! Then we have hot mornings until the clouds come in around noon and pour lots of rain.
 
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I'm in my own microclimate. We have a creek on one side and 5 natural springs on another. Most of the time, we are one of the coolest places in the area. I have to admit it was awfully warm (I mean HOT) this year, though.
 
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Excuse my lack of official terms, but I have a little bubbly thing to prevent ice forming. Winters are mild here but it can still ice over. I always test that early.
 
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my wife makes me take the pumps out. I leave everything else in. Fish, plants. This is their third winter, going strong. Winter here is a gamble on what you get. We had some single digit days. I would just go out with a spade bit and make a couple or exhaust holes for the fish.
 

DrDave

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Take a basketball or something like it and leave it in during the winter. It will keep a hole open if it doesn't get too cold.
 
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I have a submersible pump, I am curious about what to do with my pond in the winter. It can sometimes get below 0 here in Colorado. I have a double level pond, my 1250GPH pumps sucks from the bottom pond and then out of the pond through a garden hose, under some rocks and to the top of my waterfall. My filter is connected before the pump underwater.
My concern is that if it gets too cold, the water will freeze in the hose going to the waterfall and it will super heat my pump and cause it to fail.
I have seen several suggestions on what to do, but I was hoping to get some advise from people that have had to change their ponds in actual winters.
As I see it, my options are:
1. Turn off the pump and just use a deicer in both ponds. I assume that algae will not be a problem if the pump/filter is turned off during the winter.
2. Leave it on and allow the waterfall to create a natural hole in the ice. Turn it off on really cold days? Does anyone know at what temperature running water will freeze in a hose?
3. re-route the hose so that it bubbles up to the surface in just the lower pond, keeping the entire hose below the surface. - I have most of my fish in the lower pond, I have 3 small ones in my upper pond that I can catch and transplant to the lower pond for the winter (hopefully).
this is my first winter with a pond and I am kinda lost here.
Thanks for the help. Sorry for the long post.
Here is a pic that that I took during the building phase that shows my layout.
 

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DrDave

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I have never had a pond in below freezing temperatures, even though I grew up in North Dakota. I do know cold...
You won't need the filter media during the winter as much as the circulation to try and prevent a total freeze. You might consider just having the pump running and only circulating the lower pond. It might generate just enough heat so it won't freeze up around it.
I think your waterfall would freeze solid even with it running. Others here, I'm sure have more experience than I so feel free to share your stories.
 
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Go get an air pump from a pet store put the lines and stones in the pond. cover the pump so it stays dry. cut the plants back so you don't have all the dead vegetation in the water and your set. rhe air keeps the ice open without mixing the extra cold top water into the bottom water.
 
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I would be careful about leaving your pump running. Your waterfall can freeze and the pipes, if it gets below zero. I have done a couple of things here in MN.

Put the pump in the bottom of the pond, no hoses connected, and point the output straight up. This will keep a spot open, until it gets to about -10. I've used 100W round pond deicers, which work good, and I've made my own 50W deicer.

You only need a deicer where you have fish. You don't need any filtration during winter.

Depth of the pond is the only concern.
 

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I agree with kirscp, do not run periferal things during cold winters. A pump in the bottom, running without hoses or pipes attached, pointed upwards is the best method. If neccessary, a deicer near the input might be required.
 
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problem with that is "pumps tend to eat small fish" To much water exchange can be bad for dormant fish, as it brings the super cold top water to the bottom where you fish are.
 

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So put a small milk crate over the pump. Unless you have really small fish, that will keep Koi and most larger goldfish from the intake.
 
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Here is a video of Koi under the ice during winter:


They don't lay on the bottom, they suspend themselves, and they do swim around.

As far as bringing "super cold" water to the bottom. All the pond water should be just about 32f, just above freezing. With only a few feet of water, there isn't going to be a temp change from the top to the bottom. If the water was colder, it isn't going to hurt the fish anyways. Koi can survive in cold water, as cold as water can get, before turning into ice.

You want to shut down your filters and clear out your pipes to protect them from ice, so they don't break. The only thing your fish need is air exchange and a few feet of water.
 
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kirscp said:
Here is a video of Koi under the ice during winter:


They don't lay on the bottom, they suspend themselves, and they do swim around.

As far as bringing "super cold" water to the bottom. All the pond water should be just about 32f, just above freezing. With only a few feet of water, there isn't going to be a temp change from the top to the bottom. If the water was colder, it isn't going to hurt the fish anyways. Koi can survive in cold water, as cold as water can get, before turning into ice.

You want to shut down your filters and clear out your pipes to protect them from ice, so they don't break. The only thing your fish need is air exchange and a few feet of water.
Thermal layering of water does not usually occur until the pond (or lake) is over six feet deep.
 

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