Can I run my pondless waterfall/stream all winter long?

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Would like to run my stream all winter. Could I put a water heater in the retention bucket at the end of the stream where the pump is? I would not want to add antifreeze due to birds and such using the water.
 
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Would like to run my stream all winter. Could I put a water heater in the retention bucket at the end of the stream where the pump is? I would not want to add antifreeze due to birds and such using the water.
You should use the temperature controlled water trough heater that ranchers use in their large watering troughs for their cows and horses. The heater floats on top of the water and activates when the temperature drops to the freezing point. I have used one for years and it works great. They run on standard 120 volt circuits.
 

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Yeah, definitely don't add antifreeze.

I think a heater would work. In one of my first years with my pond I bought a heater from a Tractor Supply store and it thawed my entire pond. The frogs were coming out in the middle of December with snow on the ground because the warm water was fooling them. Needless to say, I returned it because I didn't want that to happen - the frogs would've just starved to death. but I think in your case it might do exactly what you need it to.
 
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I'm amazed to hear that some people do add antifreeze. I bet that will kill anything that drinks from it.
From everything I understand, as long as water is moving fast enough it won't freeze solid. you mentioned having a waterfall - I bet it doesn't freeze completely unless you're at sub-zero temps fahrenheit for a long time. I've seen videos where Ice forms on top of the waterfall, but water is still running just fine underneath.
 
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I'm about 50 miles south of you @Chumley . Whether or not your pondless can run all winter depends on a number of factors, for example whether your waterfall can handle ice without forcing water out of the feature, whether your pump can be kept from freezing, how deep your water lines are buried, etc. We run our pond all winter, but our pump is six feet under ground and our waterfall is wide enough and concave enough to avoid ice dams. I wouldn't run my pondless though - while the waterfall could handle the ice, the vault is only 24 inches deep which would risk the pump freezing.
 
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I ran my pond last year and we had the one 20 below week, the waterfall created a diversion and the water ran outside containment. So anyone can run all year but you realy need to think ahead and be diligent. so maybe Chumley should let Tennessee do the leg work
 
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Would like to run my stream all winter. Could I put a water heater in the retention bucket at the end of the stream where the pump is? I would not want to add antifreeze due to birds and such using the water.

I run my pump, fountain and waterfall 24/7 everyday of the year. If you show us a picture or drawing of how you are set up at the moment, then we can try with helping in your design?
 

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