Deep enough?

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8585F861-EF80-4F1A-B722-537D31F1172D.jpeg so I thought I was basically done with the major portion of the dig. 11X13 or so, 3 feet deep, all dig with a shovel by one lucky person...me! I’m cutting in my skimmer box this afternoon when my landscape guy stops by to replace some dead pampas grasses. He asks how deep the pond is, told him 3 feet, he said no chance any fish survive with it being at least 42 inches—the frost line.

I’m just putting a few goldfish type fishes in their for the kids. I live in Des Moines Iowa area, it’s gets North Pole cold here and surface of the sun hot in summer. 100 degrees last weekend of May here!

Anyway—am I asking for dead fish if I don’t dig down to 42 inches?
 
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How cold do your temps go in winter and for how long?
Butt cold and for too long! Seriously though, I guess I’m not exactly sure...we can get sub zero temps for a couple of weeks in the winter, other months can stay at freezing or above.
 

Mmathis

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Good question and good point! I can’t help, though, since I live where we don’t have that season — or if we do, only for a few days.
 

mrsclem

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I would say if subzero for weeks, go deeper. 4' or more. With a pond heater or Breather you might be ok unless you can bring fish inside for winter. My climate isn't as cold so maybe someone in your zone will chime in.
 
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I’m REALLY tired of diggIng. Is there something I can put in the pond in the winter, a heater, to keep them alive. Or maybe just no fish is better.
 

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Use the excess dirt from the dig to burm the sides of the pond up another 6” or so. Now you have 42” deep pond without the extra digging. Could use some type of cement block or 6”x6” as well, and just hide it under the liner, then bring the dirt up on the outside of it.

Not sure whether the pond needs to be that deep or not where you are. I am in zone 7.
 

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Check out this map to see what area you are in and what temp zone. Click the photo to enlarge it.

iowa_map_lg.gif
 

j.w

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Ok looks like you already posted 5b which gets down to -15 but for how long? That is the question. I like the idea of berming up the sides instead of digging deeper. You can actually lay block around it to raise it up too. Mine is raised up some w/big rocks to raise it up. You can then put the liner over those rocks and add more rocks on top to hide the liner.
 
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Goldfish are pretty hardy, I think if you make a berm, going up a little, you'll be fine. You'll need to consider winterization , but there are several options, from heating the pond with cattle heaters, de-iacers, aerators , Pond Breathers and covering the pond itself. Also, it looks like your pond will be fairly protected from cold winds with the privacy fence.

If you'll ever consider koi, go deeper.
 
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Goldfish are pretty hardy, I think if you make a berm, going up a little, you'll be fine. You'll need to consider winterization , but there are several options, from heating the pond with cattle heaters, de-iacers, aerators , Pond Breathers and covering the pond itself. Also, it looks like your pond will be fairly protected from cold winds with the privacy fence.

If you'll ever consider koi, go deeper.

It’ll be buffered by the fence on one side and a shed on the other. I think I’ll suck it up and dig one more blade depth down. The front side of the pond is the high side and we kinda like the idea of being able to see and walk right up to the pond.
48A3DAE4-D83E-407B-9086-5F21CCD38147.jpeg 60FDB6F4-EC21-4AC5-A8D8-B97702946A22.jpeg
 
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@Dosry5, I'm a tad warmer than you at 6a, but your sustained cold may be longer
I went with 48", for you I suggest at least that deep. My pond is actually mostly 2.5 ft deep, but in the middle in dug deeper. You could do the same, just make sure the "pit" is deep enough for the size and number of fish you plan to keep. My pond was also dug by hand last year, all rocks and boulders, took me almost 3 months and hundreds of hours. Now have the arthritic elbows to show for it. Digging after a few days of rain makes it a lot easier.
 
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found a picture from last year, forgot to mention my pond is a bout 1.5 ft above ground
wp_20170611_10_14_49_pro-jpg.100881
 

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