Excessive Water Evaporation

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I recently moved into a house that came with a fish pond. I was initially thrilled to have it, but now I find the maintenance a little overwhelming. I’m specifically having problems with water evaporation. I have a 10,000 gallon pond with two waterfalls that run continuously. I filled the pond in the summer for about 20 minutes a day, and that seemed to keep the water levels in check. However, since the winter started the water evaporation is almost alarming. NO matter how much water I put in, the water level never seems to be high enough. I was convinced I had a leak, but when I left the water running continually, it flooded my backyard. Often my garden hose freezes, and then I have to drag my garage hose to the backyard. I’m worried about my eleven beautiful fish, and frustrated by the evaporation. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Welcome to the GPF! You've come to the right place!

"Evaporation vs leak" can be a tricky thing to figure out, especially when you are new to your pond. Many "leaks" are actually areas where the edge of the pond or waterfall has receded, allowing water to flow over the side. It may not be very noticeable in the colder months, but you may check for wet spots around the edges of the pond or waterfall. You can also try shutting off your waterfall for 24 hours and see if the water loss stops.

However, evaporation during the cold months can often be greater than when it's hot. Two reasons - 1. the air is dry, so it can take up a lot of water and 2. the ice that forms "consumes" the water, so there's less water to have circulating in the pond.

Can you share some pictures of your pond? Maybe we can point to some potential trouble spots.
 

addy1

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Welcome to our Forum!

Where do you live? One of my ponds was losing a lot of water once it turned cold, that is with nothing running, except the wind.
 
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Welcome to the forum , i'm a little worried about the super chilling effect a hose can have on a pond during the winter months .
There is a way to do it and it is done by trickling the water into the pond if done correctly the temperature is remains relatively stable with very little loss of temperature I agree with @Lisak1 about the evaporation levels being sometimes greater during the winter months..

Dave 54
 
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If you are filling every day in summer time then i suspect a leak.

Winter time can be drier this cause evaporation also ice can make it appear as evaporation as ice is 80-90% water where snow is 80-90% air
 
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addy1

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If you are filling every day in summer time then i suspect a leak.
I have to add water every day during the summer, between the plants using the water, splash, evaporation etc. I start with 15 minutes of water (well water pressure flow) in the spring and end up with around 30 minutes to 45 minutes of water every day, middle of summer.
 
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I have to add water every day during the summer, between the plants using the water, splash, evaporation etc. I start with 15 minutes of water (well water pressure flow) in the spring and end up with around 30 minutes to 45 minutes of water every day, middle of summer.
Same here @addy1 again I use the trickle method it keeps on top of the evaporation from day to day , then there is the top up from water changes again the same trickle method of doing things the water pass's through a large dechlorination/dechlormide filter unit taking in water straight from the tap making it fit to go directly into our pond.

Dave 54
 
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If you leave the hose running to a pond and you are on a municipal water supply, the chlorine concentration could eventually rise enough to kill the fish.
It depends on the rate that you're refilling the pond.
 
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Welcome to the forum :)

Hope you manage to get to the bottom of your water loss. We were losing a lot of water from our pond by evaporation - it was due to the net we had over the pond (the fountain would wet the net, and that water evaporated). Also we lose water when it's windy, because the wind catches the fountain water and literally blows it away! Thankfully we also get a lot of rain, so that helps balance things out. There are some benefits to living in the UK ;)
 
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Really sounds like a leak. Turn off the waterfall for a day and see how it goes.
 
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I had a leak last year around the skimmer inlet that behaved exactly as you describe. The thing is with a leak, even a static one that doesn't depend on your waterfall running, the leak is probably not going to be at the rate that your hose puts out (about 500 gph in my case). So it's easy to get a leaking pond to overflow as well.

To sort out whether you have a leak (actual leak, low spot) turn off all flowing water and fill the pond until it overflows. Check the level every 15 or 30 minutes. If you see a rapid drop off and then a plateau, its probably a leak. If it just drops continuously very slowly and continues dropping past the level you want it, it may just be evaporation.

I have a 2500 gallon pond and trickle in about 100 gallons a day during the summer. That's like running the hose for 10-12 minutes.
 
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Welcome to the group!
I hope you figure out what's causing your water loss, so that you can enjoy your pond :)
 

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Welcome and not sure where your pond is on your property and what kind of critters you have that may need a drink .Plus what kind of liner is it .Reason I ask about critters is that I was loosing water was I had several deer drinking from my pond and thought i was loosing water .True about winter it is a lot less humid and I know I can sometimes see a fog coming off my pond and I know that is water vapor from the pond and I know that means water lose
 
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Welcome! I am shocked so many add water daily, but then when you read they are only adding maybe 100 gallons into a large pond, I guess that's not much. In the summer months, I may add 2-4" of water into my pond once a week. I'm on a well, so I can add it without having to dechlorinate it. I had a good rain, maybe 2", about 2 weeks ago, that filled my ponds to the overflow marks, and they are both at that level still tonight! In the winter, the temperature of water down in the ground (from your well or water source) is likely warmer than the pond water, if you are near freezing temps. That's why it's dangerous to add too much too fast. I once had a major leak, came home on a mid-January day to find only about 16" of water in my koi pond! Good think my pump was on a milk crate, or I would have had dead fish. I put out the SOS on this site, and had 2 people, JW and Sissy, called me to give me support and advise! I'll never forget how frantic I was! They both said add water slowly. Never lost a fish, but thank goodness the temps weren't uber frigid that night or the next! But, back to your problem. I'm going to say IF you have any ice, you have water seeping over the edge somewhere. We need to know where you live, at least what state/zone, and what temps you are having to give you better info. Pics would help, too. Also, waterfalls are notorious for having water leaks, unless the liner under them is an extension of the main pond. I'd shut off the waterfalls, especially if you live where the temps go below freezing in the winter. That only makes your water temp that much colder.
Good luck!
 

addy1

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I am shocked so many add water daily,
lol I blame it on the bog. When it is hot, those plants suck up a lot of water. I can see the changes over the growing season of the bog. The spring, they are small, very little water added, by late summer they are huge and I have to add a lot of water daily.
Being on a well I use a electric timer on the hose, I don't want to use the trickle method make the well pump run a lot.
 
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