First time winterizing.

Mmathis

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With the fish in a 50 gallon tote, you would be doing daily water changes, and I speak from experience.
 
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Yes, I was thinking the same thing. They are probably better off staying outside in the bigger tub. Honestly if you get a heater and an airpump they will be fine.
 
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Okay...so any recommendations for a heater? Trying to figure out how many watts I need.
 
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We're about to hit our first freezing night. I haven't had to do much with the pond at this point, aside from keeping it netted to keep the leaves out. I've stopped feeding the fish, to the extent that I ever did feed them, and most of my marginal plants have died off (except for the irises, for some reason).

At this point, I have a pressurized bio filter (which is outside of the pond), as well as a DIY filter submerged that I made out of an old bucket and some sponges I got at the dollar store (the filtration didn't work very well, but I left it in there, just because I figured more filtration and circulation couldn't hurt). I also have a small submerged box filter with a little fountain attachment.

I haven't yet put the heater or the pond breather in the tank, but I'm planning to do that, soon, too.

I'm assuming that I need to stop running my pressurized filter, clean it out and put it away until spring, since it's outside of the tank. But as for my DIY filter and the box filter--could I keep those running, or should I just dispense with filtration entirely and use a small pump to circulate the heated water?

Also, just wanted to say that I'm very, very grateful for all of the advice, here. Building my stock tank pond was one of the best things I've ever done, and I wouldn't have made it this far without your help.
 

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I use a bucket with lava rock with a small pump in it come winter ,it is heavy but it works .
 
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So, just reporting back, now that we're nearly to April.

I put a heating element in the tank, and bought bales of hay to surround the metal stock tank. The heating element kept the water at around 50 degrees F all through the winter. I left my biofilter running. Left the fountain and box filter running, as well. The fish were active all winter long. I even fed them a couple of times with some spring/fall pellets. We definitely had a couple of weeks of deep freezes this winter, but through it all, the fish were just swimming around like they owned the place.

One of my water lilies is sending up pads already, even though it's been just above freezing, here. My hornwort has grown out of control (the fish don't eat it, so it's my submerged oxygenator), so I need to pull that out and cut it back a bit.

Here's my question, now, though. The water is completely clear, and since my biofilter was running all winter, I'm wondering how much cleaning should I do. I'm adding bacteria as I would do with any spring start-up, but I think I've got a decent slime coat, but the pond doesn't seem dirty at all. Should I still plan on switching out the water, cleaning, and whatnot?
 
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So, just reporting back, now that we're nearly to April.

I put a heating element in the tank, and bought bales of hay to surround the metal stock tank. The heating element kept the water at around 50 degrees F all through the winter. I left my biofilter running. Left the fountain and box filter running, as well. The fish were active all winter long. I even fed them a couple of times with some spring/fall pellets. We definitely had a couple of weeks of deep freezes this winter, but through it all, the fish were just swimming around like they owned the place.

One of my water lilies is sending up pads already, even though it's been just above freezing, here. My hornwort has grown out of control (the fish don't eat it, so it's my submerged oxygenator), so I need to pull that out and cut it back a bit.

Here's my question, now, though. The water is completely clear, and since my biofilter was running all winter, I'm wondering how much cleaning should I do. I'm adding bacteria as I would do with any spring start-up, but I think I've got a decent slime coat, but the pond doesn't seem dirty at all. Should I still plan on switching out the water, cleaning, and whatnot?
If your biofilter has been running all winter and there is no muck buildup in your pond there would be no need to do anything except check your water parameters as you have hopefully been doing through the winter. Adding bacteria is also unnecessary.
 
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