How can I keep my small pond from freezing in the winter?

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Heruga, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Heruga

    Heruga

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    I'm in zone 7a in northern NJ. As you can see in the pic, I have 2 small tub style ponds next to each other. The one on the left is about 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep. The one on the right, is a circular pond and only like 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. I use a 90 GPH pump in the left pond and a hose is attached to the pump to create a waterfall to flow on my right pond. The hose is hidden by the hostas in the back. Then the waterfall falls into the left pond. So theres a cycle there.
    Anyway, every year my pond freezes. How can I keep it from not freezing in the winter? I have 4 comets in the left pond and yes I know I can bring them inside. Also since the ponds are located right in front of the foundation and is in my backyard, it gets really no sunlight at all.
    [​IMG]
     
    Heruga, Oct 25, 2016
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  2. Heruga

    Lisak1

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    Are you sure they freeze to the bottom? You could try building a small greenhouse structure over them to hold heat, but without running a heater of some type, I don't know how successful that would be - especially since you say the area gets little sunlight.
     
    Lisak1, Oct 25, 2016
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  3. Heruga

    sissy sissy

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    I lived in NJ most of my life and can tell by your siding that is the shady side of the house .You may not be able to keep it open .I don't think even a pond breather would work and it is to small for a pond heater .You may have no choice but to move your fish indoors .Maybe next year you can build a bigger pond so you don't have this problem .
     
    sissy, Oct 25, 2016
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  4. Heruga

    Heruga

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    Ok then how about I melt the ice everytime the pond freezes by pouring hot water over it? That way I don't need a heater or anything right
     
    Heruga, Oct 25, 2016
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  5. Heruga

    Faebinder

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    You're gonna need a tank heater and you're gonna need to keep the pump running.

    The pump will keep the water open in the waterfall spot even if it snows over it. Keep it running. The tank heater will keep the water under the ice liquid.
     
    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  6. Heruga

    Heruga

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    Well I heard that pumps shouldn't be in ponds where freezing temperature occurs and my area gets freezing temperatures in winter. Won't that damage the pump? Its a 90 GPH which is not that strong
     
    Heruga, Oct 25, 2016
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  7. Heruga

    Faebinder

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    My pumps had no problem and we are in the same temperature zones and my pond was 1.5 feet deep last year. My pumps were 500 gph to a waterfall (no filter on that pump). My other pump went from a filter under water to a shower above water and it also kept the water open in its area. Both pumps kept their zones open but the aerators did not keep it open during 2 day snow storm and the tank heater didnt alway succeed in keeping the area above it open even though the area under it was clearly kept above freezing and liquid.
     
    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  8. Heruga

    Heruga

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    Hmm alright.. how wide is your pond? Also how about a floating de icer, will that work
     
    Heruga, Oct 25, 2016
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  9. Heruga

    Faebinder

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    Here are some pictures.
     

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    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  10. Heruga

    Faebinder

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    I dont know. I used the tank heater with a thermo cube so it doesnt stay working when the temperature is normal (although it had its own thermal control in it).

    The problem with de-icers is that it assumes the rest of the pond (underneath the ice) will not freeze solid. If you suspect that it will... then you need the heater that will keep it above freezing point and not the de-icer.

    My pond was 2-3' wide, 10-12' long and 1-1.5' feet deep
     
    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  11. Heruga

    Faebinder

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    Oh and looking back at the pond size you have... you got an effectively 250 gallons... so you do need a better pump.
     
    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  12. Heruga

    Heruga

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    Actually.. instead of having to waste so many electricity bills and everything I think I will just keep pouring boiling water to the pond every morning in the winter..
     
    Heruga, Oct 25, 2016
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  13. Heruga

    Faebinder

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    The heater didn't cost me much, it stopped working when the temperature rose over 40F.
     
    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  14. Heruga

    peter hillman Let me think for minute....

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    Last winter I kept my pond from freezing over with this aquarium heater. I only ran it when the temps dropped below mid 20's though. It worked well, had ice but it never froze over. 200w s-l1600.jpg
     
    peter hillman, Oct 25, 2016
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  15. Heruga

    Lisak1

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    Really? I think you'll find that loses it's appeal very quickly. Not to mention the fact it could take A LOT of boiling water if your pond freezes over completely. And just because you melt it in the morning doesn't mean it won't freeze over again during the day. A de-icer might help keep a hole open, but your pond volume is so small that it may just freeze solid anyway.
     
    Lisak1, Oct 25, 2016
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  16. Heruga

    audioenvy

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    I can't see boiling water being as effective as a de-icer and it comes with it the possibility of scalding the fish depending upon where they are in the water column when you melt the ice.

    Have you thought about putting something like a long banquet table over the top to prevent snow from building up on the water and providing at least a small amount of reflective thermal insulation?
     
    audioenvy, Oct 26, 2016
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  17. Heruga

    MitchM

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    That pond looks like a good candidate for a clear plastic cover and an air stone running for the winter.
    Being next to the house foundation will give it some warmth and a clear plastic cover will protect it from the wind and allow some light to penetrate for the algae.
     
    MitchM, Oct 27, 2016
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