I built my winter pond cover this morning...


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My goal was to build something inexpensive and modular so that it could easily be assembled/disassembled each season. The 2x4s rest in the hangars with brackets so that they can very easily be placed and removed without any help from another person.

I'll hold the solar cover down with extra blocks from the pond wall but for now I just set it on top. The weather is nice this week so I'm probably jumping the gun but I wanted to make sure I had the ability to tweak things over the next few weeks as needed. It's super easy to just lift the solar cover up to see/feed the fish so I'll probably only keep the cover on at night for a while.

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Looks great!! You'll notice a nice difference having it covered. I covered mine for the first time last winter and there was no ice on it at all!
 
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Looks great!! You'll notice a nice difference having it covered. I covered mine for the first time last winter and there was no ice on it at all!
I'm sure even if I were to simply shut everything down it wouldn't freeze because last year was no issue with only 1000 gallons. But I'd like to see if I can actually keep everything running this winter.

I'll probably take the cover back off during warm weather weeks like this one but I wanted to make sure my idea would work.
 
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I'm sure even if I were to simply shut everything down it wouldn't freeze because last year was no issue with only 1000 gallons. But I'd like to see if I can actually keep everything running this winter.

I'll probably take the cover back off during warm weather weeks like this one but I wanted to make sure my idea would work.
I'm hoping to run my sand and gravel filter as long as I can this year, but will shut off the waterfall and already swapped our aerators, for the smaller one I use in winter.
 

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Nice set up! Gives me some ideas for covering my above ground pond. I do have one question. Do you have to be concerned about gases building up under the cover and not venting?
 

addy1

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Nice cover!
There is no easy way I could cover mine. It gets a pond breather and a small pump running to keep fresh water for the birds.

Pond water hit 58F this am.
 
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Nice set up! Gives me some ideas for covering my above ground pond. I do have one question. Do you have to be concerned about gases building up under the cover and not venting?
It's definitely not air tight because of the places where the waterfall enters. Also, I have two strong aerators that I plan to keep running assuming the water stays above 40 degrees (which I think it will with the cover).
 
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@audioenvy , Based on my experience with winter winds, driving rain, snow and ice.......you might want to give some thought to better securing the ends of your cover.....it's amazing what the wind can do !
 
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Covers are a great way to reduce evaporation and heat loss.
How much snow accumulation do you typically get @audioenvy ?
Last year we had a couple of times when there was a foot of snow on the ground. However, due to the sheer amount of solar radiation and dry air we get a lot of sublimation. The pond was only 1000 gallons last year (maximum depth of about 2.5 feet) and with just a small bubbler there was only one time all year when the heat ring had to come on to keep the pond from freezing over.
 
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@audioenvy , Based on my experience with winter winds, driving rain, snow and ice.......you might want to give some thought to better securing the ends of your cover.....it's amazing what the wind can do !
Yes, I'll definitely need to use extra blocks leftover from the wall to secure the edges.
 
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Last year we had a couple of times when there was a foot of snow on the ground. ...
The changes in humidity that the lumber is subjected to while the cover is on will cause the lumber to warp and twist, so I have a few suggestions:
-Rip a piece of lumber that will fit under the deck hangers for added support
-Place blocking in between the rafters where they attach to the header/ledger to help prevent racking of the rafters
-Replace the screws attaching the hangers to the header/ledger board with drilled through nuts and bolts (all 4 hanger attachment holes per hanger)
-Use some lattice screening panels on top of the rafters to prevent the weight of snow from weighing the plastic down through the rafter spaces
-Secure the ends of the rafters at the lower end onto a sill plate to prevent them from spreading out. Cut the ends of the rafters so they sit flat on the sill plate

.
 

MoonShadows

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After reading this thread early this morning, I started thinking. o_O I could build a sloping frame over my raised pond and cover it with plastic or a piece of solar pool cover, However, being realistic, (I am so far behind in my Fall projects) I decided to search online for something I could buy that might do the trick.

I finally found a portable structure called the Sunbubble.
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Now, it doesn't seem like the strongest structure in the world, but I found a review from a guy in Portland who said he used it to cover a raised garden and it survived the winter quite fine. Lucky for me, he had a picture.
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So, I figured I would give it a try. I was reluctant to pay $200+ for it. After checking Houzz and a few other "discount" sites, I saw it is distributed here in the US by a company I used to drop ship tools for a few years ago. I took a chance and my dealer login is still active. So, I ordered it directly from them for $126.

Here's a vid of the sunbubble. Still looks somewhat flimsy, but that winter pic gives me a bit of courage to try it. Even if I get 1 winter out of it, I can build something next year...I better put it on my list, now! :rolleyes:
 
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Here's a vid of the sunbubble. Still looks somewhat flimsy, but that winter pic gives me a bit of courage to try it. Even if I get 1 winter out of it, I can build something next year...I better put it on my list, now!
It looks like it would be structurally sound enough. How do you keep it from blowing over? Probably has tent stakes or something. What are the dimensions?
 

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I think the cattle panels are still the best greenhouse cover .I remember seeing a greenhouse made of them years ago by texasprepper on you tube .Light weight and easy to move .
 

MoonShadows

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It has stakes to hold it in the ground. Where my pond is situated, it is blocked from the wind on three sides. Only the Southern side has full exposure, so wind shouldn't be a problem. (...famous last words :eek:). The sunbubble is 9' 3" wide and 6.5' high. My pond is hexagonal, and the widest part is just under 7', so it will extend around the pond by about a foot...just shy of the concrete block ground frame holding the river rock. The shade canopy I built so I can just lift it right off for the winter and store it under my deck (where this pic was taken from).

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It has stakes to hold it in the ground. Where my pond is situated, it is blocked from the wind on three sides. Only the Southern side has full exposure, so wind shouldn't be a problem. (...famous last words :eek:). The sunbubble is 9' 3" wide and 6.5' high. My pond is hexagonal, and the widest part is just under 7', so it will extend around the pond by about a foot...just shy of the concrete block ground frame holding the river rock. The shade canopy I built so I can just lift it right off for the winter and store it under my deck (where this pic was taken from).

View attachment 105364
that's a neat vantage point and really show's your attention to the overall design of your yard
was that done with a drone?
 

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