Hi, all--I have only recently joined this forum, but I recognize it from the many times it came up when I conducted searches during the various stages of setting up my water feature. I understand that protocol dictates that I post pictures of my pond, but since it is December I am reluctant to do so. It would be a poor introduction, I fear. I will do so if it is either necessary for help in answering my (many, many, many) questions or if showing pictures of a pond for the first time when it is basically at its worst is normal here. I joined this forum for many reasons, among them that this group blends knowledge and friendliness like no other that I have seen. I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I plan to post a stupid amount of questions in the days and weeks to come, but I will spread them out so as not to overwhelm. I think a little background of the pond might provide needed context. To begin, I didn't originally intend to even build a pond; it kind of just happened. I wanted a waterfall, realized I needed a repository for all the water, then learned I needed plants to filter the water to avoid an assortment of potential problems, then learned that I needed fish to eat the mosquitos that would breed in the waterfall pool. This last fact I discovered when, after digging out enough of the pond and following a heavy rain that would not drain (the ground here is pretty much heavy-duty clay), the water in the hole started to wiggle as a single seething mass. And so I ended up with a pond, stream, and waterfall(s). I started digging in July and had things functioning more or less by early September. It took six or so weeks from there to eliminate the water loss that I experienced from various expressions of my ignorance and incompetence--liner holes by the skimmer box (messed up screws), waterfall splash, etc. I added the first of the fish in mid-September and worked up to 14 fish total by the time the pond was working in a "it's not leaking or broken" kind of way in late October. Needless to say, this was not the ideal time to get a pond up and running. By the time I was ready to add water plants, the stores had run out of all oxygenators, and other kinds of plants were basically slim pickings. I was able to add a lily and iris (flower-free) from my neighbor who is a landscaper, some of whose clients have ponds with excess growth, along with enough other plants to maintain bare functionality. The pond is about 16x10. Because I was not planning to have fish, I don't think I made it deep enough--correction, I KNOW I didn't make it deep enough. The ridiculous clay, coupled with a very dense web of tree roots from a large maple that had been cut down two years prior about two feet from the pond edge, made me beyond reluctant to go deeper than I did. Also, the property is a slight incline, so I actually dug about a three or 3 1/2 foot pond at its deepest point. But the water level itself is only about 15 inches when the water is just below the weir door of the skimmer. That's another thing I did wrong: the skimmer was set in too low, so that if I want it to actually skim the water surface, the water has to be kept at that too-low level. Final details for now: the pump is 4800 GPH, I have a biofalls, I have a lot of (natural) additives on hand like bacterial start-ups, barley, melafix, etc., and I have cleaned the skimmer filter frequently to this point but the biofilter in the waterfall not at all. Oh and the fish are as follows: 2 shubunkins, 2 comets, 2 fantails, 4 orfes (I love those), and 4 koi. I will stop droning on now and just ask this one question to start: Is it OK if I fill my pond over the top of the weir opening in order to add to the depth for the winter? I have netting over the pond and will have completed the leaf cleanup, etc. by the time this coming weekend is over. (The leaves are totally bare at this point, and none overhang the pond proper anyway.) I am able to bring the water level to at least 2 feet if I ignore the weir door. I know that the pump will still work, because we just got enough rain to push the water level up high enough, and everything is still working fine. I plan to run the pump as long as possible this winter but have a de-icer and small aerator on hand for when the time inevitably arises when I have to turn off the pump to avoid an ice jam. I want to keep the level as high as possible for the winter, and I wish I could leave it higher year-round, frankly. I really wish I had put the skimmer in at a better height. So I guess I can broaden my question: would there be any meaningful consequences if I filled my pond about a 8 or 10 inches over the top of the weir door opening, year round? I really don't mind plucking leaves and the like out of the pond manually. Thank you all, and I apologize for being so long-winded, especially for my first post.