Newbie Needs Advice

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by AngelaMarie, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. AngelaMarie

    AngelaMarie

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    Greetings! I live in the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania (central). I found my zone to be 6b. I have, I believe, is a 200-gallon preformed pond (pictured) that I just put in this summer. I'm loving it! I have four fantails and a frog just happen to also make a home here! My pump is submerge d to the very bottom. Although hose is exposed to the upper container where my waterfall is. I am getting contradicting advice from so many. Will my pond freeze solid? I was hoping to be able to let the fish go dormant over the winter and do what is necessary to keep them alive. Which brings me to my next question. I read all about pond breathers, floating heaters/deicers, air stones...not sure what would be recommended for my area. 200 gallon pond.jpg
     
    AngelaMarie, Sep 10, 2017
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  2. AngelaMarie

    IPA

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    How deep is the deepest part? I would suggest disconnecting the waterfall, (make sure line are drained) and running the pump in pond. If you don't have aeration I like a Venturi adapter (you can make yourself) to help keeping ice from forming, and in your area I'd also suggest the pond breather. I see a lot of combination of aeration and breathers talked about around the web.
     
    IPA, Sep 10, 2017
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  3. AngelaMarie

    Cynthia Shelton

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    It doesn't look very deep, so if you don't keep the top of the water moving it will freeze. Then obviously the fish will perish. You may be able to get away with just aeration in your zone, but you might want to invest in a floating heater that is ok to use around plastic. (won't melt it if it comes in contact) I am much further north and with the mild winters we have been experiencing, I can get through almost the entire season with just a bubbler - but it is really powerful and moves much of the surface. I usually have to put my floating deicer in maybe once or twice. I don't want to be a shill, but Webbs Water Gardens has tons of pond items and really knowledgeable people. I have purchased many things from them - they ship quick and their prices are great. Look them up! Even if you don't buy anything, you can learn alot just browsing their website.
     
    Cynthia Shelton, Sep 10, 2017
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  4. AngelaMarie

    sissy sissy

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    I had the same one to start with and it was around 18 inch's deep but there as one that was 2 feet deep that had the same gallons but smaller around .Welcome to the sight and first thing is your pump should never be on the bottom because if something happens it could drain the pond .
     
    sissy, Sep 10, 2017
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  5. AngelaMarie

    MitchM

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    I don't think it's deep enough for a pond breather.
    Also, are fantails hardy enough to survive very long under ice?
     
    MitchM, Sep 10, 2017
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  6. AngelaMarie

    sissy sissy

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    nope .I have fantails and they are only hardy to water temps of around 50 degrees .But mine stay around the pond heater come winter.Lowest temp. my water gets usually is around 40 degrees ,but they are also older ,the younger they are the less cold they can take
     
    sissy, Sep 10, 2017
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  7. AngelaMarie

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I have 4 fantails that have survived our winters in a 1000 gallon, no heater pond. I do use a pond breather to keep a hole open. The depth is 2.5 feet.
    The fantails are in with shubunkins.
     
    addy1, Sep 11, 2017
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  8. AngelaMarie

    Nyboy

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    With only 4 fish you might want to think about bring them inside for winter
     
    Nyboy, Sep 11, 2017
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  9. AngelaMarie

    sissy sissy

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    But we have to remember they live in PA and it can get bitter cold there and wind chills will make it worse .I don't see how the hardiness zone could be the same as you addy .It gets really cold in PA .I have lived there and can remember the cold with the heavy snow storms and wind blown drifts of snow .The wind chill can really get to a humane so can imagine what it would do to a small pond like that .I know in PA at my parents house the footings had to be 48 inch's deep on my parents decks .
     
    sissy, Sep 11, 2017
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  10. AngelaMarie

    AngelaMarie

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    I believe the deepest part is 18". My husband's cousin who lives nearby has a pond similar to mine. He has a dozen fish in his. Just runs his pump under water over the winter. He says he loses a couple of fish each year (my opinion is that he has too much fish for such small space).
     
    AngelaMarie, Sep 11, 2017
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  11. AngelaMarie

    AngelaMarie

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    Yes, our winters can be harsh one year and mild the next! Ya never know! Two years ago the wind chill was so bad they actually cancelled school! That's why I'm struggling as to what I should do!
     
    AngelaMarie, Sep 11, 2017
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  12. AngelaMarie

    AngelaMarie

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    Yeah, I was debating that. Really don't want to but I don't want them to die if the pond happens to freeze solid. If I run the pump so there is constant circulation, will that be good enough to not freeze completely?
     
    AngelaMarie, Sep 11, 2017
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  13. AngelaMarie

    sissy sissy

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    Thing is running the pump sometimes makes the water even get colder .If you can find a 100 watt pond heater and tie it to a bring so it stays into the center of the pond it may work .That is what I did to my preformed the first over 2 years until the front porch was done and 2 deaths in the family .We are not as cold as you but the 100 watt heater did work but it costs more than the bigger pond heaters and just as hard to find . murphy pond pictures 001.jpg
     
    sissy, Sep 11, 2017
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  14. AngelaMarie

    Nyboy

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    You don't need a tank in your house. Plastic storage bins kmart sells for $7 will work in garage or basement
     
    Nyboy, Sep 11, 2017
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  15. AngelaMarie

    AngelaMarie

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    It sounds like I'm going through a lot of trouble for just four fish. I'm probably better off bringing them in for the winter. So with that being said, if I do buy a plastic container to keep them in, I would also bring in my pump and have the water circulation that they are used to? And then just continue feeding them twice a day? Our temp went to a low 46 degrees last night, but it's a beautiful 72 degrees now! Does that mean my fish have already started their dormant process? Should I bring them in soon so their transition isn't so drastic?
     
    AngelaMarie, Sep 11, 2017
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  16. AngelaMarie

    sissy sissy

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    could be it all depends on the temps. of the water not outdoor temps .If you do get a tote get 2 totes as most are made of recycled plastic and are not as sturdy .I put my 1 stock tank I bought at tractor supply on furniture dolly's like you can buy cheap at harbor freight .I can just roll it into the basement for winter and over winter my water hyacinth .Tuff stuff 110 stock tank is 69 dollars and you will need to have some type of filter .In the summer I use it for baby fish 100_8589.JPG 100_6975.JPG
     
    sissy, Sep 11, 2017
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  17. AngelaMarie

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    There are parts of PA that get miserable cold, parts that don't. Same as here.
    We have land at the 3000 ft elevation, in PA, that place gets miserable cold.
     
    addy1, Sep 12, 2017
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  18. AngelaMarie

    CometKeith

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    Hi AngelaMarie. When everyone talks about temperatures it's the water temperature, not the air temperature. Water acts as a buffer and tends to hold the heat or cold longer. If it is warm the previous day the pond won't get as cold the next day because it retains heat and vice versa. I would recommend to get a small water temperature gauge so you can learn how your pond water temperature changes.The preform is a nice way to start but as you learn more about ponds it's a lot better to have a flexible liner you can customize to make the pond a little deeper. Personally I think it will be very challenging to keep fish in the winter by you in that shallow of a pond. In the Chicago area it is recommended to have a pond 4-5 ft deep to keep the fish safe over the winter and I'll guess our temperatures are similar to yours.
     
    CometKeith, Sep 12, 2017
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  19. AngelaMarie

    Faebinder

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    Sorry i didn't notice the post before... I live in Hershey near by.

    A 200 gallon preformed above ground is likely to cause a fish kill. If you have it buried 100% then the fish may survive... it will happen on those days the air temperature hits the 20s or 10s. Last winter was weak and we didn't hit those much.

    Your best bet is to get a trough heater... the pond is also small enough for you to cover it with a big tent and that will do the trick. The wind is the biggest reason these ponds freeze up.
     
    Faebinder, Sep 17, 2017
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  20. AngelaMarie

    Faebinder

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    If you are gonna bring them in, get a 29 gallon tank... put them in the garage where the temperature will drop down but they won't freeze up...get a thermometer... the water temperature is what matters not the air. I would place a filter in the tank even though the fish are not eating when the water goes below 50.
     
    Faebinder, Sep 17, 2017
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