On frozen pond...

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Lisak1, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Lisak1

    Lisak1

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    With all the extreme cold weather many of us have been experiencing, I wonder how many of us are worried about our ponds?

    I've been away from home for the last week, but my husband is home. He told me this morning he has no idea if the pump is even running. The ice is thick and everything is covered with 4 inches of snow. We've had temperatures this cold before, but none that have lasted quite this long since the pond has gone in. There's really nothing we can do about it at this juncture, but I worry nonetheless.

    Anyone else worried about their frozen pond?
     
    Lisak1, Jan 5, 2018
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  2. Lisak1

    RobAmy

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    It is the longest we have seen temps like this too. I am not really worried but I did shut the stream down. I was afraid to cool down the water to much with the stream. It is a frozen tundra right know. The air pump is keeping up fairly well. It is about a 12” hole now. It will be awhile before it is up and running now. Time will tell. Hope all is well with everyone’s pond does okay.

    I expect to here about fish loss come spring with temps like we have been having.
     
    RobAmy, Jan 5, 2018
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  3. Lisak1

    Angel

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    my pumps shut off or died. had 1' thick ice or better when i finally got a new de icer and a new garden hose and melted threw found a 1' gap of air between ice and water. refilled and melted more ice. so far so good. time will tell if i lost any fish. and this new de icer is kicking butt.

    2nd pic is after 2 days of de icer and we are still below freezing. ( the bigger blue de icer/heater is dead) 20180102_112503.jpg 20180105_092446.jpg
     
    Angel, Jan 5, 2018
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  4. Lisak1

    MitchM

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    I'm not worried but I know what to expect.
    If you're not used to having an ice covered pond, then the clock is ticking as to how long your fish have O2 or a buildup of CO2. Everyone's pond will be different depending on their fish load and amount of organic matter there is to decay.
    I would try to get a hole in the ice or some air exposure to a waterfall that's running under the ice, sooner rather than later.
     
    MitchM, Jan 5, 2018
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  5. Lisak1

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    I'm worried every year. So far the breather is still running but I noticed water was backing up the tube slightly. I'm not sure what causes that but I've seen it happen many times before, especially in super cold weather, and don't like it. I'd hate for it to overflow the breather and start pumping water on top of the ice. I'd also hate for the breather pump to die. I imagine it would be pretty hard to get a hole in ice this thick to put a new breather in.

    Hopefully the fish are doing well. The last time the ice was thin I saw them swimming around, and it looked like most or all of them were OK, but that was before this two week stretch of cold weather.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Jan 5, 2018
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  6. Lisak1

    MitchM

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    Do you have a picture of the breather backing up?
    Maybe you need to ziptie the heater strip tight against the clear upper tube like I did on mine.
     
    MitchM, Jan 6, 2018
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  7. Lisak1

    teeemkay

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    Oh yes, I've been worried. I keep an eye on the de-icers and pump 3-4 times a day during the winter. As long as there is a hole in the ice by the skimmer box and the pump isn't sucking air, everything is fine... but every winter something seems to go wrong. Last year the pump died during a cold snap and we had to wait a week until it was warm enough to be able to replace it... In previous years I've had the de-icers fail as well. I always have a backup de-icer in stock just in case. We also have a really great backup generator in case of power outages (it runs on gas or on propane), which we got to use for the first time on New Year's Eve. The power went out for 2 hours, and the outside temperature was -7.

    Question to those who keep a waterfall running: do you keep your skimmer net in the box all winter or do you pull it? I always left it in but I had to pull it out when the de-icer died and water wasn't getting into the box. I haven't put it back yet as it literally froze to the ground when I took it out and it's still there.
     
    teeemkay, Jan 6, 2018
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  8. Lisak1

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    I have mine zip tied as well. Maybe I need to add a second zip tie so I have one towards the top and one towards the bottom. Water comes up about one or two inches. Haven't figured out what the cause is. Seems to only do it when temps are lower than 15°F or 20°F. I know last year I saw it up about three inches so I unplugged it and removed the top to have a look as well as empty it out. Couldn't really see anything, and it didn't immediately fill back up.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Jan 6, 2018
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  9. Lisak1

    Patfish Ignore the mask and cape

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    I wanted to see how thick the ice is so i used a spade bit in my drill and it is 6" thick.
     
    Patfish, Jan 6, 2018
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  10. Lisak1

    MitchM

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    If the water backup is temperature related, that's probably the cause of the issue.
    Another zip tie should do it.
     
    MitchM, Jan 6, 2018
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  11. Lisak1

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    I'm sure most of us are at least a little worried about ponds iced over. I haven't been down to my ponds in 3 days but luckily with the camera setups, I can see the pond breathers are working. With a 2"+ layer of ice, the string algae started growing. The fish were up from their winter nap yesterday snacking away on it. Both underwater cameras are still running but not sure how long the 100watt heaters will keep the wiring from being damaged by ice. Big thaw coming next week!!
     
    mrsclem, Jan 6, 2018
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  12. Lisak1

    cas

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    First time since I have had my pond (15 winters) that I have had a complete covering of ice over my pond for 3 weeks straight. Previously the pond might have have been completely covered for a few days, but the aerator would re-open a hole. Yes, I am concerned. It is -4 degrees Fahrenheit right now, but as of yesterday the pond breather was still trickling a little water. Thank goodness Mitch told us about the pond breathers! The aerator is still running and I am wondering if it will be able to re-open a hole when the temps get warmer. Next Wednesday and Thursday they are forecasting temps in the high 40's to low 50's!! Woohoo!!

    2018-1-2 aerial.JPG
     
    cas, Jan 6, 2018
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  13. Lisak1

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Not too worried, I have had the pond frozen over before for weeks and all the fish made it. Both pond breathers are doing their jobs. I saw fish swimming under the ice a few weeks ago before snow and thicker ice. No clue on how deep it is. We are heading up into the mid to low 40's next week. Saying 55 on Friday.
     
    addy1, Jan 6, 2018
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  14. Lisak1

    RobAmy

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    @teeemkay I pull my filter pads out when I run it in the winter. I leave my skimmer basket in just to catch anything big on windy days like leaves. My pump is a solid handling pump so not to worried what sneaks by. I usually put my air pump in front of the skimmer opening so the water stays open. Last year I keep it running year round. This year I have shut it down.

    This was right before the cold snap

    E7A8CB3C-9F01-4BE9-95BC-E61A8315B76A.jpeg
     
    RobAmy, Jan 6, 2018
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  15. Lisak1

    Gemma

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    I'm not sure if I'm more worried or anxious to see my fish again We have been able to keep a large hole in the ice on the opposite end of the pond from where the fish seem to like to gather in the winter, I'd worry less if the hole was in the middle of the pond, I really hope it doesn't matter where the opening is, as long as there is an opening

    @teeemkay I usually keep the falls running all winter, but this couple of weeks have been way too cold and I had to shut them down...I leave the net in place, but I do remove the filtering pad from the skimmer box, when I can no longer rinse it, otherwise it clogs

    Lets hope none of us lose any fish:)
     
    Gemma, Jan 6, 2018
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  16. Lisak1

    Jhn

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    Not worried at the moment,, aerator is still keeping a hole in the ice. Waterfall is still running albeit under the ice, which is built up to the spillway. Other ponds have pond breathers.
     
    Jhn, Jan 6, 2018
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  17. Lisak1

    Mucky_Waters

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    No worries mate. ;)
    I'm in the Philippines right now and will be here for the worst of the winter, we did have a big dump of snow at home just before we left and I shot this video of the pond and courtyard.
    My winter pond system has a pump that recirculates the water into the pump/filter room and through the settling tank which has a 2 1/2 ft open surface diameter that never freezes and functions as a "breather" hole.
    Should the pump quit working it would not be good a thing, but I have no reason to believe that will happen.
    Still, I have some concerns, but I'm more concerned about my frogs and turtle than any of the fish and my son who lives nearby is checking the house and pond while we are gone.


    For comparison, what the pond generally looks like in the summertime.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    Mucky_Waters, Jan 6, 2018
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  18. Lisak1

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    No snow or cold here so no worries. Winter is not over yet but we generally are pretty frozen free most of the time. We have had the pond freeze over in past winters but I leave the pump and falls on so there is always an open hole in the ice. The coldest we have gotten here on this property was -6f for only a few days. That was rather interesting to say the least as it broke pipes on outside walls of garages on all the 5 houses on our road. All built by the same builder who did not put insulation on those pipes. They are now all insulated!
     
    j.w, Jan 6, 2018
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  19. Lisak1

    Gemma

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    @Mucky_Waters I love your pond and the wall around it, very private and cozy
     
    Gemma, Jan 6, 2018
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  20. Lisak1

    Tula

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    Our weather is going above freezing tomorrow, so I'll take a good look under the cover and make sure all is well.
     
    Tula, Jan 7, 2018
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