Overwintering 125 gal. 18 " Deep in zone 5b


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Can I overwinter my two 5-4 inch Shubunkins goldfish and a wild bullfrog in a preformed 18 inch deep 125 gallon pond in zone 5b? Deicer and aerator as a given.
 
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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! I would say “no,” as well, but people often do things like this and have no trouble at all — if the water doesn’t freeze solid. What has me curious is how you are going to convince the “wild bullfrog” to stay in your pond over winter……. And if he stays, he might be hungry come spring and those Shubies will definitely be on his menu.
 

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ditto what Lisa said; IF you had it all below ground, it's possible but I live in 5b and have seen ice easily get to 14" thick. I'd not even risk it. 24" minimum, imo, for ponds to overwinter in 5b. Not worth putting a heater in there as the cost will surprise you. An aerator would help but I've actually had my aerator ice up/get pinched off, so also a risk.
 
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My answer would be no. Too shallow and not enough water volume. It will freeze solid.

Hello and welcome! I would say “no,” as well, but people often do things like this and have no trouble at all — if the water doesn’t freeze solid. What has me curious is how you are going to convince the “wild bullfrog” to stay in your pond over winter……. And if he stays, he might be hungry come spring and those Shubies will definitely be on his menu.
Lol I'm assuming she'll stay as she's been living in my pond since July and there are no other ponds near by for her to migrate too. I am not certain how she got here except perhaps she stowed away in some plants. So far my fish and Webster seem to be growing at the same rate keeping them off the menu. I will relocate Webster if she begins to out grow my shubies.

Unfortunately I have to overwinter my shubies in this pond until we can build a larger pond next season. I only have one 20 gallon tank cycled an no space for a 2nd. This is upsetting I thought I had researched this thoroughly. All the websites said 18" min. Even the breeder of the fish said they could safely overwinter.

Suggestions on things to increase their odds?
 
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@Lenae98 You would prolly need to put a couple heaters in the water also. @callingcolleen1 uses aquarium heaters in her guppy pond in Alberta. It's a small pond too. She has plastic covering it also. Check out her video, scroll down to see it. She has other video's on this subject also. https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/ponds-in-canada.9124/page-157
 
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Depth is more reliable at 24 inches for overwintering in 5B. But volume plays an important part in the whole equation as well. Bigger ponds hold heat better than smaller ones.

Now if you want to talk covering and heating, thats a different story. Like @j.w mentioned, @callingcolleen1 has a guppy pond that she overwinters in very harsh conditions. Check out her set up for more information.
 

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as a point of illustration; I cover my pond now with agro plastic, keep one pump/waterfall going, have an aerator near the water surface, and the pond no longer ices up. It can be done, therefore, but you'll need to help. Of course, my pond is 48-60" deep and gets heat from the earth. If your pond is totally inground, you'll be battling frozen ground surrounding your pond and the relatively warmer earth down lower can't help you but just being totally inground, will still give you a chance. The agro cover will do a lot to keeping the ice depth less. You can also get a deicer which is a heater that only comes on when the temp approaches freezing. I'd not use a true aquarium type heater unless you're prepared to deal with the electricity costs, and for sure I'd erect a plastic covering to help out.
 

addy1

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Welcome to the forum!

Your idea of a thick solar cover is a good idea, also make is strong enough to hold a snow load, domed. Give it a try gold fish can be pretty hardy to cold. You might even want to put a light bulb under your solar cover, they put off heat (non led) and would help keep the air under the cover slightly warmer.
 
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as a point of illustration; I cover my pond now with agro plastic, keep one pump/waterfall going, have an aerator near the water surface, and the pond no longer ices up. It can be done, therefore, but you'll need to help. Of course, my pond is 48-60" deep and gets heat from the earth. If your pond is totally inground, you'll be battling frozen ground surrounding your pond and the relatively warmer earth down lower can't help you but just being totally inground, will still give you a chance. The agro cover will do a lot to keeping the ice depth less. You can also get a deicer which is a heater that only comes on when the temp approaches freezing. I'd not use a true aquarium type heater unless you're prepared to deal with the electricity costs, and for sure I'd erect a plastic covering to help out.
Do you use framing or just drape the plastic? I was thinking maybe PVC for a frame to keep the plastic from drooping with snow along with a deicer and pond breather. Does that sound like a reasonable plan? Having problems finding a pond breather for reasonable prices. $89 was the lowest I've found. Any suggestions where to look?
 
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Here are the pictures of my pond and the gang living in it. Sorry the pictures of my two Shubies aren't great. Haven't learned how to compensate for surface reflections on water.
 

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PVC works well for a frame. We use one over an Intex pool with 2 layers of heavy plastic over it. Our pond has a wooden frame over it with one layer of heavy plastic and one of solar cover. Neither gets any ice on it, but we are in zone 6, not 5.

Some people make hoop houses to cover their ponds in winter. Hope you find a good solution for yours.
 

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Do you use framing or just drape the plastic? I was thinking maybe PVC for a frame to keep the plastic from drooping with snow along with a deicer and pond breather. Does that sound like a reasonable plan? Having problems finding a pond breather for reasonable prices. $89 was the lowest I've found. Any suggestions where to look?
The pond breathers have been discontinued. If you find one,snatch it up.
 
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brokensword

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Do you use framing or just drape the plastic? I was thinking maybe PVC for a frame to keep the plastic from drooping with snow along with a deicer and pond breather. Does that sound like a reasonable plan? Having problems finding a pond breather for reasonable prices. $89 was the lowest I've found. Any suggestions where to look?
I use wood but my pond is a lot larger than yours and I need the structural integrity. Before my expansion, I used 1" steel tube and made a tent. You can use pvc, too. Just realize pvc and regular big box store plastic sheeting is not UV proof and you won't get as much longevity as you would with agro plastic and steel. You CAN also paint the pvc tubing to give you UV resistance.

Even if you do a tent/hoop house, it's important to get the plastic taut so the snow when it melts will slide off. And keep the distances between hoops/frame struts to 2'. I used 4' with my first tent and had a lot of bowing/holding melted water. You can make the plastic taut by putting sand bags or cinder blocks on the outside edges after you erect your tent/hoop.

And as addy chimed; take your polarized sunglasses and hold them in front of your camera/phone and the glare will melt away!
 
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I use wood but my pond is a lot larger than yours and I need the structural integrity. Before my expansion, I used 1" steel tube and made a tent. You can use pvc, too. Just realize pvc and regular big box store plastic sheeting is not UV proof and you won't get as much longevity as you would with agro plastic and steel. You CAN also paint the pvc tubing to give you UV resistance.

Even if you do a tent/hoop house, it's important to get the plastic taut so the snow when it melts will slide off. And keep the distances between hoops/frame struts to 2'. I used 4' with my first tent and had a lot of bowing/holding melted water. You can make the plastic taut by putting sand bags or cinder blocks on the outside edges after you erect your tent/hoop.

And as addy chimed; take your polarized sunglasses and hold them in front of your camera/phone and the glare will melt away!
Were the breathers discontinued because they were faulty on anyway?
Where can I find this argo plastic? I googled it but no luck.
 
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A simple plastic tent over the pond in the shape of a tee-pee with a pond breather in the water should keep the pond from freezing over some surface movement in the pond will help as well
 
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brokensword

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Were the breathers discontinued because they were faulty on anyway?
Where can I find this argo plastic? I googled it but no luck.
sorry; should be agro, as in agricultural. You can get it from greenhouse supply companies. I use 6 mil and it's UV resistant. I think it's an 8 year (10 yr?) warranty.

Not sure why the pond breathers were discontinued but they work great.
 

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