PNW Pond De-ice Help Needed


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Hey pond-owners,

First of all happy new year 2022! The freezing weather recently hit PNW area with beautiful snow but also formed ice for my pond. I noticed several things happened to my pond:
  1. Water level reduce 20% about 5 inches
  2. One corner of the pond where I apply an air pump, forms ice; while the other corner helps prevent ice forming
  3. My kois seems sleeping well when I approached, and they start to swim when I left
Consider tonight is still going to be 15 F and ice will keep forming, I need help to decide:
  1. Can I add water to the pond to level up the water?
  2. I bought a de-icer just in case, but wonder in this situation do I need to use that?
  3. I noticed one koi is staying in the corner which is frozen, not sure how deep the ice is, should I break the ice and save the koi?
I attached the photos below! Thanks for any advice guys!
 
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As I mentioned the left corner is freezing, the right side seems the air pump is working fine!
 
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Water level drops, not sure about the depth of the ice. Apparently the waterfall really helps prevent the ice forming. I also make sure the pipe that bumps the water doesn't freeze.
 

brokensword

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I'm make sure ALL the water from your falls is going INTO the pond, not splashing over, out, under, or even behind! That 5" may be from any one of those or just ice forming. Yes, you can add water; do it slowly but not so slow the water freezes in the hose.

Fish can and have lived fine UNDER ice, so don't sweat it. You're in the PNW, fer cryin' out loud; you KNOW this ain't usual!
 
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j.w

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I'm in the PNW up north in Arlington and I don't turn off the pumps and I don't need any heaters. Fish do fine. They hunker down in the bowels of the bottom of the pond. Where are you located @ronw ?

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You mentioned what I was going to point out...make sure the rubber hose doesn't freeze. Plastic / rubber, can become brittle when cold. Honestly you'd probably be fine with just the aerator .
 
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First concern is your pond looks way to small for koi. Even gold fish will over populate fish to gallons quickly. PLACE A PLASTIC TEEPEE over the hole area it will give your fish a fighting chance as you have cold coming at them from three sides and not alot of water to prevent freezing
 
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I will also emphasize not to break the ice by hammering on it. The shock waves will be very bad for your fish.

Agree with @GBBUDD. You pond looks too small for koi.

And as @GBBUDD suggested, why don't you get some clear plastic sheeting and cover the whole thing... like a greenhouse? If my pond were that small, that's what I would do. You probably won't get any ice at all if you did that.
If need be, you could erect a frame with PVC pipe or 2x4 lumber, but you might not even need that. You may be able to just drape it over the whole thing. Put some rocks on it to hold it down on the ground.
 
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Hey thanks for the answers @poconojoe and @GBBUDD . I have six kois and they have lived here for >10yrs. Does it mean they are fine with the current size of the pond?


I'm in the PNW up north in Arlington and I don't turn off the pumps and I don't need any heaters. Fish do fine. They hunker down in the bowels of the bottom of the pond. Where are you located @ronw ?

View attachment 146014
I'm located in Redmond!
 
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brokensword

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Hey thanks for the answers @poconojoe and @GBBUDD . I have six kois and they have lived here for >10yrs. Does it mean they are fine with the current size of the pond?



I'm located in Redmond!
if you haven't seen any growth in a few years AND you keep current filtration up, you will prob be okay, BUT! You might be right on the edge of disaster just because a small pond has less latitude when bad things happen. I'd take some water readings just so you have a base line for the future. DO keep a good eye on fish behavior and water monitoring as that will be your only clue and again, you'll get hardly any warning should something go wrong, i.e. pump fails, filter over clogged, runoff/pollutants gets in, higher than usual (for you) temps, aeration lulls, power outages. If that were MY pond, for sure I'd have TWO pumps, just for redundancy!

Got some pics of the fish, for sizing?
 

j.w

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Hey thanks for the answers @poconojoe and @GBBUDD . I have six kois and they have lived here for >10yrs. Does it mean they are fine with the current size of the pond?



I'm located in Redmond!
You are in a warmer area than I am so your fish should be fine. How deep is your pond? They should be fine and now that we are melting all will be good. Our freezes don't last but a couple days at the most.
 

brokensword

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You are in a warmer area than I am so your fish should be fine. How deep is your pond? They should be fine and now that we are melting all will be good. Our freezes don't last but a couple days at the most.
alla I heard is "we're sissies, here" :p
 
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It will shock the fish. Same reason they tell you not to knock on an aquarium. Sound waves are bad for fish
I will stop, thank you for the info. Thankfully the areas around the waterfall and at the filter box inlet don't freeze over so they are probably getting enough air without breaking the ice or getting a de-icer.
 
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