Pond breather


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What are you folks using to keep your koi safe under the ice in wintertime? I live in MA and my pond freezes pretty well each winter, with ice probably 6" thick at times. I've seen ads for 1500 watt devices that keep a hole in the ice, to allow the bad gases to get out and oxygen get in. That seems like a lot of energy to use. I'm not sure that method is any better than this breather I've been using, which freezes into the ice, and has a tiny pump that hangs down near the bottom, and pumps a small trickle of water up inside the top dome, where the bad gas gets out, and I assume oxygenated water falls back down into the pond. I assume that the tiny pump uses hardly any energy, compared to the 1500 watt heater device. I've used mine for 7 seasons, and had to epoxy it a couple of times when I noticed it starting to come apart in Spring. I'm probably going to buy a new one, since it's now old, and the worst thing would be if it died in midwinter, when it would be difficult to de-install and pop in a new one. Haven't lost a koi yet when using this device.

Pond Breather.JPG
 
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Lots of people here use these and love them. @addy1 uses and recommends them. She'll pop in here and tell you more.

We keep our pond running all winter which eliminates the need for keeping a hole in the ice. We have used a de-icer now and again, but I've never been a big fan. The one we have is too tippy and requires propping up to keep it from rolling on it's side.
 

mrsclem

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Pond breather uses 40 watts. Have used them for years in my ponds and haven't lost any koi over winter. I have 1500w heaters but those will jump your electric bill up big time if used constantly.
 
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I've used a Pondbreather for years too. I also cover the pond with a pool solar cover ad suspend air stones about 10 aches into the water.
 
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I'll promote pond breathers, too; used one for 5 of my 10 years after stating with only an aerator and one winter, having the line freeze up. Went to a 'pond tent' -- ag plastic sheeting over a frame because I wanted less ice and quicker thawing (+ found out it helped a lot with winter evaporation) for the last 3 years. This allowed me to keep the wfall going and constant circulation.
 
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addy1

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I use only pond breathers during the winter. Have not had any fish loss since doing that.
I do not have koi.

I do shut everything down, actually did the shut down yesterday. Also have a external pump. With the cold dry air and warmish water I was losing a lot of water every day, happens every winter. The bog surface is large it cools the pond water and helps with the water loss.
 
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@addy1 makes a very important point - what you need to do during winter will depend a great deal on the what kind of fish you have in your pond and how many you have. Goldfish will survive most anything. Big koi are going to need a lot more thought and planning, in my experience.
 

JBtheExplorer

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I also use a Pond Breather. Absolutely love it. Still surprised how much higher the price tag is on them now.
 
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I was lucky; when Dr Foster went out of business, I snagged 2 for like $20 each. Still have them new in the box!
 
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I too am a hoarder....snagged one when Fosters and Smith had them for $19....ew in the box, still using my original one :)
 
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