Pond frozen over


Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
58
Reaction score
38
Location
Western NC
Hardiness Zone
7a
Thousand gallon pond. Zone 7a. 4000 GPH pump/filter system feeding a 2~3 foot high waterfall. This is my first winter taking care of the pond and the fish.

The temperature has been below freezing here for the past couple of days, (fifteen last night,) and the pond was frozen over this morning. The waterfall is still running, but the ice is about half to one inch thick right up to the waterfall . The fifteen or twenty common goldfish in there seem to be okay, they are still moving around some, although slowly, as to be expected I guess. I understand that the ice can prevent any aeration of the water and that could be bad for my fish.

I broke up the ice at a spot near the edge of the pond where I could easily reach and put a twelve hundred watt livestock trough heater in the resulting hole in the ice. It seems to be keeping three or four square feet of the pond around it clear of ice.

Is that good enough to provide air for the fish?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Jhn

Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
1,224
Reaction score
1,118
Location
Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
If the waterfall is running then you are getting oxygen and gas transfer through the waterfall and should be fine as long as it stays running. The trough heater is more than enough keeping a 3-4 sq ft space open, as well.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
1,350
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
Just as a mention...I don't know how hard you were banging on the ice to break a hole, probably not very hard considering it wasn't that thick, but banging on the ice can cause shock waves that can harm fish.

Also, does the stock tank heater have a guard around the heating element? You don't want to melt your liner.

All you need is a small hole somewhere in the ice to allow for gas exchange.

As stated, your waterfall helps with adding oxygen. Any disturbance on the water surface will help with that. Some of us have aerators with air stones suspended just below the surface for the winter. You don't want the air stones on the bottom during winter. It will infuse cold air in the warm bottom where the fish are hibernating.

Keep an eye on the pond surface where your waterfall hits. Make sure it keeps an area of open water. You dont want that to freeze solid and cause the water to spill over on top of the ice. That situation may result in water escaping the pond. Probably won't happen, especially if you have a good flow of water, but just keep an eye on it when you get long term sub-zero temperatures.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
32,737
Reaction score
15,361
Location
Axton virginia
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
I live in Va 15 minute to the NC border and no ice yet on my pond but true like said an aerator and a heater will be better .I did what you did 1 year and learned my lesson .I saw the ice and a hole but that night around midnight I realized the ice was sagging down and went out in PJ's to find that I only had a little over a foot of water in the pond and it was snowing hard .I had to rush and hook hose up in the basement to add water from my well and just prayed my fish would survive the change in water temperature ,They did ,but i will never do that again . The water got diverted over the side where the ice was thick and i did not notice it .I added just enough water to make it safe for the fish and got a new pond heater and a aerator the next day .Scared the daylights out of me and it was after 4 in the morning before it had enough water to save the fish .I had to keep turning off the water every half hour or so ,i did not want to burn up my well pump since it is in the ground over 400 feet
 

brokensword

Not all those who wander are lost
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
899
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Just as a mention...I don't know how hard you were banging on the ice to break a hole, probably not very hard considering it wasn't that thick, but banging on the ice can cause shock waves that can harm fish.
+2


Never bang on the ice covering your pond; use pots of boiling water next time or plug in a deicer.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
171
Reaction score
95
Location
Cincinnati
If the shape of your pond can do it.... what I’ve done many times is let the ice form ..... drill a hole into the ice (2-3” circle) and then actually pump out some of the water. This leaves the entire surface of the pond open to gas exhange and the water doesn’t freeze up below.... making an air gap
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
10,353
Reaction score
10,657
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
I really don't think your ice is that thick from a few days of cold weather, but the thickness of the ice isn't really the issue. If your waterfall is running you don't need to worry about keeping a hole in the ice. The moving water will do the trick for aeration.
 
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
58
Reaction score
38
Location
Western NC
Hardiness Zone
7a
Yep. The ice was an inch thick at its thickest points, (I measured it) and it grew that thick over a 48 hour period. During Christmas, the temps here did not get above freezing for about three days, and dipped into the tens and twenties at night. That's a bit unusual here where the climate is pretty mild. A couple of inches of snow didn't help either. The temps got into the forties since then, and now the ice has all melted.

I didn't know about not banging on the ice. Acoustic shock, like fishing with dynamite? Anyway, no harm done. The fish appear to be doing fine. Didn't have any trouble with ice dams diverting water outside the pond either. The layout of the pond and waterfall was pretty good for preventing that.

Thanks for the help.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
278
Reaction score
222
Hardiness Zone
7a/7b depending on the map
Country
United States
I've had ice up to 3" on the pond. No adverse effects. The fish just went deep and hid out for the season. The falls kept running, so plenty of aeration.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top