Ponds first winter...how do I keep it running?

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by Stickcharmer, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Stickcharmer

    Stickcharmer

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    Ill try to be brief. I have young fish I will be moving indoor this winter until they get older/bigger. I want to keep the pond running this winter including the waterfall. Can I place a deicer or some kind of heater next to the pump (little giant 3500gph) to circulate warmer water to protect my plumbing (corrugated 1.25" and 1.5" hose) or will this not work? pond is approx 900gal. 32" at its deepest point. Waterfall is approx 3-4' high. Still a work in progress and Id like to enjoy it this winter. I'm in zone 6a-7a.

    Thanks for the help!!
     

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    Stickcharmer, Oct 11, 2017
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  2. Stickcharmer

    IPA

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    Very nice looking pond. I am not sure about the plumbing or worrying about ice dams on the waterfall but how old are the fish when you say they are young? It can be a lot of work to keep pond fish in small and restrictive containers or aquariums inside, and depending on the volume of water, filtration, and total inches of fish they might be better left in the pond.
     
    IPA, Oct 11, 2017
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  3. Stickcharmer

    Stickcharmer

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    4 babies from this summers spawning and 2 shubunkin and 2 comet fish maybe 6-12mo old or so? 55 gallon indoor tank. Feel the fish need to winter it inside this year.
     
    Stickcharmer, Oct 11, 2017
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  4. Stickcharmer

    Lisak1

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    Why does this winter feel different than any other? Your fish are hardy - they can handle the winter outdoors. Even the babies - they're tough little things. Moving them in and out - as well as catching them to do it - seems far more stressful for them than just staying put. Your pond is deep enough for them to spend the winter, especially in your zone (are you 6A or 7A? - it would be good to know for sure.)

    Having said that, a de-icer isn't meant to heat water - it just warms the area directly around itself enough to keep the ice from freezing solid. I don't think any heater will do what you're hoping for, but I don't think it's necessary either. Moving water won't freeze in your lines, especially 1.5" line. Did you use flex PVC? When you say "hose" what are you referring to? Your waterfall appears to be constructed so ice damming shouldn't be an issue, but only time will tell!
     
    Lisak1, Oct 11, 2017
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  5. Stickcharmer

    cas

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    Very pretty pond @Stickcharmer . I am with Lisa1 on leaving the fish outdoors. Eight goldfish should do fine in 900 gallons and 32" deep as long as a hole is kept open in the ice to let the gases escape. I think it would be more stressful moving the fish in and out.
     
    cas, Oct 11, 2017
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  6. Stickcharmer

    sissy sissy

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    Only thing that would worry me is if ice formed on the waterfall and emptied the pond .I had that happen and strange thing was we went from 60 degrees that day to a winter snow storm and checked on pond and saw ice on it and did not realize when I checked it again that the ice was covering up a secret .There was only a foot of water left in the pond and I was lucky to have caught it then or fish would have died .If you have no fish in the pond no worry unless you burn out the pump or the heater melts your liner .I was lucky as I ran water from the basement to get more water in the pond
     
    sissy, Oct 12, 2017
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  7. Stickcharmer

    Angel

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    I am with the rest leave out. Get a DE icer heater or get a smaller pump an use that to keep a hole. If shut of the water fall.
     
    Angel, Oct 12, 2017
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  8. Stickcharmer

    CometKeith

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    Hi Stickcharmer. You may want to try a less expensive pump and have it pump over a shorter distance on your waterfall and see how that works out so you don't have to worry as much about ice damming and also worry about your pump getting damaged. A lot of pond stuff is trial and error and what works best for you may be different than works for other people. I noticed that your climate zone is fairly warm compared to where I am at. If you don't get a lot of snow you may be able to get a nice water flow all year from your pump. It helps if your pond is not shaded and gets a fair amount of winter sun. I actually keep my pond waterfall running all year. I use Laguna pumps that shut off if they get frozen and I have never had one burn out on me. The standard tubing I use has been in below zero F temps and has never had a problem. Re your fish they will grow larger if you feed them year round, but if you don't want to bring them in they will be fine. In all the years I have had my fish outside in the winter I have only lost a handful over the 10 years I have had a pond. I always keep a hole in the ice/snow for gas exchange with both a water pump and an air stone and that works out fine. Good luck!
     
    CometKeith, Oct 12, 2017
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  9. Stickcharmer

    Stickcharmer

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    Just curious how moving them indoor this winter (don' plan on doing it next winter) is any more stressful than purchasing them from a supplier and transplanting them to the pond? I use 1.25" corrugated tubing from pump to filter... 1.5" from filter to weir. I live in Boise, Idaho. Last winter was one of our worst. Single digit temps are not abnormal here and believe we hit negative temps a few times last year.
     
    Stickcharmer, Oct 12, 2017
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  10. Stickcharmer

    CometKeith

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    Ha. I don't know why I thought you were warmer. i must have looked a a wrong map. I think if you can catch them easily it won't be too stressful but if it takes like an hour to catch one fish it would not be great. In the last year we moved and I had to round up my fish. I thought it would be so easy....just dip the net in and scoop them up. I couldn't believe how difficult it was to catch them. I finally had to drain almost all the water out to get them. I typically have my pond at 4-5 ft deep at it's deepest part and have never had a problem with my fish in the winter. I'm not sure at your depth how comfortable they would be, but it's not uncommon to have ponds at your depth. 38 degree water is the most dense and typically it will form a bubble at the bottom of the pond where fish will go. You might be right to try experimenting this winter with the pond to see if you can keep the water flow going and if all goes well let the fish overwinter next year. Personally I think its good for fish to go through the winter cycle so when spring comes around they start spawning, but have no hard evidence to support that. When I tried a using de-icer my fish never had babies, and when I just let them be they went crazy chasing and spawning.
     
    CometKeith, Oct 12, 2017
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  11. Stickcharmer

    IPA

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    @Stickcharmer , it's not necessarily an issue to bring the fish in. If you've kept aquariums in the past then you are familiar with the maintenance requirements to maintain good water quality. I've kept aquariums in the past and personally find the maintenance unenjoyable.
     
    IPA, Oct 12, 2017
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  12. Stickcharmer

    Lisak1

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    I don’t think it is MORE stressful. It’s just a question of why do it this year if you don’t plan to do it every year? I got the impression you thought your fish were too young to handle the cold and you wanted to give them a year to grow before leaving them out for the winter. I was just adding reassurance that there was no need to worry about younger fish more than older fish, if that makes sense.

    I’m in 5A/B - no stranger to cold temps! Remember that air temperature and water temperature are two separate things. That’s why depth of your pond is a factor - deeper water will stay warmer, and the ground will also provide heat. Ice and snow also insulates - that’s why animals in cold climates will bury themselves in the snow for warmth.
     
    Lisak1, Oct 12, 2017
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  13. Stickcharmer

    mgmine

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    I'm with the rest leave them where they are. I wouldn't leave the pump running and I wouldn't be concerned with keeping a hole in the ice. You have 900 gallons of water and the fish are very small. I have a few large fish and even with my air stones the water sometimes freezes over. They all survive. Maybe if the ice was covering the pond for 4 straight months there might be a problem but it isn't.
     
    mgmine, Oct 12, 2017
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  14. Stickcharmer

    Tula

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    Oh my, have you discovered fish birth control !! LOL
     
    Tula, Oct 12, 2017
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  15. Stickcharmer

    CometKeith

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    That's funny Tula. Yeah it's weird all the ideas you get when you get so wrapped up with your pond!.... but do you think that's crazy that they need a winter season before spring season to get in the mood :)
     
    CometKeith, Oct 13, 2017
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  16. Stickcharmer

    sissy sissy

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    Reason I built my pond not far from my septic tank ,free heat in the winter;) .I read bout this long before I built my pond .
     
    sissy, Oct 13, 2017
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