Should I turn my pump on when the air Temp is warmer than the water?

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Bob Huffman, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Bob Huffman

    Bob Huffman

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    I have a 1500 gallon 4' deep pond with a gravity feed bottom drain and a waterfall. I live in Northern Indiana, and it is supposed to be 50-60 Degrees F most of this week. The water temperature is 34 degrees F at the bottom of the pond, and I am thinking about running the pump when the air temperature is above 40 degrees F to try to warm the water in the pond. My thought is that the water will warm up while flowing down the waterfall. Is this a good idea? ****** Hardiness Zone 6a*******
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
    Bob Huffman, Mar 8, 2015
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    MitchM

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    Many different factors determine what the temperature of your pond is.
    Do you have any ice cover now? How have you been maintaining good gas exchange in your pond during the winter?
    If you have low humidity and high winds, you could wind up cooling the water.
    If you've been keeping good circulation during the winter, you will probably be ok for getting the waterfall going, but I wouldn't expect much, if any, warming of the pond water. It would help with aeration though.
    There's a pond heat loss calculator below in my signature to give you an idea of what can affect your pond temperature.
     
    MitchM, Mar 8, 2015
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  3. Bob Huffman

    Bob Huffman

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    Thanks Mitch. The ambient temperature in Fort Wayne has been in the 10 degree F to -2 degree F range since late December. We are going to have a major warm up this week (highs in the 50's 60's F). The water temp is only 33-34 degrees F. I have had an air-stone running all winter, and that has kept a good 4" hole in the ice all winter. There were a couple of days where snow covered the dome from the bubbles, but I would go out and pour hot water (maybe 3 quarts) in the area where the dome was, and it would open the hole back up. I am in zone 6a.
     
    Bob Huffman, Mar 8, 2015
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    RobAmy

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    As Mitch already said there are many factors. Also if you have a lot of debris in the pond, it should really come out before you fire everything up. Can you see to inspect all plumbing yet? I personally would want the water temp higher before turning the pump on, I would like to see the water temps up over 45 degrees. You could really push that cold surface water down to the bottom which will not be good. The temps your talking about will not warm up the water fast enough passing through the waterfall. You will just circulate the cold pond water. I live in zone 6a also and we are no where near getting things running yet. I think holding off a bit will be best for the fish.
     
    RobAmy, Mar 8, 2015
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  5. Bob Huffman

    CometKeith

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    Bob, I used to start my waterfall in March. Now I leave it on all winter. I rarely ever have a problem with sick or diseased fish. The water flow has a lot of beneficial effects however I don't consider warming the water to be one of them and it's not needed. Moving water will reduce the amount of anaerobic decay if there is any organic matter in your pond. Anaerobic bacteria is very dangerous for fish in the spring and you want to keep it to a minimum. If your water in the spring has any kind of foul odor that is an immediate sign there is a lot of anaerobic decay going on. Moving water also helps gas exchange by getting rid of the bad gasses and introducing O2 into the pond. This is important in the winter when sometimes ponds are covered in snow, but probably everyone here agrees good water movement is very important for healthy ponds. The fact that you may be cooling the water has a negligible effect on the fish, but for this reason I never put my pump on the very bottom where the warmest water is and leave that part as undisturbed as possible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
    CometKeith, Mar 9, 2015
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  6. Bob Huffman

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I would want my pond flowing if the temps got into the 50s
     
    DrCase, Mar 9, 2015
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  7. Bob Huffman

    sissy sissy

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    I leave 1 of my pumps on for most of the winter .I just put the pond heater over it and only turn it on when it is really needed
     
    sissy, Mar 9, 2015
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    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    The air temperature or the water temperature?
     
    bettasngoldfish, Mar 10, 2015
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  9. Bob Huffman

    sissy sissy

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    Ce lives out that way but she is on vacation .
     
    sissy, Mar 10, 2015
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  10. Bob Huffman

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    either one
     
    DrCase, Mar 10, 2015
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