Shutting system down for winter.


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I'm in upstate NY and getting ready to shut system down and blow out the lines and clean filters etc. I'm not sure If I have to keep the system (waterfall) running until the water temp drops below 50 deg and I stop feeding fish or can I shut everything down now even though I'm still feeding them and water temp hovers around 53 - 55 deg? I guess I'm concerned about the oxygen situation with system shut down and them still eating while water temp stays about 50 deg.
Thanks.
 
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I presume as long as they are eating they are creating ammonia thus filtration is necessary. You should have an air pump running through the winter for gaseous and oxygen exchange or else you risk your fish going kaput.
 

sissy

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are you feeding them wheat germ and what are the temps most do not turn off there systems it seems until after the first frost and you could purchase an aerator or keep your waterfall running for awhile longer .I don't turn verything off here until temps at night stay steady around 30
 
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thanks Likoi: I'll keep everything running till I stop the feeding process at 50 Deg. I have shut system down the past two years with just a Pond Heater going all winter and haven't lost a fish doing that so far.. What is intailed in installing an air pump to run for the winter? Maybe I was just lucky the past couple winters with the pond heater only. The pond is about 3 ft deep and about 10 by 15' with about 2300 gals (give or take)...
 

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well you could also put a submersible pump like i do or purchase an aerator but most fish are dormant all winter and this year I invested in a heater ,after last winter I am not taking any chances .I usually turn my aerator off I know others keep theres on but I don't want to ruin another aerator again .When the pump and pipe are down in the water it does not circulate the cold water up .I know that most just turn everything off and fish are fine ,but I do not want to take any chances with my koi .Weather down here changes too fast 2 years ago Christmas day and new years day were in the 70's
 
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Hi Sissy: I'm feeding them the Tetra Fin Goldfish Flakes and recently mixing them with some of the Blueridge Mini Pellets I got and was trying to get them to eat them but they are hung up on the flakes. The night temps are mainly in the upper 30s and lower 40s. NP - I'll keep the system running for awhile longer till the feeding process ends with the water temps hanging steady around 50deg.. I';ll check into the air pump process as well.
 
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sissy

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Forgot I only feed my fish once a week after temps in the pond go below 50 degrees .Do you have a floating pond thermometer as that is what you go by pond water temps not ambient air temps .
 

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IT should be wheatgerm food as the other can give them intestinal problems and kill your fish
 
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Hi Sissy: Yup - I do have a floating thermometer. It got down to about 52 the other day when the night temps got down to around 32 for a couple nights with days around 60. Maybe I;ll slow down the feed ing as well. I feed them twice now - around 8 in morning and around 5 at night. I know they hve a lot of stuff to eat in the pond as well.
 

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our temps here have been 75 and 80 during the day and around 50 at night and I have been feeding my fish the wheat germ food for a week now and I know about colder temps as I lived most of my life in NJ and only retired down here 9 years ago and started my pond right after I moved down here and I have koi now that are over 2 feet long and after all these years do not want to loose any .The more you feed them the more wastes they put out and could cause water quality problems and kill your fish .Koi really produce the most waste and goldfish are less fussy about there water .I test my water 2 times a week right now .In The summer they get fed only once every other day .
 
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sissy

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I feed them fall and spring diet food from tetra but there are a lot of brands you can try .I use the floating sticks this way they do not sink to the bottom and cause problems and when summer comes they get a little garlic in there food to help them feed better and be able to digest it better
 
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Bobsox, historically I also used a heater through the winter which left an opening in the ice for gaseous exchange. However I did some more research this year and learned that the heaters are energy hogs. You can effectively get the job done with an air pump which will circulate water and keep a hole open as well for ~10% of the energy the heater uses. There are a number of other detailed discussions on the forum around air pumps.
 

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Getting in late on this discussion, but I would leave your pond going for as long as you can. I don't shut mine off until the low temps are consistently in the mid to high 20's

I follow the same rules as Sissy on the feeding of the fish.
 

sissy

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It also depends on the hoses you use for your pond and not sure but I know temps can plummet fast and freeze pipes .Are you your pipes exposed or covered and what kind are they how large are they .I wrap mine in pipe insulation and put only mulch over them sense that is an insulator also .How is your filter set up and how fast you think it will freeze .I know tmann lives where it is colder faster and has a better grip on temps at night ,but would help if there was pics of your pond set up .I know my uncle lived in Buffalo NY and the temps can drop in a few hours to below zero with wind chills .So guessing you would know better how your weather changes .I never take chances after last winter and most pond heaters like the KH one I got have a thermostat and come on when needed .Been there done that last winter my pond hose froze in my waterfall and almost emptied my pond out last winter when temps dropped to below zero in a couple of hours and if I had not gotten up and looked out the window at 3 o'clock in the morning and saw caved in ice on the top of my pond ,I would have lost all my fish .I am lucky I have well water and pulled hose out and had to refill pond ,even though it was cold as heck .I had only a foot of water in the pond and gasses or water had went behind the liner .not sure which .It went from 60 degrees to below zero and windy and bitter .NEVER TAKE CHANCES
 
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Thanks for all the good info. I just checked the water temp and surprisingly it was 60 deg. It has been kinda warm the past few days but expect to get a lot cooler next week. I;ll keep system running even after the feeding has stopped when water gets and maintains 50 deg. I'll shut it down just before the freezing temps are the norm. I just didn;t want to have to work taking the filter apart and cleaning it along with the bio filter and waterfall as well as blowing out the lines etc - all that fun stuff while having to wear gloves and shivering. I know - what a whimp.
 
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Hi Sissy: I know what you are talking about with the Buffalo type weather. I am, located as well 25 miles from Canadian border in upstate ny. I'm running an Aquadine filter and have 1 1/2 flexible pvc running from filter under ground to back of bio filter at waterfall. I have to disconnect all the lines going to and from pump and filter and blow the lines out and cap them. I always have to keep my water hose connected at back of house to wash and clean up the waterfall and bio filter as well as cleaning the Aquadine filter and the beads before connecting them back up and leaving for winter. So it is a fine line as to when to do all this. The pond heater I use is a good one as well and keeps an area about 3 or 4'diameter open while the rest of the pond freezes solid where I could skate on it. So far so good as I haven't lost a fish for the past three yrs since I've had pond. As for pictures - I have tried to transfer pictures I have of the pond from my files to upload to this site but to no avail. I have tried all the tips that some have mentioned but with no luck.
 

sissy

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wonder why your pics do not upload because they have made it a lot easier to upload .I can understand that Canadian air and can they please keep it up there LOL .You are lucky then that the pond heater is doing it's job well and it is really worth the expense then .Aerators will not keep a big hole open unless the airline is close to the top of the water or you have a large aereator ,Last year I tried that and ice formed around the air hose and pinched it closed and burned out the aerator .I guess I should not have clamped the air hose to the aerator but thats what it said to do so I did ,big mistake that was .I bought a new aerator this past spring and sure not trying that again .It looks like you have some expensive equipment so don't blame you for not taking any chances .My pumps are all cheapy harbor freight pumps 22 dollars to 30 dollars each .I have had some of them for over 8 years so for me they work .940 gph and 1268 gph and last year the 940 gph burned out and I had the 5 dollar warranty so they replaced it no questions asked .I actually gave my neighbor one of mine that is 6 years old and they love it .There's burned out and it was a tetra one I think
 
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Sissy: I'm going to pick up a 3 lb bad of the Tetra Spring & Fall Diet Sticks today. If I understand right - you only feed them this when the water gets belor 50 deg and down to 40 deg - is that right or should i start them on that now with the water temp around 55 to 60 deg? I'll try again to upload photos as well.
 
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sissy

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I start mine when my water temp gets around 55 this way they get used to it and I start with feeding the 4 times a week and then drop it down to twice a week because they stay near the bottom of the pond I do not want to leave food floating around that could cause problems with the water ..I always scoop uneaten food out .I buy my food at pet mountain .com when they put it on sale
 

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