Tell us how YOU Winterize YOUR pond.

How do you keep a hole in the ice?

  • heater

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • aerator

    Votes: 11 37.9%
  • water pump

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • breather

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • other

    Votes: 5 17.2%

  • Total voters
    29

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Howdy folks! As we all know, there are many different ways people Winterize their pond. Of course, there are a few key principles that should be followed, but many ways to successfully accomplish them. First, you want to start the Winter with clean water, i.e. 0 ammonia and nitrite, and low levels of nitrate. This could be done with a water change or just through good filtration. Second, you will want to remove as much solid debris from the pond as possible. It would be advisable to remove all leaves and flowers from plants that will not survive the Winter, and net out all leaves etc. Third, you will want to keep a hole open in the ice for gas and oxygen exchange. This can be done with a heater, an aerator, a water pump, or even a breather. Some people even cover or insulate their pond, to keep their fish toasty warm.
What do you do?
Personally I do a 50% water change with well water and use a net to scoop out leaves. I cut off all plant growth, sink them 2' down, and then use a 300 gph water pump to make a small "volcano" of water at the surface, to prevent a complete freeze. My main pump goes off, so none of my normal filter are running. The 300 gph filter is in a small filter box. I have done this for 2 Winters successfully.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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All good advice. There is, however, a fourth step which many are not aware of that can be a main determining factor in the health of the fish....and pond both during the winter months and at Spring thaw.
Although it may prove to be difficult and, at times, extremely inconvenient, all effort should be made to avoid any snow buildup on the surface of the iced-over pond. This snow cover will completely block out sunlight that is able to penetrate the ice maintaining a winter growth of algae. The algae contributes to maintaining the pond over winter by supplying Oxygen and by being a food source of other organisms-Micro-, Meio- and Macro-. The food chain and the Carbon Cycle is kept functioning. A partial collapse of the eco-system is thereby avoided. I suspect that many fish mortalities are a direct result of the omission of this step.
 
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addy1

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Trying a breather this winter, in my big pond and stock tank.

I cut back plants, only put the lilies deeper in the water after I groom them.
 

j.w

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I skim the bottom w/a net and clean my pre-filter and then put it back in and leave my pump running the waterfall. I turn off huge aerator and just leave a small one on. Also have a water bubbler pushing water up pretty good. Our winters are fairly mild usually. Lots of rain constantly adding new water. We don't get ice for very long at a time if any and snow is iffy and doesn't last long either. My fish are so spoiled :)
 
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@dieselplower is this the type of box you have the pump in? If so do you have filter media in it as well?

k2-_d2071a03-7ad1-445d-927d-f1f1063ceb7f.jpeg
 
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Last year was my first winter with the fish in the pond. Used a stock tank heater and airstones. This year I think I am going to order a breather for the pond and use the heater in the stock tank.
 
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Outside of keeping the pond clean with a hand skimmer, and fattening up the fish for winter, I do nothing. I currently don't have an aerator to take care of. It doesn't freeze around the drain area so, I don't have to worry about keeping a hole open.
 
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Groom lilies and cut back other plants. Net out any debris and keep pond netted. Turn off pumps and big aerator. Using a small air stone and pond breather.
 

waynefrcan

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All good advice. There is, however, a fourth step which many are not aware of that can be a main determining factor in the health of the fish....and pond both during the winter months and at Spring thaw.
Although it may prove to be difficult and, at times, extremely inconvenient, all effort should be made to avoid any snow buildup on the surface of the iced-over pond. This snow cover will completely block out sunlight that is able to penetrate the ice maintaining a winter growth of algae. The algae contributes to maintaining the pond over winter by supplying Oxygen and by being a food source of other organisms-Micro-, Meio- and Macro-. The food chain and the Carbon Cycle is kept functioning. A partial collapse of the eco-system is thereby avoided. I suspect that many fish mortalities are a direct result of the omission of this step.
Just does not work in the very worst cold and snow fall areas {most of Canada!}.
 
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Weve built in insulation during our build boxed in our filters and again insulated topped with polycarbonaate roofing sheets .
The pond is the also covered with roofing sheets allowing us to effectively double glaze our pond which alows for no ice during the winter and giving our fish an overall 7c-9c even with an outside temperature of-15c .
The roofing sheets allow for light to be passed into the pond throughout , unlike others we still do a trickle water change on a weekend basis
The filters get a prewinter make over and new airstones are added as well as clean zeolite and extra lythaqua overall the pond remains fluid throughout with a back up heating system if necessary

Dave
 
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Other than cleaning up the plants in and around the pond and making sure leaves aren't accumulating in the bottom, we don't do anything special. The pond runs all winter, fish do their thing and we all wait for spring.
 
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I cut all my plants back, lower to deep part of pond. Drain my 30 gal filter, then bring it inside the house and hook to the inside pond to keep it alive for the winter. I pull pump and store in basement or I put it on a shallow shelf with just a small water line to circulate the shallow end of pond. If I pull it, I still use a small fountain pump to aerate and keep water moving and hopefully an open hole if it freezes hard.
 

waynefrcan

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Mitch, I'm still amazed that those 2 breathers supplied enough o2 for that size of pond. Maybe not enough for heavy fish load or large koi.

The rated use on one of those I think is about 150 sqft surface area? Also when I used one it froze solid at -22 C.
 
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