What if?


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Hi, Gang!
I have been listening to some interesting buzz - that the end of January has the potential to be incredibly cold in the Metro Atlanta area. Colder than cold. COLD.

My waterfall filter is against a retaining wall, so it does have some protection from cold winds. All the pumps and pipes are down underground. I think the pond has weathered a couple of lows down in the teens, with no problems. I had a neat ice sculpture around the waterfall and some ice around the pond edges, but the water kept moving. I can't imagine it would get lower than that.

But if it did, can I assume my best bet is to still keep everything moving and hope for the best?

I'm attaching some pictures so you can see the set up. Everything is underground, and in this part of the country, we don't have to worry about a "frost line" or anything. The last picture shows the netting bowed down from our freak 8" of snow in December, 2017!
 

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mrsclem

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We are expecting super cold weather as well. You should be fine. You may get some severe nighttime cold temps but I'm sure it would not be an extended thing. I had major damage last year from filter drains freezing so shutting down everything and draining filters this weekend. Just keep an eye on your forcast.
 
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@bagsmom - Your pond is just stunning!

Oh, and I think you're good for the cold weather. I'm north of you a couple hours, and just leave everything running. The only thing I watch out for is the rare occasion where ice may form up in a way that would spill water outside the pond.
 
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Really, only your nights get cold followed by sunny, warmer days if the weather forecast is accurate. I vote to keep everything running.
 
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I'm thinking ahead to what has been discussed for the end of January into February. Possibly historic cold for the south - like single digits. I sure hope that doesn't play out! I love a little winter weather -- but that would be TOO cold! Fingers crossed!!!!!
 
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@bagsmom - Your pond is just stunning!

Oh, and I think you're good for the cold weather. I'm north of you a couple hours, and just leave everything running. The only thing I watch out for is the rare occasion where ice may form up in a way that would spill water outside the pond.
Thank you! It sure does look raggedy and sad right now. A pond in winter is pretty blah. I look forward to all the plants coming back in the spring!
 
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I'm keeping a close eye on my ponds as well! I might decide to shut them down, if ice starts to restrict the flow to the pumps. I think in that case it'd be better to just turn things off rather than risking overheating the pumps.
 

sissy

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I never trake the chance anymore after that one year .I looked out and pond looked finbe .It was ice covered but decided to go down and take a closer look as the ice looked like it was lower in the middle and it sure was as there was only a foot of water in the pond and there I was in the snow running hoses from my basement and hoping my fish did not go into shock .Got done it was about 4 am in the morning and started at around midnight and was still adding tiny amounts of water at 6 am ..Scary .I then took extra extra precautions .
 
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Not sure what I would do. It seems I am learning the hard way this year. My pond is ice covered and my pond breather quit working, so having the pump running kept a hole open. Just hope it keeps moving water.
 

addy1

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Ponds frozen today, they will be melted by Wednesday. or at least partially melted.
 
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We have our own forced experiment going this year. The pump plumbing sprung a leak - no big deal to fix, just some PVC glue - but when I went to reconnect it, we realized the connecting line sunk just enough that the whole shebang is now about a half inch too long. No way to get it reconnected without re-doing the whole pump line. Which we will do, but then it got cold and snowed 9 inches and that was the end of that for at least a few weeks... possibly longer.

We had a landscaper re-dig and re-plumb the line from the sump pump that had cracked last year, so now that works great. But we think all the digging around the pump vault was just enough to soften the ground and let that pipe settle just a tad. Looking back, that's probably what caused the plumbing to let lose in the first place - there was too much pressure on the line. I was tempted to leave well enough alone - it was still pumping, just not moving much water - but then we had a few really nice days that first week in January and I thought "how hard can it be?" Haha. Very, as it turns out!

We always run the aerator in winter (thankfully we bought the new one that really blows some bubbles last spring) and I tossed in the de-icer yesterday now that the pond is finally completely iced over. We'll see how the fish fare. I guess I could be stressing over it, but since there's literally nothing I can do to change it we just have to hope for the best.
 
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Ran my waterfall and aerator last year with no issues and staying the course this year. Last year had two weeks of single digit temps. Pond was frozen over for 16 days. This is the most it has frozen this year so far. It was all water no ice at all two days ago. Temperature dropped like a rock here Sunday night.
118536
 
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My only concern would be your waterfall filter if it's above ground. I once had a pressurized filter crack in very cold temps. I agree with others to just keep an eye on it.
 
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I turned off both my ponds last weekend, the aerators are keeping a nice size hole open in both.
In the new pond the hole is right off the spillway and the fish like to hang out around the corner, by the skimmer.Does it matter where in the pond the hole is? Do I need to move it or plug a heater where the fish are?
 

addy1

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I have a small pump in the shallow end around 15 feet from where the fish hang out. You are still removing gases that can build up with the open hole. They sometimes wander down to the open area, but not very often. The pond water is 40f.
 
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I thought having the large aerator would keep a decent size hole in the ponds but these last few days a dome of ice formed over both of them, leaving open only the perimeter of the hole. I know that's enough for gases to vent, but with temps dropping some more for the next 3-4 days I'm not so sure that gap will continue to stay open.
I plugged in a heater in the front pond where most of the fish are, I don't have a heater for the other pond, do you think with just the 4 little koi it would be ok if the whole closes for 12 to 24hrs (we can open a whole once a day after work).
How long can fish survive in a pond without a venting hole?
 

addy1

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I think it will take a while for the gases to build up. With only 4 fish you are probably ok.
 
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