Winter evaporation


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I’m in Iowa. I’m wondering about winter time evaporation. Between the waterfall and weather in summer and fall I generally lost a decent amount of water weekly.

Since shutting down the falls I haven’t noticed (or lid attention to) and water loss. But with ice so thick now , I’m noticing it this week. I’ve been out checking daily for weeks and keeping a hold, but the water was generally right up to the ice layer. Now the ice is much thicker and I’d guess it’s several inches from the ice to the water. With the snow cover I can’t see any possible water leaks. Is this normal? Does water evaporate in January at a similar rate to summer? Is my ice just raising due to temp fluctuations and the environment? It’s very weird....
 
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Ok, so I’m a bit of an idiot.......where did all the ice come from? The pond. That’s my water loss. I’m stoopid.
 
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Ice forms from your pond water. As the water freezes it expands. Eventually, it forms a 'bridge' from side to side of the pond if it becomes thick enough and gains enough strength. Thus, the air gap. Do you have a hole in the ice via heater or pumped air? Yes, evaporation happens in January especially when the air is dry and snowy.
 
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I have a hole via an air stone, but lately the stone won’t keep up and I have to twice daily break through the ice by hand....
 
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I can't recall, are you overwintering fish in that pond? If so, yes, you are doing the right thing keeping a hole in the ice. You might try a pond heater. They really work. Your evaporation sounds normal to me (especially using an air stone) but perhaps some of the other members can also render an opinion. Not sure how you are breaking through the ice but it is always best to 'melt' your way through. Heat a pan of water and place it where you want the hole. Melting through avoids shocking the fish. Again, if it is snowing the air is very dry and will accelerate evaporation.
 

JBtheExplorer

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I have a hole via an air stone, but lately the stone won’t keep up and I have to twice daily break through the ice by hand....
Consider a Pond Breather. With the breather, you won't need a hole. It maintains a small hole inside of it and continuously moves water through it to keep the water oxygenated. It's kept my fish and frogs alive through four winters. I've not had to do anything with it other than during heavier snowfalls, when I have to shovel the snow around it so the top doesn't get covered over. It was definitely worth it. There are a few other members here that also use breathers.

118546
 
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I can't recall, are you overwintering fish in that pond? If so, yes, you are doing the right thing keeping a hole in the ice. You might try a pond heater. They really work. Your evaporation sounds normal to me (especially using an air stone) but perhaps some of the other members can also render an opinion. Not sure how you are breaking through the ice but it is always best to 'melt' your way through. Heat a pan of water and place it where you want the hole. Melting through avoids shocking the fish. Again, if it is snowing the air is very dry and will accelerate evaporation.
Yes, I’ve got goldfish in there. I’ve been banging a pole to break the ice. I’ll try a hot pot. I’m assuming you’re not pouring water on the ice, just setting the hot pot on the ice to melt through?
 
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Consider a Pond Breather. With the breather, you won't need a hole. It maintains a small hole inside of it and continuously moves water through it to keep the water oxygenated. It's kept my fish and frogs alive through four winters. I've not had to do anything with it other than during heavier snowfalls, when I have to shovel the snow around it so the top doesn't get covered over. It was definitely worth it. There are a few other members here that also use breathers.

View attachment 118546
I’ve got one of those, just not put it in as until a week or so ago the air stone kept a hole. -20 windchill coming up this week, so maybe time to put that in. My hole is near the edge of my pond. Any concern about that touching my liner? And how big of a hole do I need to keep?
 

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Pond Breather won't hurt your liner. 40 watt heating cable inside tubing. Never pound on ice to break it. The shock can harm your fish. You will need a 10-12" hole to install the breather.
 

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And how big of a hole do I need to keep?

You won't need to keep any hole. You'll just need a hole initially so you can place the breather in the water. I'd recommend using hot water to melt a hole big enough. As mrsclem said, about a 10" to 12" hole should be big enough. After that, the ice can fully freeze up around it, because it'll keep an open hole inside of it.
 

addy1

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It can touch the liner, there is nothing that can harm it. The pump is in a little cage, just make sure it does not lay in a bunch of plant matter
 
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Thanks all, I’m going home early today to scoop the driveway out and I’ll put it in the pond then.
 
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Yes, I’ve got goldfish in there. I’ve been banging a pole to break the ice. I’ll try a hot pot. I’m assuming you’re not pouring water on the ice, just setting the hot pot on the ice to melt through?
Correct, place the hot pot on the ice...don't pour out the water on the ice.
 

sissy

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you should not be banging the ice like that as the vibration from the sound can harm fish .Get a heater and all you need is a 150 watt one to a 200 watt one .
 
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So I droppped it in and plugged in the pond breather. Very anticlimactic! Should it make any noise or vibrate or is there some way I can it’s what it’s supposed to?
 
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I can see a slow steady drop of water inside the clear tube, is that enough or should it be a stream? When I pull it out I do hear the pump running, but it barely gets any water up that tube
 
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mrsclem

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It only needs to move a small amount if water past heat cable. That's the great thing about the pond breather, it doesn'tuse a lot of energy.
 
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Think it uses 40 watts
Maybe I’m dumb, but how does this work? I didn’t realize until I opened it today that it had a pump—I thought it was just a heater that kept a hole. What value does that INCREDIBLY slow drip of water add?
 

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