Winter help

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New mini-ponder here. I live in IL, Zone 5B.

I have a 30 gal in the ground mini-pond I put in back yard over the summer. I purchased 6 White Cloud fish. ( Apparently they were never given the "talk" about the birds and the bees and now have about 2gazillion fish teeny weeny White Clouds!)

(Full disclosure - am dealing with a concussion so everything is way more confusing than usual. I apologize in advance for questions.)

I was planning on bringing the fish inside until the population explosion! I am confused what to do with this pond/fish/plants over winter.

  • Pond Boss filter w/ pump
  • Tuff Stuff 30 gal oval tank - recycled LDPE flexible plastic which gives rubber-like quality.
  • Plants: Floating water lettuce, Corkscrew Rush submersible (hyacinth plants didn't survive)
My questions:
  1. Do I leave the Pond Boss running over winter? Should it stay in the water?
  2. Do I bring fish inside - or leave them?
  3. Is a heater or cover needed?
  4. If I bring fish/plants inside - do you drain the water and start over again in spring?
Thanks so much!

 

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j.w

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Oh boy, looks like you will be bringing them in as they would freeze to death outside at your zone temps. All items seem like they will freeze, pump, filter etc. unless you provide some kind of heat and cover I would guess. Would have to be a sturdy cover as snow would be heavy and smash everything down.
 
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Oh boy, looks like you will be bringing them in as they would freeze to death outside at your zone temps. All items seem like they will freeze, pump, filter etc. unless you provide some kind of heat and cover I would guess. Would have to be a sturdy cover as snow would be heavy and smash everything down.
Oh no! Would a smaller heater work? If so, do you have any brand recommendations?
 
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They will not survive winter Tem ps. More than likely not even with a heater. But you could look at it as health class birds and the bees final exam. I have many Danis and simple bait fish that I know will not survive its population control
 
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They will not survive winter Tem ps. More than likely not even with a heater. But you could look at it as health class birds and the bees final exam. I have many Danis and simple bait fish that I know will not survive its population contro

Do you mean if I leave them outside - as is? Would a product like the Thermo-Pond 100 watts deicer work?

K&H ThermPond Deicer

 
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j.w

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Do you mean if I leave them outside - as is? Would a product like the Thermo-Pond 100 watts deicer work?

K&H ThermPond Deicer

I don't think any heater is going to keep them alive out there in that small of a pond w/o a cover. The heater would be working too hard to keep up and would prolly just burn up trying. You'd have to build a heavy duty cover for it that could withstand snow and put the heater in there too.
Check out callingcolleen1 's video's on you tube. She posted some here too: https://www.gardenpondforum.com/thr...nd-look-like-today.13806/page-266#post-366323
You can do a search on this forum, put in guppies as the search name and then callingcolleen1 as the member even tho she is not a member anymore her stuff is still here.

She's Colleen Penny on Youtube and you can ask her questions:
 
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While colleen loves her guppies they can as well as other small fish that can be considered bait fish and multiply rapidly. When conditions are good they can quickly over crowd a pond . in one year i added 50 danios and a few tetras . today i have more than i can count in under four months.

i know may find my solution 6to over crowding cruel but i would rather fall asleep then get digested alive as food.

 
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I don't think any heater is going to keep them alive out there in that small of a pond w/o a cover. The heater would be working too hard to keep up and would prolly just burn up trying. You'd have to build a heavy duty cover for it that could withstand snow and put the heater in there too.
Check out callingcolleen1 's video's on you tube. She posted some here too: https://www.gardenpondforum.com/thr...nd-look-like-today.13806/page-266#post-366323
You can do a search on this forum, put in guppies as the search name and then callingcolleen1 as the member even tho she is not a member anymore her stuff is still here.

She's Colleen Penny on Youtube and you can ask her questions:
Thanks so much! Will check her out!
 
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New mini-ponder here. I live in IL, Zone 5B.
I am confused what to do with this pond/fish/plants over winter.
  1. Do I leave the Pond Boss running over winter? Should it stay in the water?
  2. Do I bring fish inside - or leave them?
  3. Is a heater or cover needed?
  4. If I bring fish/plants inside - do you drain the water and start over again in spring?
Thanks so much!

I have a fairly similar setup except mine is like 60 gallons and I've gone two different routes with it in the winter. The first few years I kept it running all winter by covering the pond and putting in a 300W metal aquarium heater which I zip tied onto the box prefilter right before the pump and then I kept the pump running with no fountain head, just the pump outlet aimed directly up at the water surface so that it created a lot of churn in the water. This did keep the pond from freezing all winter but it does have to be covered. I used a storm window from a house but there's a risk there that the glass can break and fall in the pond and that is a very bad thing. If you have animals that might walk across it, you probably don't want to go that route (cats were ok over mine, but it made me nervous). For a small pond you can always use a 2 inch thick piece of foamboard (Pinkboard) insulation to cover it, but you won't be able to see into it during the winter so you won't know what's going on underneath it which has its own risk because if you've got a pump running under there then you just have no idea what's going on at all with it. Is there water in the pond? Who knows? Is the pump clogged? Who knows? If I had continued to leave my pond running over the winter, I probably would have gone with a piece of foam board with a small window cut in it with a piece of plexiglass laid on top of the window so that I could see into the pond to know what the pump was doing.

I had guppies in my pond and I just brought them all in into an aquarium in the winter. You'll need to watch your water temperatures closely, especially at night, and bring them in before the water temperature gets below the recommendations for whatever type of fish you have. I found that it's pretty easy to give away excessive fish on craigslist and free cycle. If you feel like you have too many fish, you can just bring in a few of them and leave the rest out there to die and just net the bodies and compost them.

Your other route is to just bring your pump in, drain any lines, and then let it freeze solid in the winter. I was very nervous about this the first year that I did it because I was afraid that my liner would crack, but it didn't, it was perfectly fine and that is the route that I go with now because I do not keep fish in the pond.

Hardy plants can stay in the pond, you don't have to do anything, just leave them where they are. No tropical plants will survive and the truth is that even if you bring them in, they probably won't survive because of their sunlight needs and you won't be able to put enough grow lights over them to get them through the winter so you're better off just throwing them in the trash and buying them new next year. That being said I actually choose to bring in one of my hardy plants for the winter because it makes a lovely house plant and I like having one well-established plant to drop back in the pond the following spring.

Here is the heater I had great success with in my pond:
(just place it so it's not directly touching the liner as it can melt plastic - on top of a flat rock with another rock on top of that to hold it in place rock works fine if you don't have a prefilter box to zip tie it to (it will melt the box filter if the water gets too low, but there is not much risk of that if you do not have a waterfall running and are willing to occasionally lug a bucket of water from inside to top it off all winter).
 
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I have a fairly similar setup except mine is like 60 gallons and I've gone two different routes with it in the winter. The first few years I kept it running all winter by covering the pond and putting in a 300W metal aquarium heater which I zip tied onto the box prefilter right before the pump and then I kept the pump running with no fountain head, just the pump outlet aimed directly up at the water surface so that it created a lot of churn in the water. This did keep the pond from freezing all winter but it does have to be covered. I used a storm window from a house but there's a risk there that the glass can break and fall in the pond and that is a very bad thing. If you have animals that might walk across it, you probably don't want to go that route (cats were ok over mine, but it made me nervous). For a small pond you can always use a 2 inch thick piece of foamboard (Pinkboard) insulation to cover it, but you won't be able to see into it during the winter so you won't know what's going on underneath it which has its own risk because if you've got a pump running under there then you just have no idea what's going on at all with it. Is there water in the pond? Who knows? Is the pump clogged? Who knows? If I had continued to leave my pond running over the winter, I probably would have gone with a piece of foam board with a small window cut in it with a piece of plexiglass laid on top of the window so that I could see into the pond to know what the pump was doing.

I had guppies in my pond and I just brought them all in into an aquarium in the winter. You'll need to watch your water temperatures closely, especially at night, and bring them in before the water temperature gets below the recommendations for whatever type of fish you have. I found that it's pretty easy to give away excessive fish on craigslist and free cycle. If you feel like you have too many fish, you can just bring in a few of them and leave the rest out there to die and just net the bodies and compost them.

Your other route is to just bring your pump in, drain any lines, and then let it freeze solid in the winter. I was very nervous about this the first year that I did it because I was afraid that my liner would crack, but it didn't, it was perfectly fine and that is the route that I go with now because I do not keep fish in the pond.

Hardy plants can stay in the pond, you don't have to do anything, just leave them where they are. No tropical plants will survive and the truth is that even if you bring them in, they probably won't survive because of their sunlight needs and you won't be able to put enough grow lights over them to get them through the winter so you're better off just throwing them in the trash and buying them new next year. That being said I actually choose to bring in one of my hardy plants for the winter because it makes a lovely house plant and I like having one well-established plant to drop back in the pond the following spring.

Here is the heater I had great success with in my pond:
(just place it so it's not directly touching the liner as it can melt plastic - on top of a flat rock with another rock on top of that to hold it in place rock works fine if you don't have a prefilter box to zip tie it to (it will melt the box filter if the water gets too low, but there is not much risk of that if you do not have a waterfall running and are willing to occasionally lug a bucket of water from inside to top it off all winter).
Thank you so much for the excellent suggestions! After watching a bunch of Colleen's videos, I'm going to try leaving fish - with pump on - and a cover to create a sort of igloo. (Colleen lives in Canada, does not use a heater and has never lost a koi over the long winter months!)
 

j.w

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Thank you so much for the excellent suggestions! After watching a bunch of Colleen's videos, I'm going to try leaving fish - with pump on - and a cover to create a sort of igloo. (Colleen lives in Canada, does not use a heater and has never lost a koi over the long winter months!)
You will need a heater w/those White Clouds and Colleen does use a heater in her guppy pond otherwise they would freeze to death.
 
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You can use a de-icer, they are cheap and easy to run. You can also cover the pond and that helps a lot.
 

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