Using aeration to keep hole in ice

nickettiSeptember 17, 2012

I live in New York State, and I'm hoping to use a luft aeration pump to maintain a hole in the ice in my 150 gallon garden pond this winter. It is a plastic molded pond, about 12 inches deep. Has anyone under similar circumstances had any luck doing this?. I can't afford to buy a deicer AND an aeration unit. I've read very poor reviews on every brand of deicer as far as failure rates after the first season-some even during the first season.That is why I am leaning towards the aeration unit.

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NaturesFolly(West MI 5)

I have a 1500g pond and all I use it the aeration to keep a hole in the ice,I have used it for the past 3 years and it works very well. I also have a smaller pond that when I first built it I bought a de-icer.... those will run your electric bill up very fast!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I'm new at this and am curious about why you need to keep the hole open.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:39PM
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If the pond is allowed to completely freeze over, the toxic gases from the fish/frogs breathing, as well as rotting vegetation, will build up under the ice in the water and kill the fish/frogs. If a small hole is kept open in the ice, it will allow these gases to escape, and the fish/frogs will survive the winter.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Hi, I use a small pump placed about 115 inches under the water with the discharge pointing streight up. This keeps the water moveing so it wont freeze. I plase it and start it up when I shutdown my falls and main pump for the past 7 years.

If you are in NY, with a small 12 inch deep pond, I would be conserned about it freezing solid! I have had up to 6 inches of ice on my 1200 gallon pond in NJ. Do you have fish?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 1:19PM
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I share Mike56's concern. I'm in Southern Ontario and 12" of water would freeze into one solid block. If you have fish you may want to think about bringing them in. In our zone you have to go 4' down to get below the frost level. I placed the aerator just over halfway down in the 8' deep end of what use to be our 20 x 40' swimming pool and last year everyone survived. It kept about a 5" hole open every day except the three or four that went to 25 below.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Sorry, in my post I meant 15 inches not 115.
If you have fish concider bringing them into a attached garage or aquarium.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:49PM
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kashka_kat(z4 WI)

I had a pond about same size (150 gals) - first year thought Id leave fish out but the thick ice by early December made me worry so much I spent a day setting up indoor tank and melting the ice on the pond with hot water (dont pound on it) and rescuing my fish. They are very sluggish and easy to catch and move when the water is in the 40s - you just have to be careful that the water you move them into is same temp as water they are coming from. (Bring in ice from outside to cool the indoor tank.)

It's about 45-59 degrees in the basement during the worst of winter, so they are semi-dormant and easy to take care of like they would be outside - the difference is I dont worry about them like I would if they were under the ice.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:54PM
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