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Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

Posted by CometDave none (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 8:39


I live in the Greater Boston area and I have a 350g pond with about 8-10 comets in there. I've had this going for 8 years and it can be tough maintaining an outdoor pond in New England (case in point this weekend). I've always been nervous about my pump freezing up and now when it happens, I generally get it out ASAP, flush the tubing (3/4") and replace as quick as I can. I realize the importance of oxygen flow but if my pond was to freeze up, could I wait days/weeks to get the water flowing? Or am I wise to get the O2 flowing within hours? I generally run two pumps these days....

An aside question - for those folks in colder areas, I'm finding ice building up in the standard (3/4") tubing which I then have to clear manually. Are there any tips to keeping this flow in harsh temps or is this something that is par for the course. I didn't know if any standard insulation might help with the tubing.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

The biggest issue is keeping an opening in the ice for gas exchange. Rather than a pump you may find a deicer to be a better solution. We are running our pond this winter but in the past have turned off the pump completely and the fish were fine.

Having said that, I just realized you said you have a small pond - would it freeze solid if you didn't keep the water moving?

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

It's two tiered - about 30-32" deep on one edge - 12-18" on the other side. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't freeze over but I've never temped fate either. Can you suggest a good deicer for colder areas? The one I bought before just froze into the ice.


RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

Freezing over is one thing... freezing solid to the bottom is another. The deeper part of your pond is almost 3 feet so your fish should have a safe harbor from the ice.

My deicer is from Aquascape. It is temperature controlled so it only turns on when it's needed. Here's a link:

I'm sure there are others, but this one has worked great for me.

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

Thanks for the link, I'll look into that. What is the typical winter like for temperatures for you? My fear is that this wouldn't survive 7 days of sub 10 degree days which we see a few times a year.


Edit: I guess I'm in zone 6A

This post was edited by CometDave on Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 13:25

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

We're in northern Illinois - so tomorrow is going to be well below zero. That's below average for us, but certainly not unheard of and our deicer works well. It's covered in about 18" of snow right now but you can still see there's an open circle of around it in the ice.

Are you concerned the fish won't survive? Or the deicer? The fish will be fine and the deicer is built for sub-zero temps so no worries there, either.

Good luck!

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

We keep one pump going all winter with a 250 GPH pump ... The tube is about one foot up from the pond surface...this morning it was 3* and the water was still pumping... we've never used a de-icer.

The 250 GPH pump hardly uses any electricity as compared to a de-icer, actually there is no comparison. The de-icer is costly to use.

We have estimated that it costs no more than two dollars a month to run this pump.
24/7 365 days a year.

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

Thanks for the info! It's been negative temps for 3 straight nights where I am so my concerns would be the de-icer freezing up and the fish not surviving. I think I'll look a little further into that....

Regarding the costs - it's the time I can spend with family in the warm house versus running around boiling water and de-icing pump lines. I'll see if I can get some true power numbers on those de-icers....

Thanks to all for the input!

RE: Clarification on oxygen recirculation in pond

We've calculated ours, too for comparison sake - our electric costs us 7 cents/kwh. The deicer is 300 watts - if it runs 24 hours a day (which it doesn't as it has a temperature control and only turns on when it's required) it would cost us $5.20 a month. We honestly don't even see a bump in the electric bill.

Ours has never frozen up - I've heard people have problems with smaller wattage deicers, but this one has worked reliably for us in sub-zero temps.

To ease your mind a bit, I recently read an article by a pond professional who said he has never worried about the hole in the ice issue. He claims your pond is never "sealed" - rocks and plants along the edge keep that from happening. Is he right? I can't say for sure - I do know several pond folks who run no pump or filtration ever, including winter and their pond freezes over every year with no ill-effect on the fish. I also know the ponds in our subdivision freeze solid - we skate on them, so I know they're frozen!- and come spring the fish are alive and well. Fish load probably plays a big role, but perhaps we worry too much?

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