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Running pond all winter

Posted by lisak1 5A/B (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 30, 13 at 14:20

There was discussion on another thread about keeping a pond running all winter. I mentioned this year we were going to keep our pump running and promised I would post a few updates throughout the season.

So far we have had above average snowfall and below average temperatures, so it's been a good test of our winter preparations!

We initially had a deicer and aerator running, but actually turned off the deicer once we realized that, even in below zero temps, the waterfall would keep an opening in the pond surface all on it's own.

We've had to top off the water level once so far. We have obviously lost water to the ice forming on the waterfall, but the extreme cold and resulting dry air also contribute to evaporation.

Our plan was to fill from a hose attached to the water heater in the basement, putting water into our sump pump which pumps into the pond. However, when we tested it the water heater started leaking a bit. It's 25 years old so we know we're on borrowed time - didn't want to push it right now! When we get a new heater installed we will see about having a separate spigot added for pond refills.

Luckily we had a few warmer days so I was able to get the hose hooked up to run for a few hours. I made sure to fill it to the top - don't want to have to do that too many times before spring! (We have a 1000 gallon underground storage that houses the pump, so we can really fill it up when we need to!)

Yesterday the pond was completely melted after a few warm days (in the 40s). I could see one tiny shubunkin (one of this summer's fry) swimming around. The rest were all tucked away in their tunnel, not at all fooled by a few warm days! Today we woke up to -6 degrees and a completely frozen pond.

I was sorting through pictures and longing for those warm summer days...soon, right?

Here's our pond in mid-June:

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And here it is today:

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Running pond all winter

You have a clever and interesting pond. It is a truism on the forum that every pond is different, which makes sharing fun. Hot water heater!

So far so good for you. I too observed the falls kept a nice opening in the ice, but when my attempt failed a bubbler system in the pond and in the skimmer did the job in the coldest weather.

I spent some time thinking about my failed winter run. I think the greater the volume of water (and I was running several thousand gallons per hour) and the amount of spray resulting from the flow and the configuration and height of the stream and falls are the key. If I were to try again I would reduce the flow to a low volume and see if my observations were right. As with much of life, dumb luck is a variable, but I got the dumb more than the luck.

I posted pictures years ago; maybe you can find them with a search. I might try to find and post a couple here.

Good job, keep us informed. Nice pond!

RE: Running pond all winter

We run a 20 GPH pump over the waterfall all winter as well...Have been doing so for several years. We still use the airater on the other side of
the pond as well. It has been working out well for us.

RE: Running pond all winter

I should have added - the aerator is still running. Actually we have three air stones - one in the pond and two in the pump vault. We just didn't feel we needed the deicer as well. However with this week's temps in the single digits, I may just trudge out there and plug it back in! Right now we have so much snow cover you can't see running water anywhere. And more snow coming! A wintry start to 2014!

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