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We have had freezing weather for about 5 days here in Shelton Washington and my two ponds have several inches of ice on them.  The stream running between them has not frozen yet.  The pump is still running.  There is a small spot of clear water where the water fall enters the upper pond and a clear unfrozen spot where the stream enters the lower pond.

Question:

Should I continue to let the pump run?

John
 

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My pond and steam has been frozen for the last week and its appearance is about what you have described. This is the second winter for my water way and it froze over several times last year. I let the pump run 24/7 and can see the water running under the ice as well as where it runs into the pond. In my case my pipes are not that far under the ground and I am afraid if I shut off my pump and stop the water flow they may freeze. The pond supplier has told me that as long as I run the water it will not freeze.

Don’t know if I am right or not but so far so good and I have great looking ice formations down my waterfall and rapids.
 

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Hi, John

I live a bit north of you near Vancouver, BC. My 4 year old pond is also frozen like yours. When the temperatures drop, I keep an eye on the water levels and leave the pump running. At about -8C (17 F), the water starts to freeze faster than I can add it continuously and the water level drops enough that I have to turn the pump off. As soon as the temperatures start to rise, I refill the pond to normal level and restart the pump.

Cheers,
John
 

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You WILL have to watch those water levels. I ran mine as long as I could up here, but the waterfall itself eventually froze up. HOWEVER, the pump itself was still okay. I chipped it out of the ice and removed it. Considering your location, I would say you are probably safe to run it if the bottom of your pump is sitting at least 1 1/2 feet down from the water surface.
 

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The wild card question here is: Do you have fish?  If you do and your pump is on the bottom, then you are running super cooled water around the fish and it could cause them to die.  As the temperature goes down, the fish head for deeper water as it tends to be warmer than water at the surface.  It's not good for the fish to be subjected to near freezing water that is constantly moving.

Mark
 

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Posted By markperr on 01/25/2008 1:55 PM
The wild card question here is: Do you have fish?  If you do and your pump is on the bottom, then you are running super cooled water around the fish and it could cause them to die.  As the temperature goes down, the fish head for deeper water as it tends to be warmer than water at the surface.  It's not good for the fish to be subjected to near freezing water that is constantly moving.

Mark

Absolutely true. We keep a pond heater (keeps about a 2 foot diameter of the ice melted) in front of our skimmer and and let our pump push the skimmer's water over the watefall return. Our bottom drain is closed during winter.

t'other Mark
 

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My pond at my parents is shut down for the winter about Nov and restarted in April or so...I have a heater to keep from freezing and also a cheap fish tank bubbler to add oxygen since there is no water movement
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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We run ours 24/7/365. Not a problem yet with severe ice. Even though it's VA and we benefit from the Mid Atlantic region and our proximity to the coast, we have had some ice form from the Bio falls splash on to the rock side. We have had sheet ice develop on the left half of the pond but it usually melts with-in a couple days. 

Weather has been cold for a few days not and we're experiencing frozen ground to about 4 inches. That's a good deal deeper than last year but the code calls for 24" here none the less. 

I've seen folks operate their ponds in colder climates the same way we do (24/7/365). It's just a matter of being able to get water to it for refilling. They do make a low water cutoff for the pump if you wish to run it. If not some folks use Schedule 40 pipe with holes drilled in it and a base set on it so it will stand upright in the water. You have to be careful about the center of the pipe freezing but I've been told that sticking a broom stick in it periodically to break up ice or even pouring warm water into it helps to control this. 

We have 3 Koi and they are doing fine. They are certainly more active than I expected. Even though we had a pond at our previous home, we had left the area before winter and never saw how it reacted with the colder KC area. 


We utilized the aquascapes designs products so ours is completely natural in maintenance, and start up. Since we started it up in March of this past year our first major cleaning isn't due for 2 more years. That is if we can control the debris from the oaks and Jap Maple. Spring plays heck in turning the water red. I guess it's from all the tannins in the oak debris.
 

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Yes, let it run. Mine goes all winter. I do get out and chip the ice off the waterfall, so the birds/squirrels can get drinks. I also have a plastic donut that keeps a small hole open. Last winter we lost power for 3 days and it was ALL frozen over for a week or so....no harm done, fish made it through fine.
Jerry
 

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Let it run!

Below is a picture of the lower part of our spillway and corner of our pond.  Note the spillway is frozen over as is the pond surface.  The water continues to run under the ice.  Just to the right of the bridge there is about a 12 inch drop from the raceway into the pond.  The fall is frozen over and ocassionally the water flowing under it gets diverted onto the top of the already frozen pond surface making the ice even thicker here.  The only problem that causes is for the water level in the pond to drop as more water is converted to ice.  

On a rare occasion I have to add water.  I have a hose cut to just the correct length to reach from the house to the pond.  There is an open area at the skimmer box were I keep one of those cattle trough heaters.  I add the water at that point.  As soon as I turn off the hose I disconnect it, (quick disconect at the house end and no fitting on the delivery end of fthe hose ) take the quick disconnect end up the hill and drain the hose completely before returning it to my garage. 





The pond is four years old and it runs 24/ 7 /365.  It is roughly 3000 gallon with a 2500 GPH pump.  The biofalls (located to the left around the bend at  the top of raceway) stays open as water is pushed up from the bottom and flows out of the top.  Birds and animals drink and bathe here regularly in cold weather.  The pond which is 18 to 24 inches deep has numerous koi and goldfish.  I thinned the population last spring to about 40 (no I didn't fry them, I donated the extras to a couple of schools that had new ponds).  We have not lost any fish to weather.  We did lose a few to a visiting mink.

BTW, that bridge is made of foam and has been there for 3 winters now.  The ice did not bother it either other than a little heaving.  In the spring I push it back down to the intended level.   

Bob
 

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I live in DSM, IA my pond is 3.5' deep, with a 25' stream, my "outflow" is via skimer to pump. This is the 3rd winter for this pond. I never shut the pond down. I run a small 100W heater near the outflow when it is really cold (to keep the ice from freezing deep enough to block outflow). I have had to add some water last year and cut some ice also to keep keep a air hole open, but not so the 1st year or this year so far. I have lots of fish, and knock on wood, have only lost 1 1/2" baby fish last year, no known kills this year. The 1st year I had a air pump, pumping fresh air to the bottom (BAD IDEA) this cooled the bottom and cause fungus in the late winter/early spring and killed 2 large fish.
 

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I live outside Detroit, MI where winters are COLD. I turn my pump off around Dec 1st and hook up an aquarium pump with air stones that provide air for the fish when the pond freezes over. Been using this system for about 7 years now. 
 

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To the devil with the squirels./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif The little pain in the *%#. Let them find water elsewhere. They are a nusance. making little holes, knocking things around, etc. etc.
 
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