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Smurfishy

Snow removal on and around pond?

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So my pond is a 300g above ground pond. I hope my Lil guys are OK... It's been a particularly tough winter. It's snowing for the 5th time in 3 weeks? I'm wondering if I should remove the snow, or if it is working to insulate my pond? The tarp is right on the water. There is 2+ feet of snow on top... You can't tell it's there anymore. It's a snow mound! The last two winters makes me feel comfortable in my ponds overwintering abilities but it's still nail biting!

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Do you have a pump running to keep an open space in the ice? :yikes

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I thought ponds needed to be at least a few feet deep (in the ground) so that there was water below the freeze line? :idont

And, like cat said, I hopr there is some sort of aeration/circulation

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If the snow on top of the pond is heavily weighted down with snow, it can cut off air exchange.  While your fish are cold and unfed, they don't need much oxygen, but they can't last too many days without it.  Do you have a support across the top of the pond (like some 2x4s) to keep the tarp from completely blocking the air from the tank? 

 

The snow around the tank is insulation.  The lighter and fluffier the snow, the better it insulates, since its the air pockets in the snow that make it good.  If you have that wet snow that freezes into ice, it's not as good, but it's still providing some insulation.

 

So you need to get out your snow shovel and dig a path to the pond. Then clear off most of the snow from the tarp and make sure there's some air between the tarp and the water.

 

If you got some panel roofing like this to cover your pond you would have good protection from snow and some greenhouse warming as well.

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The guy who I would consider the most knowledgeable pond person I know says you should keep the ice off the snow because the snow blocks the sunlight that gets through the ice into the pond and allows algae to do it's photosynthesis or whatever it does to stay alive as well as consume the toxic ammonia. So I would say remove some of the snow.

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The tarp is covering only 3/4 of the pond, it slipped off part of it before freezing. The snow is the light and fluffy kind. No snowman to be had... I'll go and remove some snow from the exposed area and use my water changer with hot water to tunnel through the ice... And pray to God it's not completely frozen! Gah! The pond top has been frozen for... A month maybe two. There are 9 mostly smallish fish in there. No ice over the snow.

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So there no pond pump running or anything to keep a hole through the ice?? or any circulation of the water? :yikes

Check on them! And let us know how they are. :scared:cold:

Edited by Chai

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Chia, it's too cold for that here. I ran my pump until the water froze in the tubing.I used to put a hole in the ice with hot water to check on them now and then. I guess I've been over confident this year. I haven't discussed it here but I've been in the middle of a heart wrenching bitter custody battle most the year that has been all consuming with no lawyer. This is why I haven't been here so much. However I made sure to do a huge water change, mucked out the pond, and tarped it in November. Mid Dec was when I saw them last swimming around. So I hope they are OK.

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We live relatively near one another, so I feel you on the cold thing. It's snowed every day or something. :hmm

I hope they are alright, and you as well :bighug

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Relax, Smurf.  This is your third winter with this pond.  I'm sure they will be fine.  Good luck on your legal battle.

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It's tricky with only 300 gallons of pond.  I have one--set in the ground though ans just about 2 feet deep.  I use old storm windows to create a "greenhouse" around the pond and use 2 harbor freight pumps to keep the water circulating and a hole open in the ice.  When you use your water changer with hot water to open the ice try to do it at the thinnest point--it's hard to go through very thick ice.  Once you have a hole, I would recommend using a "pond breather" or a pump aiming straight up to keep a hole in the ice.  The suggestion to raise up the level of the tarp covering is a good one.  I used to have a flat"roof" on my pond greenhouse.  This year I changed the design to a peaked roof.  I have had less ice on the pond even though it has been far colder longer than in the past and more snowy.  Good luck!

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Have you tried the pond breather, Christine?  I've heard some good reports about it.

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I have not tried one yet.  But I too have heard good things about them so I am planning to use one with one pump next winter and if that works, get a second breather for the following winter.  With such a small pond, I'm a bit paranoid and want always to hope that in case one fails, the other keeps running.

Chris

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I hope your pond is okay, I don't live too far from you.  It has been a very long winter, with no end in sight.  Have you seen your fish by now?  I have a 500 or so gallon pond, and to keep the snow from filling in the pond (a few years ago the snow turned my pond into a slushy and several goldfish died) I now keep a piece of plywood over half of the pond all winter.  I also have an inexpensive floating de-icer that keeps  a small hole open, since it gets so cold the water will even freeze over the air filter thingy that's at the surface.  All that said, the surface was still frozen over around the de-icer, and a few weeks ago when it finally began to melt I found I had several dead frogs floating under the pond. Maybe they came out of their hibernation but couldn't get through the ice.  I haven't seen all my goldfish so far, either.  :(

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Good to see you again, finsNfur.  I remember you telling us about losing fish to a slush-filled pond.  Ever since I've been warning those in areas that have frozen precipitation and no ice cover to cover their ponds for the winter.  I hope your fish have been doing well since then.

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