Winterize Pond

LHanna61

Hi All--
I have myself a 110 gallon patio pond and I want to jump on head on winter prepping so I'm not scrambling at the end of this season.

Attached is a picture of the pond. As you can see, it's a rubber tub that is sitting on a cement deck. That is in direct sunlight. This is perfect for the summer but I fear for it in the winter.

GOAL: I'm looking for some tips to help keep it from freezing over fully in the winter. I want to be energy efficient and avoid the cost of putting a heater in the tub if at all possible. I'm going to stock it with Medaka Ricefish-- these are fish that are said to be able to withstand EXTREME temperatures just like goldfish (as low as 37 F). If it's too much then I can remove them and bring them in the house as well.

The pond will have constant filtration from a solar powered air pump (I will have to make modifications to ensure this stays running through the winter-- especially if I cover the pond fully).

Some thoughts I've had are:
1. Lift the tub up on a pallet or some type of wood floor that I can lay insulation on (will this make the tub crack though?)
2. Spray foam insulation and or lining insulation
3. Covering the tub with a greenhouse-type cover to create and trap heat (example: "Raised Bed Greenhouse Topper" sold at Tractor Supply)
 

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jtjgg

hard to see the water flow from the air pump. if its a fairly strong flow that causes a good amount of surface agitation, it can keep a small hole open. but a thin dome of ice will start forming over the hole, so you'll have to keep an eye on it, and break it every few days.

i use a SunSun 525gph canister filter w/ spray bar, this was the 2nd day during our snow storm in Houston. I didn't take a pic, but by the 4th day it had almost domed over the spray bar with ice.
 

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Upvote 0

kansas

I don't insulation will help without a heat source.
 
Upvote 0

Lakefish

I think all three of your ideas combined would help. One more thing you might try is to get a small powerhead in there, and put a long-ish hose on the outflow, leaving the whole assembly on the bottom. Not only will the pump body produce a SMALL amount of heat, the friction from the water passing through the long hose will also produce a SMALL amount of heat. So all things combined, you might be able to keep things liquid in winter.
Last fall I checked on my paradise fish outside every day— I knew it was time for them to come indoors when they started to huddle on top of the powerhead! They know where the warm spots are
 
Upvote 0

LHanna61

hard to see the water flow from the air pump. if its a fairly strong flow that causes a good amount of surface agitation, it can keep a small hole open. but a thin dome of ice will start forming over the hole, so you'll have to keep an eye on it, and break it every few days.

i use a SunSun 525gph canister filter w/ spray bar, this was the 2nd day during our snow storm in Houston. I didn't take a pic, but by the 4th day it had almost domed over the spray bar with ice.
unfortunately it's just a solar powered air pump hooked up to a sponge filter so no crazy water flow. I was trying to go 0 electricity because I have enough tanks in the house that use a lot of electricity hahah
 
Upvote 0

kansas

Can you recommend a solar power air pump? I may break into the yard this summer.
 
Upvote 0

LHanna61

Can you recommend a solar power air pump? I may break into the yard this summer.
I don't think I can post a link here without it being removed but I got the 'Lewisia 2.5W Solar Air Pump Kit Battery Backup with Hoses and Bubble Stones 3 Working Modes Pond Aerator Bubble Oxygenator Hydroponics Aquaponics Fish Tank Koi Pond Aquarium Pool Aeration Fishing' from amazon for about $35.

It's very low power but it works great for my 110 gallon. Hooked up two sponge filters to it. Considering buying a second one but we'll see what happens once it's cycled (about to enter week 4 of the cycling process-- still haven't seen the added ammonia levels go down but I'm waiting patiently.)

I also bough a string of solar lights to hang around the patio and it's a VERY calming look and feel out there :)
 
Upvote 0

kansas

I don't think I can post a link here without it being removed but I got the 'Lewisia 2.5W Solar Air Pump Kit Battery Backup with Hoses and Bubble Stones 3 Working Modes Pond Aerator Bubble Oxygenator Hydroponics Aquaponics Fish Tank Koi Pond Aquarium Pool Aeration Fishing' from amazon for about $35.

It's very low power but it works great for my 110 gallon. Hooked up two sponge filters to it. Considering buying a second one but we'll see what happens once it's cycled (about to enter week 4 of the cycling process-- still haven't seen the added ammonia levels go down but I'm waiting patiently.)

I also bough a string of solar lights to hang around the patio and it's a VERY calming look and feel out there :)
Thanks for the info.
 
Upvote 0

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