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Thread: Serious winter problems..Advice is appreciated.

  1. #11
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    The bubblers are close to the surface. When it is really cold out...they only keep open a space of 1-2feet. So, I doubt they would effect the temperature at the bottom. Last year the bottom hit 35deg...and I had problems. Turned out I had salt in the water...duh!!! I did a large water change...and all was well. I am unsure why the temp was 37 at the bottom. My pond is 4 feet below ground and 16inches above ground. I do have a high water table in my yard...I have often wondered if that could affect the local ground temperature??? I have lived in this house only 2yrs...so, still getting to know my new pond. At my old house...never had these issues at all.


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  2. #12
    Daihonmei
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    four ft in the ground..or four ft deep?
    nevermind I reread it SLOWEr this time...
    that still seems like a design that would cool down too low for up in YankeeLand.
    and the CURRENTcreated by the bubblers is what could be cooling the deep water

  3. #13
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutuscz View Post
    The bubblers are close to the surface. When it is really cold out...they only keep open a space of 1-2feet. So, I doubt they would effect the temperature at the bottom. Last year the bottom hit 35deg...and I had problems. Turned out I had salt in the water...duh!!! I did a large water change...and all was well. I am unsure why the temp was 37 at the bottom. My pond is 4 feet below ground and 16inches above ground. I do have a high water table in my yard...I have often wondered if that could affect the local ground temperature??? I have lived in this house only 2yrs...so, still getting to know my new pond. At my old house...never had these issues at all.
    Brutuscz
    Your pond is highly unsuitable for overwintering fish. Around here a building code is that a ground frost wall has to be 4ft deep. in other words there is fear that frost can penetrate that deep. Below 4ft the temperature is likely to be around 46f. Consider all the surface area as well as 3ft below ground as cooling areas and the area at the 4ft level below ground as warming area. So it is possible that your temperature could drop to 36f and at this temperature water becomes slushy and starts to rise to the top. Fish have difficulty moving their gills. Koi should not be exposed to temperatures below 44f. if your fish turn on their sides you should not be allowed to keep fish.
    All that said what can you do? I suggest you get 2in foam insulation and put it around the wall of the pond then use 2ft x 8ft insulation to lay around the pond. Then make a tent like structure over the pond useing 6mil poly making sure that it is as far as 3ft from the nearest wall. Just doing that should bring your temperature up to around 42f You can then have an insulated water line with a heating cable running at a small trickle
    and your water temperature will reach the acceptable minimum of around 44f' As an imergancy measure if you have snow pile it on around the pond
    it is a great insulator.
    One morning at my cottage the temp hit -40 it is the same for c as well as f . As we drove our snomobiles over some snow there was slush under it
    and the snowmobile tracks froze solid immediately full of ice. So if you do have some nice fluffy snow do not trample it down around your pond add more it is cheep insolation
    Regards
    Eugene

  4. #14
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugeneg View Post
    Brutuscz
    Your pond is highly unsuitable for overwintering fish. Around here a building code is that a ground frost wall has to be 4ft deep. in other words there is fear that frost can penetrate that deep. Below 4ft the temperature is likely to be around 46f. Consider all the surface area as well as 3ft below ground as cooling areas and the area at the 4ft level below ground as warming area. So it is possible that your temperature could drop to 36f and at this temperature water becomes slushy and starts to rise to the top. Fish have difficulty moving their gills. Koi should not be exposed to temperatures below 44f. if your fish turn on their sides you should not be allowed to keep fish.
    All that said what can you do? I suggest you get 2in foam insulation and put it around the wall of the pond then use 2ft x 8ft insulation to lay around the pond. Then make a tent like structure over the pond useing 6mil poly making sure that it is as far as 3ft from the nearest wall. Just doing that should bring your temperature up to around 42f You can then have an insulated water line with a heating cable running at a small trickle
    and your water temperature will reach the acceptable minimum of around 44f' As an imergancy measure if you have snow pile it on around the pond
    it is a great insulator.
    One morning at my cottage the temp hit -40 it is the same for c as well as f . As we drove our snomobiles over some snow there was slush under it
    and the snowmobile tracks froze solid immediately full of ice. So if you do have some nice fluffy snow do not trample it down around your pond add more it is cheep insolation
    Regards
    Eugene
    Eugene..I think you are probably right. My old house is in the same town, and I never had these problems at 4 feet deep. But, the new house is very close to wetlands with a high water table. My next door neighbor put in an inground pool and hit water. They had to install a special pump system at that point to continue. Last year...when it hit 36 at the bottom of my pond, I thought it was because I made a mistake and left in salt. That may have been part of the problem. But, I think you are on to something. The frost line may be an issue I never considered.
    I'll never be able to build something now...and the rest still look fine. What do you think of those pool, solar heating covers. I could make sure there is an opening for gas exchange and throw one or two on top of the pond?
    Because of the ice and snow now...I want to keep it simple. Next season...indoors, no doubt!!

  5. #15
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    I added a solar cover to my 4x16' above ground pool that houses my big girls temporarily. It made a huge difference in the temp, 10+. That's with the thin liner wall exposed completely.

    The only draw back to the solar cover is you'll have to build some kind of frame over the pond because the solar cover will hold rain and snow. It's just a very thick version of bubble wrap.

  6. #16
    Daihonmei
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    Bru,
    yes Eug agreed with me on one point BUT you are still screwing up by using a "bubbler". It redistributes the super cooled water from the surface and brings up warmer water ..THE WARMER WATER IS WHAT KEEPS THE HOLE OPEN OT THE FACT THAT IT IS MOVING...put the bubbler in a bucket of water on a zero degree day and see what happens over night...
    THE BUBBLER IS A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM TOO.

  7. #17
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    Luke..I think your picturing a LOT more bubbling than I actually have. I'll have to take a picture. But, in my old pond I used the same method for years with no problems. The more I think about it..I think Eugene nailed it. I also think the temperature fluctuations we have been experiencing are not helping matters at all.

  8. #18
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke frisbee View Post
    four ft in the ground..or four ft deep?
    nevermind I reread it SLOWEr this time...
    that still seems like a design that would cool down too low for up in YankeeLand.
    and the CURRENTcreated by the bubblers is what could be cooling the deep water

    Bru,
    yes I said that your pond was not designed for Yankeeland, but you got more than one problem..."bubblers" cool a pond down in TWO ways. When the air is cooler it cools by taking heat out of the water just as a 'heat exchanger would. But SECONDLY it does in fact create currents that cause the water that is deeper to come to the surface, and this water cools and then sinks and is replaced by warm water, which repeats the cycle. just because you didn't kill your fish the last time you used a bubbler it doesn't mean you should be using one as it takes heat out of the pond while keeping a hole open.
    and there are currents in your pond thatt are so slow that they are imperceptible to you, but they can be critical when they kill your koi.

  9. #19
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    I'll never be able to build something now...and the rest still look fine. What do you think of those pool, solar heating covers. I could make sure there is an opening for gas exchange and throw one or two on top of the pond?
    Because of the ice and snow now...I want to keep it simple. Next season...indoors, no doubt!![/quote]
    If you can make up a framework to hold the solar heating cover it would be a big help, but it should be clear as you need sunlight. You might have to put in a heater as well. you should do something right away. Wind chill
    factor for a pond like yours is a problem as well. Conditions are going to get worse over the next 2 months if nothing is done and you are closer than you think of loosing all your fish. I would for the winter not have any water above ground level there lies your biggest problem. A tent like structure is the way to go and can avoid a disaster in the spring if there is a cold snap as you can heat.
    Regards
    Eugene

  10. #20
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    this is what I am currently seeing. The bubblers are at the surface keeping a small hole in the ice. You can see they are not crazy strong bubblers...just enough to keep an opening. At this point, I think the ice layer is cutting down on the wind factor. You can also see where it is 2 blocks (16inches) above ground. So Eugene, you think the fact that it is partially above ground is adding to my problem? If I lowered the water level (when I am able) to ground level, you think that will be safer? I was going to get something like this:
    SOLAR POOL COVER BEST HEATING THERMOTEX BLANKET 16 X 36 - eBay (item 200293446397 end time Jan-06-09 06:05:35 PST)

    Lay it flat on the surface...because that is how this product is used, it must lay on the waters surface. Then cut holes where the aistones are to allow gas exchange. I only need the temp to go up a few degrees to be in a safer zone.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Serious winter problems..Advice is appreciated.-jan1-pond-09.jpg  

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