Pond Depth

We are going to install a small pond in our backyard. It will be one of those bio-eco systems that do not require massive filters and chemicals. Town code states it can't be over (I think) 18 inches without a fence around the properity or pond. We don't want the fence so we want to keep it to a max depth of 18 inches. These bio-eco systems require fish and I am not sure 18 inches is deep enough to protect them in our cold winters here on Long Island. Any ideas or thoughts?
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Ed Hayes wrote:

I have a very small prefab pond (60-70 gallons) that I am sure is no more than 18 inches deep. It has never frozen more that a few inches down (St.Louis Missouri area). Mine does have a waterfall and fountain and I believe that the agitation from those greatly affects how much of the water freezes.
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Portable heater.
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By cheap tanks(even clean plastic garbage cans) and move the fish into your garage in the winter. This will allow you to drain the pond clean it out, and move the plants inside too.
hth,
tom @ www.WorkAtHomePlans.com
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Ed Hayes wrote:

Yes. It is called a heater. Not practical for a big pond, but certainly adequate for a surface area of 25-30 square feet and don't really require that much electricity. Koi seem to do well here (Boise) which is much colder than Long Island.
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Ed Hayes wrote:

Since this issue is very dependent on your local conditions, I suggest you contact a local supplier of pond equipment, plants etc. Preferably one that does just that. They should have some good advice.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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18" isn't really deep enough for Koi. Goldfish will be fine as long as the normal freeze depth for your area isn't over 5-6" BUT you will still have to open the pond once a week or the trapped gases from decomposing vegetation will kill the fish.
You can buy a floating heater that is safe for plastic ponds. It is actually called a livestock water trough heater. It pulls about 1200 watts on a continuous load once the water temp drops below 32 degrees. It might be cheaper to buy new fish each spring. This thing is about 6" around an will maintain an opening of about 18".
Contrary to what another poster said, you should not run your pump once the water starts to freeze as that messes with the thermal layers and can lower the overall water temp.
The advice to check with local pond supply or landscape services companies is an excellent one as they will know far more about your area than any of us do.
Would be happy to exchange public or private postings about your pond. Getting the correct balance in the eco-system can be a challenge. There is not one way only to do it. It is a combination of the ingredients.
Colbyt
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I am not a fish conosure (sp) but I like fish in my pond. I just buy a dozen or so feeder fish (fish raised to be fed to larger fish) from the local fish store for a couple of bucks and throw them in the pond. Most survive the summer. Fun to look at. No big deal to replace every year.

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dozen
fish
May not be legal in your area but around here the bait shops sell nice big feeder fish for about the same price as the small ones at the pet stores. They get a little testy when you try to pick individual fish. :)))
Colbyt
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That's exactly what I do. I have a spring-fed 7,000 gallon pond, about 3 feet deep, and put in 2 dozen feeder goldfish. Some live through the summer, some eaten by heron or snakes, some grow to 6" or so, then spawn in the spring. A pond actually decreases the mosquito population and the larvae are very nutritious fish food. I now have thousands of baby fish but I still add new fish to maintain a good gene pool (sic).
On Mon, 02 May 2005 19:49:43 GMT, "calhoun"

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Ed Hayes wrote:

deep
i have a small pond. though most of the pond is 18 or so inches i have another area about 1 1/2 ft x 1 1/2 feet square that's around 3 feet in depth. this, i assume is where the fish go in the freeze. i'm farther north then you and i know of ponds that are only 18" and these folks take their fish in in the winter and toss them in a small bucket in the cold basement - not much heat / no food. i drop all my pond plants to the bottom in the fall. some i cut back and some i don't. decaying plants never hurt the fish. i never use a heater. i covered my pond with a tarp and then as the leaves fell from the trees i raked them onto the tarp as a further covering. i never uncover my pond at all in the winter. in early april i uncover, tied up the plants and all set for another year. no dead fish - some of the gold fish are 3 years old - as old as the pond. don't feed the fish until the water is consistently above 50 degrees as the fish can't digest it properly. i never use chemicals and only have a small pump / filter combo that runs up then down creating a small waterfall - it must be the perfect bio-eco cause i never have to pack around with it at all. my rule of thumb is that the more you pack around with it the more problems you are faced with. good luck
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On 2 May 2005 17:06:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@nf.sympatico.ca wrote:

====================I have two garden sized "fish" ponds.... 3000 & 5000 gallons each approximately... both are no deeper then 20-22 inches at their deepest points...
The fish are gold fish...& sumpunkins (sp) BUT I do put in a floating heater in each pond during the winter to keep the ponds from freesing over solid... it works just fine... I do not cover the ponds in the winter and only have to clean the bottom ever 4-5 years mostly to trim back the plants ... I live in Western Maryland not the far North but cold enough...
I also made my own Biological filter out of a 100 gallon rubbermade stock feeder a short piece of 4 inch PVC and some gravel put into the tank in 2 4-5 inch thick layers .... Cost about 100 or so bucks a lot cheaper then the units sold by pond places like the Lily Pons which is only 4-5 miles from my home...
Larger pond probaballuy now has 2-300 fish in in mostly 4-5 inches in size... smaller pond has maybe 100 ...they do multiple like crazy but all seem to become floaters (dead) when they get about 6-7 inches in lengfht...
Chemicals? what chemicals...Oh I may use an occasional algicide if I get the dreaded string alge build up but to be honest I do not use any chemicals... just snails, plants, and fish... oh and a LOT of frogs which somehow come out of the trees I guess...
My Ponds are both close to 20 years old .. very relaxing to sit down next to in the evening while drinking a bloddy mary and watch the fish... require maybe a couple of hours a year total playing with the filters or aomething like that...The plants are my wives thing...I know nothing about them...
BTW: The ponds were both put in to avoid haveing to cut the grass in two areas where mowing was a pain....
Bob
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If you go for gold fish... try to get shubunkin. They are more forgiving in temp varation. I am not a pond person, but from the sound of it. Temp fluctuation is going to be a problem. Elodea, plant for fish tank but should be able to get from pond shop is great for providing fish food and oxygen.
Some tube of something for the fish to hide from the predator.
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