OT: Pond cover design


I built a cover for the pond last year out of 2x4s and OSB. It filled it with Styrofoam and double layered (both sides of OSB) each side with plastic sheeting. It was successful in that all the fish survived. (The pond is too shallow to leave it uncovered). The problem is that this thing weighs over 200 pounds, blocks the light for the fish/heating and leeches formaldehyde. It also trapped water, despite the double sheeting. I went to lift it off this spring and couldn't figure out why it was so frickin heavy. It had about 30 gallons of water trapped inside the bottom layers of plastic. :)
I was thinking I could build something out of those Paltuf polycarbonate panels.Although I have no idea how heavy these things are compared to the OSB? Also building the access door would be a PITA given the corrugated nature of these panels?
Does anyone have experience working with these polycarbonate panels? Any better ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would think you would be better served to look into greenhouse panels. They are already insulated and sealed, you would just create a simple frame - dado pocket for the panels. Depending on temperatures, go for the 1" or more panels. Something similar to: http://www.greenhouses-etc.net/glazing/twinwall.htm
Something more simple and cheaper would be to go to a pool supply house for the industrial version of "bubble wrap". Similar to: http://www.backyardcitypools.com/Pool-Covers-Solar-Blankets.htm
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Same thickness, they are HEAVIER than the OSB
John
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Bill,
Our small pond (roughly 6x6 ft) is about 28-30 inches in the deepest part which is about 2x2 ft. It has never completely frozen over, even when the air temp is hovering at 0 deg F for days (some years).
We don't cover it except with a piece of fencing to help protect from varmints/raptors etc.
I disconnect the "waterfall" and have the pump skim water just below the surface. It runs all winter long (all other seasons too).
We have never lost fish during winter months. I am still constantly amazed!
I don't know how deep your pond is since you mention that it is kind of shallow, but I think that the best answer is probably to dig a deeper part if it is feasible. That seems more practical than a pond cover of the kind you describe.
A friend of mine brings the fish inside to a big tank for the cold weather. That could be an option too.
Lou

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Lou.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

... snip oo.

You may want to reconsider this. Stock tanks are made of galvanized steel; I have been told (don't know if this is old wive's tale or true) that galvanized containers will kill fish. This certainly occurred when we tried to put carp in Dad's stock tank at home, but that may only be coincidental; although when we put them in a stainless vat, they lived for quite a while.

... snip
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Stock tanks are also available in plastic, though with extreme cold, that might not be the best idea. I've seen some unbreakable plastic end up in several pieces.
Koi, "goldfish" or other carp have lived happily in almost every galvanized stock tank I've ever used to water a cow.
Covering with the elevated bubble wrap stuff and creating a current should be enough. My river doesn't freeze over, something I'm reminded of every winter when the dogs rejoin me - wet - on the path while I'm skiing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

---------------------------- Couple of thoughts on this subject.... I have two ponds in the backyard ...and use a 100 gallon Stock tank for each for a biological filter... tanks were made by Rubbermaid and sold thru a Farm Store... Both of mine are now over 15 years old...no problem with them cracking etc ...YET ! anyway...
BUT back to the OP's question... ? why not just place a small floating electric de-icing unit in the pond over the winter... (thats what I do...and never lost any fish).... my ponds vary in depth but both are under 24 inches deep at the deepest part... de icing units are not expensive to buy and to be truthful I did not see any increase in my electric usage...
Located in Western Maryland...not the coldest climate but cold enough to freeze the ponds solid without the de-icers...
Bob G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks Bob, I've heard various stories about the pond deicers. You must have one of the 1500 watt jobbies? I imagine anything smaller would freeze up here.
I read about one guy in Sweeden who lets his pond freeze and then drills a hole and removes about an inch of water. The air space between the ice and the water prevents the rest of the pond from freezing solid.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Have you considered a spa cover? These are light so they can be easily removed, have high R values to keep heating bills down in the winter, and are strong enough that a child will not break it if they get on top of it.
Art

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I was a commercial fish breeder and retailer. In the winter months, my ponds were protected by one or more polystyrene "igloos". This is what they looked like: a hollow hemisphere, with wall thickness of around 3/4 inch on the smaller ones, which were around15 inch diameter, and a wall thickness of around 2 inches on the 20 inch diameter larger ones. Every igloo had a 1 inch diameter hole at the top, and every igloo had a fishing line tether tied to it with a weight at the bottom end. Practice was to lower the weight to the bottom of the pond, and shorten the tether to allow the igloo to have a limited amount of movement across the pond surface. This loose tether allows the igloos to be moved by any wind, this movement tends to prevent ice crystals forming on the pond surface. Inside the igloos, the temperature is kept above freezing point by the insulating properties of the 'styrene, and the fish soon learn to find the clear water If you cant find these things, may I suggest that you take 2 sheets of 'styrene of what you consider to be of adequate size for your pond. The first sheet take and cut out one or more panels so that it looks like the unfilled frame of a multi-panelled door. Using suitable adhesive, fix the second sheet on top of the first sheet. Through the topsheet, cut 1 inch holes to allow air into each of all the spaces in the lower sheet. Tether the sheet to allow some movement. HTH
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"BS" == "claimed thusly:
BS> I built a cover for the pond last year out of 2x4s and OSB. It filled it

BS> Does anyone have experience working with these polycarbonate panels? Any BS> better ideas?
i have a small pond with koi, and in a valley in hinckley (outside cleveland) it can get pretty darn cold.
i did plan to cover my pond, but found that by keeping water moving, the koi were perfectly content in the 38" deep part of the pond. (only one end that deep, rest of it is roughly 15".)
i was going to use the same type of cover i built for my sons' 10' x 8' sandbox:
i had built a cover out of 1.5"pvc (Ts and elbows) which were assembled into a "gable" and i covered it with a tarp. light and strong. (well, not strong enough to survive a 3 and 5 year olds' imagination!) for the pond i would have used a heavy, transparent plastic instead of the blue tarp.
better than polycarb panels? probably not. lighter? you bet!
regards, greg (non-hyphenated american) --
Multiculturalism is a euphemism for national division
http://users.adelphia.net/~kimnach http://www.grc.nasa.gov
I opted for Betamax, the world for VHS; I for Amiga, the world IBM clones.
Esksznk, Esksznk, hogy rabok tovbb nem lesznk!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"BS" == "claimed thusly:
BS> I built a cover for the pond last year out of 2x4s and OSB. It filled it

BS> Does anyone have experience working with these polycarbonate panels? Any BS> better ideas?
i have a small pond with koi, and in a valley in hinckley (outside cleveland) it can get pretty darn cold.
i did plan to cover my pond, but found that by keeping water moving, the koi were perfectly content in the 38" deep part of the pond. (only one end that deep, rest of it is roughly 15".)
i was going to use the same type of cover i built for my sons' 10' x 8' sandbox:
i had built a cover out of 1.5"pvc (Ts and elbows) which were assembled into a "gable" and i covered it with a tarp. light and strong. (well, not strong enough to survive a 3 and 5 year olds' imagination!) for the pond i would have used a heavy, transparent plastic instead of the blue tarp.
better than polycarb panels? probably not. lighter? you bet!
Yeah, some Ponders build these:
http://www2.itexas.net/jdstone/hoops.htm
But, it's a heap warmer in Texas than it is here.
regards, greg (non-hyphenated american)
--

Multiculturalism is a euphemism for national division

http://users.adelphia.net/~kimnach http://www.grc.nasa.gov
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just looked ....The two (floating) de-icers I have been using for years are 1250 W and 1500 Watts ... never had a problem and never lost any fish...
Bob G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.