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
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?
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.
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.
tom @ www.WorkAtHomePlans.com
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. :)))
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"
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
On 2 May 2005 17:06:34 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
====================I have two garden sized "fish" ponds.... 3000 & 5000 gallons each
approximately... both are no deeper then 20-22 inches at their
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
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....
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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