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Can I Break A Hole Open In The Ice Over My Pond? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Can sidewalk salt be used to melt the ice off my pond?

Can I Break A Hole Open In The Ice Over My Pond?

Liz - Carterville, IL

When maintaining a pond during the winter, it is important that the surface of your pond does not freeze over with ice. If you have an aeration kit running in your pond but the resulting hole in the ice is getting smaller, or has closed up altogether, don’t panic. Sporadic short-term ice coverage is not an issue if you’ve done regular maintenance to reduce organic debris throughout the season. If the pond remains iced-over for weeks at a time, consider giving your aeration system a boost.

If your pond has frozen over and you want to reopen the hole, simply rest a pan of hot water on the surface of your pond to melt the ice away. Do not use a blunt object to break the ice open as the shock-waves will stress your fish. Also, refrain from poking holes in the ice as you may accidentally puncture your liner or poke one of your fish.

Another way to maintain an open ventilation hole is by adding a pond heater/de-icer above your aeration diffuser stone. If you have multiple air stones, gather them into one area to make it more difficult for ice to form.

Pond Talk: Do you notice the ventilation hole getting smaller or freezing over for short period of time in the winter?

One Response

  1. Not this winter: my ‘jury-rigged’ aerator system has been working just fine (other years, when an ‘ice dome’ has built up over the aerator, I
    have opened it carefully w/my rock hammer, or plugged in a stock-tank heater [I used to carry pans of boiling water from the house, but can no longer do so]) so I have merely used my rock hammer to enlarge the
    ‘aerator-hole’ (I bought a TacticalTomahawk [6" longer than the rock hammer] but have used it only once, during a ‘frigid-to-arctic’ spell –& even then, the ice was only 3″ thick vs a ‘more usual’ 6″) –& I saw a few of my larger koi, slowly ‘cruising’, under the thicker ‘ice shelf’ at the deeper end of my pond as late as 13 Jan this year..& 2 wks. ago, I saw a med. goldfish near the edge of the ‘aerator hole’ –”ice out” will be early this year, after such a ‘strange winter’ in Southern NH..and everywhere else as well….

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