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Will my fountain be enough to keep my fish safe this winter?| Ponds & Lakes Q&A

Q:Will my fountain be enough to keep my fish safe this winter?

Q: Will my fountain be enough to keep my fish safe this winter?

Holly – Gorham, ME

A: If your pond freezes over in the winter, a fountain won’t do you or your fish much good. It’s not designed to be run or left in the pond during icy conditions. The ice can damage the float or create a barrier that prevents water from passing through the spray nozzle. That could cause the motor to run dry and stop working. And that’s not good.

Instead, we recommend completely removing your fountain and a run a bottom diffused aeration system instead.

Before the Ice Forms

Autumn is the perfect time to remove the fountain from your pond before the ice forms. When unplugging the motor and pulling it ashore; inspect the cords, motor and lights for any damage. After sitting in a pond all summer, chances are you will have to clean the fountain and lenses from any algae, build up or debris. Once your fountain is ready to be stored, place it in doors until spring.

Below the Surface

Now that you have removed the fountain from the pond, it is a good idea to protect both your fish and boating dock from ice damage by adding an aeration system. Aeration keeps the oxygen levels up and the water circulating. Depending on how close the diffuser plates are to the surface or dock, aeration can also keep a hole open for gas exchange, and provide a place for ducks to gather when everything else is frozen over.

Keep your fish safe and happy this winter by giving them surface and subsurface aeration. They’ll appreciate it more than just your fountain!

Pond Talk: How much aeration do you have in your pond or lake during the winter?

Shade & Prevent Damage From Winter Ice - Airmax (r) Shallow Series (t) Aeration Systems

4 Responses

  1. I have a 3 acre lake that averages 5 to 6 feet deep. How many hours should I run my areation pump a day for during the winter? We have lots of bass, catfish and bluegill fish in the lake. Also there is a steady in-fill of water approxmately 1-million gallons a day into the lake.

  2. Last winter in Northern Virginia was the coldest we have had in the 10+ years since I built my little 8×5 garden pond. I have always kept my waterfall going to keep the pond from completely freezing. One evening I went out to check on the pond and a large ice dam had formed and the water from the hose was flowing over the top of the ice onto the yard. My 3′ deep pond suddenly had only 16″ of water left under a thick ice sheet. Worrying now about the fish and the rest of the water freezing I tried to figure out how to add water to the pond without shocking the fish. The hose and connections were all frozen. Remembering a brand new hose I purchased was in the garage I attached it to the hot water heater inside the house. Now, how to add “hot” water to the pond without shocking the fish and damaging the liner??? I ran a stream of hot water across the ice hoping that by the time it got to the hole and into the pond it was cold. Long story short, it worked!!! No fish, plant or pond damage. Needless to say, I have purchased a pump and air stones and will be turning off my waterfall this winter. Thanks for all the advice you send out. It is very helpful.

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