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Old 21st December 2010, 14:03   #1
alio993
 
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Default Help - Frozen Pond & Dead Fish

Hi all,

Our pond is only a couple of years old so we're quit new to all of this but we're desperate for help as we have lost 4 fish (2 orphs, 1 koi and 1 goldfish) in the last couple of weeks since our pond has started to freeze over. Last year the pond froze over and the pipes to the filter came loose and all of the water drained out of the pond and we lost all but one of our fish so we've tried to be extra careful this year but it doesn't seem to be working.

Every morning we use boiling water to make a hole in the ice to oxygenate the water but its re-freezing every few hours so have to keep doing it, i've tried putting a ball in the water to stop it freezing but it just end up frozen too! And we've disconected the filter to stop the same thing happening as last year. We've stopped feeding the fish as thats what we were told to do. I read that the ice should insulate the pond to keep it at a stable temperature and the fish should stay at the bottom but we've seen the remaining fish coming up to the surface of the ice which is concerning us. Our pond is probably about 3-4 foot deep which is deep enough from what i've read.

We've thought about the possibility of putting the remaining fish in a tank in the garage where it wouldn't be as cold but we're not sure whether this would upset the fish in any way? or if we could even catch them!

So if anyone could offer any advice or possible causes it would really be appreciated so that we can try and stop any more from dying!

Thanks
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Old 21st December 2010, 14:08   #2
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Oh no, that's really sad. I don't know much about ponds, but I know you can get floating heaters - can you get a power supply out there?

If you can, a quick google found this....aargh my profile won't let me post links but Google' "pond heater".

Have you got a branch of Maidenhead Aquatics, or World of Water near you? I've found their staff really, really helpful in the past - can you pop in and speak to them, or at least give them a call? This is an emergency situation so you need to act fast - best of luck.
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Old 21st December 2010, 14:19   #3
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The pond expert koi nut will be on later I expect. But as said before get a pond heater, it does not heat the whole pond just a small area to stop icing over. You should never ever disconnect your filter as you now have no water movement and you will kill of all healthy bacteria although I'm not sure if they live in extreme cold anyway. I think taking the fish out would cause more stress and not help. You need to somehow insulate your pump to stop it freezing. As said before koi nut is the man to speak to and he will definitely see your thread at some point or you can private message him.
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Old 21st December 2010, 17:05   #4
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Hi Alio,

Welcome to the forum, you'll notice I've moved your thread into the pond forum.

Once a pond is frozen it's difficult to defrost the whole thing, so you'll need to keep an area clear of ice to allow for gas exchange in order that your fish can breathe.

As soon as the pond is completely free of ice it needs to be loosely covered with something like bubblewrap, this will keep the wind off and then it's far less likely to freeze up again. It's helpful to either leave the pond partially uncovered or raise the bubblewrap off the water surface.
Polycarbonate sheeting, as used for the roof of a conservatory is far superior and easier to fix in place.
To prevent fish losses due to low temperatures and all the associated problems a pond should be heated.

Check out this article written by Koinut (Andy) regarding the heating of ponds, you may find it helpful.

Koi pond heating

Could you tell us more details about your pond.
Size and volume
Type and capacity of filtration
How many fish and of what type

A photo could prove helpful.

Cheers
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Old 21st December 2010, 19:12   #5
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Hi alio & welcome to the forum.

There is very little I can add to what has been said really.
You should keep your filter running 24/7/365 it will work biologically (albeit very minimal) down to 4C below this the filter bacteria will go dormant..but it will still be filtering mechanically.

Have a read here on preparing your pond for winter
http://forum.practicalfishkeeping.co...ad.php?t=70065

I see you say you have lost a Koi as well as other varieties...have a read here too..this is Koi specific.
http://forum.practicalfishkeeping.co...ad.php?t=58994

Many..many Koi die every winter because of being kept in unheated ponds.
They really are a temperate water species and very much not a cold water species.

Apart from adding a proper pond heater you have really got what you've got for this year. A small floating heater to keep a patch ice free will allow for gaseous exchange to take place...but these are not a substitute for a proper heater.

The last winters (now 3 in row) of extreme long periods of cold are without doubt causing fatalities in species other than just Koi.
Have a read of the links above of what you can do to protect your fish and pond before winter starts...this will put you in good stead for next winter at least.

As I say though the only cure this year is by adding a proper heater and a suitable pond cover.

If you do decide to heat the pond electric heaters are the easiest to install inline after your filter.
You need 1 kilowatt (1000 watts) per 1000 gallons.

And as whats been said before... moving your fish in these temperatures is very dangerous to their health..the shock and stress could easily kill them.

Good luck and cheers for now

Andy T
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Old 21st December 2010, 22:22   #6
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Thank you all for your help,

I will have a look at the floating heaters and will continue to make a hole as large as possible in the mean time! Does anyone know if one of these floating heaters costs much to run? Would it need to be on constantly?

Also would anyone be able to recommend a specific floating heater?

Thanks again
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Old 22nd December 2010, 16:49   #7
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Hi alio.

I have never used this type of heater myself but another member recommends Aquel heaters. (there are of course other makes available)

http://www.warehouse-aquatics.co.uk/...0w-p-3662.html

http://www.worldofwater.co.uk/produc...vailability%29

The higher the wattage the more heat produced...but as I said don't think of them as a proper pond heater (unless the pond is very small) they are designed for keeping an area of the ponds surface ice free.
The higher wattage you can afford the better and larger area kept ice free.
You can of course run more than one heater and on small ponds this then can become quite effective.

As for running costs it depends on your electricity tariff???
If you look on one of your old bills it will tell you how much it cost you per kilowatt of electricity...you can work out its running cost from that.

I would run it 24/7 while you have ice on the pond at the very least.


We can do one hypothetically...say you have a 300 watt heater on for 24 hours.
In total it will use 7200 watts of electricity = 7.2 Kilowatt per 24 hours.
So if your electricity is say 12p per kilowatt...X 12 by 7.2 giving you 86.4p
So 86.4p per day to run.
And obviously a 150 watt would be half that...43.2p a day.
These type of heaters are all pretty reasonable to run.

I hope that helps a bit.

Andy T
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Old 22nd December 2010, 22:27   #8
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It is Imperative to get the water heated,listen to Andy,he is saying the truth.Koi cannot survive in these temps.
You don't need to pay huge amounts out,I have 2 ponds heated by AQUAEL 300 floating heaters.They do far more than heat a surround,my ponds are 900 UK gallons and 1000 UK gallons.The smaller but well insulated pond is now maintained at a steady 15degrees day and night with a tent made from wood frames covered with thick bubble wrap and a white tarpaulin over the lot.All the fish are feeding daily,and we have about 8 babies an inch long in that pond,who are also feeding daily.

The 2nd pond is not well insulated but one AQUAEL 300 is holding that at 10 degrees 24/7,sometimes it is 11 degrees.There are ORFE,KOI,COMETS,SHUBS etc and babies and they are eating less but still eating a bit.
That pond is covered the same,with bubble wrap nailed to frames and a white tarpaulin over the lot.

We have both ponds half covered with floating plants,watercress etc.

We live in the mountains and the temps are - 15 regularly,it is literally colder outside than in a fridge.We have our milk outside in containers,as it is colder and gives us more fridge room.

The heaters are about 35 each,They are made in Warsaw,you can buy them all over the net.They are MUCH more sturdy than British floating pond heaters,so don't waste your time on those puny things,they haven't the strength of a candle.

The electric cost will be more but it is not a lot.This is the 3rd Winter for the AQUAEL heaters,they are doing a sterling job.

HEAT YOUR PONDS OR lose your fish.
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Old 22nd December 2010, 23:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanchosa View Post
It is Imperative to get the water heated,listen to Andy,he is saying the truth.Koi cannot survive in these temps.
You don't need to pay huge amounts out,I have 2 ponds heated by AQUAEL 300 floating heaters.They do far more than heat a surround,my ponds are 900 UK gallons and 1000 UK gallons.The smaller but well insulated pond is now maintained at a steady 15degrees day and night with a tent made from wood frames covered with thick bubble wrap and a white tarpaulin over the lot.All the fish are feeding daily,and we have about 8 babies an inch long in that pond,who are also feeding daily.

The 2nd pond is not well insulated but one AQUAEL 300 is holding that at 10 degrees 24/7,sometimes it is 11 degrees.There are ORFE,KOI,COMETS,SHUBS etc and babies and they are eating less but still eating a bit.
That pond is covered the same,with bubble wrap nailed to frames and a white tarpaulin over the lot.

We have both ponds half covered with floating plants,watercress etc.

We live in the mountains and the temps are - 15 regularly,it is literally colder outside than in a fridge.We have our milk outside in containers,as it is colder and gives us more fridge room.

The heaters are about 35 each,They are made in Warsaw,you can buy them all over the net.They are MUCH more sturdy than British floating pond heaters,so don't waste your time on those puny things,they haven't the strength of a candle.

The electric cost will be more but it is not a lot.This is the 3rd Winter for the AQUAEL heaters,they are doing a sterling job.

HEAT YOUR PONDS OR lose your fish.
I have to agree with everything said, Andy has been a great source of help to me as a relatively new pond keeper and advised these 300 watt heater, My pond is looking good even though their is thick snow and ice all around it, In these tempertures you need these heaters.
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Old 26th December 2010, 19:41   #10
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Nice to hear from you Welshcake,hope the fish are ok.The last time I saw your pond it looked great,keep the covers on!
It is freezing up in the mountains, -5 all day today again,droppingt to - 10 last night -- BUT the BBC weather has a rise in temps this week. So fingers crossed.
The Koi and the Sarasas are eating well once daily,looking quite active,I counted them all,and all present at feedtime.The floating plants are looking a bit weary though.
The 2nd mixed pond has been struggling with lower temps of 9 - 11 degrees,but the Orfe and a Koi appeared today at feeding time,I don;t give them much though.

It definitely pays to build insulation around ponds in construction.Wish we had lagged the 1st pond as we did the 2nd,you can see the difference.

Hope you had a good Xmas.
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