Prevent Your Pond from Icing Over

One of the biggest concerns pond owners face each winter is how to keep their fish alive when the temperatures plummet, and pond heaters/deicers are an essential part of doing so.  

 The process for keeping your fish comfortable in cold weather is two-fold:

  1. Have a section of the pond at least 18 inches deep
  2. Keep the surface of the pond from completely freezing over

Allow me to explain why both steps are important. First of all, your priority needs to be keeping your fish from freezing to death. By having a section of the pond at least 18 inches deep, you ensure that your fish can get deep enough to avoid the risk of freezing. When temperatures are their coldest, your fish will head to the deepest part of your pond to hibernate.

As for keeping your pond surface from freezing over, this is necessary to allow a healthy exchange of gases to occur. As your fish's digestive systems work, they release ammonia into the water. If that ammonia is trapped beneath a layer of ice and can't escape into the air, you run the risk of poisoning your fish. Likewise, oxygen from outside the pond needs a way to get into the water.

Remember that you don't have to worry about keeping the entire surface of your pond free of ice. That would be a very big job! Instead, you can use pond heaters or a pond deicer to keep a small section of the water's surface from freezing. Just a small hole is enough to allow the necessary gases to exchange to keep your fish happy and healthy all winter long.

 

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