No, I have never seen something quite like this.
I have been using a heating device that does a great job in my pond, and I keep the in-pond pump working for most of the winter.
Let me know how it works for you.
I think what Villiers is trying to say is that moving water doesn't freeze, and I believe you are in the same plant zone as she is. Hard to believe that Pa has a 6b, but it does.
So the question is which method produces better results.
Yes, that is right. I keep the pump going to make sure the fish have enough O2 to survive the winter. Also birds need water in the winter, and if they are too skittish to come to my heated birdbath, they can still get a drink.
Ok, well last winter I left my pump running.
It drew water from the bottom of the pond, brought it through a hose to an outside filter box and then 'dropped' back into the pond.
Sort of like a waterfall.
Well, the water in the hose froze, clogging it, the pump was still running and so the pond drained and my fish froze like little fishsticks lol in a dry pond.
So how do I keep the water moving to stop the surface from freezing?
I am also wondering about the temp difference between the bottom of the pond, 3 1/2 feet deep and the surface. If I put the pump near the surface I risk damaging it, If I put it at the bottom, then aren't I just cycling the colder surface water down to the fish?
I really don't know what to do with this. I just know I can't run any kind of heat, I don't have the money for one thing, and for another DH would object to that I am afraid.
OASE is typically a good product and last I knew OASE products were made in Germany - Germany having better quality than some of the other imports into the US. Call pondliner and ask them how well this works. I have not dealt with pondliner as a company, so I have no knowledge as to their tech support.
You are correct in the thinking that a running pump will super chill the water. Water in the winter has a higher oxygen content than water in the summer. I know a lot of people do run their pumps or some type of bubbler system all year round. We do not and never have and we have been ponding since 2001 without any problems as a result of putting the pond to bed.
Our pumps and UV lights come in for the winter once the water temps are in the mid to upper 30's. The heaters then go into the pond. One of the other problems with running a pump all winter is the other problem that you have encountered and that is the ice forming a problem either over the hole in the pond or within the pump unit and as a result the water is emptied from the pond, thereby killing the fish and ruining your pump.
Pond heaters tend to be a bit pricier than a cattle trough heater - check them out at your local Tractor Supply store and you may do better there. We try to keep a back up heater, as they only have about a 3 year lifespan. How big is your pond? We have about 5000 gallons and use 2 heaters and so far, have not had any issues with putting the pond to 'sleep' for the winter. I will tell you, with 2 heaters going all winter, we have not spent the $69 + shipping that would be invested in the product above.
If your DH is dead set against using a heater, by all means, give these people a call and ask them about their product. Oh, one other thing, if for some reason, you do end up with the ice over the entire pond - do not pound on the ice to open up a hole. This will hurt your fish. Boil up a dutch oven or stockpot full of water and place it one the ice, that will melt a hole in the ice without hurting your fish.
There are some cheap hole heaters that work well. I have a cheap-o from Menards as well as back ups from the farm and tractor store. I always kept three on hand last year. And yes, one broke down during the end of the winter but the back-ups worked great. Another quick way to open a hole in the pond if it freezes over is to boil a kettle of water and pour it slowly in one concentrated area-2-4 times and you should have a hole.
Btw: I leave my bubbler on all winter. Last year I was afraid to do as it was my first full year with a pond and I had read about the bubbler mixing up the cold water and warm water and causing problems for the fish. I got over my fears by my new pond specialist who showed me his pond and his two bottom drains bubbling away. I will let you know at the end of the winter how the fish fare. Right now the water is 40 degrees F and they do a little swimming around at night otherwise they hand near the middle depth of the pond to nearly the bottom of the pond. My pond is approx. 5 feet deep at the deepest.
Ok well here is my plan for NEXT year, as I lazied around out of ideas and now its too late for this year, but wondering what you all think ok this.
I plan to get a used 55 gallon fish tank. 1st of Dec I will drain the pond, clean it? and bring all the fish indoors to the tank. It will be set up in my utility room right next to the tub sink, so frequent water changes will be a breeze with my python aquarium siphon. I know that will be needed, since it will be kind of crowded. I don't plan on even using gravel in it.
I don't heat the room persay, so it stays pretty cool, but nothing like freezing, I would say 50 ish?
Then come the first of say April? I would put them back in the pond outside.
I have 14 fish in the pond, most of them right now are only 2-3 inches long, I have two that are larger, and it is about 450 gallon pond.
for this winter I guess I will use the hot water and pot method, and other than that cross my fingers. I am thinking since they are small and not crowded, they may do ok, even if it does freeze over for several days at a time?
I think bringing them in is the best bet, I won't have to mess with keeping the pond open, or checking on them or anything. Probably be less stressful for the fish, and I can enjoy them indoors for the dreary winter.
That certainly would work. A couple of years ago a lab jumped in our pond and tore the liner trying to get out, and we kept some good size fish in an unused bathtub with an air stone going. Every couple of weeks I would let some of the water and gunk thru the drain. They all made it. Of course they got stressed when we caught them.
Your fish should be fine staying in your frozen pond as long as they have enough water and oxygen. After all, that is what happen in most local ponds...
But a heater definitively helps. We have had one for 18 years now and not a problem so far.