Pond warmers

Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

Every year my GD and I put the pond heaters away very carefully.In the fall there is a treasure hunt to find them.A couple of years ago we couldn't find them so I bought another heater.Now I have two!! This summer I invested in a Lotus.It arrived from the nursery nicely planted in a bushel basket filled with clay.I waited and waited and finally was rewarded with three exotic leaves but no flowers.The tubers were quite an investment so in the fall I was determined to winter the Lotus.The common advice was to bring into the basement.The man who delivered it had to use a trolley.How could I bring it through the house and downstairs. The owner of the greenhouse sympathized with my predicament.After much research we decided to leave it in my zone 4B pond for the winter.To make sure the lotus survived our winter I put both pond heaters in .The fish have flourished.They have grown so large I can see them from the house as they frolic in the warm water surrounded by snow.I let you know if the lotus comes up in the spring.The fish just may make a nice meal for the raccoons. JOY

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Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

Wow! That's a very interesting experiment. Which lotus is it? I ask because some lotus are winter hardy. Before they got so large that I decided to eliminate them I had lotus that overwintered with the roots potted at the depth of 2 ft in the water. I do run a deicer that keeps a hole in the ice. My lowest pond water temperature in the coldest winters we get here is 36 degrees F. I think that's about 2 degrees Celcius. I do know that to flower they need a long period of 70 F ( 21 C) actual water temps. (And full sun). In your zone does your water get to that temp or above for good stretch of time?

Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

Snapple really don't know the temperature of the pond.I am 81 and have a balance problem.The last time I tried to bend over the pond to adjust the pump I went in headfirst.Since then I've had help with the pond .The pond seems healthy without my up close supervision.JOY

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

Headfirst? Oh My Goodness!!! You be careful out there. Do you know the exact name of your lotus? Maybe you have the order recepit or catalogue you ordered it from? And is your pond in full sun?

Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

You use of the pond heaters was very wise. We have a heater in our new pond and this year we have been watching the pond and waterfall all winter long even on the coldest days. On days when it gets into the 30's we have even seen fish swimming. Pond heaters are well worth the investment.

I'm glad you are enjoying your pond and lotus. Hmmm, maybe I'll look into getting a lotus in the spring.

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

Did you put in a heater or is it a deicer? Is your filtration still running? Here in zone 5 where it can get to - 20, running a heater isn't an option. A waterfall would still freeze and the ice back up would pretty much destroy any rock work and plumbing.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

doesn't it cost a lot in electric to run the heater? I think a deicer just keeps a small area open for the fish, but a heater actually heats the water, correct?
I think here in MO that would be costly.

Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

I guess we do actually have a de-icer. It keeps the area around it free of ice. The water is moving so fast that there is not much freezing. The pond is 3 feet deep with the pump on the bottom - a Pondmaster 6100.

We had two regular spot lights trained onto the pond and that is what raised our electric bill, We switched to low-voltage.

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

Just keep an eye out if temperatures get to 0 or below. In zone 5 I've seen one commercial installation that was totally ruined by backed up ice in the waterfall. The waterfall rock work was forced apart by freezing water, the line to the waterfall backed up from ice over and broke the plumbing which ruined the pump. There was about $5,000 worth of damage. In these parts, waterfalls are shut down in mid to late November. Pumps are pulled and stored. Any above ground water lines are drained or blown out. Luckily, my water line to the waterfall is gravity drained back into the pond when the pump is shut off. It was designed with a 1% slope in the horizontal run back towards the pond. That amount of slope doesnt add so much pond pump head that it slows down the waterfall significantly but it does allow for winter safe conditions without any special effort.

When there's a been lot of snow and your waterfall is running, please post a picture. It should be beautiful.

Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

It's a little hard to see in this picture, but the waterfall is running. A part of a large grass that is to the left of the pond had fallen over onto the pond. This was taken in December after a large snowfall at night with the spotlight on the pond.

Thumbnail by DavEdsel
Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

The lotus was rated at zone 4b for hardiness.Actually I have 2 pond deicers running.The fountain has been taken out for the winter.We are having an unusually warm winter with the temperatures 7 t8 *C warmer than average.I don't have a waterfall just a simple pond.The fish are frisky .I wouldn't be surprised if they mated.There is a fair amount of snow so I have to view the pond with binoculars .I'm not taking a chance of falling again!!I have to use the binoculars to watch the birds too.I had Redpoles and a Flicker at my feeders today.I'm waiting for a cataract operation on my one good eye.They say I'll be able to view the bird much better.I don't know what the fish are eating..I haven't fed them since sept. and the have grown much larger.JOY

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

Thank you Dave! I knew it would be beautiful. You have a lovely pond.

agedgardener. The hardiness rating indicates that your lotus will winter over just fine. If it gets full sun and the necessary number of warm water days in the spring/summer there should be flowers. Do you know the name of the lotus? Bird watching and pond watching with binoculars is the best way to watch when snow makes the walking difficult. Good for you for having so much to watch in your yard. Clearing up a cataract should make things much more enjoyable.

I'm stuck in the house too for a while anyway. I had foot surgery 12/23. It was complicated but I'll be fine by the end of this month, or so they tell me anyway. I do all my pond and bird watching from the dining room window. My husband walks out daily to check the pond and fill the bird feeders.

Wont all of us be glad when spring gets here!!!

north coast nsw, Australia

WOW I DIDNT EVEN KNOW THERE WAS POND HEATER...i live in a pretty tropical environment and i was actually wondering how to keep my pond a few deg. warmer in winter, now i know. We don't get snow, hardly even frost but i put some of my bristlenose catfish from my aquarium(26 deg. cel.) out into my pond and was just hoping they'd be right in winter but i may need to look into this pond heater. I'd only need it on for a month or so. I think 16-17 deg cel. would be our normal lowest?

Thumbnail by breeindy
north coast nsw, Australia

this is the concrete pond...

Thumbnail by breeindy
Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

Bree I don't think you would find the pond warmer much help.The temperatures you mentioned are our summer temperatures Mine don't work when the water temperature is that high We had -21C last night.There is ice on the pond but 2 foot opening.The squirrels are able to go on the ice and get a drink now.They have been frustrated with thin ice we had around the edges.The wild life have been ravenous. I threw some bread grapes and hamburger that were stale and they cleaned it all up.The Crows took the hamburger and one of the squirrels relished the old grapes. The Redpoles cleaned up the Niger on the ground.The feeder aren't empty yet.We are expecting freezing rain and heavy snow for the next day or two.JOY

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

breeindy unless I am mistaken you were the person having trouble getting lilies to live in your pond? Did you ever figure out what was going on w that?
Your pond is nice.

north coast nsw, Australia

no im about to sink a sarracenia in it and see how that goes(i bought it out of a pond). We have fish and drift wood in it but for plants oh well.

Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

I like your pond, breeindy.

Here is a photo of our pond that I just took. You can clearly see the red de-icer floating in the lower right corner. We are enjoying watching our pond and waterfall in all types of weather this year.

This message was edited Jan 19, 2011 4:54 PM

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north coast nsw, Australia

nice. looks pretty cool there. Were having 25-30 deg. days and 80-100% humidity. Were sweating here and yous are freezing seems weird hey. Maybe i can't use a pond heater then. Yes i only want something that heats to 20-23 deg. Our winters arent to cold though(16 deg). heres when i did have lilies.

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Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

Well, if you think 25 degrees F (I think that would be around -5 C) is cold, then yes indeed it is cold in Western New York today, LOL :)

north coast nsw, Australia

yes! its 24 deg C (74 deg F) here today, rainy and windy and we think thats bad. hehe! shouldnt complain should i!

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

C might as well be another language in my redneck terms lol

north coast nsw, Australia

woops sorry.... degrees celsius.

Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

This is what my pond looks like in early summer

Thumbnail by agedgardener

It is beautiful.....

I am missing my pond and cannot wait until it is time to sit outside again. DH makes DVD's for me of the pond during ponding season and I watch them over and over.

Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

This is what my pond looks like this evening.I don't think I want to sit out there tonight
.

Thumbnail by agedgardener

I would not want to be out there either. We are supposed to be in the minus digits tonight!

Bolingbrook, IL(Zone 5a)

agedgardener plese forgive me but you toppling into the pond made me laugh. I did almost exactly the same thing yesterday. Just like on Keeping Up Apprearances (a favorite brithish sit com) as I passed by a bush and then a dog barked and I fell into the bush. I could not fault anyone for laughing with me - it really was funny. I like your pond very much and admire your tenacity in keeping it up.

breeindy that pool of yours is big! It looks great. It was very clever to put it where you did.

That is my biggest fear - especially in the winter. I always seem to fall anyway and each time I fall, I end up in the doctor's office.

Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

My wife has every intention of wading through our pond when the water is warm enough. In fact, she designed it with easy access for that purpose.

We spent several years installing ponds for family and friends. Every pond we put in my wife ended up falling into before the job was through. LOL.

Sorry your falls were serious, Carolyn.

-Dave

Dave

Thank you.

The only reason my falls have been serious is that I already have back problems and Lord knows I am not Lady Grace....

DH and DS are the only ones that have deliberately gone 'swimming'. We don't have easy access in and out of our pond......

Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

Carolyn,

I am all too familiar with back problems. I've been managing moderate to severe chronic back pain for over 30 years. I have many, many problems with my spine - most of which are genetic. In May 2008 my doctors told me I could no longer work. Filed for Social Security Disability and was approved in a record 2 months. Now I am the Full Time Dear Disabled House Husband. :)

Gardening was my passion but now I am very limited. My wonderful wife built that new pond with help from family and friends and all I could do was place a few rocks and help with the design. It is beautiful, though, and I am so looking forward to this spring.

As much fun as wading through our pond will be, I think we will still enjoy being in our hot tub more.

Blessings,

-Dave

AgedGardener -

It must be a real joy to be able to enjoy your fish in the winter. I wish I could do that. I have a couple of deicers in my pond, but I haven't seen my fish in a number of months because of the ice.

Dave - the important thing is that you are still able to enjoy and are not embittered because of your problems. We miss so much by being that way and personally I have enjoyed your lovely pictures of your pond. Tell your wife she did a wonderful job!



Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

When I fell in the pond my son rescued me.I managed to get out of the water but couldn't stand up. H threatened to put up a NO SWIMMING sign.I can't see the fish now the snow is so deep I can't see into the pond....can't even see the ice!! JOY

Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

I went out and took a picture from the back door.I couldn't get a really good picture but this will give you an idea of the amount of snow we are dealing with this winter

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Amherst, NY(Zone 6a)

That's about how much snow we have. Fortunately the de-icer is keeping the water mostly snow free with just a bit of ice on the edges of our pond.

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

It's -4 here as I post this. I have a one foot wide hole around the deicer. Everything else is thoroughly frozen over. There is about 15" of snow on the ground. The temeprature in the deepest part of the pond (3-1/2') is 39 degrees. The fish are the only things that are warm outside! We are supposed to hit near 40 next week. What a welcome warm up that will be. And what a mess! All that snow melt.

Snapple

I would just as soon see it all melt too. I don't like walking in it and I don't like driving in it.

I have been spending more and more time looking at my pond journals. It seems that we typically start up the first pump around the first part of March, however it has been as late as April. I am hoping this year it is not April.....

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I will chime in with news from Alaska. My pond at this point is just a soft depression in the snow. I run two pond deicers that right now are at the bottom of a tunnel composed of 18" snow and about the same of ice. We hooked up a pump last January (2010) and just let it dump off the edge of the lowest falls and that kept it a bit more open. We tried running an aerator this year for the fish but turned it off. We have been losing water and fear a leak. No clue how to fix it with big slab rock for sides and gravel bottom. Vinyl liner. I have gold fish and two koi who winter over as well as water lilies that also stay in the bottom of the deep (4') end all winter. It's a small pond, only about 3000 gallons, maybe average 15' wide and about 23' long. I was walking on it last spring and the ice gave way in the deeper end. Stupid and almost fatal. My husband didn't know that I was out there, the water runs just above freezing and I had on these tall rubber boots (not for water but to wade through the snow to get to the pond). I figured I had one shot at climbing up the big rock slabs and fortunately where I went in was next to one with a bit of a ledge. Desperation and a good lunge carried me and pounds of wet clothes and boots filled with water got me out. I don't get anywhere near the ice now. Even knowing it is more than thick enough to support me, I am still frightened of what might have happened had I not gotten out. Not drowned, but hypothermia will do the job just fine in no time.

mstella

how much water do you seem to be losing? I know that a number of people have posted over the years on this forum that with the pumps running and the ice build up, that it seems to channel the water from the pond. Could this be the scenario?

Glad you made it out of your pond ok. That must have been really scary for you. I know that every winter, I am afraid that I am going to slip on my deck and fall into the pond. There is no way I would be able to get out - it is difficult to get out of our pond in the summer with another person there.

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