My new place has very poor soil, hard as a rock and tree roots everywhere :(
I was thinking about doing a raised pond to avoid digging, but I want to keep goldfish over the winter. I will make the pond 8 ft wide probably and 12-16 ft long. I was thinking of using landscape timbers, cement block or railroad ties and then lining the "box" with pond liner. I could go around the top of it with??? I need tips pretty please :)
I'm in zone 5a and in this area we need a minimum of 3 feet deep to winter over our fish and plants. If your pond freezes over totally you'll also need an air stone. I don't know if above ground will work the same as an in ground, I wouldn't advise it. When I pot plants for the winter I have to trench them so I think leaving fish in an above ground pond would not be advisable.
Yeah, I don't think an above ground pool would be good. I believe it's being in-ground that is beneficial for fish over the Winter. We're not that different in zones if at all. I know it don't get 5b cold here and we're a couple hundred miles North of there.
Hehe.. like I've said, "when it gets down to -11 F I'll change it to 5b."!
My Grandmother once lost all her Koi one year when it got unusually cold.
Actually, I don't know that it was the cold that killed them. My cousin went out there with a solid metal rod to break up the frozen-over ice on it, pounding on it may have been what killed them. I'm no expert on ponding but I think it can't be frozen over. Her pond was in-ground and 39" deep.
I was told 28" to 32" should be sufficient for here.
I think some of the goldfish can take a ridiculous amount of cold though and survive fine, I think Comets is one, but I'm quite sure they won't survive solid ice.
: ) Sorry, I noticed my smiley was split up when I previewed!
If your pond is above ground, the undersides of the pond are going to be susceptible to the cold as well as the top. The deeper ponds are less likely to suffer from rapid temperature fluctuations. My ground is full of rocks as well - I never have seen so many rocks. I would have a friend with a bobcat come in or you can rent them from a True Value hardware store.
You may want to consider bringing your fish inside for the winter if you have no other options than what you indicated above.
We thought about renting something to dig it out, but we still have the issue of tree roots and I don't want to dig into those too much and risk killing them.
@ Shortleaf, your friend probably had happen what happened to my friend. She had a koi pond and it froze over, but by the time she got a hole open a day or so later, there were a bunch of the bigger ones dead. They ran out of oxygen is what we think. @ Mittsy, I have never heard of an airstone for a pond, do you have a link for a place to get them?
Okay so what if there were a deeper area in the middle of the pond that went below ground, even though most of the rest of the pond would be at ground level? Would that work?
My son put a pond heater in his little pond a few nights last year and we are in central Fl. He has all orandas which are little guys and need to be kept warm. My ponds are both only 2 feet deep so on cold nights I kept watch over them. I worry more about the water getting too hot during the summer and an oxygen drop. I have looked into aerators but boy are they expensive for my size pond. So far no casualties from no oxygen. Some of my older ones are 5 and I'd hate to loose them.
I do have a fountain in the center and a 36" waterfall at one end which I'm sure helps with oxygen needs.
Happy ponding all.
The ground will help to insulate your water temps both from the heat and from the cold. In your zone, Frilly you will need to have deicers in the pond. I am thinking that your friends pond was a combination of the gasses building up when his pond froze over and the banging on the ice to free open a hole. Neither is good for the fish.
You could always dig the pond, remove the trees and replace them with different trees. I was able to pick up my Kwanzen Cherry at Lowes for $10,which is next to my pond. Yes, the leaves and blooms falling into the pond require special attention, however it is typically only for several days in the spring and the fall.
well I can't remove the trees as they are very HUGE and there are 3 of them, and my husband doesn't want to cut them. So I am stuck with them. One is a hemlock and I was told that they are very picky about having their root space infringed on. I was told I could not dig or till around it under the drip line or it could kill it. The other two are Elm and Sweet Gum. I am confident I can't get much to live under these so I thought a raised pond would fill up some area and look nice.
I did not have a de-icer when I lived in Lebanon (a little colder than where I am now) and usually just let it freeze over. It would just freeze over a few days before a hole would melt again. I think I got away with that because the pond was understocked. It was 6 ft round and averaged 2 ft deep but it only had about 8 4 inch goldfish in it. One year I made the mistake of letting my pump run through the winter thinking that keeping the water moving would prevent it from freezing. Well it froze overnight, but the pump was still working and ALL of the water was pumped out. My goldfish were frozen solid, with NO water over them. I decided to fill it back up right away because I didn't know how the liner would fare sitting dry like that. I was just sick. I tossed the hose in, and tromped in the house mad at myself. A couple hours later I went to check on it, and I know you all would call me a liar, but I swear all but 1 fish was swimming almost as if nothing had happened. The one died, but it was an older one and was not healthy really anyway. I couldn't believe it. OK moral of story is this, ALWAYS, place your pump up on something, so that if for some reason something gets clogged/disconnected ect, and the whole thing pumps out, there will still be some water left at the bottom for your fish to at least survive in until you discover what has happened.
@ Mittsy , yes I have seen the airstones at Petsmart, but I didn't think they were large enough to mess with using in a pond?
Our pumps are up from the bottom by about a foot or so. This way, if we go away, we can turn on the bubbler and if something happens, then we will still have enough water in the pond to allow the fish to live until we get back or notice that something has happened.
Our pumps come in during the winter as cold water has more oxygen in it than warm water. Fish spend the winter in the pond.
Carolyn22---- I read that black cherry trees (which I have in my yard, huge ones) will have cyanide in the foliage, if cattle eat it, they can become very ill. Wondering if that is for all cherry trees or only the black cherries? I would be afraid of having that next to a pond. Have you ever had any issues with your fish being sick since putting in the cherry?
Well that is good to know. I read about the poison thing when trying to ID my tree and was like, no way! So I looked up some more on it, and behold it's true! If I planted a black cherry near a pond, I would be sure to clean it out lickety split after the leaves start falling. I don't know about the little fruits though, if they do anything or not. I will have to look into that. The Kwanzan I had, did not ever get any fruits on it that I remember.