Ponds and Water Gardening forum: How to winterize a smallish pond?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Nov 30, 2015 12:01 PM CST
I have a water feature that is new to me this year. It is three bubbler columns set in a preformed pond, with very little visible water (just enough for the animals to have a good sipping hole). We've had below freezing temps for about a week or longer and the bubblers were still running OK, but a lot of the overflow and surrounding wetness on the rocks was frozen. The animal hole is frozen over as well. I decided to unplug the pump last night. Now wondering if there is anything else I need to do to protect my pump, or if it will be OK just sitting over the winter until the water unfreezes. ??

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Nov 30, 2015 12:45 PM CST
I would actually pull the pump out and bring it indoors. It wills till have water in it even if it is unplugged and could freeze and bust inside.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Nov 30, 2015 3:39 PM CST
Aren't they made to withstand freezing water? Seems odd if not. I guess I can call the place I got it from to find out for sure. To pull the pump involves dislodging quite a few rocks as it is set in the very bottom of the pond inside a rigid box.

Edited to add: The pond guy advises pulling it IF I think it will freeze down to the pump, although then he said if it is in a vault box it will 'probably' be OK. So, mixed info. I used to have goldfish in this same pond and they always survived the winters, so I assume the water does not freeze solid all the way to the bottom. Or perhaps fish have some coping mechanism for ice.

In any event, it's too friggin' cold at the moment to be digging around in a frozen pile of rocks cemented together with ice so I think I'll just take my chances and perhaps pull the pump during the next thaw. We don't usually freeze solid all winter. Worse case scenario is I buy a new pump next spring. Best case is nothing happens and I just replug the pump when the pond thaws. I'm hoping for Door #2.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
[Last edited by Bonehead - Nov 30, 2015 3:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Dec 1, 2015 9:52 AM CST
Anyway you could pile something on top like an old quilt - something that isn't messy like straw or leaves. If you are just on the edge of maybe freezing, the quilt might make the difference. Or anything like that is having an old quilt out front (?) would be icky. You could go to one of the thrift stores and get something fairly attractive and less expensive than new.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Dec 1, 2015 4:12 PM CST
Our temps are now in the upper 50s and are predicted to stay temperate for a week or more, so I should have time to do some poking around. I may also call some landscape companies and ask what they recommend for water features in my area. I think our frost-free faucets are 5' and we usually bury them 2-3' down. Not sure exactly how deep my pond is, probably should have measured that at some point but it's full of rocks now.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Dec 4, 2015 11:03 AM CST
Good luck and congrats on your nice weather. We are basking currently in up to mid 30F during the day and down to 18F at night. At least no freezing rain again. That was fun. NOT. One more trip to a store to exchange a purchase and I am done with Christmas shopping so I won't be forced out if the roads turn nasty.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 21, 2016 8:09 AM CST
So far I've been just monitoring the temp and shutting off the pump when it gets into freezing. Seems to be working. My lows are not too extreme.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 26, 2016 5:11 PM CST
@bonehead How is your pond doing. Guess you never entirely shut your system down. Mine has been ice free for a while and my largest fish has come out of the caves. I am so glad he made it. The first large one (about 12-14") to make it through three winters.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

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