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Old 01-25-2013, 02:43 PM
rlitman rlitman is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Long Island
Posts: 1,384
Several issues raised here. Let's start with the OP's first:

Originally Posted by jeffslawnservice View Post
Not sure if I follow your post, its a skimmer box with a pump in it . . .
Sounds like what I expected. Either the skimmer is a box that hangs off the side of the liner, or you have a center skimmer (those are not too common).
Either "skim" the water by having the water cascade over a floating weir. When the pump is off, this weir should float freely to just above the water's surface. When the pump is turned on, the water level behind the weir drops, which causes the floating weir to drop. Eventually it is just low enough to let a thin ribbon of water flow over, and that generally stops fish from entering. Now if ice gets in there, it can hold the weir down, leaving enough water for a fish to swim though.

Skimmers should not be run during freezing conditions. Yes, shut that pump.

Originally Posted by tadpole View Post
I have always had doubts as to the prevalent belief that fish will automatically die in a completely iced over pond. Naturally occurring ponds . . .
Naturally occurring ponds have way less fish per gallon of water. That leaves much more available dissolved oxygen. A frozen over man made backyard pond is like stuffing an elevator full of people, and duct taping every seam shut. Eventually they'll run out of air.

Originally Posted by jeffslawnservice View Post
. . . should I shut off the pump and install an aerator or since its already frozen is that a no go.
Yes. But don't put the aerator in the skimmer box.
If you have a heater, try to melt a small hole over spot at least 2' deep, but not the absolute deepest part of the pond. Then toss in a sinking aerator stone into there.

The bubbles will usually keep a small area ice free, and even if they don't, so long as you keep bubbling air into the pond, it will find a way back out, and your fish will be fine.

Since the bubbles stir up the water, I prefer to not actually put my winter bubbler in the deepest part. I prefer to leave the deepest parts more still, as the ground will warm the deepest water a little, when you stir that up, you lose heat out the top.

Oh, and yes, hydrogen sulfide only forms in anaerobic conditions. This is possible under piles of leaves at the bottom (which is why you do not want to let leaves accumulate, but also why you need to be careful cleaning them out), but not in open water in a pond.
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