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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by guntruck, Feb 14, 2001.

  1. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Not sure if anyone can help but we have a large pond at our parents house we installed 2 years ago. One end is 3 feet deep and the other 2 feet. First year frozen dead fish come winter!!! So we do some investigation and the local stores tell us to get a heater, as long as there is a hole in the ice there will be room for exchange of gasses. So we buy a heater and when it froze this year all the fish GUESS..............DEAD!!!! The fish are darn expensive and not only that i dont like killing things!!! The local store said, oh you must have had leaves in the bottom and they got hungry and ate the leaves which ate a hole in the stomach lining and killed them. I think its B.S.!! Now i was at a guys house today with a similar pond and his fish have been great for 4 years. All he had was a small bubbler for aeration to oxygenate the water and keep it from freezing!!! Any comments or thoughts?????????
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I'm not a pond expert, but there is something to the leaf thing. But more for what it does to the oxygen in the water. While the leaves decompose the eat up the O2. If there's a lot, that might negate any benefits of the heater. They shouldn't eat then, either. But I think the fish are supposed to know that. Is the heater enough to keep water wet in the pond?

  3. jay

    jay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I don't know to much about ponds but I know algae can remove oxygen from the water if you have to much. If this other guys pond works fine how it is convert yours over to match his.
  4. Spooky2

    Spooky2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Our fish are all dead too. The guy that put it in told us he just pulled the pump out of the skimmer and let it run in the pond. As long as the water is circulating it will not freeze and keep the water fresh. Just a thought.
  5. tiffany

    tiffany LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I doubt that this is it but you never know. I just read that a lot of people building ponds are using Silicone caulk to patch and seal liners (I believe this is what we use sometimes too). Anyway, it is non-toxic and therefor should be no danger to fish. Unfortunately, a lot of people have been buying the wrong stuff. There are two kinds of silicone sealent- one for general household use that is non-toxic, and one for bathrooms, tubs, tile, etc. that contains fungicides. The most prominent maker of these products has labeled the cans differently but they look almost the same and can be easy to confuse. Using the wrong one slowly poisons any kind of fish. This is probably not your problem, but it is something to watch out for!!!
  6. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    I'm no expert on these things but there seems to be a common denominator. Moving water! If you have a fish tank in your house, it has a heater and an aerator. Could the problem be a lack of oxygen? We see this in ice fishing too. As long as the fish can find a fresh supply of water they are fine. Backwater fish in the winter have a much tougher time. I think a bubbler might be more important than a heater. We even have a farm pond where we have goldfish and I know they freeze every year. Come spring they're right back and sitting in the sun.

    [Edited by SCL on 02-15-2001 at 01:06 PM]
  7. CCLC

    CCLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    Do you have any waterfall or stream? Running water circulates the water and oxygenates it as well. It also keeps a hole in the ice where it runs into the pond. This allows the gas to escape. There can be a number a factors that kill fish in the winter but these usually are the main reasons. Call aquascapes customer service and give them the details and they will be glad to help. Their number is 1-800-306-6227

    PINEISLAND1 LawnSite Member
    from WEST MI
    Messages: 201

    Its not just moving water that needs to happen. What the movement needs to do is introduce oxygen into the system. In our area, a two foot pond would freeze solid in the winter. We need 12-15 feet to ensure survival every year of a pond naturally. If you can ensure that it would not freeze solid,( which makes swimming tough :) ), then you need to take care of the oxygen isssue.

    Sometimes if you create enough surface disturbance, then enough oxygen will be introduced. In larger ponds many people use a windmill type agitator for this. If that is not enough, or not possible, then air needs to be bubbled in through a pump.

    Any decaying matter will reduce the oxygen, and living plants will add oxygen. But, as others have said, if the fish cannot survive those temps anyways, then it wont help.

    Another thought is stress. Any large, quick, temperature change, up or down, can kill fish as well. If it is a black pond with lots of sun, that could be an issue year around also.
  9. Matt

    Matt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    I think you need to do a little research regarding the depth of a pond in your area to keep it from freezing. A 2' deep pond will not freeze soilid in your area due to the geothermic heating under the water. Fish will survive in 2' deep ponds, but you need to maintain the exchange of gases in the water. Fish will dye anytime of the year if the gases are not exchanged. As far as I am concerned the fore most experts on water ponds is Aquascapes, we have had excellent results using and installing their products as well as the technical support that they give you. Contact them at 1-800-306-6227 or http://www.aquascapedesigns.com.
  10. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Save your money, just buy Mrs. Pauls at the supermarket. lol

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