Thanks for the info!
Yep, now that the leaves are all down & settled, it is time to give the
pond a final cleaning.
And yes, I agree; the fish are likely suffocating. I know that if I ran
my pump all winter, I could keep a patch of ice open. But the waste
of electricity bothers the environmentalist in me. :( The passive
ice guard, mentioned in another post, sounds hopeful -- I'm trying to
get more information on it.
At least the fish are just feeders; they've had a whole 5 months more
of life than they would have had I left them in the store!
Thanks for the advice,
sjs - zone 4
> I don't believe the cold is why your fish are dying. I think it's the lack
> of oxygen and the build-up of gases in the pond that's doing them in. Are
> you willing to buy an airpump for about $8 at KMart, an airhose for about
> $1.75 and an airstone for about $2.00?
> Total cost should be nearly $10. Operating cost is minimal. Keep the
> airpump covered with a plastic bag with openings for the cord and airhose.
> Place the pump above the ground then run the airhose about 4" into the pond.
> This is the cheapest way to keep a hole in the ice. For extremely cold days
> I use a de-icer - $26 from the farm implement store.in the pond. Operating
> cost is much more with the de-icer but it does the job.
> During the season I keep the pond clean by using CSA... a microencapsulated
> biobugs dry powder that I put in the pond every two weeks. The bottom of
> the pond is very clean. If you haven't gotten the leaves netted before they
> fall into the pond they will decay and cause a real mess for your fish to
> deal with. i.e.... a lack of oxygen and toxic gas. Before the freezing
> weather grabs ahold it would be a good thing to try to clean out the bottom
> of the pond.
> Good Luck, sj. I hope you have better luck this year.
> Nedra in Missouri
> zone 6+
> Visit my ponds:
> > [...]
> > > I still would like some "how to" for Northern very cold
> > > climates as well as notes on a Southern pond.
> > zone 4: Each year I try something different (covering the pond,
> > insulating it, etc.) I have not yet been able to keep my fish.
> > It is not that they freeze; I put a stack of jars tightly sealed
> > with water in the pond last year and only the top 2 out of 4
> > broke, indicating that they had frozen. So I theorize that the
> > fish suffocated because the pond was not clean enough and I refuse
> > to run the pump all winter to keep a hole open.
> > I do know 2 folks who have kept fish all winter. One has a
> > pond which sparkles with cleanliness -- no plants, no mud, no
> > algae. Apparently he cleans it almost daily. The other has
> > a more ordinary pond, but keeps the pump running all winter.
> > She says that, given a depth of 2 or more feet and a short
> > hose on the pump (take the waterfall out of the equation), all
> > will be well.
> > About plants: I have iris pseudocorus, acorus calamus,
> > caltha palustris (marsh marigolds), hardy water lilies and
> > elodea. I cut them back when their foliage dies back and
> > leave them in the pond. The caltha must freeze solid --
> > it is at the surface. The acorus probably mostly freezes
> > and the iris just partly freezes. The water lilies and
> > elodea are below the ice. All have survived for 4 winters.
> > sjs
> > --