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Filter running in Winter Question

Discussion in 'Goldfish in the Pond' started by Faebinder, Dec 28, 2015.

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Do you keep your pond filter running when the temperature goes below 45f?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    So can people give their impression please? I have a temporary tetra filter in my pond but the weather is of course starting to go cold now. My understanding is that the bacteria which breaks down ammonia slows down to a near stop when the temperature falls below 50.

    Is there a point to continue running the filter when the temperature is range <45 F???
     
  2. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    It depends on your setup, mainly if the pond is going to freeze or not without the filter running. In your climate, outdoor pond will freeze unless you have some kind of cover. More detail about your pond/filter would help.

    No, there is no point to continue running the filter when the temperature is range <45 F for the purpose of biological filtration. However, you need to use a method to prevent a complete freeze of the pond surface. There are mainly three different ways:

    1) Aeration to keep an area of the pond surface open (I use this method in both outdoor ponds)
    2) Surface water movement. So depending in your pond/bio filter setup, you could leave the filter running but you do not want a big circulation of water from bottom to top to cause super-cooling. For example, people would raise some of the submersible filters/pumps off the pond bottom a little so the water is only circulating near the top 12" or so.
    3) Heater (typically stock tank heater or pond heater). I do not like this method for several reasons, one of which is energy consumption.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
    Rusuna likes this.
  3. GoldenMcNewbie

    GoldenMcNewbie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I move mine into the garage and stick a heater in there. It triggers spawning too.
     
  4. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Some pond details: 450 gallons approximately, 20 goldfish varieties including fancies, 2' deep across pond, I do have a cover but haven't placed it.

    1) I did place a nice aerator with two outlets.
    2) The filter is a submersible tetra. t's pretty simple but I plan to change it in the spring.
    3) I do actually have a tank heater. It stops working when temp of water goes over 40, also connected to a thermal controller that stops it from working when air temperature is above 45.

    More info, I got a pump attached to a waterfall as well to what I said above.

    Keep filter running? Keep waterfall running? Cover the pond soon? Definitely gonna keep the heater running?
     
  5. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    In that case and if it were me, I would shut down everything except the aerator. Pull the airstone/diffuser/aerator about one foot above the bottom of the pond. Tank heater is nice but not really needed. Or you can unplug it most days except the really cold ones. Your tank heater uses 1500 W and that is a lot of electricity.

    Definitely turn off that waterfall pump. It is not needed and will only increase the evaporative cooling of the pond. A cover is nice not because it can prevent freezing, but it can decrease evaporative heat loss and also trap some heat in sunny days.

    Now what kind of aerator is it? Hope it is a little bigger than a typical aquarium air pump.

    The only thing needed in the freezing winter is not to let the pond freeze completely so gas exchange can still take place.

    Then, next March/April, you can re-start the filter and later the water fall.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  6. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    This is the aerator.
     
  7. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    That is a small aquarium air pump. In real cold days, it might have trouble keeping a hole in the ice. Plus, the diaphragm in that pump is designed for indoor use so it may not last very long in frigid weather. I have some of the AP-8 used in basement tanks but not outside.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  8. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Mmm... there is only one more step upgrade for this brand... an 8W.
     
  9. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    right, that is the AP-8 I use in basement. These are all for indoor and normal temperature use. If you take a look at the instruction, it says:

    F). Do not install or store the appliance where it will be exposed to the weather or to temperature below freezing.

    The (lower quality) rubber diaphragm is pulled/pushed in an arc motion. When it is cold, it is not as flexible so it is easier to tear and crack.

    Some air pumps are designed for outdoor/pond use (with higher quality rubber) and they puts out more air. Your pond is a little small for these pump. Since you have a deicer/tank heater, you may just run this pump you have. If it has trouble keeping the pond unfrozen (just a small area) on cold days, then plug in the deicer.

    It might be enough for this warm winter (so far) but we are having a snow/sleet storm now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
    Faebinder likes this.
  10. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Lou (or anyone)

    What do you usually cover the pond with? Gosh with the netting its already ugly enough.
     
  11. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    I do not cover my big pond because it is too big (20' x 40') and it is deep enough.

    I do cover about 2/3 of my small pond (5' x 14' and 2' deep). Since it is only 5" wide, I put down some 2x4 as support, the regular bird netting on the top and then 6 mil clear plastic. The plastic actually makes quite a difference. I notice the pond freeze later and the ice is not as thick.

    The rest of the 1/3 is left open because I want to see the aeration (mainly for preventing the whole surface freeze) and do any maintenance, if needed.
     
  12. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Where are you picking up the plastic planks and can you see through them?
     
  13. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    Not plastic planks. 2x4 lumber, then 6 mil plastic sheets. Yes, it is transparent.
     
  14. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    The pond is freezing partially tonight... The filter and fountain are running... and the aerator and the tank heater are working as you can see. Hopefully this will hold.

    I caught one of my orandas sick two days ago and moved him in.
     

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  15. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Update: The area about the aerator is iced and the air is bubbling beneath it. All the pond is frozen except for the filter area and the tank heater area. I'll try to put up a picture.
     
  16. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    No worries, because you have triple protection, LOL.

    Last night was cold, at least here, It went to negative 2 F. Both my ponds are not frozen solid and I only have aeration. (My air pumps are bigger though.) The open area is much smaller on cold days.

    If it does freeze over the aeration area, the ice there is usually domed over and thinner. I usually keep an eye on it and try to gently open it up by using a hoe or somesuch. Do not knock on it because the shock/vibration will be transmitted to the fish. Just work on it slowly and keep a hole open.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  17. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Thats exactly how it is... a Dome.
     

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  18. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    You do not need to do anything because your deicer is keeping the surface open.

    If I saw it correctly over the aeration area, there are two air column/ice there. It is very easy just to knock them out. Hit them with something horizontally and they will break and you should then see the water beneath them. It does not take much to do that so the fish won't feel the shock/vibration.
     
  19. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    So far, it's been good. It's funny to watch the fish swim under the ice. This Saturday though I'm gonna get those plastic planks. If snow would fall things would get bad possibly. The planks will make it easier to kick them off, though with the plants I dont have much room for them.
     
  20. dragonsong

    dragonsong Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I have a 12' diameter, 3' deep intex pool outside that I leave running with koi in it all winter. I have 2 55g barrel filters I leave setup all year, along with the airstones (but moved up to the surface) The only thing I do when it gets super cold is drop an 1000 watt de-icer in one of the barrels and it keeps 1/4 of the pond free of ice unless it's like -5 out. Haven't lost a fish so far and its been setup like that for 3 years.
     
    Faebinder likes this.

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