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  1. Hello everybody! It's about that time of year again. There was an Indian Summer in my area. The water stayed warm longer than usual, and so has the ground. For those of you who don't know, I own a company whose primary functions are landscape maintenance and snow plowing. The grass is growing much later into the Fall and the leaves are really hanging on to the trees longer than usual. However, all of a sudden, that changed. Super warm one week, to snow the next! So anyway... the Farmers Almanac has predicted a very cold and snowy Winter for most of the country. I have a feeling they are right, as they are about 80% of the time, and because the last couple Winters were very "easy". My house is located in climate zone 6A and our average low temperature in the Winter months is -7*F. This will be my second Winter keeping fish outdoors. My pond is about 1600 gallons, with a max depth of about 4.5'. Just like last year, I plan to use a water pump in the pond, set at a depth of about 20". The pump has an extension pointing up, that will eject the water towards the surface, creating a dome of flowing water, that should keep a hole open in the ice. I have 2 Koi and about 25 goldfish in this pond, including one Oranda from ChelseaM. I hope Ben makes it ok! The current water temperature is 45*. It is supposed to get into the 60's this week so I am going to leave the plants where they are at for now. I will post pics throughout the Winter, and check the water temperature under the ice when I can. I also will test ammonia and nitrate every so often, as I am interested to know. Here are a couple pics to get started. I tested for ammonia and nitrate today and topped off the pond. It seems there may be some ammonia present. This is all just a guess but I wonder if it is partly due to the rapid cooling of the water. I wonder if it affected the BB's but has not yet slowed down the fish enough. I also noticed that as it got colder, any floating algae I had disappeared and the water because crystal clear. The floating algae was replaced by string algae. I have been pulling it out from time to time because it chokes out some of the plants, and, i just dont like it. I think that has an impact on the ammonia as well. Not sure though. Just noticed the globs of string algae on the rocks around the side. Oops!
  2. Hi guys~ Now, I already wrote this post out once and managed to lose it, so I apologise if I forget anything important. Recently I've been very keen on building/buying a pond, mainly for my 4 larger oranda, but I would like extra space for my other fish as they get bigger, and new fish too. I was originally looking at a 200 gallon stock tub, but have since moved onto an inground lined pond. Una and the other lovely ladies on Chat have been helping me with the basics, but as our climates are completely different they've advised me to ask for other opinions. Mainly on how deep my pond needs to be. I intend to leave them out all year if I can. So first up, some information on the climate in Canterbury. In winter we have an overnight temperature of between -3 - +5 C (26.6 - 41 F). It's often frosty but will thaw by 10 or 11 am. Any ice that appears on the duck pond will also melt by then and will never be more that 1/2 inch thick on the stationary water. The slow moving water in the stream doesn't freeze. During the day the temperature is around 7 - 14 C (44.6 - 57.2 F) and does tend do be sunny, unless it's raining of course. If we're lucky we will get one or two small snows a year, and they will melt in two days. Summer is a bit different. During the day there's an average temp of 23 C (73.4), but gets to 33 C (91.4 F). However our sun is very intense and tends to heat the duck pond and other closed water systems to the point the water is hot to touch (I will try get some measurements of this on Thursday. It's decided to be overcast today) It is of course much cooler in the shade, but the only trees in the area I can build the pond are upright and provide NO shade from the high summer sun which is directly overhead. They would, however, block the lower hanging winter sun and increase the thaw time of any ice significantly X__X I intend to plant a more suitable tree (and some pond edging plants) for shade once the pond is in, but it of course will take a while to grow. In the meantime I can rig up some temporary shade, I would still be happier knowing my fish were safe every time the wind decided to blow everything over. So my question here is, how deep does my pond need to be to stop it freezing the fish in winter, and cooking them in summer? I was looking at 3 feet in the deepest part, but if I can get away with a shallower one that would be great.
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