View Full Version : a small pond in new england

06-02-2009, 01:21 AM
lately i have been daydreaming about building a small pond in my yard...nothing big/deep. i realize that in new england i need a pond probably 3-4 feet deep to assure the fish's survival through a hard winter freeze.

my question is, are there ways to keep a smaller pond with fish through the winter? i do not want to spend a lot on electricity keeping a heater in it. my idea, please tell me if it is a good one or a bad one, is to perhaps cover the pond with some plywood over the winter and pack some hay or mulch on top of it. would that do the trick?

06-02-2009, 01:57 AM
It would still freeze.The idea isnt to keep it from freezing but to keep a small air exchange hole open .That can be accomplished fairly cheaply with either a pond pump just under the surface directing a jet to keep an open hole or using a small heater designed for the purpose that keeps a small hole open.Either one wouldnt break the bank.Either way you have to keep a small hole open.

06-02-2009, 02:46 AM
good to know...thanks

06-02-2009, 04:18 PM
You can buy a floating heater sold for livestock water troughs. It doesn't come on unless the temp is below freezing, and will keep the water from freezing over completely. I used one in my backyard pond for several years until the outlet beside the pond went bad. However, even w/out the heater the rosy reds survive the winter just fine. As long as the entire pond doesn't freeze solid the fish can live for weeks with the surface frozen over IME.

06-02-2009, 08:56 PM
Frozen over for weeks may be ok for small fish but will not be ok for bigger goldys and certainly not koi.Gaseous toxins build up rapidly if there is any sludge in the water at all as well as from the small amount of respiration the fish have.A heater is necessary to keep a hole open.

06-02-2009, 09:19 PM
Since you're in Mass, check out a Building 19 discount store - they ALWAYS have cheap pond supplies and I saw a whole pile of heaters there last week. Also check out Country Gardens in Rowley, they're a garden center that specializes in fish ponds.

06-03-2009, 01:22 AM
Since you're in Mass, check out a Building 19 discount store - they ALWAYS have cheap pond supplies and I saw a whole pile of heaters there last week.

thanks a lot for that heads up...i live in the same town as building 19 and 3/4.

for those of you who do not know these stores, each store is building 19 and a fraction.

06-03-2009, 02:30 AM
I go to the one in Haverhill, though I can never remember what fraction it is! They have a ton of stuff from when PJ's Pet Center down in Saugus closed a couple years ago. They actually have pretty good live fish too, suprisingly! I picked up 10 emerald eye rasboras last week for .19 each! They were supposed to be 1.19 but the girl rang them up wrong... still would have been a good deal either way, lol. They are all still alive a week later so I'm extra happy! If you ever need a glass versa-top for anything, they have a ton of those and they're marked down to a couple bucks a peice, even for large ones or weird corner ones. Every time I've gone in there over the past two years or so they've had pond supplies, sometimes even full liner kits. I don't know if it's just Haverhill or all the stores pretty much have the same stuff.