Hi, New here so having bit of difficulty finding way around. My problem is that like many others my pond is frozen. In previous years this has not caused any difficulties and the fish have been OK. This year there is about 60mm of ice on pond and under it are several fish that appear dead (on sides) and others are moving but near the surface. Advice seems to be that fish will go down to deeper water when pond is frozen. Any ideas as to why my fish are not going down, the pond is about 900mm at deepest. Probably overstocked as the fish are breeding and over the years their numbers have gone up and up. We have oxygenating plants but no filter or oxygenating devices. Any advice would be a great help. Al.
grampyal wrote: ......... there is about 60mm of ice on pond and under it are several fish that appear dead (on sides)......... Any ideas............ Probably overstocked as the fish are breeding and over the years their numbers have gone up and up. We have oxygenating plants but no filter or oxygenating devices. Any advice would be a great help. Al.
Hi grampyal and welcome to the best part of the forum.
In a way you have already answered your own question. Your pond is overstocked and has no filtration to compensate. Having solid ice on top of the water only makes matters worse because in effect the fish are sealed in and are probably suffocating, I would guess that?s why they are not at the bottom, because they are trying to get to the surface for oxygen.
Did you know that oxygenating plants do give out oxygen by day, but take it in at night. You need to make a hole in the ice and keep it there. NEVER hit the ice with any object to break it, as the shock wave caused may kill the fish that have not suffocated.
The suggested way is to put a pan of hot water on the ice and let it melt its way through. (It has never worked for me.) I suggest you pour just boiled water from a kettle directly onto the ice, it may take a few kettle fulls, and be careful its still boiling water you are carrying (Which is why a kettle is better than a pot)
Once you have a hole there are several ways top keep it clear, such as floating a ball, a purpose made ?dome? and even a tiny water circulating pump. None have worked for me, so I suggest you invest a few pounds in a pond surface heater (These do work)
Other brands of pond surface heater are available. (With this brand, the blue disc is a float that keeps the element from sinking. Once plugged in NEVER touch the element.)
Bear in mind if you use a search engine to find one, it?s a pond surface heater, it is not designed to heat the whole pond. (One would be nice, but very expensive) They only keep clear a small area around the heater.
The other thing I should point out is you can?t plug it in an extension lead, because: Most extension leads will not tolerate the extreme cold you have up there. It needs a connection in the dry, which wont happen with an extension lead.
But as you are in Scotland you can install a permanently hard wired socket near the pond for a heater, and filtration later in the year.(Part P does not apply in Scotland) I should also point out some pond surface heaters do have a 10m Lead.(So no extension lead required)
And finally. 6cm of ice, that?s nothing, earlier this year I had 10cm of solid ice. (Only on the edges though, as I drilled holes to find out) And I don?t live in Scotland.
Hi, Thanks for help. Don't think its as bad as I thought as having melted area of ice some of the fish I thought were dead are swimming to ice free zone. Yes, pan system didn't work for me either. Electric paint stripper was ok but hole keeps filling with water which has to be emptied. Made two holes and also device to keep them clear of ice(if it works) Heaters will be difficult as pond is not near any mains supply. We are not in Scotland but in Swansea, South Wales which is far warmer area of the country, wet but not that cold. This bit of cold is worst for some time. Hope the holes do the trick also trying to get fresh water in. Will let you know what happens. Thanks again. Alun
Sorry I got you location wrong Any hole will fill with water, its nothing to worry about. Don't try and as (as you put it) add "fresh water" You don't know what is in it. Tell me more about this device to keep the holes clear. Not a pipe in the hole is it?
I have found that hot water in a saucepan does work, you just need to keep at it for a while.
My rough guide would be to fill the pan with hot water and place it on the ice. Come back in around 15 minutes and the pan will have sunk a little bit into the ice. Refill the saucepan with hot water and put it back on the ice in the same place as before. Repeat this a few times and you will eventually melt a hole all the way through the ice.
During the recent cold spell it took me about an hour (4 or 5 refills of the pan) to get through about 3 inches of ice.
Hope that adds to all the good advice given so far, and good luck during this imminent cold snap!
Just to prove that a saucepan can do the trick, here is a picture of the pond after the second big snowfall during the recent cold spell, followed by the subsequent "saucepan to the rescue" hole I managed to melt through the ice.
The snow was over 9 inches deep, and the ice was over 2 inches thick.