NANFA-- ponds in the winter

R. W. Wolff (
Wed, 20 Dec 2000 23:59:16 -0600

I have not gotten out to the ponds much for the past couple weeks, so much
going on. On the way to the compost pile yesterday I noticed the gar pond
was holding its own against cold and snow. The stock tank heater and pump
have kept the water fall running, and much of the water in the pool below
the water fall open, and downstream in the channel that connects the pool to
the main pond open as well. I don't see much of the fish this year like
last year. With the new addition of the pool, the current was reversed.
This made the main part of the pond nearly all still water, and leaves the
snow on the surface of the ice. I guess this is fine since its keeps heat
in the pond. I noticed that spotfin, blacknose shiners, pearl and finescale
dace, and what appeared to be small pirate perch or banded pygmy sunfish
were enjoying the open warmer water around the water fall. Some of the
plants around it too seem to forget just how cold it is and are slightly

The pond in the slightly heated sunroom is doing well too. I have some
plants showing growth, with air temps in the 40's on the very cold nights,
and up to 70 on cold sunny days, only climbing to 50 + on cloudy days. The
alligator and spotted gar who are in here along with fathead feeder minnows
are just laying around waiting for warmer weather, so they can go back to
the Gar pond. The fatheads could care less about the cold water, and
actively cruise around in a big school. I need to insulate the windows and
door better next year to raise the minimum temperature to 50 degrees. I
want to keep the water at a bare minimum above 45 degrees. Recently my new
thermometer had been lying to me and said the water was only 30 degrees (
impossible, since its was all liquid) , but now with added heat vent out
there, and night time lows never going below 40 degrees it is up to 37
according to the conniving thermometer. I need to pick up a new one and
find out what it really is.

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