Winter is a pleasant season for many but if you are a pond owner, it might be stressful for you. In the winter season, ponds tend to get freeze over time and it damages the pond environment and makes it harder to maintain the pond for the owners.
The cold surrounding is dangerous for the fish to live in a pond, so you need to learn how to keep a pond from freezing without electricity.
Table of Contents
How To Keep A Pond From Freezing Without Electricity?
Make Your Pond Deep
If your pond is too shallow, there is a huge chance that it might get completely frozen in the time of winter which will eventually be very dangerous to the living things in your pond.
Having enough depth in your pond is very important. You need to know the more deep the pond is, the more water it will hold and therefore the oxygen supply will be better for the fish and other living things in your pond.
Some fishes like koi and goldfish can survive cold environments not if the pond is completely frozen. So, you need to prevent your pond from getting completely frozen in the time of winter and for that, your pond needs to be deeper enough.
You should consider a minimum depth of 18 inches for your pond and try to maximize it if possible. 23-25 inches deep pond is very much suggested.
The depth of a pond won’t keep it from getting freeze on the surface of the pond water but it will prevent it from getting completely frozen. Also, a deeper pond is suitable for fishes to live better.
Install Pond Heaters or De-icer
Using a water heater is a popular and effective method for keeping a pond from freezing. As we are talking about no electricity heating, the water heater needs an alternate power source to run.
Using solar energy to run water heaters is very efficient. These machines are typically used to heat swimming pools but can also be used for heating your pond water temperature.
The principle of this machine is to circulate your pond water through the solar panel and use the solar energy to heat the water and return the water to your pond.
There is a major fact you need to consider to use solar water heaters. Your solar water heater needs energy and for that, it needs to be set up in the area where the heat from the sun is highest throughout the day.
If you set up the solar panels for your heater where the temperature of the surroundings gets very cold and the heat of the sun is very low, then the heater won’t work properly or at all.
Using solar water heaters will save you more money than the other water heaters.
Another way of using water heaters without electricity is by using fuel supply power to the heater. It is a long-term solution for keeping your pond from freezing although they’ll cost you more than electric pond heaters.
If you have a bigger pond then you’ll need a pond heater with more wattage and vice-versa. You should buy water heaters with a built-in thermostat because it will turn off the heat if your pond water reaches the desired temperature.
Setting up a pond heater might be confusing to you but it will come with a clear instruction manual when you are buying one. You can follow the instruction manual to install the heater. There are some models of pond heater that only float on the surface of your pond and require less installation hassle.
Install Solar Pond Aerator
Using solar pond aerators for keeping a pond from freezing is another effective way that requires no electricity to run. Aeration of a pond is very important to ensure a healthy pond environment and adequate oxygen for the living things in your pond and to keep the pond from freezing in winter.
Solar pond aerators ensure that there is enough oxygen supply in your pond. Pond aerators require much electricity to run and as much solar energy as solar pond aerators. So, if you can’t provide solar energy back up at night, the solar pond aerator won’t work properly or at all.
There are different types of pond aerators without electricity –
- Fountain solar pond aerator: This aerator is mostly used as a decorative motive. This device floats on water and draws water from the pond and sprays it into the air. Sprayed water consumes oxygen from the air and returns to the pond.
- Submersible solar pond aerator: submersible aerators are a very popular method for keeping a pond from freezing. These devices come with a compressor, air bubbler, and a tube that delivers the oxygen from the air into the water. They draw air from the atmosphere and release it to the pond water.
- Windmill pond aerator: These pond aerators are very environment-friendly and they don’t need any electricity or solar energy to run. It uses the air to transform it into energy to produce an electric current.
Using solar pond aerators will save your cost and give you the efficiency you need. But one thing you need to consider that using solar-powered devices will always have a skeptical view on its backup system.
If your solar pond aerator doesn’t have any battery backup, it might not work at night. You need to make sure the solar panel of the aerator is getting enough sunlight or it won’t work properly. So always place the solar panels where the sun gives the heat the most.
Add a Floating Device
Floating devices are another option for you to keep your pond from freezing. These floating devices are used for a variety of applications. Not only for keeping your pond from freezing, but you can also use floating devices to keep farm animal water tanks from freezing.
Saltwater bottles, small tennis balls, floating ice preventers, etc can be used for floating devices to keep your pond from freezing.
The working principle of these devices is similar and very simple. These devices move around the pond water surface as the wind pressure hits them. The movements of these devices do the work for you by breaking the ice structure and thus keeping your pond from freezing.
Install a Source of Heat
Using a source of heat to keep your pond from freezing is a cheap and natural option for you. Building a small fire under your water tank or beside your pond will keep it from freezing. You can try installing steam tracing on water pipes and it will prevent your pond from freezing during winter.
This method brings the best result for small ponds and water tanks.
You should use chemical components in your pond to keep it from freezing only when you don’t have any fish or plants in your pond. You can use alcohol or glycol, these will lower the freezing point of the water during winter and keep your pond from freezing.
Why It Is Important To Keep Your Pond From Freezing?
Even if you do not have any fish or plants in your pond, keeping your pond from freezing is still important. When the water surface is frozen, it will prevent the fresh oxygen supply which can kill the environment of your pond and all flora and fauna in your pond.
Tips & Tricks To Keep Your pond Healthy In Winter Season
- There are several methods you can follow to keep your pond healthy and freezing-free during winter. Now, I’ll describe to you the best methods and tips you to follow.
- Using a combination of strategies is very important to keep your pond from freezing. A combination of strategies will enhance the result and give you more efficiency. For example, you can install a solar pond aerator and use some of the floating devices in the pond. The solar pond aerator will produce bubbles that will propel the floating device in constant movement. Using these two strategies will ensure that your pond is not freezing in the winter, you can combine other strategies as well.
- You need to “winterize” your pond, winterizing means that you need to clean up the pond good, clear any debris, and harmful stuff. It will lessen the number of harmful gasses from building up during winter. Winterizing also means not feeding your fish at 50-degrees. You should switch off the automatic feeder if you have any installed as they’ll hibernate in the winter season.
- The fish in your pond will hibernate in the winter season but they’ll still need oxygen. If your pond gets frozen completely over, then you should place a pan of boiling water on the ice surface which will create a hole in the pond’s surface. This air hole will help the fish to get oxygen and occur gasses exchange in the pond. You should not try to break a hole with force using a hammer or such because it will stress out the fish. Your fish can live in a frozen pond over a day or two, but the more the pond stays frozen the more oxygen deprivation will happen for the fish.
- You can try using inflatable balls on your pond’s surface. These balls will move on the water surface thus preventing the pond from freezing, also reduces the chance of ice forming.
- You can switch off your pond pump if you have any. Switching it off will create a warmer place at the bottom of your pond where your pond fish will be in the winter.
- You should clean your pond in the winter regularly, remove any fallen leaves, plastic, and other garbage from the pond. If these stay in your pond, it will create a toxic environment. If you have floating plants such as water lilies, you should remove them and keep them till the spring comes.
- You should remove the water filters in the winter. In winter, the fish go into hibernation and they do not produce gasses like ammonia that need to be eliminated by water filters.
- You should not use cheap devices to keep your pond from freezing. for example, if you use a cheap water heater, it will stop working after some time because of its less stability; which will affect your pond health.
- Do not leave your water heater on 24/7 because it will overheat your pond’s water. This will also cost you more energy and maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Keep My Pond From Freezing?
I’ve described various methods on how you can keep your pond from freezing during winter in this article. Follow the instructions and combine different strategies to get the best results.
How Do You Make A Pond Filter Without Electricity?
If you want to make a pond filter without electricity then you should go for natural filters. The best way is using natural pond filter plants such as water-iris, watercress, hornwort, etc. A combination of sand and gravel at the bottom of your pond will also help to filter the water.
How Deep Should A Pond Be To Not Get Freeze?
Having a pond area that is deep enough is important so that it doesn’t freeze to the bottom. If you are in an extremely cold region, then you should have a pond with 30 inches of depth or more. Generally, 18 to 20 inches deep is sufficient for a pond.