Pond De-Icers And Fish Health

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Below you’ll find an email that I recently received from our friend and customer, Hilde B.

Hilde, had asked me to share this information with you as we get into fall as a reminder to folks that there are a few things you can do to help your fish over winter safely. Unfortunately this winter, Hilde lost all of her fish.

I decided instead to post this now, just in case, since many of our friends from up north are still in cold weather. I’ll repost this again in the fall as Hilde suggested as well.

I particularly found her statement, “It’s a matter of what you don’t know that will hurt you”. How true this is. If you have a pond, you must continue to learn, study, and apply things that will make it a cleaner, healthier, and balanced place for fish and wildlife. I’m convinced we’ll be amply rewarded for our persistence.

And we can continue to learn because people like Hilde are willing to share their experiences…both good, and not so good.

Thank you for that Hilde!

Hello Mark,

There was a time when all I could think about was, clear water. We ran into a very different problem, all fish dead. Was sad to see this a couple of weeks ago. It’s a matter of what you don’t know that will hurt you.

We have had our fish pond for only 3 yrs. It came with the house when we moved to Ansonia, CT. The fish did fine the past 2 winters. This time, we have had a very severe winter. Ice on the pond for too long. I’m pretty sure that this was the problem, hypoxia, the fish ran out of oxygen. Most likely, a pond heater/de-icer would have kept them alive.

Very distressing thing when your fish die and you could most likely have prevented it. I was very fond of them, had even manged to train most of them to be hand fed (they loved honey nut cheerios). You could do a real service by mentioning pond heaters/de-icers when fall rolls around again. Not very expensive either, worth investing in, just in case…

With my regards,


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5 thoughts on “Pond De-Icers And Fish Health”

  1. My pond is only a year old. I did have a de-icer, and we also had a harsh winter (Western Pennsylvania) with as much as 24 inches of snow at one time. My de-icer got snowed under, sank sideways into the water and every thing was frozen solid. I had to wait until things thawed out to get the de-icer out of the pond. Now it does not work and had to be returned. Much to my surprise my six small fish are still alive. We are into freezing and thawing and they are still swimming around. Hopefully next year will be better for them and I do intend to use the de-icer in the winter when it is returned to me.

  2. Sorry to hear about the fish loss. I have had a pond for about 8 years and I rely on a pond de-icer every year. It keeps my pond open and water fall flowing, even in the harshest of winters. Mine sits on the bottom and the fish hang out right above it where the water is warmer. Now I can sleep and not worry about my fish freezing.

  3. I have had my pond for about 6 years and live in Wisconsin. I had a de-icer but since went to a small fountain pump. I place the pump on a rock at the shallow end of the pond. ( You don’t want to stir up cold water in the deep end) It gives enough circulation in the water to keep the oxygen in, even if the pond freezes solid.

  4. Hi Mark,Just would like to share with you and your readers how I have handled the frozen pond problem. I have a 10,000 gallon and much larger pond that I use simple aquarium air pumps from wal mart for around seven dollars to keep the ice open for the fish and they have been very sucessful in doing so. Depending on the depth of the pond, you have to keep the areation stone close to the surface to keep the water from freezing but as not to pull what little heat that you have on the bottom. My pond is five feet deep, so I hold the stone in the top 12 inches of water. Very easy to install and very easy on electricity. A little foam tubing around the clear tubing is a must to keep the moisture from freezing in the line when the temperatures get brutal,Give it a try and good luck.

  5. I have read all the comments regarding keeping pond fish alive during the winter. Most helpful for the future… Actually, I did not lose all my fish as I had first assumed, only my favorite ones, my 6 koi. Fished out the latter ones, once the ice had melted. They had grown quite big very fast, were about 10 inches each in length. To my surprise, the 4 goldfish I also had, were still alive! Of course, they are considerably smaller than the koi were. It would seem, there was enough oxygen in the pond for the smaller fish, but not for the larger ones. Live and learn!

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