Weather has been so rough up there the camera has not been able to consistently send images. It is going several days in a row without sending pics. We got somewhere around a combined amount of 2 feet of snow over the last couple weeks. Buddies went up on snowmobiles and estimated 4' to 5' of snow on the ground with even more in the timber. No idea how much snow is on top of the ice. Here is what I do know.... The pipe hole is still open. All other holes are long gone. At this point I am claiming victory. We are almost into March, have a ton of snow on the ground and the pipe is still killing it. I have NEVER in the history of aerating this water had a hole open this long. IMO the pipe 100% solves the ice doming issue.
Tentative plan moving forward. I am going to keep my diffusers in deep water, but I am going to suspend them under the surface of the water some amount like MNFish is doing. Currently thinking maybe 4'-ish. Hoping this can keep my water temps a little bit higher and therefore keep bigger holes open. Diffusers suspended in shallow water will also reduce the PSI on the system, increase the amount of CFM produced and lower the pumps power consumption therefore allowing longer run times on the solar system.
I will also suspend a single diffuser below the surface with NO PIPE to see how it fares. In the name of science. Lol
ALSO - another huge benefit to suspending the diffusers. We think by moving diffusers off the bottom we can significantly reduce the O2 consumption by the bacteria on the bottom of the pond. If we stop circulating the water all the way to the pond bottom we should also stop feeding 02 to the bacteria in the muck working on decomposition. We think this will significantly reduce the BOD in my water. Only time will tell. Unfortunately there are basically one year gaps between starting my experiments and seeing the results. THAT is hard to deal with.
I count this year as a huge win. We finally identified the correct problem to solve - Ice doming up - and solved it. My water also seems to be in the best shape it has ever been in at this point in the winter. Fish should survive no question. Will 100% survive? No way for me to know.