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#562721 11/27/23 04:11 PM
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Hi - Our new pond (1.5 acres - oval shaped with 16’ deep) won’t freeze over. We are located in NE Iowa.

This is our first winter with our pond and we want to make sure everything is going in the right direction. Our new pond was finished late August and we filled it with well water in 3 months. Haven’t had any drops in water level yet, which we are glad about. When the air temps got consistently below 45’ we shut off the aerators and only left on the de-icer. For some reason, our pond won’t freeze over like everyone else’s around us.

Couple of questions …
- With aerators off and the pond doesn’t freeze over, can this be a bad thing? We are concerned with the fish in the pond.
- Our pond gets a good amount of wind. Even if we get some ice along the edges they usually don’t stay longer than a day. I assume it’s the wind that makes it leave. Air temps have been below freezing for a few days now and getting snow. Why would the ice we get leave? I assume it’s the wind given the air temps are still below freezing.

Thanks!

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Give the pond more time as winter progresses. The wind and the latent sink of the accumulated bottom heat needs to be lower for extended freezing. As cold temps continue and a windless night occurs ice will form. Be patient. Report back when you get full ice cover. Complete ice cover on my pond in NW Ohio usually forms Dec 7-15. Shallow ponds will develop full ice cover quicker compared to deep ponds. The more depth and deep water volume present the longer it takes to lose heat toward the 39F from the depths. When the complete water column reaches 39F, ice will usually quickly form on the surface during cold windless nights.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/27/23 06:56 PM.

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My pond was ice covered this morning except where there was some moving water and that extended about 50 feet out into the pond. The winter is still young.


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I agree with Bill.

16' deep is probably deeper than your neighbors' ponds.

We have our big state reservoirs (Kansas) freeze over enough for people to drive cars on during really cold winters. (However, Darwin is usually best buddies with people like that.)

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I wouldn't worry about it. I've learned the hard way that there are certain things in mother nature's plan that we can't change...making a pond freeze is one.
It's got to get a good mix and have near freezing temps at the surface and I can assure you it will freeze over, generally from one end to the other.

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We have a small ground water pond, maybe 1/5 of an acre. It is crazy how it seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to freezing over. Last winter we barely got a skin of ice, certainly nothing safe for ice skating. This week we have had temps around freezing and in the 20s overnight and have open water yet here and there. For me the layer of leaves on the bottom in the shallows helps insulate the ground heat. In addition I have to keep snow off the banks if I want the edges to freeze. Beyond the warmth of the water (and any ground water that comes in) you also have to freeze the ground solid a ways around the pond or there is too much heat trapped in the 'bowl' yet.

If ice skating is your goal then you would not want any type of bubbler or deicer. In a deep pond the fish should be fine as long as you try to keep the snow pack off the ice (which you would do anyway to allow for skating) They have a warm water zone to use just like in any other natural lake that doesn't have a bubbler. However newer ponds may not have vegetation started to provide some added oxygen. My pond has never been successful in growing vegetation but have not had any 'noticed' winter kill either and my pond has the challenge of being more shallow.

Last edited by canyoncreek; 11/28/23 06:51 AM.
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Thanks all for the answers. All makes sense and what I expected. AND, of course, temps went below 0 F last night and the entire pond freezes over. I’ll keep the de-icer diffuser on given it’s a new pond.

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Had the first ice on my ponds this morning - full cover on the shallower one and about 80% on the deeper one.


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The little ponds around me are also freezing up.

I have one neighbor with an 18-acre pond that you can mostly see from the road. It had at least 500 ducks on it yesterday since they all had to seek open water.

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Some winters my ponds freeze enough to safely walk around the edges. Other winters, they barely get a skim of ice. It depends.

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Ice?


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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