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#61555 12/09/05 07:54 AM
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A question regarding snow removal on acre pond in SE Michingan. We had about 3-1/2 of Ice last night about 8pm. Then it started to snow and 8 later the pond is obviously covered. The problem is that the very edges were just thin enough that the weight of the snow caused water to come up around the edges of the ice and now I have 3 of slush and 3 of snow on top of it. Not only does this ruin it for skating but also will make sunlight penetration impossible. (I am not shoveling 3 of slush. Tried that last year and almost died!) I thought since I already had some slush, what if I cut a hole in the ice and then put in a pump and pumped water on top to melt the snow or at least make it all slush that would eventually freeze and possible allow light penetration. I have an electric dewatering pump that is capable of 100 gpm. It may take awhile but I dont know what else to do. Anybody have any thoughts?


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#61556 12/09/05 08:11 AM
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Fozzy

Similar situation here. A skim coat of ice formed on the ponds then we received about 3" of snow. Temps moderated a bit (enough to mix the mess) and then the temps dropped. Facing 2" of snow ice, I started breaking the ice out along the edges the other day. Todays storm is predicted to pile on 6-10". Ice is not safe enough for me to venture out with the snowblower so once it passes, I'll probably go back to breaking some holes along the edge.

Not sure how this is going to affect the skating. \:\( A few years ago, we were faced with the same problem you have and tried the pump idea. Pond was 60' wide x 125' long. We had a small pump. The main problem we had was water runoff. The ice had a crown causing the water to flow to the sides of the pond. Like the scene in Apollo 13, where the guy throws all the parts on the table and says this is what we have to make a CO2 filter, we chased futility until we got honorable mention in the Darwin awards then pulled the plug on daylight and laughed off our funniest failure. Final joy for us was that warm spring day when the final chunk of stubborness melted into obscurity. RIP!

Not wanting to give in to failure, I think the only way we would attempt that again would be with a bigger pump, like a 2" trash pump.

#61557 12/09/05 08:50 AM
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Fozzybear, I would leave it alone for a while. I would assume that your temps are fairly mild right now to have slush. The extra weight of the snow, water and melting may weaken the 3 1/2" that you had. Adding water on top may cause some rotting (swiss cheese effect) and a dangerous situation for you. If the snow melts and re-freezes you could end up with clear ice anyway and allow light penetration. Once it thickens past 6", you could then deal with the grooming for ice-skating. I'd play it safe and wait.

#61558 12/09/05 08:59 AM
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I was all set to clear the snow this winter using buddy's ATV and plow. We only managed about an inch of ice before 6 inches of snow got dumped on. We've already had one guy drown while ice fishing and that's 80 miles NORTH of me, where it's been a bit colder. There was only 1.5 inches of ice, and it wasn't enough to hold him.

This is only the 2nd winter since stocking, so my pond is not nearly at capacity. Probably won't worry about it too much...gonna be hard on some of the other local ponds, though. We don't normally have solid ice until afte Xmas, and then there's usually not enough snow to block the light at all until after Jan 1...


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#61559 12/09/05 07:39 PM
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I had the exact same thing happened to my ponds last year. With last nights 7" snow, it is happening again in 2005-06 winter season. Big wet spots are forming where heavy snow is forcing water above the ice. Last year's ice after that snow-slush melt, was poor for ice skating. However once all the snow became wet and refroze, it allowed adequate light penetration for phytoplankton photosynthesis and oxygenation. Last year's ice got as thick as 12"-14" and timely snow removal was key to maintaining oxygen levels since there was a 2" top layer of transluscent ice (frozen wet slush). Timely snow removal will prevent a large DO sag from happening so our pond does not have to play "catch up" on oxygen levels.


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#61560 12/10/05 08:46 AM
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Received about 4 inches of ice formation on both ponds in NW Ohio before the snow hit so no cracking of ice here.

Installed an AirPod as a winter diffuser last June and wanted to test it. I lost about 3 PPM DO in two days after the snowfall and started this winter diffuser yesterday and took ice out of a shallow offset area about 20 ft diameter in about 12 hours(normally would not let the opening get this big). This was done with 8.8 cfm as I wanted to see how much this new style diffuser could take.(very impressed).. Had 4 other diffusers shut down.

In the 4/10 acre lower pond I switched the Windmill back to the diffusers from open vent and went from the Koender Airstone to the CoActive Airstation as the stone will take several days to get through 4 inches of ice and the CoActive will melt through sometime yet this AM. (good wind at present).

Last year we had ice on/off four different times and no winter aeration used at all.DO levels last year never got below 90% saturation and at times were as high as 105% At this pace it could be a long winter in Ohio.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/19/20 05:39 PM.
#61561 12/10/05 09:25 AM
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Quote:
took ice out of a shallow offset area about 20 ft diameter in about 12 hours(normally would not let the opening get this big)
I'm am very relieved to see you post this, Ted. I have moved my windmill airstone to shallow water for the first time this Winter (trying to prevent possible supercooling) and the area it keeps ice-free is MUCH smaller than I am used to seeing - since it's bringing up colder, shallow water and since maybe a third of the area it could melt is shore. I keep telling myself that Winter aeration with a small area ice-free most of the time is more than enough, DO-wise; nonetheless it is reassuring to have a reminder of this from a Pro.

You folks up in the snowbelt near the lake get a LOT more snow than we do down here, don't you?

CODY Note: Also with a diffuser or airstone in shallow water vs deep water the diffuser will move less water and less flow to the surface due to a shallower depth, thus a smaller ice free area will develop.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/19/20 05:41 PM.

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#61562 12/10/05 11:17 AM
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Theo, sounds like you are on track, When the zero temps return and you have an open area consider letting it freeze clear and bypassing by venting the air off. In these cold temps depending on the size of the pond you are probably still pulling warmer water temps from the deeper areas (1 acre or less is just a guess)and DO shouldnt be a problem.Ice cover is such great insulation.

In small ponds open water and over circulation can be more of a problem than low DO.I am going to monitor DO in my small pond (now has a 5 ft opening)with a 20 ft snow off area. Once it is snow covered again I will see if I can go 2-3-4 weeks or longer without clear ice and still keep the DO at 6ppm plus.

If open water in 1 acre plus ponds I don't think the 7 inch standard airstone and the windmill can over-circulate. EVERYONE keep in mind if starting up a shallow (or any depth) winter diffuser that the air will "trail off"under the ice possibly hundreds of feet away and cause potentially dangerous thin ice until a hole above the diffuser is in the ice. So thin ice can be hundreds of feet away and normally you will have thin ice at the shoreline (listen for the air escape) before you have open water.Also since many of todays aeration systems run very quietly or are located hundreds or thousands of feet away be sure the power can not accidentally be turned on, Even a system with a low circulation rate can cause thin ice in a day or two and the ice always looks the same thick or thin.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/19/20 05:22 PM. Reason: fixes
#61563 12/14/05 03:18 PM
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Good to hear Ted.

After reading this post, I stopped home for lunch and started up my airpod in the shallow end of the pond. It busted a 3-4' hole in the ice after 50 minutes, in about 30 minutes or less I could see the boil! \:D


I have a couple of questions yet....

1) Is a 4' opening in the ice enough?

2) Can I set the timer to run the pump for 30 minutes a day ( maybe around noon ? ) Or will that be too much running?

Just started the airpod...


Timer:


Hole in ice after about 50 minutes of run time.. Notice the dark spot in the middle of the pic... that is the open spot in the ice.. lots of water on top now as well.



#61564 12/20/05 01:38 PM
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#61565 12/22/05 05:27 PM
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Just saw this note (sorry bout that) been out cutting cattails all day,Im not concerned about having an opening as much as I am about some clear ice, 30 minutes per day will probably be too much with your aeration system. As long as you have 25% clear ice let it freeze over, The idea is to pump some water like you have on top of the ice to melt off the snow and then use the ice as insulation.

If you open up the ice cover every few weeks you wont have to worry about gas buildup and may not have a problem even without an opening in the ice, I don't think you have a lot of plant material at present that would consume DO in dark water.

My lower pond has been covered for two weeks now and is still at 90% saturation and has a higher BOD than yours so you should be in better shape.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/19/20 05:44 PM.
#61566 01/03/06 06:05 AM
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Thanks Ted.
\:\)
I guess I assumed it may be too much. I have run the pump in the shallow end for about 20 mins on the warmest days about once every 7-10 days.

As of today, most all the ice is off the pond. Where did winter go?

#61567 01/03/06 12:02 PM
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Just had to say I've been to Wapakoneta, OH. Pretty neat town.

I was just beginning to wish I'd invested in an aeration system, when the ice started melting away here in Iowa. It's not gone, but it's not safe to icefish anymore. Had nearly 9" at one time just before Xmas, but it's more like 4" now, and open most of the way around the edges...


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#61568 01/03/06 01:38 PM
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Matt, Im hoping the ice comes back for you (and me) :)I am from Wapak as is DooHan as is Neil Armstrong our claim to fame !!

#61569 01/03/06 02:17 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out why I've had good luck with my winter setup. I've got a half acre pond which is 8 feet deep max. I have a set of four 8 inch AES airstones at the bottom of the deepest hole. I run 5 cfm through this for two 4 hours shifts per day (total 8 hours per day). I've been doing this for 5 years now. Never lost a fish. I routinely have slush and snow on pond. My ice will get 16 inches thick or more with a foot of snow on top. We've had temps ranging from 25 to 35 F for the last 10 days and I have about a 20 foot diameter open spot in pond. When we have sustained temps below zero the aerator only keeps an opening less than one foot diameter. I've had the same problem with slush this year. In the past I've tried pumping water on top of the ice with a 2" trash pump in attempt to allow skating. I drill a hole at a high spot in the ice and take water from underneath. From experience I can tell you this doesn't work too well for making an ice rink. I have pumped as much as 2 inches of water on top of my ice. More than enough to wet all the slush but the problem is that the slush floats and thus never lets the water freeze smooth on the top for skating. It does however work well to make a smooth rink once the slush has finally frozen and you simply want to resurface the ice. It also works well to make more translucent ice if you can't get on the pond to plow although I've never done it for that reason. When I hear all this talk about being afraid to run an aerator for more than 30 minutes a day or only once a week I can't figure out how my system has worked out. I will say that my pond is an odd shape in that I have 3 roughly round sections all connected by narrower spots. My aerator is in the center section. Perhaps this is what saves my fish? If the aerator is supercooling one section of pond the fish might be surviving in the other sections. I think this winter is shaping up to be the ulitmate test for my pond. I have had thick snow on it for a month now and we haven't had a sunny day in 3 weeks. I do have a 20 foot opening which might save things again, I hope. Each winter I pray that this won't be my turn for a crash.


Gotta get back to fishin!
#61570 01/03/06 03:08 PM
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bz, An opening of only one ft may be part of the reason as you are not exposing a large area of the pond surface to the frigid air temps.You are not circulating a tremendous amont of water (a good thing)If you had 5 cfm going into an AirPod or Vertex XL you would have 40-50 ft of open water(not good) no matter the temps and a lot of stressed fish. 5 cfm in 1/2 acre is a lot of air inputDo you know what your back pressure reading is and are you using a vane or piston (just curious)Is your stone setup a AES ALA 4GL four square stones on a poly base?

#61571 01/05/06 01:24 PM
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Ted, I am running about 12 psi to get 5 cfm down about 400 feet of 1/2" tubing. I do use the same stones as 4GL but I mounted them on a PVC manifold that I built which keeps them about 10" off pond bottom. I use a Thomas carbon vane compressor. I've concluded that I'm very fortunate to have this system work first try. I just picked a set of diffusers that would handle the flow rate of the pump I bought. I sized the pump to be able to handle a larger pond since I plan on expanding it some day. Then I chose an amount of time to run the system that just seemed right and it all worked from day one.


Gotta get back to fishin!
#61572 01/05/06 02:03 PM
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bz, sounds like its going well. The 10 inch height is about perfect.If you have a blue 3/4 inch "Brady" checkvalve either on the intake side of your airfilter or in the water at your stone setup see if it still has the spring in it. If it does remove it and you may drop to 10psi.AES started removing the spring a few years ago but I still find a few units that have them. Also if you do have this valve untread the end of it to expose an oring that seems to only last a year or so. It may be cracked.Lastly I always found the yearly cleaning (per instructions) much needed on these stones as the vane dust wanted to collect on the inside of the stones and lessen circulation and increase back pressure especially on the units that are considered high pressure and do not have the internal carbon vane filters. Even with the filters the dust will collect in the stones as it gets pushed through.You should be in good shape for that pond expansion,

#61573 01/06/06 01:15 PM
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Ted, thanks for the suggestions. I have noticed that originally I was running about 10 psi but it has gradually risen over the last several years. I am familiar with various ways that air stones can clog and since they aren't expensive I just replace them every other year. This last time I did wonder why the pressure really didn't drop with the new stones and I wondered if something could be wrong with the check valve. You've given me some things to look for. Since it is winter now I may try just running some muriatic acid through the line to see if the problem is crud in the check valve. If this helps fine. If not I'll pull the thing up come spring. Some day I'm going to start a thread just to discuss the difference between air stones and diaphragm diffusers and I bet you know a few things about that. Should probably be a new thread.


Gotta get back to fishin!
#61574 01/06/06 02:46 PM
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Not sure which Thomas you have but if it is a 10psi model try adding 2-4 additional stones to your setup. AES has a suggested range of 1.5-2.4 for a 4-stone setup and this is where some of the pressure may be coming from.Also if your pump is rated 5 cfm open flow you may be closer to 4 cfm at 10 psi.If you have the two endcaps with felt filters it is a 10 psi model.

The problem with taking the check valve out altogether with stones is the initial startup time to push the water out of the line as it will normally flow back to the height of the water (pond). This creates a lot of pressure for a vane (20-30 psi) and can blow the endcaps out or the muffler box gasket or even break the vanes. If you add additional stones you will probably lower your run time if the hole size in thick ice works for you as it sounds like it is.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/19/20 05:27 PM.
#61575 01/06/06 08:30 PM
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Ted, my pump is designed to operate up to 15 psi according to Thomas. I have a 15 psi relief valve on the outlet manifold. You are correct that the 4 stones aren't really meant to take 5 cfm. If I remember correctly my pump is rated about 5 cfm at 10 psi. So I should be putting out close to that. I have not installed more stones because in the summer I run two diffusers off this pump and then the stones only see about 2.5 cfm. I didn't think it would be good to run 6 stones half the year at only 2.5 cfm. Thought they might clog faster. Any thoughts on that?


Gotta get back to fishin!

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