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About The Author
Authors Notes
Your First Pond
Trees & Sunshine
Take The Plunge
Preformed Pools
Installing A Liner
Making A Raised Pool
A Koi Pond
Miniature Ponds
Adding A Waterfall
Colourful Ponds
Choosing A Pump
Solar Powered Pumps
Looking After A Pump
Pond Pipework
Installing A Fountain
Self-Contained Fountains
The Leaky Pond
Planting The Pond
A Wildlife Pond
A Bog Garden
Pond Plants
Plants Round A Pond
Choosing A Lily
Floating Plants
Water Hyacinth
Oxygenating Plants
About Fish
When To Buy Fish
Choosing Fish
Quarantining Fish
Fish Under Stress
Feeding Your Fish
Holidays & Fish
Breeding Coldwater Fish
Changing Colours Of Fish
Pond Fish
A Koi Collection
Ghost Koi
Fancy Goldfish
Coldwater Catfish
Grass Carp
Rearing Trout
Swan Mussels
Visitors To The Pond
Visiting A Koi Auction
Clubs & Societies
Caring For Fish
Testing The Water
Are You Poisoning Your Fish
Ponds & Medicines
Diseases & Parasites
Disappearing Fish
Problems With Herons
Green Ponds
Fish Pond Filters
How A Filter Works
Improving Your Filter
Ultra Violet Sterilizers
Looking After A Filter
The Pond Through The Year
Spring Cleaning
Pond Plants In Spring
Ponds In Summer
Autumn & Winter
Breaking The Ice
10 Problems
Useful Facts & Figures

Allotment Articles1.
Allotment Articles 2.

Breaking The Ice

When Winter comes there is little to do to the fish pond as all life has slowed down with the cold and the fish just lie on the bottom of the pool in a torpor. Even with global warming and the milder winters we have had the last few years we still get one, or two nights of hard frost which can freeze the pond over with a thick layer of ice. If the ice lasts for a day or so it will not cause any problems because the water will hold enough dissolved oxygen for the fish to live on, but if it lasts for any longer then steps should be taken to make an air hole. This should not be done using a hammer to break the ice as the shock waves may harm the fish. Nor should a fork be used as this may puncture the pool. The best way to keep a hole free is with a pool heater. These are very low power and only need to be turned on, on the coldest of nights. Typically they use the same power as an old fashioned light bulb. They do not heat the whole pool, but just raise the temperature in a small patch of water a degree or two, so that it does not freeze.

You can buy low voltage pool heaters that run off a transformer for added safety, but these are less popular. One of the newer ideas for preventing the whole pond from freezing over is to use a large air pump to blow bubbles into the water. The constant agitation of the water keeps a patch free of ice. If you have a pond pump you could leave it running with just a pipe feeding the water back into the pool. The problem with this is that if it does freeze solid it will ruin your pump.

If you have not got an electricity supply close to your pond then you can buy a polystyrene dome which floats on the pond and will keep a hole free of ice, or you can resort to the old tried and trusted kettle method. This involves boiling some water and then pouring it onto one spot on the ice to melt it. It may need to be done several times a day in very cold weather as the water will chill and quickly refreeze. 

Some people place a large ball on the water before it freezes and then remove the ball the next morning leaving a hole in the ice, but if it is very cold this soon freezes over. In Winter the pool should be left alone and not cleaned out, or disturbed until Spring comes around when fish will once more become active and start to feed.